University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, January 31, 2008



Members:   C. Bell, G. Boudreaux, L. Dohse, P. Downes, J. Hartsfield, M. Harvey, H. Holt,

                  K. Krumpe, A. Lanou, J. McClain, C. McKenzie, M. Moseley, D. Pierce, B. Sabo,

                  B. Wilson, J. Wood; K. Whatley. 


Excused:    K. Cole, B. Haas.


Visitors:      L. Friedenberg, B. Massey, G. Nallan, B. Larson, A. Ponder, S. Schuman, B. Spellman.



I.        Call to Order and Announcements

          Dr. Downes called the meeting to order at 3:20 pm and welcomed Senators and guests. 


II.      Approval of minutes

         The minutes of November 15, 2007, were approved as written.  The minutes of November 29, 2007, were approved as written.


III.      Academic Policies Committee Report 

         Dr. Bill Sabo reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

         First Reading:  [Unanimously approved by APC]

         The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

         APC 16: Add the option for Special Topics in Portuguese

         APC 17: Add PORT 210 and 220

         APC 18: Change in Required Courses outside the Major for the Statistics Concentration

         APC 19: Addition of new course, MATH 397, Chaos and Fractals

         APC 20: Change in Required Courses for Applied Math

         APC 21: Addition of MATH 394 Differential Equations to required courses for

                       Pure Mathematics Concentration

         APC 22: Change the narrative for the BA concentration in Art History

         APC 23: Change use of the term Non-Western to: African, Asian and Latin American Art History

         APC 24: Change required courses for the concentration in Art History

         APC 25: Change the descriptions of ARTH 360 and 365

         APC 26: Add ARTH 386: Arts of the African Diaspora;

                       Add ARTH 410: Modern Art of Brazil and Mexico

         APC 27:   Delete Studio Art requirements for Art History minor and replace w/Art History courses;

                       Change Art History minor requirements to allow students to complete a research project

                       instead of the comprehensive exam

         Second Reading:

         The following documents were considered for Second Reading:

          [Unanimously approved by APC]

         APC 3:   Change narrative for MLA; Reduce number of years allowed for completion of program.

         APC 4:   Change the course descriptions for MLA 520, 540, 670 and 680.

         APC 5:   Change the course descriptions for MLA 670 and 680.

         APC 6:   Change requirements for the MLA degree.


         APC 3, 4, 5, 6 were scheduled for second reading in December.  Dr. Sabo asked that these be delayed so Dr. Spellman could explain his vision and plans for the MLA program.  This would give the Senate context for considering issues that might arise in the future.    

         Dr. Spellman distributed a handout on the MLA, highlighting:

Current Problems

·         Low enrollments (25 of 41 students enrolled in fall 2007)

·         Poor campus profile

·         Ineffective recruitment strategy

·         Lack of student cohesion/community

·         Disengaged and ignored alumni base

·         Low level of faculty interest in or ability to teach in Program


·         Complements our interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum

·         Extends the values and approach of  ILS and the Humanities Program

·         Well-positioned to incorporate global themes, environmental and climate studies, together with creative writing, without establishing additional graduate programs

·         Demonstrated success at other UNC campuses, so why not at the System’s designated liberal arts campus? (80+ students at UNCW; 60+ at UNCC)

Immediate Program Needs

·         Leadership

·         Revised and slimmed curriculum with appealing concentrations

·         Higher visibility in the community

·         Targeted and sophisticated recruitment plan

·         Designated office space and seminar room

·         Innovative recruitment of graduate faculty

·         Consortium relationships with other UNC Programs (distance classes)

·         Smaller, more focused graduate council

Defining Success by Fall semester 2011 (3-year plan)

·         65 students (matriculating and graduate specials)

·         Minimum of 50 students taking at least one class each semester

·         4 seminars per semester with 12-15 students in each class

·         2 seminars per summer with 12-15 students in each class



          Discussion turned to how the MLA can serve as a testing ground for interdisciplinary ideas.  Dr. Spellman said three new focus areas have been created: 

    • Humanities and Creative Writing (old humanities track)
    • Globalization Past and Present (old social science track)
    • Science and Human Values
      • Will encourage a focus area, a set of courses in Climate and Environmental Sustainability.  The courses have an interdisciplinary component.  The Graduate Council will still vet all new course proposals to ensure they reach into the social sciences and into the humanities.    


          On the question of tracking MLA graduates, Dr. Spellman said we have ignored the alums and we need to find out what they do with their degree and their careers.  When we admit students, three members of the Graduate Council are supposed to interview them and that has been a challenge.  He believes in truth in advertising and tells students this is not an applied or professional degree.  The Department of Public Instruction does not recognize the MLA in terms of the salary step between the baccalaureate and the masters’ level of pay for example.  At the national MLA (AGLSP) meeting in Memphis he asked colleagues if their state recognized the MLA in terms of master’s salary step and almost every other state does.  Because North Carolina needs teachers, he wants to work with Dr. Byrd to find a way, perhaps by building in a couple of new courses, to allow public school teachers to secure an applicable masters degree in this area.  Tonight he is meeting with a new entity, “the Alumni and Graduate Student Council Advisory,” to get their views and suggestions for changes.    

          Dr. Sabo said that the MLA has a long history here -- the original idea was as a community building enterprise.  It was experimental and it worked quite well.  We never had any vision that it would improve job prospects for individuals.  A major issue at the last Senate meeting when we discussed graduate programs was about building community ties.  He sees a continuation of the MLA as a good way to keep open the idea that there might be other beneficial graduate programs that UNCA could offer on our terms.  He is now enthusiastic about a program that he has been cool to for two reasons: 1) Dr. Spellman has a flexible plan and is also willing (as he told APC) to return in 2-3 years for a program review, and 2) Dr. Spellman is willing to make use of community resources so that the MLA will create less of a drain on UNCA faculty.  UNCA faculty should be involved but if we can increase ties with the community with a program that supports our vision and our cornerstone principles, it is worth keeping and evaluating every 2-3 years. 

          Dr. Downes added that the MLA grew out of the humanities program.  The revisions are very close to the spirit of what we have had and what we want to maintain.  

          Dr. Sabo referred to UNC Tomorrow and said the MLA program is a good compromise position for UNCA because it allows us an opportunity to experiment with master’s level programs without dramatically changing our direction, our mission and our focus.  The MLA gives us a place where we can see what we can do and how we can respond to the external constituents on our terms. 

          Dr. Spellman agreed that the MLA should not be a drain on the undergraduate program and it should not be seen as a liability.  It should be seen as a complement to and an asset to UNCA. 


         APC 3:   Change narrative for MLA; Reduce number of years allowed for completion of program.

         APC 3 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1908S.


         APC 4:   Change the course descriptions for MLA 520, 540, 670 and 680.

         APC 4 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2008S.


         APC 5:   Change the course descriptions for MLA 670 and 680.

         APC 5 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2108S.


         APC 6:   Change requirements for the MLA degree.

         APC 6 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2208S.


IV.     Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

          Dr. Greg Boudreaux reported for the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.

          Highlights of the report follow:

          Perception of Administrative Office Survey

·         There was a 54% response rate on the survey; down from 83% in 2000.

            Two possible reasons: Timing (late Fall Semester) and Length (especially for a web survey)

·         Analysis is underway.

          Committee Website

·         FWDC launched a new Committee website this week.  Adam Reagan of ITS is responsible for the improved website.  It is user friendly, offers more options, and is not static.  For example, faculty can see what committees they serve on and can submit committee preferences online.      

·         Preferences are to be submitted through the website by February 15th. 

·         Senators agreed to change the website name to Faculty Standing Committee.   

          Faculty Elections

·         FWDC launched a new Faculty Election website this week.

·         A link will be installed from the UNCA Homepage during the spring election season in the “Highlights Section” (upper right) to increase visibility of elections and make it easier to vote.

·         Elections will be facilitated by John McClain.

          Merit System

·         Based upon faculty input, FWDC will give its recommendations to Dr. Schuman within two weeks.

·         Dr. Boudreaux will post all additional comments he received on our merit system and will send the link to faculty tonight.   


V.      Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Reports

         Dr. John Wood reported for the Institutional Development Committee and University Planning Council. 

         How UPC is functioning

          As background information Dr. Wood explained that members of the Institutional Development Committee sit on the recently revised University Planning Council.  UPC consists of 8 faculty, 4 staff, 2 students, the chancellor, four vice chancellors, the chief of staff, the director of institutional research, the chief information officer, and the director of human resources.  UPC is halfway through its first year in its new incarnation and this is a good time to discuss how it is functioning. 

          UPC’s major agenda items this year:

·         Review the general priorities outlined in the strategic plan; select specific priorities and set benchmarks that would indicate progress or lack of it toward those priorities.

·         Diversity – the creation of a Diversity Action Council charged with reaching diversity goals, and defining what we as a university community mean by diversity. 

·         Charting Asheville’s response to and participation in UNC Tomorrow’s system-wide plan. 


          UPC’s agenda items are in line with four of the six duties assigned to UPC by the Faculty Senate last year:  to assist with planning, review mission, advise the chancellor on institutional effectiveness, and respond to system initiatives.  UPC has yet to engage in two of its duties:  to meet with the Board of Trustees and to participate in the annual setting of budget priorities.  One could argue that work on strategic planning will be key to eventual budgets.

          Dr. Wood queried the faculty members on UPC (6 Senators from IDC, as well as Bruce Larson, and Gwen Ashburn) about their perceptions and he received feedback from most of them.  Their comments ranged from thinking UPC was progressing as might be expected given the large and broad topics on the table, to concerns that UPC has, in effect, weakened faculty role in governance.  There were also concerns having to do with process. 

          Several faculty raised questions about UPC’s pace, which has been slow, and about the practice of going around the room for everyone’s comments, a style which some members felt inhibited the exchange and development of ideas, even as it encouraged input from everyone.  Several concerns were also raised about the need for agendas and materials to be circulated to all members in advance of meetings so members had time to think and consider what was to be discussed.  Finally, there were some questions about how the agendas were constructed.  At this point our practice is that the chancellor is chair, and Dr. Wood, as vice chair, set the agenda together.     

          Dr. Wood explained that Bill Haas could not attend Senate today.  He wrote a page-long memo in response to Dr. Wood’s query and asked that it be included in the record.  [The memo is located at the bottom of the minutes.]  Dr. Haas’ comments clustered around a concern that UPC has weakened the centrality of faculty governance.  Dr. Haas raised four issues:

·         In the past, UPC’s chair has been the chair of IDC, a member of Faculty Senate. Now the chair is the chancellor, which he sees as relegating faculty governance to a subordinate position.

·         He worried how UPC’s agenda is set: wondering in particular why members of UPC or the university community were not asked for input on the agenda.

·         Faculty are now a relatively small presence on UPC, equal in number to administrative staff.

·         He joined others in questioning the meeting style of inviting comments from everyone in the room rather than a more interactive style that allowed new ideas to emerge from within the conversation.

          Dr. Haas said he leaves “each meeting without a sense I have spent my time well.”


          The Executive Committee met with Chancellor Ponder, Dr. Schuman and Dr. Whatley this morning to discuss the UPC and whether it is moving in the direction last year’s Senate document intended.  Dr. Wood thought it was a good conversation in that the EC came to better understand what has been on UPC’s agenda and why it has not so far dealt specifically with budget matters.  There was general acceptance that as UPC matures, and turns from these overarching matters to the more specific and the more routine, its process will be more decision-oriented and perhaps less global and more conversational. 

          Dr. Holt said that when UPC was being reconstituted, there was a short debate about who should chair the committee as well as the committee membership.  The question of having co-chairs, and whether the chancellor or IDC chair would chair UPC flip-flopped over time.  UPC was going to have co-chairs but because of the chancellor’s experience with planning she was given the primary position.  Dr. Downes noted that faculty were agreeable to this – the Senate document names the chancellor as UPC chair and the IDC chair as vice chair.  People are getting used to having conversations and UPC has a good trajectory.  Dr. Larson commented that the style of the meetings is a co-chair style. 

          Dr. Wilson commented on the size of the committee.  When we created it we wanted wide representation.  However, some of the issues we struggle with – making decisions or people contributing – may be related to its size.  Dr. Downes said the EC discussed the possibility of having UPC subcommittees work on issues and bring ideas to the larger body.  Also, distributing a detailed agenda in advance would allow people to be prepared.  Dr. Wood stressed that if people have concerns that UPC should be considering, let IDC members know so these can be discussed.  Dr. Sabo suggested that UPC members keep a copy of the document in their folders and review it.  Over time, it might be worthwhile to amend or adjustment the document. 


VI.     Executive Committee Report

         Dr. Downes reported for the Executive Committee

         Resolution 2007 – Nov. #3 Relating to UNC Tomorrow   

          The Faculty Assembly passed Resolution 2007 #3 in November.  Essentially the Faculty Assembly is proposing that faculty on each campus ought to be actively involved in responding to the charges of UNC Tomorrow.  UPC is working on our responses and making sure that they engage with our strategic plan.  Dr. Whatley suggested that we could get faculty involved in specific responses affecting curriculum or issues pertinent to faculty.  The UNC Tomorrow report is available at: UNC Tomorrow Website.  Dr. Ashburn will give a Faculty Assembly report at the next meeting. 

          Chancellor’s Response to SD0707F

         Dr. Downes reported for informational purposes that the Chancellor approved SD0707F: Intent to Plan Anthropology major in Sociology Department, with comment: 


Approve, with comment.  Through the process of our “intent to plan” a major in anthropology, I recommend the attention of the planners to even greater focus and specificity about the following four topics.  1) How can this major be framed so that, in addition to being an area of study of diverse cultures, that the major attract and serve a diversity of students?  2) Graduate school and job preparation offered by this new major can be more explicit.  3) Proper staffing and commitments within and beyond the department should be clearer, especially in relation to faculty position allocation and faculty work discussions underway.  4) How does this major fit and enhance UNC Asheville’s response to the needs of the people of North Carolina outlined by the university system’s study, UNC Tomorrow?


          Dr. Holt asked if the information requested needed to go into other Intent to Plan documents.  Chancellor Ponder said she approved the proposal but had suggestions about how to strengthen it in the Request to Establish.  She believed it would be a better received proposal by the education planning committee of the Board of Governors if those elements are included when we send it forward for approval.

         Dr. Whatley agreed; she learned yesterday at a CAO video conference that any new program implementation would be looked at carefully to see how it impacted the UNC Tomorrow report.  It does not need to be in the Intent to Plan but it does need to be in the Request to Establish or it will not be approved.  The Anthropology proposal fits into the globalization aspect of UNC Tomorrow report really well.  The academic planning system is going to be revamped by GA and new documents will likely reflect that change.


VII.    Administrative Reports

          - Alumni and Development Annual Report

          Bill Massey, Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development, submitted the following report last fall:

Alumni and Development Annual Report.  He also shared a cumulative fundraising report comparing activities from July 1 – January 10, 2008 compared to July 1 - January 10, 2007.  Mr. Massey explained the various ways that gifts come to the university.  This year appears to be another year in which gifts exceeded the previous year’s due largely to the work that faculty do on a daily basis in the classroom.  Students are leaving with a greater appreciation of the opportunity they had and, collectively as a community, we are helping those students to understand that the only way for the university to prosper is for them to take the responsibility for it once they are able to do so.  As Alumni and Development seek to do more on behalf of the university, he hopes they can continue to count on faculty support so we, as a university, are more capable of commanding our own future.  Mr. Massey discussed the increased focus on endowed scholarships and the Foundation initiatives to enhance campus diversity through student programming.

          Academic Affairs:

          - Admissions Search

          Dr. Whatley reported that the consulting group helping with development for our admissions office will do the preliminary search for the new admissions director.  They will present three recommended candidates and the files on other candidates.  She is hopeful that the new director will be on campus by April 1st. 

          - Academic Office Support Study Final Report

          Dr. Friedenberg gave the final report on the Academic Office Support Study.  Phase I of the project is nearly complete.  The next step is to meet with office assistants to talk about the final salary changes that are being made.  A wide range of salaries are currently being earned by office assistants and a number of salaries are far below where they need to be -- those will be the first priority for adjustment.  As a rough index, office assistants who are currently making above $30,000 will receive a more modest increase as we address past inattentiveness and inconsistencies in the system with this round of increases.  Karla Piccirillo, Debbie Decoteau, Lauri Hollingsworth, and Buffy Bagwell were recognized for their diligent work on this project.  The goal is to have the money in the February paychecks and to make the announcement to assistants soon.

          Planned reorganizations of assignments will take place in Phase II.  Some of the reorganizations will be dependant upon people moving, for example, entry into the new science building.  Another piece of changing assignments is being able to hire more assistants; however, the first priority is salary equity and Phase II is on hold at this time.    

          Chancellor Ponder thanked Dr. Friedenberg and Dr. Whatley for their work on this project.  She noted that no salaries will decrease and they will more closely fit the caliber and the complexity of the work that is being done.  This is a great fairness and equity statement. 

          Chancellor Ponder outlined two other details: 

  • Where the money comes from. 

The section of the tuition increase this year that was approved last year did not go for student scholarships or for faculty salaries.  What is reserved for academic support is what is allowing us to make this change.  Phase II is on hold because of money constraints. 

  • Buffy Bagwell was able to persuade the State Personnel Office and State Payroll to do a very rare thing – that is to make the payroll retroactive to December 1st.  Twenty-three people will benefit from the results of this work. 


VIII.   Reports from Campus Organizations

          Dr. Downes announced that the CSAC Textbook Lending Library is working to help employees take courses and not have to pay for the textbooks.  If faculty members are asked for a textbook for their course, or if they can lend a book to an employee who is taking a course, it would be greatly appreciated. 

          The Transportation Report has been postponed until the next Senate meeting. 


IX.     Old Business

          There was no Old Business.


X.      New Business

          Dr. Krumpe reported that last semester Pat McClellan initiated the development and implementation of the degree audit or CAP (curriculum advising and program planning).  This will be an incredibly valuable advising tool.  The computer will generate evaluation sheets for every major, for ILS, and it will include a “what if” function that will be invaluable for students who are changing majors and for transfer students.  Several people are working on this project:  Cynthia Gagne (project manager); Debbie Race, Alicia Shope, Stephanie Franklin, Calley Taylor, Robin Daugherty, and Keith Krumpe. 


XI.      Adjourn

          Dr. Downes adjourned the meeting at 4:35pm. 


Respectfully submitted by:   Sandra Gravely

                                           Executive Committee






                                                                                                THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA



To:           John Wood, Chair of the Institutional Development Committee


From:       Bill Haas

CC:          Margaret Downes, Chair of the Faculty Senate


Date:       Monday, March 17, 2008

Re:           University Planning Council (UPC)


This is a response to your request to the Institutional Development Committee to consider the functioning of the University Planning Council.  This reincarnation of the UPC is different than past configurations of the UPC.  The present UPC has diluted the effectiveness of faculty governance.  My concerns arise out of my view of the centrality of faculty governance.  It is the faculty who carry out the primary mission of the institution.  In addition, the faculty have the greatest longevity and institutional memory.  The concerns I have listed below have been developed out of conversations with a past members and chair of the Faculty Senate.


There are four primary concerns I have with the relationship between significant faculty governance and the present functioning of the UPC.  First is the leadership of the UPC.  In the past the chair of the faculty’s senate Institutional Development Committee (IDC) was the chair of the UPC.  Now we have the Chancellor as the Chair of the UPC with the Chair of the IDC as only a vice-chair.  This organization strategy relegates faculty governance to a subordinate position.


A second concern is how the agenda of UPC is set.  It appears the chair meets with the vice-chair to discuss a pre-set agenda.  The UPC is then informed of the agenda shortly before the meeting.  I am not aware of any attempt to solicit members of the UPC or the general university community to submit items for consideration to be placed on the agenda.


A third major concern I have is the composition of the UPC.  Faculty members have only a small presence on the UPC.  In-fact if one considers the membership roster the Chancellor’s senior staff members are equal in number to the faculty. 


This leads to a fourth issue, the free expression of ideas, it is difficult to express contrary thoughts.  Especially for those who do not have the benefits of tenure.  We go around a circle offering our thoughts on the chair’s proposal.  There is no real significant dialogue between the members of the UPC. Is there any significant recording of the various thoughts offered up by individual members?  If there is it is not reflected in the brief minutes of the group.  In general I find the quality of the discussion inadequate.  Long term implications, resource allocation, our place in the social and political realities of the UNC system and our community are rarely examined I leave each meeting without a sense I have spent my time well.