September 9, 2014

Executive Summary


1. Call to Order

Chair Zonderman called the second meeting of the sixty first session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.

2. Remarks and Announcements

Chair Zonderman informed the senators of a topic that appears on the UNC General Administration website called UNC online, which is a central repository of all online courses in the system.   He advised the faculty to review the listing to make sure it is accurate.  If there are inaccuracies they can contact General Administration. Chair Zonderman invited the faculty to attend a dialog on General Education at NC State that will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Talley Student Center.   The Pope Foundation has published a critical report on general education and he will be serving on the panel. Chair Zonderman announced that the theme for today’s meeting is “communication.”  He stressed the importance of senators attending the Faculty Senate and University Standing Committee meetings and stated that the more they bring information from the committees the more they can engage as much as possible with substantive issues that come before the Senate. Chair Zonderman urged the Faculty Senate committees to reserve time at their meetings for members who are serving on the various university committees to report.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meetings No. 1, August 26, 2014

A motion passed to approve the minutes as amended.

4.  Remarks from Provost Arden

Provost Arden reported that the budget was approved by the Legislature and items are still being finalized.  Most of the budget reductions are a combination of management flexibility reductions and some reallocations from General Administration as part of their strategic directions.  He stated that they are reallocating resources from the campus to fund elements of that. Provost Arden reported that EPA salary directions will come from General Administration to the campuses early next week.  The directions to deans and other campus unit leaders will also go out sometime next week.  He noted that it will be a modest program, not nearly as much as he would like, but given whatever they do, it will have to be done by reallocation. Provost Arden reported that SPA staff was given one thousand dollars across the board so he thinks that is a good starting point with EPA.  They are working with the deans to see what can be put together for an additional merit, market, and equity program on top of that. Provost Arden reported that a memo was sent from Budget Director Art Pope to all units, including the UNC System, with some directions for next year’s budget.  Mr. Pope is asking that a budget be prepared that is 2% less than our current budget.   The first part is due to the Legislature by October 1st. Provost Arden explained that the difficulty of this is that Mr. Pope doesn’t want these cuts to be by management flexibility, but more line item cuts to identify the specific cuts that we will be making, which is going to be very difficult to do. Strategic Plan Provost Arden reported that they have completed the first three years of the strategic plan and he thinks the first three years have been successful in terms of our high order initiatives.  He said it is now time to develop the next three year plan.  The format in the first three year plan was a matrix of actions against goals. We reduced all actions into three super groupings.  This plan is being formatted the same way. There are going to be some important discussions in the Faculty Senate. Provost Arden reported that NC State has risen in the US News & World Report rankings to 95th among National Universities and 44th among publics.  He stated that the university continues to move in the right direction.

5.  Issues for 2014-15 Faculty Senate -

results of ballot Chair Zonderman announced the results of ballots that were distributed in the last meeting, asking senators to identify the four most important issues they would like to see the Senate address this year. He said all of the issues are important and hopes by the end of this academic year each of the items will be reviewed by one of the committees. The top four items were: 1) Allocation of Academic Funds 2) Growing Doctoral Program and GSSP 3) Student Retention and Success 4) Post Tenure Review Revision Policy Chair Zonderman received input from the senators on what they would like Dr. Mike Mullen to discuss on Student Retention and Success.

6.  Strategic Resource Management—Doctoral Enrollment and Graduate Student Support Plan

Dr. Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Resource Management stated that NC State is one of the flagship universities in the system.  He reported on an enrollment plan that has been developed talking about growing doctoral education as the highest priority of growth.  He said they are developing a biennial plan for 2015-16, 2016-17 through 2020 and looking to build on to even a 20-24, 20-25 plan.

7.  Adjourn

A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:15pm.

Meeting Minutes


Present:

Chair Zonderman, Secretary Daley, Chair- Elect Moore, Provost Arden; Parliamentarian Fath; Senators   Ash, Banks, Barlett, Baumer, Bernhard, Borden, Bullock, Byrnes, Cubbage, Davidian, Fleisher, Fuentes, Gunter, Heitmann, Holden, Krause, Levy, Lunardi, Nfah-Abbenyi, Orcutt, Scearce, Sotillo, Steer, Williams  

Excused:

Senators Aday, Bird, Edwards, Moore, Smith

Absent:

Senators Allaire, Auerbach, Brady, Devetsikiotis, Laffitte,

Guests:

P.J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Duane Larick, Provost Office

1. Call to Order

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

2. Remarks and Announcements

Chair Zonderman informed the senators of a topic on the UNC General Administration website called UNC online, which is a central repository of all online courses in the system.   He advised the faculty to review the listing to make sure it is accurate; if there are inaccuracies they are to contact General Administration. Chair Zonderman announced that tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Talley Student Center there will be a dialog on General Education at NC State.  The Pope Foundation has published a critical report on general education and he will be serving on the panel.  Chair Zonderman invited the faculty to attend. Chair Zonderman stated that “communication” is the theme for today’s meeting.  He noted that the Faculty Senate meetings are every other week and the Faculty Senate Standing Committee meetings are on the alternate Tuesdays.   Everyone on the Senate is also assigned as a representative on the University Standing committees or some other committee.  He stressed the importance of attending these meetings.  He stated that the more senators bring information from the committees the more we can engage as much as possible with our substantive issues that come before the Senate. Chair Zonderman urged the Faculty Senate committees to reserve time at their meetings for those that are serving on the various University committees to report.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meetings No. 1, August 26, 2014

A motion passed to approve the minutes as amended.

4.  Remarks from Provost Arden

Provost Arden reported that the budget was approved by the Legislature and items are still being finalized.  He stated that it looks as though most of the budget reductions that have come to us are a combination of management flexibility reductions and some reallocations from General Administration as part of their strategic directions. They are reallocating resources from the campus to fund elements of that.   He said we are going to be out centrally, with a couple of exceptions, for these cuts. On top of that, we are going to try to partner with the colleges for a modest EPA merit program for all faculty and EPA.  The final details have not been worked out.  In fact, that goes to the Personnel and Tenure committee of the Board of Governors this Thursday at their upcoming meeting.  We are expecting that EPA salary directions will come from the General Administration to campuses early next week and then our directions to the deans and other campus unit leaders will go out some time next week.   It will be a modest program; certainly not nearly as much as we would like, but given whatever we do, we are going to have to do by reallocation. Provost Arden stated that SPA staff was given a thousand dollars across the board; he thinks that is a good starting point with EPA. They will be working with the deans to see what can be put together for an additional merit, market, and equity program on top of that. Provost Arden stated that there will likely not be too many restrictions put on this from General Administration, and the administration is not going to put too many restrictions on it when they give directions to the deans.  He said to get some movement for our salaries which have been very little for a five year period, is one of the highest priorities that we have.  We are beginning to lag behind peer institutions with respect to salaries. When we recruit new faculty, often we have to recruit at market rates which causes even greater issues. Now that we have been given the authority, we are going to bite the bullet and start to do something -- even if it’s small. Otherwise, we are going to run the risk of getting further behind.   Those instructions will be coming from GA next week and we will be getting instructions out to the campuses next week. Provost Arden stated that the timing is going to be difficult to get the increases into salaries for the month of September. They are expected to be hitting in the month of October.  There are still some discussions.  He said it is likely that we will be given the authority from General Administration for those increases to be retroactive to July 1, which will begin to appear in the October paycheck. Provost Arden stated that in round numbers, if we are looking at the total cost of absorbing budget cuts that came to us from the Legislature and General Administration and the cost of doing a very modest salary program, we are absorbing about two thirds of that centrally.  He thinks that is the best that they can do.  He said it was important to him not to pass as much of these cuts as possible on to the units. Provost Arden reported that there has already been a memo sent out from budget director Art Pope to all units, including the UNC System, with some directions for next year’s budget.  Mr. Pope is asking that a budget be prepared that is 2% less than our current budget.   The first part is due to the Legislature by October 1st. The difficult part of this is that he doesn’t want these cuts to be by management flexibility, but more line item cuts to identify specific cuts that we will be making, which is going to be very difficult to do.   He said the campuses had similar directions from Mr. Pope a year ago and the UNC System largely ignored them the first time around. This year we are going to try to submit preliminary budget numbers which are 2% less than our current budget.  There is still a long way for this to play out.  The risk is that even though this may be just in the first iteration of the governor’s budget, that if we get out there with “too many specifics on the table” we may actually be expected to follow through. There is a lot to do in a few weeks and we are already framing the conversation for next year’s budget. Strategic Plan Provost Arden reported that they released NC State’s strategic plan in April 2011 and it is a 2020 plan. He said that they deliberately designed it so that they would have rolling three year implementation phases.  They have completed the first three years and he thinks the first three years have been successful in terms of our high order initiatives.  It is now time to develop the next three year plan.  He stated that the format was a matrix of actions against goals and we reduced all actions into three super groupings of actions.  We are formatting this second plan phase the exact same way.  This plan will be rolling out over the next month or two.   There are going to be some important discussions here in the Senate.  The high order actions are beginning to emerge.  We have made a tremendous amount of progress on student success. Provost Arden reported that according to US News and World Report NC State has gone up in the rankings.  We are now 95th among National Universities and among publics we are 44, so we continue to move in the right direction.  Nearly all of our major variables are moving in the right directions, so there is evidence that the strategic plan is having a significant effect.  He thinks the next three-year implementation is going to be very important because it is being done in the face of rapidly changing resource environment.   He noted that many of the things that we are going to tackle and take on are going to have to be done by reallocation of our own resources. QUESTIONS Can you list the criteria for moving up in the rankings? Provost Arden responded that there are a number of criteria.  Approximately 25% of the entire ranking is subjective. If you combine two variables, which are ranking by Provosts and Presidents and the other one is a ranking by high school counselors, those two combined will account for about 23 or 24 percent of the total rankings.  The other variables include retention rates, graduation rates, graduation rate against your predictive graduation rates, and faculty resources that include class sizes.  There is a whole grouping of variables. Unfortunately with US News and World Reports almost a quarter of them are very subjective, and they are some of the hardest ones to change. There may be some reluctance to commit to permanent increases, not knowing what our budget is going to be in the next few years.  Do you anticipate that the flexibility will include giving bonuses? Provost Arden stated that they have already given 5 extra bonus vacation days for this year.  He doesn’t think there will be flexibility for there to be technical complement type raises.  He stated that any direction that he has seen have been permanent increases to baseline. At the Faculty Assembly someone quite confidently asserted that because of the revenue restructuring, that as soon as the November elections are over the universities can expect a budget reversion.  Do you have any insight on that? Provost Arden responded “No.”  However, he has heard the same discussion.   He stated that the R&R money that we received this year is actually dependent on a bond being passed, so we may or may not get that. The Chancellor alluded at the last Faculty Senate meeting that there was a growth in people seeking counter offers last year.  Is that more of an exponential growth? Provost Arden responded “No.”  He stated that it is more linea than exponential.  It really popped up about three years ago.  He stated that five years ago the average number of potentials his office was asked to participate in was between 20 and 24 per year and now we are getting up to about sixty or seventy per year.   The bad news is that this is expensive and it can cause increased equity issues within departments.  The good news is that we are fairly successful in retention offers. We also know that there is a significant difference between the success rates and what we call preempt and non-preempt offers.   The bottom line is it is very costly to the institution and it is also an inequitable way to distribute resources that are available.  We are always going to have some retention, but it would be far nicer to have an annual merit program. Late spring the Chancellor said the budget priorities for this year are faculty salaries and expansion of the faculty excellence program.  Do you see those as the priorities heading into the next year? Provost Arden stated that he sees those as high priorities.   We are currently working with what resources that we will have on continuing the Faculty Excellence Program.  In the last plan we tracked 38 clients into twelve clusters.  We were successful in hiring 33 to date. It has been very impactful, but not necessarily cheap.

5.  Issues for 2014-15 Faculty Senate -

results of ballot Chair Zonderman reported on results of the ballots distributed in the last meeting on what the Senate wanted to name as its most important issues.  He stated that all of the issues are important and hopefully by the end of this academic year each of the items will be reviewed by one of the committees at least for discussion. The top four issues were: 1) Allocation of Academic Funds 2) Growing Doctoral Program and GSSP 3) Student Retention and Success 4) Post Tenure Review Revision Policy Chair Zonderman asked for input from the Faculty Senate on what they would like Dr. Mike Mullen to discuss on Student Retention and Success. 1) What is the retention rate for students who don’t get into their first choice? 2) What is the retention rate on the First Year? 3) Has there been an assessment done with the switch to the GEP? 4) What is the status on early college with students coming in with Associate degrees? 5) What is the status of retention with the learning villages and student clubs? 6) How are they tracking transfer students? 7) Do you have strategies for increasing student engagement?

6.  Strategic Resource Management—Doctoral Enrollment and Graduate Student Support Plan

Dr. Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Resource Management stated that NC State is one of the flagship universities in the system.  We have an enrollment plan that talks about growing doctoral education as the highest priority of growth.  We are developing a biennial plan for 2015-16, 2016-17 through 2020 and looking to build on to even a 20-24, 20-25 plan. Dr. Larick stated that one of the recommendations that have come out of the Strategic Resource Management team is a group that is focused on the growth of doctoral education that really related to the 2020 enrollment plan.  We have had three separate charges, three things that we think are paramount, that have to be done in order to have a chance to grow doctoral enrollment here on our campus. Dr. Larick said the first charge to that task force was pretty simple and that is an evaluation of the fall 2014 doctoral stipend pilot program that was put in place.  The Provost allocated resources to doctoral education to try to provide first year stipend support to see if we could increase the number of new doctoral students on our campus. Dr. Larick reported that in fall 2012 they brought in 498 doctoral students and were about 60 students under their target.  In fall of 2013 they brought in 489 and they were under their target by 100 students.   Fall 2014 they set a target of 611 students.  They implemented a stipend plan and gave out 60 stipends from the Provost and exceeded their target by 60 doctoral students. Dr. Larick stated that the first charge is to look at that plan and see if it works, and it works.  The tough part is to say what that plan should be for fall 2015 and what recommendation could be made for the future of that plan. The second charge is to incentivize faculty to include stipends in grant proposals. Dr. Larick stated that the third charge is recommendations related to revisions to the Graduate Student Support plan, and that included things like current eligibility, cost and support for current enrollment, and how we would financially support that.  In the future how are we going to grow the GSSP to keep up with enrollment growth? Dr. Larick thinks the key to deciding how to go forward for fall of 2015 and beyond is to decide what the best way is to invest in the future.  Is it a first year program?  He stated that he would tie that together with the second charge of incentivizing faculty to include stipends in grant proposals. Question:  Is the implication that people are submitting grants without funding for their students. Dr. Larick responded that since 2001 doctoral enrollment increased from 2,159 to 3,253, about a fifty percent increase in student headcount.  He stated that about 90% of those students were funded.  We only saw an 18% increase of research assistantships and more than 60% increase in teaching assistantships.  If you look at where our growth in funding is, our growth in funding is coming from teaching assistantships over research assistantships. Dr. Larick stated that the current GSSP incentivized program is to appoint students on state funding because you use state dollars to give the student a $20,000 stipend and then state dollars to pay their in-state tuition, their health insurance, and their out of state tuition.  If you fund a student on a research grant, you pay the stipend,  state dollars pay the instate tuition health insurance, but you and I pay 25% of the tuition remission, so by putting a student on a teaching assistantship rather than a research assistantship you get to keep more of your resources in the department to do something else. Question:  Has placement been a criterion for creating this money for making sure that we are growing the doctoral program responsively? Dr. Larick stated that it is a tough thing to do to work on placement.  The UNC System is working with a couple of universities to try to highlight and enhance graduate doctoral and masters graduate placements on survey to see if we can get better. Dr. Larick stated that the third charge was recommendations related to revisions to the Graduate Student Support Plan.  The GSSP is in the task force talks about reviewing current eligibility, cost of support for current enrollment, and developing a mechanism to directly fund teacher growth. If we have a priority for growing doctoral students, we know that 90 percent of those students are going to need funding, which means that 90 percent of those students are going to need graduate student support plans. Dr. Larick said he would love to see us get to a point someday where we could think of the graduate student support plan just like we do benefits where you hire a person and you know the support will be there as a benefit for those students.  Again, money is the big driver there. Dr. Larick reported that in current funding, there is $2.3 million basically in health insurance, $10.4 million in in-state tuition and $14.2 million in tuition remission. The graduate student support plan from central resources alone is $27.7 million and that doesn’t include the tuition remission that faculty are paying out of their grants. Dr. Larick stated that they have looked at eligibility rules since 1998. Each time they have modified the rules, it was basically to reduce the number of participants or reduce the length of time someone participates or to increase the amount of money that comes from non- central resources in order to try to keep the GSSP solid.  He predicted success in increasing new doctoral students and stated that at the end of the day we are going to need new money for 2014-15.  He went on to say that if you are working on this program it is nice to have an advocate.  The Provost just put more than $1.3million into stipends for this new program that we implemented.  For this year he also knows that along with that we are going to have to put additional money in the GSSP and he has committed that money. QUESTIONS At most universities once graduate students complete classes and all of their requirements, they usually drop down to one credit and at some universities three credit, but here the requirement is six or nine credits. Larick stated that they should drop down to three credits.  Once a student comes to NC State with their Master’s degree they have 54 credit requirements and once they reach those 54 credits then they can drop down to three credits during that dissertation period.  There are at least three tradeoffs that we are trying to complete. 1) Because faculty work load has been an issue all along before 1998 we didn’t require students to be registered full time. A member of the graduate faculty didn’t get any credit toward SCH production associated with training a doctoral student. One of the reasons why we implemented continuance enrollment was to make sure that credit due was recognized. 2) We are an SCH enrollment funded university, an enrollment funded state and therefore an enrollment funded university. If a student is not registered then we are not gaining any state appropriation for that student, so it is a tradeoff. Has the average time to degree decreased? Larick stated that for the full time doctoral student the average time to degree has gone down.  The other thing that has happened at NC State is our retention has increased. The graduate school had a focus on retention of doctoral students and we have done a better job with retention.  For full time students their time to degree is going down. As you are doing your 2, 3, and 5 year projections, has your group been thinking at all about what is happening on the national level?  We hear about potential further cuts in NSF and NIH budgets particularly as the political climate continues to shift.     Larick stated that the enrollment planning committee has to look at that.  There is a second group that has been appointed within that strategic resources management who is doing an inventory about opportunities for doctoral programs.

7.  Adjourn

A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:15pm.
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