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April 19, 2011

Present:  Chair Overton, Chair-elect Kellner, Secretary Hergeth, Parliamentarian Weiner,  Senators Argyropoulos, Auerbach, Bernhard, Bourham, Carver, Edmisten, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Hatcher, Havner, Headen, Kidd, Kiwanuka-Tondo, Krim, Kotek, Levy, Mitchell, Moore, Paur, Robinson, Rucker, Sztajn, Tonelli, Williams

Excused:  Senators Aspnes, Miller-Cochran, Sawyers, Townsend

Absent:  Senators Croom, Khosla, Tu, Washington

Guests:  Betsy Brown, Provost Office, Randy Woodson, Chancellor; P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University/Assistant to the Chancellor

1. Call to Order
Chair Overton called the 13th meeting of the 57th session to order at 3 p.m.

2. Welcome and Announcement
Chair Overton recognized the new senators that were in attendance.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 12, April 5, 2011
The minutes were approved at submitted.

4. Remarks from Chancellor Woodson
Chancellor Woodson reported on his visit to the General Assembly this morning. The first budget proposal has been put on the table by the House Subcommittee on Education, and it was not particularly positive and it does not create a great starting point for the UNC system.  Some members of the General Assembly are trying to take indirect cost money back to the State, which will jeopardize Federal funding.  The good news is that they have chosen not to include that in the budget reductions and they have also partially funded enrollment growth and financial aid. 

Chancellor Woodson gave an update on funding for Pell Grants.  Last week, the Federal Government proposed a new continuing resolution that will fund Pell Grants at the current rate.  He stated that with more than 26% of the students here being Pell Grant eligible, it shows the level of stress many of the families are under that are sending their children to the university.  

Chancellor Woodson reported on the Federal Government’s proposal to cut NC State’s base appropriation of 15.5%, which is huge.  They have also proposed a cut to the tuition remission provided to out of state graduate students that are funded off of research or teaching assistantships; about 20% of those funds would be cut.  They have also proposed eliminating the funding the State provides to the university for the premiere scholarship programs.  In NC State’s case the Park Scholarship Program and in Chapel Hill’s case the Morehead Scholars. 

Chancellor Woodson reported on funds provided for tuition by the State. The State currently provides money to  make tuition equal for in state and out of state students, which gives us a competitive advantage to recruit out of state students, and it enhances our ability to get in state students.  So, the Park Scholars Program mandates that a third of the students come from out of state, and if they had to pay out of state tuition for those students it would actually hurt in state students by reducing the number of scholarships available for in state.  Unfortunately that didn’t carry the weight so they’ve proposed the elimination of that program, and it would reduce the total number of scholarships that NC State could offer, from 49 to 39, which presents a challenge for the university. The report came from the subcommittee of the House.    

The House subcommittee has also proposed restricting the university’s ability to raise funds through tuition increases.  The proposal will be modified by the House and the Senate.

Strategic Planning
Chancellor Woodson gave an update on the Strategic Plan.  The revised Strategic Plan has been sent to the BOT and most of the feedback received was about the mission statement and concern that the proposed mission statement was too narrow and didn’t represent the breadth of the university.  The committee has proposed a mission statement that does not walk away from NC State’s historic strength of a land grant university and its historic strength in the fields that are associated with land grant universities, but also recognizes that we are a comprehensive research intensive university.  The new mission statement in the revised plan addresses a lot of the concerns that seem to have come out through the process.  The Board will meet later this week to formerly adopt the plan.

The Board of Governors awarded their annual Award for Excellence in teaching to Sarah Ash, Professor of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences.

The speaker for the spring graduation is Jim Rogers the current CEO of Duke Energy. 


You mentioned that the subcommittee’s report limited the university’s ability to raise money-- What mechanism did they propose? 

Chancellor Woodson stated that the mechanism they proposed would limit tuition increases to those currently approved by the Board of Governors, so it doesn’t prevent us from increasing tuition, it just doesn’t give us latitude beyond what the Board of Governors has already approved.

How would, not having tuition remissions for graduate students affect the university? 

Chancellor Woodson responded that one of the messages he tried to convey to the Legislature is that providing tuition remission for out of state graduate students puts NC State in a competitive advantage. 

According to Forbes Magazine, Wake County is the smartest county in America.  Their reason for saying that is because per capita, Wake County has more PhD’s than any county in the United States.  If we look at where our graduates go, regardless of their residency status, many of them stay in Wake County and surrounding counties.  Forty percent of our PhD’s from Computer Sciences stay in the Raleigh area to work in the technical rich environment of the Triangle.  If we loose that competitive advantage then we are going to start to loose some of the talent at a time when we are trying to build our graduate program and that talent will not come back to the state.

We’ve heard the Provost talk about the Strategic realignment issue—give us a broad view of the vision that you have.

Chancellor Woodson said he thinks this is an opportunity of us.  “I don’t envision colleges going away, but I think there are some opportunities for us to think differently about how we deliver academic programs.  It could result in some new organizational structures, particularly departmental consolidation, but that is not the driver.  The driver for me is, I’m particularly driven by the fact that I don’t think we’ve been particularly adept in the life sciences.  I think that we have programs in CALS that are excellent; we have programs in CNR, programs in PAMS, Veterinary Medicine.  The doubling of NIH’s budget has been something that has largely bypassed this institution, not entirely, but I would like for us to look carefully at the faculty level of how we are organized to be the most effective university possible in delivering academic programs and delivering scholarly opportunities.  This isn’t about getting rid of tenured faculty.  This isn’t about closing out departments that are unproductive, but it is about the fact that over the last ten years this university has grown tremendously, beyond our capacity to be outstanding.  We have a department of Biology with 2300 undergraduates and a very limited capacity to deliver those academic programs, but we have Biologists across this campus.  Contrary to the Technician’s editorial line that there are three colleges that I’m going to eliminate, this isn’t about eliminating CALS, CNR, or PAMS, this is about three colleges that have some overlap and to have some opportunities to think a little about how we deliver academic programs and how we create scholarly opportunities for our faculty.”

Recognition of the Chair of the Faculty, Chancellor Woodson

This has been two interesting years for a chair of this body to preside at NC State and Margery Overton has lived through a period of change with the need to recruit a Chancellor and she has been here as a stabilizing source during a really challenging time.  I have really enjoyed working with Margery.  She has represented the faculty well and she has represented this university well to the Board of Trustees, to the Executive Officers, and to this body, so please join me in congratulating her for an outstanding tenure as Chair of the Faculty.

Margery was involved in the hiring of a new Provost, co-chaired the Strategic Planning with Provost Arden, and she has also been a steady voice of the faculty in all of those processes. In fact, Provost Arden has asked her to help with the academic realignment conversation.  She is a steady voice and I  think she will provide an incredible voice as the faculty help us seek through what we have a potential to become. 


Benny Suggs, the Executive Director of the NC State Alumni Association presented Chair Overton with a chair on behalf of the Chancellor and the Alumni Association.

Chair-Elect Kellner presented gifts to the outgoing Chair and Secretary of the Faculty.

Chair Overton presented Chair-elect Kellner with an NC State bow tie.

5. Committee Reports  

Academic Policy Committee
Senator Argyropoulos reported that in reviewing the University Grievance Procedure for Students, the Academic Policy Committee found a number of areas that were unclear, incomplete or contradictory.  They submitted a number of suggestions to the current Grievance Procedure for Students that could make the policy easier to understand.  The committee had a meeting with Sarah Lannom of Legal and recommended changes that included a careful re-write.  The committee is waiting to receive the re-write from Legal and examine the revised text in view of the work that has done before.

Undergraduate Student Success
The committee examined this large issue with the objective to facilitate student mobility from program to program and from college to college so as to ensure that students do not get stuck in an unsuccessful track and never graduate.

The committee discussed the issue over a number of sessions and invited Vice Provost Louis Hunt to assist in its deliberations towards identifying such a mechanism.

Further Action:

(i) The AC senate committee examined the white paper related to Undergraduate student success whose link is shown above and submitted (via the Chair of the faculty) additional comments to Undergraduate Student Success committee at its February 15th 2011 meeting.

(ii) The AC senate committee also examined the white paper related to graduate and postdoctoral programs (Graduate & Postdoctoral Program Development White Paper [pdf]) and submitted comments via the chair of the Faculty to the Graduate & Postdoctoral Program Development strategic planning committee for discussion at its February 15th meeting.

 Faculty Teaching and Evaluations for Promotion and Tenure:

The concern centered on the use of untenured (either assistant professors or non-tenure track professionals) to evaluate faculty teaching for promotion and/or tenure.

This issue was presented to University Counsel as the procedures are currently being reviewed and revised.

The Academic Policy Committee examined and discussed a matter of concern brought up at a Chancellor's liaison meeting by affected students. More specifically as the policy affects students participating in university activities (e.g. athletes, student government, etc.) with excused absences.

This was done in the presence of Vice Provost Louis Hunt and Carrie Leger, Associate Athletic Director for Academic and Student Services.

Overall, the spirit of the conversation was that with a little more discussion and faculty awareness any problems that do exist could be mitigated. It was brought to the attention of the committee that staff that deal with Athletic related Academic & Student Services have been making serious efforts in questioning coaches and others so as to minimize time away from class for travel. Carrie Leger and Dr. Yow have created a strict class attendance policy for athletes indicating that they are willing partners in trying to reduce problems associated with students participating in athletic events.

It was generally agreed that the existing policy is adequate and that faculty should not be obligated to create separate exams for students with excused absences. In addition, it was felt that, for such excused absence, transferring mid-term or other quiz credits to the final exam, unnecessarily penalizes the student and as such the practice should be discouraged. Furthermore, as the policy states, any make-up work should be of equal or similar complexity as the originally missed.

A viable suggestion that emerged from these discussions was that the Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs, in conjunction with possibly Department heads and/or DELTA offers to the faculty member a viable and functional way to administering the same exam work to the affected student via a proctoring arrangement.

Approval Process of the University Standing Committees for next Academic year:
Amy Jinnette visited with the Academic Policy Committee and discussed the proposed compositions for the following standing committees:
Admissions; Commencement; Courses & Curricula; Evaluation & Teaching; Council on Undergraduate Education.

While most suggestions were ratified, some suggested modifications were made for possible adoption.

Governance Committee
Senator Auerbach reported that the committee reviewed and critiqued some of the task forces from the early days of strategic planning, which was included in the final version.  The committee also reviewed the Faculty Senate voting process.

Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Levy reported that the committee addressed faculty titles, 604/607 grievance policy, and worked with the standing committee on a procedure for faculty grievances.  They worked with several people including Becky Leonard and Marc Okner on developing a mediation course for faculty mediators.  The course will be available in May.  The committee also addressed issues about group insurance, and why more faculty don’t take advantage of the supplemental retirement plans.  They also discussed accommodations required by university and federal law for women needing lactation space. 

The committee reviewed Vice Provost policies pertaining to the review of faculty, Emeritus faculty status and the involvement of emeritus faculty.  They also reviewed faculty enrollment planning and voting rights for faculty with joint appointments.

The committee spent time reviewing reports of the strategic task force committees which were forwarded to the chair of the faculty.

Resources and Environment
Senator Bernhard reported that the committee met three times during the fall semester and discussed a number of issues related to the service and environment at the university.  The fence at the new Chancellor’s residence imposing on the use of Lake Raleigh Road, whether the construction of the residence violated the spirit of the Faculty Senate resolution regarding Lake Raleigh Wood that was adopted in April 2005 by the Faculty Senate.  They found that the work being done is consistent with the past work done. 

The trash in and around the Brooks parking lot has been corrected. 

The safety issue at Avent Ferry and Western Blvd is unchanged.  If you do exactly what the light says you will be fine.

Fees for parking permits for retirees that have returned to work; basically the arrangement is that it should be paid for by the people who use it, and if you are 65 or older you can get a free pass to ride the CAT bus.

The yellow water problem in Ricks Hall is not fixable unless they replace the entire plumbing system which is not going to happen. 

The sealing of windows in Thompkins Hall was done to save energy.

The odor from the Port City Java in Park Shops has been fixed.

The committee met once during the first semester to discuss the University Strategic Plan and to comment on the draft report of the resource strategies and campus culture of diversity task forces and those comments have been submitted to Chair Overton. 

The committee was responsible for filling three vacancies on University Standing Committees and made recommendations to Amy Jinnette to fill those vacancies and there were no vacancies to be filled by faculty members on the other two committees, Dining and Student Health over which we had responsibility. 

6. Liaison Reports

Jeannette Moore –Administrative Board of the Graduate School
Senator Moore reported that the Administrative Board of the Graduate School made progress on six items this year.  Thesis and dissertations are now done on line.  The Board discussed the grievance procedure and it is now more concise and clearer that the original one.  The PRR’s –many of the graduate school regulations are being replaced by rules and the advantage is it is a quicker process to amend it.  The rules can be amended by the Administrative Board of the Graduate School with approval from the Provost.

The graduate school is working to simplify the full time definition and that includes removal of restrictions on the 699 and 899 courses.  Restrictions to transferring into two 400 level courses to a graduate degree are being tightened and the proposal says that only 500 level courses will transfer to a graduate degree unless the 400 level courses were approved by the DVT at the time of admission to the graduate program.

The last item is an ongoing problem of having teachers who are not on the graduate faculty  teach graduate courses and special permission from the graduate school is required if that happens and that permission should be granted prior to the semester. 

Walter Robinson—Physical Environment
Senator Robinson reported they heard about a number of developments of buildings and facilities.  The clubhouse for the University golf course, the art museum, rental housing for the public, likely aimed at post docs, graduate students, faculty on centennial campus.  The development of the renovation for the Talley Student Center and they also heard form the campus sustainability committee, the strong green elements.  On the transportation side car pools, zip cars on campus. We also heard about the Wolfline program.

Richard Bernhard -Library Committee
Mainly there is not enough money to pay for everything, mainly with the opening of the new Hunt Library and the budget decline and the refusal of the State to provide additional positions, so something has to be cut and the plan is the reduction in the budget for the library collections where they are expecting to decrease the book acquisitions by about 17,000 titles a year and the journal subscriptions by 150 titles and particularly with the use of the past data that were collected with regard to what to cut; in particular materials that are not PhD programs are planned to be cut. 

Ed Funkhouser- Group Insurance and Benefits
Senator Funhouser reported that they reviewed the 403B plan.  He also mentioned the establishment of a loan fund for SPA employees where some of the lower paid SPA employees could go to get a loan for about $500.  Should the university provide this service, how could it be done?  It is apparently done at Chapel Hill and many think it would be a very good program for those employees on our campus.

Health benefits for partners were discussed, that this should be permitted and allowed.  Also the possibility of separate health benefits for UNC System separated from all the North Carolina State employees, health benefits for just those who work in the university system.

Finally there is the issue of life insurance for retirees.  They have taken the retirees out of the pool and created for them a separate group that made their premium about 700% higher all of a sudden.  The university is looking at this problem and MET Life has agreed to look at a way to reduce those premiums and create a pool that is more manageable and will be lower. 

7. Elections

Faculty Assembly
Senator Richard Bernhard was elected to serve a two-year term on the Faculty Assembly.  Senator Hamid Krim was elected to a two-year term as an alternate.

Secretary of the Faculty
Senator Roby Sawyers was elected to serve a two-year term as Secretary of the Faculty.

Council on Athletics
James Mickle, Associate Professor, Plant Biology and Debbie Williamson, Physical Education were elected to serve on the Council on Athletics.

8. Election to Nominate Candidates for the Executive Committee
The Senators selected candidates for the 2011-2012 Executive Committee.

9. Adjournment  of the 57th Session  
The 57th session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

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