FACULTY SENATE MEETING
August 25, 2009
Present: Chair Overton, Past Chair Martin, Secretary Hergeth; Provost Warrick, Parliamentarian Weiner: Senators Akroyd, Anson, Bernhard, Carver, Croom, Edmisten, Fahmy, Fleisher, Franke, Genereux, Hatcher, Havner, Headen, Hemenway, Honeycutt, Kidd, Kiwanuka-Tondo, Kocurek, Kotek, Levy, Miller-Cochran, Paur, Poindexter, Poling, Roberts, Sawyers, Townsend, Williams
Excused: Senators Argyropoulos, Auerbach, Krim
Absent: Senators Boone, Khater, Murty
Visitors: James Woodward, Chancellor; P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University; Betsy Brown, Provost’s Office; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP Faculty and Staff Diversity; Lee Fowler, Director of Athletic; David Rainer, AVC Environmental Health and Public Safety; Louis Hunt, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management; Mary Bengtson, Medical Director of Student Health Service, Marc Okner, Director, Employee Relations
1. Call to Order
Chair Margery Overton called the first meeting of the fifty-sixth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Overton welcomed Senators and guests.
Chair Overton presented Past Chair Martin with a gavel for his services as the 2007-2009 Chair of the Faculty.
A forum for faculty members for the search of a new Chancellor will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Talley Student Center’s Stewart Theatre. The Search Committee would like to have input from faculty, and the forum is organized in a way where there is a slot for students (3:30 PM), faculty (2:00 PM), and staff (12:30 PM). If you cannot attend you may take advantage of an email address that has been provided to send comments.
Chair Overton displayed the organization within the Faculty Senate and reviewed committee assignments with the Senators.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 16, April 21, 2009
A motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Woodward
Chancellor Woodward commented on the growth in administrative positions within the university. He considers that to be a serious issue not just here, but in most of higher education. The bottom line is that the administrative cost within universities has grown faster than the instructional cost for the last ten or fifteen years. It is a trend that is damaging in many ways and it causes us to increasingly lose the public support that we need as a university to go forward.
Why has this occurred? Chancellor Woodward stated that we have done some of this to ourselves and some has been done to us. You can go into any administrative office within the university and you will find people that are working full time. In some way we have given them administrative tasks that require a full time person to do. So the question is, where did those administrative tasks come from? How can we remove those administrative tasks, which have to be removed before you can remove the people? You cannot remove the people while keeping the number of administrative tasks within the university. So it is critical that we look at why these administrative tasks over time have been added and added to a university. Chancellor Woodward emphasized that some have occurred because of external influences and some have occurred because of us doing it ourselves.
What are some of the external influences that have done this? Chancellor Woodward said President Bowles speaks frequently about this, and he is deeply concerned, yet his office has undertaken initiatives that added administrative tasks to the university. There has been a study done looking at technology transfer activities on various campuses and the outcome of that is a series of recommendations involving the establishment of additional bodies, committees, etc. on universities. And the bottom-line is, anytime you do that you add administrative tasks. The core purpose is a good one, but the bottom-line is that by adding that purpose to a university, then you add administrative tasks and therefore you tend to add administrative people.
Chancellor Woodward stated that he has also talked with the President about the planned expansion of the faculty activity report. He feels that it is generally a waste of time. Collecting any data is a waste of time if it doesn’t influence any decisions that follow.
Chancellor Woodward stated that the Office of the President has issued a requirement that activity reporting is now to be extended to non-instructional activity. Those are things that the Office of the President can reverse and thus remove some of the administrative tasks that the campuses are involved with. There is a collection of federal export control laws, and their whole idea is to not export intentionally or unintentionally, certain information or material items that might have national security value. We as an institution are required to abide by those laws. The recommendation that came to the Chancellor this morning involved the following: That we should form a standing committee that would consist of fourteen people, and that this standing committee should oversee the development and implementation of policies and procedures on campus, and that they should prepare an annual report. He charged Terri Lomax with re-looking at what the law requires, and to assure him that every step in the whole process made sense. This means to balance the cost of each step versus the added value of each step, and to see if the tradeoff is right. The Chancellor’s guess is that he will find that it is not. He does not think you need a standing committee of fourteen people to insure that we are abiding by a federal law. But that this is an example of how we as a campus tend to react when these requirements come down. Good people get together and develop a process whereby we can assure ourselves and others that we are abiding by the federal law.
Chancellor Woodward stated that another thing that we have done to add administrative costs to the business of the university has to do with development. We have historically been a very decentralized campus, which in many ways has permitted and encouraged us to grow as rapidly as we have and to become as good as we are. But in certain areas we are too decentralized. So you have got to find the right balance between centralizing certain business functions and decentralizing others.
We do not do a good job raising money here; we do not raise enough money for an institution as large as ours. When you compare how we are organized to do development work with universities that are more successful, you find out that we are much more decentralized in our development efforts than those more successful campuses. We have to find the right functions to keep decentralized and then centralize the other functions. His guess is when we do that we will see some positions added centrally and we will see some positions done away with at the college level and those resources freed up and moved hopefully back into the academic arena. There are a lot of reasons why the administrative costs of the university have gone up. Some we can blame on people outside the campus, and a lot we can blame on ourselves. His goal is to find out which of those we can deal with, and to begin aggressively dealing with them.
Chancellor Woodward stated that someone told him that there are twenty-three steps in making an appointment at this institution. We are going to look at that process and find out why all of those steps are there, and we will remove steps where the added value is not sufficient to offset the added cost. He thinks this is a real important matter; it is important to reverse what he considers to be a damaging trend. We will continue to get criticism and pressure from the Office of the President and Board of Governors and General Assembly, and this is warranted. What he needs are colleagues on campus who will work with administration to reverse this trend. The Senate is an excellent body because it represents the entire university community, and the Senators know of the things that are impeding the core work of the university. Tell the Administration about them and we will figure out how to fix them, but tell us about them. Tell us about those things that you think are problematic.
Chancellor Woodward stated that the grievance process is one that has become too burdensome for this campus. One of the first grievances he received was started nearly two years ago. And while it was a legitimate grievance it was not a complicated grievance. However, the process was such that it took nearly two years to deal with it and every piece of paper required time and effort by someone, and the result was not more fairness for the grievant. The environment was simply more legalistic, and what he considers a wasted effort. Our goal is to give a fair hearing conducted by a group of colleagues to a faculty member. He stated that he and the Chair of the Faculty have talked about looking at how we conduct grievances here on campus and to see if there is a way to reduce the administrative burden.
Chancellor Woodward reported that the work of the University Budget Advisory Committee is really good. He is very impressed with what they have identified as possible things this campus could do to increase our effectiveness and efficiency. The bottom-line is that this campus is ahead of UNC Chapel Hill relative the work of this committee. His intention is to work with that group, begin to implement some of the recommendations. The results of the committee work will be shared with the Faculty Senate.
Chancellor Woodward stated his goal during the year at NC State is to first accept the fact that the criticism regarding the growth of administrative positions is a valid criticism. He does not want to spend time defending it. He does not want to spend time creating an argument as to why it is not true. It is true and he wants to find out how we can reverse what he considers to be a damaging trend.
Tucker Max Film
Chancellor Woodward commented on his concerns about a film done by Tucker Max that is going to be shown on campus. He noted that he has received a lot of criticism about Max’s work. His primary concern was the procedure for how movies are considered and approved without involving and informing other bodies on campus.
5. Budget Update
Provost Arden reported that the budget news is not as bad as it could be, and while some $53 million have been removed from our budget, those 10% planned reductions are pretty close to what the State now makes reality. The actual budget numbers will be available in about one week. At the same time we need to remember that about 60% of the NC revenue come from personal income taxes, and the true income will not be known until some time in April 2010, when the budget may be adjusted again.
The efforts to reduce cost and increase efficiency continue. We have lost 117 faculty, 117 non-faculty EPA, and over 200 staff positions due to the cuts. Funding based on enrollment growth will not be used to fund compact plans at this time, since we do have to be cautious as to what the future bears.
Looking five years out into the future, we need to consider re-investment strategies towards the priorities at NC State, namely
1. Re-building and growing faculty positions
2. Student engagement
4. Economic Development.
Senator Anson inquired about the UNC Tomorrow Initiative.
Response: This is still a high priority, but it got side tracked due to the economic crisis. UNC Tomorrow is to be considered the overarching document for guidance in formulating strategies.
Chancellor Woodward added that for example new programs were put on hold, but we now see a commitment to start looking at them again.
Senator Kiwanuka-Tondo wanted to know if the budget crisis had any impact on salary compression.
The response was no.
6. H1N1 Influenza Faculty Update
David Rainer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health and Public Safety and Mary Bengtson, Medical Director, NC State Student Health Services gave a presentation on the H1N1 Influenza.
The estimated attack rate varies but it is highest in pregnant women and people 25 years and younger.
The vaccine is in clinical trials and is expected in mid October and it will require 2 shots, likely 3 weeks apart. You will also need to take the seasonal flu vaccine as well.
The first confirmed case at NCSU was on June 10, and there have been additional cases since then with the most recent case being today.
The H1N1 presentation is online at http://ncsu.edu/faculty_senate/items-interest/index.php .
Since today’s meeting was the first meeting of the new academic year, Chair Overton asked the Senators and guests to introduce themselves.
A motion passed to adjourn the