University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, April 8, 2004



Members:          R. Booker, K. Bramlett, T. Brown, D. James, J. Konz, ML Manns, S. Mills, 

                        P. Nickless, S. Patch, D. Pierce, K. Reynolds, I. Rossell, M. Ruiz, J. Wood.


Excused:          M. Alm.


Visitors:            R. Dunning, M. Ghidina, T. Glenn, A. Hantz, E. Katz, L. Mathews, P. McClellan,

                        K. Krumpe, D. Lisnerski, R. Sensabaugh, A. Shope, E. Snyder.



I.          Call to Order and Announcements

            Dr. Steve Patch called the meeting to order at 3:25 pm and welcomed senators and guests.

            There were no Announcements.


II.         Executive Committee Report  

            Dr. Patch gave the Executive Committee Report.

            Dr. Patch reported that Chancellor Mullen and Steve Baxley are scheduled to meet with the Faculty Senate on April 29; they were unable to attend the meeting today. 

            Resolution Concerning Health Insurance

            Dr. Nickless moved approval of the Sense of the Senate Resolution concerning Health Insurance.  Dr. Reynolds seconded the motion.  Dr. Lisnerski explained that negotiations on setting insurance premiums will begin soon with the administrator of the plan and the State.  Various campuses within the system are passing resolutions to present to the Faculty Assembly, then to other state organizations and the legislature.  The Resolution passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3504S. 


III.        Student Government Association Report

            Mr. Tarik Glenn gave the Student Government Association Report. 

            The Inauguration was held last Wednesday and the executives were sworn in at the last meeting. 

            SGA’s budget was approved by the Campus Commission.  Student organizations have been allocated $180K for the academic year.

            Mr. Glenn agreed to help the new SGA during its transition and to have a representative attend Faculty Senate meetings.   


IV.        Academic Policies Committee Report

            Mr. Keith Bramlett gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.

            Sunset Policy

            APC plans to review our current Sunset Policy.  If APC approves the revision, the document will be forwarded immediately to Senators and APC will request a waiver of the Comer Rule at the next Senate meeting.  

            Second Reading:

            The following documents were considered for Second Reading:

            APC 25:   Deletion of the First Year Experience Prefix.

            APC 25 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 3604S. 


            APC 26:   Change to the Academic Suspension Policy.

            APC 26 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 3704S. 


            APC 27:   Changes in Biochemistry Requirements and the Requirement of CHEM 328, 332, 336,

and 435 within all degree options.

            APC 27 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 3804S. 


            APC 28:   Delete MMAS 439 and 440; Add new course MMAS 438; Editorial changes in major requirements and departmental narrative.

            APC 28 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 3904S. 


            APC 29:   Delete MGMT 221 and MGMT 494.

            APC 29 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4004S. 


            APC 30:   Change in course title and description for MGMT 394.

            APC 30 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4104S. 


            APC 31:   Change in prerequisites for MGMT 489 and MGMT 499.

            APC 31 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4204S. 


            APC 33:   Mass Communication Visual Media Production Course Prefix Changes.

            APC 33 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4304S. 


            APC 34:   Changes in Mass Communication Requirements for Major: Demonstration of Competence. 
            APC 34 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4404S. 


            APC 36:   Reduction of requirements to declare B.A. Art as Major.

            APC 36 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4504S. 


            APC 37:   Art Department Narrative/Mission Statement.

            APC 37 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4604S. 


            APC 38:   Requirements for a major in Art with a Concentration in Art History.

            APC 38 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4704S. 


            APC 39:   Deletion of current Art History courses; Addition of new ARTH (Art History) courses.

            APC 39 passed by a vote of 12 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 4804S. 


            APC 23:   Addition of MATH 303: History of Mathematics.

            APC 23 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 4904S. 


            APC 24:   Changes in the Course Withdrawal Policy (REVISED).

            APC 24 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 5004S. 


            APC 35:   Sociology and Anthropology Curriculum Revision.

            A friendly amendment and editorial corrections were made to the document.

            APC 35 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 5104S. 


 V.        Faculty Welfare and Development Committee

            Dr. Mary Lynn Manns gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee (FWDC) Report.

            ILSOC and Intensive Subcommittees, 2004-05

            The Senate approved the following slate for ILSOC and Intensive Subcommittees:

            (ILSOC will choose its Chair, then subcommittee Chairs will be chosen.) 



                        Jeff Konz                       SS        2004-05

                        Linda Nelms                  SS        2004-06

                        Keith Krumpe                NS        2004-07

                        Charles McKnight          HUM     2004-07

                        Ginger Spivey                HUM     2004-06


                        Writing Intensives

                        ILSOC member, Chair

                        Dee James                    HUM     2004-07

                        Karin Peterson               SS        2004-06

                        John Wood                    SS        2004-05

                        Jim Petranka                 NS        2004-06


                        Diversity Intensives

                        ILSOC member, Chair

                        Keith Bramlett               SS        2004-07

                        Heon Lee                      SS        2004-05

                        Melissa Burchard           HUM     2004-07

                        Herman Holt                  NS        2004-06


                        Quantitative Intensives

                        ILSOC member, Chair

                        Chris Bell                      SS        2004-06

                        Dot Sulock                    NS        2004-05


                        Information Literacy Intensives

                        ILSOC member, Chair

                        Janet Ferguson              HUM (Library)    2004-07

                        Dean Brock                   NS                    2004-05


            FWDC response to Senate Constitution Task Force

            Dr. Manns distributed FWDC’s response to the draft of the Senate Constitution Task Force. 

            Second Reading:

            The following documents were distributed for First Reading:


            FWDC 10:  Revision of University Service Council (Revision of SD0700F) (Faculty Handbook 10.3.7)

            FWDC 11:  Revision of “How Members are Selected” for Committees Whose Members Are Appointed (Standing Committees) (Faculty Handbook


            The Senate discussed FWDC 10 and FWDC 11 together as issues pertain to both documents. 

Concern was expressed that the University Service Council would have only one continuing member in alternate years.  Its membership is decreasing from eight to four while its duties are increasing.  Dr. Manns explained that FWDC is sensitive to the fact that there are too many faculty on committees and felt that four members could carry out these responsibilities.  The current USC reviewed the document and felt they could handle the workload.  USC’s current duty is only to give an award. 

            In a friendly amendment, the following sentence was added to the end of the first paragraph under Membership:   “Members of this committee will be appointed by the Faculty Senate.”

            Dr. Manns explained that the current process of appointing faculty to committees does not work.  It takes the power out of the hands of each faculty member to determine what they are good at and what they have time to do.  Faculty that have been here a while are overworked because there are many other committees and task forces on campuses in addition to the committee assignments that FWDC makes.  She has also noticed the last two years that our newer faculty are not getting the appropriate assignments -- or not getting any assignments -- because FWDC does not know them or know what they are good at.  The USC will continue the task of revamping committees that FWDC began last year.  USC will also serve as a clearinghouse for all committees, task forces, and service assignments on campus.  This information will be on the web and faculty will go there for assignments.   

            Dr. Rossell expressed concern that the recipient of the UNCA Service Award is rewarded by being placed on yet another committee.  She suggested either giving this person a year off from committee work or increasing the committee membership.  Dr. Nickless agreed and suggested that next year we re-examine our practice of overburdening reward recipients.  Dr. Manns stated that these individuals know a lot about service on campus and they serve for only one year.  Dr. Ruiz suggested giving these individuals a year off from service work after they complete the year of service to this committee. 

            Dr. Konz noted that the problems identified are about information rather than the process of appointment.  He understood how FWDC 11 improves the process of information.  It is still asking people to indicate their preferences to the committees they are looking to work on.  If the committee preference forms are not gathering information, it is not clear that the new procedure would be an improvement in terms of getting people who currently are not in the process onto committees that they are interested in.  What is wrong with the committee preference forms now that is failing in that regard? 

            Dr. James stated that the website can certainly fail in the same way the committee preference forms fail.  If people are not going to pay attention and meet the deadline dates, they get left out of the process.  The website will have all of the information about service in one location.  We need a place where particularly new faculty members who are looking for a way to join the process can see what the opportunities are and make decisions based on that. 

            Dr. Konz supported having a central place where all service opportunities are posted.  His question was how the procedure of appointment changes anything.  We are talking about two different things -- the establishment of the website as a clearinghouse for information is a very distinct proposal from the process of the committees appointing each other -- or appointing themselves.  Dr. Mills agreed with Dr. Konz, noting that this depends on people being willing to volunteer, to put themselves forward.  The website is a good idea, but what is the mechanism to prod faculty?

            Dr. Manns explained that the committee preference form process is a meltdown.  As soon as the committee list goes out, faculty complain that they did not receive a committee assignment or were placed on the wrong committee.  This process puts the responsibility in the hands of the faculty member.  We can do a trial run for two years and learn from it.  This will begin to address the problems that we have now.  She acknowledged that Senators were raising issues that will have to be tweaked.  She is going to request that she be on USC to help start this new process. 

            Dr. Patch returned to the discussion of the appointment process.  FWDC currently appoints committees, and they are looking at it from both viewpoints -- what is best for the committee and what is best for the individuals.  Unfortunately, in the new situation, the committee will be making the decision, and they are only going to look at what is best for the committee; this concerned him.  FWDC has a balanced approach that the committees might not follow. 

            Dr. Nickless moved to amend FWDC 10 as follows: “Recommendations and reports to: FWDC and the Provost office.”  Dr. Booker seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

            Dr. Nickless moved to amend FWDC 11 as follows: “take the final list of committee memberships for consultation and approval to FWDC then the Provost Office.”  Dr. Booker seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

            Dr. Brown made a friendly amendment to FWDC 11; the new text reads:  “Continuing members of each committee will meet to complete their membership by doing the following:”. 

            Dr. Konz did not believe that this process improves the problem of getting new faculty to express their interest in service.  This removes the oversight that we have had in the past and creates potential problems of cronyism and members of the committee having a particular agenda -- particularly for advisory boards like Honors, MLA, Women’s Studies, and Teaching Fellows.  He was concerned about the potential conflicts of interest that this structure could provide.  There is oversight through the University Service Committee and going to FWDC afterwards, but that concern ought to be addressed in the initial appointments of the committees. 

            Dr. Manns noted that FWDC receives calls from committees with strong recommendations as to who they want put on a particular committee.  FWDC has the power to say no and USC will have that same power.  

            Mr. Bramlett saw this as transferring the problems to someone else.  There is no difference in having one committee struggling with the tedious work and another committee doing it.  This is based on the assumption that everyone is equally willing to aggressively state their preferences, and that is a problematic assumption. 

            Dr. James stated that this process makes appointments public and invites people -- whether they take advantage of it or not -- to take some control of their service sector.  The process invites them to do that; it does not insure that they will.  It does not take care of all the problems of human interaction -- cronyism and trying to forward an agenda.  But all the possibilities will be posted on the website for everyone to see at the same time.  That helps us with the process -- it does not solve the issue. 

            Dr. Nickless stated that she has been in Dr. Manns’ position of working on committee assignments, and it is very difficult to say no to folks at times.  She suggested having some tenured faculty on USC who can say “absolutely no” without fear of retribution.  

            Dr. Brown stated that Dr. Konz’ reservations are compelling, but there is a real benefit to trying this approach.  This is taking a massively concentrated clerical job of putting names and committees together and distributing that job out to individual committees who are more aware of the needs within each of those committees.  That is a powerful way of solving a very difficult problem.  It is an iffy proposition to see how it works, but it is something to consider.

            Dr. Wood stated that part of his reservation concerns the cronyism -- the deals that can be made between people who want to be on committees and the committees themselves.  He suggested having a mechanism in place so that both USC and the committee will know who has expressed an interest in serving on a committee.  If the Chair drops someone or is not interested in someone, USC has a way of asking why that person was dropped. 


            The new text from friendly amendments made to FWDC 11 follows:

            “Continuing members of each committee will meet to complete their membership by doing the following: ...... Submit their proposed membership with the complete list of individuals who have expressed interest to the University Service Council.”  “...examine each proposal and either give approval or make appropriate changes.” 

            Following discussion, Dr. Rossell made a motion to amend FWDC 10 as follows: “The fourth member will have received the UNCA Service Award or a Feldman Award.  This member will serve a one-year term.”  Dr. James seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

            Dr. Nickless stated that she did not believe the new process will work but she was willing to try it.  She would be much more comfortable if we had an understanding that we will take a hard look at this at the end of every year for a couple of years running to see how it is working.  Dr. Manns stated that she would be willing to give a progress report at the end of the first year which would be in two years.  FWDC 10 passed as amended by a vote of 9 to 3 with one abstention and became Senate Document 5204S.  FWDC 11 passed as amended by a vote of 9 to 3 with one abstention and became Senate Document 5304S. 


            FWDC 13:  Changes in the Review Process for Off-Campus Scholarly Assignments (SD1488S).

            In friendly amendments, the title “VCAA” was changed to “Provost.”  In the last sentence, the word “should” was changed to “must.”  FWDC 13 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 5404S. 


            Report from Task Force on Student Rating of Instruction (SRI)

            Dr. Leah Mathews stated that according to the Faculty Handbook, "the main purpose of student evaluation is the improvement of teaching" [ Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness]; it is also used to evaluate teaching for personnel decisions.  The Task Force believes it would be both useful and desirable if our student evaluation instrument was more effective at yielding responses that could help us to achieve the stated objectives of (1) helping us to improve our teaching and (2) evaluating teaching (for personnel reasons).  The Task Force is currently working to revise our SRI instrument so that it better meets these stated objectives, and anticipate having a revised instrument to consider by the end of the academic year.  The Task Force will likely propose conducting student focus groups to ensure content validity (i.e., to ensure that the questions' intent is met by student perception and responses), and then a pilot study in future semesters to test the effectiveness of the instrument before any new instrument is adopted.

            The Senate encouraged the Task Force to have broad-based focus group discussions to consider (in part) whether or not the SRIs are used too frequently, as well as the perceived age, gender, and race bias in the SRI.  The Task Force will report to FWDC, who has the authority to recommend that the Faculty Senate consider a new instrument. 


VI.        Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report

            Dr. Irene Rossell reported for the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council (IDC/UPC).

            IDC response to Senate Constitution Task Force

            Dr. Rossell distributed IDC’s response to the February 26, 2004, draft of the Senate Constitution Task Force, and the duties of IDC for the Standing Rules.  She noted that the suggested wording for the IDC Committee description specifically omits the sentence in the existing Constitution that IDC will fulfill its responsibility through membership on UPC.  The Senate briefly discussed the unresolved role of the University Planning Council and when the Senate would receive a report from the Strategic Thinking Task Force. 

            Dr. Patch asked members of the Executive Committee to remain after the meeting to schedule a meeting with Dr. Nickless and perhaps members of the Constitution Revision Task Force to discuss issues of strategic planning, the role of the University Planning Council, and revisions to the Constitution.

            Dr. Konz asked for clarification on one of IDC’s duties to “Evaluate resource and planning aspects of new degree programs, minors, concentrations, and curriculum changes and innovations.”  Does this mean a proposal for a new course should go to IDC in addition to APC?  Or the expansion of an existing course?  Dr. Rossell stated that IDC would be very open to rewording this.  IDC was referring to larger issues, for example distance learning,that would impact the curriculum.  IDC’s prerogative is resource allocation and use.  There should be good, clear separation between APC and IDC; however, there may be changes to the curriculum with resource issues that should come before IDC. 

            Dr. Rossell noted that IDC made a decision that it would not tie itself to UPC, and the Constitution Revision Task Force also had separated IDC from UPC in their revision of the Constitution. 

            Dr. Ruiz stated that in his institutional memory from the 1970s, the UPC was a shot in the arm of putting power into the faculty.  The IDC/Faculty Senate became more powerful.  IDC/UPC became a powerful committee from the 1980s through the 1990s.  He suggested moving to one committee and not splitting ourselves up. 

            Dr. Nickless stated that the Task Force has suggested that the Standing Rules be reviewed at the beginning of every year.  For example, the changes made to USC and committee assignments would naturally be reviewed every year by the Executive Committee. 

            Dr. Brown asked if it would be appropriate at the next meeting to ask Chancellor Mullen what his plans are for the University Planning Council.  Dr. Nickless was worried that we do not seem to know who is doing the planning.  Dr. James noted that the Strategic Visioning Task Force is marketing, not planning.  Dr. Patch agreed these concerns are appropriate for discussion.  He will let the Chancellor know that part of the discussion should include his thoughts on the role of the University Planning Council and his view of faculty governance. 

            Dr. Brown added that part of the ethos surrounding UPC when he served on it the first time was the need to tie planning in with resource allocation.  Having IDC in the Senate extending into the UPC was a way of empowering the faculty as a part of that process.  But the way that things have morphed over the last eight years or so, UPC has spun into oblivion and there is definitely a void.  The UPC we had back then is no longer viable as a realistic way of assuring faculty oversight of resource allocation and planning, but there ought to be something to replace it that is viable.  This issue is related to what we want to talk to the Chancellor about. 


VII.       Old Business

            Resolution concerning Staff Salaries

            Dr. Pierce distributed a Sense of the Senate Resolution concerning Staff Salaries that was discussed at the last meeting.  Mr. Bramlett moved approval of the resolution.  Dr. Pierce seconded the motion.  The Sense of the Senate Resolution passed unanimously and became Senate Document 5504S.  


VIII.      New Business

            There was no New Business.


IX.        Adjournment

            Dr. Patch adjourned the meeting at 5:50pm.


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

                                                Mary Lynn Manns

                                                Don LIsnerski