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SEPTEMBER 7 , 2004

 

Present:  Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Chair-Elect Allen; Provost Oblinger, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Batra, Baynes, Bernhard, Bitting, Blair, Blank,  Brownie, Bruck, Clark, Estes, Fahmy, Fauntleroy, Hanley-Bowdoin, Hooper, Johnson, Kasal, Kellner, Khosla, Krotee, Martin, Matthews, McRae, Middleton, Miller, Moore, Robarge, B. Smith, R. Smith, Stein, Tetro, Warren, Wessels

Excused: Senators Branson, Fikry

Absent:  Senator Young

Visitors:   Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; P. J. Teal; Secretary of the University & Assistant to the Chancellor; Laura Massengill, Chair of the Staff Senate; Charles, Leffler, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Business; Erin Welch, Technician Staff Reporter; Thomas Conway, Vice Provost, EMAS; Tim Simmons, News & Observer; Lee Fowler, Athletics Director; Benny Benton, Editor or the Bulletin;

1.  Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the second meeting of the fifty-first session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.

2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Daley welcomed Senators and Guests.

Chair Daley announced that the Pig Picking is being held at the Chancellor’s Residence. Senator pictures will be taken September 21 at 2:30 p.m.. Last semester there were a number of complaints about the email system and how it adversely affected research productivity. As a result the University Technology Committee will meet tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the Faculty Senate conference room in which the meeting will deal with this topic. 

3.   Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 1, August 24, 2004
The minutes were approved as corrected. 

4. Remarks from Provost Oblinger
“Good afternoon everyone.  At the most recent Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting I was reminded that there was a matter of concern that was brought to the attention of the Senate.  Last March I received a letter from Senator McRae on behalf of his committee dealing with an issue that was brought to the floor of the Senate relative to counter offers and retention efforts on the part of faculty and whether or not there was an organized way in which we dealt with those offers.  In the later part of April Senior Vice Provost Katie Perry and I met with that committee and gave them an update of where we stood.  The committee at that time requested that I would share this with the entire Senate.  I am now going to give you five power points that summarize our investigation into the issue and the report we gave to the committee.

What percentage of the most recent campus initiated tuition increase went toward faculty salaries and how was it distributed?

Please remember that the time line on this was April and we used these years of data because last year there was no campus initiated tuition increase.  What I did was add what had sorted out for this particular fiscal year in terms of how we are using campus initiated tuition increase money as it relates to raises.  I would like you to look carefully at this listing of categories.  In fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003 there were different criteria adopted for the utilization of these funds.  One thing in common would be that in two of those three years there were centralized promotional increases awarded to faculty.  Those that were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure received a 5% salary increase on their base and those that were promoted to Professor received a 7% increase on their base.  Those two years that came out of the central promotional increase were funded by a Campus Initiated Tuition Increase (CITI) in one year and came from another source in the year that we had absolutely no CITI because the deans were indicating to the Provost that that was a very important dimension.  

In fact, it is a remedy for market compression and some other issues that have plagued this and many other institutions when there is a mandatory adjustment to base salaries.  There were also adjustments made.  One year a specific amount was earmarked for merit, ethnic and gender salary equity adjustments out of CITI.  There were also adjustments made for equity and retention dimensions assuming merit.  In the first year particularly, you will notice some blanks and then a very special footnote that relates to this particular year in terms of how that money was used and what was done for academic responsibilities that directly impacted students and student learning.  You will also see that in two years there were retention, equity, and market issues associated with adjustments that were made.  The grand totals that you will see are the three years worth of dollars that were put into salary dollars for each of those years based on the categories outlined.   The CITI money does not come with fringe benefits so that is a deduction that comes off of the amount that is there as well.  This shows how that money was dispersed over those years.

What was the Legislature’s role in any salary increases in those years? 

On this slide you will see the $500 one-time bonus.  You will see that last year was the $550 one-time bonus.  You will see the second year of CITI was an across the board push a button at $625, which was a continuing adjustment, not a one time bonus and then there was absolutely nothing made available from the Legislature in 2002-2003 for salary adjustments.  This current year that we have promotional increases of $1.2M as it relates to those individuals who have direct academic responsibilities for students and student learning.  This went to both faculty and non-faculty EPA.  The Legislature saw fit to provide what amounts to a 2.5% increase in dollars for salary and actually it was $1,000 or 2.5%, whichever was more.  For the vast majority of faculty, that put them in the 2.5% category. Approximately $5.8M was used for adjustment purposes and this breaks down as 4.6M plus 1.2M for a total of $5.8M

Over the preceding two years how many known outside offers did faculty members receive?  How many were counter offered and how many members in each category actually left the university? 

We went back as far as we had reasonable records and I assure you that we are now mining much more reasonable and comprehensive records because this issue of faculty retention is of considerable concern. It is a very serious concern of the Academic Affairs and Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees.  Please note that we went back to July 2001 and since that time there were 102 tenure track faculty who left the university.  We verified outside offers in seventy-one of those cases and the way this decision tree works would be at the unit level first.  The department would be concerned about retention obviously, then the dean would be involved and then the Provost’s Office would be involved in counter offers particularly if the college were asking for dollars for counter offers.  So I don’t participate in all of those.  We knew of seventy-one cases that were counter offered.  Forty-nine of those were successfully counter offered and even though counter offers were made we lost twenty-two.  Then there are some we did not even know about that would have resulted in that difference of thirty-one additional people who left the university. 

Over the preceding two years, how many retention and merit raises were made?

The only raises that fell into retention/merit category, merit as you would ordinarily think about it, were forty-nine out of seventy-two. 

In each of the above two instances what were the ranges and average percentages of the offered increases?

Since July 2001 the range of successful counter offers was as few as $2375 and as many as $35K.  The average percentage of all of those was 15.6%.  We are following up with the unsuccessful counter offers that we lost from our faculty and trying to find out as much as we can about the offer that attracted them away.  Of those who left in spite of the counter offer we have detailed information on eleven of the twenty-two and the ranges offered to those individuals were $1375 – $21,000.  The average percentage of those counter offers was 15.08% of their existing salaries. 

Does the university have enforced criteria guidelines of policy for counter offers and merit/retention raises?

Yes we do.  I would call your attention to a website http://www.ncsu.edu/provost/admin_resources/budget_sops.html where you would go to clearly see our budget procedures.  They are not new to this particular Provost but they are in a considerably up to date form compared to the historic document that went up in 1999 about counter offers.  That was pretty much focused on counter offers and that you could approach the Provost’s Office for up to 50% of that counter offer.  That offer still holds but in reality there are many other budget procedures and principles listed on that website. 

What is the detailed plan for distribution of the projected campus initiated tuition increase. 

Please remember that this was being asked in March of last year before any final decisions had been made.  In fact the General Assembly had approved the campus initiated tuition increase.  This is a direct report from the tuition advisory task force that reported to the Chancellor and made these recommendations.  I have taken the recommendations that we had in percent and translated them into dollar amounts across these categories.  Note that the recommendation of the tuition task force was three years at $300 instate/out of state graduate student.  What was recommended for use of the money was need based financial aid for undergraduate students/graduate students and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students consistent with the hold harmless philosophy, graduate student support plan at 12% and the remainder divided between faculty and staff salaries in the area of academic excellence.

Actual Distribution

Those of you that follow the General Assembly’s deliberations particularly in the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours realize that from a financial aid perspective they reached into this fund, notice the escheat fund which is an annual fund, and drew from it some $21M to apply to financial aid across the system.  When we learned that our students would be eligible for this amount we moved what was released by our acquisition of escheat funding and put it into the faculty and staff salary line of what was recommended.”

Senator Middleton asked for clarification on the Legislative increase.

Provost Oblinger stated that there were a lot of people on campus where $1,000 would have been in excess of 2.5%.  “We received 2.5% of which we need to give one thousand dollars more or less across the board and then anything else that the deans and department heads felt they could do within the guidelines of the budget.  This year I would point out to you that we had not only the Legislative increase and the campus initiated tuition increase dollars available but we were allowed to use other sources of salary to help build the salary base that was awarded. “

Senator Bruck stated, “Regarding the CITI under your line academic excellence, that was distributed among research, extension and teaching faculty.”

Provost Oblinger stated that that was distributed to individuals who would be actively engaged in enhancing the student learning experience, both faculty and non-faculty, EPA.  “There are some people who I know work in the Counseling Center that have shared in that.  There are individuals who are not faculty but they might be the student undergraduate coordinator of any unit, academic services people or EPA classified.

 I would further state that it is very clear to us that the Board of Governors and the Office of the President will want very extraordinary accountability for these dollars as do the students, and it is on that basis that we have candid conversations with the deans and we will be tracking those dollars in terms of where they show up.  The memo that I have seen from the Office of the President indicates that in November and December we will be asked to provide a full accounting of how we expended CITI money as well as enrollment increase money in three particular areas:  Numbers of sections available; number of seats available; hopefully an increase in both of those categories that can be tracked directly to money derived from CITI and to a limited extent enrollment increase money.

They also expect fewer part time faculty and more full time faculty and we are going to be very consistent with those things as well as some others that tie these particular dollars to quality, whether it is four sections of first year inquiry, small intimate class settings for incoming freshmen or whether it is an additional line put in the career services office which hasn’t received any increase in personnel over the past ten years.  These are things that are going to be very obviously targeted for the student and to providing an enhancement to their student experience. “

Chair-Elect Allen wanted to know if the amount that is awarded to the graduate students is tied to tuition increase.

Provost Oblinger responded, that it is consistent with holding that particular line item in the budget to the growth that would be consistent with the graduate growth.

5. Remarks from Charles Leffler, Vice Chancellor of Finance & Business
“I have been on the job now thirty days and I have really appreciated all the advice and counsel I have been getting and I hope that will continue.  I have been at NC State for twenty years in various capacities.  Within Finance and Business I don’t see the organization changing tomorrow because I think we are need to be careful and look at all aspects carefully before instituting change.

On August 31 Barbara Carroll joined us as the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. I am pleased to have her on board and if you have not had a chance to interact with her I hope that she will get that chance.  My old position in Facilities is now under way to being filled.  We have a Search Committee created for that purpose and Kathy Hart, Treasurer is chairing that Search Committee.  In terms of other changes within Finance and Business we are going to take those as needs dictate. 

I have often been asked in the first few weeks, what is my vision for Finance and Business.  I have to say that it is still taking shape and it is going to continue to take shape for some time because I have not heard as much as I need to hear from the campus about the things that are most important.  While I have a good sense of many of those, there are a lot of things I still need to get a clear handle on and that will begin to shape our vision and obviously the whole organization has to be part of that activity.  We are going to work very hard to be the partners in research, extension and teaching and that is what I think Finance and Business is here to do.  We don’t award one single degree for the Office of Finance and Business.  That happens in the colleges and so that is where the action is and that is where what we do has got to help you to do what you do in all of those areas.

The work of Finance and Business has to be as transparent as we can make it.  We all have to know what we are doing and why we are doing it.  If you don’t, you deserve an answer to your question and you should ask us “Why are you doing it that way?”  We might have a good reason but if we have not told you that reason all you can be left to do is speculate on what our motives might be.  We want to try not to let that happen and I am going to pledge to you that I will do my best to make that not happen.  I also want to pledge to you that I want to work very closely with the Provost.  I think that the work between the Finance and Business areas and the Office of the Provost has to be arm in arm for us to be effective.  We cannot be trying to circumvent each other or keep secrets from each other.  It will not work that way.  He and I have made a pledge that we are not going to let it work that way. 

Among the issues and opportunities that I see is the Bond Program.  There continues to be an enormous amount of things happening.  We have to stay on top of that because there are some very specific expectations of what this university will do in terms of conforming with the higher education bond requirements and we intend to make sure that we are good to that because if we are not, our chances of getting additional allocations of money under this mechanism are certainly much slimmer.  We cannot let that happen because our needs are so great.  The list of projects in the Bond Program ($468M) only scratched the service of our needs.  We have to keep plugging away at this in any incremental way that we can.   Other important things that are going to be happening are an upgrade of the financial systems on the campus, and that is upgrading the PeopleSoft Financials to the next level.  The current releases on that will apply a lot of new web based technologies that will allow the people that do accounting for you much more access to necessary information.  That will happen in February 2005, which is not too far down the road.  Likewise we have updated the HR system and the next iteration of that will likely occur one year from now but we are in the process of planning that and beginning implementation.  

Also very importantly, we are looking ahead to the next round of capital money.  How do we continue to get more capital resources for the campus? That is to continue to upgrade our buildings, to add the new space that we need and to continue to build out what is called our tenure capital plan?

Vice Chancellor Leffler distributed a handout (Bond Phase III Project List) and stated that it is the result of a planning process that the deans and many of the folks within each of the colleges were very involved in since January of this year as the university was responding to a request from the Office of the President.  To give you just a little background, in 1999 a capital plan that was done by a consultant for the university system was rolled out in which we had a ten-year report component and from that we extracted the projects that became what we called Bond I.  These constitute those which are under construction right now.   There was a host of projects left on that list unfunded, more unfunded in fact than were funded.  We were asked to update that list and the parameter we were given was to take all the projects that were unfunded and whatever that dollar amount is you can grow that by the proposed annual inflation increase and your new list had to be within that dollar amount.  The new dollar amount for us of unfunded projects from that list was a little over $800M.  What you see on page 1 is the projects that made that $800M list.  These are prioritized projects that show how they would allocate out in terms of space.  What we tried to do in this list was to blend both the infrastructure needs and the programmatic needs into our priorities and that is something that we were not able to do previously.  In the earlier process the way it was rolled out mostly reflected infrastructure needs.  What we have seen in many of our projects in our current bond program is the dollars are simply not there to do everything we would like to do programmatically.  We have attempted to address that as we move forward.  What that has meant is that there are a lot of projects that fell off the list because we had to draw the line at $800M.  What did we do with all those that were not on the list?  On the backside of page 1 you will see something we call Bond Phase III, which is something that might be in the next millennium.  This is a list of everything that was out there being talked about as a need but simply was not within the $800M cut off. 

As we looked at that Bond II list we asked, “What are the things at the top of that list that we need to be making the pitch for to begin looking at ways that they can get on the Legislative agenda for funding?  The top ten projects on that list total a little more than $280M.  One of the things that we did as we looked at the priorities on the Bond II list was to sample it this way to make sure that the results would indeed spread the square footage or spread the need in some of the places that needed it most.  Ten is where we drew the line on what we call the 05-07 requests because this is what we might push for in the next biennium. 

Let me run down a couple of other things that are on my list of issues and that is we are going to keep paying attention to campus safety and focusing on that with our police and the campus groups.  We are going to be pushing on Centennial Campus development, which continues to be a priority as we begin to occupy it for the College of Engineering and bring other partner buildings up.  We will be updating the physical master plan of the campus starting next year.  Another issue that I will be working with and the Provost particularly will be working with is the Budget Advisory Committee.  I would say that is a new opportunity that was not afforded to my predecessor so I am going to get a great opportunity to work with faculty and others on the campus as we make a lot of decisions about budgeting and hopefully help people get more familiar with that.”

Chair Daley wanted to know how big was Bond I.

Leffler responded $468M. 

Senator Bernhard wanted to know what could be done better to give the faculty a sense that their concerns are being heard.

Vice Chancellor Leffler stated, “as we revamp Bond II from its old life in the 10 year plan, we try to apply the lessons we have learned in Bond I, and that is that the short comings of the funding calculations in Bond I needed to be dealt with. We did that by more specifically looking at infrastructure separately from programmatic needs and then looking at those combined numbers as we develop budgets for the new projects going forward.  We think that we can better identify a working budget.  I think in Bond I one of the lessons we are applying is the fact that I believe that when we looked at some of those initial budgets we really hoped that we could stretch them further than in actuality we have been able to. We thought the market was going to allow us to do that and developed a wish list that had a lot of people believing that it was possible.  We did not say up front that these are not all going to be achieved.   I think we learned that lesson in the first couple of projects and tried to apply it in the later projects.  Of course the markets continue to go up in terms of pricing and so it is making that much more challenging.  In spite of everything that we have cut out of a project to get us within our budget we find ourselves still battling the budget.  I think the combination of applying our old lessons to what we are doing now plus going forward in Bond II will help us a great deal in that.”

Senator Middleton asked Vice Chancellor Leffler to comment on new construction that is taking place in CHASS.

Vice Chancellor Leffler stated that there are a couple of projects, which will benefit Humanities and Social Sciences.  Of course Withers Hall, which was vacated by Physical and Mathematical Sciences is going to be renovated and that is going to be occupied by CHASS and then there will be a renovation of the 1911 Building.  There are no new buildings.  The effect of the new construction, that is the new laboratory building for Chemistry and the Engineering Buildings have allowed the vacating of other spaces which have had ripple effect so that there will be new space for CHASS, but no new buildings in Bond I.

Senator Middleton asked that in terms of prioritizing new construction, why isn’t CHASS given a more prominent role in what is happening on the schedules?

Vice Chancellor Leffler directed Senator Middleton to the list on the back of the handout.   The building that is referred to as number 4 called the academic building is new space for CHASS and also for the College of Design.  It is a collaborative building, so there is some priority for Humanities in as we move forward in the 2005-07 lists.

Senator Johnson stated that he would like to reiterate the need to involve faculty in departments in this type of planning.  “I come from the Department of Chemistry in PAMS and the Broughton Hall renovation is a classic issue where we in chemistry have a task force that has discussed long-range plans and visions for facilities.  That information did go to our dean and then apparently into some ether.  It was never even on the table, never part of the discussion.  There was no interchange back and forth and Broughton Hall comes back without anyone seeming to even listen to what the needs of the research building are going to be.  I would like to reiterate that we must to have communication between the facilities people and the departments that are going to be involved. I would look at for example a dollar value of $23M knowing what it cost to build buildings and I find it intriguing that a major research laboratory building is rated in less dollars than for example this academic building which does not require goods, safety, etc. So there are just a number of these issues that to a faculty member brings up a lot of questions.  Some of these dollar values in Bond II look like we are going to run into the same problems as Bond I did where everything else stays the way it was thirty years ago and we are doing renovations but we are not renovating for the future, we are renovating barely to get us up to standards.  I just want to reiterate that concern that faculty be involved because faculty know what needs to be done in their particular areas. “

Vice Chancellor Leffler responded that the Broughton amount is a renovation number and the other is a new building so there is a higher cost to build a building from scratch than to renovate an existing building.

Senator Johnson questioned whether those statistics actual hold out when you go in to actually do what needs to be done in retrofitting some older buildings.

Vice Chancellor Leffler stated that, “it varies building by building and that is why it was done on a building-by-building review basis.  The exact things that go into a building drive that but in terms of what we think is needed now and what we think when this building is funded will quite often be two different things.  You may find you proposed space for one type of research and when that building becomes a reality seven or eight years down the road that type of research is long gone and something else is in place but that is the challenge of every building we have ever built because of the change in technology we have here.  Within each college we do have to count on the leadership in the college to bring those interests and those priorities of the college.  We do take that information from the deans.  In the case of PAMS the Dean and others in the college had certainly carried forward a variety of different options in terms of things they believe or faculty believe could be ways of carrying this out.  There is no question that a plan that is specifically good for one college might not be the best plan for another college and we try to balance that when you look over the overall plan to determine what the best situation is in terms of the use of the building.  When it came down to what the best use of Broughton Hall was, when given the option that might be the nearest term opportunity for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in the next ten years to get new additional space the dean said I will take it rather than wait twelve years when I’m gone and then maybe get some space for the college.  So those are the realities that quite often they are faced with.  It doesn’t mean that we abandoned what the faculty think ought to be done with that space or how it has to be converted to be useful.  It has to be useful space.”

 Senator Hanley-Bowdoin wants to know what the plans are to deal with the buildings that were under funded in Bond I, “ where you come back to a research building with four year old benches, no new paint, no new sinks in the labs and you ask research faculty who bring in a fair amount of overhead to run a state of the art research program in facilities that were limited both when they left and when they come back to the newly renovated building. In fact they are probably in worse condition than when they left because there was no money to repair any damage that happened during the renovation.  So what are the plans? “

Vice Chancellor Leffler stated that, “ those are definite challenges and the way that we can fund things that are left unfunded have to occur through R& R.  The reality is the money is going to come from the state unless it is going to come directly from the grant program and when we have $80M worth of general repairs to be done at any one given time on our list and we get on an annual basis, well last three years we have gotten $24M, that list of R & R grows every year.  We have an enormous number of needs unmet here.  For me to stand here and say yes I am going to get that fixed for you next year would be a lie because it is not going to happen.  We are making the most of the dollars we have and trying to make sure that we work on the highest priorities.  Some of those are legislated in terms of code requirements that we have to do.  Some are based on things that we want to do and those tend to be the programmatic things and those are the things that suffered when you are spending limited funds on a very growing list. “

Senator Kellner wanted to know if there is a campus wide effort to furnish larger classrooms and lecture halls.

Vice Chancellor Leffler responded yes. “ There is an effort to look at those issues and we have what is called 110 class rooms which is a federal classification meaning a centrally controlled classroom space and those work through the Registration and Records Office and they are key to a planning group that looks very carefully at classroom utilization and particularly how classrooms will change over the course of this bond program.  A lot of work has been done to look at neighborhood location of classrooms, size of classrooms and technology in classrooms.  There has been a number of things that would change the complexion of our classrooms over the five-year period of when the bond program comes in and out of these buildings.   “

Senator McRae stated that what he hears are action items for Vice Chancellor Leffler to work with the Provost’s Office to set up procedures with the deans and department heads to make sure that the faculty can do their visioning during the planning process

Senator Robarge stated that he is housed in Williams Hall and they are also suffering the reality of what actually is going to get done and what is not going to get done.  “As we look at the realities of what you must deal with in terms of your funding sources, can we look toward the future as we bring new faculty in to remodel buildings where the infrastructure, the bench level has not been accomplished and build a separate category for new faculty funding that would go along with a new position that would help refurbish at least the laboratory. Is there a mechanism perhaps where additional monies can be brought in?”

Provost Oblinger stated that part of the capital campaign strategy deals with construction and construction related items. “ Clearly this is part of the thinking.  You can hire individual faculty.  We bring them into antiquated space, but generally I remember more clearly as a dean than the Provost right now when I say what I am going to say and that is I can remember as part of the start up package very significantly renovated space and that was important for us to be able to hire a particular individual.  I think that is true across the campus regardless of discipline that we are doing some of that right now.  As to whether or not it is a possibility to build into a standard mechanism I would say that it probably is but I am just as interested in having some operating dollars that would maybe come along with a faculty position instead of just the salary and fringe benefits which is often all that we offer.  If you look at the budget history you can see that we have worn our operating budgets extraordinarily thin to where they are almost non-existent.  We have been discussing with the deans, how much money would come along with the line as it returns.  In fact my decision the last year and a half has been that if you lose someone at a salary greater than you are hiring at we look very carefully at that differential and I can not think of a case where that differential did not stay with the unit for this particular purpose.  It is a leveraging of that concept into the facilities dimension.”

6. Issues of Concern
Chair Daley stated that there has been a series of concerns about parking, especially with the specialty permits.  The Resources and Environment Committee is going to be reviewing the concerns.

Chair Daley stated that the Resources and Environment Committee is also busy dealing with the question of accessibility. 

Submitted by Senator Catherine Warren
On Oct. 16, the McKimmon Center here on campus will host a conference entitled “Freedom and the American Campus,” featuring among others, David Horowitz of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. The John William Pope Center for Higher Education is sponsoring the event.

David Horowitz’ most recent mission has been to erase what he perceives as political bias in the classroom. He is author of the Academic Bill of Rights, a sophisticated and carefully worded bill that mandates “the principle of intellectual diversity” at universities nationwide. It is a principle that will undermine faculty academic freedom. The bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, with North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones as co-sponsor. A Senate version is expected some time this month. In May, the American Legislative Exchange Council –which claims almost one-third of state legislators nationwide as members – adopted a sample resolution based on Horowitz’s bill, and pledged to work toward its passage in the legislature of every state. The Georgia State Senate overwhelmingly adopted this bill as a resolution in March. The bill has failed in both Colorado and Washington.  But in Colorado, several university administrators acquiesced to key provisions of the bill to have it withdrawn from the legislature.

Last April in California, faculty mobilized and got the bill stopped in the education committee. In their testimony to that committee, members of the Academic Senate of the California State University system noted that they – and I quote – “believe that academic freedom is the pillar of a university's fundamental mission of discovery and advancement of knowledge to students and the public.” The bill, they noted, “stymies academic freedom and advocates a political litmus test, which invites diversity to be measured by political standards that diverge from academic criteria of scholarly professions.”  They went on to note in their testimony that they believe that the Academic Bill of Rights “could be injected into faculty hiring and tenure decisions, student grade appeals, and curriculum development appeals and threatens the fundamental responsibility of a professional community of scholars who are trained and qualified to make such decisions.”

This is indeed the stand of the American Association of University Professors. Its report on the pernicious implications of this bill doesn’t mince words. “Skepticism of professional knowledge, such as that which underlies the Academic Bill of Rights, is deep and corrosive,” the AAUP wrote in its committee report. “When carefully analyzed…the Academic Bill of Rights undermines the very academic freedom it claims to support. It threatens to impose administrative and legislative oversight on the professional judgment of faculty, to deprive professors of the authority necessary for teaching, and to prohibit academic institutions from making the decisions that are necessary for the advancement of knowledge.”

It behooves the NC State Faculty Senate to strongly support Horowitz’ right to speak about this issue on our campus. It also behooves us to engage in a serious and nuanced conversation amongst ourselves and with others about the implications of the Academic Bill of Rights. The Pope Center is concluding its day-long conference with  a panel discussion entitled “What is to be done?”

I believe there is much to be done here at NC State – I think we need to take a firm stance that makes clear that this faculty has the right to teach, conduct research or other scholarship, and publish free of external constraints other than those denoted by normal scholarly standards. I think we need to reiterate our commitments to freedom of expression, to open inquiry, and to thoughtful debate on contentious issues without fear of political repercussions. Finally, I think we need to articulate clearly to citizens, parents, and students exactly why this bill represents unnecessary and dangerous legislation that will not improve higher education in North Carolina, but truly injure it.

Chair Daley assigned the issue of concern to the Academic Policy Committee.

Submitted by Senator Baynes
Senator Baynes stated that in reading the minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting in the last academic year (2003-04) he discovered that the University is in the process of creating this special rank in terms of Senior Lecturer.  I am a bit concerned that the name of this rank of Senior Lecturer may cause problems and some embarrassments for the University in the future.  The title of Senior Lecturer is recognized internationally to mean that the faculty member has received a tenure at many universities in countries that are part of the British Commonwealth for example, England, Australia, University of West Indies, Africa and so on.  Senior Lecturer is equivalent to the Associate Professor her at NC State University.  A careful reflection of this situation should raise numerous concerns such as implemented.  I trust the university will consider the alternatives in its attempt to create this special rank.

Chair Daley stated that the Senate will look into this concern.

7. Adjournment
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4:40 p.m.

 

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