Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes – April 19, 2016

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

Minutes of the Faculty Senate

April 19, 2016

 

Regular Meeting No. 14 of the 62nd Session:  Faculty Senate Chambers                            April 19, 2016

Present:  Chair Moore, Secretary Orcutt; Past Chair Zonderman; Parliamentarian Lubischer,  Provost Arden; Senators Ange-van Heugten, Argyropoulos, Ash, Auerbach, Banks, Bernhard, Bird, Bullock, Bykova, Byrnes, Davidian, Fath, Gunter, Hergeth, Huffman, Moore, Pearce, Perros, Porter, Sannes,  Smith McKoy, Sotillo, Williams
Excused:  Senators Cubbage, Fleisher, Kathariou, Laffitte

Absent:   Senators Bartlett, Devetsikiotis, Silverberg, Smith, Spontak, Steer

Guests:  Roy Baroff, Faculty Ombuds Office; Katharine Stewart, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Mike Mullen, Vice Chancellor & Dean, Academic and Student Affairs; Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor, Information Technology; Neal Parker, New Senator from COM; Matthew Rever, New Senator, General Constituency

 

  1. Call to Order

Chair Moore called the fourteenth meeting of the sixty-second session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3:05 p.m.

  1. Introductory Remarks

Chair Moore asked visitors to introduce themselves.

  1.  Announcements

Chair Moore stated that all of the committees have completed their tasks and will be posting their annual reports on the Faculty Senate webpage by the end of the month.

The first Faculty Senate meeting for the new academic year will be August 23, 2016 at 3 p.m.

The website for the Faculty Senate will be changing in early May to become in compliance with the new security that we need for the website.  The new location will be facultysenate.ncsu.edu.

Chair Moore announced that some of the chairs will be replaced in the Faculty Senate conference room.  

Chair Moore announced that discounted 2016 football tickets are available to faculty and staff until May 1st.

  1.  Approval of the Minutes

Secretary Orcutt called for a motion to approve the minutes for the thirteenth meeting of the NC State Faculty Senate.

A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.

  1.  Remarks from Provost Arden

Recognitions

Provost Arden announced that six NC State engineering researchers have won NSF career awards, one of the most prestigious awards given to junior faculty members.

Dr. Gary Blank and the Natural Resources 100 class are going to be awarded the Fred Fletcher Award for outstanding community service by the City of Raleigh.   The Fred Fletcher Award for outstanding volunteerism has been given by the Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department since 1996 and 367 of NC State students who are enrolled in this class were involved in 16 different projects, racking up 734 hours of volunteerism.

Provost Arden recognized Jason Evans Groth, who was selected by Library Journal as a 2016 “Mover and Shaker” for his innovative methods for combining scholarship and multimedia experiences.  This award recognizes individuals who have developed creative and engaging ways to utilize different aspects of libraries across the nation. Jason Groth is NC State’s ninth “Mover and Shaker” in eleven years.

Provost Arden announced that NC State Libraries have received a national medal for Library and Museum Service to be awarded in the White House by Michelle Obama.  

Provost Arden stated that student NSF awards have been a record-breaking 31 NC State students in the prestigious graduate research fellowship from the Science Foundation and an additional 26 received honorable mentions.  The recipients include 17 students who have completed or will complete their undergraduate degrees including our first Churchill Scholar, and an additional 14 graduate research fellows who earned their undergraduate degrees elsewhere have chosen to study at NC State.

Provost Arden announced that two NC State juniors earned the prestigious Goldwater scholarship for 2016. One student received an honorable mention and a fourth nominee has been selected by the German Academic Exchange Service to participate in a research internship in Germany.   NC State has received a total of 49 Goldwater scholarships.

The Association of University Technology Marriages (AUTM), recently ranked NC State as a national leader in licensing and optioning of research to the private sector.  During the 2014 fiscal year, NC State reached 145 licenses and option agreements and that is the most of any university in the country without a medical school and is ranked sixth amongst all US universities.   Over the last four years licenses and options executed by NC State have jumped 146% and ten of those agreements are with startup companies specifically launched to take university research to the market place.  

Provost Arden announced that College Rank, which is a website dedicated to evaluating and ranking college life and academics, has released its list of the top 50 college dining experiences and NC State is listed at number thirty one.  

Provost Arden announced that NC State Student Centers, MHTN Architects, Duda Paine Architects, and Cooper Carry Incorporated have been honored by the Association of College Union International, with the 2016 Facility Design Award for the renovation and expansion of the Talley Student Union.

Upcoming Legislative Priorities

Provost Arden reported that the legislators will be back in town on April 25th.  The legislature will have a little more to deal with in terms of resources than it was budgeted, about $237 million ahead of budget.  He stated that there are several bills we need to keep an eye on such as budget bills, crossover bills, and study committee bills. He recalled that in the second year of the budget there is still a cap on the use of state funds for advancement or development, which is $1 million per institution and that will result in a $16 million reduction for the system, which will be $6 million for NC State.

Provost Arden stated that we have to keep an eye on NC GAP, the guaranteed admissions program which the legislature put in.  The concept was well meaning, but the implications for how you apply this and how it affects our enrollment and planning are pretty significant.  The reality is that we have very high admission standards, so it doesn’t really work well for NC State or Chapel Hill.  The hope is that the legislature will rethink this.

Provost Arden stated that there are some self-liquidating bonds that are being passed by the Board of Governors that affect us.  We have $85 million on Plant Sciences.  The engineering has already been approved but Plant Sciences have to be approved.  The Carmichael addition and renovation for $45 million is paid back by students’ fees and then Case Residence Hall, $15 million which is paid by the Wolf Pack Club.

Provost Arden stated that we have to keep an eye on management flexibility reduction despite the fact that the budget is looking pretty good.  There is still in the second year of the biennial budget $43 million recurring and $3 million non-recurring cut from the system, the impact for us would be somewhere around $7 million recurring, so it is not insignificant.  We have to think about it and plan for it, but hopefully Kevin Howell and his colleagues can work on having that reduced.  

Provost Arden stated this year we have the ability to do a 5% carry forward, up from 2.5 percent. One of the things that they have said is that you can carry forward 5% of your state funds, but you have to use one half of that on R&R projects.  

Provost Arden stated that the Chancellor had some comments on House Bill 2.   This has caused a lot of discomfort for faculty and students across the entire UNC System in terms of how this would be applied.   It has not looked good for us nationally.  There are significant impacts both to NC State and beyond, so it is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.  Unfortunately those who passed HB2 seem to be digging their heels in.  The bottom line for us is that we have reviewed the bill, we have reviewed what General Administration has sent to us and we have had our legal folks review it and we think that we don’t really have to change anything.  We have clear signage on our restrooms.  We have a lot of non-gender specific single use restrooms and we have on our website guidance to where those are located all over campus.  The bill and the memos from GA don’t provide for any form of enforcement whatsoever, so fundamentally we are not changing anything that we do.  It is important for us to reinforce to the campus community our steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion, and to creating a welcoming environment to everyone who comes on this campus.

The Chancellor, as part of his responsibilities to the Department of Education, sends a letter to the Department of Education every year.  He assures that students, faculty, and staff are protected from discrimination regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.  The Chancellor has sent that to the Department of Education as we do every year.  

Provost Arden stated that President Spellings will be on campus tomorrow and hopefully she will have a good visit.  She will be meeting with students, staff, faculty, and triangle business leaders and she will tour some select facilities.  We look forward to getting the feedback on that.

Questions and Comments

Past Chair Zonderman stated that he has heard that by next fall we will finally be getting the report on the GSSP and one of the recommendations to prepare for is a significant reallocation of money that is now currently going from supporting master’s students to supporting doctoral students.  Has that really taken shape, if so when will we see the details?

Provost Arden stated that they have had a committee working on not just specifically the GSSP.  There is a committee that came out of our strategic resources management process task force charged with looking at how to grow doctoral education.  There are multiple components to that, of which, the GSSP is just one, so specifically they were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the current Provost Fellowship Programs and make recommendations for any change. They were asked to identify ways to incentivize faculty, including stipends on grant proposals and we were asked to revise the GSSP or look at the GSSP because the reality is since I have been in this position, the GSSP has been in a hole every year. So, we follow the band aid model of budgeting.  We say how much is in that hole and transfer funds from the Provost Reserve.  That is really not a sustainable method for having a program which underpins the growth of our graduate program. If you look at the recommendations—this is a draft report; it is not finalized.  When it is finalized there will be quite a bit of time for discussion.  The recommendations are very extensive that we are going to have to go through and pick and choose and one would be to direct more of our resources toward doctoral support.  There are other recommendations such as earmark a fraction of enrollment increase funds every year for GSSP support rather than a band aid transfer out of Provost Reserve, extending the GSSP eligibility by one year. There is a whole list of potential actions and redirecting from master’s to doctoral is just one of those, so when the report is final we will absolutely bring the appropriate committee of the Faculty Senate to review it.  There are going to be some tough decisions to make because if we are going to grow our graduate programs as part of our strategic plan and part of our enrollment plan we are going to have to figure out how to have more and better assistantships and fellowships and we are going to have to figure out how to fund on a recurring basis the graduate student support plan so there is simply not a hole in it every year.   “I have met with the committee about a month ago and I have heard their recommendations.  Most of them are very generous toward the GSSP and I think they are going to be well received, but there are going to be a handful of difficult things we are going to have to wrestle with.”

Comment from Senator about HB2—The Chancellor’s perspective was beautifully written providing the fact that we are in full compliance of what the bill supports. I’m wondering did he or has he received much reaction from the students?

Provost Arden responded no.  He said we are being about as out front and supportive as we can be without deliberatively poking the legislature in the eye. It is a fine line to walk and in fairness, President Spellings has a very fine line to walk, as the president of a state system that relies on the legislature for a significant proportion of its support.  She wants to be supportive to her campuses and her students, but she can’t get out there and poke her finger in the legislature’s eye.  We have tried to make it very clear that we are not planning on changing anything.  We are not planning to change our equal opportunity statement.  We are not planning to change signage on bathrooms.  We have put out an extensive list of gender neutral single use bathrooms, which you can find on the web.  We are trying to send as strong, supportive, and inclusive message as we can to our students, but it is a difficult situation and it is not playing out well for us nationally.

What is the likelihood that in the next academic year, resources will be available in your office to enhance scholarships and research for junior faculty?

Provost Arden stated that if you looked at the investments that we have made over the last three and a half to four years the majority of investments that we have made have been for disciplinary hires in the department at all ranks.  Only about one third of total investments in faculty either for recurring or for startup are related to the interdisciplinary excellence hire program. As I look at the data going forward and I look at concerns that I have about the management flexibility cut or potential cuts that we might take, the fact that our enrollment projections are not going to produce a lot of new money in the coming year, we know what tuition will be, but I think there is going to be a lot of downward pressure on tuition in the coming year.  I do worry about the resources, not so much for next year, but for the years going out, the year after and the year after. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have money to cover our obligations, but what it does mean is that we are spending huge amounts of money on startup and retentions at the moment and you can view it as being a worthy investment in the long term of the university to bring in extraordinary faculty and to retain extraordinary faculty we do have.  So, yes we are going to have to look at it very closely and I’m going to make sure that we have the resources to meet our commitments.

  1.  Old and New Business

    Introduction of finalists for Executive Committee

Chair Moore explained that the bylaws state that senators for the existing year narrow down the candidates for the Executive Committee to 12, but since there are only eleven, those are the names that will appear on the ballot. The election includes an electronic ballot being sent to the 2016-2017 senators to vote for six members to serve on the committee.  Senator Bullock requested that her name be removed from the list.

Chair Moore asked each candidate to introduce themselves and make any comments that they would like about serving on the Executive Committee.

  1.  Election of faculty members to Faculty Assembly and to the Council on Athletics

Faculty Assembly

Drs. Alton Banks, Professor of Chemistry, Frederick Parker, Teaching Assistant Professor of Ag & Resources Economics, and Paul Williams, Professor of Accounting were elected to serve on the Faculty Assembly.  

Drs. Dimitris Argyropoulos, Professor of Forest Biomaterials, and Elizabeth Fath, Teaching Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Studies, were elected to serve as alternates.  

Council on Athletics

Drs. Ed Funkhouser, Associate Professor Emeritus, Communication, and Paul Williams, Professor of Accounting, were elected to serve on the Council on Athletics.

  1.  Second reading of, and vote on, the Resolution in Favor of Updating the Alma Mater

Senator Smith McKoy read a statement she received in support of the resolution.  Also, there were numerous comments made in support of the document.

The resolution was voted on and passed with unanimous support.

  1.  Second reading of, and vote on, the Resolution of Opposition to the new Proposed Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace regulation (Governance and Personnel Policy Committee)

Chair Moore pointed out that Appendix B of the agenda basically says that we are opposed to quite a few things that are in the current version of the proposed new regulation.  This regulation came to the Senate in the fall and went to the committee where they worked with the group who brought it forward and had quite a few suggested revisions.  When the document came back it was not very different.

Senator Williams stated that the issue with the committee is that they understand that there are contracts with the DOD and other federal agencies that have this very nice standard for drug and alcohol use like airline pilots, which is kind of what the policy was written for, but it doesn’t apply to faculty who aren’t in these sensitive positions. The committee suggests that there be two different regulations, one for those in sensitive positions where this really is an issue that goes just beyond the campus, and then one for everyone else, which is a little more realistic.

Several senators commented in support of the resolution.

The resolution was voted on and passed with unanimous support.

  1.  Recognition of, and thanks to, Senators who are rotating off the Faculty Senate

Chair Moore recognized the Senators who are rotating off the senate and they were given a round of applause.

  1.  Recognition of, and thanks to, Vernice Stevenson who completed 20 years as the Executive Assistant for the Faculty Senate in December of 2015 and who is retiring July 1st..

The Chair recognized Vernice Stevenson for completing 20 years as the Executive Assistant to the Faculty Senate and presented her with a gift.  Vernice also received a standing ovation.

  1.  Minutes from the three committees (Academic Policy, Governance & Personnel Policy, and Resources & Environment)

The annual Committee Report for each committee will be posted by the end of April on the Faculty Senate website.  This is in lieu of oral committee reports at this meeting.

  1.  Issues of Concern

Senator Fath stated that they are looking at an approach to address some students’ concerns with having a course detail sheet.  The other is the addition of three questions to the end of class evals that are a separate part of the class evaluation.  

Katharine Stewart, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, stated that she is aware of this and will be working with the committee closely. She said one thing she is looking at is that class evaluations are treated as personnel records and therefore you have to be careful with them.  Students might have questions that they want to ask, but depending on the type of questions that are asked, they may fall under this rule about personnel records.  She said that the issues they will be dealing with include the fact that there are some questions they are legally going to bump up against personnel law in a big way and that students will need to understand that we don’t get to publically release evaluations of employees and faculty to anybody who wants to see it; therefore, the question is what are the data that we really could ask that would be useful.

Chair Moore stated that when this information comes to the Senate it will more than likely be sent to the Academic Policy Committee for review.

  1.  Adjourn

The 62nd section of the NC State Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:30 p.m.