APRIL 20, 2004
Present: Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Past Chair Carter, Provost Oblinger, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Atkin, Beasley, Bernhard, Bitting, Brownie, Bruck, DeLuca, Estes, Fahmy, Fikry, Hammerberg, Honeycutt, Hooper, Jasper, Kasal, Khosla, Krotee, McRae, Middleton, Misra, Smith, Stoddard, Tetro, Tyler, Warren
Excused: Senators Branson, Brothers, Headen, Matthews
Absent: Senators Allen, Batra, Griffin, Peacock, Rice
Visitors: Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor; Benny Benton, Editor of the Bulletin; Richard Johnson, Senator-elect; Hassan Hassan, Holladay Medal Recipient; Vincent M. Foote, Holladay Medal Recipient; Charles Duncan, News Projects Editor, Technician; Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Bobby Puryear, Adult Credit Programs & Summer Sessions; George Worsley, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business; Tommy Griffin, Director, Undergraduate Admissions; Phil Moses, Director, ASPSA; Terree Kuiper, Director of Emp/Comp, Human Resources; Betty Bryan, Business Officer, DELTA; Kenneth Adler, Holladay Medal Recipient; Erich Fabricius, Student Senate President; Lee Fowler, Athletics Director; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Sandy Connolly, Assist Vice Provost for Academic Administration; Kasey Butler, Technician
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the fourteenth meeting of the fiftieth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Daley recognized the newly elected Senators and thanked the retiring senators for there work on the Senate.
Chair Daley announced that the Board of Trustees passed a resolution of their dismay about the Board of Governors decision regarding the establishment of an Engineering Program at East Carolina University. The resolution is going to be sent to the President of the UNC System.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 13, April 6, 2004
The minutes were approved unanimously.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Fox
I have just returned from Washington from the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences and I have good and bad news for you. The good news is that Kerry Smith our colleague has been elected. The bad news is that our colleagues at Duke and Chapel Hill did not have anyone elected this year.
I want to thank so many of you and to offer my apologies again for missing the Spring Faculty meeting. I think all of you who attended or you may have heard elsewhere that I have agreed to accept the position as the seventh Chancellor of the University of California at San Diego starting in August, which means that I will be your Chancellor only through the July Board of Trustees meeting and would hope to finish up any issues that are important for the life of the university by that time.
There is never a good time to leave an institution that is as highly regarded and that is as dear to my heart as North Carolina State, but when I look at things objectively stepping back we have just had a wonderful SACS Accreditation Report. We are going to be doing an NCAA accreditation and all the signs look positive for that by the end of April. Our campus police that was problematic a few years ago in terms of their operations has been certified by their national organization. We have a Quality Enhancement Plan for our LITRE and it has an administrative structure that through the Center for Teaching and Learning as well as the LITRE project will allow it to proceed very effectively. We are well along the way on compact planning and the negotiations that will prepare us very well for the budget process. As you know we have created a budget committee that will allow this body to have input on how decisions are made irrespective of how tight or how loose the budget may be. There are really strong contributions going on at every level. As you know we have a capital campaign that is doing extremely well. It has not gone out of the silent phase but we have already increased the goal by 35% because we were so successful. We have gotten to a stage where we went from essentially a very poorly functional fundraising apparatus to one that is now competitive at a national level. We have raised more than five hundred million dollars in pledges over the last several years and would assume that the billion dollar campaign is well within the grasp of this campus and all is set up to achieve that.
I will always cherish the friendships and professional collegiality that I have enjoyed with so many of you as individuals and as this group. I thank you very sincerely for that support.
The real reason for calling you together today from my remarks point of view is to celebrate George Worsley’s careers and accomplishments here. As all of you know his service to the university has been extensive. He has been here for forty-one years. He was hired on August 1, 1963. To put things into perspective, I was a sophomore in high school. He has served as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business for twenty-eight years and as Vice Chancellor his accomplishments have included leading NC State’s financial operations with integrity, with discipline, with political insight and wisdom that has earned for him the respect not only of our campus, but of his peers in North Carolina and across the US. He has helped guide NC State through a period of unprecedented expansion to its current position as one of America’s preeminent institutions. He has played a major role in the initial development and subsequent growth of the Centennial Campus. He has led the negotiations of yearly stages in developing the Entertainment and Sports Arena, which has made such a contribution to our Athletics Program. He has guided legislative changes through the UNC Board of Governors and the General Assembly that have modernized and some would say even revolutionized financial management of public higher education in North Carolina. For all of those kind of achievements he has been recognized nationally. In 2003 for example, he received the 2000 Distinguished Business Officer of the Year Award of NACUBO which is the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The NC State Alumni Association has honored him in 2003 with an honorary alumnus award for his faithful participation in the life of the university. Before joining NC State in 1963 he worked as a Certified Public Accountant in Rocky Mount and he served as Lieutenant in the US Navy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UNC Chapel Hill and has taken up the mantel whenever he has been called upon to do so. It was in recognition of these incredible achievements by George Worsley that I think we owe him a huge debt. We had the occasion last Thursday when the trustees were here to do two things in his honor. One was to establish a scholarship in his name at the bequest of his daughter and the second is that we will be naming the Administrative Services Complex on Sullivan Drive, something that has been a development and was close and dear to his heart, after him. This is a complex in which some of his colleagues will continue to operate out of for many years. That complex will encompass the existing Administrative Services Building, a new support services building which is under construction and the soon to be renovated graphics building. Most of the services that are in these three buildings are units within Finance and Business and so we really believe that naming this set of buildings as a single complex gives it a specific identity and it sets high standards of achievement and high levels of accountability for which George’s contributions have been named. Please join me in congratulating George and thanking him for forty-one years of incredible service to the university.
5. Resolution of Commendation to George Worsley, Vice Chancellor of Finance & Business
Chair Daley read and presented a framed copy of a resolution of commendation to Vice Chancellor Worsley from the Faculty Senate.
Comments from Vice Chancellor Worsley
This is indeed a great honor for me and I am not sure that I can bring forth words to express my appreciation. I can recall the only times that I have been before you is either to talk about parking or budget cuts, so it is with great pleasure that I am here today. Thank you very much.
6. Recognition of Holladay Medal Recipients
Chair Daley recognized and congratulated Kenneth Adler, College of Veterinary Medicine; Vincent Foote, College of Design; Hassan Hassan, College of Engineering; Lucinda MacKethan, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Bruce Zobel, College of Natural Resources for being recipients of the Holladay Medal.
7. Old Business
Overload Compensation and Summer Pay for Faculty
Senator McRae, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee stated that a working group was formed to review the issues of overload compensation as it was then called for faculty members within their term of employment, and also to review the regulations and issues associated with faculty participation in summer school teaching and other duties during the summer.
This committee met under the leadership of Assistant Provost Sandy Connolly and has devised two replacement regulations for the three regulations which governed the issues that were previously spoke to. Senator McRae moved that the Senate endorse the two replacement regulations.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Committee on Committees Report
Recently, faculty and administrators have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the current structure of university standing committees. In response, Provost Oblinger requested an evaluation by the Faculty Senate. Subsequently, the Faculty Senate Governance Committee prepared a report with substantive assistance from the Provost’s administrative staff. The primary change in the committee structure proposed is that the support responsibility for each standing committee be assigned to the administrative office it advises.
Senator Catherine Warren noted that the report from the Governance Committee does not refer to the numerous ad-hoc committees across campus over which the Faculty Senate doesn’t have oversight. She stated that twenty-seven committees are being considered at this point.
The Faculty Senate voted unanimously to approve the report.
8. Athletics Report
Dr. Donn Ward, Faculty Athletics Director stated that last July the Chancellor and Provost appointed an ad hoc task force on initial and continuing eligibility of student athletes, which was chaired by Dr. Art Cooper, former Faculty Athletics Representative. The group was charged to thoroughly examine the university’s procedures for admitting student athletes, i.e., freshmen and transfers and to make recommendations to the Chancellor and Provost for changes in the current process needed to document that student athletes have met all university and NCAA admissions criteria. In addition, they were asked to thoroughly examine the current process for certifying the continuing eligibility status of student athletes and to make recommendations to the Chancellor and Provost regarding any necessary changes to reduce the risk of misclassification.
“I feel that the task force did a splendid job. They accomplished their charge and submitted their final report to the Chancellor and Provost in November and their report was accepted. In the process of analyzing the situation as outlined in their charge, they identified a number of areas of concern. One was that the current method for continuing eligibility depends on active involvement of faculty members on the Council on Athletics’ Faculty Academic Committee. The faculty involvement itself is a good thing. The difficulty is that the rules and regulations of the NCAA are such that when you only have to do this twice a year and yet you are doing it for more than five hundred student athletes, the opportunity for mistakes are significant.
The other issue that they brought as a concern was attempts to develop computer printouts to assist the process have never been entirely successful. The problems lay in the extreme difficulty of developing programs that use NC State’s academic data from Registration and Records that can also incorporate every nuance of the NCAA eligibility requirements. The biggest problem is the nuances of the NCAA eligibility requirements. It is very difficult to deal with that and the fact that they have changed numerous times over the past fifteen years only adds to the problem.
The task force did develop a number of recommendations that will aid in minimizing the risk and mistakes and at the same time, improve efficiency. They indicated that the duties involved in determining initial eligibility are currently defused over a number of units in the university, which includes the Admissions Office, the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes, Registration and Records, Financial Aid Office, the Compliance Office of the Athletics Department, the Council on Athletics and the Faculty Athletic Representative. Although the persons involved are clear as to their responsibilities and discharge them competently, there has not been an individual responsible for coordinating and centralizing the eligibility data such as an Eligibility Coordinator. I am pleased to report that as of tomorrow, we will have an Eligibility Coordinator. Her name is Jena McPhee who comes to us from Chapel Hill. She will be housed in the office of Registration and Records and therefore will report to the Provost’s Office. Her salary is being paid by Athletics. Her role will be a significant one, which will be to coordinate the many officers that are involved in these decisions and are assembling the data that we will be using on the Council on Athletics in making continuing eligibility decisions.
The other area that we have been dealing with this year is in modifying our bylaws. We have proposed a number of modifications, which we have submitted to the Chancellor for her review and hopefully her approval. For the most part proposed changes are not substantial but will merely bring the bylaws in harmony with the council’s current operating procedures. There are a number of proposed changes that I don’t think are that significant that I need to bring to your attention.
1) We proposed to make the new eligibility coordinator an Ex-Officio member of the Council.
2) We chose to insert an element under the article that deals with the Council’s Faculty Academic Committee that would allow the committee to meet at appropriate times with the Faculty Senate’s Academic Policy Committee on matters associated with academic policy and student athletes. That recommendation came to me as a specific request by one of your senators.
3) Also, since the Faculty Academic Committee is the only committee of the council that can report outside of the council’s structure we have proposed to insert an element that would allow them to report directly to the Faculty Senate as well.
All of this I hope is an effort to make sure that there is ample communications among those various groups that have interest in the Athletic Program and specifically the academic integrity of the Athletic Program and our student athletes. I feel very good about it, but I think that we need to continue to strive to be very inclusive in our ability to talk and to communicate.
I am very pleased to report from the ACC that Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College have been meeting with the ACC since the beginning of the academic year. They are very pleased to be joining us. Their Faculty Athletic Representatives have been nothing short of amazed at the conferences’ governing structure. As FARs in their current situations they have never been invited to participate in discussions of conference business or governance, much less vote on behalf of the institutions. As members of the ACC they will have a significant role and responsibilities in the governance of the ACC. So much so that it is possible that they could even become defendants in a lawsuit from time to time.
There are a number of issues I could bring to your attention. They always seem to be out there and one that I will mention is the recruiting issue and the unfortunate situation that occurred at Colorado that resulted in the NCAA forming a task force to develop recommendations to review rules and practices related to official campus visits by perspective student athletes. This task force is making its recommendations today to the NCAA management council and assuming those recommendations are accepted, they will be moved to the next level which is the Board of Directors meeting which will occur in the next week or two. In light of that same issue, the ACC Council of Presidents requested that the conference review this issue as well. As a result the ACC has named a committee to review the recruiting practices and Lee Fowler has been appointed chair of the committee. I am confident that we will be seeing recommendations and changes that will seek to rein in some of the ongoing excesses that have occurred in the recruiting of student athletes.
Sportsmanship is an ongoing issue. There are some significant concerns related to sportsmanship in such areas as players and coaches’ behavior as well as fan behavior. I believe over the next year or two you will be seeing some legislation, some issues that are brought forth as a consequence of this ongoing concern. We have seen an indication in recent years particularly of fan behavior that has elevated to violence that has spilled over in the neighboring communities. I feel very fortunate that we have not had any situations like this on this campus in our conference. Again, due diligence is such that we need to continue to look at these efforts.
I want to thank those of you that participated in my three-year review. As most of you are aware there are a number of groups that have taken on the issue of reforming intercollegiate athletics. Among the reforms that many of these groups are seeking is a more substantial faculty voice. In some cases they are seeking to have some voice at all. You can read in to that that some institutions do not have faculty athletic reps for example, or if they do their roles are not very relevant or responsibilities are not very significant. Based on my three years of experience, I think NC State does as well as anyone. I am not suggesting that our system is perfect but I do believe it is very functional. The fact that the FAR is reviewed is a very novel concept that is not universal by any stretch of the imagination and the fact that our Chancellor sought input from such a large number of individuals representing such a diverse group is without precedent. I am very appreciative of the comments that I received. All are constructive and I will be using these as I attempt to represent you to the athletics department, to the Chancellor and Provost, to the ACC and the NCAA. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and I will ask Phil Moses to come forward and talk about special considerations.”
Comments from Phil Moses
“I believe that I am here at the request of some members of the Faculty Senate to give an update on the last two admission cycles during which we did admit some student athletes who were classified as admission exceptions. I wanted to try to provide a general update that will ease your mind and allow you to feel good about what is in place. I appreciate Donn Ward’s oversight of the entire academic piece relative to student athletes and where they fit on the campus. He talked about some openness and some disclosure of things and I think that Lee will speak to that. We want to share information. We want to make sure that people feel comfortable about what is in place. From my end as Director of the Academic Program for Student Athletes, I am extremely proud of the academic performance of our student athletes. I am extremely proud of the staff that we have been able to put in place and appreciative of the funding that comes from the Department of Athletics. This enables to do our jobs while looking to create partnerships across campus and looking around within this room right now I know that we have many of you as partners.
A total of eleven for the last two admissions cycles of admission exceptions came in as student athletes. In that group there were nine males and two females, and at this time ten continue to be enrolled at the institution. They are prevailing to move through, satisfying NC State continuing enrollment requirements and NCAA requirements and I feel very comfortable that all ten will make it through. I was very up front about that at the beginning and in a commitment that I made to the Chancellor because I don’t believe we should admit any student or student athlete who does not have a legitimate shot at being successful, moving toward graduation and I don’t believe we ever will. I based that a lot on the commitment from the Athletics Department by making sure that certain things that need to happen do, in fact, happen. I appreciate the guidance that comes from above us and can assure you that we have a great academic program in place to support our Student Athletes. We tend to be very intrusive and assertive, initiallyin the freshmen/sophomore years where we are looking for the growth and maturity to kick in and that they move forward and they extend their wings and grow like they should. “
Senator Warren stated that one of her students ran a story in the Technician on recruitment abuses at NC State with fellow players taking potential recruits out on the town. “I do know that that was an extraordinarily carefully reported story. I just call your attention to that. I do know that the student worked for several months to get the details and may I say that it echoed some of the experiences in Colorado.”
Lee Fowler, Athletic Director stated that he thought that the article was referring to Carolina, State, and Duke. The issue that would even be close to Colorado happened at Duke and not at NC State. He noted that the story was referring to all three of the area schools and the issue concerning women was at another institution.
Donn Ward stated that they have a number of council members ask questions regarding the stately ladies and their role. Consequently this coming Friday there will be a meeting of the council and they have arranged to have someone there to talk to them about that program and what it’s function is. “I also might add that the task force report of the NCAA that the management council is receiving today, assuming that moves forward to the Board of Directors, would eliminate groups like the stately ladies from the recruiting process at the NCAA level and certainly we would be complying with whatever mandates came from there. I also know that there are others from the Chancellor’s office who have been asking questions about the program of the stately ladies. It is an issue that is currently being looked into as far as the council is concerned and from the NCAA perspective should their recommendations go through I am not sure that that organization in their role in recruiting would survive the regulation that would be coming out of that task force.”
Fowler stated that they have had one conference call on the conference recruiting task force. “I think that every school in the conference has a group of ladies. Two schools in the conference have males and females that are host. Every school has had one since 1988 when all of this kind of started in football. If the NCAA does not do away with them we are still going to continue on with the conference and decide as a conference what we are going to do with those groups and whether we will allow them or not. We will have weekends where maybe one hundred football players will come in for a weekend on unofficial visits. The only thing that they can do is to come near campus and then go to football games and go home. If you can imagine parents of one hundred kids coming in, there are a lot of people that need to explain things about the campus and these young women are basically used to just explaining about campus. They cannot be with these young people anywhere away from the football facilities so we are very much on top of this but we will look into it even if the NCAA does not do away with them.”
Senator Tetro stated that she does not think there is a need for these young women. She suggested that there be ambassadors. “We could have representatives from the university serving both male and female recruits in that capacity and move ourselves into the twenty first century with regard to helping with recruiting activities.”
Fowler stated that they have already decided that if they keep a group it is going to be male and female. It will not just be female. If this goes through by the end of this month there may not be any groups at all. The NCAA is proposing that you use the same groups that show around other students when they come to campus.
Comments from Senator Robert Bruck
I want to make it clear that it is not my intent to bring any harm to this university. I doubt that there is a person at this table that has a greater land grant ethic than I in terms of visualizing this university as a people’s university, as a place of opportunity for all the citizens in this state and beyond. Since the little blurb in the Technician and in the white paper that I sent around I will just suffice in saying I have received hundreds of emails and personal communications from throughout the campus from both faculty and students alike and I am glad that I said what I did because it has been a real learning experience for me.
I am going to make several premises that I hope can be addressed by this body because I think it is an extraordinarily important injunction in time. The first premise that I am going to make is that the public education system primary and secondary in the state of North Carolina is broken with a capital “B”. It is severely undermining our ability to educate our children. I had phone calls from people like Jim Clark who is astounded at the English skills that are brought into this university. The best and brightest of our students have never been best or brighter. I teach an honors course and I am thrilled every time I walk in there. We have some of the brightest kids anywhere in the country on this campus. Those are not the ones I am referring to. There is not a kid in Wake, Durham, or Orange County who takes AP Environmental Science who does not hear from me on a yearly basis. I give speeches. I recruit. But let me give you an example of what is known as the AP game. The AP game is very simple and I am not going to throw you numbers because everything I am talking about is anecdotal. I have no science. I have no statistical surveys to give to you. The AP game is very simple. You take from my class here on campus seventy students from twenty-two majors. None of them are athletes or disability people. From those seventy students there were in high school 187 AP courses taken. The number of AP exams attempted was ninety-one. The remainder of them were told not to bother taking the AP exam. The score breakdown, you all know it goes from five to one: 5- 0, 4- 2, 3- 11, 2- 39, 1- 39. The total GPA (A, B, C, D, F) from those courses as reported to me is 5.51 out of 4. You get 6 grade points. I spoke to a number of the teachers who are friends of mind. They said the parents insist that we load them up with AP courses so that they are able to be able to get high GPAs so that they can get into NC State and Carolina. Technical competence is not enough in what we are able to provide. Too many of my kids do not know how to functionally read and write and too many is one as far as I am concerned, but unfortunately that number is significantly higher.
I think we are going to have to demand accountability from our high schools. Only one in every three high schools in North Carolina met federal standards last year. Five of thirty-two high schools in Wake, Durham, and Johnson County reached this goal. I don’t know what that means. What is the federal standard? Achievements in high schools are going to have to be looked at. I say we demand essays and that they be looked at on this campus for admission of freshmen and transfer students. I mentioned in that two-pager that I sent around that I serve on the alumni admissions board of my three alma maters. Every year I have students drive to my house and I interview them for an hour. I write a comprehensive report. How do I write it? I am taught the way. The school sends me a form and educates me. What are we looking for? Leadership. Is this kid articulate? What kind of vocabulary is he or she using? Finally as I said in that letter and I volunteer myself and I can only volunteer myself, I believe that no undergraduate student should be admitted to this university without a comprehensive interview. If that means faculty members have to in their respective disciplines interview five people over a weekend or a night, so be it. You say, how can you learn something? Well folks I am on the final selection committee of Park Scholars, Kenan Fellows, the list goes on and on and we make our decisions. They are all “A” students. They are all leaders, half of them get it and half of them do not. Based on an interview, I can learn a lot by speaking to someone just for half an hour. If we don’t assume that responsibility as faculty, then I am afraid that the quality of our students is going to deteriorate, not due to any fault of our own primarily, but secondarily it will be ultimately our responsibility. Thank you.
9. The Admissions Process
Tommy Griffin, Director of Admissions stated that they welcome faculty involvement in the admissions process and they have traditionally worked through the academic deans and the assistant deans for academic affairs in the colleges.
Griffin handed out and reviewed a report on statistical information regarding the admissions over historical time periods. He stated that one thing he is not prepared to do is to talk about how they should change the educational system in North Carolina. They have to deal with what they are given in terms of the grade structure that is provided by high schools.
Griffin stated that the Admissions Office believes in their process in making admissions decisions and they believe in the students that they have admitted to the university. They feel that they have admitted outstanding students and that all the students they admit can be successful.
Chair Daley wanted to know if AP courses are offered in rural area schools and predominantly minority schools?
Griffin stated that the option for taking AP classes and honor classes is not level across North Carolina. Students in the Triangle and in Metropolitan areas have the ability to take more AP courses because more AP courses are offered. “In some of our most rural remote areas in North Carolina there may be no AP courses offered at a particular high school. In which case that school may try to use the Community College resources to teach advanced courses for those students. The UNC system through the North Carolina School of Science and Math does have an effort under way right now to try to offer some distance education AP classes. The ability to take AP courses is not even across the state.”
Senator Middleton commented that we should be careful in identifying institutions like we identified Eduational Testing Service, the group that administers the AP examination and simply criticizing them without more investigation. “Certainly each of us can find anecdotes to share. I have consulted with Educational Testing Service and I have met the teachers who work in their program and many of them are dedicated teachers who have had their students to write essays. They read those essays diligently. In addition to this, on a return flight from Washington just a few days ago a high school student sat next to she and me had in her possession a book written by a historian entitled The Puritan Dilemma. This was a Saturday evening, an AP student with that type of textbook.
The final thing that I want to say is this. I would hope that we would be more concerned about how students leave here than how they enter this university. Certainly we want students who are able and many of the students that I see are indeed able. For students who need additional work, we have the writing center. We can always direct them to that facility. For teachers who want to develop ways to better communicate with students to better help students develop we have the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. “
Senator Beasley wanted to know if the University calculates both the weighted as well as the unweighed grade point average.
Griffin stated that if the weighted and unweighted grade point averages are provided they look at both of those. In addition they look at individual grades in particular classes as well.
Senator Beasley stated that if a student actually takes an AP course and takes the AP test there are some ways to corroborate the grade point average. If they made a really good grade in the class and they cannot do well on the AP test, I think you have to take some points off.
Griffin stated that they do not recalculate a grade point average. Therefore what is reported in the report is what is reported by the high school. The results of the AP exam are reported in July. Most of these students are taking the majority of their AP courses in their senior year. Basically we rushed to have the results ready for orientation so students can be placed into appropriate classes. There are some courses that are offered in North Carolina that have statewide exams at the end of the year and those are mandated to account for 25% of the student’s grade.
Senator Atkin commented that she has a background in teaching English. “By teaching in the First Year College I see a fair number of freshmen coming to the university. In the past seven years I have seen approximately five hundred students. I cannot think of any students who are in the shape that Senator Bruck indicated. I was really concerned that our students would be characterized as being unable to read or write at a certain acceptable level when I have not seen that. I am concerned that we are getting a picture of students here at the university, which may or may not be accurate.”
Senator McRae commented that he teaches a junior level engineering course and he has had to repeatedly tell students to read word problems three times before they start working because if they don’t they are not going to understand the problem and are going to get it wrong. “What percentage of our incoming freshmen actually write the essay and how is it evaluated?”
Griffin stated that they do not record the number or the essays in their database. He noted that at least 95% of the students write an essay of some sort. It may be a very wonderful essay about a great experience that they have had. It may also be a very short paragraph about why they want to attend NC State. They are not given a particular topic. They are allowed to express themselves with a personal statement. Griffin noted that when they receive wonderful essays, it is not necessarily clear how much that student has contributed to the essay.
Senator Bruck stated that nowhere in any of his diatoms has he insinuated that the majority of the students on this campus are not qualified to be here. He stated that he has seventy-one emails ranging from one page to eleven single spaced pages from faculty at this university writing their anecdotes about their perception of what has happened to the undergraduate student body over the past fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and thirty years. “The reason that I brought this up several weeks ago was the observation of my colleagues which does not include everyone on campus but includes a number of different colleges. If you read the answers on some of the questions that are submitted in a freshmen or sophomore level class, if a sixth grade student of mine turned it in she would not see the light of day for a month. Every word misspelled, and these are English-speaking students. I read these numbers and I am impressed. The bottom twenty percent of the students that I deal with are not prepared to be in junior college, yet they are here. I am just asking, “Is there a reason why they are here?” If there is then I will accept that. If it is not we are being duped if you will by some sort of a system that believe it is our responsibility to the citizens in this state to try to do something about that. It is appalling the quality of work that I see. It is unacceptable.”
Provost Oblinger stated that the SAT is either experimenting or it has piloted an essay dimension of the SAT. He asked Tommy Griffin to comment on that.
Griffin stated that the College Board will be implementing a requirement for an essay as part of the SAT and that will start March 2005. Our scale will now change to a 2400 points scale.
Senator Bruck wanted to know if there is a scale for each high school that you evaluate a high school and the quality of the students that they are putting out.
Griffin stated that they look at the performance of students in various high schools. They have a report that they reflect back to the high schools giving them information on how their freshmen performed at NC State in their first level of classes in English, Math, and Science. They look at that report for various high schools. The UNC System does that report as well for those high schools.
Senator Bruck stated that it is great that they find out what they are doing. “Do you take that into consideration as far as admission?”
Griffin stated that they look at that information but it is difficult for them to justify not considering a student from a rural background that did not have the opportunity to take all of the advance courses that a student from Raleigh had,
and disadvantage them in the admission process.
Senator Bruck asked, “Are you aware that other institutions do in fact, do that?”
Are we doing anyone a favor by accepting them to this university only to have them flunk out?
Griffin stated that it is certainly not their intent in the admissions office to admit any student that they do not feel can be successful. They only want to admit students that they feel can be successful at the university.
Senator McRae wanted to know if the admissions information is preserved so that it can be correlated with those who do not graduate.
Griffin stated that the admissions data is preserved by Planning and Analysis for as far back as they have had a computer system.
Senator McRae wanted to know if the data is preserved by name so that you can correlate.
Griffin stated that names, and SAT scores for individuals are available.
Senator McRae wanted to know if there has been an attempt to correlate characteristics of the admissions profile with people who did not graduate.
Senator Honeycutt stated that they tried with the AI and gave up on that many years ago. The admissions index was supposed to be a predictor.
Griffin stated that the admissions index which was a predictor of freshmen performance has lost most of its predictive value as our students have gotten stronger, and as they are stronger students academically other factors become predictive other that what we can look at with just an SAT score or high school grade point average.
Senator Tyler commented that part of the problem is students compartmentalizing. That is, they compartmentalize their college career, so they just relate what is required in this class with exactly what the teacher said was required. “ I think we have to realize that students are compartmentalizing our reward systems so that they believe they get rewarded for most basic responses to one particular class content and don’t realize that they are being rewarded for writing and reflecting back and integrating what they learned in other courses.”
Senator Fahmy wanted to know if the colleges have any input in the admission process.
Griffin stated that students indicate a particular program of interest on their application for admission. “I have a meeting every year with the dean and the associate dean of each college to discuss the number of students they want to enroll and also the setting of parameters that they may be looking for. In addition to that if we have marginal cases or questions we send many applications over for review by the colleges. In our freshmen as we are making our final selections, we involve those colleges in the review.”
Senator Fahmy wanted to know how binding is the student’s choice.
Griffin stated that the student indicates their choice and they are accepted for that particular program. If the student could easily have been accepted to any other program and they ask admissions to change before orientation then they will make that change for them. If they were not easily admissible to a different program then they would not make that change. When they come into a particular program, they are in that program and are expected to take classes for that area. We now have this new progress toward degree system that will let that student map out with their faculty member the courses that they need to take.
Provost Oblinger stated that he thinks Tommy Griffin and his people do a superb job under a lot of pressure from a lot of students, families and schools that want to be represented in the freshmen class or the transfer class at NC State. “I think you also recognize from the discussion the complexity of the matriculation process where a student comes to us and leaves us hopefully as a successful graduate. Please recognize how complex that is and please remember that you have heard a couple of different ways this afternoon that we do not admit students to NC State university unless we are confident that they have the ability to flourish and graduate from here and I would observe as a faculty member that we have had rather numerous marginal students come to NC State and graduate suma and magna cu lade. We have likewise had superior students as determined by their numerical quotients who flunk out of here miserably. So there is more to it than the numbers. That is one of the things that this place is all about. Please remember what Tommy said at the outset. He, Thomas Conway, and myself want to be a conduit of information and communication to the Faculty Senate on this and a variety of topics that fall into my suite of offices and responsibilities. Please remember that, as you seek additional information on a variety of fronts that are important to every single one of us.”
10. Liaison Reports
Senator Tyler stated that she served as a liaison on the International Programs Committee and she also served as a member of the Faculty Senate Governance Committee. She was involved in the evaluation with the different committee structures and knows some of the challenges. The committee is very active and has made a lot of effort in the past two years.
Senator Tyler noted that she served on the Governance Committee several years ago and has seen an increase in the amount of activity that the faculty has participated in.
Senator Tyler stated that she thinks some of the recent changes in the structure in international programs really helped our initiative on campus to try to internationalize our campus. They recognized that the percentage of undergraduate international students at NC State is at the lowest level that it has been in years and is the lowest of all among our peer institutions. There is a real concern that we have even fewer undergraduate international students than we had in the past.
The International Program Committee has encouraged and gone to all of the colleges and asked the deans to come up with funding for at least one international student to be in their college. In addition the committee have encouraged the different colleges to fund a scholarship for study abroad. The committee evaluated and looked at 198 different study abroad scholarship proposals for students and there were approximately 600 scholarships that students tried to get for study abroad. There were 198 students that applied specifically for the committee for international programs funding. The committee was only able to give 20 scholarships. Now they have limited funds across the board and across campus to support any kind of international experiences.
Senator Tyler stated that they recently looked at twenty-four seed grant applications and hope to be able to fund six of these proposals. Again the funding is not only dependent on just that the faculty member gets research from this, but there is a long term relationship established between faculty that a number of faculty and a number students will gain from this experience.
The committee feels that across campus there is lots of international activity. Individual faculty have relationships with international faculty across the world. The problem is that this information has not been centralized so therefore if someone is going to a certain location they are not aware of other faculty here on campus that might have contacts there. They have worked with the International Program to develop a location where this information can be entered and accessed.
Past Chair Carter stated that in regard to the stately ladies he is pleased to hear the athletic director respond so quickly to the recommendations of that subcommittee. With regard to him serving as liaison to the Faculty Assembly, he reported that President Broad gave a report to the last meeting. “She showed a presentation that she made for TIAA CREF, which showed that in 1987 25% of faculty members were under the age of forty and an equal number was over fifty-five. In 1998 20% were under forty and thirty percent were over fifty-five. She thought the aging of the professors was having an effect on the number of years people serve in post docs. She also mentioned that most PhD students in the system are from overseas. In the last meeting JD Miliken encouraged us all to speak to our representatives in the legislature.”
Senator Bernhard stated that there was a considerable amount of email to and from the Governance Committee of the Faculty Assembly circulated with regard to the report that they were preparing. It was not discussed at the meeting itself and that will be coming up at the October 1st meeting which is the next meeting of the faculty assembly.
Chair Daley noted that the Senate is completing fifty years in faculty governance today. When it reconvenes in the fall we will begin our next fifty years.
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 5 p.m.