University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, January 21, 2010



Members:   C. Bell, R. Berls, G. Boudreaux, L. Dohse, G. Ettari, V. Frank, B. Haas, G. Heard, J. Konz,

                  B. Larson,   A. Lanou, K. Moorhead, L. Nelms, E. Pearson, D. Pierce, K. Reynolds, L. Russell,

                  M. Sidelnick; J. Fernandes.


Visitors:      G. Ashburn, P. Catterfeld, D. Griffith, E. Katz, K. Krumpe, P. McClellan, C. Mercer, R. Pente,

                  A. Reagan, A. Sherman, A. Shope.




I.       Call to Order, Introductions and Announcements

         Dr. Dohse called the meeting to order at 3:15pm and welcomed Senators and guests. 


II.      Approval of minutes

         The minutes of December 3, 2009, were approved with editorial corrections.        


III.     Executive Committee Report

         Dr. Lothar Dohse reported for the Executive Committee. 

         New Web Design Presentation

         Ms. Debbie Griffith, interim director of marketing and communication, and Mr. Adam Reagan in ITS gave a presentation on the new web site.  The UNC Asheville web site was last redesigned in 2002.  If all goes well during the next critical two weeks, we will launch a redesigned and re-organized web site on February 5.  The project began last May with a charge from Chancellor Ponder for a 44-member committee to assist Communications and ITS in overseeing the project.  The committee is still active and includes faculty, staff, students, alumni and board of trustee members.  Faculty members on this committee include: Chair Lothar Dohse, Curt Cloninger, Lei Han, Keith Ray, Brent Skidmore and Mark Koven. 

         Our web site is the single largest opportunity to communicate to a worldwide audience, and receives more than 3 million hits per year. The site offers us the opportunity to tell our story with dynamic content, photography, video and other new technologies.  Our goal is to create a site that will reflect the culture of the university, create a sense of community and collaboration and give the user a content rich experience. Most importantly, we want Web users to easily find the information they are seeking, and a bit more than they expected.  We wanted to create a site that is distinctly UNC Asheville and conveys that personality.  A more robust web site that is easier to navigate will help us recruit the best and brightest students and faculty, and build a greater awareness of the kind of institution we are.  At the same time, we want the new site to offer on-campus audiences easier access to information on events, news, directories and other resources.

         Since May, the committee has staged focus groups, analyzed current site traffic, conducted online surveys about how people find what they need on a Web site, and we shared all this information on the Redesign blog.  The input we received was crucial in making final decisions on design and architecture.  Mockups of the designs have been posted on the design blog for several months.  To view the designs, and comment on them, visit and click on the blog button.

         Also, as a part of the project, new server hardware has been acquired and installed to support the new site.  We have selected a new Content Management System (Drupal) that is flexible, expandable and simple to use.  A Content Management System is software that allows Web editors who may have limited experience in HTML coding, to quickly edit their sites on the templates provided. This ensures better consistency of design, as well as a very simple interface.  There is no need to purchase other software programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver.  Drupal also is being deployed at Appalachian State, Duke and recently The White House Web site.

         On February 5, we will launch a new homepage, a new architecture, and about 150 brand new pages that are a part of Phase One.  Major sites in Phase One include all of Admissions, Development/Giving, News, and many other core pages of general information about the university.

         Phase Two will begin in March and continue through the spring semester when training in the CMS for all web authors will be offered.  Departmental sites will be phased in as training is complete.  We are working with the Provost to ensure there are consistent links on all academic sites.  As we have done throughout the project, we encourage further feedback and ideas about how the make the site even more effective so that we can continue to serve the needs of both internal and external audiences.

         Naming of scholarship fund in honor of three retired faculty

         Last fall Chancellor Ponder reported that the university had created six funds from the $600,000 to be placed into the endowment for scholarships from last years’ anonymous gift.  Three of those funds have been named for retired staff members: Jackie Peterson, Carolyn Frady and Alice Wuhstel. 

         The Chancellor asked the Faculty Senate to consider how it would proceed to recommend three retired faculty members from a list of five or six nominees that would come from the National Alumni Council.  In turn, she will recommend the three Senate nominees to the Board of Trustees. 

         Dr. Dohse explained the Executive Committee’s choices:  to initiate a new committee, to pass this on to another committee, or to have the Executive Committee narrow the six nominees down to three.  The Executive Committee ultimately used three criteria to select three nominees for consideration for the scholarship:  length of time worked at UNC Asheville, whether they made significant contributions to the university, and whether they had not received appropriate recognition for their work.  None of the nominees have University-wide awards or scholarships nor rooms or speakers series named after them. 

Executive Committee nominees were:  Gene Rainey (Political Science), Cathy Mitchell (Mass Communication), and Tom Cochran (Psychology.)

         Dr. Dohse asked for comments and possible approval of the names.  Following discussion Dr. Bell made a motion that the Faculty Senate create a committee to consider the six names forwarded by the Alumni Council in honor of retired faculty.  Dr. Frank seconded the motion.  The motion failed. 

         Dr. Sidelnick noted that the motion was redundant. A committee followed the process and three names have come forward. The Senate approved the nominees without dissent.  

         Report from the Board of Trustees meeting

         Dr. Dohse reported that James Buckner, chair of the Board of Trustees, is going to be more open and will start putting the minutes on the internet.  The process at present requires us to request minutes from the Chancellor’s office.

         Dr. Dohse said he misinterpreted a statement by Chair Buckner and he wanted to clarify the relationship between the Board and faculty.  Chair Buckner welcomes ideas and comments but he wants advance notice so it can be scheduled on the agenda.  If we want to talk to the Board – to send a representative – the process to be put on the agenda is through the Chancellor. 

         Dr. Larson applauded the BOT for placing the minutes on line.  Dr. Dohse was unsure where the minutes will be on line but he suggested looking on the BOT web site.  Dr. Haas noted that he could find information on our BOT on the Board of Governors web site (email contact and phone numbers) that is not available on our campus web site. 

         Second Reading

         The following document was distributed for First Reading:

         EC 2:  Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)


         Dr. Dohse said Dean Lisa Friedenberg worked on this proposal with a great deal of input from faculty. 

         Dr. Fernandes said if the student learning outcomes (SLOs) are approved today, they will be officially adopted as the university’s student learning outcomes.  This will be a significant step forward in our reaffirmation of accreditation process.  The SLOs will serve as the umbrella of teaching and learning at the university.  Departments are already working on how aspects of their curriculum support the outcomes.

         Dr. Sidelnick asked if there was a time scheduled to review the SLOs.  Dr. Fernandes said the SACS reaffirmation is in 2012.  In 2017 we will have a five year review, then another review in 2022.

         Dr. Frank repeated concerns expressed at the last meeting: how do we access lifelong learning?  Our students get a serious education so they could engage in lifelong learning, but accessing that could be problematic.  Dr. Moorhead and Dr. Sidelnick expressed similar concerns. 

         Dr. Dohse noted that no one department will be expected to address all of the learning outcomes, but the university as a whole has to show progress in all six outcomes.  

         Following discussion APC accepted Dr. Konz’s friendly amendment to edit Outcome 6 to read:  Students are prepared to engage in lifelong learning.  EC 2 passed as amended without dissent and became Senate Document 1310S.

         Dr. Larson said Senators should congratulate themselves for approving the Student Learning Outcomes.  We have finally made the commitment through the enormous efforts of Dr. Friedenberg, the guidance of the Provost, and frankly from enormous cooperation across the university. 


         Dr. Haas asked when Senators could expect to see the data regarding the elimination of the Environmental Quality Institute and the Mossbauer Center.  Dr. Dohse said he has taken on that role.  He has a lot of information on EQI, Mossbauer and NEMAC.  He is working on the Craft Center. This Senate will get the report, but he is moving cautiously. 


IV.     Faculty Welfare and Development Committee

         Dr. George Heard reported for the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.

·         FWDC have appointed Helen Wykle to replace Bryan Sinclair on URPAC (Undergraduate Research Programs Advisory Committee) 2009-2011.

·         Faculty elections are coming soon.  An email has been sent to all faculty with a schedule and a reminder of excuses and eligibility.  Greg Boudreaux and Ellen Pearson will be facilitating the elections for FWDC.

·         Committee preference forms will be online soon, emails to the faculty will be sent encouraging everyone to list committee preferences. 


      First Reading:

      FWDC 4:  Electronic Student Rating of Instruction

                     (Revision of SD0308F, SD8209S; Handbook Section

            FWDC 4 was not distributed and was withdrawn from consideration at this time. 


            Student Rating of Instruction

            A task force was convened to investigate placing Student Rating of Instruction (SRI) online.  Ellen Pearson represented FWDC on this task force, and Lorena Russell also serves on this task force.  One of the charges of the task force was to investigate electronic delivery of SRI.  FWDC met to discuss the recommendations of the committee, but are not yet prepared to bring a document to the Senate. 

            Dr. Heard invited Pat McClellan to inform the Senate on the proposed direction of change to SRI.

            Highlights of Ms. McClellan’s comments/discussion:

·      Two members of the Senate serve on this committee. 

·       The committee is working with FWDC to identify concerns and suggested steps

·       Identify possible product vendors

·      Will develop a website with information for faculty

Potential Benefits:

  • Time Saved:  packaging forms, distribution, scanning, comment typing, creation of reports, preparation of reports to faculty and Department Chairs.   
  • Quick results for faculty.  Would allow results to influence planning for the next semester.
  • Results displayed in a variety of ways – more than just mean/median for each question.
  • Confidential.  Faculty, Department Chair, Dean, Provost.  Current practices allow data/comments to be read by others.
  • Opportunity to add custom questions by faculty.
  • Some software products can categorize comment types and allow factor analysis, i.e. responses by student major, level, etc.
  • In general, a more detailed analysis of results.
  • One evaluation per student, per course.  Available through OnePort.
  • Email reminders for non-responders.  Some provide updates to faculty on number of responders.

            Potential Concerns:

  • Response Rate:  There are studies that have compared response rates and response results for paper vs. online.  Although response rates frequently go down, the actual response results vary little.

o    Several opportunities to increase response rates. Examples:  Delay viewing of course grades for non-responders (Stanford, et al),  university level prize drawings, responders can see course summaries (for multiple courses – data on the course, not instructor)

  • Confidentiality – as confidential or more so than paper.
  • Individual students able to provide multiple responses. Not possible – all software packages provide safeguards to eliminate this possibility.


            Faculty Salary Comparison Report

            FWDC has prepared a comparison of faculty salaries.  Gary Ettari has been the point person for this endeavor.  Dr. Ettari reviewed the Faculty Salary Comparison report.


Peer institution salary comparison highlights (Table 1):


  • We are in the 56th percentile of salaries across the board of peer institutions and in the 75th percentile of public peer institutions.  This essentially means that UNCA's average faculty salary is higher than (approximately) 56% of all peer institutions.  Comparing ourselves to public institutions, 75% of all public peer institutions have lower average salaries.  

·         Many of our peer institutions start their assistant professors at roughly the same salary as UNC-Asheville, meaning that the salary discrepancies come about over the entire course of a faculty member’s career.  At Union College, for example, the average assistant professor’s salary is only

1.3 k higher than at UNC-Asheville’s, but at the associate level, it is 10.1 k higher and at the full level,   it is 21.6 k higher. 

·         Assistant professor salaries at UNC-Asheville exceed the peer institution average by approximately 1.5k, salaries at the associate level fall approximately 5k below the average and salaries at the full level fall nearly 7.5k below the average.

·         Compared to the Peer Institution Average, at UNC-Asheville, full professors make 7.6 k less, associates make almost 5k less, and assistants make approximately 1.2 k more.


UNC-Asheville Salary comparison (Table 2):


·         Note a discrepancy between median salaries of male vs. female full professors.  Male and female assistants and associates, going by both the mean and median figures, make roughly the same.  There is either approximately an 11k difference (going by the median) or a 8k difference (going by the mean).  There may be various reasons for this, perhaps not least the maximum full professor salary discrepancy (99.7k vs. 160.1 k).

·         Salary compression is notably evident at the associate level.  The median salary of all associates is approximately 7k greater than the median assistant’s salary and is 21.4k less than the median salary for a full professor.


Full Time Continuing Salary Increase (Table 3):


·         The average salary increase over the course of the previous ten years is 4.7%.  The average rate of inflation over the same ten years as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 2.57 %.


         Dr. Dohse looked at a similar report from 2003.  An interesting tidbit is that five or six years ago there was a discrepancy at the Associate Professor level between the genders.  That discrepancy no longer exists.  There was no discrepancy at the Full Professor level, but there were few women at that rank at that point. 

         Dr. Dohse noted that the Full Professor salary of $160,000 is a number that probably should not be compared to the others for several reasons, such as a 12-month versus a 9-months contract, and funding other than through UNCA could be included in this figure.   The report is available at:


V.      Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Reports

            Ms. Linda Nelms reported for Institutional Development Committee and University Planning Council.

         Institutional Development Committee (IDC)

·      IDC is exploring its immediate responsibilities in terms of assessment and development.    

o    Amy Lanou has agreed to meet with Lisa Friedenberg, Linda Nelms and Archer Gravely for support in preparing a document that outlines the institutional development in terms of academics.  This is a group effort: the report will be edited by Drs. Moorhead, Pierce, Konz and Haas, and turned over to Dr. Larson by February 26.     

·      IDC will be looking at programs and areas that have been subject to substantive change, and will visit a variety of web sites that explains what substantive change is.

·      Members of IDC attended a demonstration of a computerized program that would assist us in addressing formatting assessment documents.   It will not address defining our goals – it will organize them in a way that is acceptable to external evaluators.        

         University Planning Council (UPC)

·         UPC continues to discuss finance challenges likely to occur over the next year.    

·         UPC set up an expectation of the various strategic groups providing reports to the UPC.  Four of those groups will have individual meetings with the UPC this semester.  The Admissions group will provide their report next Friday. 

·         Senators are encouraged to attend the open house at Pisgah House on February 1st.    

·         Everyone is invited to visit the small building outside of the gym to see samples of the materials that will go into the Health and Wellness Center and to provide feedback.  The donation of stone we have received will make the Center look very distinctive.    

·         If there are items that should be brought before the UPC, approach any member of the IDC and they can make sure that they are placed on the agenda. 


VI.     Academic Policies Committee Report

         Dr. Chris Bell reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

         Dr. Bell invited anyone with concerns about clusters to attend the APC meeting next Thursday at 3:15 in the Red Oak Room.  APC anticipates talking with Kim Brown, Ed Katz and an ILSOC representative. 

         Second Reading:  [Unanimously approved by APC]

         The following documents were considered for Second Reading:

         APC 1:    Elimination of Reading Licensure Program
         APC 1 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1410S.

         APC 2:     Elimination of B-K Licensure Program  
         APC 2 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1510S.

         APC 4:     WMST Program Title & Curricular Change to Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS)
         APC 4 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1610S.

         APC 5:     Divide ACCT 317 into two courses: ACCT 317 (lecture) and ACCT 320 (laboratory)
         APC 5 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1710S.

         APC 6:     Add new course, MGMT 388, Leading Organizational Change; Add MGMT 388 to
                        list of electives in Business Management and Administration concentration
         APC 6 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1810S.

         APC 7:     Addition of new course, LIT 346, Readings in Gender and Sexuality
         APC 7 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 1910S.

         APC 8:     Allow CLAS 340 to be repeated for credit
         APC 8 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2010S.

         APC 9:     Remove IP grading designation for CLAS 495
         APC 9 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2110S.

         APC 10:   Add new course, ENVR 107, Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
         APC 10 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2210S.

         APC 11:   Change course description for ENVR 330
         APC 11 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2310S.

         APC 12:   Change course description for ENVR 336
         APC 12 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2410S.

         APC 13:   Delete ENVR 354, Management of Hazardous, Municipal and Solid Wastes
         APC 13 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2510S.

         APC 14:   Change in the number of required hours for the Concentration in Ecology and
                        Environmental Biology
         APC 14 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2610S.

         APC 15:   Change requirements for Earth Science Licensure concentration
         APC 15 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2710S.

         APC 16:   Revise requirements for Environmental Studies minor
         APC 16 passed without dissent and became Senate Document 2810S.

         [APC Approved by 3-2 vote]
APC 3:     Delete German Major

·         Dr. Haas noted that faculty governance is imperative, especially when we are asked to rubber stamp a fait accompli.  As semi-autonomous professionals, we are contracted by the state yet the state recognizes that we are professionals with special knowledge and skills. 

Some may question the raw business model of productivity (having ten majors).  What is the basis that we are asked to rubber stamp the deletion of the German major?  Is the basis for asking us to do this based on our unique size and General Administration’s approval of our unique mission?  Are we asked to delete this based on the quality of the major as indicated by its number of Fulbright awards?  No, we are asked to delete this because GA told us to.  He asked Senators to think deeply about why we would vote yes to delete the German major.  Think about it in terms of intellectual reasons, not because we have been told to do it. 

·         Dr. Russell said she had lingering concerns about the future implications – concerns that Dr. Haas outlined about the same measurement being applied across all universities and comments Dr. Larson made at the last meeting about our need to be aware of developing quality indicators, such as the number of Fulbright awards associated with the German department.  This is a reminder that we need to think of ways we can move forward from this situation and prevent these kinds of cancellations of programs in the future.  She did not know by what qualitative measures these decisions are made besides having 10 majors.  She reiterated our need to think in terms of qualitative measurements for future assessment. 

·         Dr. Pierce asked as a practical matter, what happens if we vote no.  It will have no practical affect in terms of whether we have a German major or not.  It will be a statement.  He asked if it be would forwarded to the Board of Governors. 

·         Dr. Fernandes said we have been asked to delete the German major and she brought the request to the Senate.  If the Senate refuses, the decision will be brought to the Board of Governors.

·         Dr. Frank argued that above and beyond the particular case of German, there is a question of fairness and principles involved.  One can speculate as to the consequences.  There could be consequences to us as an institution – how we come to solutions above and beyond the response from General Administration.  There are also consequences for the institution in terms of integrity, cohesion and credibility when we make a principled decision. 

·         Dean Gwen Ashburn said this program has been at risk for the last ten years and all faculty bear some responsibility.  Have we been advising people to be interested in German?  Consider this: sometimes challenges open up new opportunities.  The Foreign Language department is looking at how a number of schools have decided to approach languages – not to have individual silos – but to consider making the degree Modern Languages and Cultures and offer various tracks.  This would protect smaller areas.   

·         Dr. Fernandes said a vote to delete the German major will not change the German language and cultures classes that we offer now.  Students will have the choice to elect it as a concentration.  We are not going to eliminate German from this campus – we are voting to change the way it is structured.  If the Senate is really concerned about this we could accept this action and then commit to making it stronger.  All the data we have indicates that students, even when they select German as a concentration, select something else as their major.  For better or worse, we are part of a system and we need to consider the implications of our decision, not just for UNC Asheville but within the system.  She has had some conversations with Dr. Trautmann and Dr. Ashburn about changing the department to a major in modern languages and literature.  That will take a lot of cooperation among the different levels of the system. 

·         Dr. Bell was concerned that if German is no longer a major, then when there is a retirement in the current department, it might make it more likely that the position will not be filled.   Dr. Dohse noted that there is currently only one faculty member in the department.

·         The Senate briefly discussed the implications of a no vote; it could potentially create confusion for our students.  The APC document directly affects the Catalog. 

·         Dr. Frank asked Senators to assume this was Classics or Chemistry.  At some point he had to agree that internal factors could have reduced the number of majors in German.  Yet this is also a question of tradition versus authority.  This undermines a liberal arts school that should be a part of tradition. 

APC 3 failed by a vote of 8 to 9.

·         Dr. Haas said if this is going to the Board of Governors, they should understand that we were not being recalcitrant, but rather there was a reasoning that may fall outside of their business model.  We are not assembly line workers.

·         Dr. Larson said if ever there was a program, a few years ago, that he thought ought to be discontinued it was Classics.  It had two members of the faculty and they were both basically at retirement.  In some sense it effectively disappeared.  But what happened?  We brought in new, spectacular people.  Today we have a thriving, magnificent Classics department.  That would be his hope for German.  

         [APC Approved by 4-2 vote]

         APC 17:   3-Year Academic Calendars 2010-2011; 2011-2012; 2112-2013

·         Dr. Bell said this proposal was recommended to APC by the Calendar Committee. 

·         Dean Keith Krumpe said he proposed the opening date to the Calendar Committee.  This was driven by the fact that issues involving advising, planning, curricular changes, and business needs to be conducted prior to the start of school.  A majority of schools post an opening of the semester that proceeds the first day of class.  It tells everyone this is when the business of the university starts.  This proposal formalizes this so that there is an expectation that there is work to be done before the first day of classes. 

·         Dr. Haas asked who served on the Calendar Committee.

o    Dean Krumpe said there were 13 members on the committee, including approximately six faculty members.  Dr. Dohse and Dr. Russell served on the committee. 

o    Dr. Russell said she had concerns about the expectation that all faculty need to be in their offices a week before classes start.  She was persuaded by the argument from advising that students need to have some faculty presence on campus.  It sends a signal to students that we are here to help them make this transition into classes.  In the past we have also had retreats in the department.   

·         Dr. Haas noted that when advising takes place in the summer faculty are paid to advise students.  Faculty also volunteer time to participate in Open Houses.  He questioned the need to have a bureaucratic mechanism in place that required five days of faculty presence when Dr. Fernandes could simply request that Chairs find a faculty member to be here and share the work load.  

·         Dr. Bell said another concern expressed by APC was the situation where programs have activities during the period between the official start of school and the first day of classes.  Would faculty participating in these activities be penalized for their absence from campus?  This might be a particular problem during winter break where faculty take students on field trips.  He was persuaded by the argument that faculty who have legitimate reasons to be off campus on university business will not be penalized for being off campus. 

·         Dr. Reynolds said she was willing to vote for this now, but she also offered to be a representative on the next Calendar Committee to have a representative from the biological sciences. 

·         Dr. Moorhead asked if there had been problems with students or parents accessing faculty on campus before classes start. 

o    Dean Krumpe said there tend to be more problems between terms in January than there are in August.  There have been concerns in terms of advising and answering questions from students and parents.  It is also difficult to make decisions based on enrollments in Enrollment Services when trying to get additional classes added because more transfer students are coming in.   

·         Dr. Moorhead and Dr. Haas said before school starts they are typically contacted via email to see if they can meet with someone before school starts.  It is not a problem.  Dr. Haas said everyone may not be as cooperative but he questioned the need to have five days to handle university business. 

APC accepted Dr. Haas amendment to make the opening of the semester two business days before classes start each semester.  APC 17 passed as amended without dissent and became Senate Document 2910S.

VII.    Old Business

         There was no Old Business.    


IX.     New Business

         There was no New Business. 


 X.     Adjourn

         Dr. Dohse adjourned the meeting at 5:12pm.


Respectfully submitted by:        Sandra Gravely

                                                Executive Committee