University of North Carolina at Asheville
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Minutes, May 3, 2001 - 3:15 meeting
Excused: J. Kuhlman
Visitors: D. Davis, L. Friedenberg, A. Gravely, G. Nallan, S. Patch, D. Race, K. Ray,
R. Sensabaugh, P. Weast, K. Whatley.
Because of the need to attend a funeral, Mr. Kuhlman was unable to attend the meeting.
The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs has approved all Senate documents passed to date.
III. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of April 12, 2001 were approved following an editorial correction.
IV. Administrative Report
Vice Chancellor Cochran gave the Administrative Report.
Dr. Cochran reported on the state budget crisis and the Chief Academic Officers meeting held last week in Chapel Hill. The Administration's best estimate was that systemwide $60M will be lost rather that $120M. Budget issues remain at the subcommittee level, with the earliest report expected in 7-10 days.
Three UNCA department chairs will be invited to General Administration's workshop on chairing.
State employees will likely see a 30% increase in family health care premiums, as well as increases in co-payments and deductibles.
The administration anticipates a slight increase in the enrollment budget and a modest salary increase of 1-2% for next year.
Dr. Cochran asked the Senate to consider giving Jackie Peterson recognition from the faculty as an expression of their appreciation for her years of service. He suggested making her an honorary member of the faculty and had discussed this with Chancellor Mullen and the Senate Executive Committee. Dr. Caulfield concurred that this was an appropriate expression of what she means to the faculty. Dr. Rackham moved a Sense of the Senate Resolution "As an expression of the UNCA faculty appreciation for Jackie Peterson's long, arduous and distinguished service to the University, we recognize her by making her an honorary member of the faculty." Dr. Larson seconded the motion. The Sense of the Senate Resolution passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3601S.
V. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Caulfield gave the Executive Committee Report.
Honor Code Task Force Report
Dr. Caulfield reminded Senators that the Honor Code Task Force which was discussed at the last meeting was referred back to the Executive Committee. After discussion, the Executive Committee determined that this issue will be jointly referred to APC and IDC/UPC. APC will consider the curricular ramifications and IDC/UPC will consider it in terms of wider university planning issues. A determination will be made on how to proceed after the committees' consideration next year.
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
EC 3: Tenure Committee Task Force Recommendations.
The Tenure Committee Task Force was established by the Senate Executive Committee and charged with evaluating all existing UNCA policies and documents regarding reappointment, tenure, and promotion. The Task Force divided its activities into 1) revising the description of procedures and documents for evaluation of faculty, and 2) revising the guidelines for making reappointment, tenure, and promotion decisions in tandem with revising UNCA's Tenure Policies and Regulations. The first task requires only internal approval. The second task, which involves the UNCA Tenure Policies and Regulations, requires additional approval by both the UNCA Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors. Dr. Nickless explained that EC 3 is a revision of existing guidelines and procedures. It seeks to codify and clarify existing guidelines. Committee members Steve Patch, Lisa Friedenberg, and Pamela Nickless were present to answer questions.
Dr. Wilson expressed concern that the Chair's merit evaluations of a candidate were included on page 3, section 4. Dr. Friedenberg explained that the existing section makes no reference to this phase of the process although it is standard procedure at UNCA and necessary for a thorough departmental review. Following discussion Dr. Mitchell made a friendly amendment to remove the phrase: "After securing the candidate's permission," in the last sentence on page 3 section 4. Dr. Wilson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
On page 6, section C, an editorial change was made to the last sentence to read as follows: "The lists in no way imply that lengthy statements are expected. They are suggestive but not prescriptive."
On page 3, section 5.B, an editorial change was make to change the title and first phrase in the first sentence to read: "When the Department has fewer than three tenured faculty members."
Discussion returned to Dr. Wilson's concern that the Chair's merit evaluations of a candidate were included on page 3, section 4. Dr. Larson supported Dr. Wilson's sense of unease about including the merit evaluations at the departmental level in the file. The Committee of Tenured Faculty has the complete set of faculty records which includes not only what the candidate did but also how the Chair evaluated them. He questioned whether more widespread knowledge at the department level about how the Chair evaluated someone is desirable. This is likely to engender competition at the departmental level which he would not want to foster. He preferred that the merit evaluations not be included in the file.
Dr. Nickless viewed this as a philosophical difference and she preferred more information. She was looking for consistency and saw this as a check on the chair being misled on his or her evaluation of someone's status in the discipline and scholarly work. There may be instances where it would be beneficial for the department members to know what the Chair has said or what the Chair has done -- not necessarily that the Chair has done anything wrong.
Dr. Friedenberg clarified that the last two pages of the faculty record contain the faculty performance appraisal -- it is not called merit evaluation. One goal of the changes is to make the department evaluation have more structure and carry more weight. Currently there is so much variability at the departmental level that very often the Tenure Committee basically has the opinions of two people in spite of the fact that in theory there was a departmental meeting and a vote. The information provided is so minimal that it is very difficult for it to be part of the process. There are also other elements they were unable to address because they are predicated in the Code that has to be approved externally. For example, is it possible for people in this tenured group who subsequently disagree with the Chair's reading to provide their own statements to the Tenure Committee. Currently there is nothing that says they can provide independent feedback. The Tenure Committee often views two pieces of information - from the candidate and the chair - and if it is a very weak departmental evaluation, it puts the Tenure Committee in an awkward position. Dr. Cochran noted that this has happened in several cases in other universities. Faculty have to understand that an individual who submits a minority report or a differing point of view can become part of the litigation should it go to Hearings or Civil Court. They are making themselves open to possible law suits because it will come out in court and it can come out relative to other unrelated cases as examples. Dr. Cochran will forward documents from GA on this issue to the committee.
Discussion turned to the seconded bulleted item on page 9, section 1) concerning the addition of a new section designed to specify required elements of the Chair's evaluation when the candidate is a Lecturer or holds any other special faculty appointment. The Chair should make clear why such an appointment is appropriate and what the specific departmental expectations are in view of this appointment. Dr. Mitchell moved to delete this section since there was a lot of ambiguity about it and she preferred to let the committee work it out in more detail as part of their bigger effort. Dr. Wilson seconded the motion but only wanted to delete the phrase "...and what the specific departmental expectations are in view of this appointment." Dr. Mitchell accepted this as a friendly amendment. The motion failed.
Dr. Larson noted that some senators have a problem with chairs who have undue authority to define the position of a specific lecturer and he preferred to have a more formal process. He asked if anywhere in the document the chair must consult and gain approval of the VCAA? Dr. Friedenberg replied no, that they assumed that when the Chair and VCAA set up a contract for a lecturer that this is handled by the VCAA office. Dr. Cochran noted that it would require a consultation between the chair in question and the Vice Chancellor's office. Dr. Larson commented that current lecturers have not necessarily had a formal conversation fully defining what the expectations are. Dr. Cochran stated that by including this item there will begin to be specific planning for what the lecturer is expected to do and then that person will be judged based on their ability to achieve those goals.
Dr. Larson moved to replace the first sentence under the second bullet on page 9 as follows: "If the candidate is a Lecturer or holds any other special faculty appointment, the Chair should make clear why such an appointment is appropriate and the specific expectations of this individual as previously established in consultation with the VCAA." Dr. Wilson seconded the motion, which passed. EC 3 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 3701S.
EC 4: UNCA Athletic Department Mission Statement.
EC 4 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3801S.
VI. Student Government Association Report
There was no Student Government Association report.
VII. Academic Policies Committee Report
Dr. Cathy Mitchell gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.
General Education Reports
Dr. Mitchell distributed APC General Education reports on the Foreign Language requirement and the Health and Fitness requirement. These reports were for information purposes only and will be placed on the Faculty Senate website. APC has been reviewing general education for the last two years and as they talked to faculty teaching different sections of general education, issues of concern came up repeatedly. APC's summary report on Ongoing Concerns about General Education addresses these issues. The General Education Review Task Force will receive copies of the reports.
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
Unanimously approved by APC
APC 25: Allowing +/- Final Grades.
Dr. Mitchell distributed a comparative chart on grade frequencies at UNCA from Spring 1995 through Fall 2000. Ms. Sensabaugh explained the chart and noted that Institutional Research will compute this information each semester to collect comparative data on the grades that are awarded.
Dr. Mitchell added that some faculty believe allowing +/- grades will decrease grade inflation while others believe it will create more grade inflation. No D- or A+ grades will be given under this system and the changes would start a year from next fall to give students notice.
The change would allow faculty more latitude in dealing with borderline students who fall within the gap between two solid grades. The change would give faculty the freedom to adopt +/- grades in their classes if they wish to. However, those who wish to remain with the current system would be able to do so. Senators agreed that faculty who chose not to give +/- grades should state this at the beginning of the semester and include this information in their syllabi. Institutional Research is tracking this information and we will know whether or not it impacts grades. Dr. Gravely added that this information has been published in the Fact Book since 1981. It is compiled per academic year rather than per semester. For the last 3-4 years, A's have surpassed B's. Dr. Wilson called the question. APC 25 passed with a 10 to 3 vote and became Senate Document 3901S.
Mr. Dunning remarked that the University needs to develop general grading standards and suggested forming a task force to discuss grade inflation on campus. Dr. Caulfield noted that next year's Senate may want to look into these issues.
Approved by APC (4 to 2 vote)
APC 26: Criteria for Awarding Latin Honors.
Dr. Mitchell explained that APC 26 requires that University-wide Latin honors be granted on the basis of cumulative grade-point average for those courses completed at UNCA. Students must earn at least 75 semester hours at UNCA to be eligible for Latin honors. Students must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of 3.600 to graduate cum laude, 3.750 to graduate magna cum laude, and 3.900 to graduate summa cum laude. Under the current model, nine percent of the graduating class receives Latin Honors. Under the new model, 17 percent of the graduating class would receive Latin Honors.
Dr. Davis from the Honors Committee noted that the change from a relative to an absolute scale in the awarding of academic honors would bring UNCA into line with other institutions in the UNC system, and create consistency from year to year. While a sliding scale had been adopted as a way to counteract grade inflation, he did not feel that the awarding of Latin Honors is the appropriate area to accomplish this goal. If grade inflation is considered to be a problem, the issue should be addressed by a discussion of grading criteria campus-wide, and not by selectively applying more stringent standards to the top students at UNCA. APC 26 passed with a 9 to 3 vote and became Senate Document 4001S.
VIII. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report
Dr. Bruce Larson gave the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report.
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
IDC 3: Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program in Public Health Promotion.
Dr. Larson noted that IDC 3 is a request for authorization to establish a new degree program. Last year the IDC/UPC and Faculty Senate passed the request to plan the new degree program. Dr. Keith Ray was available to answer questions. IDC 3 passed with a 12 to 1 vote and became Senate Document 4101S.
IDC 4: Proposal to Modify the Composition of the University Planning Council.
Dr. Larson commented that UPC has functioned as an advisory committee to the Chancellor and Faculty Senate for nearly twenty years and during that time both its structure and its duties have been modified somewhat. With the addition of a fifth Vice Chancellor area, it seems appropriate to add representation from that area. Additionally, it seems appropriate to recognize the overall importance of the planning process to UNCA by designating Vice Chancellors as members of the council. IDC 4 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 4201S.
IDC 5: Proposal to Modify the Composition of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC).
This is a significant revision of the composition of the IEC following its first year of operation. Ms. McClellan stated that the committee feels that with the developmental phase of institutional effectiveness near completion, a smaller committee composed of members directly involved with the effectiveness process in their vice chancellor area would function more efficiently and effectively. IEC never intended to function as a replacement for the communication that must take place within each vice chancellor area in order to create a process useful for planning and assessment activities. The new committee will continue to function in an advisory and coordinating capacity. Dr. Larson added that the responsibility for the quality of information included in annual reports and the appropriateness of goals, measures, and resulting planning actions lies within the reporting lines of the university. IEC encourages each vice chancellor to develop a smaller committee within his/her division to review and discuss goals, assessment, and planning with the division. IDC 5 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 4301S.
Dr. Larson announced that Pat McClellan is going off the Faculty Senate and consequently off IDC/UPC, and thanked her for her work. He thanked Heon Lee and Jim Kuhlman for their efforts on IDC/UPC this year as well.
IX. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report
Report on Advising Plan
Dr. Phil Weast and Mrs. Debbie Race from Enrollment Services distributed the new 2001-2002 Advising Plan. Dr. Weast noted that the Retention Task Force recommended improving the advising system, and survey data from students indicated this need as well. In the fall a focus group of faculty was established to address these concerns. Initially the question was posed to the group: "How can we improve our advising system to help sustain the high quality relationship between a student and his/her faculty advisor?" The Advising Plan for 2001-2002 is a product of the focus group.
The development of a proposal outlining specific recommendations and changes was established and is now included in the advising section of the SACS Enhancement report. An important outcome is the establishment of a reward and recognition system for advisors. The new plan will: 1) recognize advisors through faculty record and evaluation; 2) recognize advising as service to the university by the University Service Council and the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee and give advisors relief from committee service; and 3) invite faculty to participate in the National Academic Advising Association conferences.
Twenty-five faculty will be asked to serve as the first cadre of advisors for the fall. They will be trained to advise 15-20 students each and will remain with the students until they declare a major. Hopefully we will be in a cycle where the same advisors will not receive additional assignments for two years and a new cycle of 25 advisors will be trained and continue the process. This will even out the advising load and faculty will be able to focus on the faculty-student relationship.
Dr. Wilson announced that Dr. Weast is looking for affirmation from the Senate that faculty members involved in this new program will receive the due recognition in their faculty record and that the University Service Council will consider this a significant service activity. The Senate accepted the report and referred it to FWDC to continue to monitor this change in the advising plan and to report to the Senate in the fall after they have had an opportunity to see how it is developing.
The following document was considered for Second Reading:
FWDC 6: Proposal to Merge the Council on Teacher Education (CTE) and the University School Teacher Education Partnership (USTEP) Steering Committee into USTEC: University School Teacher Education Council.
FWDC 6 passed unanimously and became SD4401S.
X. Old Business
Dr. Wilson thanked his colleagues who have served on Faculty Welfare and Development with him this year. They have been wonderful and have guided faculty welfare in positive directions. He particularly thanked Deb Van Engelen, who is going off the Senate. She did an incredible job with the faculty elections. He also thanked David Peifer for his work on the elections.
Dr. Mitchell thanked members of APC who worked hard this year and met nearly every week for three hours, particularly Keith Krumpe and Robert Dunning -- who were the backbone of the committee and will be leaving the Senate.
Dr. Caulfield thanked Bruce Larson, Cathy Mitchell, and Gordon Wilson for helping him on the Executive Committee this year. He thanked Robert Dunning, Keith Krumpe, Pat McClellan, and Deb Van Engelen, all of whom are rotating off the Senate. He thanked them for three years of very hard work and for their service to UNCA.
XI. New Business
Dr. Mitchell moved a Sense of the Senate Resolution "commending Dr. Peter Caulfield for his marvelous service as Chair of the Faculty Senate; he has done a fabulous job of being really caring, careful, and fair." The Sense of the Senate Resolution passed unanimously and became Senate Document 4501S
Dr. Nickless reported that the Committee of Tenured Faculty has received a request that a long-time Lecturer at the University be given emeritus status. This individual has served the university for over thirty years and has done distinguished service for the university. Our policy on giving a person emeritus status is unclear. One criterion is to be a tenured full professor, there be distinguished service to the university, and that they have been here ten years. However, it says the first criteria can be waived under special circumstances and this has been done in the case of associate professors. The emeritus described in the policy have rank of professor, associate, or assistant. Given this, can we have an emeritus lecturer? Is the person required to be tenured? The document is unclear. Dr. Nickless asked senators with strong opinions to email her. Dr. Cochran cautioned that we have had lecturers who have distinguished themselves at the university over the years and have departed and they were not given emeritus status. We would need to give serious consideration on how to address some of these folks -- perhaps they could be grandfathered in retroactively. There has been a precedent for grandfathering folks in as there was no policy on this prior to 1985.
Dr. Caulfield adjourned the meeting at 5:12 pm. There will be a five minute break and the organization meeting of the 2001-2002 will commence.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely and Gordon Wilson