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Minutes of the Faculty Senate

February 27, 2007

Present:  Chair Allen, Secretary Bruck, Chair-Elect Martin, Parliamentarian Corbin, Provost Nielsen; Senators Akroyd, Blair, Branoff, Dawes, Evans, Fauntleroy, Fleisher, Gustke, Hanley-Bowdoin, Heitmann, Hudson, Jones, Kellner, Khosla, Lindbo, Moore, Overton, Ozturk, Raymond, Robarge, Schultheis, Shamey, Smith, Williams, Yencho

Excused:  Senators Genzer, Murty, Kinsella

Absent:  Senators Anson, Banks-Lee, Culbreth, Muddiman, Mulvey, Scotford, Wessels

Visitors:  Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost, Faculty and Staff Diversity; Lauren Gregg, News Services; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Thomas Conway, Dean, Division of Undergraduate Academic Program; Karen Helm, Director of University Planning and Analysis ; Lee Fowler, Director of Athletics; James Hankins II, Student Senate

1.  Call to Order
Chair Nina Stromgren Allen called the twelfth meeting of the fifty-third session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.

2.   Welcome and Announcements
Chair Allen welcomed Senators and guests.

Chair Allen announced that she attended the AAAS in San Francisco.  She stated that many of the symposiums were on Global Warming. 

The Executive Committee met with the Chancellor over lunch and one of the items discussed was post tenure review.  There will be a committee formed with two department heads, two representatives from the Senate, and two administrators that will revisit post tenure review. 

Leadership development at NC State was also one of the topics of discussion.

Chair Allen announced that the General Faculty meeting is Tuesday, March 13 at 3:15 p.m. in 2215 Williams Hall.  The meeting will be a panel discussion on graduate education.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, February 13, 2007
The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.

4. Remarks by Provost Nielsen
Provost Nielsen commented on Governor Easley’s budget.

The governor has been very generous to NC State again as he was last year.  He is very committed to emulating for the state of North Carolina what UNC Chapel Hill started with the Carolina Covenant.  A proposal has been created for a fund of $100M to provide debt free education for two years for those students who come through his Learn and Earn Program which is where you can earn college credit while being in high school.  It would provide a debt free education for those in the lower economic categories for their final two years of college.  It would  allow for some of the money that is devoted to the pack promise to be used for some other purpose.

Governor Easley proposed a 2.5% increase for State workers and a 5%increase for teachers, which include K-12 and community college teachers. 

Typically the governor does not put a lot of campus specific items in his budget for higher education but he has in this case and he did last year.  There are three items that are particularly of interest to us.  One is a one million dollars fund to help produce more teachers that have a science, technology, engineering and math orientation and that money is intended to be split in half between NC State and Chapel Hill.  We had requested $6.0M. 

President Bowles included in his budget a large request for our college of engineering.  The request included $5.0M in recurring funds this year and an additional $15M in recurring funds for next year plus capital money to build buildings for engineering.  The governor put none of the capital money in but he did put in $5.0M in recurring funds this year for the college and another $5.0M of recurring funds next year for the college.  This is a very good thing for the college.

The governor included full requested funding in his budget for our College of Veterinary building that would be called the Randall B. Terry Companion Animal Hospital.  The college has raised $38M against a $76M total cost for this building. 

We have requested $19M in this year’s budget and $19M in next year’s budget.  The governor put all $38M in this year’s budget, which is terrific.

Senator Yencho asked, “Where does the governor stand on the Dole initiative.”

Provost Nielsen responded that the governor didn’t put any money in for the Dole initiative. 

Senator Dawes asked, “Is tuition money available for raises?”

Provost Nielsen responded that the Board of Governors passed their request for a tuition increase and fee increase as it was submitted. We were required to allocate 25% of tuition money that would be derived from this tuition increase to faculty salary increases so I am beginning to work on a plan for how we might deal with that.

Chair Elect Martin stated that President Bowles had put forward the 6.5 for the students and 6.5 from the legislature idea.  “Is that figuring in anywhere yet?”

Provost Nielsen responded no, the idea was if the legislature gave us operating dollars that were beyond the 6.5% then the tuition would go down a portion to that.  The governor’s budget has not increased in operating dollars.  The only increase is the enrollment growth money.   “I believe he did fund full coverage for what we anticipate to be the utility increase, which is huge.”

Comments from Parliamentarian Corbin
Parliamentarian Corbin commended Provost Nielsen for his support of the faculty and his support of awards that recognize the faculty such as the Gertrude Cox Award.

5. Review of the Faculty Survey
Nancy Whelchel, Assistant Director of Planning and Analysis stated that she received a lot of feedback from Senator Hudson and Secretary Bruck.  She noted that the survey was extensive and that she focused on the RPT and Post Tenure Review process.

Whelchel reported that the survey response rate was 69.7%, which was outstanding.  She stated that the results are reflective of our campus. 

SMEs are a critical part of the whole RPT and PTR process.  There were few colleges where everyone reported that they had an SME.  SMEs seem to be working as they are apparently intended to do. 

Performance Reviews
Most folks reported that they did have a performance review.  It was consistent across rank and fairly consistent across the number of years here. 

Performance Review and RPT
Questions were asked questions about standards and processes and the clarity of the standards and processes and they also asked about if the processes and standards were applied consistently and fairly.

Most responded positive.  It was the clarity of the academic policy itself where the response was a bit lower.  The faculty were more satisfied with the procedures than they are with the standards.

The survey included a total of eight open-end questions.  Of the 1132 people who responded to the survey almost 900 wrote at length on each of the questions.

The faculty are more satisfied with their understanding of both procedures and standards than they are likely to believe that those standards and procedures are applied consistently and fairly.

There were some subgroup variations in attitudes about performance review in the RPT process and standards.  Not many people indicated that they did not have an SME but people that didn’t have an SME gave lower ratings across the board to questions related to RPT processes and standards.

The small group who had never participated was less positive on all the questions.  

Consistently the women associate professors were less satisfied than the male associate professors on most of the questions. 

There were almost no differences by race ethnicity of the faculty member on any of the questions about RPT. 

Several questions were asked about feedback that faculty got from their performance review and generally the rating looks good but the lowest rating going to how well it helps them understand how they are doing to their peers and 55% agree and for this particular survey that is a small group.  Associate professors gave lower ratings than full professors and female associate professors and male full professors.  Male full professors often were not happy.

The survey included the six realms about faculty responsibility.  The language was used that was in the revised academic tenure policy. 

The number of people answering the questions for each of the realms varied very widely depending on how much information they thought they had.  There was a huge gap between the people saying that they strongly agreed that they had sufficient resources versus that excellent performance rewarded with the discovery of knowledge realm.   More than half the faculty disagree that we have sufficient resources to support active research.

The full Professors in terms of thinking both about the resources that are provided are constantly way less satisfied than Assistant and Associate Professors but they are far more positive than those groups about the rewards they get for it.

The Provost mentioned a survey that our non-tenured tenure track probationary faculty participated in during 2004-2005 and all schools in the UNC system were asked to participate in the survey that came out of Harvard.  The survey covered a number of broad topics, one of which was tenure and the others sort of nature of work policies and practices, climate, and global satisfaction. We got these very nice reports from Harvard telling us about the results and what they found is that there were 31 doctoral universities participating in this survey and our junior faculty rated in the top four in those on the issue of tenure. 

We also had a peer comparison and apparently NC State was chosen frequently to be a peer so our faculty gave significantly higher ratings than our peers and also the other thirty one universities in most cases on issues like tenure and in most cases the other universities participating.  It was very positive findings from that survey.

The coach broke down all the results by gender and by race and they combined races into white faculty and faculty of color and not only were our junior faculty happier or more satisfied than faculty at other universities all together, that also held true in particular for our female faculty and our faculty of color.  Just across the board on the questions related to tenure in particular the faculty of color at NC State ranked significantly higher than the faculty of color at other universities.

Chair Allen wanted to know how many assistant female professors of color are there at NC State.   

Whelchel responded that there are sixteen African American Assistant Professors, fifteen Asia Assistant Professors, and four Hispanic female Assistant Professors and 105 white.

The total population of Assistant Professors is 347.

 Welchel stated that another national survey is the higher education research institute faculty survey and on a national level we are doing pretty well.

Whechel stated that they asked a number of questions on stress and the top five were workload and the RPT process came in that list.  The stress experience varies by rank and by gender.  Assistant and Associate Professors are experiencing more stress than full Professors related to RPT.  The females are experiencing more stress than males.  Stress is related to attitudes about the RPT process.  People who give more positive evaluations of the clarity of the process and their perceptions of the equity of the process are less likely to be experiencing stress. 

One of the questions asked was, “How often have they given or received help with understanding the RPT process in the past few years?”  Twenty five percent of the Assistant Professors said seldom or never and only twelve percent of the full professors said seldom or never.  

The extent at which you are talking about the RPT process is related to your attitudes about it.  Once again, the people who are giving or receiving help have more positive attitudes about the clarity of the process and about the perceptions. 

Whelchel stated that they asked a series of questions on if the faculty have had their post tenure review, and if they have served on a committee for post tenure review.  Seventy two percent of the full professors and about half of the associates have already had their review and several have served on committees.

Whelcel stated that on their survey seventy percent of those with experience with post tenure review are either satisfied or very satisfied with the process.  The men are more satisfied than the women and full professors are more satisfied than the Associates.   NC State is doing extremely well compared to our peers but there is always room for improvement.

6.  Old Business
Revision of Article II of the General Faculty Bylaws
Senator Khosla presented the minor revisions to Article II of the General Faculty Bylaws and moved approval of the changes.

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. 

7. Reports
Chair Allen presented a document from the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business concerning background checks for employees. 

Chair Allen assigned the document to the Personnel Policy Committee for it to review and report back to the Senate.

8. Electronic Student Evaluations
A concerned was presented on the decision to implement the online student evaluations.

There was much discussion on the issue with a number of faculty sharing concerns about the online student evaluations being implemented without faculty input. It was suggested by a  faculty member that the evaluations be tested another semester before being implemented.

A student also shared his concern about the issue.  “The interesting thing that I have noticed is that we as student leaders haven’t had any input on the online surveys.  As a group we didn’t know that there was going to be a policy and now it is too late for us to respond, which goes back to the issue of representation on university committees.  We have felt for years that we have not had proper representation on the university committees.  We have been looking forward to something that we could work with the faculty on to have a more forceful hand in on getting addressed and changed in the university.  We just added a student leader regulation that was passed without any formal input within student leaders on this campus and there is nothing we can do about it at this point.  This is an issue that concerns us as well.”

Several motions passed to extend the meeting during the discussions. 

Provost Nielsen stated that by implementing the process now we would be better off in the future.

9. Adjournment
Secretary Bruck moved adjournment of the meeting.  The motion was seconded and passed to adjourn the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

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