University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, May 7, 2009




Members:   C. Bell, R. Berls, L. Dohse, G. Ettari, B. Haas, G. Heard, J. Konz, B. Larson, A. Lanou,

                  K. Moorhead, L. Nelms, E. Pearson, D. Pierce, M. Sidelnick; J. Fernandes.


Excused:    K. Reynolds, L. Russell.


Absent:       G. Boudreaux, V. Frank.


Visitors:      R. Pente, B. Wilson.




I.       Call to Order 

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


II.      Institutional Development Committee

         Dr. Jeff Konz reported for the Institutional Development Committee.

         Second Reading

         The following document was considered for Second Reading:


         IDC 1 Revised:  UNC Asheville Mission Statement


Several friendly amendments were made to the document:   

·         Under Mission: replace “institution” with “university” in the first line and in the first sentence of the third       paragraph.

·         Under Vision:  replace “… experience the liberal arts at their best” with “… experience liberal arts education at its best.”

·         Second paragraph: replace “… with recognition of…” with “… while recognizing the…”


Several Senators commented on the sentence:  “We offer this challenging educational experience, once available only to a few, to all promising students who are committed to liberal learning and personal growth.”   Two phrases in particular were discussed at length:  “…once available only to a few…” and “…to all promising students…” 

·      Dr. Ettari and Dr. Sidelnick offered editorial changes to replace “…once available only to a few…”

o        Dr. Haas and Ms. Nelms said the intention was to address affordability and accessibility.

·      Dr. Bell asked it if was redundant to say “once available only to a few” and then “to all promising students” if the reason is to indicate it is available to all or it is affordable.  He preferred “educational experience to all promising students.” 

o        Dr. Konz acknowledged that they struggled with how to connote accessibility.  We are providing a liberal education to anyone who is qualified, promising. 

·      Dr. Sidelnick said he also had a problem with the phrase “…to all promising students…” because that means we are making a qualitative judgment on which students we are going to make it available – basing what criteria for the word ‘promising’?

o        Ms. Nelms and Dr. Haas replied that it helps distinguish us as the public liberal arts.  It is not an open admission.  Dr. Konz said the word “public” was used at one time but it was seen as redundant.  In the UNC system we are designed as its liberal arts institution.

·         Dr. Ettari noted that technically we do not offer it to all promising students.   

o        Ms. Nelms said we want to distinguish ourselves as a public institution that is available at a price that a wider range of promising students can access.  They struggled with the word “privileged” and it was removed.  To remove the phrase would change the meaning.   

o        Dr. Konz said this is not regarded as a friendly amendment.  Dr. Dohse asked Dr. Ettari if he wanted to offer a motion. 

·         Dr. Ettari said he agreed with the intent.  His concern is that it sounds awkward.  Dr. Fernandes suggested changing the sentence to make it clearer. 

o        Dr. Konz suggested: “Liberal arts education was once available only to a few.  We offer this challenging educational experience to all promising students who are committed to liberal learning and personal growth.”   

·         Dr. Moorhead agreed with Dr. Sidelnick; he saw no purpose of that statement in our mission.  How promising our students are is debatable.  He would simply state we are going to offer this to students who are committed to liberal learning. 

o        Ms. Nelms noted that we are distinguishing ourselves as public as opposed to a private liberal arts school.  We are saying: that as a public school we are making an education available that has traditionally only been available through private experience. 

o        Dr. Haas added that this document had been passed to the entire faculty for comment.  He supports the document because he was involved in discussions on accessibility and promising students.  The Senate can entertain a motion to make these changes.  “Promising” is important – we are looking for students who have talent and are committed to do what we want to do. 

·         Dr. Sidelnick asked why “public” was not in the statement. 

o        Dr. Konz said the mission statement embeds the idea of being a public institution when we claim who we are and what we do and why we do it.  The word is not used until the third paragraph.  Part of the debate we are having now is really about our status as a public university. 

o        Dr. Sidelnick suggested: “…as a public institution” or “As a public university we offer this challenging educational experience to all promising students who are committed to liberal learning and personal growth.”  That is pretty simple language.  The phrase “once available only to a few” sounds exclusionary. 

o        Dr. Berls noted that Mars Hill, Warren Wilson and Montreat are all private.  This distinguishes UNCA as public in the western North Carolina region.

·         Dr. Bell asked why they were discussing this if no one is willing to make a motion.   

·         A friendly amendment was made to remove “strive to”: “We develop a commitment to continuing service characterized by …”     

·         Dr. Larson asked for clarification:  whose commitment is being developed.  It is asserting that we are committed as a university.  The other case is that we are developing a commitment in our students. 

o        Dr. Konz said they considered that and at one point had the phrase “…and all members of our university community” because we also develop this commitment in staff and faculty through service learning.  In the interest of brevity the objective of the development of the commitment was removed but it could be reinserted.  Dr. Dohse preferred leaving the phrase open.  

·         Dr. Dohse outlined all of the friendly amendments. 

·         Ms. Nelms said that concern has been expressed in several emails for entities like the Center for Creative Retirement who wished to be more a part of the statement and we do not directly address them here.  However, if you read this carefully it is very inclusive.  It addresses the campus was a whole, while putting undergraduate education at the very core. 

·         Dr. Dohse preferred the broad strokes which allow groups to be included without specifically mentioning names.  Dr. Larson agreed; there is a link to “Centers and initiatives” on UNCA’s homepage.   

·         The question was called (Haas/Pearson).  


IDC 1 passed as amended without dissent and became Senate Document 0309F.  Applause followed.


III.     Adjourn

         Dr. Dohse adjourned the meeting at 3:53pm.


Respectfully submitted by:        Sandra Gravely

                                                Executive Committee