April 15, 2014

Executive Summary


1. Call to Order

Chair Zonderman called the fourteenth meeting of the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.

2. Remarks and Announcements

Chair Zonderman used his remarks to introduce and welcome the new senators.  He thanked the senators that are not returning next year. Chair Zondeman announced that Dr. Jeannette Moore was elected as Chair of the Faculty-Elect.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meetings No. 13, April 1, 2014

A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.

4.  Remarks from Chancellor Woodson

Chancellor Woodson reported that the highest priorities for the UNC Board of Governors and for the Chancellors are to get the flexibility to secure salary increases this year.  The Budget Director has already warned that increases will likely come at the expense of their budgets. Chancellor Woodson reported that another high priority, and one that is critical for the future, is to achieve carry forward authority.   He stated that North Carolina is one of the few states in the nation that doesn’t have the authority to carry forward its budget from year to year.  This creates a disincentive for being efficient and effective because you are not able to take the money that was saved as a college or department and reinvest it in critical areas for the future. Leadership Chancellor Woodson stated that they were pleased to attract Maureen Grasso as Dean of the Graduate School and Brian Sischo from Syracuse University as the Vice Chancellor for Advancement. Academics Chancellor Woodson reported that the cluster hire initiative has brought more than 31 hires into that program, and it is making progress. Chancellor Woodson announced that NC State had three Gold water Scholars this year and two students were recipients of the Udall Scholarship, which is a more specialized program that focuses on research and education related to the Native American population. Chancellor Woodson reported that Athletics continue to do well both athletically and academically with a record number of scholars this year. Chancellor Woodson reported that the incoming freshmen class promises to be another amazing one for NC State.  This is the third year in a row the university has received more than 20,000 applications for 4,250 spots.  He stated that the freshmen class grew by 50 this year primarily because students are graduating faster. Chancellor Woodson announced that starting next fall the Goodnight Scholars Program will be a full ride, four-year scholarship for 50 freshmen or 200 students that study STEM disciplines. Chancellor Woodson reported that the libraries continue to get recognition in spite of the conversations about the budget.  Stanford, which presents an award every year for the most innovative research library in the country, gave the award to NC State this year. Chancellor Woodson announced that NC State was recognized with the Paul Simon Award from the Association of International Educators.  This year the four finalists or recipients were Ohio State, Rutgers, NC State, and Columbia, which is a good mix of universities and good recognition for NC State.

5. Committee Reports

Chair Zonderman noted that the committee reports were sent to the Senators electronically.   He pointed out that some committee business came to the Senate, but the committees also took care of a lot of business without necessarily taking up a lot of the Senate’s time such as reviewing various policy changes, inquiring into all kinds of questions on facilities and services and support.  He thanked the committees for their work.

6. Elections

Faculty Assembly Drs. Alton Banks, Roy Borden, and Paul Williams were elected to serve two-year terms on the Faculty Assembly.  Secretary Dennis Daley and Senator John Heitmann were elected to serve as alternates. Council on Athletics Michael Kanters, Professor of Parks Recreation and Tourism Management, and Christopher Tonelli, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, were elected to serve on the Athletics Council.

7. Presentation

Benny Suggs, Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni Relations Associate Vice Chancellor Benny Suggs presented a PowerPoint to update the Senate on the Alumni Association.  He stated that currently less than 5% of the faculty serves as members. Suzanne Ortega, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs – UNC General Administration Vice President Ortega reported on the status of higher education and she also touched on Post Tenure Review.  She stated that we are in different political times than she has ever seen in higher education.  For the first time opinion leaders across the nation are raising the question,” is a college degree worth it?” Post Tenure Review Dr. Ortega stated that about eighteen months ago they (Provost Arden and other Provosts across the system along with some of the Deans) started a series of tutorials that started out with a Board of Governors who was deeply suspicious that tenure was no longer a relevant practice.  They made enormous progress in laying out the rigor of the process about the fact that a tenure decision is not just about accomplishments to date but it is always grounded in expectations for the future, that it is important in the traditional sense of protecting academic freedom, but it’s also really important from its standpoint of protecting the capacity of institutions.

8.  Old/New Business

Resolution to Oppose Boycotts of Academic Institutions – Second Reading Senators approved the resolution with 15 in favor, 8 opposing and 4 abstaining. Resolution on Hofmann Forest – Second Reading Chair Zonderman reported that the resolution was sent back to the Resources and Environment Committee for further review.  The committee sent the resolution back to the Senate with an explanation. The Senators voted and the resolution failed with 2 in favor, 9 opposing, and 15 abstaining.

9.  Adjourn

A motion passed to adjourn the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate at 5 p.m.

Meeting Minutes


 

Present:

Chair Zonderman, Secretary Daley, Past Chair Kellner,  Senators   Aday, Ade,  Aspnes, Bartlett, Baumer, Bernhard, Borden, Bourham, Devetsikiotis, Fleisher, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Heitmann,   Holden, Knowles, Krause, Laffitte, Lucia, Lunardi, J. Moore, M. Moore, Morgado, Penrose, Rucker, Spontak, Tyler, Williams  

Excused:

Provost Arden, Parliamentarian Weiner: Senators Bird, Edwards, Knopp, Nfah-Abbenyi, Penrose, and Sztajn

Absent:

Senators Allaire, Marks  

Guests:

Benny Suggs, Associate VC, Alumni Relations; Chancellor Woodson; P. J. Teal, Assistant to the Chancellor; Eileen Goldgeier, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel; Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost, Faculty Diversity; Fred Cubbage, Professor, Forestry and Environmental Resources; Darby Orcutt, Assistant Head, Collection Management; Michael Steer, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Alton Banks, Professor of Chemistry; Samuel Sotillo, Lecturer, Foreign Language & Literatures, Chris Gunter, Associate Professor, Horticulture Science; Duane Larick,  Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy & Resource Management

1. Call to Order

Chair Zonderman called the fourteenth meeting of the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.

2. Remarks and Announcements

Chair Zonderman used his remarks to introduce and welcome the new senators and he thanked those senators who are rotating off this year. Chair Zondeman announced that Dr. Jeannette Moore was elected as Chair of the Faculty-Elect.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 13, April 1, 2014

A motion passed to approve the minutes as presented.

4.  Remarks from Chancellor Woodson

Chancellor Woodson reported that the highest priorities for the UNC Board of Governors and for the Chancellors are to get the flexibility to secure salary increases this year.  The Budget Director has already warned that increases will likely come at the expense of their budgets. Chancellor Woodson reported that another high priority and one that is critical for the future is to achieve carry forward authority.   He stated that North Carolina is one of the few states in the nation that doesn’t have the authority to carry forward its budget from year to year.  This creates a disincentive for being efficient and effective because you are not able to take the money that was saved as a college or department and reinvest it in critical areas for the future. Chancellor Woodson stated that the current carry forward authority is very restricted, approximately 2%, and the Chancellors are asking that it be extended to 10 percent, which would make a big difference in the way colleges and departments would be able to work.  They are getting positive responses from the Senate, but are not sure that the State Budget Office agrees with it. Leadership Chancellor Woodson talked about how pleased the administration was to be able to attract Maureen Grasso as Dean of the Graduate School and Brian Sischo from Syracuse University as the Vice Chancellor for Advancement. Academics Chancellor Woodson reported that the cluster hire initiative continues, bringing more than 31 hires in that program and it is making progress.  He stated that another group has been named to the Faculty Scholars Program. Chancellor Woodson announced that NC State had three Gold water Scholars this year.  Two students were recipients of the Udall Scholarship and that is a much more specialized program and it is focused on research and education related to the Native American population.  NC State has been very fortunate to have 3 Udall scholars in the last four years.  There have been finalists each of the last two years for the Churchill, Rhodes, or Marshall Scholar. Chancellor Woodson reported that Athletics continue to do well both athletically and academically with a record number of scholars this year. Chancellor Woodson stated that NC State has a number one wrestling champion who is a sophomore.    Of the 540 varsity student athletes, 388 were ACC scholar athletes that had a 3.0 or higher grade point average and these are students in disciplines all across the university. The incoming freshmen class promises to be another amazing one for NC State.  This is the third year in a row the university has received more than 20,000 applications for 4250 spots.  The freshmen class grew by 50 this year primarily because students are graduating faster. Chancellor Woodson stated that the Goodnight Scholars Program has been a scholarship that has paid for tuition and fees for four years, but starting next fall that will be a full ride scholarship for 50 freshmen or 200 students that study STEM disciplines. Chancellor Woodson reported that the libraries continue to get recognition for the facilities in spite of the conversations that are going on about the budget, which is a challenge.  Stanford, which gives out a prize every year for the most innovative research library in the country, gave the award to NC State this year. Chancellor Woodson announced that NC State was recognized with the Paul Simon Award from the Association of International Educators.  This award is given to the campuses that show the most significance in their broad based internationalization.  This year the four finalists or recipients were Ohio State, Rutgers, NC State, and Columbia, which is a good mix of universities and good recognition for NC State. Questions and Comments Are there resources to continue the Faculty Excellence Hiring Program?  When is the next call? Chancellor Woodson stated that there is a goal to do another round but there is also a reality.  Frankly the budget situation has not been particularly conducive. Vice Provost Larick stated that if the economy forces them to decide between faculty retention and starting the next round of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in the fall of 2014, the priority would have to be faculty retention. Senator Williams commented that in the discussion about raises he would h3ly urge the universities’ Chancellors to at least give some across the board. Chancellor Woodson said he thinks there needs to be an adjustment that brings many employees into a higher place.  We need to have equity in market adjustment strategy that allows us to look critically at the equitable issues that five years of bad policy has resulted in some inequity and some market issues that are frankly going to take significant dollars to address.  We can’t do that with a very limited merit pool, because we all feel like everyone deserves a bump because of the environment that we have been in. Chancellor Woodson stated that he could envision a pool of money that is about 50/50, fifty percent for broader base merit adjustments on performance, and 50 percent that is needed to focus on starting to address the inequalities and the market issues. Secretary Daley stated that the Group Insurance and Benefits Committee mentioned that the General Administration has issued the ruling that NTT’s would have to do four courses per semester to qualify for being over the thirty hours. Chancellor Woodson stated that his recollection is that we have won this battle, that it is not going to affect the way we work with our NTT faculty in terms of who qualifies for benefits and who doesn’t.

5. Committee Reports

Chair Zonderman stated that the committee reports were sent to all of the Senators, so he opened the floor for anyone who might have questions. He stressed the point that certain committee business comes to the Senate, but the committees also took care of a lot of business without necessarily taking up a lot of the Senate’s time such as reviewing various policy changes, inquiring into all kinds of questions on facilities and services and support.  He thanked the committees for their work. Senator Heitmann inquired about the status of the ombuds process.  Chair Zonderman stated that the last draft was reviewed and the administration is looking at it.  He plans to do a follow-up over the summer.

6. Elections

Faculty Assembly Drs. Alton Banks, Roy Borden, and Paul Williams were elected to serve two-year terms on the Faculty Assembly.  Secretary Dennis Daley and Senator John Heitmann were elected to serve as alternates. Council on Athletics Michael Kanters, Professor of Parks Recreation and Tourism Management, and Christopher Tonelli, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, were elected to serve on the Athletics Council.

7. Presentation

Benny Suggs, Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni Relations Associate Vice Chancellor Benny Suggs presented a PowerPoint to update the Senate on the Alumni Association.  He stated that currently less than 5% of the faculty are members. AVC Suggs reported, nationally about 8% of alumni give back to their alma mater; however for those who are a part of their Alumni Association the percentage rises to more than 25 percent, which is significant.  Since Chancellor Woodson has been on board NC State has grown its membership by 27 percent. Suggs stated that NC State’s business model is really simple.  It receives approximately 80 percent of its   salary support from the State and everything else is generated to fill the gap in that salary, also for all the programs that are sponsored throughout the year.  We raise those funds and the biggest contributor is membership dues.  So our mission statement is very clear, it’s about providing value and relevance on your terms. Suggs announced that the Annual Alumni Association Faculty Awards Ceremony will be held on May 7th in the new Talley Student Center, where twenty-four faculty members will be recognized by Chancellor Woodson and they will be receiving more than $90,000 in stipends and a name tag to go over the door.  The Alumni Association has been doing this for more than 40 years and will continue to do so. Suggs stated that the association helps Phi Beta Kappa with their ceremony when they induct new members.  The NC State Alumni Association purchases the keys for presentation to the initiates. This past year the Alumni Association was able to provide more than $600,000 in financial support to 150 students, which included 75 Caldwell Fellows.  That $600,000 should grow to about $650,000 for next year. Also, at the ceremony where they recognize distinguish faculty, the Alumni Association will introduce and recognize four top students for the Mathews Medal.  Modeled after the Watauga Medal, the Mathews Medal is the highest non-academic distinction awarded to students. Suggs explained that the Legacy Admission Programs is provided for Alumni Association member’s parents who would like for their children to attend NC State.   Admissions officials and the Alumni Association unite to help alumni parents and their children understand college admission requirements for NC State.   They have exported this program to Wilmington, Greensboro, and Charlotte and will take it where ever there is a need.  Also during move in weekend the Chancellor hosts a legacy lunch for incoming freshmen whose parents, grandparents, etc., might be an alumni of NC State. Suggs stated that the first part of their strategic plan has to do with student success and student experience and they would like for the connection to NC State to happen as soon as it possibly can. The Alumni Association also has a program called “Wolfpack Freshmen Welcomes”, where they go throughout the state and throughout the region to connect with parents and students who have just received acceptances and notifications to welcome them into the Wolfpack family. Suggs stated that they have a National Wolfpack Service Day.  The annual day was started in 2007 to unite and engage alumni in valuable outreach.  It is part of the legacy of NC State’s commitment as a land grant university to service and this is a big deal, giving back to the community as wolfpackers. The Alumni Association provides a number of career service resources of its members including: Career Counseling, Video Interviews, Employer Services, Wolfpack Connect, Webinar Series, and Career Fairs. Suggs stated that as a special thank you, the NC State Alumni Association presents the outgoing Chair of the Faculty with their choice of a university classic standard chair or Boston Rocker. The presentation is available online at  http://www.ncsu.edu/faculty_senate/documents/BennySuggsFacultySenatepresentationApril2014.pdf Suzanne Ortega, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs – UNC General Administration Dr. Ortega stated that we are in different political times than she has ever seen in higher education where opinion leaders across the nation are raising the question, “is a college degree worth it?”  She said there are probably two ways that conversation is driven.  One is does the state get its monies’ worth and the other is do kids get their monies’ worth. Dr. Ortega stated that the big picture questions are, are we delivering the curriculum as efficiently as we can?  Are we properly attentive to students staying focused on degree objectives?  Have we created transfer frameworks that unnecessarily penalize students because life intervenes; e.g. starts school at one place and finishes at another?  Do we have the right mix of institutional types?  Do we have the right programs mix?  Do we have the right mix of graduate and undergraduate degree programs?  Are we appropriately partnering with Community Colleges?  Ortega said there is not a single one of those questions that is inappropriate to ask.  Her impulse is that we need to standardize things to insure efficiency. Dr. Ortega stated that she thinks we will win our case with the legislature and elsewhere about the value of the degree, about how efficiently we are working together in the system, when we recognize admission differentiation across all of our institutions, but with some agreement about what the minimum expectation should be for a college educated student no matter where he or she graduates. Dr. Ortega stated that you can’t think without content.   A thoughtful, explicit way of helping our students is to keep asking ourselves, how does what we are doing give students an opportunity to practice in a variety of contexts the skills that will make them successful. We are now focusing on the two most common general education requirements, which are critical thinking and written communication.   If we can agree that there are certain kinds of outcomes that we really do believe our students need to be successful, that it is the hallmark of a college educated student, we ought to be able to agree on those outcomes.  We want to agree in the details about how you measure them, but if we agree about the outcomes then we are in a wonderful position to argue that there are multiple ways of getting there.  They will vary by discipline, they will vary by university.  That has been the strategy in negotiating one of our challenges.  You will see that strategy or that philosophy guiding our efforts around the comprehensive articulation agreement.  Is there a common set of courses that no matter where a student starts if we are smart enough to think about outcomes what should a person have mastered at the end of course that positions them for success of the next course?   We have a certain set of agreements about those outcomes without prescribing the curriculum or the way we teach.  The philosophy of the CAA is to identify at the broad level some things we agree upon.  Honor the question that we are being asked.  Could you do this more efficiently and then be prepared to maintain maximum flexibility? Post Tenure Review Dr. Ortega stated that about eighteen months ago they (Provost Arden and other Provosts across the system along with some of the Deans) started a series of tutorials that started out with a Board of Governors who was deeply suspicious that tenure wasn’t any longer a relevant practice.  Over the course of that eighteen months they made enormous progress in laying out the rigor of the process about the fact that a tenure decision is not just about accomplishments to date but it is always grounded in expectations for the future.  It is important in the traditional sense of protecting academic freedom, but it’s also really important from its standpoint of protecting the capacity of institutions that at least some people, some of the time, do high risk, high yield research -- the kind of research that doesn’t have a quarterly report, doesn’t even necessarily generate standard renewals in the traditional sense of research grants.  How else can you do that in a contract environment where there is a series of deliverables and goals you have to meet?  How else can you do that except in a system that allows brilliant people to roam freely sometimes hitting dead ends but sometimes doing the work that is transformational?  She said that at some level there may be some Board of Governors members saying, yeah show me, but by and large she thinks our Board of Governors agree that tenure is something that is here to stay and if they don’t love the concept they believe that it is absolutely important as part of the academic economy and have no wish to undermine or destroy it.  So, it is in that environment that a working group was asked this question, can we be as honest as we possibly can with ourselves identifying points of potential in the current post tenure review process and is there anything we could do that set a base set of expectations that allow maximum campus flexibility to use their own processes, their own culture about review, but need some common sets of expectations to really process standards. Dr. Ortega stated that the conversation led to a policy that was created and its opening lines are that  this policy is in place to insure and reward and recognize faculty excellence.    She said from her point of view, you can think about a system where three or four categories are used as an additional mechanism to help model annual merit pay.  You can think about it as a management tool. Dr. Ortega stated that from her experience as a Provost and also from her informal survey of Provosts around the country on how do you know your Post Tenure Review process is working well, they almost always said it has to do with variations across departments and specifically the misalignment between any kinds of disciplinary or tenure decision that has no bearing in the end on reviews that preceded and informed it.  Ortega stated that the idea is you need to understand how well and how consistently we are working across levels.   The idea is to leave enough space for people to figure out how you do it and what it means that is consistent with campus culture, but with this common understanding that we can always use help as administrators and getting better in our performance. Questions and Comments Senator Aspnes commented that one of the biggest concerns about the worth of education is that the cost has skyrocketed in the last twenty years.  “Do you see that changing at all?” Dr. Ortega stated that the bottom line is they haven’t been very good at cutting cost and she is not sure how good they are going to be. Chair Zonderman asked why is there an additional review of post tenure paperwork required beyond the department chair. Dr. Ortega stated that there was broad discussion that was based on this logic.  If one of our sources of variation occurs at the department level and that is a source that means on a campus, not just between campuses, your real experience of post tenure review varies depending on the sophistication and the consistency of the review.   Does a dean level review provide an additional guarantee on a campus as well as to the Board of Governors?  Probably my personal experience the idea was that the dean provides one level removed.  The current policy says that there will be a review at one additional level, but people on many campuses have said the committee counts as one and the department chair counts as one.   This appears to her as an opportunity for some recalibration.   She stated that there will be an opportunity for each campus to talk about what this dean review means in the context of whatever revisions might be necessary. Senator Baumer stated that he was the department head for six years, but had no situation where post tenure review actually resulted in anything, so he wonders if it is an effective constraint.  The length of tenure is supposed to be in the fifth year you are evaluated and yet for his six years there was virtually no one that was evaluated in the fifth year, there was always a family addition, leave of absence, etc., so he thinks at more prestigious institutions effectively the length of tenure evaluation has crept up, It has gone from five years to six or seven years, so he asked if she has any thoughts on a constraint post tenure review where it is not exercised and what is actually done is different from what appears in the rules. Ortega stated that this particular revision has a great deal of momentum behind it.  She doubts that there is going to be much change in the frequency or the number of years between post tenure reviews.  “Remember that people including the Board of Governors see this variation and they wonder is anyone taking the policy seriously. “ Dr. Ortega stated that she thinks NC State takes this more seriously than the other campuses in the system.  The question is can we find something that recognizes that there is variability that one campus’ problem isn’t everyone’s campus  problem but trying to find a process that is livable with everyone, we don’t have easy answers for.

8.  Old/New Business

Resolution to Oppose Boycotts of Academic Institutions – Second Reading The resolution had been sent back to the Executive Committee for further review. Chair Zonderman pointed out that Senate resolutions have no binding authority.  He stated that the Executive Committee recognized that some felt that the resolution was too broad but the committee felt there was a meaningful statement, so the resolution is being presented today for a vote. The resolution was approved with 15 in favor, 8 opposing and 4 abstaining. Resolution on Hofmann Forest – Second Reading Chair Zonderman stated that the resolution had been sent back to the Resources and Environment Committee and they voted to send the resolution back to the Senate with an explanation. Senator Williams explained that the committee was not prepared to say one way or the other that they would endorse the resolution.  The committee felt it best to leave it up to the Senate for each person to make their decision and vote accordingly. The Senate voted on the resolution. The resolution failed with 2 in favor, 9 opposing, and 15 abstaining.

9.  Adjourn

A motion passed to adjourn the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate at 5 p.m.
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