April 3, 2001
Present: Chair Corbin, Chair-Elect Carter, Secretary Brown, Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Ash, Banks, Bottcher, Braunbeck, Cassidy, Elmaghraby, ElMasry, Grainger, Grimes, Havner, Headen, Hooper, Hughes-Oliver, Kimler, Kirby, Levine, Lytle, Marshall, McAllister, Misra, Robinson, Sawyers, Setzer, Tucker, Tyler, Vickery, Wilkerson, Wilson
Absent: Interim Provost Moreland; Senators Brothers, Suh
Excused: Chair-Elect Carter; Senators Funderlic, Hodge, Malinowski, Smoak, Toplikar
Visitors: Daniel Bunce, Editor, Bulletin; Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Samara Fleming, Provost’s Office; Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor
1. Call to Order
The twelfth meeting of the forty-seventh session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Frederick T. Corbin.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Corbin welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Corbin stated that an announcement on "Night Walk" will be forthcoming.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, March 20, 2001
The minutes were approved as edited.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Fox reported on the status of various issues of concern to the university.
Chancellor Fox reported that there are four searches that have been conducted in the recent past. One of them has concluded. Dr. Linda Brady, Director of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, has accepted an offer to become Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She will arrive in July and is very enthusiastic. Progress is also being made in the search for the Dean of Natural Resources. Four candidates are expected on campus within the next two weeks. Progress is being made as well on candidates for the Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement. The third candidate was on campus today. The final candidate is expected next week and hopefully a decision will be made soon thereafter. Chancellor Fox said the Provost Search Committee intends to bring candidates on campus by mid-April and to complete interviews before the faculty and students leave for the summer.
Chancellor Fox stated that she was at the Legislature this morning discussing the budget. The budget continues to be a very serious question mark this year. They are quite aggressive in trying to find new sources of money. They asked, for example, if money that comes in from patents and royalty licenses could be returned to the state. She pointed out to them that there is some cost associated with running a technology transfer office and processing patents, and that those costs are determined by attorneys. She reminded the faculty that the General Administration’s request was for a 3% faculty salary increase. "The governors budget has a 2% salary increase, but we are going to fight very hard to make sure that is retained, and hope that it will be increased back to 3%."
Chancellor Fox stated that requests from General Administration emphasize full enrollment funding to cover the faculty and infrastructure needed for additional students, funding and full funding for distance education. Chancellor Fox said, "We have an item requesting additional funds for financial aid and for campus initiatives. At NC State these are related to the agriculture programs, genomic science, electronic materials, as well as some special activities sponsored in collaboration with General Administration for the College of Education. There is also a request for environmental funding."
Chancellor Fox reported that she made the case at the Legislature about the leverage that the state has been able to make in terms of very small investments. They were very interested in the fact that the university used to survive on 85% return of indirect cost and that now it receives 100% of return. They wondered where the 15% was going and why it could not revert to the State Treasurer. She tried to show them that the leverage that the university has had in specific programs that had been funded since the first 10% was returned to the campus in 1997. The additional 5% last year has been leveraged ten to one for government grants. The research accomplishments that had an effect on North Carolina industries had a multiplier of approximately 100 more than that. She noted that to take back something like $3.0M in terms of the university’s indirect cost is really a very bad idea.
The students made a visit to the Legislature and asked for an increase in faculty salaries, an aggressive program of financial aid, which is part of the General Administration’s request, and for a vote for the non voting member of the Board of Governors. In the latter regard, the Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed that request as well. If the student does get a vote on the Board of Governors, he or she would be one of thirty-two.
Chancellor Fox stated that the Faculty Senate will soon be provided with a draft copy of the copyright policy for consideration and comments. The idea of how to handle intellectual property in the framework of the Internet as well as NC State’s traditional copyright materials is becoming more and more important. The concern is maintaining the university’s interest at the same time that a very viable and appropriate return is allowed to those faculty authors who have generated copyright material.
Chancellor Fox reported that there is a much more aggressive policy now in Honorary Degrees. In fact, a lot more people are being nominated. She encouraged the faculty to continue in that regard. Not only does the existence of a slate of honorary degree recipients enliven commencement, but it also provides a means by which the academic mission of the university can be amplified. For example, one of the honorees this year, Walter Fitch, one of the founders of molecular genetics, is coming a day or two early to have a symposium in support of the university’s genomic science initiative while he is here on May 18. "I would not only encourage you to participate, but to recognize the connection of how the investments that we are making in bringing commencement people on the campus can have an academic input as well. Please be aggressive in making nominations through your college deans. We need to have letters of support, because we are now getting enough nominations so that only the best will actually get those degrees."
Chancellor Fox stated that six honorary degrees will be awarded at the May 19 commencement. It will be an interesting commencement, and she hopes that the faculty will take advantage of their coming to Raleigh to have other activities that might use their skills while they are here.
Chancellor Fox reminded the faculty that this year the Honors Convocation was moved from the fall to the spring. This was a new idea that Provost Hall had suggested. She would like to have input and participation on May 17 about whether this is the appropriate time to do it.
Senator Wilkerson commented that in a year when there are no raises and the cost of health care is raised, it is unsupportable, particularly for SPA employees
Chancellor Fox responded that an argument has been made that the university should be independent in terms of personnel services for EPA and SPA and should make a determination about salary ranges that would be appropriate. In general, when faculty get a raise, so do state employees. One would hope that the Legislature in their wisdom will maintain some of that for SPA employees as well. "We are working very hard to get flexibility. Part of our stance this year in dealing with the Legislature has been to say that if there are not financial resources that would allow us to go forward in the normal accountability, well then please do give us enough flexibility so that we could use budgetary categories and move money from one source to another to meet our statutory needs." She noted that SPA classification is indeed a very serious problem. It can be seen in several departments on campus. Every part of the university’s life is affected by these very narrow ranges in the current SPA system. She stated, " The inability to reward exceptional behavior is one of the very serious problems. We are attacking this at two levels. The big level is we think we should be able to do it ourselves, separately from the State Personnel System. In other words, everyone should be exempt, and we could manage our money better. Secondly, if that is not given, we need to have flexibility over the money that is given to us in the continuing budget, particularly in this year."
Senator Lytle commented that one problem that has plagued the university for many years is clerical help. The people hired are often entry level, because a person who is hired with decent skills cannot be retained.
Senator Vickery commented that he noticed in a news article that faculty at Chapel Hill had protested against the lengthening of the teaching calendar. He believes that the additional time yields marginal returns in terms of the students’ intellectual developments. He wanted to know if Chancellor Fox has any thoughts on the issue.
Chancellor Fox stated that she has not formulated an opinion, but would welcome input.
Chancellor Fox thanked Chair Corbin for his good leadership on the Administrative Boards during his term as Chair of the Faculty.
Senator Elmaghraby, Chair of the Governance Committee, reported that the committee would like the faculty to endorse their report of March 20, 2001, that includes recommending an increase in the per diem allowance with the roster of "faculty concerns" for consideration by the Administration and the UNC Administration.
Senator Elmaghraby moved adoption of the document.
The motion to adopt the document was seconded and passed without dissent.
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Brown reported on the committee’s meeting with Steven Keto, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Information Systems, and Gwen Hazlehurst, Director, Enterprise Information Systems.
Senator Brown stated that the main concern is the difficulty that faculty are having in tracking their grant funds. She feels that it is going to be a solvable problem, in that they are willing to have faculty track their own accounts. This will involve some training and authorizations to access the accounts.
The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.