March 3, 1998
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Secretary Corbin, Past Chair Smith, Provost Stiles, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bizios, Bottcher, Carter, Daley, DeBuysscher, Fahmy, Gilbert, Griffin, Hamouda, Lewis, Lilley, Magill, Monahan, Middleton, Murty, Patty, Rushing, Schwab, Serow, Strenkowski, Suh, Tetro, Wehner, Wilson,
Senators absent: Senators Barr, Brown, Klenin, Nagel, Siderelis, Wall, Wessels
Visitors: Larry K. Monteith, Chancellor; Chad Myers, Student Body President; Keith Harrod, Chair, NCSU Board of Trustees; Clare Kristofco, Assistant to the Chancellor; Hank Fiumara, Director of University Improvement; Susan Kohlhausen, Student Senate Pro Tem; Myron Kelly, Professor, Wood and Paper Science; Ray Long, Professor, Crop Science; T.L. Honeycutt, Associate Professor, Computer Science; Sondra Krisch, Vice Provost; Mohan Sawhney, Associate Dean, CHASS; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Andrew Payne, Academic Chair, Student Senate; John Riddle, Department Head, History; Wesley Snyder, Chair, University Research Committee; Kris Larson, University Affairs Chair, Student Senate; Dawn Hillebrenner, Senator, Student Senate; Jenny C. J. Chang, Chief Operations for Student Government; Pam Smith, News Services; Stephen Reynolds, Physics
1. Call to Order
The thirteenth 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.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 12, February 17, 1998
Secretary Corbin made a correction to line 20 on page 244 of the minutes.
The motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion passed without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Monteith stated that this institution is not yet prepared for what he thinks will happen within the next four to five years. There will have to be many more grass root decisions that have absolutely everything to do with whether a department together with a college will be able to continue to sustain its programs and to grow those programs. The way that the University of North Carolina is going to operate is changing. He gave some insights to those changes and suggested that they alone do not constitute this organic change, but he thinks the faculty can begin to see what is happening.
Chancellor Monteith reported that President Broad announced that the Chancellors will be having a retreat July 26-27, 1998 to jointly review and discuss what priority budgets will be in 1999-2000. He stated that if he had to do it today, he could not articulate the issues for NC State based upon hearing from the grass roots organizations. He stated that he would have to take the global perspective. If we cannot correct that by finding out what the real strategic issues are, then certainly he could not represent the interest of the campus in arguing or debating the issues in the next legislative session.
Chancellor Monteith stated that enrollment planning has been discussed every year since he has been Chancellor. His first retreat with the Deans was an enrollment planning meeting. He stated that enrollment was planned, but they could never achieve it because they made unrealistic projections of what they thought the enrollment would be and then suffered through a number of years for not being able to make the enrollment. He noted that it was not a very good plan. Chancellor Monteith stated that the Trustees have taken an interest in enrollment planning because it has everything to do with the resource generation and the direction that this institution is going to go and how it serves the young people of our state. The other part of this is that we are going to credit hours rather than FTE. He stated that if someone decided all of a sudden that they do not want to take your course, you have lost credit hours. Credit hours as opposed to FTEs now generate those decisions. This is a grass roots issue. It is not an FTE averaging issue.
Chancellor Monteith reported that there is an increased enrollment of students going to many of our Community Colleges looking for two year transfer opportunities. NC State will have to make decisions concerning that. He stated that if they do not come through the freshmen/sophomore year, how does that fit into upper division and what colleges can now have upper division transfers. He feels it would have to be a local planning issue to take upper division students.
Chancellor Monteith reported that the capital budget is going to be frozen in six year increments. He noted that the capital budget is not a wish list. It is the life blood of what the university wants to do.
Chancellor Monteith reported that distance education has been taught around the margin. We charge about the same as we do for tuition and receive no assistance from the State of North Carolina above that. He stated that distance education is not something that can be expanded dramatically and it is not something many can expand as a degree program. We are currently teaching selected courses to enrich opportunities for individual students. Chancellor Monteith stated that you have to have a broad array of students interested in it and you have to get enough money to sustain it. He stated that a department should not engage in distance education when it does not have financial plans along with its program plan and think that they are going to be able to sustain it over a period of years for students who enter it to finally graduate.
Chancellor Monteith reported that he is currently Chairman of the UNC Study Commission on Information Technology and its needs within our institution. Why do we need it? What are the fundamental academic needs and other strategic needs for student learning? He stated that there will be strategic goals discussed about why the UNC System should try to get special appropriation to invest in itself in these areas. This is just starting and will be with us for a number of years. Those are local issues that emanate as to what a department is going to do with information technology that will help enrich that learning experience.
Chancellor Monteith believes there is going to be a renewed emphasis on student services.
Chancellor Monteith reported that we have been practicing for four or five years in operation on this strategic planning. He stated that without it none of the above questions can be answered. It will be an ad hoc decision, and the university groping in the dark trying to figure out a direction to meet these opportunities. He stated that finally the loop is going to close, and the practice will cease because there are consequences if you do and do not plan. We either close the loop and prepare to play a role in this evolving circumstances called opportunities or simply take whatever results come our way. He thinks that the Faculty Senate has a very important role to play in sorting this out within the colleges. He stated that all of these are programs and not planning for these will have very negative consequences. He said the reason we have not wanted to plan in the past is because we thought it was only for positive opportunities. The time is coming for us to be sharper in our focus and to be planning around our program and not around our financial aspirations. The funds will come with all the things that we will plan to do for the right purpose, not just to get the money, but to carry out the program. He challenged the faculty to start thinking that way and to help the new Chancellor and to offer a retiring Chancellor forgiveness for the fact that for the last four years he has used a lot of time, paper, and frustration for plans that the faculty yet do not have confidence that they mean anything.
Senator Rushing stated that the distance education efforts at this institution have not been planned. He has not seen any backing for them. He would like to know where the contact is.
Chancellor Monteith responded that our distance education has been entrepreneurial. People are not going to pay the real cost for distance education when they can come here for $2500 and the real cost is $10,000 to be a full time student here when you add the State amount to it. If you think you can offer a degree program by distance education and commit 120 credit hours by distance education, by simply charging tuition, the state would love you and would assume that you could do that everywhere. What you are really doing is on the margin. You are adding two or three students to a classroom that is already in place. He stated that when you get into serious business with distance education, so that you have total classes in content, you cannot do with just the marginal cost. If the state is not willing to pay for it, we cannot do it.
Senator Fahmy wanted to know if the courses taught in summer school generate FTEs for the university.
Chancellor Monteith responded that we are one of the few campuses that charge the students less than tuition cost for summer. We get very little money from the state to run the program.
At the end of the Chancellor's final presentation to the Faculty Senate before his retirement, he was presented with a gift and cake from the Chair of the Faculty.
Comments from John Riddle
Dr. Riddle stated that Dr. Monteith was a radical in so far as he believed that we could change this university for the better. Dr. Monteith, from Assistant Professor to Chancellor, always believed that he was going to change the university for the better. He was not one of those who maintained visions that he was not prepared to deal with. Dr. Monteith never forgot what the university was about. Dr. Riddle stated that it has been a fantastic pleasure to serve with him.
Comments from Keith Harrod, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Harrod stated that NC State is a unique institution within the greater University of North Carolina system. We are probably the most unique of the institutions in the system and he thinks that uniqueness makes us great and strong. He believes that many actions that are currently being taken are to bring out the uniqueness and give us an opportunity to excel in areas where we have aspired to excel. He challenged the faculty to become engaged in the process. Mr. Harrod is very impressed with the job that President Broad is doing in terms of looking at the real issues and not being afraid to take on some of the issues that have for years not been addressed. He thinks this is an exciting time to be a part of higher education in the State of North Carolina.
5. New Business
A. Suggestions for Curricular Reform
Dr. Stephen Reynolds, President of the NC State Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa reported that the basic premise of the Art Study Symposium was that much of todays environment built from small objects to urban landscapes is poorly made, ugly and ill proportioned. NC State is in a unique position to do something about this. We are the kind of university that educates people who make things. The people that we graduate are going to go out and build a future. We are the place where a move to correct the situation should begin.
Dr. Reynolds stated that there is an inalienable freedom of making. No design problem is totally constrained by the joint requirements of cost under one hand and practicality or utility on the other hand. There is always some freedom in admitting a range of possibilities identical and practical in function, and in cost in differing only along a third orthogonal dimension.
1) We are very frequently unaware of this freedom and we let it be fixed by random or unconscious influences. In the past, designers were generally bound by strong traditions which they used to narrow the range of aesthetic choices.
2) We sometimes abandon hope of using the aesthetic dimension effectively because we convince ourselves that all aesthetic decisions are totally and merely subjected and that there are no general standards of beauty or fitness. There will never be absolute and objective measures of beauty, but we can still agree on broad principles like economy, simplicity, grace or elegance, proportion, fitness, etc. which can allow us to class designs broadly as more effective or less effective.
3) The dominance of the individual personal influence of art has led us to disdain simpler, more anonymous principles of good making in favor of artistic self expressions and personal statements.
4) We have shuttered ourselves into our hematic disciplines and have forgotten the broad commonalities that underlie all learning, creating, and all making.
Dr. Reynolds stated that his suggestions will be made subject to a set of assumptions.
1) Disciplines will always and should always remain with us. Interdisciplinary work is effective precisely because it forces us to interact with people from different contrasting disciplinary backgrounds.
2) A significant increase in the time the degree or the number of credit hours required for major is simply not feasible.
3) Our disciplinary training of education is quite strong. It should not be radically modified.
4) We can agree on common principles of learning of good making and creativity in general, and we can illustrate the operation of those principles in each of our disciplines.
5) Substantial resources are soon to be available to support the major investment in faculty time that this will take.
Dr. Reynolds stated that his basic conclusion that disciplinary education is in good shape means that the only place we ever have to work is in the general education department. He stated that he is happy to reconsider that requirement because while those courses tend to comprise wonderful individual offerings at the moment students take them and form an unrelated random set of exterior courses that do not have any common unifying principles and no relations to the student's principle fields, students perceive them as road blocks to their degree.
Dr. Reynolds noted that his suggestions are not original. He got various ideas by looking at different initiatives that have been going on in different parts of the university. The following is Dr. Reynolds proposal:
1) Every first-year student will take a seminar, with no more than twenty five students in each seminar, in each of the first two semesters. Each seminar would be jointly taught by at least two faculty in contrasting disciplines.
First semester: Everyone takes a seminar, answering the question "What are the different principles of validation and different fields of inquiry?"
Second semester: The seminar topic for all of these first year students would be: "What are basic common aesthetic principles governing good making, identifying this inalienable freedom that is part of every design problem and trying to see what can be done with it?"
2) We will have to create a large number of new courses and more advanced courses applying these basic principles. These courses ideally will involve the students in actually making something with the principles that they have learned.
3) Dr. Reynolds proposed a new class of an academic project that sits organizationally above the level of individual courses. Divide all first-year students into groups of eight or ten in different fields. Give each group a broad topic toward which each member of the group is to direct a paper from at least one course a student takes each of the first four semesters. At the end of the sophomore year, the teams will produce out of these reports a joint report and will present the sophomore project in a conference style venue, open to the university community.
Broad Multi-facet Topics With Practical Political Social and Aesthetic Dimension
Solar Energy and its use in residences - The physical and social technology of commercial advertising. Space Exploration - Science and Public Policy
Juniors will again be grouped and assigned a different topic and the same thing will happen during the junior and senior year. Senior projects will be also reported each spring in conference style and evaluated by cross disciplinary teams of faculty.
The idea of this is to force students to use what they have learned beyond the narrow confines in which they have learned.
Dr. Reynolds stated that the creation of new courses will clearly involve a lot of faculty time. His suggestion is that during each semester, faculty should be offered the opportunity to buy out of one course they currently teach and return for designing a new course with another faculty or small group of faculty. Once things are ramped fully or in a steady state, faculty should be allowed every sixth semester to roll out of their teaching and substitute taking classes.
Provost Stiles commented that if NC State grows 25% in enrollment, that will probably generate 25% new faculty positions. If the faculty felt that the education for the students was better by something like this in the beginning, than by taking larger classes, then all new positions or some fraction of those would go for something like Dr. Reynolds has proposed. Provost Stiles urged the faculty to think about what they would like to achieve what the new model is, and we will find a way to do it.
Chair Wahl thank Dr. Reynolds for his report.
6. Unfinished Business
A. Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Senator Daley, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee handed out a copy of the proposal submitted by COFOR with suggested additions and deletions. He stated that the COFOR report on rights and responsibilities was designed to be a more general statement to be included at the beginning of Chapter 6 in the Faculty Handbook as a general introduction outlining what symmetrically are rights and responsibilities as faculty members. The Senate has passed the post tenure review policy that will be appended at the end of the chapter. This is more of the general guidelines.
Chair Wahl stated that this will be the topic of further conversation. The brief presentation today was meant to re-elevate it into consciousness and watch for further news. There will be more discussion at the next Faculty Senate meeting.
A. Senate Liaisons to University Committee
The Senators gave a brief report from the University Committee he/she serves as liaison.
B. Report from the University Research Committee
Dr. Wesley Snyder, Chair of the University Research Committee stated that research administration on this campus is broken. What we have is a lot of dedicated, hard working people faced with an impossibly difficult system. The Committee has collected a large number of antidotes, and concluded that something needs to be done. The first thing is to determine the nature of the problems and where the problems occur. To address that need, the University Research Committee has designed a one page survey which will be sent to recent proposal's awardees and PI's whose contracts have recently concluded. He encouraged the faculty to fill out the form and write the antidote so their analysis can be as thorough as possible.
Dr. Snyder reported that a new software package is about to appear on the Web called GAMS (Grants Administration and Management System). This will track proposals and grants and will allow the PI to deal with problems. Dr. Snyder stated that there is an organization on campus called the Research Administrative Council which is all the administrators involved in the administration of research. That body has an annual retreat. At the retreat this year, the observation was made that "the GAMS system will not work on this campus unless all research administrative offices at the university level are combined into one single entity". Based on his personal experience, he strongly endorses that suggestion. He believes that all the university level research offices should be merged into one organization under a single Vice Chancellor. Secondly, he believes that the college level offices of research administration should be eliminated. Dr. Snyder feels that the system is too complicated and that there are far too many opportunities for messages to get lost and balls to get dropped. He feels that the college offices should be eliminated because only the university level of administration is a legal entity. Only the university level can sign a legal document. Furthermore, it is difficult to obtain training and maintain the critical mass of people in the college research offices to keep up-to-date on policy. One is forever hearing from college administrators that contracts and grants says you cannot do that. Sometimes that is correct. In his opinion, the colleges should be involved only to address specific issues of release time and conflict of interest for matching funds.
Dr. Snyder emphasized that his remarks should no way be interpreted as a complaint about Vice Chancellor Moreland or his office. He feels that Dr. Moreland is a hard working dedicated and extremely competent individual who is striving very hard to make research administration on this campus as effective as possible. He stated that Dr. Moreland is in a system that is fundamentally flawed, and repair cannot come from within. Dr. Snyder feels that the Chancellor is the only person who can repair it.
Dr. Snyder stated that we do not need a blue ribbon panel of experts to study the problem. The University Research Committee is currently doing that. We do not need an outside consultant to conclude what we already know. We have a Chancellor who has spent his career making NC State a World Class research institution. If he leaves without correcting the problem, it will take years before the new Chancellor has time, insight and experience to make the required restructuring decisions. Dr. Snyder stated that the University Research Committee will proceed in its survey and hopefully have results by the end of the spring semester.
C. Report on the Phased Retirement Program
Assistant Provost Mallette reported that the Phased Retirement Program has been officially approved by General Administration. General Administration has set a deadline of April 15 as the application deadline for the first year of applications. He handed out details on the program and stated that follow-up information will appear in the Bulletin on Friday. By the end of this week faculty who have been identified as eligible to participate will receive packets, delivered to the Dean's office to be disseminated to departments immediately. During the week of March 16, there will be five different information sessions for interested faculty to attend those sessions to see the specifics of the policy, processes, and what it all means.
Assistant Provost Mallette reported that a Program Information Team has been named as required by the General Administration. Karin Wolfe, Director, Office of Academic Personnel, is acting as Chair of the team to answer processing or operational questions. David Williamson, Director, University Benefits, is the contact person for benefit questions. Steve Barr is the Faculty Contact for the Information Team. Assistant Provost Mallette noted that the persons on this team are to serve as assistants, not advisors, because General Administration prohibits us to offer any advice. Assistant Provost Mallette is an ex officio and can answer policy questions related to the seven page plan which General Administration approved.
Remarks from the Provost
Provost Stiles announced that he has appointed Charles Kniefel as interim to fill Dr. William "Bill" Willis's position.
Provost Stiles stated that he would like to contact the one hundred people who attended the Emerging Issues Forum and divide them into groups where faculty meet faculty and address the issues in a very preliminary way of what institutions should do and what this institution should do.
8. Issues of Concern
Senator Wehner stated an issue of concern from a faculty member regarding the creation of special programs by the legislature for the university to respond to and how the faculty of the university could gain more control over the direction of the university. An example is the creation of a meat/goat program which is being added to the programs of the university at a time when the legislature is considering cuts in university programs.
Chair Wahl assigned the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Senator Wehner stated an issue of concern from a faculty member regarding the length of the school year. The faculty member stated that nine-month faculty work from August 15 to May 15. School now runs from August 17 to May 16 (commencement). He would like the year shortened or a week of pay added to each end of the contract for nine month faculty.
Provost Stiles stated that the time between two nine month periods increases or decreases so that never is there more than nine months. The students have raised the issue of increasing the time to try to get in some reading days. There are conflicting issues of what people would like.
Chair Wahl stated that the Governance Committee is already reviewing the issue, and he would like for them to give a presentation before the semester ends.
Senator Monahan reported that there is a current problem with the 1999-2000 calendar where the span at the beginning of classes through commencement is longer than nine months. That issue has been raised with the Calendar Committee. He feels that the only way to correct that is to start classes for spring semester on January 2.
Senator Middleton stated that a student is concerned that services for blind students are inadequate on this campus.
Chair Wahl assigned the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Chair Wahl reminded the Senate of the General Faculty meeting on April 2 and President Broad's Inauguration on April 29.
The meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.