University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, December 4, 2008




Members:   C. Bell, K. Cole, L. Dohse, B. Haas, M. Harvey, G. Heard, J. Konz, A. Lanou, B. Larson,

                  L. Nelms, L. Russell, J. McClain, M. Moseley, E. Pearson, D. Pierce, B. Sabo, S. Wasileski,

                  B. Wilson; J. Fernandes, A. Ponder; Alt. G. Ettari.


Visitors:      S. Haas, J. Leffe, B. Massey, P. McClellan, G. Nallan, R. Pente, J. Tieman, R. Waskom.




I.        Call to Order, Introductions and Announcements

          Dr. Dohse called the meeting to order at 3:17pm and welcomed Senators and guests.  He said the Senate was honored to have the Chancellor with us today; this is the first meeting this semester when she was not out of town on university business.   


II.       Approval of minutes

          The minutes of November 13, 2008, were approved as distributed.


III.      Executive Committee Report

          Dr. Lothar Dohse reported for the Executive Committee. 

Response to October 16, 2008, Senate minutes

Dr. Dohse noted that the Senate minutes are read a lot.  Lenny Bernstein, the driving force behind the proposed Climate Change in Society program, took issue with the comment in the October 16th minutes that he had been a lobbyist for a number of years.  Dr. Bernstein clarified in an email: “I worked for oil companies for 30 years and as a consultant for another 10, but my role has always been the technical analysis of environmental issues, not the presentation of positions to government officials at any level.”  

Course Withdrawal Policy Change

          At the last meeting, the SGA opposed the policy change on course withdrawals that now require the instructor’s signature in addition to the advisor’s signature.  Dr. Dohse discussed the policy change with Assistant Provost Pat McClellan.  Ms. McClellan said withdrawals have increased significantly.  One reason students drop courses is a misconception that they are failing after receiving their first test results early in the semester.  Ms. McClellan, in consultation with the Enrollment Services Advisory Committee, reinstated the procedure that requires an instructor’s signature to withdraw from a course.  She was not anticipating the student’s reaction to the policy change.  She was not sure why students did not like asking the instructor for their signature and taking a minute to see if that was the wisest thing to do.  The instructor will have more pertinent information about specific strategies for a course – resources available, appropriate study skills for that particular course – more so than the advisor.   


            IV.     Institutional Development Committee Report

                      Dr. Betsy Wilson reported for the Institutional Development Committee.

          Guidelines for future review of administrative offices

          IDC continues to work on guidelines for future review of administrative offices.  IDC’s work has broadened to look at various ways of looking at administrative offices, including in depth reports similar to the report written by the University Relations Task Force.  IDC and FWDC are discussing the feasibility of revamping the Institutional Effectiveness Committee to have it involved in the review of administrative offices.  These options would involve a more comprehensive review of administrative offices.  IDC will discuss these with the Chancellor in December.  Dr. Wilson plans to bring a proposal to the Senate in February.       


V.      Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

          Dr. Merritt Moseley gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report.

         Nominees to the Distinguished Scholars Committee

         At the last meeting, the Senate restored to the Distinguished Scholars Committee a function of consulting with the Chancellor on the selection of honorary degree recipients.  The Chancellor will appoint three full-time teaching faculty, one from each division, for 2-year terms. 

         The Senate approved the following slate of four full professors for serve two-year terms:


                    Brian Dennison           Joe Sulock

                   Mark Gibney               Cynthia Ho


          First Reading

          The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

          FWDC 6: Revision of UNCA Tenure Policies and Regulations

                        (Revision of SD0102F, SD4089S, SD1089S; Faculty Handbook 14.2)

          FWDC 7: Proposal to Amend the Duties of the University Research Council

                        (Revision of SD7808S; Faculty Handbook 10.3.5)

          FWDC 8: Proposal to Amend the Duties of the University Teaching Council

                        (Revision of SD7503S; Faculty Handbook 10.3.6)


          Editorial changes were made to FWDC 6.


VI.     Academic Policies Committee Report
Bill Sabo reported for the Academic Policies Committee.
First Reading: 
[Approved without opposition by APC]

         The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

         APC  2:    Delete LANG 351, Writing for Business and the Professions

                        Delete LIT 351, Beginning Old English

         APC  3:    Addition of LIT 363;  Revision of LIT 491 description

         APC  4:    Change in frequency of CLAS 102 and CLAS 212

         APC  5:    Changes to Classics Senior Research Thesis (CLAS 495)

         APC  6:    Change course description for ATMS 223, Physical Climatology                          

         APC  7:    Add new course, ATMS 345, Tropical Meteorology

                        Add new course, ATMS 464, Scientific Writing

         APC  8:    Removal of prerequisites for CHEM 132 and inclusion of a preparation

                        recommendation in the course description

         APC  9:    Change AP credit awarded for CHEM 132

         APC 10:   Add new course, ENVR 106, Earth History;

                        Add new course, ENVR 310, Economic Geology

         APC 11:  Delete ENVR 321 and its cross-listed course, BIOL 321; Delete ENVR 350;

                        Editorial changes resulting from deletions

         APC 12:   Add ENVR 343, Stream Ecology; Add ENVR 343 as an option for the Concentration in

                        Ecology and Environmental Biology

         APC 13:   Delete ACCT 215 as an option in Concentration in Environmental Management and Policy

         APC 14:   Change course number, description, and credit hours of ENVR 382, Environmental Geology;

                        Editorial changes resulting from adding Environmental Geology to core requirements for

                        Environmental Studies

         APC 15:   Change title, credit hours and description of ENVR 338 and its cross-listed course,

                        ATMS 338; Change title and description of ENVR 362

         APC 16:   Delete Concentration in Pollution Control, merging it w/ Concentration in Earth Science

         APC 17:   Editorial changes to Earth Science with 9-12 Teacher Licensure

         APC 18:   Editorial Changes to the Environmental Studies Narrative

         APC 19:   Delete ENVR 443 and 444; Add new course, BIOL 322, cross-listing it with ENVR 322;

                        Add new course, BIOL 323, cross-listing it with ENVR 323; Editorial changes as a result of

                        the deletions and additions

         Second Reading

         The following document was considered for Second Reading:


         APC 1:  Ongoing Review of General Education at UNCA


         APC 1 is an agenda of how different aspects of general education and Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) can be sequentially reviewed.  The document was distributed for information purposes and discussion at the November 13th Senate meeting.  During the discussion it became apparent that the Senate should consider APC 1 to establish the legitimacy of the process.  APC 1 is now being considered for second reading.  Dr. Sabo moved to approve APC 1.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Moseley. 

         Highlights of discussion:

·         Dr. Konz asked how this review would supplement or differ from ILSOC’s on-going assessment. 


o        Dr. Sabo said currently, ILSOC’s document focuses primarily on item 2 – delivery effectiveness.  The documents are sent to APC, but there are no clear guidelines as to what APC is to do with them.  APC 1 clarifies the purpose of the ILSOC document from the Senate’s perspective.  Regarding assessment, ILSOC is now developing a standardized system of assessing student learning.  The different subgroups are developing assessment practices for each of the ILS components.  APC does not see any value in duplicating these efforts.  APC does think, however, the assessment process would be improved if it reviews the assessment plans and the reports they generate.  That is, APC will assess the assessments, providing feedback, and critical commentary in an effort to improve subsequent assessment efforts.  


APC 1 establishes a routine exchange of ideas between ILSOC and the Senate by standardizing communication practices between APC and ILSOC.  The faculty can be confident, not just that a report is being prepared, but that it is being reviewed by an independent body.  APC 1’s purpose is to complement ILSOC’s review procedures and to fill in gaps where the Oversight Committee is not charged, such as reviewing the Foundation courses. 


The document also puts APC in a position to investigate trade-offs, that is, calculate general education’s costs for major programs, course offerings, and faculty workload. 


Finally, the document establishes review as an ongoing process.  Rather than one review periodically implemented, APC 1 provides for an ongoing process that is regularly updated. It seeks to institutionalize and coordinate assessment practices that we are expected to engage in.  It also locates that review in a body that is directly responsible to the faculty—the Faculty Senate and its subcommittee APC.  It is APC’s responsibility to regularly report its activities and conclusions to the Senate.


·         Dr. Larson referred to #2 Purpose: examine and critique assessment criteria used for determining student learning, and said this seems to presuppose that we have some idea of what our desired student learning outcomes are.  When are we are going to create our foundation and how does that relate to this?


o        Dr. Sabo said APC 1 allows the Oversight Committee to define that foundation.  They are charged by the original Senate document to do so.  APC’s task is primarily oversight.  Oversight is the practice in which the original delegating body reviews the steps taken by the agent to determine if its wishes are being carried out.  


He understands APC’s responsibility as two-fold: 1) to examine ILSOC’s assessment process to see if it is a good, reasonable way of assessing; 2) to see if ILSOC’s practices are consistent with the original intent of the Senate when it established the ILS program and delegated ILSOC responsibility to oversee it.  To improve the program APC will have the responsibility to identify discrepancies between intent and practice, identify any weaknesses, and make suggestions for improvement.  Unlike past UNCA general education systems, the ILS program has a committee charged with implementing and overseeing it.  This was not the case with previous general education programs which meant review fell to APC by default.  Establishing ILSOC was a good idea and it does a good job, but it is essential that it remain responsible to an elected faculty body – the Senate.  The most efficient way is not to redo what ILSOC does, but to routinely review its activities. 


o        Dr. Bell spoke as a member of APC and as a member of ILSOC.  At the ILS subcommittee level they are trying to implement measures of the learning objectives.  The original Senate documents essentially defined the learning objectives for the Quantitative Intensive courses.  The QI subcommittee is examining those objectives.  Eventually, APC will be looking to see if the subcommittees and ILSOC have done an appropriate job – both in defining the learning objectives and in measuring them.  Dr. Sabo added that APC will use the original meaning of the Senate document as the standard when it reviews what the subcommittee decides and does. 


·         Dr. Larson said the title of APC 1 “Ongoing Review of General Education at UNCA” makes good sense.  The question he is struggling to enunciate is what about our undergraduate’s overall learning experiences of which general education is only a part? 

o        Dr. Sabo said that is an excellent question and will be on APC’s agenda for next year.  The question has to do with the broader and more fundamental issue of assessment and reviewing departments.  Departments could review themselves and another body would review the departments.  Revitalizing the Institutional Effectiveness Committee would seem to be essential in this context.  He was not sure how this should be coordinated.  It is clear, however, from past Senate documents that the Senate is responsible for overseeing general education specifically.  That is APC 1’s purpose.  Generally it is accepted that departments are responsible for their own assessment but perhaps IDC should step in to coordinate those.  APC 1 is limited to the ILS program.


·         Dr. Fernandes said the department assessments from our last accreditation visit were outstanding.  We are in a strong position, but we would be in a stronger position if all faculty and all departments across campus agreed on a set of learning outcomes.  This is what SACS will be looking for.  It will not be difficult to do because so much foundation is there.  We can probably use the department self assessments as well as the results from the general education assessment as a basis.  Some information from the strategic plan could also be useful for developing outcomes. 


She reiterated her question from the last Senate meeting – What is the locus for creating the university learning outcomes?  Is that APC?  Is it IDC?  Or is it a committee that she convenes?  She would want the Faculty Senate to be the place where they are developed.  If she does not get the answer she will have to create the answer. 


o        Dr. Sabo said this would logically fall under the purview of the Academic Policies Committee.  It will be added to APC’s agenda.  The EC will also discuss this next week while Dr. Fernandes is at a SACS conference.


APC 1 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 0808F.


         Dr. Sabo referred to the last Senate meeting when he was asked whether or not the ILS Administrative Report had been examined by the APC.  He said no, because he had not seen the report.  This is solely his fault.  An ILSOC report prepared by Dr. Hantz was sent to him over the summer.  Dr. Sabo said he either forgot about it or lost it.  The report had been completed and has now been posted on ILSOC’s website.  Dr. Hantz has instituted a new practice: instead of sending such reports to the APC Chair, reports will be posted on the website and notice will be sent that the report is available to everyone.  Dr. Sabo complimented Dr. Hantz for this excellent idea and apologized for giving people the impression at the last meeting, that the report had not been sent -- the problem originated with him and not ILSOC.

         Dr. Dohse reminded people that they should beware of sending faculty members reports in mid-July.  If it is an important report of a committee, it should either be tagged as important or sent when the university is in full session.  


VII.    Administrative Reports
         Alumni and Development Annual Report

         Mr. Bill Massey, Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development, invited questions or observations on the report.  This division includes alumni, development, university publications and university news services. 

         From a development perspective, our giving at the time of the report is down about 20% from the previous year.  Major gifts can make a significant impact on the percentages.  Universities are subject to people’s decisions about their philanthropy.  We have all lived through recessions before, but this one is a worldwide situation as opposed to a domestic situation.  In previous recessions people were generally comfortable that in six to nine months the economy would have recovered.  We are seeing less of that now and it does impact giving.  His colleagues at other universities are experiencing the same thing.    

         At the time this report was produced our endowment was down 6.77%.  It had performed spectacularly over the last several years.  Today our endowment is down by 16%.  Many university endowments are down 30% or more.  Of university endowments in excess of $1 billion, our endowment for the last fiscal year was second only to Harvard in performance.  Our trustees and foundation board directors have made very good decisions about aligning our own $25 million endowment with the collective UNC endowments with a $2.5 billion corpus.    

         The positive news to take away from a declining 16% is that the Endowment and Investment Committee decided last month to continue the five percent payout of the endowment for next year.  We are able to do this because investments have been so strong for the last three years and our payout rate is based on the previous three consecutive completed years. 


·         Dr. Bell referred to  federal law that impacts relatively recently endowed foundations by limiting the amount of payout.  When you have a significant decline in your corpus, you can not make payouts at all.   


o        Chancellor Ponder explained that the “from inception” in Mr. Massey’s report is when we moved existing endowed funds to this particular investment manager.  They are not new funds.  Dr. Bell is correct, there is a challenge when there is a downturn in the investments that are recent endowments; and if individual endowed funds fall below the amount of their principle and they are restricted for particular purposes, we may not make payments out of those.  We may not invade the principle or the corpus to do that.  We have been working on increasing endowed funds.  At least one of our endowed funds is subject to that specific difficulty and we are entirely in compliance with that.  A list of relatively recent endowed funds that are not doing payouts at this time can be provided. 


·         Dr. Larson asked how Mr. Massey was able to use the strategic plan in relation to development activities. 


o        Mr. Massey said the division was an important part of the strategic plan.  Quite a few items on the strategic plan will need private funds over the long term.  They are becoming stronger at aligning what we are asking for to the strategic plan.  It is the roadmap for us and it is an extremely valuable document.  Secondly, it is trust-building to people that we are seeking significant gifts from because they welcome the fact that there is a plan.        


·         Dr. Wilson said IDC has the responsibility of looking at the administrative office survey conducted last year.  Were the survey results an aid to you or did it influence anything you did? 


o        Mr. Massey said it was not particularly helpful.  The individual comments were clearly based on individual experience which you would expect, but no strong trends came out of it. 


They learned that the work they do is not as widely known as they would like for it to be, but that would probably be the case in most universities.  The challenge to us is to communicate more broadly on campus.  In fairness, that was helpful feedback.  


·         Dr. Sabo asked Ms. Nelms if anything in the report was consistent or inconsistent with the Task Force's report that she was instrumental in writing. 


o        Ms. Nelms recalled seeing two recommendations in the report:  the establishment of a major gifts team and the creation of a magazine.  She did not see a reference to the strategic plan, but feedback was given in response to Dr. Larson’s question.      


Dr. Dohse thanked Vice Chancellor Massey.  The report is available at:  Alumni & Development Division Report


         Academic Affairs

          Provost Jane Fernandes reported from Academic Affairs.
          Assessment guidelines going to Senior Staff
Senior Staff will be discussing the Faculty Senate’s document about the role of program assessment on campus (SD0408F).  This is a step toward getting a unified vision of the role of assessment on campus. 
          Preliminary Definition of Diversity
Dr. Fernandes requested feedback from the Senate on the Draft Definition of Diversity at UNC Asheville.  Development of the definition began last spring; she would like to finalize this so we can move forward on our diversity goal. 
          Highlights of discussion:

·                     Dr. Haas noted that race was at the bottom of the list.  We have had an historical problem with our representation of racial minorities; he suggested moving this to the top of the list.

·                     Dr. Heard said it was a good document overall.  Editorial comments:

§         2nd sentence:  Add “we”
“To reach this goal requires that we enhance the range of ….”

§         2nd paragraph:  delete “current” – it is unnecessary if this is a document for the ages. 
“We seek to dismantle the current university structures ….”

§         1st sentence under Statement of Principles:  delete “an increasingly” – does not follow the law
of thermodynamics and is unnecessary for a document with a long life span.   
        “UNC Asheville must prepare students to live and grow in an increasingly diverse world.”

·         Dr. Bell said all of the examples of diversity listed are essentially demographic in nature.  We ought to think about diversity and opinion, and respecting that different people might have different opinions, irrespective of their demographic background. 

·         Several Senators expressed concern over the use of the word dismantle; “We seek to dismantle the current university structures, policies, etc.”  It is a very strong statement.  It is a revolutionary statement.  Unless we really believe that, it should not be in the document.   

·         Dr. Fernandes said the Diversity Action Council is very serious about that sentence and is very serious about dismantling university structures, policies, and procedures that give some groups of people privilege at the expense of others.  How it actually plays out will have to be determined through the strategic plan with specific action.    Clearly we are historically an institution for white people.  We want to work at the structures that put that into place and try to make sure that we are transforming ourselves into a more inclusive university in every possibly way.  There will be small steps, not big steps.  It is not that revolutionary; it is really just a lot of hard work. 

·         Dr. Sabo said the third paragraph is a powerful statement about the mission of the university and should always come first.  We are a public liberal arts institution, therefore we have a responsibility.  The responsibility is then defined.  It legitimizes our concern and it substantiates our authority to make these decisions. 

VIII.   Old Business
Dr. Pierce proposed a Sense of the Senate Resolution thanking the individuals who designed and implemented the Degree Progress Advising Report system.  He thought it would be appropriate for the Senate to recognize their work.  The resolution was seconded by Dr. Bell.  


Sense of the Senate Resolution


On behalf of the faculty, the Faculty Senate extends a sincere thank you to


Cynthia Gagne

Debbie Race

Calley Stevens Taylor

Stephanie Franklin

Alicia Shope

Keith Krumpe.


Their hard work designing and implementing the Degree Progress Advising Report system has made it considerably easier for faculty to be more effective academic advisors.  Their work attests to their commitment to improving the quality of services available to UNCA students and we appreciate their efforts.


The Sense of the Senate Resolution passed without dissent and became Senate Document 0908F.


IX.     New Business
There was no New Business.


X.       Adjourn
Dr. Dohse adjourned the meeting at 4:30pm. 


Respectfully submitted by:   Sandra Gravely

                                           Executive Committee