November 12, 2002
Present: Chair Carter, Chair-Elect Daley, Secretary Banks; Senators Allen, Ash, Beasley, Bernhard, Carter, Fikry, Garval, Griffin, Havner, Headen, Honeycutt, Istook, Jasper, Krotee, Lytle, Matthews, Misra, Sawyers, Stoddard, Tyler
Absent: Senators Brothers, DeLuca, Fahmy, Hammerberg, McRae, Peacock, Rice
Excused: Provost Cooper; Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Atkin, Hodge, Smoak, Tetro, Weiner
Visitors: Frank Abrams, Sr. Vice Provost, Academic Affairs; Charles Leffler, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities; Robert Fraser, Director, Facilities Planning and Design; Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Randy Bechtolt, Associate Director, Campus Recreation; Erich Fabricius, Student Senate President ProTempore; Donn Ward, Faculty Athletic Representative; Benny Benton, Bulletin Online Editor; Barbara Barrett, Staff Writer, News & Observer; Noah Pickus, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues
1. Call to Order
The sixth meeting of the forty-ninth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty
Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Philip B. Carter.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Carter welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Carter announced that he represented the faculty at the University Awards Banquet in Chapel Hill. Former Governor, Jim Hunt and Judge Henry Frye, an alumnus of North Carolina A&T were honored with the University Award.
Vice Provost George Dixon’s thirty years of dedicated service at NC State will be honored at the next Faculty Senate Meeting.
A motion was passed authorizing the Executive Committee to author an appropriate Resolution of Commendation for Dr. Dixon, to be read at the next meeting.
Chair Carter announced that the Board of Governors has asked the state for 6% salary increases for faculty in the system.
Chair Carter announced that Professor Talbert Shaw, President of Shaw University will retire at the end of the year. He has invited President Shaw to attend the next Faculty Senate meeting where he will be presented with a suitable gift and a reception afterwards.
Chair Carter requested that the Senators make an effort in the next month before the end of the semester to get some nominations for Honorary Degrees from their respective colleges. He recommended that they find a way to get some input and then propose it to their dean. Chair Carter noted that it is very helpful to have the dean’s letter of support to show that this individual does represent a worthy individual in the field of academic endeavor.
Chair Carter visited the Vietnam Memorial on Veteran’s Day. He stated that nowadays there is not a single moment when someone is not there. It points out how important our young people who served in the military are, and how important our veterans are to us.
Chair Carter recognized Senator Alvin Headen and thanked him on behalf of the Faculty Senate for his service to our country.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, October 29, 2002
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Status Report on Major Construction Projects
Charles Leffler, Vice Chancellor for Facilities stated that the program with the bonds is moving along steadily and noted that there is a lot of non-bond projects going on as well.
Robert Fraser, Director of Facilities Planning and Design, stated that, in general, the bond program is moving along very well. As an overview there are fourteen new buildings. They are all currently in design academic renovations. He stated that one half of them have been sent to design and there are eight infrastructure projects. One of their focuses has been to improve and centralize the infrastructure on campus. Non bond projects have begun with athletic facilities. "We are planning or doing something in all major sports at the moment. In the housing expansion and renovation category, we have in planning a 1200 bed residence apartment complex, which obviously expands our housing base, but also gives us a style that is much more popular with many students. As far as housing renovation, we have in planning some upgrades of all of the quads on campus. We are looking at our entire housing inventory with a view towards upgrading.
We have just undertaken design selection to expand Carmichael Gymnasium, mostly in the area of aerobics and fitness. We anticipate that will be in the Southeast portion of the building.
Centennial Campus private development is ongoing both in planning and design, and in construction. This takes place on our 2000 acre campus. No portion of the campus will be left undisturbed.
We are working through some logistical items to get Carter Finley Football Center occupied in January.
I had the pleasure of delivering the construction contract for the CVM Research Building to our budget officer on the way over here. It is going to be the linchpin of future development on CVM campus. We should be turning ground within two weeks, and the contract should be executed within a week or so.
Centennial Campus Infrastructure is through the construction document development. It is what we call a guarantee maximum price project through a construction manager at risk. We are in the process of negotiating the guarantee maximum price. We should close the deal in December, and should begin construction in January.
The Arboretum is partially funded by bond proceeds. It is now open and running. If you have not been, you should go because it is extraordinary.
The Undergraduate Science Teaching Lab is presently coming out of the ground. Three stories are up. It is projected for completion and occupancy for the Fall 2003.
We are currently in design development on the David Clark and USTL Phase II. There are two portions to this project. One is the complete rehabilitation on the inside of David Clark labs. The second is a connection to a new wing for class labs for biology and biological sciences. That one is scheduled to be complete and designed early next year.
A large portion of our plan is the extensive development of infrastructure services.
The USTL greenhouse relocation is physically complete now. The greenhouses were relocated, and the greenhouses on campus were demolished as a precursor to construction.
Several projects are on-going in the Sullivan Drive area , the first of which is the university apartments (1200 beds) with each apartment self contained; four single bedrooms, kitchen and bath. We hope to start site work in negotiations for TMP in December and start physical construction in January. That will be followed by the building construction sometime around April of next year.
The Public Safety facility is being relocated from the present field house adjacent to Riddick Stadium because the TTA is going to expand a third track in that corridor, necessitating the relocation of the building. That project is scheduled to be advertised for bid around the first of December.
Administrative units are being relocated from the center of campus. Some of the units are currently located in Riddick Stadium. One half of the stadium will be demolished while we are housed in the other half. We will be relocated to make space for academic space.
Sullivan Operation Center is currently under construction. Again, that moves operations folks from the center of campus in prime academic space out to the Sullivan Drive service core.
Doak Field is scheduled to be complete when baseball commences early in the spring. However, if it does not stop raining, we are going to have to make other arrangements.
The Jordan Hall addition is currently in design development. It is the third portion of the build out of the Jordan Hall Master Plan. It is going to be located on the corner of Western Boulevard. It currently is planned to provide approximately fifty thousand square feet of teaching lab space.
The Dining Hall in Clark Hall was recently completed and is now functional. The upper floors are currently under construction and should be completed shortly.
We believe that we will have the Coliseum Parking Deck, with the addition of 865 new parking spaces, complete by Fall 2003. One of the things that we have been doing is asking for bid alternates from the contractors for a more aggressive schedule. In many cases they have been coming in as credits. This month we bought for no additional cost a two month acceleration of schedule.
The Soccer and Track Complex is currently in design. We are trying to coordinate the reconstruction of Rocky Branch Creek with the redevelopment of the Soccer Complex moving from Method Road to the new on-campus location.
Weisiger-Brown, Case, and Reynolds will all undergo relatively minor renovations. The renovation of space is driven by the relocation of football into the new football center.
The Flex Research Building is almost complete. That is 50,000 square feet of shell space. That space will be used to relocate the departments that will be affected by the bond program. Our methodology is to have constructed new space first. We thought that this would be advantageous in that we could start the design, up-fit, and relocation of departments to the flex building while the building was under construction as long as we had drawings. The minor build-out will go with the building proper, and we are one half way through the design of the up-fit. The building should be finished in January.
On Centennial Campus, the College of Engineering Complex - Phase I has been bid, awarded and is currently under construction. The project is on schedule and we anticipate occupancy of the building Summer 2004.
Phase II is currently in design development. It should be completely designed by mid 2003 and is going to guaranteed maximum pricing construction.
Partners III Research Building was bid two weeks ago. It is currently in contract award. It will house units of PAMS, CALS, and Nanotechnology Research and will be located adjacent to the new Partners III parking deck that will house parking for both this building and the College of Engineering.
The Center for Educational Innovation is under design now. It is going to be a facility used in great part by the College of Education with a focus on technology teaching. It is an annex to the Centennial Campus Middle School. It is going to really enhance their ability to use technology in teaching in a cooperative mode.
North Shore Residential Property is currently in construction on Centennial Campus. This project is market rate housing. The construction started in Fall 2002.
Main Campus Drive is currently under construction. It is the next development on campus. It currently has a road base down and is being compacted. It will connect the main campus from Centennial Campus with future development sites.
The Executive Conference Center received one level of approval last week. It needs a couple of more.
The Alumni Center is relocating the Alumni Building from main campus. It is currently a super facility for alumni to visit the campus. Fund raising is ongoing and construction is projected for Summer 2003.
A Centennial Campus infrastructure project is the initial development of Centennial Campus steam and chilled water production capability. It has been designed to be expanded as the need for the steam and chilled water on Centennial Campus increases throughout the years. It is currently under construction. It has to be done so that we can provide steam and chilled water at the College of Engineering in time to facilitate that construction further.
We have several projects at Lake Wheeler. The Teaching Feed Mill and the Beef Educational Unit are under construction now. The Teaching Feed Mill’s shell is complete. The only thing left in construction is equipment. The Beef Educational Unit is under construction and is scheduled for completion shortly.
Recently we have completed the following list of design or Construction Management (CM) solicitations:
Riddick Lab renovations-- the designer is through programming and into schematic design.
Daniels Hall–that project is through programming and into schematic design.
Schwab Food Science–approximately one week ago we chose a CM firm. The designer is
Leazer Hall–the designer was chosen four or five months ago and is currently doing programming.
Withers Hall–the designer is beginning programming.
Additional Bond Renovation Projects
One thing you should know is that in order to facilitate our schedule we have been moving up the initial processes of designer selection and procurement so that we can undertake negotiations, get the designer on board, and do programming. So the projects that will be up next are the 1911 Building, Park Shops, Poe, South Gardener, and Williams."
Charles Leffler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities stated that there are a lot of other things that are part of this activity such as space allocation, swing space planning, parking planning and communication.
"We have looked at a lot of the swing space in terms of how we accommodate all of the moves that are going to take place, and we have begun to lay out the anticipated move sequence for all of these buildings. We have a parking plan for replacing the parking that is displaced. Communication is real important in what we are doing and keeping the campus posted. We do put out notifications for people to go to the web site, http://www.ncsu.edu/facilities/project/index.htm, and find specific information about job sites. You can go there at any time and see some of the renderings and other information about a project and its status as well as a lot of other information. The contractors and other planners use these web sites as well as the campus community."
Senator Jasper wanted to know if there are plans for a new dining facility on Centennial Campus.
Leffler stated that they are looking at a number of services for the Centennial Campus. There is a plan to add food service to the Venture Center. Enhancing and expanding the food service in the College of Textiles is another plan that is in place. "We are doing a dining study to look at supply and demand issues with dining. Part of that study is to review what kind of food service is most demanded over there."
Senator Misra wanted to know the status of Harrelson Hall.
Leffler stated that the bond program allowed for the renovation of Harrelson Hall. He thinks the Facilities Division believes that is probably throwing money down the drain. He stated that the building is structurally sound but is not as productive a space programmatically as they need it to be.
Senator Misra noted that the roof leaks.
Leffler stated that if they could figure out a way to tear that building down, they would do so. There was not enough money allocated to do that. He stated that if they have any accumulated savings from other projects they might be able to put a package together to fit that. If they tore it down, they would likely build a replacement classroom building in the area where the Riddick stands are being torn down.
Senator Istook wanted to know what is being done to evaluate the need for service on Centennial Campus.
Leffler stated that the dining people are responsible for that. Facilities facilitate getting space but they do not run the food services. He stated that they are looking at the types of food people want to buy. He encouraged her to share some of her opinions with the Director of Food Services and to feel free to give him input.
5. Remarks from Donn Ward, Faculty Athletics Representative
"I want to talk to you today about the Athletic Program and in particular some of the academics. During your last meeting, Lee Fowler was present and talked about the pending changes with respect to initial and continuing eligibility that was being proposed by the NCAA. Since that meeting the NCAA Board of Directors, which is comprised of college Chancellors and Presidents, have passed a slate of changes that are going to affect initial and continuing eligibility. With respect to initial eligibility, they have expanded the number of core courses required for the high school graduate to matriculate to an NCAA institution. They go from thirteen to fourteen. In the process they eliminated the cut score for the SAT or ACT. With the old cut score you needed a minimum of 820. If you had an 820 you would at least have a 2.5 college GPA on your core. They have fully indexed the GPA and SAT scores so that in theory one could get into an NCAA institution with 400 on the SAT as long as they have a 3.55 in the core GPA. There are some individuals who might have a 700 SAT and a 2.75 high school core. Those are the students that we are worried about. As far as NC State is concerned we are going to basically stick with the old system.
While one may appear that they have made it easier to get into an institution, they have made it more difficult to stay eligible to play. All of these changes are effective August 2003. One of the things that they are requiring is that at the end of your sophomore year you have to have a 1.8 GPA. The other thing is that the NCAA has set it up where everything is geared toward a five-year graduation rate so that a student has to make progress toward the degree at 20% increments per year. At the end of the sophomore year, they are expected to have completed 40%. If they have not completed 40% of the degree requirements, then students are not eligible to play. On the other side of this are some coming legislation rules that will encourage the universities to recruit students who will graduate. Ultimately you will have to graduate a certain percentage of your students or you will be ineligible for post season play or you will start losing scholarships. Another rule being proposed is that if a coach and a team is found to be in violation of a rule, that violation probably will follow the coach.
Dr. Donn Ward reported on the 2001-2002 Athletic Report Card (attached) for the Intercollegiate Athletics Program.
Senator Sawyers stated that there seems to be pretty widespread agreement that the issue of transfers is a problem as well as how the NCAA measures graduation rates. He asked if the NCAA has talked about making changes to the measure to track transfers or to take them out of the denominator once they have left in good graces?
Dr. Ward stated that there is a discussion on that very issue. They are trying to come up with a meaningful way of doing that. "This is both the Management Council and the Board of Directors. When we as a university report graduation rates to the US Department of Education that they do much the same thing. Once your denominator is set it is set. If you are doing that with a freshmen class of 3,000 you can lose quite a few and still do fairly well. Although I would say that the 62% graduation rate for us as an institution is not all that stellar, I will say that we can improve as an institution and we certainly can improve with the graduation rate of our student athletes. One of the things that gives me a lot of confidence in Lee is that he is doing a lot of wonderful things for the Athletics Program. One of the things he has really been emphasizing to the coaches is that we do not bring someone here just because of their athletic ability. Those folks have to have a reasonable likelihood to graduate, and with the NCAA changing its initial eligibility requirements he was the one who said we need to hold the line. I think our coaches will accept that graciously, but it is going to put them in a bind because they are going to be competing against institutions who are going to want to win. I have a lot of confidence in both Lee Fowler and Phil Moses in the academic support program and certainly the administration, Chancellor and Provost alike. They are on top of these issues and are encouraging coaches obviously to win. You do not win at the expense of the student athlete, you graduate them. I think there is a support structure in place and we have the coaches that are trying to, in fact, have the best of both worlds."
Senator Istook wanted to know the difference between recruited student athletes and full grants in aids, on the Board of Governors five-year graduation rate.
Dr. Ward stated that the Board of Governors only want to calculate in their graduation rates those who have a full grant in aid. If you have a partial grant in aid, apparently they are not interested. I cannot tell you why.
Senator Istook wanted to know if all recruited students have full grants."
Dr. Ward stated that most recruited athletes, he thinks, would probably receive some grant in aid. However, there are walk-ons at this institution who prove themselves, and also get full grant in aid. They are not considered a recruited athlete.
Senator Krotee commented that if you are a basketball player or football player you cannot divide the scholarship.
Dr. Ward stated that if you receive any part of a scholarship that counts as one scholarship. There are some teams where you are allocated twelve or thirteen scholarships and you can subdivide that among as many people as you want.
Senator Sawyers pointed out that some of the problems that may come about because of these increased requirements seem well and good until you think that the difficulties of 1) a student athlete that tries to change majors and all of a sudden finds that they are ineligible because they no longer have 40% of the required hours in their new major. So they cannot change or if they change they will not be eligible; 2) comparing an athlete at this university to an athlete at a university like Duke which may have a 96 hour degree requirement. So the student athlete here that is in a 120 hour degree requirement has to have 40% of 120 hours and a student at Duke has to have completed 40% of 96 hours to maintain their eligibility. There are some real problems with the way the NCAA has put this together.
Dr. Ward agreed and stated that, "We as an institution initially were not supportive of the continuing eligibility requirements because it puts our institution and our players at a disadvantage. If you look around at the various curricula that we represent here–I suspect that it goes anywhere from 124, 128 and even up to 132. There are institutions that have degree programs that only require 96 hours. That is a significant differential. That is why they can graduate people in three years. The ability to change curriculum is going to be a significant consideration for an athlete. They are going to lose a lot of credits no matter which way they go, and that could significantly impact their eligibility.
6. Remarks from Noah Pickus, Director of the Emerging Issues Institute
Dr. Noah Pickus remarked on the Institute for Emerging Issues and the upcoming Emerging Issues Forum.
"The best way I know to describe the Institute for Emerging Issues is to say that it is a startup with a history, which is to say that it has been around as you know for eighteen years now. Former Governor Hunt comes along as the Chairman of the Board of the Institute. That is one origin. The other origin is through the Kenan Institute for Engineering Technology and Science which has been looking for ways to add on to its work in education, commercialization and the other areas that it works on to add a public policy dimension. I think Governor Hunt’s desire to expand the forum into something more than a two-day event, something that might have some lead up and follow through, and Ruben Carbonell’s interest in entering into some of the policy issues that this university is in the center of regarding Science, Engineering and Technology converge to create this institute for emerging issues. I came on board in January and we launched it at the forum in February.
For the first two months I thought this move was about the dumbest thing I could have done, coming to a public university in the midst of the worst budget crisis that a lot of people can remember; to come at a time when the high tech economy is not exactly in good with a lot of people; when you have a level of political partisanship that is almost operatic in what it has reached in this state. I thought this is about the worst time in the world to launch a new public policy startup. As I went around the state talking to a lot of folks in industry and government and at universities I got the sense that this was actually the best time to launch this startup. Precisely because things had gotten so bad that people seemed to be willing to say things that I imagine they would not say when times were better. So I sat in meetings with the governor’s advisers who said things like "we poured X number of dollars into these universities here and we cannot figure out to get ideas out of them to help us." The university representatives would say "well we give them to you but you do not know what to do with them." That is a rather blunt exchange, but I thought it was actually useful. People were admitting things as opposed to going on as if the interplay between the universities and the policy makers in this state was an easy and happy one.
What we are trying to do in the institute is not to be a policy wonk shop, not to have forty people all writing regression analyses of what to do next. We have good people at this university and elsewhere who do that. We are trying to find a way of bridging the gap that exists in some small way between the policy makers and the universities and industry. My sense is that the changes this state is going through are so comprehensive that we really are engaged. The Governor’s economy development report is called Changing the Way We Do Business, and whether that report does it or not, I think that there is a need for far greater engagement of a lot more people in shaping the policy direction of this state. Governor Hunt did a lot of remarkable things, but I think times are changing and we need a lot more ideas. Not to put too fine a point on it, it has been clear to me that when a lot of the folks downtown look for policy ideas they often turn to Chapel Hill. Every document that I see that comes out of these various Boards and Study Groups has a lot of Chapel Hill organizations on them. When we are talking about Science and Technology Policies in particular, there are obviously an enormous number of strengths here. If we can be, in some small way, a vehicle for helping to engage the resources and the ideas the folks have here with the policy makers then that is something we want to try and do.
Let me tell you two different ways that we are working on that question of engagement and the question of how to improve the process by which ideas move back and forth across these sectors. First, we are working closely with the development board at the Department of Commerce, the soon to be appointed State Board of Science and Technology as well as President Broad’s office and the UNC system and some of the industry groups in trying to find a way in ramping up the capacity of State Government to have a better strategic planning capacity for economic development, particularly with regard to science and technology. There are a lot of ideas and plans that people put forward, but there is very little capability to actually carry this out. They have not put the resources into this strategic planning and we are trying to see if we can find some way of connecting the various universities and agencies and organizations that can be available in a virtual kind of way. I do not mean electronic. I mean drawing on some existing organizations and existing resources and coordinating them in a way that can be helpful to state policy makers as they try and do better strategic planning for thinking about economic development.
We are working closely with President Broad’s office in trying to engage all the universities in this, but I think NC State has clearly staked a leadership role in terms of its leadership itself. Also in terms of the obvious fire power that is here.
We have also been working with companies like Red Hat and a variety of the more "new economy" industries in trying to engage them in these policy discussions. It is clear to me that the research intent of academic centers of this state like we are, are viewed with some suspicion by other parts of the state. It seems to me particularly for industry that there is a need for some of the new economy folks to come off as more engaged with the public problems of North Carolina.
The other broad area that we are working on is what I would call public engagement and understanding. I have talked to a lot of faculty here. I have talked to a lot of folks across the state, and you get a sense that on one hand we need to do some things now and on the other hand there are deeper, more fundamental questions about what this state wants to be and how it can operate particularly with regard to science and technology kinds of issues that you do not solve overnight. We lack even a common vocabulary in this state for talking about what we want to be doing with regard to everything from technology transfer and commercialization to issues of cloning and the range of things in between. We have wanted to take the forum as a leading example and build on it to develop a variety of public engagement and outreach projects that range from the annual forum to many forums that lead up to and follow through on this across the state. We are working on a series of leadership consultations. We called on fifteen key civic leaders across eastern North Carolina in Greenville, Rocky Mount, Elizabeth City and Fayetteville to followup on this biotech forum. We have asked the questions: What folks in these communities know about biotechnology? What are they interested in? Where do they see the opportunities? What is realistic for them? What are the resources that can be made available to them? We are trying to extend the forum with these leadership consultations with people from different industries to get their input.
The happy story I can report is that I find that people are hungry for this kind of discussion, that they are really eager to find new ways of doing things. Obviously we are not the ones who are going to be doing that, but we may be a part of that. I find people a little tired of the regular debates they have been having. So I think there is an opportunity there.
Let me say a little bit about the Emerging Issues Forum that is coming up in February. On the inside cover of the biotech report (distributed to Senators) is a very brief overview of the kinds of programs that I have been talking about and that we are trying to launch. We sent out five or six thousand of these reports, approximately four thousand across North Carolina, and another thousand or more across the country. We have had a pretty good response. We have had almost five hundred people sign up to be on our mailing list. I would encourage you, if you are interested, to come to our web site and sign up or to send in the form. We broke these respondents down by categories and I was surprised to discover that the largest category of people who wanted to stay in touch with what we are doing were from industry. The second largest group was from State Government.
The next forum, February 10-11, 2003 is a natural outgrowth of the biotechnology forum. The biotech forum raised larger questions about economic developments in this state. It raised questions about what you have to do if you are trying to sustain our capacities in biotechnologies, and what that means for other areas of Science and Technology and the resources and planning that need to go into that. That naturally led to this forum, JUMP START INNOVATION, trying to look at the different roles and the debates that are going on in this state and elsewhere. I think, with the current political change that we have going on in the General Assembly, we have a real opportunity here. It is a challenge, but also a real opportunity because people are going to be looking closely at these questions. The forum is divided roughly into two days. The first day is focused more on the controversies and the opportunities in state-led economic development. You have forty-two other states pouring their tobacco money into biotechnology or trying to be what we are right now in many ways. You have a lot of different ideas for state-led economic development plans and we are trying to bring folks to address those questions. The second day is focused much more closely on the role of universities, especially research universities in asking and answering the social and ethical questions and the "how to" questions. Georgia has come and taken a look at what we have done here at Centennial Campus and elsewhere, and they have developed their own approaches. In many ways they have leapfrogged to get in front of us. One example is the Georgia Research Alliance features a Scientist of the Week on their website. It is just a small thing, but I think it is a nice kind of thing and a humanizing kind of thing. It is trying to make the not-too-subtle point that scientists are an essential part of the economy there and people should know about them.
We have also been developing a series of workshops in and around this forum to try and give people a smaller way of talking and engaging these issues. The College of Design, Extension and Engagement, CHASS, and the College of Management are all engaged in this forum as well as some of the external groups. In particular, the Office of the President will be inviting representatives who are interested in tech-transfer from all sixteen UNC campuses to come to this forum.
Lastly, we have appointed our first two faculty fellows, Dennis Gray from Psychology and Roland Stephen from Political Science in a pilot run to get them engaged in helping us shape how to involve faculty more in our projects and programs. I think there are a couple of ways that we are eager to be involved in this with faculty. First is to bring faculty to the forum. Two other particular ways: 1) as we engage with policymakers and others, we need to draw on expertises. We do not have that expertise. It is not an in-house project. Faculty have the expertise, and we want to find ways of being able to tap into that and to find ways of remunerating faculty for taking the time to actually weigh in on these subjects. At the same time, if there are research grants and projects that you and your departments are pursuing that have a public policy or social and ethical dimension to them, we would like to talk to you about that. If we can be helpful in some way as a vehicle for that or by adding the policy dimension that might help you get over the top in proposal competition with other scientists who are equally strong, we would certainly like to.
We would like to build a student fellows program where we have our best policy students and our best science and technology students. We would like to engage them in our work and engage them in work with policymakers and industry, because I think the folks we work with are very eager for that. I would like to see if there is a vehicle for students to get involved in these debates early and bring our expertise to bear. Thank you for your time."
Senator Allen wanted to know if Pickus has thought of having any venture capitalists attend the 2003 Forum.
Pickus responded yes. They have an invitation out to one from Charlotte. They will be reaching out to them and will be bringing them in in other capacities, including funding.
Senator Griffin wanted information on the outcomes of this year’s Emerging Issues Forum.
Pickus stated that they are in part broadly based and they are trying to work on how to make that more specific. "We, at the institute, got pulled into a variety of policy discussions as a result of this. Two weeks ago, I was in Asheville meeting with the Chancellors of the universities and the leadership who were trying to figure out how to strengthen biotechnology in that region. They found us as easily accessible folks to talk to about the larger questions that are facing the state in their role in that.
Governor Rick Perry in Texas, like many governors, now, has a science and technology council that is trying to figure out how Austin is going to be. Now they have Bio-Lubbock they are trying to do and they already have Bio-Austin. This report became required reading for that science and technology council in trying to think about the issue that they are confronting. We have been working very closely with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center on its leadership consultations. We took a look around after the forum and asked, What are some of the issues here? The thing we hit on was the sense that there is the question of whether to have a "one North Carolina" strategy, where you are going to spread out resources or is it the "concentrate on the winners" kind of strategy. That strikes me as a no-win debate. Politically you need to have the will of the entire state to make some of these changes, and economically there are some important issues that the other regions can fill. We saw our work at the Biotechnology Center as reaching out to the west and to the east and to Charlotte and other places to stimulate that discussion of how we can focus on the questions that need specialization on biotechnology and what that will mean to do. Those are the leadership consultations that we are working on.
Griffin stated that one of the critical points that was made during the forum was about the apparent lack of ignorance about genetically modified foods. The suggestion was that not enough was done to educate people about this. One of the interesting and intriguing foreign policy issues speaks to the farming in Africa and the offer of the United States to provide them with food. "My concern is that this could probably destroy the reproductive capacity. Is there anything that the Centers are doing to try to raise the level and joining the conversation about what is and what is not?".
Pickus responded that this report itself is intended to serve that public education process. We try to write in a way that dealt with these issues that would be accessible to a wide range of people, and that we would follow up on that report through these consultations and otherwise as a means to raise the sophistication level on this. We do not just want to talk about economic issues, and how we do it, but also to answer the question of what we want to do in the social and economic dimensions. At a foreign policy level, we have not reached that level but we are trying to see what we can do at the state level to deepen the understanding, so that these issues do not hit people blind.
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Richard Bernhard, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee, reported that Jack Colby, Director of Facilities Operation, attended their last meeting. He and his associates will be attending the next Faculty Senate meeting.
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Sarah Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported that they are working their way through a couple of issues of concern that have been brought before the committee. She stated that representatives from Distance Education and the Graduate School was present at their last meeting. Gail O’Brien and Nancy Penrose will be attending the committee’s next meeting to discuss the change in English requirements.
8. Issues of Concerns
Senator Griffin stated that a colleague is concerned about the large number of chemical-containing train cars that cross campus each day, and the possibility of those cars being derailed.
Chair-Elect Daley assigned the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Chair-Elect Daley adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.