NOVEMBER 1, 2005
Regular Meeting No. 6 of the 52nd Session
Present: Chair Allen, Secretary Bruck, Provost Nielsen; Senators Banks-Lee, Blair, Blank, Branoff, Brownie, Clark, Culbreth, Fahmy, Fikry, Hanley-Bowdoin, Hooper, Hudson, Kellner, Khosla, Kinsella, Krotee, Lindbo, Martin, Moore, Overton, Schultheis, Scotford, R. Smith, Young
Excused: Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Dawes, Gustke, Johnson, Robarge, Smith, Tetro, Yencho
Absent: Senators Baynes, Fauntleroy, Williams, Wessels
Visitors: Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Sara Lang, Assistant to the Chancellor; PJ Teal, Secretary of the University; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Thomas Conway, Dean, Undergraduate Academic Programs; Benny Benton, Bulletin Editor; James Oblinger, Chancellor
1. Call to Order
Chair Nina Strömgren Allen called the sixth meeting of the fifty-second session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Allen welcomed Senators and Guests.
Secretary Bruck announced that “Compassion in Action” collected more than $80,000 for the relief effort and feels that they should be commended.
3. Remarks from Chair Allen
I am now well into my first year as chair of the faculty and you as faculty senators and this might be a good time for us to think about what we have done and where we are going? I now begin to have an overview, and feel for this University, as I never did before from attending many meetings and events. Do faculty members have these understandings? Do they need them?
As a Senate, we have tended to be reactive rather than proactive ...we get so involved with what is passed down to us that we may neglect to think and plan ahead independently.
One thing that came up last time was the Faculty Senate cannot speak for the faculty. I have thought about that. We do speak for the faculty as we are an elected body. We represent the faculty. I know that as a senator I found it very hard to communicate with the faculty in an efficient manner. CALs is very large ...faculty is very diverse..and hard to reach. What is the best way to engage the faculty and make sure we meet their concerns?
Since Technician and Bulletin coverage is spotty I challenge you to think as senators from each college of better ways to reach your faculty ..do they need more information? In a sense faculty is busy teaching and researching. They disenfranchise themselves from the larger issues ....and then later complain they have no input. Is that because when they did give input (as into compact planning) they were not heard? Or is it because they don' t try? Or are there other reasons? What should we do about this? Can we do something about this?
The Chancellor's Strategic Planning Committee met this morning. I reflected on what the role of the Faculty Senate will be in this process. What role will the faculty have? I think it is an interesting process in this group. There were two faculty members, Cat Warren and myself. The thing to do if you have ideas would be to read the draft and then you can give us input. The essence of what I am trying to say here is what is the right amount of involvement of faculty in university governance and how can we use our time effectively?
4. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, October 18, 2005
The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes as amended.
5. Remarks from Chancellor Oblinger
You have heard me speak previously about the Capital Campaign “Achieve” the campaign for NC State. This billion dollar capital campaign went public on the 23rd of September. I would like to show you a DVD that was used for the first time on September 23. I don’t think that very many people have seen it. I thought it was very important that you as the Faculty Senate see the way the capital campaign is being portrayed now that we are in the three-year public phase. Four hundred and fifty of our most generous donors were present the evening of the twenty-third when this was unveiled for the first time. After the video plays I would like to tell you where we stand on campus initiated tuition increases and fees to give you an overview of what I learned with the Board of Governors week before last. I know the Provost has given some general guidelines and operative procedures that the task force was working. They have now made their report to me both in terms of fees and tuitions.
I know a lot of you are engaged civically beyond the university. If you feel that this DVD would be of use to you in a presentation I offer it to you. Contact my office or the university advancement office. We think it is a very representative piece.
Tuition and Fees
There were sixteen members who deliberated on whether or not we would request a campus initiated tuition increase. The group consisted of five students, several from administration and several faculty involved in this process. The Board of Governors felt very strongly that in fact State and Carolina needed particular attention. This is the first time I have seen differential rates specified. Please also note that the campuses are grouped with caps which really relates to the most funding that you could ask for as it relates to a combined total of tuition and fees which is also a first. Usually they let the Chancellors make the local pitch for each campus for tuition. The task force that was appointed in the Board of Governors decided very early after their initial deliberation that this was a very complex subject, the idea of tuition and fees and what got them there was the special provision that did not past in the legislature but said, “What about giving tuition autonomy to NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” So they are paying particular attention to the plight of research extensive institutions. They will for the next six to nine months be discussing that in much greater depth but they are on a deadline for this particular upcoming year relating to tuition and fees and that is why they used a very comprehensive study from the State of Washington who for years has been running peer institutions’ comparisons and they determined that the rolling three-year average the past several years has been 10.3%.
We are in the process of renegotiating our peer institutions but at the same time this was what was given to us for the first time up front. The Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Governors approved this and it will be to the full board in November. I believe it will be approved.
Here is a comparison of the tuition recommendations. The top came from the group that was co-chaired by Provost Nielsen and Student Body President Will Piavis. Three Hundred twenty five dollars increase across the board, undergraduate, graduate, instate, out of state divided in the prescribed way; 45% need based financial aid; 10% to pump into the graduate students support program, and 45% for educational improvement divided equally between faculty salaries and improved access and enhancement of the educational quality on this campus. There was a minority report and that particular vote was 13 to 3 in favor of the three hundred twenty five dollars.
As it relates to the minority report three students suggested that $275 was a more reasonable amount of a campus initiated tuition increase. This money comes directly back to the campus to spend on the campus.
From the fees that were debated, you have requested fees from those that charge fees, you have a student senate recommendation on those fees and you have what the formal committee chaired by Vice Chancellor Stafford is recommending to the Chancellor. The top three are rescissions on fees that are currently in existence. The Provost felt very strongly that those were fees that had been in place for such a long time and they were infrastructural in nature so his office should be paying for that instead of through a fee mechanism. The two that were approved as requested and submitted were student health and transit operations. There were two fees proposed from athletics, one an operations fee the other a debt service fee. If the recommendation to me coupled with the tuition recommendation was the $325 that would be calculated to about $415, which is well under the $451 cap. We believe that Carolina will do something similar. We were told not to go above it. I think prudent indicates that we would approach it but not be bumping up against it in such an obvious way and show some deliberate reservation for going for the maximum.
We reviewed what was being discussed with University Council. We had a campus tuition meeting last week and this is the discussion in the Faculty Senate today so that you will know where we are and then we will on November 16 have a discussion with the Chancellor Student Liaison Group. Our trustees will meet November 17 through 18 and prescribed is that the Student and Campus Affairs Committee review what the Chancellor recommends and make a recommendation to the full Board. We are in the process of scheduling an open session on November 17 for anyone who wants to come to listen to the report from the Provost and Student Body President, Will Piavis as it relates to tuition and a discussion on fees from Vice Chancellor Stafford.
Immediate Past Chair Daley stated, “We have pressing financial needs so why not ask for the maximum amount? Asking for anything less says that we are able to get by with less.”
Chancellor Oblinger: It doesn’t say that we can get by with less. They are well convinced that tuition will not solve the challenge that research extensive institutions face. They are very serious about the funding formula.
Provost Nielsen stated that two years ago when we were asked to have a committee like this and put together a three-year plan for tuition the Board of Trustees at that time recommended a three hundred dollar increase in three years.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that the board has every intention of providing some predictability to tuition so he doesn’t think there will be another one year stop gap approach to how much institutions will be allowed to ask for.
Secretary Bruck: What is the status of the utilization of financial aid on this campus? Are we short on funds?
Chancellor Oblinger stated that he thinks there is very definitive and demonstrated need for additional financial aid or need based decisions. In reality 40 of that 45% figure is specifically earmarked from CITI to cover and hold needy students harmless. There is another 5% that the Provost has a group working on that is called the “Pack Promise” where you can guarantee that the lowest of needy students is not going to have to be turned away at NC State and decline to come here because they can’t make ends meet. There will be a package made available to them that will be comparable to what Chapel Hill has talked about. “Our overall need of our students based on students in general as well as students defined in paper work as needy students, that figure is slightly declining. We have made real headway as a direct result of our campus initiated tuition increases over time.”
Provost Nielsen stated that we were meeting about 82% of the financial need of students with family incomes that are less than or equal to 150% of the poverty level in 1998-99. In 2004-05 because of CITI money that we are putting into this we are now up to meeting 88% of that financial need. “The goal is for us to get to 100% of that financial need and this extra 5% is one step in helping us get there.”
Secretary Bruck wants to know if these are grants or loans.
Provost Nielsen stated that the packages that they are putting together are a combination of grant money, loan money, and work study money. The Carolina Covenant reports that students will have no loan obligations once they leave. “We have set a target as we are looking at this that a loan amount would be not more than $8,000 over a four-year term ($2,000 per year) per student. The truth is we don’t know why people are borrowing money. If you look at the middle and high-income groups they are borrowing more money than their financial need.”
Chancellor Oblinger stated that as a result of the Triangle Business Survey that looked at the production of the top twenty five organizations in North Carolina in terms of patent production in 2004, NC State ranked third behind IBM and Ericsson and ahead of Cisco in fourth place. UNC Chapel Hill was eighth and Duke was ninth. “We know that our faculty is responsible for that and we appreciate it.”
Secondly I want to thank you for your active participation at our open house in October. There was a lot of faculty and students at what had to be one of our record open houses.
The William and Ida Friday Institute for Education will be dedicated. A ribbon will be cut next Wednesday, November 9 at 4 p.m. It will be immediately adjacent to the Centennial Middle School.
The Deans have been meeting more than a year discussing what we need to have as it relates to a strategic plan since we have really not had one on the books since 1995. I think it is very important that we have some strategic direction that is known by all. The deans, executive officers, and very few faculty participated in the first ever-combined meeting to look at the strategic plan. It is our intention to meet again on November 9 with that same group and at that point this will be widely circulated for your uptake, your criticism, your comments and your feedback.
We will be hosting President-Elect Bowles on November 16 for a day. He will be visiting with students, he will visit with the Executive Officers, and he will visit one on one with the Chancellor. We are looking forward to hosting him that evening. He will attend a reception at the residence with the Board of Trustees before he departs campus. Thank you.
Senator: In connections with President Bowles, John Gilligan announced the plans for extending the GSSP university-wide at the last meeting. He also expressed that the Legislature would never grant tuition remission. To that issue with someone like President Bowles coming on board who enjoys the greatest bipartisan support, is it a dead issue or something that is not going to be asked that he approach the legislature for or will we try again?
Chancellor Oblinger: I mentioned to you that that six to nine month period that the special task force that Brad Wilson, Chair of the Board of Governors has appointed we will put before them a series of alternatives that could help the entire university system. Among those items are increased tuition remission dollars, which would help everyone in the system. I would venture to say that based on our record and Carolina’s record we might in fact be eligible for the line share of any increases in tuition remission. We have also talked about an innovation fund or an economic development enticement that would be competed for across the system but again it would be the research extensive that would probably have somewhat of an edge there. We have talked about the way our faculty are grouping together and putting in major grants often equipment associated with that very sophisticated, very expensive equipment. We thought about matching funds that would enhance our activities and so we have a variety of things that will be proposed and I believe Mr. Bowles will accept all of them as legitimate proposals.
6. Issues of Concern
Senator Fikry is concerned about how the past senators vote. “Is it according to their conscience or according to their constituency? Should they go back to the constituency to check or are we authorized by them to vote our own feelings?”
Chair Allen stated that she thinks the senators were elected for who they are and noted that she thinks for herself.
Secretary Bruck stated that his response would be, “You are elected as a representative individual and has the right to your opinion and on the other hand I think all of us do have the responsibility to try to do our best to find out the feeling of our colleagues.”
Senator Fikry: When we say the faculty feels this way or that way, can we say that?
Senator Clark stated that one of the things to keep in mind is our operation procedure. There is nothing that really comes up at that instance and it is done. The least controversial thing we will ever do is what we just did with this regulation. Even that took two readings.
7. Old Business
REG05.50.2 Review of College Deans
Senator Aaron Clark stated that feedback that he received from the administration and the faculty indicates that they strongly encourage that it starts within the first two weeks of the fall semester and ends by May 15 because there are so many faculty that are nine month employees. He noted that it is a five-year period and every five years they know that it is coming and should make arrangements where it can be covered and completed within that time period.
Provost Nielsen stated that he and Senior Vice Provost Perry have reviewed those revisions and although they are different than what has been seen before in the spirit of “YES” all of them have been accepted. “We have endorsed those and will be sending it back to the deans for their review and I suppose that they will not have any problems with it. I would say the biggest thing from our perspective would be the idea that the faculty/staff questionnaire should be administered after the dean makes the public presentation and that is the biggest diversions from what we have been doing now. We have been headed as optional when it was done according to the college committee. I actually think it is probably a good move to do it this way because that way people have the benefit of the deans’ report in thinking about how they should judge the dean. Thank you for your suggestions.”
Senator Kellner stated that the reason for this suggestion that these predictable events begin in the fall and finish in a timely manner is so that whether by accident or delay or unforeseen circumstances faculty not just be scheduled out of the results of reviews, searches, all kinds of actions in which faculty input is appropriate and in which the final outcome happens to occur shortly after the faculty has disbursed.
Senator Clark moved that the Faculty Senate approve the document as written.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Blank, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee stated that several meetings ago an issue of concern was raised about some thefts that occurred in one of the departments. He sent an email on behalf of the committee to Public Safety to see if there was a tracking of these thefts or if there had been any pattern to these thefts. He was told that there did not appear to be any particular patterns, that they were investigating some incidents on campus but there had not been any wide spread pattern of thefts. After communicating with Public Safety about the issue, the committee did not feel that it was necessary to invite Public Safety to discuss the matter further.
Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin, Vice Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee reported that the committee reviewed the document describing sexual harassment with employees from both Equal Opportunity and Legal Affairs. She stated that a lot of suggestions were made and they are going to work on the language and send the committee a revised document.
Senator Brownie reported that the athletic director invited someone in to explain what NC State is doing about its position on a drug policy. He made available a document, which has to do with drug education.
Senator Brownie stated that he was surprised that NC State was the only member of the system campuses to actually get involved with drug testing.
Lee Fowler, Athletic Director reported that UNC-CH came out with a zero tolerance for steroids. They don’t actually test for steroids unless they think someone looks like they are on them. NC State is the only university in the sixteen campuses that test for all drugs including steroids. “We have three strikes and you are out. We have not had a lot of trouble with the steroids but we do test every one of the randomly selected kids. Out of 550 kids we test approximately 150 per year. Carolina doesn’t test for steroids unless they think someone is using them and then they have a zero tolerance.”
Senator Brownie suggested that the senators take this information back to their colleges and explain to colleagues that NC State does have a drug policy in place.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin reported that Dr. Gilligan has constituted a faculty committee to look at the tuition remission policy as part of the graduate students support plan. She feels that it is now up to the faculty to be a constructive part of the process.
Chair Allen adjourned the meeting at 4:12 p.m.