February 17, 1998
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Secretary Corbin, Past Chair Smith, Provost Stiles, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Barr, Bernhard, Bottcher, Brown, Carter, Fahmy, Gilbert, Griffin, Klenin, Lilley, Magill, Monahan, Nagel, Serow, Siderelis, Suh, Wessels, Wilson
Senators absent: Senators Bizios, Daley, DeBuysscher, Hamouda, Lewis, Middleton, Murty, Patty, Rushing, Schwab, Strenkowski, Tetro, Wall, Wehner
Visitors: Pam Smith, News Services; Susan Kohlhausen, Student Senate Pro Tem; Andrew Payne, Chair, Student Senate Academic Policy Committee
1. Call to Order
The twelfth meeting of the forty fourth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair George Wahl.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Wahl welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Wahl announced that the General Faculty Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 2, 1998 in the Erdahl Cloyd Theater from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
There will be a call for nomination for the Chair of the Faculty, the Hearings and Grievance Panels, and the Faculty Senate in the next issue of the Bulletin.
The University Council on Athletics will hold an open meeting in the Case Athletics Center on Friday, February 20 from 2 - 3 p.m.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, February 3, 1998
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Stiles stated that he wanted to speak on two issues. The first is the background for a role that faculty need to play both in and outside the university as Faculty Senators. The reason is to give a broader perspective in how other people see our profession. He reported that there was a commission study on the cost of higher education and why costs are rising. A copy of the report can be found on the web at http://www.nasulgc.nche.edu/Pub_CostCommTOCJan98.htm. Some of the issues the commission was asked to deal with relative to higher education were the increase in tuition compared with other commodities and services and innovative methods of reducing or stabilizing tuition. He stated that they are important issues and ones that you would have opinions on, and in some cases, the facts to back them up. They listed the following six key findings.
1) The United States has a world class system of higher education, and a college degree has become a key requirement for economic success in todays world.
2) The Commission is convinced that American higher education remains an extraordinary value.
3) Institutions, families, students and other patrons share responsibility for maintaining quality and reducing cost.
4) Tuition price controls will not work and would be destructive in academic quality in higher education.
5) The commission is also deeply concerned that most academic institutions have permitted a veil of obscurity to settle over their financial operations and many have yet to take serious basic strategies for reducing their cost.
6) Unless academic institutions attend to these problems now, policy makers at both state and federal levels could impose unilateral solutions that will likely be heavy handed and regulatory.
Provost Stiles believes that the primary function of the university administration is to enable and empower the faculty to do their job. He feels that an administrator should be held to the task of making sure that they are doing it.
Provost Stiles stated that there were a number of areas in which the commission made recommendations. One recommendation is that academic institutions intensify their efforts to control cost and increase institutional productivity.
Provost Stiles reported that in the first half of the 1980's, administrative costs for a full time equivalent student rose 22%, but costs have remained fairly steady since 1987. It was from 1986 on, in North Carolina that the dollar value that was received in an institution decreased. While salaries are good and competitive now, the support that we have is not. There have not been the funds to do that. He noted that if faculty numbers increase, and we are not getting more operating funds in our departments, each person must operate with less. He stated that we will make a point in the future that if a faculty position goes to a college, it will go with benefits, operating funds, secretarial support, telephone charges, connections to the Internet, etc.
Provost Stiles reported that an attempt was made to find out how our administrative costs, above the operating units cost compared to our peers. NC State was below the average and lowest in most of the categories. He stated that, this is not good enough. We have to continually be aware of what it is and remove those things that are not productive.
Provost Stiles believes that we should be knowledgeable about the rest of the university, so that when speaking to neighbors, or anyone, we can speak knowledgeably on what is going on at our institution.
Provost Stiles reported that Government develops new approaches to academic regulation that emphasize performance instead of compliance, and differentiation in the place of standardization. The same thing applies to the straight accreditation process. We should be looking at the effectiveness of what we do in improving student learning, rather than the particular resources that are available.
Provost Stiles stated that the second issue he wanted to discuss concerns one more broad general subject for faculty to think about. There was a section on job satisfaction on NPR this morning. It tried to focus on how some companies make sure employees have punched the time clock, are at work, and do not take time off. The employer will say we want you here because you are going to be the most productive. He observed that all the studies seem to show that is not the case. In fact, if the question is asked concerning the desire for employees to be well prepared to do their job, people will say absolutely yes. He said that may mean that you need to do something to accommodate their personal life. Young people will not sacrifice their private life, to the extent that we might have, for success at their job. On the other hand, from something like 34% ten years ago, now 50% of the people are bringing work home in all jobs. Much of the work that we take home, we enjoy, but correcting one hundred papers might not always give us great joy. If we stop and think about how we can help a student with that, we do feel good about it. We have been able to adapt so that we could be whole human beings. We should think about what it means to be a faculty member at the university and what we are to do. We are paid by the State to carry out some functions. We go past that because of what we love at this institution. We need to know how we can be more efficient and more effective for our patrons. It is an important issue.
Chair Wahl thanked Provost Stiles for his remarks.
A. Report on Faculty Representation from the Governance Committee
Senator Monahan, Chair of the Governance Committee, reported that the General Faculty Bylaws prescribes a formula for the number of representatives to the Faculty Senate. The discussion last year which led to a reaffirmation of this formula brought certain details to light regarding the calculation. The Governance Committee recommends that the number of Senators from each college shall be the whole number nearest to the number computed from the following formula but shall not be less than two:
1 + 12 X ( No. of Faculty in College + No. of Students in College )
Total Faculty in University Total Students in University
Senator Monahan moved adoption of the report. The motion was seconded by Senator Gilbert and passed without dissent.
Secretary Corbin thanked Senator Monahan for his report.
B. Appointment of Faculty to University Standing and Ad hoc Committees
Senator Monahan reported that committee appointments are made by the Chancellor and recommendations for faculty to serve on these committees are made by the Committee on Committees. For the staff and student membership on these committees, the recommendation comes from Student Government and the Staff Senate. Senator Monahan, on behalf of the Governance Committee moved, that the Chair of the Faculty ask the Committee on Committees to delegate to the Faculty Senate the duty of recommending faculty to serve on campus Standing and Ad hoc Committees.
The motion was seconded by Senator Gilbert.
Past Chair Smith wanted to know if it is the intent that the Faculty Senate will start doing the job that the Committee on Committees is currently doing.
Senator Monahan's response was yes.
Past Chair Smith noted that he has served on the Committee on Committees for several years. He stated that this is a very strenuous job and wonders why the Senate wants to take this on.
Senator Monahan response was, to strengthen the University Committee System. He thinks that by strengthening them the faculty will have more power to make decisions in this university.
Provost Stiles commented that it is a long task. There are three faculty members and three administrators. He has found that his input was not needed. So it was a committee in which there are more faculty than administrators making decisions.
Provost Stiles stated that he thinks that if a larger group has input on it, there would probably be better appointments.
Senator Serow wanted to know the procedure that would be used to do the work.
Chair Wahl responded that it will probably take two, two-hour sessions of the Executive Committee. He stated that a lot of the work is done by Senior Associate Provost Abram's office.
Senator Serow wanted to know if the Senate would continue to enjoy that benefit after taking over this task.
Chair Wahl responded that he thinks so.
Senator Serow wanted to know if the Senate's staff resources are adequate.
Chair Wahl stated that the Senate has the same as the small committee would have. If we need more information, it would be sent back to Senior Associate Provost Abram's office. He noted that this would not be a major impact on the office support person.
Provost Stiles stated that if the Senate wants to do this in principle, then without having to address the issue of the legality, he is willing to make sure it is done on a two-year trial basis and then reassessed. If it does not seem like the right thing to do, one could go through what ever legally needs to be done. If it is the wrong thing, nothing has to be done.
Senator Nagel wanted to know if the Committee on Committees appoint Chairs.
Chair Wahl responded that two years ago, the strong encouragement was given to all university committees to recommend the Chair for the following year. The practice is working well. It is the intention of the Committee on Committees to ask those committees to keep doing that.
Senator Nagel feels this is an opportunity for the faculty to exert a lot of influence on the leadership of the campus. He stated that even if it is a great deal of work, it would be worth trying. He feels this would be an opportunity to pay the price to work and have some control.
Senator Monahan stated that in terms of legality, the General Faculty Bylaws states that the Committee on Committees shall be responsible for determining the organization of membership for campus standing and ad hoc committees.
Senator Gilbert commented that before he became emeritus, there was a shadow committee. The appointments of the choice committees were made by the Deans and not the Committee on Committees. He thinks it would be more democratic with the proposed change.
Secretary Corbin supported what Senators Nagel and Monahan had to say in noting that the Committee on Committees will still have the authority. He does not think a bylaw change will be necessary.
The motion was voted on and passed without dissent.
C. Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Carter reported that the committee has been dealing with a complaint from faculty regarding removing the use of space involving animal care. There was a question as to whether it was done appropriately or not. The situation is settled but not to everyone's satisfaction. He stated that it will hopefully not happen again because everyone expressed their dissatisfaction. Senator Carter noted that there is a Space Committee and the Provost is the Chair of that committee. He asked the Provost how such issues should be dealt with when there is a change in resource allocation.
Provost Stiles stated that some space allocations or reallocations are for safety and some for expansions. He stated that those issues come directed in the long term, knowing that they are coming if certain things are going to be done. Other individual things arise, that are not related to others in which some things need to be done. Those issues are researched by the staff. The three voting members are Provost Stiles, Charles Moreland as Vice Chancellor of Research to represent particularly the research interest, and Vice Chancellor George Worsely to represent finance and business. The decision is made on what should be done and is communicated to the parties involved. Sometimes there are issues that do not surface before a decision is made. In which case it is revisited. Some cases are resolved in which everyone is happy, and in some cases, there are people who are not happy.
Senator Barr reported from the Phased Retirement Committee. He reported that they are still awaiting the final word from the General Administration office. Mailing packets are going out to those who have been identified as being eligible under the plan as specified by General Administration. The packets do not contain all the details. The bottom line is that it is a phased retirement program. The faculty member would, in essence, enter into retirement and then would have a contract for up to three years with the university as a 50% appointment, to be agreed upon by the Unit Head, Department Head, Dean and the individual faculty member. There are still some implementation details to be worked out. It is his understanding that everything should be operational for it to be effective Fall, 1998.
Senator Nagel reported that his view was that most of the duties of the Teaching Effectiveness and Evaluation Committee would dissolve when the Teaching and Learning Center came along. He stated that all the activities through the Provost's Office will stay there. They will do evaluations and the Teaching Center will help with the effectiveness. He feels that the Teaching and Learning Center will add more bureaucracy rather than replace what currently exists.
Senator Carter reported from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and stated that five colleges are impacted by their function. They have initiated a study to reduce paperwork and administration. The administrative member of the committee is Dr. John O'Neal, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research.
Report from Chair Wahl
Chair Wahl reported that he had a breakfast meeting with his counter part in Chapel Hill and was told that most of their agenda is taken up by university committees reporting to their Faculty Assembly. Chair Wahl feels that there should be better communication between the Senate and the Standing Committees at this institution. He
urged the Senate to help with that if they can.
Chair Wahl reported that the Chair of the Faculty at Chapel Hill stays in office for three years and their general elected secretary of the faculty is in office for five years. The secretary's position is renewable. They meet once a month with a composition of approximately 80 people.
Chair Wahl stated that the subject came up at an Administrative Council meeting on this campus in terms of what should our university be doing. Subsequent to that he ran into a couple of faculty members who is very much interested in the general subject of information technology. He is trying to get those people to put together a task force of the Senate to discuss the general topic of information technology; not from an administrative standpoint, but from a subject matter standpoint. He stated that the group will hopefully better define what information technology is.
Chair Wahl stated that an announcement will be in the Bulletin about forth-coming elections. He reminded the Senate that the Chair Elect of the Faculty will be elected, and noted that anyone who is eligible for service on the Senate is eligible to serve as Chair of the Faculty. Simultaneously, we will proceed with normal Senate elections. Chair Wahl stated that he would like to make sure all new Senators are in place before the last meeting of this session.
Provost Stiles stated that he is trying to put together people from three programs; Management, Information Systems of Computer Science and Communications. There is no definition that is common across the country. You may know that the Chancellor was very interested in this institution serving the technologies of the region and in some cases the state, by having some of the very expensive equipment that one needs to train technologist to do some things. If you look at information technology, some people are not talking about technologies in the same sense that they talk about Engineering technology. In another sense, some people are talking about information techniques. One deals with training and one deals with the art of something. There is a subtle difference. He thinks that information technology offers us an opportunity to look at technology or techniques in a completely different way than we have in the past. When the industries in this country say that there are two to three hundred thousand jobs open now because they cannot find the people, and they call it information technology, we need to know what they mean.
Provost Stiles stated that he found that a third rate private institution had a certificate course that prepared people to do platforms with software. It tells you what one of the needs are. The issue is how broad is this when none of us can handle the information that goes across our desk every day. He thinks it is exciting and hopes everyone will take an interest in it because this institution is riding at the top of the intellectual challenges of the past and will ride that for a while in the future. Provost Stiles stated that we need some new intellectual ideas/approaches/thrusts in the future. He feels that it is an area that needs to be reviewed carefully.
Senator Suh wanted to know where the faculty would be placed if hired.
Provost Stiles responded that if we could define what it was, if it is a multidisciplinary position, then we could find out the departments that they would fit in. He asked the Deans two years ago, when hiring a faculty member, why not give a preference to someone by their Ph.D. who can satisfy all the disciplinary needs, but maybe their masters or undergraduate degree was in a different field.
Senator Suh stated that his department had the same experience. They wanted to have one individual and thought it would be terrific to hire the person. Then they found that they could only use his expertise 20% of the time. Where would he or she go the remainder of the time. He thinks that the university should come up with a slot first, and then worry about what kind of definition is needed.
Provost Stiles stated that the institution is teaching 3% more people than last year which is 2.4% more than were funded. If we got what we should get for next year and most certainly will get the year after, our faculty lines should increase by 2.4%. That means that we have the resources to follow wherever we think our institution will go. He stated secondly, that he would draw all of our attention back to what became Computer Science. In the institution that he was in previously, it grew in two departments; Engineering and Applied Mathematics. After they realized that they had so much in common in the four or five faculty in each of those, their institution decided to create a new department with those faculty. He stated that he does not know whether we have any of it that will happen here, but what we need to do is to take advantage of those opportunities and make sure that they are not exposed because they cannot satisfy enough people. That is the difficulty of hiring someone into a center as an untenured professor or in two departments at once. We do not get enough of their time.
Senator Siderelis wanted to know if there is any validity in 5400 journals being placed on line for faculty access this semester.
Senator Brown responded that the Ribbon Cutting for NC Live is April. She stated that NC Live is a project that has been funded at the state level. There are several different communities of interest that are involved. The idea is to, through the library at this point make these data bases and full text resources available to the citizens of the State. The hope is eventually that citizens will be able to access that information directly from their homes.
Chair Wahl reminded the Senate of the Inauguration of President Broad on Wednesday, April 29, 1998. He stated that all faculty from the sixteen campuses will be invited.
6. Issues of Concerns
Senator Carter is concerned with the change in Accounts Payable's method of paying bills.
Chair Wahl assigned the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Senator Wilson is concerned about the safety of faculty and students when leaving class at night.
Chair Wahl reminded Senator Wilson that there is a morning report that comes out on the Web. This report is available at http://www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/public_safety. There is also a committee that has been organized for that purpose. He urged her to talk with Dr. Barbara Levenbook who is a member of the committee.
Chair Wahl stated that the Trustees will be meeting this week. He noted that the Friday Morning Meeting will be held in the Nelson Hall Board Room and urged the Senators to attend.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.