University of North Carolina at Asheville
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Minutes, September 12, 2002
Visitors: A. Gravely, J. Comstock, M. Dutnell, E. Katz, D. Lisnerski, P. McClellan, G. Nallan, R. Sensabaugh, A. Shope, K. Whatley.
Dr. Jeff Rackham called the meeting to order at 3:17 pm and welcomed senators and guests.
University Relations Annual Report to the Senate
In 1990 the Faculty Senate passed a document requiring the Vice Chancellor for University Relations (VCUR) to report his or her activities and plans to the Senate each fall. Dr. Carol Schramm, Interim VCUR, has asked to postpone this year's report until the position has been filled. Mr. Kuhlman questioned the Senate's policy of requiring an annual report from only one of the vice chancellors; he suggested the Senate consider rescinding its requirement of the VCUR or extend it to other vice chancellors as well. Dr. Rackham added that Cathy Mitchell was aware of this oddity last year and she invited each of the vice chancellors to a tea to make a campus-wide presentation. The Executive Committee will discuss this issue.
UNC Faculty Assembly Representatives to sit on FWDC
Dr. Rackham stated that according to the Faculty Senate Constitution, members we elect to the UNC Faculty Assembly sit on the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee. They are not senators but are working members of the FWDC. Dr. Rackham thanked Don Lisnerski and Duane Davis for their willingness to sit on FWDC in their capacity as UNC Faculty Assembly Representatives and to provide the Senate with reports from the Faculty Assembly.
Dr. Lisnerski highlighted Faculty Assembly activities. The Board of Governors and the Faculty Assembly Executive Committee will honor the 30th anniversary of the Faculty Assembly tomorrow, and the BOG will vote on an academic freedom resolution. At the Faculty Assembly's first meeting next week it will draft a resolution on academic freedom and will discuss the budget. To enhance communication, Faculty Senate Chairs statewide receive minutes of the Faculty Assembly meetings; each institution is encouraged to send minutes to the Faculty Assembly Chair and the Faculty Senate Chairs statewide.
III. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of August 15, 2002 were approved following several editorial corrections.
IV. Administrative Report
Dr. Padilla distributed a preliminary Fall Enrollment Report - Five Year Trend and summarized the data. Compared to last year at this time, more students are attending full-time and they are taking more hours. The 2.6 percent increase in student credit hours will mean additional revenue. The total number of minority students is 232, down 7.2 percent. The area where we have not done as well is with our Black students. While Black enrollment decreased 23.9 percent since last year, the category of "other minority" increased 16 percent. The new census allows students to check multiple boxes and students may be checking "other" if they are bi-racial.
Applications from new Freshmen are stable and our acceptance rate has increased 8.7 percent. One of the most troubling parts of this summary report is that the number of Freshmen enrolled is down to 428, the lowest number in the 5-year period and almost 6 percent lower than the previous year. The mean SAT score has remained stable while high school rank is down slightly. There are 384 new Transfers -- the highest number of the 5-year cycle -- up 15.3 percent. As Freshmen admits have declined, we have continued to make a class through the acceptances of the new Transfer students. This has implications for our courses as many students will not have taken the core courses; this is likely to impact discussions at the upper-level humanities courses. The goal for next year's class will be to increase the Freshman admits and to keep the number of new Transfers stable.
Mr. Kuhlman asked Dr. Padilla what the appropriate long-term mix should be between in-coming Freshman and new Transfers. Dr. Padilla's immediate goal is to increase the Freshmen admits to 500 and decrease the number of new Transfers closer to 300 to achieve a more traditional mix. The evidence suggests that transfers are doing well academically -- and surprisingly nearly 80% are full-time students. The student makeup is critically important to how we approach our classes. He asked senators to share their opinions.
Dr. Burchard and Dr. Charles James asked Dr. Gravely to track the number of transfer students for various majors. Dr. Padilla acknowledged that decreasing the number of transfer students could impact the number of majors some departments generate.
Dr. Rossell asked Dr. Gravely to clarify the mean high school rank. Dr. Gravely replied that mean high school rank is the rank percentile -- a score of 80 means students are in the top 20%. Rank is a measure of how well students worked in high school and students in the top 10 percentile do extremely well here. UNCA's admission standards are in the middle of the 225 liberal arts colleges nationally.
Western Carolinas Biotechnology Consortium
UNCA is joining in collaboration with Furman University and Western Carolina University to create the Western Carolinas Biotechnology Consortium. This biotechnology-related effort is one of Congressman Charles Taylor's initiatives intended to promote the economic development of our region. The language involving UNCA's role follows: "Whereas UNCA with its distinguished history of undergraduate education in chemistry and biology is poised to add bioinformatics instruction to its current initiative to improve training in molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry and other related fields." There are a number of objectives of the Consortium -- develop resources and facilities, provide quality training in biotechnology, initiate research that will have a positive economic impact in western North Carolina, provide out-reach opportunities to local primary and secondary schools, work in collaboration with certified biotechnology groups in this area, and involve other educational institutions and organizations and biotechnology businesses as appropriate. If funded by the Appropriations Committee, UNCA anticipates receiving a $2,000,000 equipment allocation over a three-year period. Our curricular commitment is to enhance programs in biochemistry and bioinformatics.
Dr. Wood asked if there was any language in the agreement about bioethics. Dr. Padilla replied that as a liberal arts college we can provide ethical study of this initiative and Chancellor Mullen is very eager that we become associated with the bioethics aspect of biotechnology. We currently offer a Medical Ethics course every other year.
Dr. Padilla reported that he received an email from Alan Mabe (Vice President for Academic Planning in the Office of the President) on September 6th, asking for a rough cost estimate by September 13th for a program in Engineering at UNCA. He has been working with Steve Honeycutt and Archer Gravely, and in consultation with the VCAA staff, to develop a planning process to provide this cost estimate, based upon earlier planning assumptions developed by UPC and on some concepts he brought into the process out of necessity. Although we have not committed ourselves to any programs or any schedule for adding to our existing engineering program on campus, the legislature passed a bill approving an engineering program at UNCA without funding. Dr. Padilla briefed UPC on the elements of the planning assumptions that are contributing to our financial model.
During discussion, Dr. Padilla added that some of the better liberal arts schools, such as Swathmore, Lafayette, Smith, and VMI, have engineering programs. The mix of liberal arts and engineering has to be done very carefully and we would want to ensure our mission is not changed but rather enhanced through the addition of any professional program. Dr. Padilla stressed the importance of maintaining our Carnegie classification. Our Carnegie rating would not be affected if we graduated 50 engineering students. Only a couple of the COPLAC schools have a Carnegie rating.
Dr. Rossell asked how many engineering students we currently lose to NC State. Dr. Gravely replied that we currently have 100 declared engineering students and our graduation rate would increase 5-7% if those students remained on campus.
Dr. Konz asked how much flexibility we have regarding the initiative and whether we would be able to charter our course as an institution. Dr. Padilla did not have that information at this time. His biggest concern is whether these students could take our general education requirements; if they are not part of the general education program then we have created two different schools.
Update on Revisions of Tenure Policies and Regulations
Dr. Padilla reported that Management Flexibility (MF) is a program started by the Office of the President to allow greater campus leeway in establishing policies governing appointments and human resource flexibility. The plan was developed to allow each campus to have a systematic approach to human resource issues in ways that accounted for the differences in the campus priorities. Each MF Institutional Plan must first pass scrutiny by General Administration (GA) and then be forwarded to the Board of Governors (BOG) for final approval. In the area of faculty, MF allows tenure to be conferred at the BOT level, rather than the BOG level. There are a number of elements that go into the initiative, but the issue at present is the need for GA and the BOG to approve our tenure and promotion policies, as in the Faculty Handbook, in order for them to allow us to confer tenure at the BOT level. To get ready for this request, UNCA engaged a task force through the Faculty Senate to revise our procedures.
In its Institutional Plan submitted on April 24, 2002, UNCA included in its nine-point plan a campus policy for promotion and tenure, which had been adopted by our Faculty Senate. On July 24, Gretchen Bataille, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at GA, responded to our Institutional Plan with a set of issues that need further attention prior to GA approval. On July 27, Dr. Bataille faxed a set of suggestions for improvement of the tenure and promotion guidelines that were a product of study by her and Charles Waldrup, Associate Vice President for Legal Affairs at GA. This five-page document compels us to rework both parts of the submitted revisions and part of the Faculty Handbook was identified as needing further work. Dr. Padilla spoke with Dr. Bataille personally and learned that in addition to the identified issues, the presentation format was also cited as a concern.
Over the last several weeks, Dr. Padilla has been preparing a document that incorporates in three columns the streams of material -- the Faculty Handbook, the task force's revisions, and newly proposed revisions. The newly proposed revisions are sometimes substantive in nature and Dr. Padilla asked the Senate to reconvene the task force with the charge of studying the VCAA's document and bringing it back to the Senate. The administration's objective is to have a MF plan approved at the November BOG meeting. This is a priority and it is impossible to submit the Institutional Plan without the tenure section. Dr. Rackham stated that the Executive Committee approved reconvening the task force composed of Steve Patch, Lisa Friedenberg, Kevin Moorhead, and Henry Stern. The task force will work with Dr. Padilla and try to distribute the document to senators prior to the October 17th meeting. If necessary, the Senate will convene a special meeting to consider the document.
Dr. Lee recommended faculty as a whole be given an opportunity to respond if the changes are substantive. Dr. Padilla asked Dr. Patch if the task force could gauge the need to engage faculty as a whole. Dr. Patch indicated that the task force could gauge the issues to some extent; the changes approved by the Senate last year were largely faculty-driven and to make major changes without engaging the faculty as a whole would concern him. Mr. Kuhlman suggested informing faculty that the process is taking place and perhaps post changes to a website to generate faculty input; the Senate could also recommend more time be given if the changes affecting faculty are significant. Dr. Patch asked what the consequences would be of not making the November deadline. Dr. Padilla replied that the approval would be delayed until next spring. Dr. Padilla agreed to hold a faculty meeting if that would be helpful and using a website is also a possibility.
Dr. Padilla noted that there is some misunderstanding that faculty who started tenure track positions this fall are under the revised guidelines. The guidelines require GA approval and they have not been approved. Faculty who started tenure track positions this fall are under the old guidelines.
V. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Rackham gave the Executive Committee Report.
Dr. Gary Nallan reported the NCAA mandates that we look at four areas in preparation for our second cycle of the NCAA certification: 1) governance and rules commitment; 2) academic integrity, 3) fiscal integrity, and 4) gender equity and minority opportunities, sportsmanship, and student-athlete welfare. The peer review will take place on campus October 28-31. Dr. Joni Comstock thanked Keith Krumpe, Gary Nallan, and faculty involved in this worthwhile process.
General Education Review Task Force Report
Dr. Ed Katz gave a progress report on the General Education Review Task Force (GERTF).
GERTF has been working two and a half years -- one year of which was part of the SACS effort. The average time to review general education in one study of 85 schools -- many of which are COPLAC and peer institutions -- is four years to study and nine to twelve months of design.
Dr. Katz reminded new senators that documentation of GERTF's work from 1999 is available on the website: www.unca.edu/genedrev. From 1999 through 2000-01, GERTF studied the field of general education and the history of general education at UNCA; drafted Mission and Goal statements in context of the student development effort three-and-a-half-years ago; and worked on the SACS enhancement effort with self-directive recommendations for curricular revision, institutional change and fiscal allocation.
In 2001-02, GERTF held a faculty forum on general education and conducted over 28 Listening Project sessions with departments and programs. It also reviewed each report by APC on general education. Minutes of these meetings are available on the website.
In 2002-03, GERTF is finishing the analysis of the Listening Project. It will enter the Design phase made up of three teams -- Resource Research, Curricular Research and Design -- headed by Lisa Friedenberg, Merritt Moseley, and Ed Katz respectively.
The Design Team (DT) was established with the greatest attention to equal distribution across all divisions and representing the library and the arts programs as well. At each phase of the DT work, documents will be first brought before the GERTF as a whole, then before the faculty and staff, undergoing revision at each step. The DT is working on Principles for the Revision shaped around issues raised by faculty and staff during the SACS process, the Listening Project, and the GERTF review of the APC Report on General Education. Next, the DT will draft a version of the criteria establishing what constitutes a general education course and will begin shaping the architecture of the new program. It will then draft charges for each program element. Finally, the DT will work on assessment. The literature suggests that this is the most effective pathway to a truly embedded assessment model that can serve best for formative, as well as summative, purposes. The DT is also in the preliminary stage of resource development for funding the revised curriculum and faculty development. By the end of Spring 2003, the criteria, architecture and charges will be complete. The work in lining up courses for phases of implementation will begin and work on resource development will continue.
GERTF will continue to make twice yearly reports to the Senate but will be meeting with APC more regularly, to coordinate efforts on those areas where consistency is crucial and where overlap is key. GERTF will need advice on diversity, information literacy, computer literacy, writing competency, oral competency, and other areas, to avoid unnecessary duplication and to strengthen linkages. These meetings will also be helpful in shaping assessment both of the majors and of general education. GERTF plans to have two faculty and staff forums each semester, and one student forum.
Lastly, the website continues to grow into a tool not only for finding out where the process is, but also for educational purposes. There is a host of historical information, links to curriculum topics, pedagogical topics, diversity, and assessment. Dr. Katz thanked members of the GERTF team, which has stayed on task with interest and enthusiasm, despite the challenges and huge scale of this effort. Mr. Kuhlman encouraged faculty to read a digital copy of Peg Downes' History of the Humanities Program at UNCA on the website.
VI. Student Government Association Report
There was no report.
VII. Academic Policies Committee Report
Dr. Melissa Burchard gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.
APC Goals for the 2002-03 Year
The Academic Policies Committee for 2002-2003 sees three tasks as of sufficient import and urgency to adopt as its goals for the year, aside from the completion of the yearly task of reviewing documents submitted for inclusion in the catalog:
1. Review of prerequisites.
The Registrar informs the committee that progress is being made in the project of creating a computer registration system that can check for prerequisites and limit student access to courses on the basis of their compliance with those prerequisites. In order for this project to proceed apace, we need to initiate a review in all departments of their prerequisite policies, and of their concrete prerequisites for existing courses. Departments must be sure that any prerequisites they have in place are ones they actually want to function in the way the computer program will make happen.
2. Investigation of issues of consistency in academic policies and standards.
The committee notes a broad range of issues that raise questions of consistency and on which there is not a clear consensus or rationale. We will identify a number of such issues and attempt to clarify some standards by which some consistency could be established and then measured on an ongoing basis. Examples might include such issues as those raised by SACS competencies (computer, oral, senior), program structure (requirements, electives, cognates, size), or diversity in the curriculum.
3. Creation of a list of guidelines to be used internally by the committee.
Members in recent years have found their task made more difficult by the lack of a concrete set of guidelines that could do two things:
a) provide a clear indication of what to look for in documents submitted for catalogs (e.g. hidden prerequisites, proper course numbering, resource impact, etc.)
b) create a concrete and ongoing record of APC's standards and concerns for the sake of continuity in committees from year to year.
This year's committee will put together such a guideline for the internal use of APC members. This can then be passed on from committee to committee, hopefully making the task of document review easier and clearer, and increasing consistency from year to year by not having to rely so heavily on institutional memory residing in particular persons.
VIII. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report
Mr. Jim Kuhlman reported for the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council (UPC/IDC). The Institutional Development Committee consists of Heon Lee, Steve Patch, Irene Rossell and Jim Kuhlman. IDC also forms a subset of the University Planning Council.
UPC met twice to organize and begin to develop its goals for the year. At the first meeting UPC reviewed the charge from the Faculty Handbook which brought up questions and concerns about IDC/UPC's involvement in planning and budget allocations. There are discrepancies between what is in the Faculty Handbook about the mission of IDC/UPC and the original charge for IDC from the Faculty Senate and subsequent Senate documents. One of UPC's goals will be to reconcile those differences and prepare documentation to clearly define IDC/UPC's role.
UPC reviewed the three focus goals Chancellor Mullen announced at the first faculty meeting. These goals will serve as planning priorities for the next twenty months: 1) Provide an excellent liberal arts education emphasizing undergraduate learning, exemplary teaching, and an interdisciplinary approach to understanding; 2) Provide diverse co-curricular experiences; and 3) Create, maintain and enhance an academic community that is diverse and collaborative.
Irene Rossell has agreed to serve as the IDC member on the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.
Dr. Gravely presented the fall enrollment data summarized by Dr. Padilla today.
At UPC's second meeting, Dr. Gravely distributed and discussed the 2003-2005 enrollment projections and budget. Several faculty members at the meeting gave input on our projected enrollment target. UPC projects an increase of 3,169 student credit hours by academic year 2004-05, and a total enrollment of 3,441 headcount. This target is near our maximum enrollment target of 3,500 headcount. If the Office of the President accepts the projections, UNCA will receive an increase of $351,975 in general institutional support, and an overall increase of $1,078,675 for new faculty lines, the library, and 101 administrative support.
Dr. Padilla reported to UPC on the biotechnology initiative and engineering programs. Mr. Kuhlman noted that UPC discussed engineering programs about a year ago and it has been briefly discussed in the Senate. Dr. Gravely has data on the liberal arts colleges in the country that have engineering programs. However, there has been no discussion at UPC of endorsing, supporting, criticizing, or asking questions concerning this initiative.
Diminishing Role of UPC in Planning and Budget Allocation
UPC discussed strategic planning at length. Mr. Kuhlman asked Heon Lee and Irene Rossell -- who were present at the meeting -- to correct him if his interpretations were at odds with theirs at this point. Last spring there was a Strategic Planning Retreat involving UPC and many folks on campus. UPC was never clear what the next steps would be. Mr. Kuhlman reported to UPC that at this point Chancellor Mullen intends to use non-state funds to bring in an outside consultant to facilitate development of the plan while working closely with UPC and all campus constituencies. There has been considerable expression concerning the possibility of UPC's diminishing role in planning and budget allocation. Mr. Kuhlman will communicate to Chancellor Mullen UPC's need to participate in upcoming budget reduction decisions.
Goals for 2002-03
UPC will review and recommend appropriate changes to the institutional indicators. The group will consist of Steve Patch (Chair), Heon Lee, and Archer Gravely. They will take input/suggestions either about changing or finding improved indicators, and will bring the recommendations to UPC. UPC will then forward any recommendations for change to the Chancellor, who makes the final decisions.
IEC will review the performance of our institution compared to current UNCA institutional indicators and will report its findings to UPC later in the year. IEC will generate an executive report level document for UPC that highlights what we are doing well in and what we may not be progressing as well in. This will begin to generate more of a campus-wide discussion affecting how we plan.
UPC will work to refine and enhance the role of IDC/UPC in institutional planning and resource allocation. They will also revise the Faculty Handbook mission statements for UPC/IDC.
Mr. Bramlett asked for more information regarding the diminishing role of UPC in terms of decision-making and budget allocations. Dr. Lee replied that because of that issue and also the strategic planning process, such as hiring the outside consultant, he sensed that through UPC and the Faculty Senate, the faculty as a whole is losing something. The faculty should get deeply involved in the strategic planning process. In addition, faculty should look at the big picture in terms of resource allocations. Dr. Lee sensed that we are losing that privilege, or obligation, for UNCA.
Mr. Bramlett asked Dr. Lee where the feeling or message was coming from? Dr. Lee replied that at the beginning he asked the question -- why do we need an outside consultant for the strategic planning process? Last year UPC prioritized the goals and, based on those goals, UPC anticipated working on the strategic planning. Dr. Lee questioned the need for an outside consultant and whether we need to wait until an outsider comes here to listen to us.
Mr. Kuhlman added that over the last 2-3 years, UPC has been working on the mission statement and revising the guiding concepts -- a meaningful and important part of the strategic planning process. UPC made recommendations to allocate the enrollment increase 2-3 years ago. However, since then, UPC/IDC has had no participation in or discussion of the general allocation of resources. And, to date, with one extraordinarily brief discussion last spring, there has been no involvement of IDC or UPC in the discussion of potential budget reductions. We are going to get a budget that is going to represent reductions in the continuing budget and IDC/UPC has not been involved.
Mr. Kuhlman explained that the Chancellor is concerned that there is no one on campus that has the skill or resources to create the infrastructure to develop a good strategic plan. The Chancellor envisions a strategic plan that not only deals with goals, but deals with where the resources are going to come from, how we prioritize, how we do it in stages, how it integrates with the campus master plan, and how we integrate better with the community. But, as best as Mr. Kuhlman could explain it to UPC, his interpretation is that we were left with a sense of uncertainty. UPC discussed specific steps to take, and one of those is communicating to the Chancellor their expectation/hope/desire to participate in the immediate budget issues related to this year's budget. UPC also discussed preparing strategic recommendations on the allocation of any enrollment increase.
IX. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee
Dr. Mary Lynn Manns gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee (FWDC) Report.
Alternate Faculty Conciliator
The SGA selected Marcia Ghidina as Alternate Faculty Conciliator for the 2002-03 term.
This year FWDC will concentrate on committee structure, faculty elections, and faculty morale. To improve the committee structure, FWDC is requiring every committee that is not officially a standing committee -- with enabling documentation from the Faculty Senate -- to amend its status. This is critical because committees operating without Senate documentation can basically do what they want. FWDC will work on faculty elections to improve the voting process. Questions such as who votes, who can run, time to review ballots, and the issue of potentially holding primaries will be considered.
FWDC's goals for the year center on determining methods to establish and maintain faculty morale during times of diminishing resources. FWDC will look at what committees might have an impact on faculty morale and ask them to evaluate and make recommendations concerning morale. Improvements to the committee structure should also improve morale. FWDC will examine ways to recognize and reward faculty when there is no money, and will also give the annual Faculty Salary Report.
X. Old Business
New election for Academic Affairs Reorganization Advisory Task Force
Dr. Rackham explained that at the last meeting the Senate elected senators to serve on the Academic Affairs Reorganization Task Force. Afterwards it was pointed out that the task force failed to include full professors and representation from the natural science division. Dr. Manns moved to rescind the action of the last meeting in its membership to the task force. The motion was seconded by Dr. Konz and passed unanimously.
The Executive Committee proposed the following slate: Jeff Rackham, Randy Booker, Jeff Konz, Mary Lynn Manns, and Keith Bramlett. The slate has broad representation in rank and division and the VCAA has expressed his satisfaction with the slate. The Senate approved the slate unanimously.
XI. New Business
Request from Dr. Ho to resign from Faculty Senate
Dr. Rackham received a letter from Cindy Ho seeking permission to resign from the Faculty Senate because of added responsibilities. As Chair of the Department of Literature and Language and Director of the Humanities Program, demands on her time have dramatically increased and she is unable to fulfill her Senate duties with the attention they deserve. Dr. Rackham noted that the Senate Constitution does not specify nor deny the right to resign. There has been some precedent set; when Peg Downes was appointed Director of the Humanities Program and took the NEH Chair at the same time, she resigned from the Senate. This has occurred a few times under similar circumstances. The Senate needs to decide whether or not to grant the request. If the request is granted, the Senate must elect an alternate to fulfill the remainder of Dr. Ho's term.
Dr. Charles James moved to accept Dr. Ho's resignation. Dr. Manns seconded the motion. Dr. Patch stated that this is always a difficult issue and guidelines would be helpful. Perhaps FWDC could look into this issue, as well as the question of whether the senator is replaced for his/her entire term or temporarily. Dr. Burchard commented that we were talking about this as a matter that could be taken care of as an amendment to the Constitution. The Executive Committee is addressing these issues. The motion to accept Dr. Ho's resignation passed.
Alternate Mary Alm was elected to fill Dr. Ho's 2001-2004 term on the Senate; she will serve on APC.
Dr. Rackham adjourned the meeting at 5:30 pm.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely
Mary Lynn Manns