University of North Carolina at Asheville
Minutes, December 6, 2001

Members: K. Bramlett, M. Burchard, F. Davenport, C. Ho, C. James, J. Kuhlman, B. Larson, H. Lee, C. Mitchell, D. Mullen, P. Nickless, S. Patch, J. Rackham, A. Weldon,
G. Wilson; M. Stuart; T. Cochran.

Visitors: S. Browning, G. Helms, J.M. McGlinn, B. Sabo, B. Sensabaugh, J. Shaddix,
A. Shope, K. Whatley.


I. Call to Order
Dr. Mitchell called the meeting to order at 3:16 pm and welcomed senators and guests to the meeting.

II. Announcements
There were no announcements.

III. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of November 8, 2001 were approved following editorial corrections.

IV. Administrative Report
Vice Chancellor Cochran gave the Administrative Report.
Dr. Oscar Page, Chair of the SACS Reaccreditation Team, made the initial site visit last week in preparation for the March 24-27, 2002 review. Although it appears that we are in pretty good shape, Dr. Page made some specific recommendations for improving the draft. Dr. Browning noted that many members of the SACS Reaccreditation Team have an appreciation for the liberal arts. SACS will hold interviews with groups and individuals on March 25 and 26, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.. The exit interview will be held on March 27, at 9:30 a.m. in the Owen Conference Room. Dr. Cochran expressed thanks to those on the SACS Executive Committee who have contributed to this process, especially to editor Michael Gillum.

UNCA is required to withhold $600,000 from its operating budget for the balance of the academic year. To accomplish this, $325,000 will be withheld from the 101 Academic budget and $150,000 will be withheld from the Library budget. No funds were taken from the 101 budget or the library during the earlier permanent budget reduction of $500,000. Consequently, when the additional four percent reduction was made, these budgets became the primary source of funds. In terms of the distribution of funds, there will be a $125,000 reduction in the instructional program. UNCA will be allocated a total of $850,000 compared to $975,000 last year. The remaining cuts will be felt throughout the institution. Dr. Browning is working on the department allocations.

Faculty Work Load Report
Dr. Cochran informed the Chairs Committee that the Faculty Senate created a Task Force at the last meeting. No formal action on a 9-9 work load will be initiated until the Task Force completes its work. 

Academic Calendar
The Board of Governors at their last meeting endorsed putting more flexibility in the academic calendar. While still insisting that every course have a minimum of 750 minutes per credit hour, it allows the final exam week to count as part of the academic year. However, this does not apply to UNCA because the policy expressly states that optional final examination weeks can not be counted as part of the total number of hours.

Dr. Wilson asked if it was possible to make final exams mandatory to benefit from this policy as all faculty are giving final exams. Dr. Cochran noted that all faculty are not giving final exams -- or any examinations necessarily -- during the final class period. UNCA treats the final class period as another class meeting. Dr. Cochran stated that the policy should be reviewed and determined if it should be modified. This requires an examination week and everyone must give a final examination during that week.

As background information, Dr. Cochran explained that UNCA's policy was made when there was a fairly significant view by some faculty that there should not be a final exam period. There was another group of faculty who thought there should be a final exam period. Thus, UNCA created the option to give a final examination during the final week, but did not require it as an examination for all classes. Dr. Cochran noted that the paperwork he received was a draft of the policy -- not an official policy -- and the wording could change.

Dr. Mullen returned to the budget report, and asked Dr. Cochran for a list of activities that would be cut given the budget constraints. Dr. Cochran replied that laboratories in Zageir Hall and Karpen Hall will not be upgraded as previously scheduled; very few faculty computers will be refreshed; and nearly no books will be purchased in the library this year. Travel will continue, but per diem rates must be followed -- including hotel rates -- to manage costs. He has asked Chairs and administrators to create a list of activities that will not occur this year due to budget constraints. He has tried to ensure that student activities continue.

Dr. Mullen commented that years ago the administration reported on the institution's attempts to diversify the student body and he would appreciate a return to this practice. Dr. Cochran stated that overall applications are down but acceptances have increased compared to last year at this time. The enrollment target is being monitored and Dr. Weast indicated to him several days ago that it looks like we will meet our target enrollment of 480 students. He did not ask Dr. Weast specifically about minority students, but he will report on this at the next meeting and suggested substituting this report for the 9-9 Work Load report while the Task Force is studying that issue.

Dr. Wilson moved "That the academic calendar be sent to APC for study and recommendations." The motion was seconded by Dr. Nickless and passed unanimously.

Plus-Minus Grading Change
Dr. Mitchell asked Ms. Sensabaugh when the new plus/minus grading policy would go into effect and when students would be notified of the policy change. Ms. Sensabaugh reported that she drafted a letter to students notifying them of the new policy which is effective Fall 2002. The letter is being reviewed by APC and will be mailed to students following APC's input.

V. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Cathy Mitchell gave the Executive Committee Report.
Task Force on Faculty Work Load
Dr. Mitchell distributed an Executive Committee Resolution on the Task Force on Faculty Work Load that included a draft change and nominees for membership. Dr. Davenport distributed copies of a resolution passed by a senior faculty group supporting the concept and implementation of an 18 contact hour load.

Discussion returned to the Executive Committee Resolution. Dr. James questioned whether the membership should include more faculty used to dealing with laboratories. Also, over the years, the issue of how to count credit hours versus contact hours has been problematic. Dr. Larson commented that it is important to have at least one person on the task force who is familiar with the challenges associated with existing lab courses. The task force will be seeking the opinions of others and it will look at a wide variety of approaches that would address all of the concerns of the university. Dr. Mitchell added that the charge is asking for various scenarios -- it is not asking for a proposal. She read a list of scenarios that have been proposed to give senators an idea of how wide-ranging they are:

1. Curriculum reform. Requiring fewer courses (especially low-enrollment courses) in the major.

2. Giving all new hires a permanent 9-hour load as they come in. By osmosis everyone would eventually be at 9 hours.

3. Convincing the Office of the President to increase its funding of UNCA so that we can truly offer a superior liberal arts education.

4. Administration reform. Cutting administrative positions and nonproductive programs to recoup the $500,000 in faculty salary money now used to pay administrators.

5. Giving all full professors a 9 hour load. Or alternatively, give all assistants a 9 hour load.

6. Go to a two-tiered faculty with tenure track at 9 hours and lecturers at 12 or 15 hours. This is what UNC-Wilmington did.

7. Convert the curriculum to only four-hour classes. That would move the load to 12/8. There is an alternate version -- require a 1-hour service component tacked on to each course, so the faculty member is teaching the usual 3 hour course but also supervising the student as he/she gains real world experience.

8. Establish a January mini-semester. Everyone would teach 9/1/9.

Discussion returned to the charge to the task force. Dr. Patch expressed concern over the idea of measuring load by courses and suggested that hours was the more appropriate measure of load. In a friendly amendment, the wording of the charge was modified to include "...approximately nine hours...".

Dr. James asked if there was a difference between credit hours and contact hours. Dr. Mitchell replied that the task force will determine if there is a difference between credit hours and contact hours. Dr. James stated that contact hours seem to fit in more with the 750 minutes required per hour. The issue of whether labs should be counted as contact hours or credit hours has to be periodically re-examined, and he proposed changing the wording in the charge to include the word "contact". Dr. Larson was uncomfortable with this change and noted that the task force, by making appropriate assumptions in the development of scenarios, could address the issue of contact hours and credit hours. Dr. James withdrew his suggestion, but stressed that the words "contact" and "credit" are problematic and need to be addressed.

Dr. Burchard suggested increasing the number of faculty in the humanities division to include a representative from the Arts, because calculating these courses and contact hours is complicated. Also, there are four people from the natural sciences and social sciences and only two from the humanities. Dr. Nickless noted that the three divisions are equally weighted -- with two representatives from each division.

Dr. Wilson stated that while he could not speak for the Executive Committee, he thought it was looking for folks whom faculty admire for their objectivity; hopefully this is not going to get into turf battles or battles between divisions. The task force needs to come up with scenarios that will be good for the entire university. Hopefully it will reach a consensus rather than returning with a split vote because one group thought another was going to get more of the pie. Maybe it is too idealistic, but that is the hope. Dr. Burchard questioned whether that would be right -- discussions will be about how the pie is going to be distributed. Another concern was that the two humanities representatives were junior faculty. She asked if that was a concern to the Executive Committee. Dr. Mitchell replied that she spoke with the two junior faculty members and they were both anxious to serve on the task force. Dr. Larson commented that it was a good question to raise. However, the four senior faculty members -- Dr. Dohse, Dr. Kormanik, Dr. Friedenberg, and Dr. Joe Sulock -- have all served on the Tenure Committee and they are aware of the somewhat precarious position in which junior faculty sometimes find themselves. He would be surprised if any of them were anything other than very solicitous and concerned about their input and their position. In response to Dr. Burchard's and Dr. Wilson's comments, Dr. Mullen suggested thinking about other scenarios -- such as music and art -- and asking the task force to interview these groups. Dr. Nickless stressed that the six people on the task force will consider these issues and the Senate did not need to micro-manage it. EC 1 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 0801F.

The Task Force charge:

1. Develop a small number of possible scenarios which would enable UNCA to move systematically to a teaching load of approximately nine hours per semester.

2. Examine the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of each scenario.

3. Develop a final report and present it to the Faculty Senate at its meeting on Thursday, April 11th.

The Task Force consists of the following individuals:

Natural Science: 
Lothar Dose, Chair Mathematics
Gregg Kormanik Biology

Social Sciences
Lisa Friedenberg Psychology
Joe Sulock Economics

Sheryl Sawin Literature
Duane Davis Philosophy

Archer Gravely - ex officio

VI. Student Government Association Report
Ms. Julie Shaddix gave the Student Government Association report.
Ms. Shaddix reported on SGA's new location under the cafeteria and invited senators to stop by for a visit. SGA has been working on the Honor Code and has been conducting a general review of various conduct policies on campus. It has also worked on housing, parking, the grading system, and campus telephones. Greenfest's campus beautification event was held this fall. One blood drive was held this semester and two drives are planned for next spring.

VII. Academic Policies Committee Report
Dr. Jeff Rackham gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.
First Reading:
The following documents were distributed for First Reading:
APC 9: Change in course credit hours & description of MGMT 499.

APC 10: Change in course credit hours & description of ACCT 499.

APC 11: Change in name for AACSB.

APC 12: New course additions for Environmental Studies in Ornithology.

APC 13: New course additions for Biology in Ornithology.

APC 14: Curriculum changes in Philosophy.

APC 15: Additions, deletions & changes in Engineering course offerings & descriptions.

APC 21: Curriculum additions, changes and deletions in Mass Communication.

APC 22: Absence from Class Policy.

Second Reading:
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
Approved by APC Unanimously
APC 4: Changes to Drama Requirements for 6-9 Language Arts Licensure and 9-12 English Licensure.
APC 4 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 0901F.

APC 5: IST: Revision of the Application Process for an Individual Degree.
APC 5 begins to develop the individual degree concentration under Interdisciplinary Studies which allows students to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree. It rewrites the catalog descriptions of the concept itself, the instructions for obtaining and completing the application form, as well as meeting the application requirements. It requires students to apply for the individual degree concentration prior to the completion of 60 semester hours and a persuasive rationale must accompany the application. The application must be signed by at least one faculty member willing to serve as the student's academic advisor. This person will also be the student's mentor for the paper or project which fulfills the capstone experience.

Dr. Mullen did not have a problem with the APC 5, but expressed concern about how IST as an entity worked. Other programs have advisory boards made up of faculty participating in the program and there is coordinating consent. Dr. Sabo explained that IST's two main goals were: 1) to be a clearinghouse for individual degrees, and 2) to be a forum for putting together creative new programs without having to go through the state bureaucracy. He considers the director's responsibilities to be two-fold: 1) to do the bureaucratic work and take care of the individual degrees, and 2) to be the catalyst that brings different subgroups of faculty members together, helps them identify their common interests, and prepares the paperwork for catalog inclusion. He would like to see more formal concentrations on the order of ethics and social institutions in the catalog. However such programs can only be designed when individual faculty members who share a common interest have an opportunity to gather. And that is where the culture of a program that Dr. Mullen is talking about will emerge. When there is something structured in the catalog that reflects student interests, then fewer individual degrees will need to be awarded.

Dr. Wilson shared Dr. Mullen's concern and stated that a lack of clarity exists in the relationship between the IST director and program directors of the minors. Dr. Sabo replied that there is no formal relationship between the IST director and the minor programs.

Dr. Nickless added that the IST program gives faculty the freedom to participate in interdisciplinary studies without forcing students to have double majors. In the past, students wanting the women's studies minor had to double major because departments would not give an individual degree unless a student had 18 or 25 hours in that academic discipline. However, she was concerned about the lack of an advisory board and asked with whom Dr. Sabo would meet to do assessment? Dr. Sabo agreed that this was a serious problem which should be taken up during the next couple of years as the direction in the value of the IST program becomes clearer. He emphasized that the IST program is designed to be experimental and to give the university greater flexibility in responding to student and faculty interest. In the long run, he hopes that a more formal program cutting across the disciplines will be developed. Dr. Mullen was glad to hear that there is an emerging plan. However, at some point, the relationship between IST and the programs listed under IST in the catalog needs to be clarified. APC 5 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1001F.

Approved by APC (4-0-1 Vote)
APC 7: IST: Addition of 490, and 495 to course listings.
APC 7 sets up two courses for the individual degree program -- a senior research course, which other departments have, and a senior colloquium to give students an opportunity to share their work and fulfill their oral competency requirement.

Dr. Wilson questioned whether or not the IST director, who will teach the course, would have the necessary expertise to judge the students' work. He asked if there could also be an IST 499, where an expert in that particular area could direct the students' work as a second reader, and both the student and the faculty member who is doing this would get credit for their work. Dr. Sabo apologized for not being more clear on the differences in the two classes. UNCA has three competencies students must meet -- demonstration of competency, oral competency, and computer literacy. IST 495 is solely designed to fulfill the oral competency. It is a one-hour course that is primarily a communication course where the evaluation is not on the substance of the work so much as on the ability to clearly explain it to individuals who are not experts. IST 490 is the senior research class and it is rarely going to be used. Most students will do their competency in a preexisting departmental course. IST 490 will only be used when a departmental course is inappropriate or unavailable. Dr. Sabo expects the student will work with a faculty member most interested in their project. The course is a way for a faculty member to get course credit for mentoring the student. The IST director is unlikely except in extraordinary circumstances to teach 490.

After further discussion regarding the appropriateness of the course for sophomores and juniors, the purpose of the class, and the time during their career in which students will take the course, Dr. Nickless made a friendly amendment to change the 495 course title to "Interdisciplinary Colloquium" and to change the prerequisite to "permission of instructor". The amendment was accepted. APC 7 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 1101F.

VIII. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report
Dr. Bruce Larson gave the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report.
Update on recent Activities
Dr. Larson reported that he met with the Chancellor, Tom Cochran, Wayne McDevitt, and Archer Gravely to discuss the strategic planning event to be held in the spring semester. It is the hope of the committee that Chancellor Mullen will find a facilitator from off campus to oversee the event.

On Tuesday, the UPC discussed strategic planning activities and the reaction to the SACS visit which Dr. Cochran addressed in the administrative report. The reactions to the institutional effectiveness were quite rewarding and encouraging -- much due to the work of Jim Kuhlman and Pat McClellan the last two years.

UPC discussed the indicators and data that have been assembled to address the institutional goals. This work will continue indefinitely because looking at UNCA's goals and indicators -- particularly the indicators -- will be a routine part of the life of the university community with regards to its planning.

Institutional Effectiveness Committee Report
As a follow up to the SACS report, Mr. Kuhlman reported on two documents Dr. Page requested. One document will be a chronology of planning and assessment at UNCA. The second document will list specific examples of where problems or strengths were identified through the assessment process, and what has been done to either correct a problem or develop a strength. As an aside, Mr. Kuhlman noted that Pat McClellan suggested that IEC prepare these documents but was told not to.

In the effort to fully integrate the development and analysis of institutional goals into UNCA's planning and assessment process, IEC is considering a two-pronged process. IEC would each year analyze assessment results for indicators related to each of the institution's overall goals and prepare a report highlighting strengths, areas of progress, weaknesses, and indicators/goals needing attention. This analysis will consider change in the indicators over time and take advantage of IEC's more familiarity with divisional and departmental effectiveness reports. IEC will submit this annual report to UPC for consideration, discussion, and referral to the appropriate entities.

IEC will not, however, address the appropriateness of specific indicators or the criteria for success. In order to ensure that this remains independent from initial analyses of success, UPC will annually review performance indicators for the purpose of adding more meaningful indicators, dropping indicators, revising indicators, and revising criteria for success.

IX. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report
Dr. Gordon Wilson gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report.
FWDC is preparing for the campus-wide faculty elections to be held in the spring semester. The committee that is taking a look at our election procedures is making progress and should be coming forth with recommendations soon.

First Reading:
The following document was distributed for First Reading:
FWDC 1: Statement on the Creation and Maintenance of University-wide Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces.

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
The Faculty Senate has been asked by those preparing our documents for SACS review to incorporate a "must" statement into our "Faculty Rights and Responsibilities" description. FWDC will bring a document to the next Senate meeting with a request for a waiver of the Comer Rule. A draft will be emailed to senators prior to the meeting.

X. Old Business
There was no Old Business.

XI. New Business
There was no New Business.

XII. Adjournment
Dr. Mitchell adjourned the meeting at 4:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely
                                             Gordon Wilson