FACULTY SENATE MEETING
August 23, 2011
Present: Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Secretary Sawyers, Parliamentarian Weiner, Provost Arden; Senators Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Auerbach, Borden, Bourham, Campbell, Carver, Edmisten, Freeman, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Hatcher, Headen, Holden, Jasper, Khosla, Lubischer, Lunardi, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Robinson, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tonelli, L. Williams, M. Williams, Zonderman
Excused: Senators Kotek, Townsend
Absent: Senator Tu
Guests: Randy Woodson, Chancellor; Karen Helm, Director, University Planning and Analysis, Marcia Gumpertz, AVP Faculty and Staff Development; Betsy Brown, Provost Office; Fred Corbin, Past Chair; Stephanie Parker, Assistant to the Chancellor, Communications; Randall Wheeler, PMS army ROTC; Emerson Parker, Student Government; Marielle Pocan, Provost Office; Jim Martin, Past Chair; George Wahl, Past Chair; Dennis Daley, Past Chair; Helmut Hergeth, Textiles
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 1st meeting of the 58th session to order at 3 p.m.
Chair Kellner welcomed everyone.
Chair Kellner introduced and recognized several past chairs that were in attendance. He stated that he has worked with five of the seven Chairs of the Faculty and it is an honor to welcome them back.
Chair Kellner stated that when George Wahl used the Fulton Lutz gavel to call things to order, it marked a new era in faculty governance here. The office of Chair of the Faculty Senate was done away with. The term was doubled in length encompassing four rather than two years and the responsibilities were extended and they continue to be extended and extended.
George Wahl is a Chemist from PAMS. During his term many things happened, in particular establishing this organization more fully and firmly as a part of the university. Chair Wahl once said, “If you are not busy being born, you are dying”.
Another quotation from this era was from Provost Stiles who said, “The Senate is at its best when it takes it’s time, when it deliberates in a patient and thorough manner.”
Fred Corbin is a professor from Crop Science, Agriculture and Life Sciences. He was first the Secretary of the Faculty under George Wahl. He was Chair of the Faculty 1999-2001 and Parliamentarian for years there after.
Dennis Daley is from Political Science and Public Administration. During his term there was an Interim Chancellor (Barnhart) and the year of three Provosts.
Nina Allen from Plant Biology was very interested in work place issues and women issues. She pressured Provost Nielsen to take an interest in childcare, and they began to study the issue and to get something done. Nina was also doing outreach and connection, for example to the Faculty Council at Chapel Hill and she arranged dinners for the Executive Committees of NC State and Chapel Hill every semester which was quite interesting.
Jim Martin is a Chemist from PAMS. Jim is extraordinarily hard working. I would call him a quality expert and he is interested in work load issues versus well being issues. From a General Faculty meeting I found the following quotation “I was reminded the other day of the alleged African parable of the lion and the gazelle. Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up, it knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. So it doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up you’d better be running.” Jim is still running. He is running for the Wake County School Board because of his well known aversion to conflict.
Margery Overton from Civil Engineering followed Jim Martin as Chair. Her first year working was a transitional administration from Interim Chancellor Woodward and Interim Provost Arden at the time working on the Chancellor’s Search Committee maintaining continuity in the beginning of the waves of the budget problems. In her second year, Chancellor Woodson gave her great responsibilities. As co-chair of the Provost Search Committee and the Strategic Plan and as the Chair of the Implementation of the Strategic Plan and now as the Chair of the Academic Science Program Task Force. This is an unprecedented of responsibilities, in addition to all the things that the Chair of the Faculty does. I also would like to mention her role as the Master of Ceremony at the Chancellor’s installation. So from the Senate, from the past Chairs, and from me I present Margery with her inscribed gavel.
The General Faculty meeting will be held October 4, in the Talley Student Center Ballroom from 3 – 5 p.m. The theme of the meeting is “Change at NC State, from the perspective of the faculty.” The change refers to the budget, the strategic plan, the strategic plan implementation, anything related to strategic realignment, the academic science task force, and the academic program review committee.
There will be an Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, 3-5 p.m.
3. Remarks from the Chair
Chair Kellner introduced members of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee met twice during the summer to discuss Senate meetings, communication strategies, issues of concern, and the role of faculty governance.
Chair Keller reported that one of two people that the Faculty Senate elects to the Athletics Council during the spring has left the university. She has been replaced with the next candidate, Joel Pawlak from Natural Resources.
Chair Kellner reported that he has been on the Organizational Excellence Implementation Committee, University Council, and he also attended the summer Board of Trustees. He attended the Staff Senate meeting to hear Charlie Leffler and Don Patty talk about business operations realignment. They will be coming to the Senate to talk about that later in the semester.
Chair Kellner met with and talked about mediation with Mark Okner from Employees Relations, and he gave remarks at the new faculty orientation.
Chair Kellner announced that a discretionary account has been set up for the Senate. He asked that faculty designate a small amount of their donations to the university to the Faculty Senate discretionary account.
Chair Kellner stated that the Senate has begun an Organization of Former Faculty Senators (OFF). The organization will be completely ad hoc, informal, and voluntary. The kinds of things they might be called upon to do are things like recruiting new senators, attending university events, publicizing faculty issues, serving on university committees and communicate senate activities.
The Chair of the Faculty reports to the Board of Trustees every meeting and is called upon to submit a report in advance of the meeting. Chair Kellner stated that he had to report on a Faculty Senate that had not met yet, so he spent a lot of time boasting about the Senate.
Chair Kellner announced that he has invited the Chair of the Faculty Assembly to speak at a Faculty Senate meeting and he has also invited the Chair of the Board of the Trustees to speak to the Senate. He noted that the legislature and the General Administration clearly affect our environment.
Chair Kellner stated that the Chair of the Faculty Council at UNC-CH has been a frequent visitor here and he would like to see her come to a meeting.
The next meeting will be devoted mostly to athletics where Athletics Director Yow and Coach Gottfried are scheduled to come along with Sam Pardue, Faculty Representative to the Athletics Council. The agenda of the Senate this year will be determined by events.
Chair Kellner invited Past Secretary Hergeth to come for the approval of minutes.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 13, April 19, 2011
Past Secretary Hergeth asked for approval of the minutes of the 13th meeting of the 57th session. A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Woodson
Chancellor Woodson reported that there were 4,650 freshmen this year. The reason the class was larger than predicted is because more people said yes to our invitation of this mission than our past model would have predicted. That indicates the growing sense of excitement about this campus and the growing sense of the value of an NC State degree.
The average freshmen GPA was 4.28(weighted) and their SAT score was up four points over last year to 1191, the best freshmen class in our history and it’s a strong reflection on the team that brought this group in.
USA Today and the Princeton Review have rated NC State ninth in the country and Chapel Hill eighth as best value universities. It is a tremendous asset for the State of North Carolina to be the only state with two public institutions in the top ten for best values.
Chancellor Woodson stated that students are struggling with financial aid. The level of funding from the Pell grant from the national level is challenged and the state fund for financial aid is challenged so we are concerned about loss and retention because of the financial challenges.
Chancellor Woodson announced that NC State has a new chair of the Board of Trustees, Barbara Mulkey, the second female chair and she is going to be a terrific chair, as was Lawrence Davenport.
Chancellor Woodson stated that one of the first things he did upon arriving here was to work with Terri Lomax to launch a Chancellor’s Innovation fund. They provided the resources to establish the fund. He stated that they had a lot of energy on this campus with over 50 outstanding proposals and they have funded four projects: a vaccine to prevent salmonella; a new coating for textiles to prevent UV radiation; bandages that release wound-healing medicines; and finally a better bait for bedbugs.
Chancellor Woodson reported that this year the ACC has honor roll for all varsity student athletes that have a 3.0 GPA and higher. NC State had 213 varsity athletes with a 3.0 or higher. That is the most in our history and is among the top three in the ACC. We are very proud of those athletes.
Chancellor Woodson thanked Provost Arden and Vice Chancellor Leffler and their staff for doing a remarkable job of getting the university ready for what he believe to be one of the most difficult budgets we have ever experienced. He stated that in spite of receiving almost a 16% reduction to our academic programs budget line we were able to keep budget cuts to colleges and academic units to 6 to 7%, which is a bad thing but could have been worse.
Chancellor Woodson said we are going to do everything we can to keep this university strong academically. “I’m very worried about the support that we are able to provide all of you as active faculty, and that’s everything from the support of the people that keep the building livable, to the support that you have in your laboratories and classrooms and other things that go along with being a world class university.”
Chancellor Woodson reported on the revenue stream for the university. He stated that one of the debates that we are going to have this year that the Senate will be involved in is the balance of the revenue stream for this university. NC State is one of the most heavily dependent on state support of any university in the country and that is one of the reasons it is one of the top ten for affordability because the tuition is very affordable and everyone loves that. Chancellor Woodson said he doesn’t love it at the expense of quality and at the extent of competitiveness with our national peers, which is the challenge that we have now with retention of our faculty and retention of our best staff because of other universities aggressive tendency. It is something that we have to pay attention to and we are going to have a debate with the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, and with the Board of Governors on how do we balance the revenue stream of this university.
Chancellor Woodson stated that there is only one side of the revenue stream that is under every peer in our peer group and that’s tuition and fees, and we hope we can keep the state focused on supporting our education so we can keep this university among the most affordable in the country.
Chancellor Woodson stated that he plans to focus a lot with all the deans and department heads on the other revenue source that we need to rely on and that’s gifts to the university and growth to the endowment. Our annual fund for the university was up over 30%, the number of contributors to the university was up 50%, the growth in the endowment, mostly because of Lonnie Pooles’ gift of $40M was up dramatically 23 percent, so the message is getting out and we are working hard to grow the revenue stream and we simply have to grow the endowment of NC State. We will be launching a campaign two years from now and we will be working hard to prepare ourselves for launching a national campaign for the future of NC State. We will focus as much as we can on growing a long term endowment that ensures faculty excellence, affordability for our students through scholarships and ensures excellence within the departments and colleges. A sideline to that is that it has a huge impact on our national reputation. “I’m excited to be at NC State, it’s been a challenging year, but I’m hopeful and I think everyone around the state is hopeful that we have seen the worst and that we are going to start coming out of this current economy.”
Senator Bourham asked, will the budget be our budget for the future?
Chancellor Woodson responded that no one is promising that we are going to get back what we lost from the state. If you look at our university budget relative to many that we compete with our state funding is already two or three times what our peers have, so the answer to your question is I don’t expect the state to be the source that brings us out of this, but I don’t expect us to have stagnant resources forever.
Does this mean that the faculty will continue without raises?
The Chancellor responded no, that can’t continue. “My highest priority is flexibility with our personnel decisions. That includes raises, what we pay people, the ability to compensate people appropriately for the job that they have and personnel flexibility is the most critical thing to our success. My goal is to work with the state to ensure that they continue to invest in us.”
Senator Robinson ask a question about research funding.
Chancellor Woodson said the other leg of the stool in terms of a tremendous revenue stream is research and it’s driven not exclusively by the federal government at NC State because we are so dominantly in the private sector for industry funding. The last two years we have had unprecedented growth in sponsored research. Two years ago a lot of that was stimulus, but not all of it. This year there is no stimulus and we are still up almost 4%, so faculty and staff are working hard to bring in resources to drive that part of the university. Having said that we are still well below many of our peers. We are one of only 100 very high research universities in the country. We are in the top 100 in terms of research funding. We are in the top 10 in terms of funding for a university without a medical school so we have a lot to be proud of. The fact of the matter is growing research which we really need to do, I want this university to get into the AAU and when you look at the university with the AAU criteria it is all discovery. It’s all the research agenda of the university if you look at all the areas, ranking of the faculty in the national academy which we do very well on, so we have to keep growing our research agenda, but we can’t do that if we can’t invest and support the faculty.
Senator Robinson inquired about the prospect of hiring/retaining faculty.
Chancellor Woodson stated that we will continue to recruit faculty, but with retention it is a 100% bet to retain an outstanding faculty member and we have a lot of restrictions on how we can do that with limitations on state funding. We just can’t loose people that we have invested a career in that is a future success of the university.
Senator Aspnes inquired about the cost to educate a student and what the comparison is to other institutions?
Chancellor Woodson responded that the best way to calculate that is to ask what is the general educational budget of the university that we compare ourselves to. The general educational budget is made up of two components, state appropriations and tuition. In our sixteen member peer group we are at the bottom end of our peer group in terms of dollars per student FTE and we are second from the top in dollars per students from the state . When you add it all together we are about fifth in terms of overall funding per student FTE in our peer group. There are other revenue that allows the university to function at the level that we do. We are competitive, we are fifth out of sixteen, but it’s those other revenue streams that make it more difficult for us.
5. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Arden reported on six major items that are on the Strategic Realignment. The first one was the development of the new office for Equity and Diversity, which is a merger of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Equal Opportunity plus there are also some offices out of Student Affairs. That merger became official on July 1 and the new unit is functioning under Joanne Woodard’s leadership and it is working very well at this stage.
The Office of Extension and Engagement and Economic Development is being abolished. We are in the process of moving key elements of that office out to other units. The economic development portfolio has been moved under Terri Lomax and that office is now Research Innovation and Economic Development and the other parts of the office are coming under the Provost Office. We are ahead of the schedule on that and we are hoping that those moves will be complete by the end of the semester.
The big one that is occurring is the merger of the Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs and Student Affairs. We have arranged that so that there will be four major divisions within that area. The individuals who will be leading those divisions will work with the smaller task force which has been John Ambrose, Tom Stafford and Jo-Ann Cohen to finish the implementation plan. That group has been working all summer, so the original task force report that you saw last semester has been flushed out a little bit more. We need to put the final touches on that and we hope to have the final details of the way that organization will work by November and then we can begin a national search for the person to lead that division who will be a Senior Vice Provost. We are excited about that and that will become effective July 1, 2012.
The fourth point was some academic task forces. There were four task forces that we spoke about. There are two that we had already started and that was the summer education program and the distance education program. Those task forces are on the Provost’s website. Both task forces have done very good jobs, but these are difficult challenging areas. We are still taking input on those.
The other two are ongoing task forces, one is the academic program review. Last semester we looked at some low performing programs. What this has to do with is not so much the need to eliminate programs, it really is about the need to align our resources most appropriately with our programs. We have many programs that have grown considerably that are under resource and we also have some academic programs that are over resource and as an institution we can not afford to do that. We are better to do a thorough analysis of all the programs and attempt to align our resources appropriately before GA or the Legislature does it for us.
The other task force is being lead by Margery Overton and that is the Academic Science Program task force. This is a task force designed to simply step back and ask the big question. If you look at the things that we provide through PAMS, CALS, and CNR, are there natural alignments that can be achieved either through administrative restructuring or by simply building interdisciplinary bridges or by the flow of resources that would enable interdisciplinarity in a more expansive fashion. If there are really good strategic reasons that would allow us to align our programs in a more effective manner and truly build interdisciplinary bridges between for example, the Physical Sciences, the Biological Sciences, really enable the life sciences to be fully competitive on this campus then they can look at ways of doing this. This is a task force that has a lot of faculty representation on it and I’m really looking forward to hearing the results of this task force. We hope to have the report by the end of the semester and then we will consider how we move forward after that.
The fifth item was business and finance. Vice Chancellor Leffler is leading that, really looking at how we can once again operate more effectively and more efficiently. The objective of this is not more central control. The objective of this is to make sure that the people who have the greatest resources and skills are empowered to make the decisions that they need so that life is easier for our faculty members.
The last one is Policies Rules and Regulations—The Chancellor has said that we need to have less Policies, Rules, and Regulations. We are in a very vigorous process. We are abolishing, adjoining, and simplifying regulations all over the place with a view to simply making things cleaner, clearer and simpler for everyone to understand. This is an ongoing process and will occur throughout the year.
Strategic Planning—We had nine major task forces. The strategic plan is an integration of those nine task force reports. It has five overarching goals and each goal has multiple sub-strategies. We now have to produce an implementation plan. Margery Overton and Karen Helm are leading that implementation planning process.
We have formed five more task forces centered around each of those primary goals to develop a set of metrics and to suggest actions. The process that we are going through now is to take those eighty pages of task forces reports centered around those five strategic goals and try to narrow them down to the action items that we will be undertaking. We hope to have that done and to the Board of Trustees by the second meeting this semester.
NC State’s Peer Group—We have an official peer group sanctioned by UNCGA. There are 16 universities on that peer group, and the last peer group was selected in 2006. GA is asking everyone to redo their peer groups. We had sixteen on our peer group and thirteen of them are going to remain the same. The ones removed are Cornell, University of Georgia and the University of Minnesota.
When selecting peer groups we look at a lot of different variables. We try and pick research-extensive universities, public universities, frequently land-grant universities, universities without medical schools. We try and match up roughly student size, distribution of students, the quality of the student body, there are a lot of variables that we look at. The three that we have suggested as replacements are the University of Arizona, Rutgers, and Colorado State. They seem to be reasonable peers to us.
Senator Jasper wanted to know how did they come up with the number sixteen?
Provost Arden stated that there is nothing magic about sixteen. Comments from Karen Helm noted that having 16 peers simplified comparisons within quartiles of the peer group.
Chair Kellner stated that he just returned from a meeting in which the English Department was talking about hiring priorities. They are following the new guidelines, justifying everything from the strategic plan. I felt that, as the meeting went on, there was a misunderstanding about certain things. There was the notion that one could only be hiring from strengths, but that made no sense because a program that has lost a key position will need to remedy that weakness. It seems to me that they just weren’t getting the spirit of this right, and that along the way there might be clarification, guidelines about what that spirit is, because here you have perfectly intelligent people who are mistaken about these things -- at least, I hope they are mistaken -- and feeling as though, as one of my colleagues said, "they (administrators) are now deciding who we should want to hire."
Provost Arden stated that the Strategic plan by definition is a fairly high level plan. I think the overarching trust is that we are a STEM oriented but comprehensive university and we want to build excellence in every element of the university. We don’t want any group or faculty member to feel that they are not in an area of excellence within this university. So the question is how do we build that excellence and much of the strategic plan is about mechanisms for building excellence, mechanisms for enhancing undergraduate student success, mechanism for enhancing our graduate programs, mechanism for expanding our research portfolio, so it lays out some broad strategies for building excellence. It’s not about saying that we want to hire exclusively in one area, but there has to be some level of overarching parallelization with limited resources of who we are as an institution or where we are going to place our resources. So whether or not we are talking about new faculty hiring or whether or not we are talking about development of new academic programs, these cannot be random, they can’t be simply random events that happen across the university. There has to be a set of priorities about who we are as an institution and the way that we are going to invest and move forward.
Senator Robinson: Given the budget at NC State, do you see a way to go forward with this?
Provost Arden stated that one of the things they were very aware of during this last year was coordinating the budget process and the strategic planning and strategic realignment process. What we have done over the last couple of years is to try to be very conservative so that we had resources to do one of two things and maybe both of two things. One was to offset what we saw coming as a budget cut and also have some reserve left to strategically reinvest and rebuild. During the last academic year, most of the reinvesting that we did was one timely investment. Now we are looking at starting to reinvest in faculty positions and things that will directly impact student success. We do have some resources to begin doing that in a limited manner. Long term I think it will really depend on our ability to diversify our resource portfolio. I think we can begin to strategically prioritize the things that we have said in our strategic plan, begin faculty hiring, but the continuation of that over the next several years is going to really depend on how we diversify our resource portfolio and making sure that we invest both resources very carefully in a strategic manner.
Chancellor Woodson commented that the best decisions about building departments and colleges occur at the department and the college level, so you don’t want us to direct your department, but I think what we can do centrally that will enliven the university and build some core competencies is to do big collaborative hires and fill in the gaps with scholars and scientists and engineers that the faculty have some energy about across college lines, so what I would ask the Provost to think about is throughout this strategic planning process I would protect it like a mother on a nest, a small set of resources that we intend to release to the campus over the course of the next five years, each year we will be investing in a few key leadership faculty positions that galvanize scholars across campus in some creative way.
The second area is we are really stretched thin in our ability to support our students. All the colleges have very limited advising capacities and we know that one of the challenges we have is the success of our students.
Senator Zonderman: Do you see any down side in the effort to protect the classroom –I’m hearing two things—one is structural and one is political? By focusing on protecting the classroom, don’t we risk the legislature arguing that we seem to be doing ok with the budget reductions?
Chancellor Woodson stated that he doesn’t think that there is any doubt that the students will feel or have already felt the impact of the cuts. We saw a report this morning where 48,000 seats in class sections had been lost in the coming academic year. You don’t have to worry about students and their parents feeling the stress of this, the thing that we have to be careful of is getting too grand standing in our politics. We have cut $80M out of our budget and that’s just this year, so certainly there is dramatic impact. We have fewer faculty than we should have. So there is tremendous stress and that message will get out, at the same time we have to run the place and try to be as successful as we can. I don’t want us to get to the point where we are unable to function as an organization. I’m going to do everything that I can to be a positive spokesperson for the university, but in reality about what this has done and it’s all heightened by the fact that as a university we get $400M plus from the state for the academic affairs budget, when many of our colleges around the country gets much less.
6. Introduction and Remarks from Colonel Wheeler, Army ROTC
Chair Kellner introduced and welcomed Colonel Wheeler.
Colonel Wheeler and his wife are natives of North Carolina. He is a graduate of Campbell University with a Mathematics major and he has a Masters degree in Earth and Environmental Resources Management from the University of South Carolina.
Remarks from Colonel Wheeler
Colonel Wheeler remarked on the training and education ROTC students receive at NC State.
Wheeler highlighted what being a cadet consists of. He noted that it is completely voluntary and it is a sacrifice on their part. Not only does NC State have Army ROTC, it also represents all the other branches of service. At any given time there are 400 students enrolled in these programs and of those approximately half are scholarship recipients bringing in about $2.0M a year to the university.
The ROTC commissions about fifty officers combined, annually. At NC State the ROTC program mirrors the progression through the curriculum and graduate program. There is no obligation to the army unless they are scholarship recipients where they are on what is referred to as contracted.
ROTC is open to any and all students and they receive the same training and leadership. The first year is based on individual tactics where they are introduced to leadership styles. The cadets have opportunities to summer train, which is not always military. If they are contracted or scholarship cadets, between freshmen – sophomore or sophomore and junior, they can attend airborne school where they learn to jump out of aircrafts. They also have internships with centers of expertise. The army does everything that civilian organizations do. Academically it is better for the cadets to have a higher GPA and come from a university with a great reputation because that allows them a strong foundation to compete for internships.
There is a program for students that don’t want to do active duty. They can volunteer to be a reserve or National Guard officer and there are scholarships available for that, a guaranteed reserve force or a guaranteed National Guard scholarship. They can sign up, pick their unit, know what they are going to do and submit for a scholarship. It’s been lucrative in the past few years and no one has not received a scholarship that met the requirements and applied for it. So far, that has been a very good program for young individuals. All of them have tried to do two things and that is to graduate and earn a commission from the armed forces. They volunteer for that and it’s a huge burden, almost like earning multiple degrees. Academics come first, because if you can’t get past that, none of it matters.
Past Chair Overton moved that the remaining items on the agenda be moved to the next meeting.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 5 p.m.