March 15, 2011

1. Call to Order

Chair Margery Overton called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.

Chair Overton welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Chair Overton announced that the elections for the Faculty Senate are in process.  Nominations for Senators, Hearing Panel, and the Grievance 604/607 Committee will be taken through Friday, March 18th.

Chair Overton announced that faculty members are needed to participate in mediation training.  Anyone interested in serving as a mediator should contact her .

Chair Overton announced that the draft Strategic Plan is on the website for review and comments are welcome through March 25, 2011.

Chair Overton introduced Dr. Hans Kellner as Chair-elect of the faculty.  He will serve as Chair of the Faculty from 2011-2013.

2. Approval of the Minutes of the October 5, 2010 General Faculty Meeting

Chair-elect Kellner asked for approval of the minutes.  The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.

3. Remarks from Chancellor Woodson

Chancellor Woodson reported that the university has received the largest gift in its history, $37M for an endowment to the College of Management to rename the college the Poole College of Management,  $2.5M from Lonnie and Carol Poole to build a long awaited and much needed clubhouse on the golf course and $500,000 to endow a yet to be defined endowment for faculty excellence in the College of Humanity and Social Sciences.  He stated that the Pooles have done a lot to help this university.

Chancellor Woodson reported on three processes that are currently in progress.

  • We have been working for the last nine months with nine different task forces led by the Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Provost and the Chair of the Faculty on the Strategic Planning Process.  Those nine task forces involved 160 people and all of those that they reached out to for feedback.  Those task force reports have been combined into a draft strategic plan for NC State and it is on the website for public comment through March 25th and then we will finalize the plan in time for the Board of Trustees meeting in April when it will finally be approved.
  • The second part is working with deans and department heads and the Provost and Vice Chancellor to work on the forthcoming budget for NC State.
  • The third piece is that I asked the Vice Chancellor and Provost to lead an organizational strategic realignment, but an attempt for the university to get ahead of the current fiscal environment to think about what the draft strategic plan have in that content and to work hard to get ourselves positioned for future budget issues.

This is not a realignment to cut the budget although it is a realignment to recognize the fact that the only way we could move forward strategically is to think differently about the organization, and so I gave them a number of items.  This charge to the Provost and the Vice Chancellor was to work at different services.

Chancellor Woodson admitted that he comes from a university that does it very differently than we do here at NC State.  He stated that he has lived through this change at another university, and it works and it can be empowering to faculty and staff, and it can allow the university to move forward in an environment where not all units are created equally financially, but all faculty and staff deserve the same treatment.  I think there is a better way for us to do business here, a way that is less costly yet more compatible.

Chancellor Woodson stated, one of the things that have been discovered is that we have more than 600 courses in the course catalog that have not been taught for over five years.  It is not exactly the hallmark of an organization that is always reflecting, considering, and positioning itself for excellence, so we have ousted those courses to the departments for them to tell us why we need to keep them.  In some cases we will be able to get some of these courses off the book.  This is no way a moratorium on new courses, but one of the challenges that we have within the system is that we are viewed as being very creative with new things but not particularly adjust to getting rid of old things.

Student Success needs to be a big focus of NC State’s future.  The fact of the matter is that we are not graduating students at the rate that our peers are and that the rate that our peers are based on the profile of our students coming into this university.  We need to be thoughtful about it and so I have asked the Provost to consider realignment in an efficient way and in a cost effective way, two undergraduate programs that are focused on students, one under the Chancellor on Student Affairs and one under the Provost called DUAP, so you will see recommendations to that effect.

Finally I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of PRR’s that we have on this campus.  We are working hard to consider why we have these rules and regulations in place.  Who are we trying to protect? Why did we put them in place the begin with? Are there opportunities to consolidate them, eliminate them, to reduce them, to get rid of them?  And, so we are going through a process about organizational bureaucracy and you will see some more recommendations about that.

Why are we doing this?  Because I am concerned about the ability to move forward strategically.  I insisted that any recommendations be supported by our strategic plan, and they are. They needed to position NC State for greater effectiveness and efficiency, and they needed to help us in light of the budget reductions, and above all these are really designed administratively to try to keep as much of our fiscal resources in the hands of the departments as possible.   We have some realities to acknowledge.  We aren’t where we want to be as a university.  We want to improve NC State, we are a great university, but we have the potential to be a greater university. We have frankly grown beyond our capacity and I know why we have done that.  There have been financial rewards for doing this.  We have grown undergraduate enrollment 25% in the last decade and we have grown graduate enrollment 45% in the last decade.  We have grown tenure track faculty 2%.  This is a problem.  Please remember the wonderful 12 cell matrix that Provost Arden explained to faculty in a conversation at the last Faculty Senate meeting; it’s amazing, but the bottom line is that it favors NC State.  It favors us because it favors the disciplines that we happen to be very good at, because it favors STEM education and it provides increased resources associated with graduate education, so the rebalancing between undergraduate and graduate population in some fields has benefitted the university.

The first has to do with a decision that I’ve made and it is in line with a challenge that we have financially.  Jim Zuiches has announced his plans to retire from the position of Vice Chancellor in the Office of Extension, Engagement & Economic Development; so I have asked the Provost to continue to provide campus-wide oversight to engagement to ensure that scholarship and engagement are not lost, and that will be ongoing.  The McKimmon Center is a big operation reporting to that office, and it will continue to operate as a campus enterprise under the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business.

The other big consolidation and reorganization is the two undergraduate support programs I talked about.  My view is student success is a partnership between academics and the things we do to support students outside the classroom. So I believe that we have the potential to merge DUAP and Student Affairs into one organization supporting undergraduates, and it consolidates that Vice Chancellor’s position.

Thomas Stafford is retiring and John Ambrose is retiring.  We will consolidate those two positions into one academic leader.  DUAP has twelve departments and Academic Affairs has five so all of them will be consolidated into four divisions. This is big, there is a lot of people involved and there will be a lot of angst about this but I can tell you that at the end of the day this will be an organization that will change the lives of students at NC State.  We will continue to serve students in a very positive way.

We currently have three diversity offices reporting to the Provost.  The Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Multicultural Student Affairs.  We believe that those three organizations have been distinct functions, but they significantly overlap.  So by bringing them together under an outstanding leader will provide tremendous service to this campus to keep us focused on creating an inclusive environment for all the students, faculty, and staff at NC State and an environment that fosters the enriched conversations about diversity, and it is also the right thing to do.

Academic Programs
Again, if you have heard the details of this we have not recommended the consolidations of colleges, but we think there are some opportunities.  The Provost has good ideas, I have good ideas, and others have good ideas.  This can’t be managed inclusively out of Holladay Hall, so we are going to limit this conversation.  We need to put a framework on this and the framework is that we are asking the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to consider the overlap among some of their physical, natural, and life sciences.  We have put a timeline on this discussion for December 31, 2011 and then we will make some changes that are appropriate to empower.  We will quickly launch an initiative in that regard.

We will analyze academic courses and degree programs to identify low enrollment, low productivity programs.  We are asking all of the departments to consider the data that we have to generate on time for GA and help us see how some programs are run that maybe with changes allows us to continue a new life of the academic program.  I can envision the strategic plan tell us about graduate fields of study.  I think there are creative ways that we can think about this.

Chancellor Woodson stated that we charge our students more to take a distance education course if they are already enrolled in twelve credits. The one thing that I hear more about from parents is, why did their child have to pay more to take an English course by distance education, so we have to think carefully about how we do this.

We do not enroll a lot of students in the summer, but I think there are some ways for us to encourage summer institutions to keep students on track to graduate and make use of the talent and facilities.  There are many ways around the country where universities have structured summer education.

We will work hard over the coming year to realign our distance services, to be mindful of the services that they provide to the faculty and staff at this university, but in a way that allows us to do it more efficiently and a way that allows us to do it, and a way that allows us to reward the people who do it.  I think we can do this in a way that benefits the university financially and benefits the faculty and staff in terms of how they are supported.

I think we need to get back to the point where we have a group of people that we bring together from all warps of the university life working for discrepancies, looking for problems, looking for delays looking for challenges.  I know that we had started this and it was a great relationship and we made a lot of progress.  So we are going to get back to the business of getting a standing group that include Charlie, Warwick, and me and others to think about the processes that are in place on this campus.

Some of these implementations and time lines are very fast.  A number of things will happen July 1st; we will start to merge DUAP and Student Affairs very quickly.  Tom Stafford and John Ambrose have committed to being here for a period of time to help with the transition.  The Provost will start a National search, but we need to get some of the early transitional work done and that will be launched very soon.

We have other programs that are changing very quickly, again with the beginning of the fiscal year and a bit mindful of some of the personnel changes that have to occur, but we will have a lot of this work done within the beginning of the new fiscal year.

The business realignment will take time.  This is a big organization and there is a lot of people involved, and that will be launched beginning July 1st but will take time to implement.  The reality is, if we don’t do these things, at the end of the day, we are going to have to cut everybody’s budget and as a result every activity of the university will be shortchanged.

4. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.


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