FACULTY SENATE MEETING
August 26, 2008
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner, Chair Elect Overton, Parliamentarian Corbin, Provost Nielsen; Ambaras, Anson, Auerbach, Bernhard, Boone, Carver, Domingue, Edmisten, Fahmy, Fleisher, Franke, Genereux, Havner, Headen, Hemenway, Honeycutt, Hudson, Khater, Kocurek, Kotek, Levy, Lindbo, Lindsay, Muddiman, Murty, Poindexter, Poling, Roberts, Ting, Williams
Excused: Senator Hergeth
Absent: Senators Ristaino, Scotford
Visitors: Jim Oblinger, Chancellor; PJ Teal, Secretary of the University; Suzanne Weiner, Library Administration; Dennis Daley, Past Chair of the Faculty; Kelli Rogers, Student Senate President Pro-Tempore; Barbara Carroll, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP, Faculty & Staff Diversity; Fowler, Athletics Director; Marc Okner, Director, Employee Relations; Dan O’Brien, HR – Employee Relations; John Ambrose, Interim, Dean DUAP; Mardecia Bell, Director, Security and Compliance, Betsy Brown VP ; Eric Ferreri, News and Observer; Kelli Rogers, Student Senate President Pro Tempore
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the first meeting of the fifty-fifth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
Chair Martin welcomed Senators and Guests.
Remarks from the Chair
In keeping with my chemistry analogies, I often think of faculty a little bit like atoms. It is pretty hard to change one atom into another kind of atom. You can change one type of atom into another by the process of fission, but that comes with an intense release of energy, and radioactivity. In some cases you can force a couple of atoms together through the process of fusion to get a new atom. That too involves the release of a lot of energy, rarely in a controlled fashion. In fact fusion is so difficult to achieve and control that power generation through fusion does not effectively exist, with fusion likely to permanently be an energy source of the future. So what do we as chemists do with atoms? We try to find environments where they can assemble, form bonds and thus create molecules and materials. (Using tennis balls to represent atoms…) you see if I put atoms in the right environment I don’t have to work very hard and I have got one of the primary molecular shapes, the tetrahedron (the most efficient way to pack four spheres). What I have done is I have taken our faculty, put them together in an appropriate environment and they self assemble into a shape that frankly, being the most common geometry for bonding in carbon based molecules, is important for determining life. If I take a couple more atoms (now packing six tennis balls) I can get the octahedron instead of the tetrahedron. Again, I am not working hard and I have a perfect octahedron. The octahedron is one of the most common geometries found in inorganic mineral systems. I took my atoms and put them in the environment where they can assemble and form a molecule. With more spheres (atoms) I soon realize that the assembly of fourteen such spheres results in turning a set of spheres into a cube. By analogy, isn’t that what a university needs to do with faculty? When we are together in the university, we are not a bunch of isolated spheres or atoms. We assemble into different shapes (molecules) that have different properties and the molecules and materials with different properties carry out different functions. Most of what I do as chemist is think about structure and function, and similar ideas translate to faculty governance. We are independent faculty, unlikely to be turned into another element by fission or fusion. But we do need to find ways to assemble. We need to do faculty governance to create the environment where we can come together and assemble and then optimize our structure/function, structure/property relationships.
Monday September 8, former Senator Bill Bradley will be here for the Millennium Seminar. The seminar will take place at 6 p.m. and he will deliver a foreign policy address focusing on the reemergence of Russia and it’s force in international affairs.
The General Faculty Meeting will be Wednesday, October 15 at 3 p.m.
Budget 101 Plus (University Budget Forum), Wednesday, October 22 at 2 p.m. and another session on Thursday, October 23 at 10:30 a.m.
A Senate representative is needed to serve as the Faculty Senate liaison on the Athletics Council.
Senator Edwin Lindsay was nominated and was elected by acclamation.
There are some college elections that need to be completed. Also a member from the College of Education’s delegation has resigned.
Approximately one dozen slots are open on the grievance and hearings panels. We will contact each delegation to let you know how many vacancies there are.
The student body president had asked that we get a faculty member or two to participate regarding textbook cost. Anyone interested may contact the Chair of the Faculty.
Kelli Rogers, Student Senate President Pro Tempore stated that Student Government is working on a campaign to get students registered to vote. They would like to solicit faculty support to get involved.
Professor Harvard Ayers, Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University announced that their research found that 46% of those registered during the last week or two of the registration period voted, which is more than five times as much as the university average. He has organized a team of 26 faculty and students at ASU to attend the 240 largest classes at the university to register students.
Professor Ayers urged the faculty to help the students who have taken an initiative on this issue to set up such a program here.
2. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 16, April 22, 2008
A motion passed to approve the minutes as corrected.
3. Remarks from Chancellor Oblinger
Chancellor Oblinger discussed the budget in terms of what happened for NC State in the last legislative session.
The total enrollment growth funding that came to the university of North Carolina System is $34.6M of which approximately $24.0M will come to NC State University because of its consistent growth over time.
Budget Reductions - Reduction at the System Level $16.0M
$2.92M will come from NC State
$2.3M out of the budget academic code (16030)
Agriculture Research Budget (16031) reduced by $360,000
Cooperative Extension, 16032 was reduced by $273,000
There was a fairly large gain due to enrollment and a reduction that is better than we had expected.
In that expansion budget there was also approximately $15M coming to the system for campus safety.
$6.0M in recurring funding
$9.0M in non-recurring.
$3.0M Faculty and Recruiting recurring funds for the President to dispense
$4.6M added to the distinguish professors endowment fund.
$1.0M Research Competitiveness Fund approved.
$1.5M put into graduate student recruitment and retention.
$6.0M was put in the Kannapolis project.
Another expansion budget item was $2.0M of recurring funding for the College of Engineering.
A little more than one million dollars went into the bio energy effort that several colleges participate in.
The Advance Transportation Energy Center that the governor announced at the Institute for Emerging Issues Forum the governor was provided with $250,000 to go with the $250,000 each from Duke Energy and Progress Energy. Those are the operational budget items.
$109M Centennial Campus Library (entire funding package requested)
$14.4M allocation for planning (complete the engineering complex and to plan the backfill for three buildings that will have been vacated by engineering as they make that move)
$4.0M 4H Camp Improvements all over the state
$.5M renovation for the structure on DH Hill Library
Chancellor Oblinger reported that there are currently 32,250 students at NC State and of them 4700 freshmen and that would give us a total undergraduate population of 22, 600, graduate student population of 7100 and roughly 2500 to 2600 non degree seeking students.
The average SAT is 1176 up a bit from last year; cumulative GPA 4.17 up slightly from last year and 42% of these young people are in the top ten of their graduating classes.
Chancellor Oblinger noted that Student Body President, Jay Dawkins is a refreshing leader. He has already capably represented the students at the Board of Trustees meetings this year. He is our thirteenth trustee on the Board.
Greg Doucette, President of the Student Senate is the Association of Student Government President, which is the association of all the student governments across the entire system and importantly in that role he becomes a member of the Board of Governors. He will also represent us well.
NC State was named one of the outstanding green colleges in the Princeton Reviews. Green ratings are based on the institutional commitment to environmental sustainability and the work that is done by faculty in preparing students for responsible leadership roles, as they would relate to the environment and sustainability. NC State was recognized in scores ranged from 60 to 99 and NC State’s score was ninety.
NC State is up from 85 to 83 in the US News and World Report rankings and up from thirty-eight to thirty seven as it relates to overall and public colleges and universities respectively. We are up from the thirties in engineering to twenty-eight and we are among the top twenty-three in the great schools great prices list in that particular publication.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that the Achieve Campaign closes in a very formal fashion on September 19th. He gave a summary of what he referred to as a very successful capital campaign for NC State.
The original goal of roughly $600M, adjusted in its second year to one billion dollars. The campaign will close at 1.37 billion dollars.
Excerpts that will eventually come to NC State out of the campaign include the following.
$499M Faculty Research
$406M Facilities and Equipment Support
$114M Program Development into the Future
872 New Scholars of which 405 are permanently endowed
142 New Graduate Fellowships of which 64 are permanently endowed
68 New Professorships of which 37 are permanently endowed
Chancellor Oblinger commented on a task force he appointed in July as a result of the difference in interpretation of the management flexibility as an institution and how fixed term contracts were awarded.
They have met three or four times already with a final report in draft form. Chancellor Oblinger asked them to review employment related contracts in the following five areas and any other areas that they wanted to address. They were asked to examine the guidelines that would be appropriate to determine compensation ranges for such types of contracts. They were also asked for the appropriate length of term for fixed term contracts. He asked for an efficient yet appropriate university process for review and approval and he solicited any other observations that the task force wanted to make in terms of tightening the process to where it needs to be.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that he and Provost Nielsen met with President Bowles in early July and during that time President Bowles asked them to use the same interpretation that General Administration use and up until that point and time, from 1992 when we received management flexibility from the system from 1992-1998 be determined that every contract was a new contract and that guided our approach to fixed term contracts.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that they were asked to review 1,067 contracts for that six-year period, which they did individually and all of those contracts were 15% or $10,000 more in terms of the contract itself. Those contracts that were represented by people who no longer work here were eliminated and from 1067 they are down to 34 contracts over that period of time.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that several of those contracts were new positions and new roles. Under our guidelines of every contact a new contract, then we would not have submitted those, we are submitting those and seven of those as I recall are in fact, transitions of individuals from SPA contracts to EPA contracts. We submitted those and the balance would be six of the contracts that didn’t fulfill either of those and under General Administration guidelines need to be reviewed. One that I am aware of right now was in fact, retention and the funding for that retention of that faculty member came from General Administration so we assume that that is an approval as well. These contracts will be reviewed by the Board of Governors in September along with twelve contracts that are from the 08-09 period of time that bump up against and exceed the 15% and $10,000 level. I am indebted to the task force for looking at that process in the new light that has presented itself. I think we discovered some things that we could do much better and I look forward to that final report.
The Grievance Procedure
Chancellor Oblinger stated that he and Chair Martin have had several conversations regarding the adequacy of our grievance process as it relates to faculty. You will soon be receiving the results of a task force that started to meet December of this past year. The Personnel Policy Committee of the Senate will receive that report. I want to assure you that I am most interested in having a grievance process that works and depending on whom you talk to there is a variety of opinions about whether or not our grievance process works. I would assure you that the task force that Provost Nielsen convened in December has worked hard on this. It may not be where it needs to be and I would ask that we have an appropriate discussion in this body in particular relative to the grievance process.
Chancellor Oblinger announced that President Bush had recently appointed him to the Fulbright Scholarship Board. He stated that NC State has an excellent history of Fulbrights whether it’s our students or faculty going overseas or whether it is the visiting scholars and students that we bring to North Carolina State University. The Board is fully engaged with looking at the levels of the Fulbright award. They have dramatically fallen behind some other prestigious awards and I would anticipate there would ultimately be some adjustment to that. The Provost and I have talked about a variety of programs in faculty development and I think Fulbright with the multiplicity of options that they have, it is impressive the array and variety of different approaches to that type of enriched study overseas that we have and our students have. I think with our increasing international connections the opposite of that will be true as well. I will try to keep you as up to date as I am on that Fulbright process.
Question and Answer
Secretary Kellner: You mentioned the interpretation of fixed term contracts. In my experience and the faculty’s experience most of the fixed term contract folk are special faculty and non-tenure track faculty. How will this affect the traditional interpretation of their contracts?
Chancellor Oblinger stated that it has always been for tenure track faculty that 15% and $10,000 went forward to the Board. In the category that you have described the only real difference that we see is the interpretation of management flexibility and that means that anytime we bump against fifteen and ten those will go forward with the same type of justification that we have used in tenure track cases.
Provost Nielsen stated that if there was a non tenure track person that was on a three-year contract and in the second year was getting an increase higher than 15% and $10,000 that would have gone over to General Administration to be reviewed. If you were on a one year teaching appointment and then you came for another teaching appointment, before we didn’t consider those and today we do and so if it’s more than a special faculty member, non tenure track faculty member if they get a salary increase that is above 15% and ten thousand dollars.
Senator Levy: Am I correct in believing that contracts can be for more than three years or can they be for any length?
Chancellor responded they could be up to five years.
Senator Ambaras: Last year UNC Tomorrow was a big part of your agenda and ours. Has there been any progress?
Chancellor responded that they had a conference call for two hours Friday afternoon. We responded to General Administration’s interpretation of what we submitted. The feedback on Friday afternoon was what they thought of our response and each one of the campus entities had such a conference call. They embraced totally what NC State submitted in terms of what its doing, how we think we can improve what we are doing and what new things we would like to do in response to the University of North Carolina Tomorrow and that ranges from guidelines for reappointment promotion and tenure, which they admire in our case and other campuses have a lot of work to do in that regard, academic programs that we have and aspire to have including collaboration with other institutions in and out of the system. Our president is very interested in system collaboration and collaboration with the community college system. I can’t think of a single item that wasn’t well received including our expanding global awareness objectives. Our response was very well received and we got a very good review.
Senator Genereux: How is the capital campaign fund spent?
Chancellor responded that some people have left NC State in their wills; therefore some of the money is eighteen to twenty-eight years away. The figure you heard of $400M plus, that money has already come to us and gone into bricks and mortar. If you take the $468M that we spent thanks to the higher education bond that is not in there, but if you take the roughly $500M that is in there for non appropriated construction, that is close to one billion dollars worth of construction on this campus soon to be completed with the math and stat building dedication, all in a period of seven years.
The endowed professorships that I mentioned, the endowments that have come to us have built our endowment from about $280M to $550M. We got in the capital campaign fundraising business very late, the first one in the mid 80’s called the Century 2 Campaign, followed up by the Campaign for NC State students where we set a goal for $40M and closed that campaign with $120M that we set aside for exclusively scholarships and fellowships, and hot on the heels of the campaign for NC State students we launched the Achieve Capital Campaign. Only fifty-three institutions around the world have ever raised a billion dollars and we have used the county procedures that the association that advancement types and development officers belong to say this is the way you count donations.
Everyone met their goal whether it was the colleges, student affairs or the libraries; they all exceeded their goal, which should make us proud and humble at the same time. The fact that we don’t have a medical school makes us real special in that group of fifty-three.
4. Consideration/Approval of REG05.20.4 Post Tenure Review
Chair Martin reported that the Post Tenure Review Policy was reviewed extensively last year. A task force was appointed and came up with the policy that was presented to the Senate last year. The two most important things that he thinks came out of the policy are they tried to recognize that if we are going to have post tenure review it needs to be a developmental and not a disciplinary tool. The taskforce tried to make sure that this policy puts in place developmental procedures as opposed to disciplinary procedures.
The task force worked hard to aid efficiency because most cases are not cases that should be any concern and there is a lot of headache involved when someone has to put together what is effectively a dossier and then committees have to review all of that. So they came up with the option which is called the administrative review where a faculty member may request of the departmental post tenure review committee that their review be an administrative review. If so, the committee doesn’t have to go through all the details and the department head can look at it and expedite the process as opposed to a full faculty review. The peer review committee does need to approve the request to go through an administrative review. This adds protection in the event the department is trying to inappropriately protect the faculty member from review by his or her peers. There is some flexibility if you want to put it in departmental rules, but the recommendation is for review, the things to be considered include a current curriculum vita, your statement of mutual expectation, your annual activity report, and each of your last five annual reviews, peer teaching evaluations since the last review and an optional two-page statement by the candidate. The only thing a faculty member should have to do under this policy is update their CV and then they have the option to prepare a two-page statement. The task force has also put in place that post tenure review will not be conducted at a frequency of less than once every five years. The academic tenure policy does allow review at any time but that is a different process. Post tenure review may be only every five years if you meet expectations. There is the developmental part in the event that it does not meet expectation. Then there needs to be a development plan that is worked out with the faculty member, with a mentor selected both by the department head and the faculty member. That development plan then becomes the basis of review in subsequent years. The idea that in one more year you will have to meet expectations if you weren’t meeting them is oftentimes putting an impossible barrier in front of the person who needs developmental assistance. The idea is that it will now be a two-prong review on an annual basis. 1) Is the candidate meeting expectations of progress? 2) Has the candidate completely met expectation? If it’s a yes and no then in the next cycle we again evaluate the progress and then evaluate those two questions. Until such time as we get a completely meet and when we get a completely meet then you get five years. If there are multiple consecutive reviews then the post tenure review process may support an administrative action under the university disciplinary procedures. But post tenure review is not to be the basis from which to initiate disciplinary measures. The policy has now been through all review.
The only place where review caught some snags was the review by the General Counsel. The General Counsel tried to reintroduce a lot of the disciplinary language back into the policy but the task force very clearly noted that the matters of post tenure review are not a matter of law. They are a matter of academic policy. Matters of law are appropriate to change based on legal review and matters of academic policy need to stay in the purview of the faculty. Those changes by the task force were then reinforced.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the policy.
After a brief discussion on the policy the motion passed unanimously to accept the policy.
5. Report on Resolutions from 2007-2008 Session
Chair Martin reported on the status of the six resolutions that were passed during the 2007-08 academic year.
No action need be noted or taken regarding resolutions of support and/or commendation.
The resolution R2 regarding revisions to the CODE 603/604 policy revisions, along with similar resolutions from all the campuses of the UNC system resulted in the Faculty Assembly working with the Board of Governors to reevaluate the proposed revisions and revise them to be more in keeping with appropriate standards of academic freedom and practice.
The resolution R4 resulted in agreement to always close on-line student evaluations before the beginning of final exams.
Resolution R5 on the Evaluation of Teaching resulted in ending the practice of recommending incentives be offered to increase response rate for teaching evaluations. However, issues regarding the effectiveness and use of teaching evaluations, particularly for promotion and tenure decisions, remain a matter of concern that needs to be addressed.
6. Report on the Grievance Process
Chair Martin stated that the fundamental thing that we need in a grievance hearing or a grievance process is that there be due process and this is something that is afforded by the U.S. constitution. Normally the access to due process in a grievance hearing is treated as a right of property when things go to court and property is protected by due process according to the fifth amendment of the constitution. Due process is achieved by assuring that all parties are given notice by letting all parties present the information of concern before a hearing body. And basically if you follow that you will have an effective grievance process.
The third item that really comes out of a grievance process is that there be respect for the findings of a faculty committee. Most of the things that we deal with as a faculty even in terms of policy are not matters of law. They are matters of academic standards. They have to do with the tradition of the academy, of who we are. That is why a faculty grievance process is so important. It is the faculty who should have extremely significant weight given to them in any evaluation of what is going on. The perspective that the findings of the faculty hearing body should be accorded high weight stems from ideas presented in the seventh amendment of the constitution of the United States which says when you are dealing with common law anything more than twenty dollars, then the right to a jury must be preserved, and that the findings of a jury may not be overturned by any court in the United States.
From reading what I have in grievance literature I recognize that a grievance process is actually an invaluable Human Resources tool. There are times when we have faculty who are out of line and a group of peers is sometimes the best group to say, we all have a vested interest in the institution.
At the same time an effective grievance process can also highlight any administrative corrections that need to be made. We should not look at a grievance process as something bad. It is not us versus them. An objective process needs to be just that, objective. If allegations are correct, corrections need to be made. If allocations are not correct the respondent as opposed to the grievant needs to be exonerated. These are the principles that we need in an effective grievance process.
There have been multiple times and reasons that people have suggested that I might have a conflict of interest, with respect to my critique of the grievance process. For that reason I am not handing out a grievance report today. After consultation with the Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee, I would like to treat this report in the same way that I would treat a manuscript that I write and would send out for review. Because of my responsibility in the process, my interactions could bias my perception. When we’ve talked about this in past years, questions were raised, how could we (faculty other than the Chair) evaluate the allegations about the grievance process without information? We have had a very strong set of chairs of grievance committees this year. They have written some very important things and some of those particularly address aspects of process, rather than the specifics of the case. It is important to respect that the merits of the case may not be considered by anyone other than the grievance committee. But to address the matter of appropriate review of the grievance process, I have compiled in part in the report, summaries of information pertaining to the process and concerns of importance to the general faculty while removing all identifying information pertaining to individuals, departments, colleges etc. I will be giving the report to the Personnel Policy Committee who will review it in confidence in a peer review fashion. We will proceed from there to address this very important issue.
Nevertheless, specifics that I can report today include that there were six grievances filed last year. Four out of the six had significant issues of jurisdictional appeal overriding the concerns of the faculty committee (in one case the petition never was allowed to proceed to the stage of forming a committee). The Chancellor and I have talked about this. Five out of the six cases have issues where the Faculty Grievance process’ findings do not seem to have been respected. This is a matter of very serious concern and that is why it needs objective and independent review.
Mediation was not successful in any cases this year. We need to ensure that the purpose of a grievance process is to find a good faith resolution to things that go wrong. That is hard information that we are going to have to consider in the process of this review and that is why I want to treat it in this fashion. So rather than giving you a report today the report is going to go to the Personnel Policy Committee and we will proceed from there.
Also I must again note that we do not have a hearings policy. Hearings differ from grievances in that the hearings take place when there is a discharge of a tenured faculty member. It is a different process than filing a grievance, but we currently have no policy in place, we only have guidelines. As I noted last year, the challenge with guidelines is that there is the opportunity for making things up as you go when there are guidelines and not policies and procedures. Correcting this matter was not addressed last year, but I hope it will be addressed this year. As a short term solution I would recommend that the hearing guidelines be codified as policy so at least there is something in force. Furthermore I would like to recommend that the procedural structure aspects for carrying out such a hearing take the existing procedural structural components from our current grievance process which is a regulation with defined steps until others can be put into place.
Last year I also noted that there was a case from 2000 that was not resolved and that case remains basically unresolved. The grievant and I and relevant administrators met. This issue pertains to how summer salary should or could be paid. In our meeting both the grievant and I clearly understood that there were accounting and audit issues that required consideration such that they couldn’t just make a simple fix. But we thought we came to agreement that we could at least put into policy the option for flexible scheduling for persons who are paid summer salary just as flexible scheduling is allowed for 12-month employees.
In last year’s report I noted that there were a lot of cases that were dismissed by the committee. Of those thirteen cases that were dismissed by the committee I have been able to review ten of them.
The committee dismissed one of the cases with no evidentiary hearing because that matter needed to be addressed by another body on campus.
Three of the cases a hearing took place and it was determined by the committee that the grievant’s allegations could not be sustained and thus was dismissed.
In three cases after a hearing of the evidence it was determined that there were no grounds to support the allegations of the grievant so the case was dismissed, but a committee did raise issues that warranted some attention.
Two cases were dismissed with no hearing because legal counsel informed the committee that they could not hear a case pertaining to the end of contract/non-subsequent appointment of NTT faculty.
There was one case that was also dismissed outright because this was an EPA non-faculty. That case had been dismissed since that person was no longer an employee over strong objection by the committee but because of pressure from the Office of Legal Affairs stating the case could not be reviewed. However on review of the policies, in fact, EPA non-faculty are required to be allowed to have a review under the conditions that the allegations for dismissal had to do with protective activity for equal opportunity. That case was dismissed inappropriately.
Chair Martin stated that he did call last year for a task force. The appropriate task force was constituted and a report will come to the Senate. The task force largely focused on some proposed revisions to policy. There were some very good things that came out of the task force. One of the most important is that grievance assistants be trained to help a grievant through the process.
The task force also strongly recommended the need to build an Ombudsman Office so that faculty will have support.
To provide some greater history to the grievance process, Chair Martin called on Past Chair Daley to make a few comments.
Comments from Dennis Daley, Past Chair of the Faculty
I have read the research literature on grievances and I have published in the area. And besides the processes there are the results and that is what caught my interest. If you look at the literature the federal government studies very statistically large number of cases and one third of their grievances are decided for the employee, which, means two thirds are decided for management. If you look at NC State, talking to previous chairs going back into the 1990s we couldn’t remember one case decided for a faculty member and that is the problem. The faculty never seems to win. We are not going to win one third, but zero? Something has to be wrong with the system if it’s always the faculty loses. Again, some of the issues keep popping up. During my term I had a member of the committee threatened with retaliation and chair of the committee threatened with retaliation. You volunteer to serve on these committees and the next thing you know someone is coming after you, someone who has the clout to do bad things to you or your graduate students or even your program. The only thing that has transpired since then is there has been a change in procedures that you no longer have to serve on a committee if your Dean is named in the grievance which is a small change. Of course it needed to happen because no one was willing to serve.
I think our committees over the last decade have done excellent jobs. The recommendations coming out of the faculty grievance committees I would say follow that two thirds or three fourths rule when deciding for the administration, very much in line with what the literature would say would be occurring. People who serve on these committees are dedicated and they do a decent job and then suddenly when they think there is something wrong that the faculty member should have justice done, they sense no justice and that is what has been troubling many of the past chairs over the years.
Senator Hudson: Chancellor what are your thoughts about what you are hearing today?
I think you heard me say that Jim and I talked frequently about the grievance process. I said I wanted to work with him to improve that grievance process. I have not seen the report that he eluded to but we have discussed a variety of the elements that have been brought up today and I will go back to a relatively short sentence that I said earlier and that is that I am interested in seeing this process fixed or addressing the short falls in this process and I pledge to work with the Senate and any appropriate body to consider any changes that need to be made. We have a task force report that evidently has been written and it has not come to this group and to discuss those specifics before the committee has had a chance to review it and factor in Jim’s piece I think would be pretty much hard to say much more than I’m willing and able to work with you on fixing the grievance process.
Senator Hudson: Do you have a sense that there may be short falls in the process?
Chancellor Oblinger responded that he thinks there are disagreements on whether or not certain items that have been pointed out represent shortfalls.
Senator Headen asked Past Chair Daley to elaborate on his comments about many of the grievances are coming out of one or two locations.
Past Chair Daley stated that during the two years he served as Chair of the Faculty nothing came out of CHASS yet a couple of years prior there were four or five grievances filed from CHASS. It is probably a floating issue depending on department heads. It often tends to be concentrated in one area.
Senator Levy stated that the rumors to the effect have circulated in his almost twenty-five years and unfortunately he doesn’t have any statistics. He thinks it has had a chilling effect from people willing to go through the process.
7. Issues of Concern
Chair Martin stated three issues of concern that have come to his attention.
1) He received an issue of concern regarding the GEP pertaining to whether or not
the interdisciplinary requirement needs to retain the STEM/non-STEM balance. This
matter is assigned to the Academic Policy Committee.
2) People both internal and external to the campus have asked the Senate to consider issues surrounding the appointment of First Lady Mary Easley. I have had issues raised to me regarding the reappointment, interpretation of policy issues, what does policies say. I have had many concerns about the salary issues. I have had several concerns raised with regards to reading about a new center being formed, in the newspaper as opposed to going through the procedure of actually forming a center. I would like to try to keep our focus to looking at any policy considerations and this will also be informed by the task force that has been formed.
3) He received an issue of concern on procedures for hiring administrators who are
seeking tenure. Do we have an effective process to deal with that?
8. Computer Use Policy
Senator Paul Williams, Chair of the Resource and Environment Committee stated that an issue of concern was raised last year about paragraph 2.11 in the old computer use policy. The committee developed some alternative language
Mardecia Bell stated that there has been a copyright infringement audit that had to do with an employee in the office of information technology and North Carolina Central University where the employees were misusing the computers to download illegal software. NC State was a part of that investigation by the state and as a result of those findings one of them was that the computer use policy needed to be revisited.
We needed to launch an awareness campaign across the campus to make sure that people were aware of their role and responsibility. When the audit report came out, UNC GA put a nine-day watch on the audit and that particular watch ends September 16, which means we need to comply with all of the recommendations. We need to have a revisited computer use policy in place by September 16 that we can start making sure that the campus is aware of their role and responsibility.
Senator Williams stated that he has been through the proposed draft of the new policy and it is not the draft his committee went through in the spring. Since then there has been a substantial amount of other language added to make the policy more consistent with there being the new IT position. The real contention as far as our involvement in this is the paragraph to which we added a commentary. We are not at a point now where we can resolve this before September 15 and if we don’t get this resolved before September 15 we are in harm's way because the university must have such a policy in place by then to be in compliance with an audit mandate. Mardecia and I concluded we would delete the commentary and retain paragraph 2.11 (NOW 2.12) using Senator Anson’s new language. That language makes it clearer that it’s personal statements whereby persons outside the university may misunderstand these statements to be a position endorsed by the university. We should approve this policy but with the condition that the Resources and Environment Committee will revisit this more thoroughly at a later date. I recommend that the Senate approve the amended computer use policy as it has been provided including the deletion of the commentary because we can’t resolve this with Charlie Leffler between now and September 15th.
Senator Havner wanted to know who would judge whether personal statements could be construed as representing positions of the university.
Senator Williams stated that the policy really deals with when you are conducting university business, i.e., you are dealing with people you don’t know. It is not meant to limit your freedom to speak. It is designed to make it clear that when you are using it to conduct university business that it not be misconstrued as a position of the university.
The motion was seconded to approve the policy with the opportunity to revisit the wording at a later date.
The motion passed with three abstentions.
Chair Martin noted, however, that passing this policy was intended to be a temporary measure in order to meet the University’s deadline, with the clear understanding that this section of the policy be revisited. He further highlighted concern that agreement to revisions to this policy had been achieved last year. But that said agreed to recommendations had been ignored and now the Senate was being asked to rush a policy through approval. He requested to both the Provost and Chancellor that this be recognized and that such practices do not continue.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.
The motion passed unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 5:08 p.m.