FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 27, 2012
Present: Chair Kellner, Chair Elect Zonderman, Secretary Sawyers: Senators Aday, Ade, Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Daley, Devetsikiotis, Fleisher, Freeman, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Holden, Jasper, Knopp, Lubischer, Lunardi, Moore, Morgado, Penrose, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tyler, L. Williams, M. Williams, P. Williams
Excused: Provost Arden, Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Bradley, Hatcher, Knowles, Lucia, Piedrafita
Absent: Nfah-Abbenyi, Spontak
Guests: Chancellor Woodson; P. J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Trudy Mackay, Professor, Genetics; Alex Yadon, Student Senate; Betsy Brown, Provost’s Office; Richard Bernhard, Professor, Industrial and System Engineering
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 7th meeting of the fifty ninth session to order at 3 p.m.
2. Announcements and Remarks
Chair Kellner announced that a personnel change took place during the week and a committee has been appointed to search for a new football coach. The faculty representative on the committee is Sam Pardue and the Board of Trustees will be meeting tomorrow to make decisions on financial questions surrounding the position.
There was a SACS meeting on Monday to discuss the QEP process. The subcommittee on critical and creative thinking is discussing where and when the emphasis is to be and it remains primarily aimed at first year students.
Chair Kellner attended the University Diversity Advisory Committee meeting. He noted that this is a fairly large committee that is chaired by Marcia Gumpertz and Joanne Woodard. A report was given by one of the committees on the subject of black faculty numbers, which are down, so they are working on a plan. The numbers aren’t good and they are unequally divided around campus with about 4% black faculty and about 8% African American student body in a state that has 23% African American population.
Chair Kellner stated that this is not acceptable and he thinks the administration is working hard to find ways and procedures to change it.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 6, November 13, 2012
A motion passed to approve the minutes as corrected.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Woodson
Chancellor Woodson announced that there had been a personnel action this week. He reminded the faculty that the payout that was announced is accurate, it is part of the market driven issue associated with intercollegiate athletics at this level. The payout isn’t part of the university’s budget or part of the general expenditures of the university and it is not a part of tuition and fees.
Chancellor Woodson reported that they have announced the inaugural class of University Faculty Scholars. He stated that they awarded 24 of the early to mid awards this year. The committee that evaluated at the college and university level was overwhelmed with the quality of our faculty. It was a great class and they have all been notified.
Chancellor Woodson reported that NC State broke its record in the State Employees Combined Campaign. We raised more than $636,000, which is a significant increase over last year’s $539,000 and for the first time in our history we surpassed 30% participation.
Chancellor Woodson reported that obligations have been fulfilled to the campus and the Board of Trustees to act on recommendations for tuition and fees. Tuition will increase next year by $290 combined both semesters. He stated that it was largely because of the environment that we are working within and the need to continue to do everything we can to keep this campus affordable. This was a reflection of what had been achieved last year for the second year of the two year process and I thought it would be more prudent for us to stay within those bounds, to recognize that our students are struggling. Forty six percent of our students are Pell grant eligible, one of the highest percentages of a research intensive university in America. We are not filled with students of high means, so one of the challenges is that every time we increase tuition dramatically it creates another need to increase financial aid needs and for the graduate student support plan, so that was the recommendation and the Board unanimously supported the increase.
Chancellor Woodson stated that NC State has also fired up a co-generation plant. Most steam generating facilities are about 30% efficient, so a co-generation plant uses waste steam to generate electricity and for the first time in 61 years NC State is generating electricity. It is structured in a way where we can generate electricity at peak hours when the electricity is at its most expensive point for the university. We have already saved $4.6 million and we are now up to 79% efficiency with respect to the energy used to create steam and to generate electricity. Financially this is great for the university. We are the only university in the system that has the authority to enter into a performance based contract. This means that we can borrow money to create new ways to save energy and pay back the loan with the money we saved on the reduced energy cost. We borrowed $60 million, so saving this money is critical because we have to pay that back, but we have the capacity now to generate electricity that will feed about one third of our campus. The next thing that we are working on is being able to acquire our own energy and doing it in a more cost effective way.
Questions and Comments
Is this technology available to other institutions?
Chancellor Woodson responded that the technology is available.
Do we receive any profit from that?
Chancellor responded that the profit comes from energy savings. The profit is the reduced cost of electricity because we are co-generating now by using excess steam to generate electricity.
Have you anticipated an annual savings?
Chancellor Woodson stated that he assumes it is going to be somewhere in the $8-9 million range, so its going to pay for itself.
Chancellor Woodson reported that the Board of Governors mandates that they adopt a strategic plan every five years. There are essentially five elements that they are focused on.
1) Attainment – This has been the biggest pocket of conversation. We are essentially talking about how many baccalaureate degrees or higher. What percentage of our population do we expect to have a baccalaureate degree or higher? We are currently at 27%, we aspire to be in the top 10% of the states in terms of educated population. States that have the highest educated population have the lowest Medicaid cost, have the lowest prison population, have the highest income level and are the most attractive to industries. North Carolina has for many years sought to be among the most educated states, but we are still in the middle. We have talked a lot about what educational attainment goal number make sense and I think they are about to settle on around the 35 to 36% level of our population. Then you think about how you are going to get there. You increase graduation rates and we are going to see more completion of baccalaureate degrees from college transfers, that is an increasing part of the pipeline and we may even work to encourage people that are close to graduation to come back and graduate, which is a large number in North Carolina.
The other elements are quality, service to the state in terms of outreach, maximizing efficiency and accessibility – Keeping the university accessible to the people of North Carolina.
Chancellor Woodson said the most controversial conversation that he has had is the notion that you can educate a population based on work force needs. There is some of that, but I get nervous when they start trying to create the university curriculum around work force needs. I think in the end we are going to get to a place to say this is where we are, this is where we want to be.
Questions and Comments
If the goal is 35 to 36 percent will that get us in the top ten?
Chancellor Woodson responded yes that is part of the problem. If we were there now we would be in the top ten. The question is, what are the other states going to do? That is like wanting to be a top 25 university, we know what that means today, but what does it mean ten years from now?
Does anyone at this level worry about the K-12 situation?
Chancellor Woodson stated that almost every college has a K-12 outreach component working on improving the pipeline.
At the beginning of this process President Ross was talking about the way in which the university system is being perceived differently now from the way it had been years ago and he was focusing on the need to rebuild new relationships with particular business communities. Do you have any sense that this process is helping in that regard?
Chancellor Woodson stated that in the early phase of the planning he heard the President and others say that if we needed to energize the industry in the state to speak to the need for an educated workforce. When you look at workforce needs in the state, the highest percentage growth is actually in the doctoral level for North Carolina, but that doesn’t seem to be much a part of this process.
You mentioned cost per degree, Friday’s Triangle Business Journal quoted $70,000 as NC State’s cost per degree. Why is our cost per degree higher than the national average?
Chancellor Woodson responded that he doesn’t know what that number means. He doesn’t know where they got it, what the denominator is, what the numerator is, he doesn’t know where it came from. This strategic process is a planning process where all of the data is thrown out on the table for discussion and when that happens the media picks it up and writes a story about it. I suppose on one level a way for us to calculate cost for degree is to take our total educational budget as the numerator and the number of graduates we produce as the denominator. One of the things that hurts us, it helps us in terms of what is being a competitive program for agriculture, but we receive more than $100 million from the state for agriculture, research, and extension and that is put into our base budget, whereas that part of the budget has nothing to do with producing degrees, it’s for extension and agriculture research. We have been reporting it that way to IPEDS for years and that is not right.
The honest truth is that our dollars per FTE, the amount of money that we have in tuition and the amount of money that we have in state appropriations per student is among the highest in the peer group because North Carolina provides the third best appropriation for higher education per student of any state in the nation, only Alaska and Wyoming are higher.
5. Remarks on Faculty Advisory Council to the Strategic Planning Process
Dr. Trudy Mackay stated that the strategic planning initiative started in September of this year. In the middle of October she received an invitation to serve on a new committee which the various universities had asked the forum to supply faculty input to the entire process. They have been working since the end of October into November.
Dr. Mackay stated that they were asked to prepare a document that would provide faculty input to the various aspects that Chancellor Woodson explained. There were thirteen members, one from all of the different campuses that were organized to write a white paper. The white paper outlined components for undergraduate degrees and suggested minimum common general education as well as specialist competencies for graduates.
The second was to strengthen and assess academic quality in which we discussed national and UNC assessment practices including research on how to assess and suggest ways to specifically strengthen academic assessments without diminishing the quality.
Dr. Mackay said she was in charge of the first section, faculty scholarship (originally called research) but we wanted to make it clear that what people think of sitting in a lab doing research is not all of what the faculty engaged are doing, we are also doing creative work. We are also doing other kinds of scholarship, so we highlighted the importance of all kinds of research including basic research and suggested ways to strengthen faculty scholarship and economic and cultural educational benefits from that scholarship.
Finally our last section on responsive partnerships examines the importance of university services to North Carolina and ways to enhance partnership and participation in service activities.
This was a very fast process where we only had three meetings and everything else has been done in email communication and I am really impressed with my colleagues in this effort because this document is really scholarly with lots of good references and very much referring back to the big plan of UNC Tomorrow that was presented five years ago.
We have these shared principles. However, our state university institutions are not identical, they are complimentarily, so only by nurturing the steps of each institution can the UNC system fly. Again, research, teaching, and service have to be supported at all campuses. We want to make sure that this is important in all the institutions.
Any strategic plan has to be concerned with the social value of higher education as well as its private and market value. That was our way of saying we don’t work for businesses, we do knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination in its own right.
Dr. Mackay stated that academic productivity should be defined in terms of not just quantity, but quality. The last thing is that campus faculty have to be involved in the design and implementation of the strategic goal because they know how to move their institutions forward.
Dr. Mackay noted that she attended one other meeting last week as part of the process. We have had seven UNC Economic Development Listening Sessions. The one I attended was the Triangle Region in which we had various people representing companies, people representing economic development agencies and us as listeners. Terri Lomax was there to represent the four universities in the region and she began by outlining the roles of university and economic development, stressing education and training students, knowledge transfer and discovery, and clusters of companies to attract partners. There were five questions asked. What data do UNC leaders need from UNC campuses in the form of hard schools for the next five years, soft schools for the next five years, business growth, and how can we do a better job of communicating as it relates to business? Most people said that they just want a well educated product. Several of the companies said that we want someone that knows four languages, we want engineers with business skills and leadership skills because people don’t just do the one thing any more. We want our university to be able to say that they are the best in the world in “X” because that would attract people to come here. It was interesting because this meeting was after we submitted the document in its early draft and practically every point was in here that they raised at the listening session.
Mackay stated that all of the faculty comments they received are incorporated into the document.
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
Would you comment on the common educational goals?
MacKay stated that there are commonalities across general education programs across the UNC System. It turns out that every one of the campuses has critical thinking and quantitative analysis, scientific inquiry, communication skills, historic and social perspectives, and human expression creativity as part of the general education commonalities. Many address health and wellness awareness, information and technology literacy, and global and cultural awareness, diversity and citizenship.MacKay noted that the strategic goals are:
- to provide seamless educational opportunities across the UNC System campuses and to community colleges;
- guarantee a set of minimum competencies for General Education programs;
- based on recommendations from faculty across the system, ensure transfer opportunities between the UNC System campuses as well as the community colleges;
- prepare students for successful citizenship, and
- ensure excellence of general education for all UNC students.
What is the process now that the white paper has been created. Where do we go from here?
Mackay stated that it has been submitted to the committee and we hope that they will use our language in some of the ideas. I think part of the reason we are asked not to disseminate it is that we hope that if things could just be taken verbatim we would be very happy.
Chancellor, in your opinion how will this strategic plan translate itself into financial support for the university from the State of North Carolina?
Chancellor Woodson stated that the goal of the process is to inform the legislature, to give the impression that we actually know what we are doing.
How different is it from the UNC Tomorrow?
Chancellor Woodson responded that it is much more focused on getting performance measures by which we will be held accountable.
Do you have a sense of what has been heard at these other business communities?
Chancellor Woodson stated that there is a high regard for the university system and the thing that we struggle with is every county wants a university in their backyard. That is one of the challenges because it is hard to become efficient because everyone knows the value created by a university in their backyard particularly a research intensive university.
Are the skills I teach hard or soft?
Mackay explained that hard skills are technological skills and soft skills are things like leadership and communication.
Regarding this white paper, is there a sense of a statement of mutual expectation?
MacKay stated that basic research is curiosity driven pursuit of knowledge, but knowledge is the most important asset we can pass to future generations. Knowledge gained by basic research has often resulted in spectacular, unexpected practical education and you can list applications of basic research that has had astounding medical and social applications and in all cases the applications were unforeseen at the time of discovery. There was a long interval between the discovery and the application and the application was also highly profitable.
6. Old Business
Second Reading –Resolution on Ombuds
Senator Aspnes presented the resolution for a second reading.
After some discussion, a motion passed unanimously to adopt the resolution.
7. Committee Reports
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Jasper reported that the committee received four issues of concern.
Issue: The specifics used for class evaluations are taking more weight in the evaluation of teaching, promotion, and teaching awards from departments. If a small percentage of students fill them out are the data statistically relevant? Can one evaluate the course, instructor or program with low turnout?
Senator Jasper stated that the low turnout now is about 30 percent. It started at about 50 percent and when they went to the online class evaluations it has been dropping each semester. The problem is not so much the 30 percent, the problem is that it is not a representative sample. There is a lot of differences by gender, GPA, and there is huge disparities by courses.
The committee’s recommendation was that administrators should be discouraged from making the student evaluation data the primary focus of teaching effectiveness given the lack of rigor in the calculation in comparisons. Several members noted that other metrics that should be considered when assessing teaching effectiveness include outcome-based assessment.
Issue: The second issue was about student athletes, opportunities for improper actions, what kind of support should student athletes get, most importantly was the issue of incomplete grades, if they are being properly given to student athletes in accordance with university policies?
Carrie Leger spoke to the committee and answered all of their questions. They received some data comparing student athletes to non student athletes for getting incompletes and there is not a statistical difference between the two populations. Once they received the incomplete they looked at what grade it would turn into and there was not statistical difference for that between the athlete and non student athlete. They also reviewed which courses gave the most incompletes and there was no difference.
The committee decided that there is no further action needed on this issue.
The next issue was on Resolution 49 from the students on the creation of a Chancellor List. A Chancellor Llist would be for students with grade point averages of 4.0 for 12 to 14 credits and 3.8 for 15 credits and above. The issue was presented to the Faculty Senate for comment.
Currently students with a 4.0 are recognized as valedictorians and are assigned special recognition at graduation. In addition we have cum laude, magna cum laude, and suma cum laude for graduating seniors and an additional list could add to the pressures of grades as opposed to scholarships among the students. On the other hand the students felt that students exhibiting exceptional achievement should be recognized and it might help for summer internships and fellowships.
The committee doesn’t have a recommendation at this time, they are still in the data gathering mode.
Regulation 2.20.14 which talks about no tests or quizzes being given during dead week.
Senator Jasper reported that with the adoption of reading days and Thanksgiving holidays there is now a minimum of 16 to19 days between the last day that tests are given and the beginning of finals. The question was whether that was too long or too short. The regulation states that you can give a test on dead week with permission from department heads and the deans.
Senator Jasper stated that he solicited some comments from the departmental administration and they felt that for courses that did not give a project or test on dead week, it might not be a bad idea to allow a test to be given that Monday and Tuesday for with the extra reading days you still have nine days. The committee plans to revisit the issue.
Senator Bourham reported that the committee looked into improving the Senate website. They have completed a study and have proposed a plan. In order to implement the plan they consulted with Dr. Ellen McDaniel, Web and Content Management Coordinator, ITECS and she recommended the following.Contacting the University Communication about their service:
Wordpress service from OIT for getting on the web quickly with little to no programming
http://wordpress.ncsu.edu/ via firstname.lastname@example.orgOR
the library which provides an easy-to-use environment built on Mediawiki (The software that
Wikipedia uses) that can be shared by campus users, http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu
The committee requested that the Senate review the recommendations and provide some feedback so that the plan can be implemented in the Spring.
Senator Bourham reported that there was an issue with the language in the Senate bylaws to allow for an emergency quorum of the General Faculty. The committee is continuing their discussion to specifically allow the Chair of the Faculty to call for emergency meetings.
Senator Bourham reported on the incorporation of the Administrative Board of the Graduate School. He stated that Dr. Rebecca Rufty, Acting Dean of the Graduate School communicated to the committee that a lot of the colleges have both elected and appointed members. She also noted that the committee is welcome to continue the investigation if they need to proceed further.
The committee was also asked to look into the composition of the Committee on Undergraduate Education and the regulations of the committee. They invited Barbara Kirby to their meeting and shared the process. The committee’s recommendation is to have the six non academics as non voting members.
Senator Aspnes reported that the committee reviewed Regulation 5.20.24 which has to do with promotion procedures. After their review they decided that no further action was necessary.Senator Aspnes reported that the following issues will continue into the spring.
- Child Care
- Forming a committee devoted to issues of non tenure track faculty.
- Domestic partner benefits -- the committee is not certain if that is an NC State or a State of North Carolina issue.
- Faculty grievance review policies
- Reinstating the salary equity study.
- Scholarships and fellowships for children of faculty and staff. The committee is still gathering data on that and hopes to come up with a recommendation.
Resources and Environment
Senator Funkhouser reported that the committee met twice and both issues they received pertained to transportation. One dealt with having a direct bus line service from DH Hill Library to the Hunt Library. They invited the Director of Transportation to talk about it and he asked to defer the issue.
The other issue dealt with the turtles. The committee asked the Director of Transportation if a turtle crossing sign could be installed on Centennial Campus near the Chancellor’s residence.
Senator Funkhouser noted that a wild life crossing sign has been installed.
8. Issues of Concern
Senator Bourham stated an issue of concern on the security of RADAR (Research Administration and Data Reporting) system. The issue was assigned to the Resources and Environment Committee.
The issue was assigned to the Academic Policy Committee.
Senator Warren presented an issue of concern on the fee increase for gym membership. The issue was assigned to the Resources and Environment Committee.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:47 p.m.