September 14, 1999
Senators present: Chair Corbin, Secretary Carter, Provost Hall, Parliamentarian Link, Chair Emeritus Wahl, Senators Banks, Bottcher, Brown, Brownie, Elmaghraby, Fitzgerald, Funderlic, Grainger, Griffin, Havner, Hodge, Kimler, Knowles, Malinowski, Markham, Misra, Peel, Robinson, Sawyers, Smoak, Suh, Toplikar, Werner, Willits, Wilson
Senators absent: Senators Ash, El-Masry, Fisher, Grimes, Hamouda, Kelley, Wilkerson
Excused: Senators Gilbert, Lytle
Visitors: John Borwick, Student Senate Pro Tempore; Daniel Bunce, Assistant Editor, News Services; Ashly B. Perry; Senior Staff Writer, Technician; Jeffrey McAfec, Photographer;Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Yvonne Coston, ACE Fellow; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Robert Sowell, Associate Vice Chancellor & Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School
1. Call to Order
The third meeting of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Frederick Corbin.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Corbin welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Corbin announced that the Board of Trustees meeting will be held this week. He noted that Friday is a very good session for the faculty to attend and feel a vital part of the meeting. Many of the committee reports will be made at that time. The meeting will be held in the Alumni Conference Room. He encouraged the faculty to take time to attend if at all possible.
Chair Corbin announced that the Faculty Assembly will be meeting on Friday afternoon in Chapel Hill.
Chair Corbin announced that the General Faculty meeting will be held on November 1, 1999. The meeting will focus on faculty successes.
Senator Brownie would like the faculty to encourage members within their colleges to put forth names as nominees for the O. Max Gardner Award.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 2, August 31, 1999
The minutes of the second meeting of the forty-sixth session of the NC State Faculty Senate were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Hall stated that five applicants have been identified for the Rhodes Scholarship. There are also four candidates who are filling out the necessary materials for the Marshall Scholarships. He has asked John Wall to develop a response to a set of questions that he posed in response to the report of the Honors Council. His anticipation is that within the next few weeks the response will come back which will enable him, with this group and others, to articulate a strategy for developing a comprehensive honors program at the university. He believes this is a strategy that is critical to our academic future and critical relative to the institutions with which we are competing. He thinks that it is necessary in light of the fact that the Park Scholarship continues to draw significant numbers of high quality students.
Provost Hall stated that the University Space Committee will meet tomorrow for its first meeting of this academic year. He plans to propose that his colleagues adopt a significant way of proceeding and handling space requests. Among the changes that he is proposing is that there be an advocate for every space request to appear before the committee which will most likely be the Dean or the Head of the Division in an administrative unit. He noted that the proceedings of the Space Committee will be published on a Provost Web Site which will be accessible to everyone.
There will be written responses to all request that are made. Provost Hall stated that it is his intentions to make this process as open and as transparent as possible.
Provost Hall stated that the faculty will be hearing from Senior Associate Provost Abrams that a program is going to be instituted for departmental teaching awards for this year, and one that they intend to carry on into the future. In short measure, there will be two departments identified for outstanding teaching. Recurring money will be put into their budget simultaneously with one time funds that are intended to support and enhance teaching.
Provost Hall stated that he has been working for the past several weeks trying to formulate with the Deans of various colleges a series of budget principles. In some instances the colleges have shared those with the chairs and in some cases with the faculty. He stated that we are coming down to the point where these budget principles are going to be finalized. Among the attributes of the new budget principles are absolute transparency i.e., everyone is going to know what everyone has in their budgets and where those dollars are going. The result of this will be a different process that will entail annual budget submissions by the colleges that will be in conformance with the compact planning process.
Provost Hall stated that attention needs to be given to Environmental Sciences and Technology as one of the thrust areas of the university. It has been creeping along. He said there are a lot of inseparable issues, but it is his intention in the future to raise this to a level of discussion in the university so that we can address a more ambitious set of initiatives than are presently being pursued.
Provost Hall commended the English Department for its intern program. He stated that they are taking their students out to various public and private and non-profit businesses in the Triangle.
Provost Hall reported that both of the search processes for new Deans in PAMS and the College of Education and Psychology have been brought to an end in terms of identifying the individuals who will Chair the committees. Don Bitzer from Engineering has agreed to chair the PAMS search and Susan Nutter will chair the College of Education and Psychology search.
Provost Hall stated that he will be holding a series of lunches with mostly untenured junior faculty starting October 6 and continuing every other week thereafter.
Provost Hall stated that the first Provost of the Day was Christol Lee Jernigan, a Chemistry major. He noted that she did very well. The next Provost for a day will be John Borwick.
Provost Hall noted that one of the issues before the Senate deals with technology and the information technology structure on campus. He stated that two committees have been appointed to start dealing with these issues. One is directed specifically at information technology and the other is directed at distance or time enhanced learning. He asked Sam Averitt to organize committees to get them moving forward. It is an area where we will see very significant change from the General Administration of the University of North Carolina. Provost Hall stated that today over lunch, he learned some of the dimensions of what they have in mind. There is some sentiment to substitute so called distance education for non-distance education. He stated that he shared with the people there that he thinks we need to do a better job with distance education, but we also need to understand that there are no substitutes for doing the job well.
Provost Hall met with the task force on copyright ownership issues. They brought a report forward. He promised the task force and faculty that there will be a response to that report so we can get some dialog going about getting a policy in place that makes sense for the university when it comes to copyright matters and ownership of intellectual property.
In conclusion, Provost Hall reminded the faculty that he stands ready to take them over to see Phil Moses and the student athletic support area. He thinks it is an eye opener to see the nature of that operation and where they are.
Chair Corbin thanked Provost Hall for his remarks.
Senator Kimler asked Provost Hall to elaborate a little more on the departmental teaching awards. He wants to know if there is a time table for setting up the procedure because some of the departments in his college are re-examining how to evaluate their teaching.
Provost Hall stated that there will be a portfolio approach to developing the cases that departments want to move into competition. It is his expectation that they will put together a committee that will bring people from the academy of teaching, the Faculty Senate and others to sit on a university wide panel to review the various applications that come forward. He said he thinks this kind of competition is very helpful as we also address the issues relating to tenure and promotion and to the place of teaching in those particular decisions. He stated that it is his intention for the future to continue the competition, and he is hopeful that we will be able to recognize the winners at the spring commencement. He thinks it is a good way to underscore the value of teaching on a collective and not just an individual basis.
Senator Brownie stated that he recently reviewed a study which used California as an example, that stated that in the year 2015, 75% of the dropouts will be comprised of Blacks and Hispanics and approximately 80% of the retainers will be Asians. If this is true, he wants to know what, if anything, NCSU and other institutions are trying to do in reversing that.
Provost Hall stated that the issue is being worked on from an administrative point of view. He is trying to understand what has been the history of this institution. He stated that during the short time that he has been here, he believes that the so called diversity issue, but more fundamentally the relationship of the selection process for students and the means by which we try to retain and graduate those students, need some serious scrutiny. He feels that the appropriate time for him to address an issue of this type is on November 1 at the General Faculty meeting.
5. Unfinished Business
A. Honorary Degrees
Secretary Carter commented on the procedures for Honorary Degree selections.
He stated that a proposal will be discussed at the full committee meeting on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. and a report of the results will be given at the next faculty meeting.
6. New Business
Senator Grainger stated that relative to the tenure and promotion proposal he attended the College of Engineering Executive Committee meeting as a representative from the Faculty Senate. He was asked if the proposals are being considered by the Faculty Senate. He indicated that he did not know what they were talking about because he was not aware what it was that was being considered. It was pointed out to him that one of the most important functions of the Faculty Senate was relative to tenure and promotion and therefore he should know. He wants to know why does he not know.
Senator Havner stated that he too was not sure when would be the appropriate time to make a point relative to tenure and promotion. This is moving ahead in some departments and colleges very quickly as far as discussions by the faculty. The Civil Engineering department spent one and a half hours discussing this. From what he has heard from colleagues, there seems to be several misconceptions about the whole process. The department head was reporting some broad consensus view of the faculty in the Executive Committee Meeting. Senator Havner stated that these discussions are taking place and it seems to him that we are behind.
A. Academic Policy Committee
Senator Banks, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported that their first meeting was held last Tuesday afternoon. They began with a discussion on progress toward a degree.
He noted that Senior Associate Provost Frank Abrams attended, and discussed progress towards a degree and scholarship at the university level.
Senator Banks reminded the faculty of a workshop that will be held on the Scholarship of Teaching at Research Institutions, and encouraged the faculty to attend. It will be held in the Ballroom of the Student Center on September 30, 1999.
Senator Banks pointed out that Senior Associate Provost Abrams brought a handout to the meeting from Provost Hall on the guidelines for promotion and tenure. He has since received a promotion and tenure document from Oregon State University. The committee will be reviewing that as one model around which they will be performing their discussion. As a result of that, the Academic Policy Committee along with the Personnel Policy Committee will have a joint meeting on Tuesday, September 21 at 3:00 p.m. in the Faculty Senate Chambers.
B. Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Bottcher, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee, reported that the committee has had two meetings so far. Issues that they are considering are promotion and tenure procedures, mediations, benefits, and the academic versus calendar year appointments. Senior Associate Provost Abrams met with the committee to discuss the new promotion and tenure guidelines. The discussion made it clear that there are faculty concerns. Senator Bottcher stated that they are planning to explore the issues a little farther. The two major issues are 1) the requirements that Deans need college level review committees that will provide written assessments of promotion and tenure packages, and 2) there will be a campus wide discussion of the meaning of scholarship.
The committee is supportive of efforts by the Provost’s office to strengthen promotion and tenure procedures, but there is certainly some disagreement and need for a greater discussion regarding these procedures and trying to address issues that are perceived by a number of the faculty.
The committee also met with Sheri Plenert, Assistant Equal Opportunity Officer, to discuss mediation. The committee recommended that she present her information on the mediation program to the Faculty Senate at the next meeting.
Chair Corbin agreed that she should make a presentation at the next meeting.
With regards to benefits the committee met with Dave Rainer, Chair of the Group, Insurance and Benefits Committee. He indicated some concerns of the resolution that was passed at the end of the Faculty Senate Session last year which called upon the administration to seek and employ the legislation and the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNCGA) to try to improve our benefits situation. He has recently indicated that UNCGA is resurrecting comparative benefits issues and that he is helping to draft a short statement to remind the Chancellor, Provost and Chair Corbin of ongoing faculty support to improve benefits.
The committee is continuing to address the issue of nine-month appointments. Assistant Provost Mallette is in the process of obtaining information from other institutions that will help.
Senator Grainger wanted to know if the procedures Senator Bottcher referred to are new procedures that have been adopted and are under consideration or if they are new proposals.
Senator Bottcher responded that they are new procedures established for this fall that the administration would like to have the faculty support, but certainly the faculty’s consideration and attention, in case there is a need for modifications or adjustments.
Senior Associate Provost Abrams commented that there are changes in the procedures for the review that takes place aimed at assuring that there is clear feedback, that the individuals are being reviewed in a written form, and that there is increased involvement of faculty at the college level in those reviews. This is something that is not covered by policy. Our policy is new from what kind of reviews take place beyond the college level, and it has always been something that could be done in various ways.
Provost Hall stated that it is important to keep the bigger piece in mind. The bigger piece has to do not with the procedures, but has to do with the criteria and the scheme that we come up with by which to weigh those criteria at various levels within the institution that will promote what we are trying to do to move us toward excellence.
Provost Hall stated that one of the pieces that clearly needs to be taken account of is the whole business of the scholarship of teaching and what it is that teaching contributes to the life of the faculty, hence the life of the university. He has keen hopes that both the Academic Policy and Personnel Policy Committees will pick up the opportunity that he believes he and the Chancellor are trying to put before them. He thinks if that can be done, we will be an even better place than we already are.
Provost Hall feels that there is room for a much larger discussion. He is hopeful that the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Senate can pick the discussion up and move for the entire university.
Senator Havner stated that there was misunderstanding in his department. It is not clear to him what the word means in the context. First of all there are recommendations coming from the departments. These are presumably recommendations for tenure and/or promotion and not anything else.
Provost Hall stated that all recommendations under the scheme will go forward. The scheme is set up so, that in the context of a cycle of promotion and tenure, cases that are raised for promotion or tenure would come out of the department whether they have been positively or negatively recommended. They would go for a collegiate review.
Senior Associate Provost Abrams stated that cases for which voting faculty in the department have provided a vote will go forward.
Senator Markham stated that there is concern from his college’s Executive Committee that picking the promotion and tenure process as a forum for interdisciplinary teaching can bring out other issues that do not belong in the reappointment discussion.
Provost Hall responded that it is more important to take account of that on its face than it is not to take account of it at all. He thinks the challenge as we move toward a more interdisciplinary university, is to be able to school ourselves in the crafts and performance of one another. He noted that the tenure and promotion process is one but certainly not the only place to do that.
Provost Hall thinks that colleagues are more in jeopardy when they do not have the opportunity to have their case brought forward to another body for review. He thinks the principle good that accrues is greater faculty involvement and a more searching inquiry of the fairness and the appropriateness of any decision that is made.
Chair Emeritus Wahl pointed out that the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences has a process almost identical to what has been described. He thinks it would be useful to have someone from that college to comment on how it has and has not worked.
Senator Bottcher wants to know if it would be appropriate for a university level committee to review the reappointment documents and to provide written assessments.
Provost Hall responded that it is their hope that that will be entered into the agenda of this larger discussion. There are lots of things to make universities work. He stated that one point he would like to make is that he and the faculty do not get themselves into hardened assumptions. He said if you look across the country at the way university committees operate, they operate in several different ways. In some instances, they act as the final recommendation. They will screen all cases. Other places have set up a series of tracks (cases that come in which there is some dispute about the case where you find a Dean or a department head or faculty at odds with one another). They go off in one direction. The cases that have unanimous strong support from below go off in the other direction. He finds something appealing about that scheme of moving the issue because it then focuses attention on where we appropriately should be.
Provost Hall stated that as you move in the university to a higher and higher level, a greater level will exist with regard to disciplines and in some ways a little more creakiness with regard to interdisciplinariality. Then, making those judgements becomes a little more programmatic on an individual basis. He stated that we effectively have no university level criteria. He stated that he does not think the university needs specific criteria but needs some general criteria.
Senior Associate Provost Abrams stated that we do not have university level criteria. We have something called qualifications for rank. He believes that where we should be headed is articulating those with more depth realizing that there does have to be some generality.
Senior Associate Provost Abrams stated that each department has or should have reappointment criteria. The actual process this year is not about a change in the criteria. We are asking, however, that departmental criteria and internal procedures are made known to the college level committee and to the Provost in the course of their review.
Senator Wilson asked the Provost to speak about self assessment.
Provost Hall responded that he thinks it is appropriate in this process to ask that each of the colleagues be given the criteria to assess where they believe they are. He noted that if you do not have clear criteria, it is hard to do a self assessment, and if you have criteria but you are not asked to do an assessment, then you never get on the record what you think that you did.
Senator Grainger stated that when changes occur or are brought on he would like to know 1) what problems are being solved, by those changes, 2) that there is assurance that no new problems are being created, and 3) what value is being added by the changes.
Provost Hall stated that the law of unintended consequences is at work. He stated that from his perspective they are trying to add additional regularity and procedural oversight to the examination of materials that end up making important decisions. His judgement is that the current system as it operates does not contain enough procedural regularity and it does not contain enough attention in fixing criteria with institutional ambition and process.
Secretary Carter stated that he made a statement at the Faculty meeting in the College of Veterinary Medicine that his view is that he fully supports the proposal because in his College he fully endorses having more faculty involvement at the upper level review. Currently the college review committee is composed of the four Departments Heads, three Associate Deans and the Dean. This sounds fine except when you consider that our Department for the most part gives the Dean considerable lead way in appointing his staff which is the Associate Dean position. One of the Associate Deans is doing a very fine job but he is an Associate Professor and I would object to an Associate Professor being among those people who review those who are being promoted to full Professor. He stated that he would also probably support the university wide review which he thinks has real benefit for the academic community.
Senator Bottcher wanted to know if Provost Hall senses that there is more of a concern regarding the criteria guidelines of scholarship with teaching than with research or extension.
Provost Hall stated that an important part of what we need to think about now is the elements that go into teaching and how they relate to one another. He thinks that is a discussion that is worthy.
C. Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Brown, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee, reported that the committee has met once and that was basically an organizational meeting. She stated that in the coming weeks, the committee will be addressing issues such as the Physical Master Plan, parking, computing resources, Rocky Branch project, Official Bulletin, Centennial Campus and the Hillsborough Street partnership.
Chair Emeritus Wahl thanked Senator Brown for arranging the installation of the new projector in the Conference Room and thanked Senator Banks for getting it working from a computer standpoint.
Chair Corbin adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m.