September 29, 1998
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Chair Elect Corbin, Secretary Daley, Provost Stiles, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bottcher, Brown, El-Masry, Fahmy, Funderlic, Gilbert, Griffin, Hooker, Jewell, Knowles, Markham, Middleton, Monahan, Nagel, Patty, Peel, Robinson, Serow, Siderelis, Suh, Wall, Wilkerson
Senators absent: Senators Carter, De Buysscher, Hamouda, Kimler, Lewis, Ollis, Schwab, Willits
Visitors: John Kanipe, Secretary of the University; Hank Fiumara, Director, University Improvement Program; Robert Sowell, Acting Dean, Graduate School; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Jim Rudisill, Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Advising; Andrew Payne, Vice President for Academic Policy, Student Government; Seth Whitaker, President Pro Tempore, Student Senate; Shantul Samuel, Associate Pro Tempore, Student Senate; Rebecca Leonard, Assistant Provost; Michael Cookson Technician Writer; Brent Horton, Technician Photographer; Art Cooper, Chair, Council on Athletics, Clare Braxton, Library Assistant; Dan Solomon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
1. Call to Order
The third meeting of the forty fifth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair George Wahl.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Wahl welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Wahl announced that a Provost Search Open Forum will be held in the Faculty Senate Chambers on Friday, October 2, 1998 at 1:30 p.m, and there will be an advertisement for a new Provost in the Chronicle of Higher Education next week.
The next regularly scheduled Faculty Senate Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 1998. Chair Wahl appointed a committee composed of Fred Corbin, Dennis Daley, Hechmi Hamouda , and Moon Suh to find out when the Faculty Senate will be able to meet on Centennial Campus. He noted that the three possible dates are October 20, November 3, and November 17.
Chair Wahl led the Senate in a moment of silence in remembrance of Professor Larry Bowen, Chemistry Department, who passed away last week.
Chair Wahl announced that Smedes York has been elected as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Chair Wahl announced that the Board of Visitors will be meeting on November 16. They would like to be briefed on how to find and retain the best scholars for our faculty. He stated that the Senate has taken that as an invitation to bring the resolution on benefits to them.
Chair Wahl announced that at the Faculty Assembly on Friday, President Broad announced that the issue of benefits will be high on her agenda.
Chair Wahl announced that a task force has been appointed on summer school. The idea is that the biennial budget may include money for changing the way the summer session is handled. Will Kimler will be one of the representatives on that task force.
Chair Wahl urged the Senators to attend one of the remaining three meetings of the Board of Trustees.
Senator Hooker commented that he is pleased that the Student Body President is a Trustee of the University. He wonders why the faculty does not have a representative on the Trustees.
Chair Wahl responded that as employees, faculty cannot serve as voting members of the Board of Trustees. He did an informal survey of some of the other constituent institutions and found that there are a couple that have a non voting faculty member on their Board of Trustees. Chair Wahl assigned the issue to the Governance Committee to investigate farther.
Senator Wall announced that on Tuesday, October 20, 1998, at 7:00 p.m. in Stewart Theater, the Honors Council will be hosting the Annual Honors Convocation. The speaker this year will be Mark Plotkin, a world-renowned ethnobotanist and Executive Director of the Ethnobiology and Conservation Team.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 2, September 15, 1998
The minutes of the second meeting of the forty fifth session were approved.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Stiles noted that by the end of year seven, there will probably be 2% of an entering class that is still persisting and trying to get a degree. He said that means the limits on our graduation rates are primarily from suspensions and withdrawals. Approximately 6% to 8% of the class is suspended. There is 20% to 25% of an incoming class that withdraws. That means our graduation rate will vary (7 year rate) from 65% to 72%. He feels that is not bad in comparison to other institutions (if that is the measure of success). He stated that letting numbers be the surrogate for understanding is an easy way out. However, over and over we use numbers or letters to symbolize qualities. We need short cuts to solutions as we have so much to do.
Provost Stiles stated that numbers are what we often fall back on. We use one such number for admitting students. Most people believe that some of the numbers (SATs) are not good predictors of success. At this institution we have tried to incorporate SATs, GPAs and some other factors to predict the grades that a student will have in their first year here. It is part of the mix in how we admit students into this institution. It is not a great predictor for a single, particular student, but it does pretty good on average. Provost Stiles stated that it is not surprising that if someone has been successful in high school, they are likely to be successful in college as opposed to someone who was not successful in high school.
Provost Stiles stated that we are getting better students. We are getting better students as measured by the AI and it is not surprising therefore that our graduation rates have gone up. He stated that there is a small but measurable dependence on average of retention rate into the second year. This information tells us where we may want to concentrate our efforts to increase overall success (if graduation rates are all that is important). He stated that one of the things we have been trying to do in the five years that he has been here is to look for pre-admittance parameters which would improve our success as measured by graduation rates. If we could do that, he thinks that would be important. Provost Stiles suggested that maybe we should not be focusing on the traditional definition of student success i.e., graduation but on a person's lifetime success.
Provost Stiles reported that if we look at those students who withdraw from NC State, approximately one fifth will go to another UNC institution and graduate. He asked is that bad? Did they find what they wanted? Is financial support better at other institutions? Was it smaller? He stated that you can ask all sorts of reasons, but they graduate. What about the other 15% to 20%? He feels that NC State should spearhead a project to follow those students and find out about them. He stated that we could find out so much from those one thousand students per year who enter this university and do not graduate. We would get statistical information and he thinks that is very important.
Provost Stiles believes that the real measure of success is what those people who have been touched by our institution do with their lives and do for society. He noted that in the past, we have not prepared our students just for a job, but for their second and third job. In a sense that is still expected because it is talking about the job contribution to society. Yes, we are the science, engineering and technology institution in North Carolina. Yet, if that is all we do to prepare and educate our students, we may be admired and envied for what will certainly be major successes in that arena. The economic engine is a great strength and resource for society, necessary but not sufficient to a truly great society.
Provost Stiles stated that recently we have begun to ask our graduates and their employers if the student was well prepared. We have not asked them or any other graduate farther back in our history, what are they doing for the community? If we really want to be responsible for our patrons, we need to. We must focus on what is really success, the hard to measure, and quantify aspects of what we do. We need to set ourselves for the long term, stay the course and deliver the goods to our patrons.
A. Honorary Doctoral Degrees
John Kanipe, Secretary of the University, stated that he wanted to share with the faculty the importance of their active participation in identifying those people who are deserving of receiving honorary doctoral degrees from the university.
Mr. Kanipe stated that it is not the interest of the Board of Trustees to give honorary degrees to those that are not deserving. It does seem that we are missing opportunities to honor the university and to honor those persons that have achieved in their career, contributions of lasting distinctions. It is in that spirit that he cares today to ask help in seeking out the names of those persons. He thought the Senate would be interested to know that the university awarded its first honorary degree in 1917. Since that time it has awarded a total of one hundred sixty-five honorary degrees. In fact, between 1969 and 1983 this university awarded only three honorary doctoral degrees. The message that the Trustees would like to convey to the faculty is that they are an active participant in the process. The Faculty Senate selects five representatives to serve on a committee that is comprised of ten members. The Board of Trustees' Chairman similarly appoints five trustees to serve on the committee. The bylaws of the Board of Trustees specify that the Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees serves as Chair of the Committee. This is a process that was reformed in the mid 1990s to be certain that there was formal involvement and a collegial process with the faculty for the process of selecting those persons that would be given the high distinction and honor of receiving honorary degrees.
Mr. Kanipe stated that he went back to the bylaws of the Board of Trustees and brought to the Faculty Senate, copies of the nomination form, copies of the specific bylaws of the university pertaining to the criteria that will be used in selecting those persons who receive the honorary doctoral degrees and then from the archives a list of those persons that have been so honored going back to 1917. In recent years the honorees have included several graduates of North Carolina State; Albert Carnesale, Chancellor of UCLA, General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Edgar Woolard, Former Chairman of the Board of the Dupont Corporation, and Dr. Robinson, former President of St. Augustine's College. Mr. Kanipe noted that the Board is anxious to get the faculty's assistance and support. They plan to continue to place invitations in the University Bulletin and other publications.
B. Diversity Climate Team
Dr. Rebecca Leonard, Assistant Provost, stated that the diversity initiative held talks about four issues regarding 1) access and retention, 2) institutional climate, 3) curricula and pedagogical transformation, and 4) institutionalization. Dr. Leonard introduced Clare Braxton and Dan Solomon as members of the Diversity Climate Team and Hank Fiumara as facilitator.
Dr. Leonard discussed goal two regarding campus climate which stated that NC State will create a working and learning environment where differences are welcomed and valued so that NC State will have a climate that offers opportunity for and supports the success of all students, staff, and faculty. The team was charged to review existing climate studies from other institutions to identify a set of relevant institutional climate factors that support diversity, to incorporate those into an instrument, and as a consequence of the survey being distributed and the data returned, provide a list of recommendations. It would then plan for administering an ongoing set of studies.
Dr. Leonard stated that in the diversity plan, campus climate includes the culture, decisions, factors, policies and behavior, that taken together, constitute the working and learning environment at NC State University. All members of the NC State community should believe that they are members of the supportive working and learning environment. Such a climate is everyone's responsibility and includes fostering a climate of civility and respect for others, elimination of unlawful discrimination, and providing easy access for redress if needed.
The team has identified some factors or issues around which they wish to survey people in the community. They have drafted a survey and are at the point of piloting that survey. She stated that they hope to administer it to either the entire population or some appropriate sample of that population. They anticipate having reports written from the results of the data. The reports would make suggestions for continued improvement and also note best practices that might be already occurring in some areas that are apparently having some appropriate results. The team has discussed administering the full survey every two or three years and, in intervening years, focusing on particular issues that came out of the first survey.
Senator Serow asked Dr. Leonard to expand on the concept of non-punitive reporting results.
Dr. Solomon responded that one of the objectives of the survey is to use the survey itself.
Clare Braxton added that one of the primary reasons for the survey is to develop a baseline on our standing of where we are in our climate issues and how to improve upon them based on that first baseline.
Dr. Leonard stated that by October 6 they will have a survey in hand and would like the Faculty, Staff, and Student Senates to take the survey and return it. They would then like to meet with the Senates to get feedback regarding individual questions, sense of the survey, process, etc. that might improve the survey. They would also like support for the implementation of the survey.
Senator Monahan wanted to know if the results of the survey would reflect whether faculty are doing a good or bad job.
Dr. Leonard responded that the team would know what faculty, staff, and students' perceptions, attitudes and experiences are.
Provost Stiles added that the survey can identify areas where one thinks he or she is likely to be able to do better.
C. Council on Athletics
Dr. Art Cooper, Chair of the Council on Athletics, handed out copies of the Athletics Report Card for the Intercollegiate Athletic Program. Dr. Cooper stated that the report card is an attempt to put into statistics the academic performance and qualifications of the recruited student athletes. In the last year some of their indicators rose and some fell. Dr. Cooper stated that the NCAA is considering changing its initial eligibility criteria. The initial eligibility criteria requirement is a very real and ongoing issue in the NCAA. There is a small group of people who believe that use of a standardize test score is wrong and prejudicial against certain groups and there is an effort to change the initial eligibility requirements so that they will either eliminate the standardize test score or minimize its importance in making decisions about eligibility. The Council on Athletics, Atlantic Coast Conference, and the NCAA academic and eligibility cabinet indicated the desire to stay with the prevailing requirements for the time being.
Dr. Cooper reported that the major activity of the Council during the 1997-98 year was work on a report on competitiveness. This report grew out of a concern on the Council with the desire to be involved in dimensions of the athletic program other than just the academic athletic interface. In talking to coaches, administrators, and other constituencies involved in athletics, it became clear that there was some features of the university that limited our athletic competitiveness. Dr. Cooper stated that the preamble of the report that they prepared last year reflects the philosophy of the Council now and the philosophy against which they developed this report and this recommendation.
Dr. Cooper stated that they were concerned about what can be done to nurture the development of the athletic programs within the context of the University where they are located. The four areas of concern he identified were the physical image of the university, the public perception of the university, the need for improvements in practice, and playing facility. In accessing the situation that now stands considering that we began this study two years ago, it appears that in two of these areas substantial progress has been made. Those are the areas involving the physical appearance of the university and the area of improvement of practice and playing facilities. We had a report from the department last meeting on their facilities development plan. They have an ambitious plan which goes beyond an entertainment and sports arena. It speaks to the need of all of the sports, both men's and women's sports. If that plan is realized on the time schedule that is being predicted, our facilities problems will be substantially improved. That leaves the problems associated with public perception of the university and its academic programs and the university academic image. Both things are matters in which they have concern about. He stated that the Council will be working during the coming year to develop recommendations to give to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors things that can be done to improve the university in both of those areas. He noted that Chancellor Fox is very sensitive to these issues and the Council have reason to believe that she will accept their recommendations as long as they are reasonable.
Dr. Cooper stated that the Senate has a very small recommendation from the Athletic Council to change the description of the qualifications of the Chair of the Faculty Academic Committee. The Council would like the Senate's reactions with respect to that purposed change. The change is designed to make it clear that the Chair of the Faculty Academic Committee is to be a faculty member who has had substantial experience with the academic elements of the university.
Dr. Cooper stated that it has been brought to the attention of the Council what appeared to be the violation of the university's excused absence policy. The university has an excused absence policy that states that students shall receive excused absences for some anticipated absences as well as for emergencies. It goes on to indicate that extracurricular activities including intercollegiate athletics are grounds for excused absences. It has been brought to the attention of the Council several syllabi from courses in which there are statements that indicate that the student is allowed only two absences, excused or unexcused. He stated that the statement is clearly not consistent with the university's excused absence policy. Dr. Cooper would like the matter referred to the Academic Policy Committee for it to review.
Senator Siderelis wanted to know how many student athletes are there.
Dr. Cooper responded that the figure would be upward of 500. Cheerleaders would be included in that number.
Andrew Payne, Vice President for Academic Policy, Student Government, stated that most students feel that athletes are excluded from the rest of the campus. He would like to know if the Council can address why the athletes eat alone at Case Athletics Center and live alone at the Stroud Center.
Dr. Cooper responded that neither of those statements are entirely true because the student athletes can only eat one meal a day in the Case Center. The NCAA passed a rule approximately four years ago that permits only one training table meal a day. The other two meals are being eaten somewhere else. The same is true of living conditions. They do not live alone in the Stroud Center. The Stroud Center has to be occupied by 51% of someone other than athletes.
Andrew stated that in general, students feel athletes are isolated. Can the Council address that?
Dr. Cooper responded that he feels that is legitimate and correct. The Council has not addressed that.
Provost Stiles wanted to know if the athletes have approximately 20 hours per week where they are in fact, separated from the rest of the campus because they are involved in athletics.
Dr. Cooper said that is correct and that is also determined by NCAA. It is written into the bylaws.
Senator Nagel asked Dr. Cooper to discuss his ideas about why athletes should be excused because of athletics.
Dr. Cooper stated that his reason for believing why a student athlete should be excused is the same as his reason for believing that someone who was participating on a cattle judging team or horticulture judging team or in the choir should receive an excused absence. That is a university sanctioned, extracurricular activity and the university absence policy specifically states that students so participating should be given an excused absence. He noted that it is a matter of abiding by the university's own rules. Dr. Cooper stated that in his opinion, there is a clear obligation on the part of the student to make clear when the student anticipates being absent. That should be communicated to the instructor. In the case of a student athlete, that can be communicated on the very first day of class with a copy of the competition schedule.
Dr. Wahl thanked Dr. Cooper for his remarks.
6. New Business
Chair Wahl reported that the Board of Visitors will be meeting on October 16, 1998. There is an ad hoc committee actively trying to put together the best reasons why benefits need to be improved. Chair Wahl noted that it would be useful for anyone having a case history concerning benefits, to share the information with him, Bruce Mallette, Bob Serow, or Provost Stiles.
7. Issues of Concern
Senator Gilbert raised an issue of concern on representation of retired faculty on the Faculty Senate.
Chair Wahl assigned the concern to the Governance Committee.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:50 p.m.