FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Minutes, November 29, 2007
Members: C. Bell, K. Cole, L. Dohse, P. Downes, B. Haas, J. Hartsfield, M. Harvey, H. Holt,
A. Lanou, J. McClain, C. McKenzie, M. Moseley, D. Pierce, B. Sabo, B. Wilson,
J. Wood; K. Whatley.
Excused: G. Boudreaux, K. Krumpe.
Visitors: S. Byrd, V. Frank, L. Friedenberg, J. Konz, G. Nallan, B. Larson, D. Miles, P. McClellan,
Je McGlinn, D. Peifer, A. Ponder, S. Schuman, A. Shope.
I. Call to Order and Announcements
Dr. Downes called the meeting to order at 3:20 pm and welcomed Senators and guests.
The order of business will be modified.
Chancellor Ponder said the public announcement of who has been selected as our next Provost will be made later today or tomorrow. Since the Senate was last briefed on the process by Bruce Larson, she met with the search committee and they all agreed that any one of our four finalist candidates would be able to do a superlative job. They concluded that the search process was so good that in the spring we may attempt to harvest some of the “best practices” of that search and apply those to other faculty and staff searches in the future. After consulting with the search committee, from whom she received comments on all the finalists without ranking, she talked with the co-chairs and then asked the leading finalist to meet with her one afternoon last week. The intelligence, wisdom, courage, experience, and her accessible humanity were entirely available in that conversation. With help from Bruce Larson and Doug Orr, she framed her selection as a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which responded with praise for the search process and search committee and with unanimous assent. She said she was pleased to announce that our next chief academic officer at UNC Asheville will be Jane Fernandes. A round of applause followed.
II. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Reports
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
IDC 2: Intent to Plan Anthropology major in Sociology Department
Dr. Chris Bell questioned the impact a major in anthropology would have on sociology. One section says the change from a sociology major with a concentration in anthropology to a major in anthropology is not going to affect resources. Elsewhere in the proposal it says, “We foresee … adding three more tenure-track positions over a period of three to ten years.” Dr. Frank said that Dr. Bell’s point was well taken and future documents will address those concerns. IDC 2 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 0707F.
Dr. Wood said the idea for additional
graduate programs was not something that originated with IDC. Several years ago, then-VCAA
Dr. Wood emphasized that campus and
IDC discussions had not focused on our current MLA program or graduate programs
offered through other universities at the
At the time of Dr. Padilla’s request for additional master program proposals, IDC wondered whether the idea was a good one, and if so, what additional programs would be consistent with our mission and core values. During those discussions, some people were in favor of graduate programs, some against. Many, even those sympathetic to graduate programs, nevertheless had misgivings about the possible consequences. IDC found that the campus was ambivalent and conflicted about the issue. From that discussion IDC developed a set of preliminary criteria, which are essentially the criteria in the current IDC document.
At that time (2006), however, IDC also made two additional recommendations. First, was it prudent to address existing strains on undergraduate interdisciplinary programs before embarking upon additional Masters Programs, and second, if additional masters programs were added, proposals which made most sense for UNC-Asheville needed to be developed. It is safe to say that the spirit of IDC’s recommendations was protective of the university’s core mission of undergraduate liberal arts education. IDC did not ask for a Senate vote on its recommendations at that time because the strategic planning process was just getting underway.
The current proposal is only slightly reformatted from the original preliminary criteria but Dr. Wood noted the IDC vote on the document was not unanimous. The committee was divided on the question of whether we ought to be talking about graduate programs at all and whether criteria might even encourage their creation.
As Dr. Wood said in his recent e-mail to the campus community, IDC is essentially calling the question on whether the campus is interested in having additional graduate programs. Given that discussion and even planning of such programs continues, it is only fair to spell out what sort of reception such plans would receive. IDC 1 is in some ways the cart. The horse is the question of whether or not we should consider additional graduate programs. If we do not want to offer additional graduate programs there is no point in having criteria. But if we are interested, then IDC has proposed criteria for Senate’s consideration.
In light of this, Dr. Wood proposed a motion that Senate first consider and vote on whether IDC 1 is relevant. If so, IDC 1 is on the floor for consideration. Dr. Wood made the following motion: “UNC-Asheville should at this time allow a limited number of carefully restricted additional graduate programs.” The motion was seconded by Dr. Haas.
Dr. Downes reminded Senators to restrict the conversation to additional masters programs at UNCA, not to discuss specific proposals for graduate programs. Since the most recent draft of the Strategic Plan does not make any mention of graduate programs, she asked Chancellor Ponder to explain where the administration and GA stand on graduate programs at UNCA.
Chancellor Ponder said the graduate program criteria are good criteria for additional programs and a good place to start, should we choose to go in that direction but the strategic plan emphasizes excellence in public undergraduate education. Additional graduate programs, which we would create and run ourselves, are not a high priority.
The Senate might like to know that the
proponents at the General Administration for UNC Asheville to develop our own
graduate programs have been replaced by leaders who understand our
undergraduate, public liberal arts mission and are engaged in steps to adjust
our funding in order to fulfill that mission.
The key challenges presented by GA to us are capacity challenges on
enrollment, retention and graduation improvement, and diversity, none of which
is addressed at all by graduate programs.
The only remaining proponent of graduate programs at GA is comfortable
with selected programs being invited in through the
Dr. Hartsfield and Dr. Holt asked how this would affect the trend for further job growth in the health services field and respond to pressure from the community to offer more masters programs to advance economic development of the area.
Chancellor Ponder said our two entries
in health are a robust and highly successful pre-med program and our Health
Promotions major. She serves on the
Asheville HUB, the cultural economic community development group. The first area of interest that they have is
in Climate and Society but their interest could be met by having a masters
program offered in
Dr. Peifer had concerns about adding masters programs of any kind. His biggest worry was that this was not coming from the faculty. He appreciated the effort made to bring faculty voices into this decision and stressed that we should focus on being the public liberal arts college in the state system. We have already stretched the limit of what liberal education means with our management and engineering programs although Ms. McKenzie and Dr. Fahmy have done a great job of making those as much liberal art departments as they can.
Additional masters programs will have a negative effect on the campus community by creating a hierarchy of faculty and students. For example, the resource of faculty time for work we do with undergraduates will be affected. The Math Department does a lot of undergraduate research. If we had a masters program we would do that research with our graduate students and the undergraduates would lose out. Masters students take greater energy and more resources. We are making a statement on what public liberal education means. By spreading ourselves too thin we will lose that identity.
Dr. Pierce said he understood from the Chancellor that the administration is not now nor will be in the foreseeable future considering graduate programs delivered by UNCA.
Chancellor Ponder said there are several people at the table who have been working on the strategic plan and Dr. Pierce is correct except she would assert the plan is not the voice of the administration – but is a voicing of the university’s priorities and preferences for the next four to five years.
Dr. Downes agreed; if we had a strong majority vote who thought we really want graduate programs with UNCA’s stamp on them then the Chancellor would hear that. IDC discussed this for two years and then the strategic planning groups talked – there was a lot of talking and listening going on.
Dr. Haas said he brought this to IDC because he wanted the faculty to have control. His preference is that we have the MLA and no additional masters programs.
Dr. Holt asked what will happen in five years with a Senate made up of proponents of masters programs. Dr. Pierce said there is a long process that has to be followed.
Dr. Konz asked for clarification on the motion. The Chancellor mentioned the planning process for a program in Climate and Society which was envisioned as a joint program. His sense is that this motion does not affect the possibility of a joint masters program that UNCA would offer with NC State. Is that the intent? Or is this about free standing masters programs that UNCA alone offers?
Dr. Wood said the motion speaks to free standing masters programs at UNCA. He did not know if that has been envisioned as a degree that would be from UNCA and from NC State, or if the degree would come from NC State, or if it would be in collaboration with NC State. A no vote on the motion would preclude UNCA from offering a masters degree in Climate and Society. Dr. Moseley countered that the motion does not preclude anything.
Dr. Byrd said we are basically a landlord for the Asheville Graduate Center (AGC). The AGC houses the MLA and we are making a little money that comes back to the university to be used in many different ways. The MLA program, if it is successful as Bill Spellman has revamped it, will make a lot more money than any individual programs that we are the landlord of.
If we bring in a program that no one in the nation has and we developed it with another university, do we both grant a degree as we do with engineering – or do we hand it over to the other university even though we have put a lot of resources into planning it? She needed clarity on this issue.
Dr. Wood explained that the motion would allow a select number of graduate programs -- conceivably including this one – but we would have to set up a process of discerning which ones. A “no” vote on the motion would say “no additional graduate programs that are just from UNC-Asheville.” A defeated motion says we are not interested in a select number of graduate programs at UNCA.
Dr. Hartsfield asked if there is a way to amend that motion so that it allows only for joint masters programs with other universities, but would not allow for UNCA stand-alone graduate programs? Dr. Moseley and Dr. Downes noted that the motion is phrased to allow everything – it also allows complete graduate programs from other universities.
Dr. Wood reread the motion. There is already an oversight process where programs are approved and evaluated. IDC has already recommended that if we do this, that a group of graduate programs would be considered and a measured, reasoned process would decide which one(s) would make sense for us.
Dr. Wood said he did not receive a groundswell of reaction from his email. The comments he received were, assuming we have graduate programs, what kind of programs would they be? That is a different question than the motion on the floor.
Deborah Miles said her email comment
did not concern the motion under consideration.
Her concern was that as the Center develops, more research possibilities
will evolve. She would like the UNC
Asheville community to further deliberate the needs of the wider community for
research and professional development before it unilaterally caps the
enrollment at 100 graduate students. Dr.
Downes noted that the cap of 100 is for our MLA students, not through the
Dr. Wood summarized Leah Mathews’ concerns.
Dr. Wood read the motion twice. The motion failed by a vote of 1 to 14.
Dr. Downes thanked Sandra Byrd for
energetically pursuing different ways of offering graduate education on our
campus as the Director of the
Dr. Hartsfield moved the motion: “UNC-Asheville should at this time allow a limited number of carefully restricted graduate programs to be offered jointly with other universities.” The motion was seconded by Dr. Lanou.
Dr. Byrd reiterated her question: if we discover something that UNCA can do with another university that is not offered anywhere that is multidisciplinary and in the character of the liberal arts and is cutting edge, do we both grant a degree or do we hand it over to the other university even though we have put a lot of resources into planning it?
Dr. Downes and Dr. Sabo opposed the motion. There are no clear specifications as to what the restraints are or what the procedures are for making decisions. In the first motion we did not close the door on joint programs; there are still potentially independent decisions that can be made. The motion is too open and there are not enough restrictions.
Dr. Moseley said we are trying to
carve out an exemption in favor of the Climate and Society proposal. The proposal emanated from
Dr. Byrd countered that the Climate
and Society proposal was not sent by GA with a mandate to do this. It was a planning proposal that we submitted
to GA as a result of 18 months of work on possible programs that meet the needs
of where our community and region are right now. As a result of doing the assessment we ended
up hosting a symposium last summer on Climate and Society. At the conclusion of the symposium all of the
folks who attended endorsed the proposition that
Dr. Wood said he hears the concern and we should be wary of ideas coming from on high but a good idea is still a good idea. Because it comes from a particular location is not a reason to discount it. This raises a complex set of issues about what a joint program would involve. It seems premature to open that gate before some study. We could either ask IDC to study this and propose a policy around joint graduate programs or we could wait for those programs to come to us and evaluate them on an individual basis.
Dr. Hartsfield noted that the failed motion says we do not want to pursue additional graduate programs. With the current motion we would consider them, not that any of them would be passed.
Dr. Wood clarified that the failed motion communicates a sense that independent additional programs on campus are going to be looked at skeptically by the Senate.
Dr. Peifer spoke in opposition to the motion. With this motion we would not have control over our program. NC State has a lot of control over the joint engineering undergraduate program. In a joint program we would be negotiating with another university that might not have the ideals and the standards that we have. Questions of having teaching assistants, distance learning courses, and large classes, would all have to be negotiated with another university.
Dr. Harvey said the motion seemed pretty innocuous to him. Dr. Peifer’s comments about resources and identity resonated with him, especially undergraduate research. If this went through it would not commit us to anything and we can take it on a case by case basis. He hates to close the door.
Dr. Moseley argued that this does not close the door one way or another. It would leave it as it is now. If the Senate rejects this motion they will simply have declined to invite joint graduate programs.
Dr. Wilson noted that when we were considering the strategic plan we had many good ideas and we had to narrow them down. We said for the next five years we are going to focus on a smaller number of really good ideas. We are going to close the door, for at least five years, on some ideas.
Dr. Sabo called the question. The motion failed by a vote of 2 to 13.
Dr. Sabo offered an amendment to IDC 1 (seconded by Dr. Haas):
Dr. Sabo referred to Dr. Harvey’s comment that we do not want to bury good ideas. The track record of the Interdisciplinary Studies major that the Senate put together about ten years ago is a lovely test ground for new ideas. This is a way to go without doing anything for now, but to keep these ideas alive.
Dr. Moseley was sympathetic to Dr. Sabo’s idea but the amendment is a perversion of IDC 1: Criteria of additional masters programs. These changes make it a new document. He asked that Dr. Sabo’s amended version be sent back to IDC for consideration. Dr. Cole seconded the motion.
Dr. Lanou said if we have not closed the door on proposals for additional UNC Asheville graduate programs then it would make sense to have criteria if proposals do come to us. The criteria are good. Dr. Downes added that IDC could rework this and bring a new document for consideration. Dr. Wood concurred.
Dr. Whatley suggested rather strongly that this document not only be sent back to IDC but that they also consult with the MLA director who might have input in Dr. Sabo amendment. Dr. Sabo said the amendment is consistent with the concept of concentrations with the MLA program in APC 3, 4, 5, 6. He suggested that IDC consult with him and Dr. Spellman.
Dr. Downes noted that we have opposing amendments that have to be voted on. Dr. Sabo withdrew his motion. Dr. Wood withdrew IDC 1.
Dr. Wood said this has been chaotic; it is a complicated, difficult issue that we dealt with in a civilized, friendly manner. It could have been an uncomfortable meeting and it was not. Thank you to all.
Dr. Byrd asked for clarification of where we stand right now.
Dr. Wood replied that technically we are where we were when we walked in. There is no change in policy. But you have gotten a sign of the sense of the Senate through this process of how open the Senate is to this process. Nothing has changed but we have spoken about our skepticism about additional graduate programs. Dr. Downes concurred: the Faculty Senate, represent the faculty at UNCA, is not in favor at this time (to rephrase it) of additional graduate programs that are UNCA graduate programs. And IDC is looking at the MLA program as a way of incorporating good ideas that could be developed at some point but not now as graduate programs.
Dr. Bill Sabo reported for the Academic Policies Committee.
Because Dr. Spellman was out of town and wanted to address the Senate, Dr. Sabo removed APC documents 3, 4, 5, 6 regarding the MLA for consideration at this time.
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
APC Approved as Minor Proposal:
APC 1: Change the frequency of offerings for MATH 191 and 480.
APC 1 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 0807F.
[Unanimously approved by APC]
APC 2: Change credit-hour limit for MATH 499 and STAT 499.
APC 2 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 0907F.
APC 7: Adding New Literature and Language Courses: LIT/LANG 368 and LANG 466.
APC 7 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1007F.
APC 8: Prerequisite Changes to LANG 461, 463, 465, 497, 499.
APC 8 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1107F.
APC 9: Add requirements for declaring a Concentration in Creative Writing.
APC 9 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1207F.
APC 10: Add new courses, LANG 368 and 366 to list of available courses for the Creative Writing
minor; Add an application to the process for declaring a minor in Creative Writing.
APC 10 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1307F.
APC 11: Add new course: PHYS 107, Introductory Physical Sciences.
APC 11 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1407F.
APC 12: Changes to requirements for Minor in Classics.
APC 12 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1507F.
APC 13: Addition of ENVR 360 to the list of Ecology and Biology electives for ENVR majors in
Ecology and Environmental Biology.
APC 13 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1607F.
APC 14: Change of course title and description of ENVR 341; Adding BIOL 342 and cross listing it
APC 14 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1707F.
APC 15: Change credit hours for EDUC 314; Reduce hours in licensure areas requiring EDUC 314.
APC 15 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1807F.
IV. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report
Dr. Boudreaux was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. There was no report.
V. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Downes reported for the Executive Committee
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
Sam Schuman and
VI. Administrative Reports
- Update on Academic Affairs Structure
Dr. Schuman was asked to look at the structure of administration of Academic Affairs by Chancellor. His report will go to faculty, Chancellor and new Provost. This report is tentative. He read:
How do the structures by which colleges and universities manage their core academic functions evolve? Usually, academic administrations take shape as a consequence of a combination of rational decisions and the particular responses to the needs of an historical moment and the characteristics of the people available to deal with those needs at that point in time. The current structure of Academic Affairs at UNCA partakes of both: clearly it was formed in part by logic, and in part by linking specific personalities to pressing issues. There is nothing inherently wrong with either methodology, and, in fact, UNCA has been well served by the people and the system which has evolved here in recent years. At the same time, both the rational analysis and the human and institutional specifics need to be reexamined periodically: people change, institutions change, needs change, the times change. What follows attempts such a reexamination. It was undertaken with the understanding that there is rarely one and only one, model for administrative academic governance which will work well for any college at some moment in its history. Different roads can lead to the same destination; sometimes there are reasons to take the scenic highway, sometimes the freeway is best. Nor is it to be assumed that some right scheme will have any particular permanence: the good idea from a half-dozen years ago needs to be revised now, perhaps; today’s good idea will in turn need rethinking a half a decade from its inception.
In writing this report, the following individuals and groups were consulted:
n Executive Committee of the Senate
n The Deans (Katz, Spellman, McClellan, Friedenberg, Kormanik)
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
n Department Chairs and Program Directors
n A few individuals who requested private conversations
n The Faculty (in two open meetings).
What we have currently
Provost (now interim VCAA and interim dean of faculty)
Deans (3 program areas + academic administration and academic programs = 5)
Chairs and program directors (56)
Positive attributes about current system
Ø There is a spokesperson for each area (some have suggested deans for duties, not areas, e.g., budget, personnel, curriculum, etc.)
Ø They function well together (mostly a blessing, a bit of a curse)
Ø All come from UNCA, which seems generally supported
n What should be the duration of the terms of the Deans?
n How well does the current structure channel information up and down the administrative hierarchy –e.g., from faculty to chancellor?
n Should the Deans be called “Deans?”
n Should these individuals come from within the faculty or as a result of broad searches?
n Are the Deans of Academic Administration and Special Programs comparable to the Program Area Deans?
n Should there be some sort of second-tier chief academic officer? (E.g., an Associate Provost or Dean of the Faculty or whatever.)
n Where, physically, should the Deans be located – together, in the administration building, or dispersed, in their academic program area buildings?
n How are the Deans selected, by whom, for how long?
n How are they to be evaluated? By whom – faculty? Senior administrators? Colleagues? Some combination thereof? And how often should this occur?
n What is the role of the Deans in the faculty evaluation process (currently, it is minimal)?
n Is the chief academic officer to be “first among equals” within the Senior Staff?
Praise all the current deans.
These are all dedicated and gifted individuals who are doing a splendid job and he admires the work that they are doing.
His analysis hinges on one unanswered question: Are the “deans” really “deans”?
His definition: Dean = Continuing high-level academic administrators with major curricular and supervisory personnel responsibilities in a coherent disciplinary area.
Yes – They have a central role in the allocation of human and fiscal resources; they are perceived as senior academic administrators.
No – They do not have much of a role in the evaluation of faculty; major fiscal decisions come from higher up; their terms are short; all are selected internally.
Some additional questions
n How does one balance managerial efficiency against institutional expectations, needs and morale?
n What is the role of the faculty, and what the administration, in academic governance at UNCA?
n If one were to draw a line, as it were, between the administration and the faculty, where should that line fall on the institutional organizational chart?
n Who should be the primary constituency of the Deans? Those “above” them on the Organizational Chart, or those below? Senior administrators or faculty (or students)? Or can it be both?
n How much administration (and how many administrators) is the right amount for this school, at this time? Too little, and our collective work can’t get done; too much, and we mechanize what should be an intensely human enterprise.
Why, some ask, has the administrative arm of UNCA grown so dramatically in recent years? A decade and a half ago, we had about 3100 (headcount) students and 247 FTE faculty; today we have about 600 more students and about 50 more teachers. But then, it is argued, we did just fine with a Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and an Associate VCAA, with no Deans, a very small Human Resources office, etc.
This is not an unimportant question, but it does seem a somewhat naïve perspective. It ignores the burgeoning requirements made of branch campuses by the systems of which they are a part; it ignores the even-more-bludgeoning requirements made of all colleges and universities by the governmental and non-governmental (e.g., accrediting associations) entities upon which they depend for their continued existence. It ignores the heightened competition for students, which has led to an inexorable growth in areas such as recreational options and residential programs. And, it ignores that part of institutional improvement is often expansion of opportunities, personnel, budget, facilities, etc. I do not wish to position myself as one who laments for some lost Edenic UNCA. But neither do I want to advocate for endless managerial growth nor to suggest that the automatic cure for any institutional problem is the appointment of an additional administrator.
It is obvious that our school has
moved in certain new directions, which have created enormous managerial
burdens, many of which have devolved upon Academic Affairs. UNCA’s leadership
in the recent past has focused sharply (and certainly not inappropriately) on
building strong links with our regional community neighbors. We are a public institution, supported by
public funds, so public service to
It is my idiosyncratic and blunt
assessment that if we did half as many of these things, and did them twice as
well, we, and
Terms of service longer
Enhanced responsibilities, especially regarding faculty evaluation
External searches? (Nobody wants)
Housed in Phillips Hall
Two non program area deans? Continued? Spun-off? Combined?
2. “Division Chair” or “Program Area Head” model (more faculty; less administrative)
Chosen from current senior faculty
Short terms – 2 X 2 years or 4 years?
Regular offices across campus
A coordinator of academic programs from program heads
Selected/nominated and reviewed by Chairs
1. Provost – Dean of Faculty – Program Area Heads – Chairs
2. Head of enrollment services, including admissions, financial aid, registrar, retention, advisement, etc.
Dr. Schuman’s leanings: Model 2, option 1.
Whatever we do we should do incrementally, not in a rush.
Dr. Wood asked what principle persuaded him to lean toward the 2nd plan. Dr. Schuman replied that his principle is that to the extent that it is possible to do so, the faculty should govern the academic program of a good liberal arts college. The Senate agreed and thanked Dr. Schuman for his thoughtful report.
VII. Old Business
There was no Old Business.
VIII. New Business
Focus the Nation – email from
encouraged faculty to read
Dr. Downes adjourned the meeting at 5:05pm.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely