August 17, 1999
Senators present: Chair Corbin, Secretary Carter, Provost Hall, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Ash, Banks, Bottcher, Brown, Brownie, Elmaghraby, Fitzgerald, Funderlic, Grainger, Griffin, Grimes, Hamouda, Havner, Hodge, Kelly, Kimler, Knowles, Malinowski, Markham, Patty, Peel, Robinson, Smoak, Suh, Toplikar, Werner, Wilkerson, Willits, Wilson
Senators absent: Senators El-Masry, Fisher
Excused: Senators Gilbert, Lytle, Sawyers
Visitors: Art Anthony, Staff Senate Chair; Bill Padgett, Staff Senate Past Chair; Kevin Potter, News Services; Russell Lindesmain, Debra Stewart, Vice Chancellor & Dean of the Graduate School; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Bruce I. Mallette, Assistant Provost; Dennis Daley, Humanities & Social Sciences; Yvonne Coston, ACE Fellow; Karin Wolfe, Office of Academic Personnel; Katherine Turner, Graduate Student Association; Harriette Griffin, College of Management; Ashley B. Perry, Technician; Michele Tam, Student Body Chief Justice; Andrew Payne, Student Body Treasurer; John Borwick, Student Senate Pro Tempore; Tom Stafford, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs; Raj Mirchandani, President of the Student Body; Seth Whitaker, President of the Student Senate
1. Call to Order
The first meeting of the forty sixth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Frederick Corbin.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Corbin welcomed Senators and Guests. Chair Corbin thanked Kathleen Brown and Bruce Mallette for coordinating changes in the Faculty Senate Conference Room.
Chair Corbin announced that a new arrangements for photos of the Chairs of the Faculty Senate and Chairs of the Faculty will be made to honor Past Chair Gilbert G. Smith.
Chair Corbin announced that the Board of Trustees will meet September 16-17, 1999. He urged the Senators to attend the meeting on Friday, September 17, 1999.
Chair Corbin announced that the Faculty Assembly will meet on September 17, 1999; Stephen Lilley will replace Gilbert Smith at the Faculty Assembly; the fourth annual Instructional Technology Forum will be held Wednesday, September 22, 1999 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the McKimmon Center.
Chair Corbin presented Chair Emeritus Wahl with an engraved gavel and recognized the Executive Committee from the 1998-99 Faculty Senate.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 14, April 27, 1999
The minutes of the fourteenth meeting of the forty- fifth session of the NC State Faculty Senate were approved without dissent.
4. Unfinished Business
A. Memorial Statement for Gilbert G. Smith
Chair Corbin read a memorial statement in memory of Professor/ Past Chair of the Faculty Senate, Gilbert G. Smith.
5. Report of the 1998-99 Faculty Senate
Chair Emeritus George Wahl reported that a Faculty Senate controlled email list was developed last year so that every faculty member who has an email account can be addressed. He noted that the Faculty Senate also has the capability of making Power Point presentations.
Chair Emeritus Wahl thanked everyone who contributed to the Gilbert Smith Memorial fund.
Chair Emeritus Wahl reported that during the summer a group of faculty went to Colorado to attend mediation training which will enable faculty and EPA Professionals to invoke mediation procedures rather than filing a grievance.
Chair Emeritus Wahl reported that Chair Corbin appointed him to serve as faculty representative on the Athletics Council during the 1999-2000 year.
Chair Emeritus Wahl thanked all the new and continuing senators for serving on the Faculty Senate and noted that there are very few other ways on campus to get to know such a diverse part of the campus.
6. New Business
A. Memorial Statement for C. Lee Campbell
Chair Corbin read a memorial statement in memory of Professor C. Lee Campbell
7. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Hall stated that he is grateful for the opportunity to join the faculty as a colleague and looks forward to years of being able to move a collective agenda forward. He feels that it was a great honor for him to be selected as N C State’s Provost and it will be a great honor as well to work with everyone in this assembly.
Provost Hall stated that he would like to suggest a few things that are on his agenda for the year ahead that will be appropriate for the faculty at the end of this year to really access the extent to which progress has been made.
Provost Hall stated that he has worked the first several weeks since he has been here to try and create what he thinks is important for him but is ultimately very important for the faculty, and that is to have a Provost Staff that is truly a staff. He noted that the organization that he inherited had a large group and a small group but it did not seem to have a group. He said the restructuring is aimed at presenting some reliability, responsiveness and some accessibility. Most importantly, a spirit in this group of people that they are here to serve, as is he, the university. The restructuring of my office is meant to try to signal to you the need to break with some ways that business have been done in the past.
There will be no more small and large staff. There will be one staff. In the appointments that I have made, I have tried to give emphasis to three particular areas which is not to say that others will not be important. I do believe we have an uncommon but wonderful challenge before us to enhance the undergraduate experience. As a result of that, I have asked James Anderson to assume the role of being the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. In this setting, what it really tries to do is to break from the concept of studies to a much broader and inclusive vision of what that undergraduate experience is. In that regard, I certainly look forward to working with Tom Stafford in creating what will be a set of opportunities for students that will match the quality that they are bringing to us in greater numbers.
I have also asked Joanne Woodard to take on the responsibility as Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity Diversity, and Equity. In so doing, her portfolio has expanded. It is a portfolio that I believe has been raised to an appropriate level within my office and it will be given the level of attention that it deserves.
Provost Hall stated that he thinks on balance we are probably beyond the phase of studying, although studies will remain in all the functions that have been previously held by Rebecca Leonard. He said he would like to see the university move out of the mode of studying and into the mode of action.
Provost Hall believes the academic side of the house needs to address the way in which it goes about doing the allocation of resources whether they are dollars or space. To that end he stated that he asked Bruce Mallette to serve in the capacity of being the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, Budget, and Personnel. We are working very hard to put ourselves in the position where, on academic matters, the budgeting process will be at once more transparent and at the same time responsive to the host of demands that are out there. Demands that well exceed our capacity to meet them, but demands which need to be rationalized against a select set of principles.
The second objective that I have before me is to put the Deans into a better position to contribute to the debate as well as the development of policy and programs at the level of the university. To make certain that those voices are heard and that those voices have an opportunity to speak on behalf of their administrative interest, but also on behalf of the academic faculty and students that they represent. As a result, we have created a Council of Deans where major issues in the university will be vetted and moved forward from discussion to the Deans and Vice Chancellors Council and then into the University Council. To that end I have asked the Deans, among other things, for their evaluations. We will have a process of upward evaluations annually of all Deans done by their Department Heads and their staff. They in turn will do an upward evaluation of the Provost.
We have developed with both the Deans, as well as with my restructured staff, a set of leadership issues for the year ahead. These include the undergraduate experience, diversity, gender equity, budget time enhanced learning, information technology and faculty development. I am pleased that Frank Abrams has agreed to serve not only as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Provost, but to take on the role of Senior Vice Provost with special responsibilities for faculty development and tenure and promotion. I am asking Frank to begin promptly a discussion about where we are in the tenure and promotion process and what council we can wisely take in moving that process along.
We have also made governance and administrative and academic policies an area for consideration in the year ahead. I am pleased to be a part of this body because it provides the opportunity for me to bring to you and you to bring to me the issues that I believe are really critical in this area. We are also going to give renewed emphasis and consideration to enrollment management which is an issue that is critical in light of our space constraints which are profound; an issue which is critical when we realize the rising tide of students that are headed our way; and, an issue that is critical because it affects the overall character of the university. I would like to see us in the year ahead begin the process of developing a more competitive academic culture, and I would like to see us in the year ahead, arise to the occasion of addressing the very stubborn and very persistent problems. The whole issue of instructional resources is highlighted most dramatically in colleges of humanities and social sciences and in the college of management.
We need to make the academic case for capital bonds. We have done one level and one level of argument has to do with, "give us more space and we will do better". But I think we need to actually refine this argument and demonstrate on behalf of the university system, how it is possible to bring together the extraordinary faculty that are here, have it perform as well as it does in circumstances with facilities that are in many places, not just second rate, but third rate. It stands in stark contrast to ambitions on the Centennial Campus. My expectations would be working with the Deans and working with the Faculty Senate relative to pressing the agenda for additional capital expenditures, and for a bond that we will be at the forefront in the state of reminding everyone of the value of investing in higher education, and notably investing in the facilities in which all of us work. We desperately need a new undergraduate Science Laboratory. We have put ourselves in this ironic position of, on the one hand fostering and appropriately so, the image of the leading science center in North Carolina, and one of the leading Science Centers in the Southeast. Yet, competitively the facilities that we bring our undergraduates to in those laboratory settings are not what it should be. I would hope that we will be able to make progress on that front and hope that we will be able to make progress in persuading the larger political community the virtue of moving the College of Engineering over to the Centennial Campus, but not stopping there, because all of those buildings represent fixed and powerful assets that need to be converted to the broader purposes of the university’s instructional mission, and it will help to address some of the really profound space problems that we have. There will be much more about this in the days to come.
We are attracting increasingly better students. The class that has been admitted for this fall is essentially the best class ever in the history of the university. There is every reason to believe that the same thing will happen here that happened at the University of Florida. Demographic surge will produce a powerful wave of competition. We have seven hundred students that are sitting out there wishing that they could enter North Carolina State University. The ranks of those students will only grow, and as they grow, qualitatively the numbers will go up. The only area in which we do not show an appreciable increase this year is dealing with valedictorians and salutatorians. At the same time, we need to think about what it is that we want for the undergraduate experience. This is the charge I have given to James Anderson. Let us think about what it is that we want students to be as they go out. The last line that they stand in at North Carolina State should be the line in which they receive their diploma. What is it that we would expect that they would take to the larger world? Will they be more cosmopolitan? Will they be person skilled, more analytically? I think that could be interesting and important for us especially in light of the requirement of the General Education Curriculum. Are they students that need to be well informed about technology, not just how to apply it, but the consequence of its applications? We are blessed to have an academic structure in place that allows us to address both of those issues. I would urge us to try to capitalize on it.
We are going to be called on more and more and we are particularly well positioned to respond to that trumpet call of what we can do to serve the people of North Carolina. We should take great pride in the fact that we are without peer in this state in being able to present to a larger community the ability to not only analyze, not only explain, but also to solve and in so doing improve and enliven the existence of all North Carolinians. We need at the same time especially in the context of the capital bond issue, to be able to translate that into real political support. If there is any institution in the State that has a special burden to convince our fellow citizens in North Carolina of the need for this investment, this is the institution. Given its land grant mission, given its historic role, if the people of North Carolina will not invest in us, it is hard for me to see who they would invest in.
We need to work together. I have been especially pleased that Fred Corbin and George Wahl have been willing to entertain and open up a discourse in the initial days that I have been here. I am pleased to be a Provost that is part of the Senate. I am sure there are points in the future where we are going to in fact, if not cross swords at least find swords to sharpen. I think that is a good thing.
In all of these areas I think we can and will make substantial strives. I will expect it will be done in a collegial way. I expect it will be done in a directed way. Nothing in higher education happens quickly. All change is incremental, all change is cumulative. What I would insist on as kind of a principle however, is to take the longer view and remember that small gains cumulate to large victories.
I remind you that there is a compact planning process going on. We have met with approximately half the colleges. It has been a fascinating process. That process will go into a second iteration in the fall and will coincide with the arrival of the scout group from the commission on the future of North Carolina State. A group that will get together as the Chancellor has already indicated for much fuller discussions in the Spring. I remind you that compact planning is running along and at the same time the commission on the future of North Carolina State is out there as well.
Provost Hall stated that as I move through the restaurants and byways of Hillsborough Street and then of the university as being the person who is about to bring you a College of the Arts and Sciences since I came from Ohio State, I can tell you with a completely straight face, I have never had that discussion with anyone. That particular discussion strikes me if nothing else as being premature. I will guarantee you that from my perspective which is the academic perspective, that everyone who is here will be part of that discussion and the reason is that I do not believe we can create a great university without involving the faculty at the level that I believe is appropriate. You look at any of the great AAU institutions and I would argue that it should be our aspiration. It is an aspiration that is just a little out of our reach and therefore is just the kind of one to go after. I would argue to you that if you keep that in mind, that the chances of reaching that goal are really quite good. If we are able to create the circumstances of being selected into the AAU, the results will be that every student in this room will have his or her degree in hands. Every faculty member who is in this room will be able to have a special sense of pride in the institution. Every member of the staff will be able to say that they were part of a process that brought genuine distinction just as it has been brought to our neighbors further to the west.
In closing, Provost Hall stated that there are two searches underway for Deans. They are for Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Education and Psychology.
Provost Hall stated that he plans to ask students each semester to help him to identify a Provost for the Day. He would like to have a student to get some sense of what the office of the Provost does.
Provost Hall thanked Chair Corbin for his patience and said he looks forward to working with all of his new colleagues. He asked the faculty to measure the success in the year ahead at least in part by the leadership agenda that he has tried to sketch for them.
Secretary Carter wanted to know what Provost Hall meant by the quote, "develop a more competitive academic culture".
Provost Hall responded that part of what we want to help our students do is to be competitive for all the national scholarships that are out there and remind ourselves that the standard we set with regard to our own research and teaching activity is a model for the students to follow. I think it is important, as we move out of the incremental historically based budgeting system that has ruled here, that we need to acknowledge that those who do well should be given the opportunity to make the case for the resources that they need. That is what I mean by more competitive culture.
Senator Werner referred to the powerful wave of competition for admission. He wants to know what one says to the parents and students who are not at the top of that wave but are very good students yet cannot get into this university.
Provost Hall responded that part of the message you send to them is that their investment into North Carolina State is actually working. I think we would be sorely pressed to let in more students at the moment, whether undergraduate or graduate. We need to do a better job of articulating with the two year colleges and do a better job of articulating the other universities within the UNC system.
8. Remarks from Art Anthony, Chair of the Staff Senate
Chair Anthony reported that the Staff Senate is entering into its fifth year. Several accomplishments have been made over these years. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Some issues they plan to address this year are salary equity, staff development, benefits, diversity, privatization, and environmental sustainability. He stated that one issue in particular that concerns the Staff Senate is the transition of the university from under the Office of State Personnel.
Chair Anthony stated that during the past two years, under the leadership of Past Chair of the Faculty Senate, George Wahl and Past Chair of the Staff Senate, Bill Padgette, the Staff Senate have sponsored to two joint resolutions and have jointly supported resolutions along with the Student Senate that it hopes will make the university a better place. We plan to foster that work relationship and to continue it into the future. Art feels that everyone has one main goal and that is to make the university the best that it can be and to propel it to its rightful place among the universities in the nation.
9. Remarks from Bill Padgett, Past Chair of the Staff Senate
Past Chair Padgett stated that the University has joined with the city, business leaders, and the communities to take a look at the street that is opposite the university. Historically some of us have been concerned about the transition over the last decade. As Provost Hall mentioned, the undergraduate experience does not necessarily stop right on the campus. It often flows into evenings and week-ends. Some of us in the community and some of us on campus have a vision that the "Hillsborough Street Experience" could be something that adds to that student experience, both through diversity and culture and perhaps even educationally.
We do not see huge changes that we can make on Hillsborough Street. We did take the philosophy that small changes can lead to large and great results in the end.
Past Chair Padgett stated that there has been great concern for EPA professionals that are not represented here nor by the Staff Senate. He would like to work with the Staff and Faculty Senates to see how these issues might be addressed.
The last resolution that was passed in the Staff Senate was to address some of the issues that came from our least electronically connected staff on the campus; those that work in Facilities, Food and Dining. We have opened up accounts on campus to all of those staff members while trying to bring them into our electronic community. We plan to work closely with Dining, Facilities, Residence, and Residence Housing to provide some support, training and education for those eight hundred members of our staff that are not electronically connected.
Past Chair Padgett stated that it has been a great honor serving as Chair of the Staff Senate. It has been a great honor working with the faculty and I look forward to continuing.
10. Remarks from Raj Mirchandani, Student Body President
President Mirchandani welcomed the faculty back. He plans to have a representative attend each of the Faculty Senate meetings. Two projects that they will be working on are students being able to retake a class without having to fill out a form and more video classes for students.
He stated that Student Government brought a group of students together that has learned to lobby. The group of students were in the General Assembly every week and he was there daily voicing their concerns in favor of the bond issue. The students are aware of the bond issue and are willing to support it.
Another issue he has been addressing is a late night busing system that will run until 2:00 am.
President Mirchandani stated that he is looking forward to working with the Senate this year.
11. Remarks from Seth Whitaker, Student Senate President
President Whitaker stated that the Student Senate is excited about the new year. There are a couple of issues he would like to work on among the Student Senate and Student Government in general.
The first is to see the Student Body and especially Student Government play a larger role in academic affairs of the university. We would like to work with the Faculty Senate and Provost’s Office to make sure we are more knowledgeable about what is going on in the academic affairs of the university, and that we are updated throughout the process of what is going on. In return we can give back more informed and more in depth thoughts about proposed changes to different policies and things of that nature than we could if we had to do things in a rushed manner which has been unfortunately our main mode of operation for the past year or two.
President Whitaker stated that the bond issue is something he has felt very strong about. He is looking forward to the Chancellor’s initiative in trying to get the university community together to promote the bond issue and to promote the university around the state to both Legislators and also to the public so that people will be aware of what our issues are and how important the university system is to our state so that if the issue does come to a bond referendum, the state will be informed of what is going on and hopefully the bond will pass. Seth feels that students can make a major impact on such an issue. He feels that if students speak to a group in a knowledgeable manner, they can make a large impact on someone’s decision. He thinks the Student Senate can make such an effort with the help of Student Government.
12. Remarks from Catherine Turner, Vice President of the Graduate Students Association
Ms. Turner stated that their primary objective is to serve as a voice and an advocate for graduate students on campus. She hopes to serve that function while serving the faculty during the coming year.
Chair Corbin adjourned the meeting at 4:35 p.m.