December 1, 1998
Regular Meeting No. 7 of the 45th Session: Faculty Senate Chambers December 1, 1998
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Secretary Daley, Provost Stiles, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bottcher, Brown, De Buysscher, FitzGerald, Funderlic, Gilbert, Grainger, Griffin, Hooker, Knowles, Lewis, Markham, Monahan, Patty, Peel, Riddle, Robinson, Serow, Siderelis, Suh, Wall, Wilkerson
Senators absent: Senators El-Masry, Fisher, Hamouda, Kimler, Nagel, Willits
Excused: Chair-Elect Corbin, Senators Carter, Fahmy, Jewell, Schwab
Visitors: Robert Sowell, Acting Dean, Graduate School; Slater E. Newman, Professor, Psychology; Clare Kristofco, Senior Assistant to the Chancellor; David Haase, Professor, Physics; Wayne Skaggs, Professor, BAE; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Lawrence Apple, Professor Emeritus, ARF; Rebecca Leonard, Assistant Provost; Abraham Holtzman, Professor Emeritus, Political Science; Gerald H. Elkan, Professor Emeritus, Microbiology; Barbara Parramore, Professor Emeritus, Education; Daniel Bunce, News Services; Seth Whitaker, Student Senate President Pro Tempore; Lauren D. Tally, Student Senator; Andrew Payne, Vice President for Academic Policy, Student Government; R. Elam Hall, Vice Chair Finance, Student Senate; Tom Stafford, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs; Frank Abram, Senior Associate Provost; Paul Cousin, Office of Student Conduct; Sharon, Chair, Staff Senate; M. Necati Ozisik, Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; Solomon P. Hersh, Professor Emeritus, Textile Engineering; M. Thomas Hester, Professor, English; David Haase, Professor, Physics
1. Call to Order
The seventh meeting 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 recognized John Grainger from the College of Engineering as the new senator replacing David Ollis and John Riddle from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as Stephen Middleton's replacement.
The Senate took a moment of silence in memory of the deceased student Neil Vernon Davis Jr.
Chair Wahl recognized recipients of the Holladay Medal Award.
Chair Wahl announced that the Brotherhood dinner will be held Friday, December 4, 1998; there will be Faculty Senate committee meetings on Tuesday, January 5, 1998; the next Faculty Senate meeting will be on Tuesday, January 12, 1998.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 6, November 17, 1998
The minutes were approved as amended.
4. Provost Stiles' Farewell Address
Provost Stiles feels it has been a privilege to be a member of the Faculty Senate. He referred to a speech given by FDR in which he said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." He thinks the only thing the faculty have to fear at the university is the fear of change. If we fear it, it is not going to make it stay away. We have to come to grips with the issues today and recognize that we are in a time of rapid change. For some long time people believed that nothing happened, that no changes took place in the Middle Ages. In fact, later historians have said there was a real rate of change then but not the rapid change of the Renaissance. We are now in such a period of rapid change. If we do not recognize that and take advantage of it, then he thinks a real opportunity will have been missed.
Provost Stiles stated that the Triangle was not listed recently in the high tech cities of the world. He thinks they were focusing on what we call silicone valleys (the kind of thing that has been replicated at route 120 around Boston and around the world in many places). If we tried to do something like that, we would fail. Part of the reason we would fail is because we are different in the Triangle. We are going to be different. His view is that the Triangle in North Carolina needs to let the other places manufacture the infrastructure. We need to be the next value that someone wants to copy. It is not just the Triangle, but as the university itself, we must look upon all of these things that are coming around now as the tools that we can use to go to a future which is different from what everyone else is trying to do. Most people are planning on futures that are not going to exist because they have not focused on change and the changes in change. We have to look at things in this institution of what we would like it to be with all these major tools that we have. If we do that we can make tremendous change.
Provost Stiles stated that when he first arrived here, there was a fervor within the Faculty Senate to put the faculty in better shape academically. He thinks the Faculty Senate is beginning to be in the kind of mode in which they are looking to try to do something. He told the Senators that they may be representatives of their colleges, but they should not act like representatives. They should act like senators. Provost Stiles thinks the Senators should have a broader perspective than their individual colleges. He feels that being Senators and not representatives will make a difference in what they do. He stated that the key to the success of an institution and the key for the Faculty Senate is to have a vision. Visions are the hardest things for people to put together. Strategies are easy. You have to have a vision.
Provost Stiles stated that the Faculty Senate should look at themselves not as just getting together in a room, but as having a vision of what the institution should be and where their role is. They should make sure that it is a collective vision and then work for it. He feels that you have to really work at something if you want it to change.
Provost Stiles commented that the Senate is most effective when it is reflective, when it does its research, discusses, debates and comes to a decision. It is the least effective when it is knee jerked and rushes to judgment. The Faculty Senate can be one of the most effective bodies within the university. It represents the collective wisdom of the faculty which are those people involved in the academic part who have been here the longest and will be here the longest
Provost Stiles stated that one of the academic issues he thinks would be important for the Senate to be ahead on is the quality of our programs. He asked what should our stance be as a university as a faculty about accreditation? More and more accrediting agencies are popping up and saying "ah huh." They become advocates for the program at an institution. The Faculty Senate should resist that.
Provost Stiles stated that PAMS raised their admission standards. Their enrollment went down. They had students who had better ability to succeed. He asked is that the way we want to go? Do you want to go where we are the only College of Textiles in the state or do we want to go where we are one of the places where mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, etc. is taught? That is an issue that he thinks the Faculty Senate should debate because it is an academic issue.
Provost Stiles stated that Distance Education is here whether we like it or not. If you put a course on the Internet who do you think takes it? Approximately 85% of the people who take it across the country are students on campus. Only 15% are outside. Students on campus are looking for something that allows them to go about their own education in a different way. It allows them flexible access. He feels that the faculty should be addressing issues like that. He also feels that the Faculty Senate needs to address attendance because it is also an academic issue.
How We Treat Each Other
Provost Stiles asked, how do we treat each other? In a sense on this campus, are we always responding to the white male and saying everything is okay. It is something to think about.
Provost Stiles wishes the students' graduation rates were higher and he wishes the faculty was more successful with getting across how one approaches what values and civility is. He said a degree is no longer considered a prize for a hard working successful role, but a ticket that gains access to employment. He sometimes feels that some of the students are here looking for a job and not an education.
Provost Stiles stated that the faculty has to make sure that everyone involved in the higher education system feels that it is a privilege to be there. It is a privilege to be a faculty member here to have fine students to work with, to have a good place to do research, to have the advantage of going out and making a difference in society. We need to look in that direction.
Provost Stiles concluded by sharing the following Email message he received from a new faculty member.
"In no other university have I felt so welcomed and nowhere have I observed such intentionality in the integration of new staff as I have at NC State. The new faculty seminar has served as the main institutional vehicle for this integration. At first I wondered if I could attend yet another function given all the things I have to do as a new faculty member, but I valued each new faculty session and regret that I had to miss one. Furthermore, on the day that the new faculty met with the new president in Talley Student Center, our Dean made a point of meeting with us beforehand which created a sense of community among those of us new to this college. I am also fortunate to be in the division which is warm and collegial. In fact, I felt like part of the family even before I had the job offer which was one of the attractive features of the position. My immediate supervisor who is the head of a program is a pure mentor who models professionality and commitment to academic excellence. He also values my contributions to programs' development and supports my research in writing activities. In addition, as an African American I was welcomed into the black faculty and staff at various events including the dinner at Witherspoon and received Email from colleagues welcoming me to the campus and offering their personal and professional assistance. As a woman, I felt supported by women's studies, who had a breakfast for new faculty and made a point of taking me to lunch during my interview process and again once I had joined the faculty. Conversation with women I met through the program had been a major source of intellectual stimulation in my research and writing."
Provost Stiles stated that there is so much power in the faculty of how we deal with each other that can turn on a potential faculty and new faculty member that we really have to work at because it is so much and so much makes this either part of the nuclear family or the extended family or the community. We have to have that if we are going to be human beings to succeed.
Chair Wahl presented Provost Stiles with a farewell gift from the Faculty Senate. The Senate gave Provost Stiles a round of applause.
5. Unfinished Business
A. Valedictorian Issue
Harriette Griffin, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee, responded to two questions asked at the last meeting. The first question was related to peer institutions. She stated that a study indicates that none of our peer institutions use the valedictorian. The other question was related to how the proposed student resolution might affect the number of valedictorians at this institution. She read an Email she received from Sherwood Bryan last March stating that this is a projection based on the new grading system related to students who graduated summer or December 1997 or, are candidates for a degree in May of 1998. An estimate lists that there will be a total of approximately thirty for that time period applying the new grading system.
She moved that the Senate endorses the Student Senate's resolution which will use as criteria for selection of valedictorian students receiving no grade less than an A- and achieving a GPA of 4.0.
The motion was seconded.
The motion passed with one abstention.
B. Second Reading: Resolution on Environmental Sustainability
Senator Hooker read the resolution for its second reading. Senator Hooker moved adoption of the resolution. The motion was seconded.
Senator Gilbert stated that he finds the resolution somewhat vague. He said he is reluctant to adopt a draft statement which is in the resolve dated April 4, 1998. He noted that the draft statement contained in the minutes of the last meeting has no authors. He wants to know who composed it.
Senator Hooker responded that it is a draft statement and the intent was to send it forward. They sent it to the person who charged them for writing the document who was the Provost. The intent now is to initiate some movement at the upper level to the administration. At that point they will go forward.
Senator Funderlic wanted to know what the competitors are for this major global issue.
Senator Hooker responded that the issue on this was, what we are dealing with is population growth relative to degradation of the environment. He referred to a book by Donnella Meadows claiming that environmental sustainability only became an issue in the 1950s and that our impact not just through our population growth, but through our value decisions and consumption patterns have doubled every twenty years. Right now we are beyond the limits of the earth to sustain the population we have and we are only going to grow.
Senator Monahan wanted to know how passing the resolution would benefit the faculty in the future.
Senator Hooker stated that the intent of the resolution is to get the endorsement from the Faculty Senate so that it can be sent to the upper level administration. It is support from the Faculty Senate to the upper level saying let us do this. Senator Hooker stated that he plans to bring this before the Student and Staff Senates as well.
Provost Stiles stated that the role of the Faculty Senate is to choose whether they want to present to the administration, an issue that they think is important for the university to address.
Senator Monahan commented that he thinks the Senate would like to get on the record as stating that this is important.
Senator Markham believes that the content of the draft is consistent with the resolution and that the resolution's commitment to ecological education omission and managing ourselves is consistent with what we should be doing as an institution.
The motion passed with one opposition.
C. Representation Issues
John Monahan, Chair of the Governance Committee, reported that in response to an issue raised last year and issues of concern raised this year, the Governance Committee was asked to consider possible changes in the representation rules for representation to the Faculty Senate. In spite of reexamination of these rules two years ago, the Governance Committee has been asked to consider two possible changes. One is to permit the emeriti faculty to elect their own representative. The other suggested change was to apply the formula for computing the number of representatives to the General Constituency. Currently the General Constituency is designated as having two representatives in the Faculty Senate.
Senator Monahan reported that the unanimous consensus of the Governance Committee is that the current formula remains a working compromise and no changes are warranted.
Dr. Lawrence Apple, immediate past chair of the Retired Faculty Association, stated that they currently have a mailing list of six hundred and fifty. It is pointed out by the committee in its report that three current members of the Faculty Senate are emeriti. He noted that they have not played a significant role in emeriti affairs. The Association is making great strides to form a working partnership between retired faculty and the university. They feel that there are many things they can do to benefit the university through improved interaction opportunities. One of those aspects would be representation in the Faculty Senate to manifest an identity for retired faculty and to have concerns and potential opportunities for elaboration within and support of the university voiced within the Faculty Senate. They have more than thirty-eight retired faculty who have standing endowments through the incubator endowment mechanism in the library. They have been emissaries to the legislature for three years. They feel that there are many things retired faculty could do in the community in the name of NC State University. He would like to see the matter rethought and he would like the Retired Faculty Group to have the opportunity to develop a stronger rationale that has been put forth at this time. He would like to see this continued for further study and give them the opportunity to build a stronger case of rationale in support of a retired faculty representative on the Faculty Senate.
Senator Gilbert appreciates the committee's concern about how election of retired faculty be conducted. He stated that the emeriti faculty is growing and is a collective body that this university will eventually have to recognize the talents it represents and the help and assistance it can give to the university.
Senator Hooker feels that the Senate has been fortunate to have three competent emeriti faculty members serving on the Faculty Senate. He stated that given the election procedure that is not guaranteed. He commented that on one hand he would like to guarantee their presence because he thinks their presence is very much needed and on the other hand he stated that he is in support of spending a little more time studying the issue.
Senator Bernhard commented that he is confident that if the Retired Faculty Association encouraged people from the College of Engineering to run, and if those persons let it be known that they really wanted to do the job, they would lead the ballot. He would be delighted if the Retired Faculty Association would encourage its members to run in their respective constituencies.
Senator Serow spoke on behalf of the committee's recommendation. There are two fundamental problems that he feels have not been addressed. One is the issue of double voting. He stated that they raise a separate constituency for emeritus faculty. Does that mean that those faculty members will not be eligible to vote within the existing constituency? The second issue is related to that. The appointment's elections to the Faculty Senate are based on ones appointment. It is that other groups on campus can make an equally valid claim for representation based on personal identity or age. He thinks this represents a very strong fundamental challenge to the existing system of having representation in the Faculty Senate based on one's appointment and not on one's personal identity. He feels that is an important point to be considered.
D. Graduate Faculty Status
Robert Serow, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee, reported that there were two recommendations discussed at the last meeting. In one case the graduate school made changes before the committee got the opportunity to ask them. He has been informed by Dr. Sowell, Acting Dean of the Graduate School that social security numbers are no longer required.
The second set of issues concerned the graduate faculty status. The recommendation of the committee was to leave the existing system intact. He plans to continue developing information and communicating with the Graduate School. Anyone with further thoughts on this issue should contact him. He stated that the committee is not prepared to take a particular position at this point.
Senator Griffin reported on two issues of concern that were assigned to the Academic Policy Committee.
I3) Whether or not felons are being admitted to the university. Martha Welch, University Registrar, stated that the particular student that was referenced in that issue lied on the application for readmission. There was a question on the application asking whether he had been convicted of a criminal offense. She also checked with admissions and they also have three questions. One asks whether the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense which would include misdemeanors. It also asks if there are any criminal cases pending against the student. If it is discovered that the student lied on the application form before admission, the student would be denied admission. If the student lies and it is not discovered until after the student has been admitted, then the student will be put into the student conduct and student judiciary process since a student cannot be un-admitted once he or she has been admitted.
I8) The committee is still studying the issue on the absence policy. Senator Griffin would like for anyone with input to contact her or a member of her committee.
7. Report of Senate Liaisons to University Committees
Senator Gilbert reported that the Chair of the Admissions Committee wants to initiate a study, and part of it may be going back to the old system of suspending students at the end of a semester or the end of the academic year. He welcomes any input anyone may have on the issue.
Chair Wahl adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.