University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, February 11, 2010




Members:   C. Bell, R. Berls, G. Boudreaux, L. Dohse, 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.


Excused:      G. Ettari, V. Frank.


Visitors:        G. Ashburn, K. Brown, L. Friedenberg, E. Katz, K. Krumpe, R. Pente, L. Langrall, A. Shope.




I.         Call to Order, Introductions and Announcements

            Dr. Dohse called the meeting to order at 3:16pm and welcomed Senators and guests. 


II.        Executive Committee Report

            There was no Executive Committee report. 


III.       Faculty Welfare and Development Committee

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

            First Reading

            The following documents were distributed for First Reading:


    FWDC 4:  Electronic Student Rating of Instruction; Handbook Section

            FWDC 5:   Revision to Institutional Review Board (SD0393F, Faculty Handbook 10.4.20)


·         The Faculty Senate elected Melissa Smith to complete Karin Peterson’s term on the ILS-Writing Subcommittee.

·         Tomorrow is the deadline to submit committee preferences.  Dr. Boudreaux is the contact person on this project. 

·         Elections are underway.  The Committee of Tenured Faculty election ends tomorrow at 5:00pm.    


IV.      Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Reports

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

                There was no report from the University Planning Committee.  The January meeting was cancelled because of inclement weather.   

            Institutional Development Committee (IDC)

            Report on Assessment

            IDC is writing a report on the University’s process of assessment that will be provided to Dr. Larson on February 26. 

            IDC is working on a proposal to establish a new committee that will address university assessment.  It will include representatives from each of the academic divisions and from each of the Vice Chancellors’ offices.  The charge will be specific enough to provide direction, but general enough to allow the committee to determine its own schedule.

            Dean Lisa Friedenberg said departments will be asked to complete the spring assessment to link department outcomes and the new outcomes that the Faculty Senate approved.  This will occur after departments complete their schedules, toward the end of February.


V.        Academic Policies Committee Report

            Dr. Chris Bell reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

·     Kitti Reynolds has agreed to serve as APC representative on ILSOC in place of Lorena Russell.

            First Reading:  [Unanimously approved by APC]

            The following documents were considered for First Reading:

            APC 18:  Add option for IP grading in ART 400

            APC 19:  Change studio hour requirement for B.A. in Studio Art

            APC 20:  Delete ART 100 and 103; Add new courses, ART 110 and 111

            APC 21:  Delete ART 101, 102 and 345 renumbering to ART 112, 113 and 114, respectively

            APC 22:  Change Advanced Placement credit for Art

            APC 23:  Allow Studio Art Minor for the B.A. concentration in Art History   

            APC 24:  Change requirement from a comprehensive exam to capstone project for the Minor in Art History

            aPC 25:  Allow ARTH 460: Issues in Art History to be repeated as content varies

            APC 26:  Add new course, ARTH 302: Internship in Art History

            APC 27:  Add new course, ARTH 484: Senior Research Seminar I

            APC 28:  Change title and description for ARTH 485: Senior Research Seminar to ARTH 485: Senior Research Seminar II

            APC 29:  Change requirement for Art History capstone project to two semesters

            APC 30:  Catalog changes resulting from deletion of ART 100, 101,102, 103 and 345,


            Report on meeting with ILSOC representatives and clusters subcommittee

            APC met with representatives of ILSOC and clusters subcommittee on January 28, 2010. 

·           ILSOC requested, and FWDC responded, by adding a Clusters Subcommittee to ILSOC in spring 2009. 

·            The new Clusters Subcommittee met six times in fall 2009 and twice in spring 2010 (as of 1/28).  In addition, the Clusters Coordinators met two times in fall 2009 and once in spring 2010.

·            The recommendation to create a Clusters Subcommittee grew out of ILSOC's concerns about the Clusters component and preceded the release of the ILS Perceptions survey.

·            Clusters subcommittee chair Kim Brown met three times with Associate Provost and Dean of University Programs Ed Katz in fall 2009 and she met two times with past ILSOC chair Alan Hantz to map out a strategy for improving the Clusters ILS component.  In addition Dr. Brown met with Assessment Coordinator Lisa Friedenberg to devise a multilayered assessment system.  These meetings were in response to both ILSOC's existing concerns about the Clusters and the release of the Perceptions survey which identified concerns expressed by the faculty as a whole.

·            ILSOC and APC share the belief that the Clusters component currently presents the greatest opportunity for improvement within the ILS program.  Consequently, a significant portion of ILSOC's time fall 2009 was spent working to improve the Clusters; it is anticipated this focus will continue into spring 2010.


·            Specific concerns raised through reflection and by the Perceptions survey include:


o  The Clusters are an impediment to graduation.

o  There is too little collaboration and coordination within the individual Clusters.

o  The Clusters are not achieving their goals.

o  Administrators are standing in the way of making improvements.

o  The Clusters make advising difficult.


·            ILSOC  and the Clusters subcommittee are addressing these concerns in the following ways:

o  Hard evidence that the Clusters are an impediment to graduation is difficult to come by.  APC has encouraged every ILSOC subcommittee to track the number of petitions for exceptions they see and the reasons given for the petitions.  The numbers by category will be part of ILSOC's official report to APC starting this spring.  There never have been many Cluster-related petitions and the number has decreased over time.  This information has not been kept in a data base and it would require someone to look at all of the petitions that are filed for exemption from graduation requirements;  only a small portion would be ILS related and a smaller number would be related to clusters.  Associate Registrar Alicia Shope would be first in line to see these. 

o  The various clusters are now required to meet for the purpose of collaboration and coordination at least once a semester and must report on their meetings in their annual report.  Faculty in the various clusters are encouraged to add a statement concerning their clusters to their syllabi.  This encourages students as well as faculty to think about the connections between the courses in the cluster.  The clusters coordinators and subcommittee are working together to create Student Learning Objectives and to create an assessment system to measure their students’ success in achieving the student learning objectives.  This too encourages collaboration and coordination.  It also encourages a common vision of the goal of the clusters, something felt missing in the past.  The Clusters subcommittee is preparing a series of faculty development workshops.  These will emphasize the collaboration, coordination, and models for success in meeting Student Learning Objectives.  Finally, it is noteworthy that the more recently added (five) Clusters are much tighter than the Clusters created at the program's inception.  There has also been an attempt to add cluster coordinators with more energy and more interest in trying to improve and strengthen the clusters component. 

o  At this point there is no objective measure of the Clusters success or lack there of in achieving their goals.  Indeed, without a common set of agreed upon Student Learning Objectives it is difficult to even define what the goals of the Clusters are.  Thus the definition of a common set of Student Learning Objectives and the creation of a series of assessment tools intended to measure success in meeting those objectives will both help assess whether or not the objectives are being met and serve the formative role of increasing the likelihood that the objectives, as newly defined, will be met.

o  Clusters subcommittee chair Kim Brown was emphatic that work to improve the clusters has been faculty led.  Associate Provost and Dean of University Programs Ed Katz has set aside money for faculty development workshops in May 2010 but explicitly told the Clusters subcommittee, "you decide how to spend it."

o  Like any university, major or program requirement, the Clusters requirement makes advising incrementally more difficult.  ILSOC hopes greater familiarity with the new DegPar advising tool in general and its specific cluster-related components will make advising easier.  The usefulness of the DegPar tool will be increased if advisors begin encouraging students to declare their cluster earlier. 

·         APC is pleased to see ILSOC and the Clusters Subcommittee "closing the loop" on both ILSOC's existing concerns about the Clusters component and the results of the Perceptions survey. 

·         APC believes that the evidence we have examined suggests that the spirit with which the Clusters Subcommittee is approaching their work this year is to strengthen ILS, not to paper over weaknesses that all acknowledge.

·         APC views the renewed vitality of the Clusters component noteworthy, including not just the energy with which the Clusters subcommittee has approached their work but also by the number of new Clusters that have been created over the past year.

·         APC commends the remarkable amount accomplished in the single semester since the Cluster Subcommittee was formed and a Clusters representative added to ILSOC.  The Cluster Subcommittee, in particular Kim Brown as an untenured faculty member, has put an incredible amount of work in this.  Assessment Coordinator Lisa Friedenberg has said that the Clusters are further along the path to assessment than any other department or program at UNCA.  That is remarkable. 



·         Dr. Russell seconded the commendation of the work that has been done, in particular the work of the Clusters subcommittee and Kim Brown.  To help the communication between ILSOC and faculty, Patrick Bahls has recommended that ILSOC start posting minutes to the web so they can be publicly available. 

·         Dr. Pierce asked how many of the newly enthusiastic people are untenured. 

o  No one could quickly answer this question.

·         Dr. Dohse noted that this year we have spent a lot of time agonizing over cuts.  The clusters take a huge amount of energy and time.  Faculty time eventually translates into dollars.  Faculty’s time is worth at least $20 an hour.  What are the costs and where is the money coming from to support this?    

·         Dr. Katz said only the Food for Thought cluster regularly uses resources.  It is funded by outside sources.  Funding for clusters has been limited – far less than other elements of ILS.  This year, with Dr. Kim Brown’s leadership, the subcommittee requested funds and were awarded $5000 for materials, stipends and other types of support.  He also said that he does not track the amount of faculty time spent on developing curriculum or other professional development activity that go back into the classroom. 

·         Dr. Dohse said he did not expect a number.  It is a concept that he wished more people had:  when new ideas are brought to the table often times faculty time is considered free.  It is not free and it works itself back into the system where suddenly we need another resource person because of time constraints.    

·         Dr. Lanou and Dr. Bell noted that workshops can be thought of as developing the interconnections between the various disciplines.     

·         Dr. Pierce expressed deep concern:  there is so much talk about assessment and about assessment being meaningful.  We sent the perceptions survey to faculty and the results were devastating.  His perception is that we are essentially papering over problems and that this program is ultimately unsustainable.  The most powerful message that this sends to faculty is that the next time we do any assessment and ask the faculty their opinion the response rate will be incredibly low.  They responded in the perceptions survey and thought their concerns were going to be heard.  And they are ultimately ignored.  It was never seriously considered that this might be – or that it should be -- something that we ought to just let go. 

·         Dr. Sidelnick said that the role of assessment in an opinion survey is not measuring anything – it is simply the opinion.  Any time something new is imposed (or thought to be imposed) on a system there is a push-back because people do not understand it, want it, and have not engaged in it yet.  Whether we replace the old general education with clusters or whether we replace it with something else, the new system will take adjustment time.  The new enthusiasm may be from the younger, newer people who have not had to adjust from the old to the new system.  There are some natural differences that the survey did bear out that are independent of our actual clusters.  The clusters are simply what the topic of that survey happened to be.  We discussed it in APC: how much is representative of whether or not clusters are working – or people just do not like them. 

·         Dr. Moorhead said as a former burned out cluster coordinator, he found the report to be a remarkable response to the concerns expressed in the survey.  This is a step forward and hopefully it will resolve these perceived problems.   He referred to page 2 of the Cluster Oversight Committee Report to APC where “Students receive an automatically generated email when they register for their final cluster course …” and asked how is this going to work to replace the system we are currently using?

o   Dr. Kim Brown said there is now only one form, a cluster completion form.  Students will not receive credit for having completed their cluster until they complete the assessment component.  

o   Dr. Konz said the premise of declaring the clusters was to try to get students to do a cluster intentionally with forethought.  In practice, students are filling them out after-the-fact.  Completing the form may be an administrative hurdle that is no longer necessary.    

o   Dean Friedenberg said some identification is needed, whether it is a form or via on line.   


The Cluster Oversight Committee Report to the APC is available:[1].htm 



VI.      Administrative Reports

            Academic Affairs:  Jane Fernandes

            Update on Diversity Action Council

·      The Diversity Action Council is working toward the development of a strong plan of action.  This will require a complete understanding of the different aspects of work on diversity that happen at UNC Asheville and the human and financial resources we use to support this effort.  It will also require an understanding of the history of our efforts and why some efforts were successful and others were unsuccessful.  Dr. Fernandes plans to share this information later this semester.   

·       The Diversity Action Council has been working in conjunction with the strategic planning goals on diversity and inclusion and social sustainability of the university.  They have set benchmarks in several areas that will help us know if we are making the progress that we hope to make.  Dr. Fernandes distributed a draft Campus Climate Survey that will be discussed at the next University Planning Council meeting.  She welcomes comments.   

            Update on Budget

            All UNC system campuses will be submitting a plan to cut, on a permanent basis, five percent of their state budget.  For UNC Asheville that comes to roughly $1.8 million.  This is a serious cut to our budget and it will have an impact no matter where the cut is sustained.  Department chairs and program directors have received this information and they have been extremely cooperative in reporting how a five percent cut would have an adverse impact to the academic core.  Dr. Fernandes is working to sustain the academic core at the current level.  This is a very difficult task.  She has heard there will be more cuts during the next biennium.  She will continue to work with Senators in a transparent way by sharing information to get the best decision possible for the university.   

            Dr. Dohse thanked Dr. Fernandes for her openness.  Members of the Executive Committee sit in the Provost’s Cabinet and will be included in these discussions.     

            Discussion of Reassigned Time

            Dr. Haas asked Dr. Fernandes to report to the Senate, at a later date, on the impact of our reducing reassigned time and Professional Development Leave (PDL).  For example, how many more FTEs or student credit hours have we generated?  Are we using fewer visiting professors and adjuncts?  How much time is taken in administrative reassigned time?  Can that be spent more effectively and efficiently?  Every new program on campus has a new director and that person uses reassigned time.  We are willing to benefit the professional pursuit of being an administrator, but not to conduct research.  The Senate passed a provision where reassigned time would become more transparent to stem abuse.  This required signatures of the Chair, the Dean, and the Provost.  The leave had to be accountable and the outcome was assessed.  Has this been done with administrative reassigned time?  He asked that FWDC or Academic Affairs respond to these questions in a future meeting. 

            Dr. Fernandes said the result of the reduction in adjuncts and the reduction in reassigned time is that for the first time the university has met its student credit hour expectation and has satisfied the Delaware Study.  Had we met our enrollment growth objectives we might be generating an addition $1 million and 13 new faculty lines for the university.  It is unknown whether we will reap that benefit because we did not project growth this year.   Vice Chancellor Pierce is in negotiations with General Administration.  The burden on faculty is heavy and she would like to see that lifted in an equitable and transparent way.  She just completed, with the Provost’s staff, an afternoon retreat to discuss the issues involved with adjuncts and reassigned time.  We have cut about $350,000 from the adjunct budget.  That has allowed many staff to continue working.  Faculty are making a big sacrifice – no question – and some good things are coming from it.  She plans to give six Professional Development Leaves for next year.  Serious consideration is being given to reassigned time for scholarship. 

            Dr. Reynolds said all of the science faculty (CHEM, BIO, ENVR) were led to expect to have at least three hours every year to devote to research with our students, writing grants, and time off campus to conduct field work.  Can I report back to my science faculty constituents that the 12 hour requirement is a temporary reflection of the current budget crisis, and as the budget improves we could expect to have the time to use for research?   

            Dr. Fernandes said she had not seen anything in the letters about automatically awarding three hours for research.  The letters she has read state that there is a 12-hour teaching load including labs for the sciences. 

            Dr. Moorhead clarified that it may not be automatic, but the Faculty Handbook clearly states that departments are allocated reassigned time based on the number of full-time faculty.  In his department the culture has been that each faculty member will have reassigned time for scholarship. 

            Dr. Fernandes said at one time she thought reassigned time for scholarship was impossible; now we are at the point where we need to try and make it happen.  But it will not be that everyone on the faculty gets three hours automatically.  We will have a certain number of hours and there will be a process to follow.

            Dr. Krumpe read from the Faculty Handbook:  A full-time teaching assignment is 24 semester credit/contact hours per academic year or its equivalent as established by the Department Chair and the VCAA.  Full-time faculty members may request Reassigned Time which reduces this 24 hour teaching responsibility for activities which benefit UNCA’s distinctive mission.  Each academic year, the VCAA will normally allot each academic program an amount of reassigned time equivalent to three credit-hours for each full-time faculty position occupied by a faculty on a continuing contract.

            Dr. Moorhead stressed that it is important that faculty be given some guidance – perhaps some reassurance – that reassigned time is still a valued commodity to be used for scholarship.  It is important for untenured faculty to be given the opportunity to develop a scholarly program.  There needs to be a very clear commitment from the university to the faculty as we hire them, to allow them the time to get established as a scholar.  We will need a different set of rules on how we evaluate people if we do not allow time for scholarship.

            Dr. Fernandes said this is good timing to talk about this.  We will have to be more discretionary about the awarding of reassigned time.  We need to be more deliberate about how it is awarded. 

            Dr. Haas noted that as long as there is Post-Tenure Review and there is a jump from Associate to Professor, scholarship is not needed only for the young faculty members.    

            Dr. Reynolds said two items are closely tied to this.  Obviously, it is very important for our untenured faculty, but the morale of the faculty, including the senior faculty in science, is very low right now because to us our academic work, our research, is the reason we went to graduate school.  Secondly, many of us are continuing our work on a one-in-one basis with research students.  There is no way to get credit for the time that we are spending (in the office and the lab and the field) with these students.  We understood that it was an integral part of the mission of UNCA to do research with undergraduates. 

            Dr. Fernandes said she heard the Senate.  We will wrestle with all of the problems and issues and try to come up with the best response that we can.  The first step will be to talk at the Provost’s Cabinet and then she will bring it to the Senate for discussion.    


VII.     Old Business

            There was no Old Business.    


VIII.    New Business

            There was no New Business. 


 IX.      Adjourn

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


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

                                                                Executive Committee