University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, August 15, 2002

Members: R. Booker, K. Bramlett, M. Burchard, C. Ho, J. Konz, J. Kuhlman, H. Lee, ML Manns, S. Patch, J. Rackham, B. Reynolds, I. Rossell, A. Weldon; M. Alm, B. Miller, J. Wood; M. Padilla.

Excused: C. James, D. James.

Visitors: A. Gravely, M. Honeycutt, C. McKenzie, G. Nallan, R. Sensabaugh, A. Shope, B. Spellman, K. Whatley.

I. Call to Order

Dr. Rackham called the meeting to order at 3:15 pm and welcomed senators and guests.

This year the Faculty Senate Executive Committee plans to put an emphasis on policy issues and issues affecting diversity. The Chairs of the Senate committees will present their goals at the next meeting.

II. Announcements

NCAA Certification

Dr. Gary Nallan reported on UNCA's year and a half of preparation for our second cycle of National Collegiate Athletic Association certification. A Self-Study report is available on the web:

[ ] and a copy will be placed on reserve in the library. The report was prepared by a Steering Committee chaired by Keith Krumpe; other members include the Chancellor, the Athletic Director, the senior woman administrator, Dr. Nallan, and faculty, staff and students.

The NCAA mandates that we look at four areas: 1) the governance structure of athletics including rules compliance, 2) academic integrity, 3) fiscal integrity, and 4) gender equity, minority opportunities, sportsmanship, and student-athlete welfare. Dr. Nallan believes the university is in good shape in all these areas. He invites the Senate to read the report, and he and Dr. Krumpe will answer questions at the September meeting.

General Education Review Task Force Report

Dr. Ed Katz will report on the General Education Review progress at the September meeting.

III. Administrative Report

Vice Chancellor Mark Padilla reported on his efforts to improve the administrative structure of Academic Affairs. Dr. Padilla encouraged the Faculty Senate to partner with him in developing an administrative structure that would be more responsive to the needs of the entire university -- particularly the academic programs.

As a candidate for the VCAA position he noticed the unique structure of academic affairs -- a hub radiating many spokes that has functioned effectively in years past. However, it is not uncommon for universities that have experienced faculty growth to have let their academic administrative structure lag behind. UNCA continues to evolve and the need to reorganize Academic Affairs has been expressed to him by department chairs, program directors, individual faculty members, and the administration. Chancellor Mullen asked him to begin thinking about developing a new structure. He agreed to do so, working with the faculty -- preferably the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Padilla distributed a portion of the SACS visiting teams' report dealing with Administrative Organization which states in part:

Both the 1992 and 2002 self-studies ... call attention to the "unwieldy structure" of the office of the VCAA. Given the absence of college/school deans, more than 40 individuals report directly to the VCAA. Although there are two associate vice chancellors, their administrative responsibilities and authority do not appear to be clearly and/or permanently defined in terms of reporting relationships throughout the structure.

Since UNCA is in the process of selecting a new VCAA, the situation is opportune for the University to evaluate again the scope and load of responsibilities of the VCAA position.

The duties of administrative officers directly responsible to the chief executive must be clearly defined and communicated, so it is essential that any ambiguous assignments or reporting relationships be addressed. Accordingly, the Committee makes the following recommendation. (Recommendation 10.) The Committee recommends that the University demonstrate that the administrative organization in the academic area reflects the purpose and philosophy of the institution and enables the unit to perform its particular responsibilities as defined by the stated purpose of the institution.

Currently 58 departments/offices report to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Padilla compared the mean number of department/offices reporting to academic affairs with UNC schools, COPLAC schools, and the Office of the President peer group. The UNC system mean is 14 for the Chief Academic Officer; the mean of COPLAC schools is 13; the mean of the Office of the President peer group is 21. UNCA has 43 academic program direct reports to the VCAA. Although there is variation between these peer groups, these figures confirm that UNCA has work to do in this area.

Dr. Padilla added that working directly with day to day issues does not define what he is expected to do over a long term period. The Chancellor and the mandate of the Search Committee and the faculty is that he also work on long term issues, such as foundation grants. There are a number of initiatives, such as general education, that need his support and his help. He proposed that UNCA adopt a new academic structure and he looks forward to the Faculty Senate's help in doing so. He summarized a proposed organizational structure and invited comments and suggestions. He recommended that we continue this work throughout the semester until we find a structure that is effective, tolerable, and affordable.

His goal is to continue to enhance the significance of the academic mission -- which includes faculty development and instruction. Programs need dedicated experts to help shape the curricula that faculty want to see developed and enhanced. He proposed an "area program model," each administered by an Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (AVC) for programs in the Humanities, the Natural Sciences, and the Social Sciences. He preferred the title of AVC rather than Dean because these individuals do not oversee individual divisions; rather they are extensions of the VCAA office and will work collaboratively under the VCAA for administrative purposes. To help ensure that the AVCs are devoted to the entire faculty and the entire curriculum, each would be charged with an important university-wide interdisciplinary program -- such as service learning and undergraduate research. The AVC job descriptions will ensure that the university-wide programs will be assessed at the end of a three year period to determine if structural problems need to be fixed. The goal is to create a structure that works for all of us, and this is an administrative convenience to that end.

Dr. Padilla proposed that each program area elect its own screening committee. He would charge each screening committee to submit a list of two or three unranked names as acceptable AVCs, with both weaknesses and strengths listed. The screening committee would solicit nominations and applications and would review them confidentially. Two or three names would be forwarded to him unranked and he would select the one he believed to be most appropriate.

The AVC would be appointed for a three-year term and could be reappointed at the end of three years. Dr. Padilla proposed that the screening committee reconvene every three years regardless of whether the person wants to be reappointed or not. The screening committee would decide if it wants to recommend reappointment or to open up the search process again. The current AVC could apply, but would return to the division every time the appointment would terminate.

Dr. Padilla proposed staggered terms, so that each year one AVC would be appointed. There would be a mentoring relationship -- with one senior AVC, one with one year of experience, and one new AVC. Dr. Padilla envisioned a cooperative relationship where they would share problems and strategies for solutions, and would work with him in a collegial fashion. He sees this structure working very well as a complement to what he hopes is an enhanced and strengthened general education program that will be very interdisciplinary. He invited the senators' responses and reactions.

- Questions/comments

In response to questions, Dr. Padilla clarified the general education coordinator position on the organization chart. At the faculty meeting he announced plans to seek grant funding for this half-time position. The coordinator's home department would be reimbursed from the grant funding. However we do not currently have this position and will not have one this year.

The AVCs would have 10-month contracts, teaching one course per semester initially. This is a lot of responsibility and may need to be adjusted. The Dean of Faculty and Dean of Curriculum positions would be dissolved and turned into two of the AVC positions. They would be paid by existing funding lines. His goal for the third AVC is to reimburse the department over a three year period. This can be reviewed at the end of the assessment period. He also has allocated a 1.25 secretarial support for the AVCs. Direct reports to Academic Affairs would decrease from 58 to approximately 16.

The AVCs would have a lot of authority, working with budgets and overseeing searches. In hiring new faculty, the VCAA office would write the contracts to ensure equity and equity aspects would be guaranteed by his office. Their role in reviews for reappointment, promotion, and tenure would need to be established; they might deliberate with the VCAA on tenure cases.

Dr. Padilla would like each program area to have discretion in developing and selecting its screening committee, although he can suggest models.

This organization is distinct because the program areas are not "schools" -- each area has responsibilities that cross disciplines. The hallmark of a liberal arts college is to have a strong and identifiable general education program. Also, the culture here would not tolerate divisional thinking. While the organization may look rigid in a flow chart, it is merely an administrative tool. This structure will address the gap that will occur by his need to work on long range projects and will offer more equity than the current structure. The allocation of resources and opportunities will be fairly transparent and equitable. People can not come to him and get a special deal.

Various alternative structural possibilities were suggested: one division each for scholarship, service, and curriculum; one division for academic programs and one for special programs; alphabetical divisions; simplifying the organizational structure; two academic program divisions and one administrative support division; and adding a fourth AVC dedicated to development or special programs.

Dr. Padilla will work with the Chancellor and will propose a model to the Faculty Senate for comment. If the proposal moves forward, it will be proposed to the Board of Trustees, then the Board of Governors.

It was suggested that recommendations made by the SACS Enhancement Task Force be considered in the structure, such has housing the math lab and the writing lab together, study abroad and the honors program, and the Center for Teaching and Learning with general education. Dr. Padilla agreed that it is important to find ways to support student educational needs by sharing resources and knowledge, and to accept the principle of administrative change so it can become more fluid. He encouraged senators to suggest ways the structure can be adapted to incorporate the recommendations. He would like to have intensive discussions so it can be completed this semester.

Dr. Rackham asked Dr. Padilla if it would be appropriate for the Faculty Senate to create a small ad hoc committee of faculty members on the Senate and/or other key committees to do some of the background reading and bring key readings to him that he has not had the time to discover yet. Dr. Padilla stated that if the Faculty Senate feels comfortable empaneling a task force he would be delighted to work with that group to solve a lot of these issues.

Dr. Rackham thanked Dr. Padilla for the presentation and for bringing the Senate into this process. The Senate would value very much the opportunity to be involved.

- Establish Task Force

Following discussion, Dr. Rossell made a motion to establish a Task Force to work with the VCAA in the administrative reorganization of Academic Affairs. Dr. Burchard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Dr. Weldon moved that Keith Bramlett, Jeff Konz, Jim Kuhlman, and Mary Lynn Manns serve on the Task Force. Dr. Patch seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. It was determined that Mr. Kuhlman would Chair the Task Force. Dr. Rackham will notify Dr. Padilla of the composition of the Task Force.

IV. Election of Alternate

Dr. Weldon will be unable to fulfill her Faculty Senate obligations this semester as she will be teaching in Santander, Spain as part of the NC Consortium. Dr. Weldon has inquired about the possibility that the Senate elect an alternate to replace her, but that she return to her position on the Senate upon her return. This has been researched and there are no Senate rules which address this.

The Constitution of the Faculty Senate states: "Should a vacancy occur for any reason, the Senate shall elect one of the alternates to assume full duties of that position." The Constitution does not specify the time frame. In the recent past -- in 10 out of 11 instances when a vacancy occurred on the Senate -- the alternate elected served the remaining term. Only on one occasion did the person return to their position on the Senate. Dr. Rackham noted various factors to be considered -- the will of the faculty, the continuity of the work on the Faculty Senate, the preference of the senator being replaced, and the quality of the experience for the alternate.

Dr. Rackham stated that he would make a ruling of the Senate Chair and outlined the applicable parliamentary procedures. The Chair ruled that the Faculty Senate shall elect an alternate to fulfill the full term of Dr. Weldon's seat on the Senate. There was no objection to the Chair's ruling.

Dr. Lee asked if the rule would become a permanent procedure. Dr. Rackham replied that his ruling applies only to today, but it would follow precedent. He suggested that we need to amend the Senate Constitution to clarify the issue.

Mr. Kuhlman suggested that the Senate consider developing by-laws as they are easier to amend than constitutions and yet establish guidelines. For example, the Comer Rule -- which is not in the Constitution but has legislative history -- could be included in the by-laws as procedural. By-laws could be amended fairly easily while constitutional amendments may be considerably more complex. Dr. Rackham stated that the Constitution says nothing about by-laws, it states: "Provisions outlined in this constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, provided that at least a simple majority of the faculty members vote, and provided at least one month's notice has been given to the faculty of the vote. The vote shall be by secret ballot." This means that the entire faculty has to vote to amend the constitution. He supported rewriting the constitution, if for no other reason than to remove the sexist language, but he had no objections to developing by-laws.

Dr. Rackham stated that the Senate would proceed with electing the alternate as there was no objection to his ruling. The Senate elected John Wood to fulfill the remainder of Alice Weldon's 2001-2004 term. He will serve on the Academic Policies Committee.

V. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes of April 11, 2002 were approved following editorial corrections. The minutes of the May 5, 2002 meetings were approved as distributed.

VI. Old Business

There was no Old Business.

VII. New Business

There was no New Business.

VIII. Adjourn

Dr. Rackham adjourned the meeting at 5:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted by:    Sandra Gravely
                                           Mary Lynn Manns