University of North Carolina at Asheville
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Minutes, August 28, 2003
Members: M. Alm, R. Booker, K. Bramlett, T. Brown, D. James, J. Konz, ML Manns, S. Mills, P. Nickless, S. Patch, D. Pierce, B. Reynolds, I. Rossell, M. Ruiz, J. Wood; M. Padilla.
Visitors: T. Glenn, S. McDonald, E. Snyder, B. Spellman, K. Whatley.
I. Call to Order
Dr. Steve Patch called the meeting to order at 3:20pm and welcomed senators and guests.
The agenda was modified.
Comments from Chancellor Mullen
Chancellor Mullen thanked members of the Faculty Senate for the service they are providing to the university. This is an important time for us and the leadership of the Faculty Senate at this time is more important, in many ways, than ever. As he said in his remarks at the faculty meeting on Monday, we are at a special moment at the university and we have enormous opportunity. There are almost limitless opportunities for us. We have to engage those in terms of what our mission is -- be consistent to mission and be very thoughtful about them.
We have issues that are unresolved -- issues that we need to continue to focus on every day. There are three issues that are particularly important this year:
1) We have to deal with faculty salaries and, if possible, staff salaries. Dr. Mullen is prepared to take the steps to do that.
2) Continue to focus on raising more private money. Dr. Mullen is very excited that Bill Massey is joining us and he thought the Senate would enjoy working with him as a colleague.
3) Regarding the strategic positioning issue -- we need to develop a process that is at once consistent with faculty governance but also a process that will allow us to look at issues that are broad -- issues around what the definition of this university in terms of the liberal arts is going to be in the future. It needs to be a process that is a year-round 12-month effort. We need to step back and really look at how we can best develop that kind of bold vision for the future that builds on what we have already done but also takes us to the very special place that he believes we can achieve. That is why he has asked Mark Padilla to Chair a Committee on Strategic Positioning. We cannot have a typical strategic plan that looks out three years when the world does not work quite that neatly.
Dr. Mullen looks forward to working with this Senate, receiving the guidance of this Senate, and we can have a great year together.
The Senate returned to the agenda.
II. Approval of Minutes
The following minutes were approved as distributed:
April 24, 2003; May 8, 2003 (3:15pm); and May 8, 2003 (5:50pm)
III. Administrative Report
Vice Chancellor Padilla gave the Administrative Report.
Initiatives in Academic Affairs in 2003-04
Dr. Padilla reported on significant issues for 2003-04 and asked senators to add issues they considered to be significant.
1. Faculty salaries.
The administration is willing to campaign for a campus-based tuition increase if the Office of the President (OP) allows it to be proposed and to be located in the area of faculty salaries. That serves two purposes -- it raises the budget across the board (increasing budgets for library support, administrative support, and student affairs support) while also addressing the serious issue of bringing our salaries up to parity.
Dr. Padilla has been studying faculty salaries and has identified exceptional inequities. He has established some floors for salaries in this regard. If the university receives funding through a campus-based tuition increase next fall, he suggested making structural adjustments based on rank across the board. Another aspect of an adjustment is typically merit. We should begin thinking about what the merit component should be and what would be culturally appropriate. Dr. Padilla will talk to Dr. Manns about FWDC's possible involvement in this large project. He will also be working with Institutional Research to collect data.
Dr. Alm asked if adjunct salaries would be included in the study? Dr. Padilla replied that adjunct salaries would not be a part of the formal study. He has been working on the issue of adjunct salary and the administration will move forward on this independently of the other study. This is a different priority with a different set of motivations as it has not affected recruiting. One scenario would be to move the professor adjunct up, which then gives space for the associates and the assistants.
Faculty should receive their letters on salary information soon.
2. The complex problem of the needs of the new Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) program and the issue
of faculty load.
The AVCs and Dr. Padilla will be heavily involved in these issues and will be bringing ideas to the Senate. We rely heavily on adjuncts, hence the problem of load release versus adjuncts. In addition, there is the problem of relegating large parts of ILS to adjuncts as it raises the question of our sincerity in making that essential to our identity.
To eliminate time consuming negotiations, Dr. Padilla will come to departments with allocated contributions that departments have to ILS in a contract form. This will not be a request process -- but rather, "Here are the expectations of your department." There is some linkage of returning faculty positions and allocation of faculty positions to an agreement that the department carries its ILS load.
The first process is the assignment of ILS courses, then a second process is looking at faculty load in that context. Very soon departments will know what their contributions will be and that, in turn, starts the process by which departments can begin to look at their curriculum to make sure that the full curriculum is in fact required. Any progress on faculty load would probably depend on the ability of departments to offer more streamlined curricula. This is difficult because it sets up winners and losers and there is the question of class size.
Departments will receive budgets fairly quickly.
IV. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Patch gave the Executive Committee Report.
Executive Committee Goals for the Upcoming Year 2003-2004 year.
1. A primary goal is to insure that the many important proposals scheduled to appear before the Faculty Senate during this session each receive thorough and fair consideration. In particular, we are concerned that as the volume and importance of documents becomes great that our meeting lengths will increase proportionally and that suboptimal decision-making may result.
2. Another important goal is to assist the administration in taking action on improving faculty compensation and workload. You may recall that in May of 2002, the Senate passed a resolution regarding faculty salaries. It proposed three primary courses of action: 1) Get us fully funded as a Liberal Arts institution, 2) Move those with administrative functions from the faculty salary pool; and 3) Insure that future local tuition increases include a portion for faculty salaries.
Our administration has made some progress on the first two objectives: there is 500K in equity adjustment from the Office of the President (OP); some administrative positions have been moved off the faculty salary pool. Regarding the third objective, OP has frozen tuition increases but the Chancellor's address to the faculty makes it clear that he will move ahead on that recommendation when possible. However, we currently are at the lowest overall faculty salary relative to inflation and have the highest workload in recent history. There are clearly some things that can be done immediately to alleviate the situation for next year. For example, this appears to be the second year in a row that budgeted enrollment is substantially below actual enrollment. Having a budgeted enrollment that matches or exceeds actual enrollment would have a significant impact on increasing salaries/reducing workload. Dr. Padilla invited the faculty to participate in developing a process for distributing any future increases to the faculty salary pool equitably. The Executive Committee will work with him to quickly find a suitable mechanism for faculty input into this process. Your suggestions and guidance for the Executive Committee on this issue will be most welcome.
Dr. Dee James reminded everyone that in last year's Senate we were reminded that our focus on diversity needs to be implemented through the goals that are set by each of the standing committees. Having a diversity concern stated and an objective or goal set by the Executive Committee would be important as well. Dr. Patch thanked Dr. James and stated that the Executive Committee will discuss this at its next meeting.
V. Student Government Association Report
Mr. Sean McDonald and Mr. Tarik Glenn addressed the Senate.
Mr. McDonald distributed packets on behalf of SGA President Casey Crowley who was unable to attend.
Mr. McDonald is the coordinator of the Student Organization Council (which is a collaboration of all the presidents or vice presidents of the 65 student clubs and organizations on campus.) They have had serious problems with student organization participation over the last few years. There has been very low attendance both within the clubs and at public events that they hold. They are trying to encourage better dialogue to collaborate on events.
Two organizations co-sponsor student clubs -- Underdog Productions co-sponsors any group for entertainment-based activities they want to bring to campus. Nucleus co-sponsors any organization that wants to incorporate diversity into campus-wide and community-wide activities that they bring on campus.
SGA is fortunate to have some student leaders with high energy and drive. The university sent seven students to a Leadership Conference in Illinois where they learned team-building and hopefully they will bring the energy needed in student organizations.
The SGA has very strong leadership and is dedicated to representing the student body. Mr. Crowley would like to build a strong relationship with the Faculty Senate and he has asked Tarik Glenn to be the liaison between Faculty Senate and the SGA. Mr. McDonald introduced Mr. Glenn as a sophomore who is an outstanding leader.
Mr. Glenn stated that as the liaison between SGA and the Faculty Senate, his main goal this year is to provide answers and communication between the two groups and to ensure that the information is accurate and pertinent to the students. SGA will relay relevant information to the students as quickly as possible and he is willing to help in any way that he can.
VI. Academic Policies Committee Report
Mr. Keith Bramlett gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.
Three members of APC met with the Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) group throughout the summer and provided input. He thanked Jeff Konz, Randy Booker, and Mike Ruiz for fulfilling that role for APC.
APC has carry-over business from last year because the general education proposal came to the committee late in the semester. This includes documents and the Sunset Policy.
Letters to Department Chairs and Program Directors outlining APC Procedures were emailed before the computer virus paralyzed the system. Senators were copied on the email.
On September 23, the APC will meet with Dr. Padilla and the AVCs to discuss emerging issues. APC will meet every Thursday at 3:15pm in Karpen 005, except when the Faculty Senate meets. Individuals will be notified when it is necessary to meet on Tuesdays.
APC goals for 2003-2004 Year
In addition to the completion of the yearly task of reviewing documents submitted for inclusion in the catalog, the Academic Policies Committee for 2003-2004 has the following goals:
1. To play a pivotal role in the review and discussion of Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) including review of the Revised ILS Document relative to the stipulations and questions articulated in SD7203S. APC will provide general feedback and specific recommendations on the revised document prior to its dissemination to the faculty at large, attend faculty discussions of the ILS proposal, and review the final revised ILS Document submitted to APC for recommendation to the Faculty Senate.
2. To collaborate with the AVCs in reviewing APC procedures and protocol to maximize communication, clarify existing procedures or articulate new ones as needed in the new structure within Academic Affairs.
3. To consult and collaborate with the Senate Constitution Task Force on the future role of APC, especially in light of the new administrative structure in Academic Affairs and the emergent ILS Oversight Committee for Integrative Liberal Studies.
4. To collaborate with the Registrar's Office and AVCs in reviewing current APC policies on "sunsetting" of courses in the UNCA catalog and developing a proposal for a more efficient process which reduces the number of appeals for exemption considered by APC and the Senate as currently mandated (by SD0489F).
5. To continue to discuss and document issues of (in)consistency in departmental/program structures and descriptions in the catalog, creating an ongoing record of APC standards and concerns to facilitate continuity and greater consistency in the future (by not having to rely so heavily on institutional memory residing in particular persons).
6. To continue review of departmental and program mission statements regarding their curriculum-related diversity goals, especially relative to the design and implementation of Integrative Liberal Studies.
VII. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report
Dr. Irene Rossell reported for the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council (IDC/UPC).
At UPC's first meeting last week, Dr. Gravely gave a preliminary fall enrollment report. This year's freshmen class is the largest ever, almost 40% larger than last year's class. UPC discussed how continued growth in the future might affect UNCA's headcount cap of 3500 (headcount this semester is 3417).
Dr. Gravely gave a short report on the UNCA Indicators, which he is in the process of updating from last year. He has requested advice from UNCA's legal counsel on the diversity indicators, to be sure that they are appropriate, in light of the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding race. UPC will discuss the indicators further at another meeting this fall.
Dr. Whatley brought the paperwork for an Intent to Plan a Joint Engineering Program to UPC. The proposal passed UPC unanimously and was emailed to senators on Monday as UPC Document 1. Senators will be asked to waive the Comer Rule in order to vote on it today.
UPC also discussed its role in strategic planning, in a conversation facilitated by Dr. Padilla. As reported earlier, last year the Chancellor decided to hire an outside consultant to develop a strategic plan for UNCA. However, he has now decided to start the process off with a campus-based strategic thinking committee that will be chaired by Dr. Padilla. Some members of UPC may sit on the new committee, but it will not be a UPC committee, and it will report to the Chancellor, not to the Senate. UPC members were in agreement that UPC has been stalled during the last several years in the area of strategic planning, and that the campus is in need of some entity to move us towards a plan. UPC will continue to work on other planning issues that arise, but no longer on strategic planning.
Waiver of Comer Rule
The Senate returned to UPC 1 and Dr. Patch explained the Comer Rule (SD0288F).
A motion to waive the Comer Rule was moved and seconded (Reynolds/ Wood).
During discussion, Dr. Whatley explained that the legislature had approved money toward planning this program and there was a short time-line, given the required documentation. The motion passed 11 to 3.
UPC 1: Notification of Intent to Plan a Joint Engineering Program in Mechatronics with NC State.
Several editorial changes were accepted as friendly amendments.
The Intent to Plan addresses the development of a joint engineering program with NC State in mechatronics (which is a combination of mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering). Students in the program will attend UNCA for four years (unlike the current 2+2 program), and they will be awarded degrees from both UNCA and NC State. UPC 1 is an Intent to Plan this program. It will be followed by a Request to Establish the program, and that paperwork will have all the details and the proposed budget.
UNCA currently features three established programs in engineering involving approximately 100 students a year. We offer a 2+2 program with NCSU, the NCSU Mechatronics program, offered entirely on the UNCA campus, and a major in Industrial and Engineering Management offered through the UNCA Department of Management and Accountancy. These programs have evolved over the last twenty-five years into strong, popular programs.
NCSU has an established Mechatronics program on the UNCA campus; the structure of the program is in place and functioning. The next step is the establishment of a joint degree program between NCSU and UNCA. Both UNCA and NCSU students and faculty would benefit from the combination of strengths from these two institutions and it allows for the most productive use of scarce resources. As an added benefit, certain logistical difficulties, which have hampered the current program, would be easily solved if the program were administered as a joint degree program.
In response to questions, Dr. Whatley stated that the 2+2 program will continue as it currently exists. The Mechatronics program will be revised into a joint program. This is a SACS-relevant change because the degree is coming from UNCA and it is adding a new degree program. This is not adding students but we will have instructional responsibilities. Resources will be addressed in the next document.
The Senate suggested that the next document include the names of UNCA faculty members who were involved in teaching engineering students and that they be included in the planning committee.
Dr. Rossell quoted part of a UPC resolution which the Senate heard last year:
"....be it therefore resolved that the UPC encourages university administrators to pursue all reasonable opportunities to develop UNCA engineering programs consonant with UNCA's mission, guiding concepts, and goals. And that the administration bring back to UPC any formal plan to introduce more engineering programs prior to their implementation or committee evaluation."
UPC 1 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 0103F.
Return to IDC/UPC Report
Dr. Rossell reported that given the shift in UPC's responsibilities, they did not formulate any goals for this year. After Dr. Padilla talked to UPC about the Chancellor's mission in terms of the new committee, UPC realized it will be continuing some planning business, but frankly they are not sure how this will shake out. She will report their goals when they are determined.
Dr. Rossell stated that questions about the strategic thinking/positioning committee should be addressed to Dr. Padilla.
Dr. Brown asked if the positioning consultant had been identified and hired. Dr. Padilla stated that the firm has been interviewed -- he did not know whether the person had been hired or not.
Dr. Brown heard that some of the money -- or all of the money -- for hiring this person was coming from the Office of the President. Dr. Padilla stated that the Chancellor said, in his address to the faculty, that no state monies would be used. Dr. Brown asked if money from the endowment was being used? Dr. Padilla replied that he did not know -- that Dr. Brown would need to ask the Chancellor.
Dr. Nickless asked if we were also hiring a master planner? Dr. Padilla believed that we had hired a master planner. Dr. Nickless questioned whether we needed both a master planner and a strategic planner. Dr. Padilla explained that the firm that could be hired would not be charged with developing a plan but rather to assist the group that he will convene in developing a plan. The strategic thinking exercises come back on campus and that firm will conduct interviews, do some research, and facilitate the process of the committee. We are not hiring a consultant to give us a strategic plan -- but rather to help a group develop strategic thinking skills.
Dr. Nickless stated that she was the faculty representative at the interview when the master planners we were hiring made their presentation. They all said they would not be presenting a master plan -- they would present a process of how to create a master plan -- and that is exactly what Dr. Padilla said about the strategic planners. It sounds like we are about to hire two sets of planning consultants who are going to hold campus-wide meetings on planning.
Dr. Padilla explained that there are master planners who also do strategic planning. Master planners tend to come out of architecture firms. Strategic planners tend to come out of strategic planning firms -- they are industry consultants who help organizations that are in financial trouble. He prefers separating the two and having an independent strategic planning process. That is why he wants to bring it back to campus. The planning engages a community and creates a single narrative of where the institution might be going.
Dr. Brown stated that he had a lot of questions at the UPC meeting and has been talking to people in the last week about this. He has noticed in connection with this new consultant that the phrase "strategic positioning" is being used -- not "strategic planning." At the meeting, he was very excited about the idea that strategic planning has to be tied with budgets to be meaningful. But strategic positioning -- which might be viewed as more of a public relations dimension rather than a planning dimension in the classic sense of university administration jargon -- could make more sense and it might be a reasonable clarification. Dr. Brown's understanding was that this person would theoretically be more of a strategic positioning consultant -- talking about developing selling points and about refining our identity in the landscape of higher education. Dr. Brown asked Dr. Padilla for clarification -- is this "strategic positioning" (in the sense he described) or is it "planning?"
Dr. Padilla stated he felt comfortable with Dr. Brown's interpretation. This is positioning and a plan is not intended to come out of it. We have documents (goals, objectives, mission) and we have a very clear internal sense of who we are and what we want to be. The problem that the chancellor has identified -- correctly -- is that we do not have a vehicle to turn our identity and mission and goals into a communication piece. There is no selling point.
UNCA has a very strong academic program, very strong internal identity, and very strong faculty culture and values -- but no way to sell who we are to the outside world. If we are moving into the more development-oriented phase of our administration, the chancellor needs something to use to take with him. Our aspirations are to become a national model in a number of different areas and we have that potential -- the faculty has done its work and created this incredible curriculum. But he was not sure that the administration has what it needs to go out and sell it and get the big splash that we deserve. We need to find some way to do that. Part of this is the ability to create a communication tool -- a strategy of communication -- that allows us to project who we already decided to be. We need an objective perspective from someone on the outside to compare us to others.
Another area where the university is lacking is an ability to work with the Asheville and western NC region in ways that allow them to understand where our priorities are. We are going to develop certain strategic areas of importance that allow us to integrate ourselves and communicate better with the community about where we are going at this point and also to receive information from the community about what is important to them.
In the area of development, positioning what niche we should occupy in higher education helps with foundation grants and recruiting. Strategic positioning is now the way in which many schools recruit. Positioning, branding, areas of distinction, strategic areas of importance -- that is the kind of thing we are looking for and looking to get some outside help with, but it is still an internal conversation. It is something that cannot occur in between all the other work that a faculty governance committee has to do. It is too important to a university and it has to be as the chancellor said -- a 12-month a year job -- where it is one of the most important things administrations do now. But there is no interest in creating a new identity for the university. We have what everyone else wants. We have a communication problem.
This is a very narrow focus kind of exercise that should be over in a year's time. It will develop some materials and communication strategies and faculty need to be involved. This is not cutting off faculty. Faculty built this school and faculty have to be at the table.
The Task Force will involve the Vice Chancellors and he will invite faculty governance representation (and UPC), but he needs to work with the chancellor on this before he can make any promises. Appropriate representation is not separate from faculty governance but it does not report to faculty governance. Dr. Padilla did not think UPC originally did either -- UPC was created by Chancellor Highsmith to advise him and then it got integrated with faculty governance.
Dr. Patch corrected Dr. Padilla and stated that the UPC was formed in a Senate document by the Faculty Senate to address planning -- particularly to address the university's five-year plan.
Dr. Padilla stated that the questions become "What does it mean for this exercise to take place outside of UPC? What are the stakes for the faculty? And what are the stakes for the university?" That is the big set of issues now that it is clear what we are trying to do. "What does it mean to faculty governance that we are trying to do it in this way?"
Dr. Patch stated that he wanted to express a concern that one of the roles of UPC has had -- and it was formed in that particular Senate document -- was to be involved in the planning process and to look at budgeting and long term budgeting. He is very concerned that this new process basically takes faculty totally out of any long term budgetary planning -- especially when we are positioning and not planning. He expressed concern that this is something that faculty is sensitive about.
Dr. Padilla stated that he knew the recent history of UPC has been in a downward cycle. This was expressed very eloquently at the UPC meeting -- as well as frustration and the sense that UPC is increasingly being stripped of its prerogatives and responsibilities, that it feels as if faculty members attend meetings but are not doing anything. The questions -- "What is UPC's role today, what should it be doing, and what happened so it cannot do what it is supposed to be doing?" -- are a set of thorns. He too felt frustrated at UPC last year because we really do need to move forward and yet we seem to be trapped in this realm of "What's going on? What should we be doing?"
Moving into another Task Force does cut the Gordian knot to some extent while UPC is figuring out its role and while the Senate Constitution is being reviewed/revised. At least we can move forward in this one area. That is not to say the problems are resolved. At the institute he attended, every plan they looked at was either chaired by the Chancellor of Chief Academic Officer because of the nature of the stakes of the issues and the way that faculty governance can only meet during certain times -- it is too vital to relegate to that kind of timing and scheduling. Schools that are facing financial issues have to move more nimbly than a traditional faculty governance process allows. That is not to say faculty governance should not have a role -- but it cannot come out of the traditional UPC structure. He knows it is a controversial statement -- and he was not asking people to agree -- but it is his view after sitting on UPC last year. You have to start out anew -- let faculty governance adjust to the new nature of the pressures among higher administration to positioning a university. But Dr. Padilla stated he is willing to debate/talk about it.
Dr. Patch suggested that, given the time constraints, that the Senate continue these discussions as we progress through the year and that faculty talk to Dr. Padilla individually as well.
VIII. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee
Dr. Mary Lynn Manns gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee (FWDC) Report.
Dr. Manns announced that Don Lisnerski had a major operation and FWDC misses him in his role as Faculty Assembly representative on FWDC.
2003-04 Alternate Faculty Conciliator
The SGA elected Don Lisnerski to serve at Alternate Faculty Conciliator this year.
FWDC Goals for 2003-04
1. Finish the committee reorganization work that they started last year. A number of committees did not have enabling Faculty Senate documentation and most had not been reviewed in a number of years. FWDC reviewed their duties, responsibilities, and composition. This process required that committees look at themselves. Changes were made to many of the committees reviewed last year. Dr. Manns sees this as an improvement in faculty workload.
2. Kitti Reynolds ran the Senate elections last year and has agreed to run them again this year. Some faculty believe the process could be improved and FWDC will look at issues that have been raised, such as possibly having slates for elections.
3. FWDC is going to work with the Faculty Senate Constitution Review Task Force. As the university has grown, the constitution does not reflect FWDC's current responsibilities. Dr. Manns met with Dr. Padilla early in the summer and they discussed the differences in "faculty welfare" and "faculty development." Dr. Manns is excited about possible changes that could be made through the Task Force.
4. Continue to keep in mind the diversity issues that FWDC started talking about last year, and what makes sense for encouraging diversity on campus. They have some plans for bringing some of the things to fruition this year.
5. Continue work on the committee service assignments. This is a bigger job than last year because many committees changed their purpose and composition.
Dr. Alm asked for an example of one thing about diversity that is going to come to fruition this year. Dr. Manns replied that FWDC held a "faculty of color luncheon" last spring. Dr. Dee James attended in its entirety and took notes on what the faculty talked about. FWDC took this information, as well as the report that came out of two faculty forums and the Diversity Task Force report, and asked Dr. Dwight Mullen last spring to put together a list of tasks that he thinks FWDC can do to move forward -- FWDC is awaiting that list.
IX. Old Business
There was no Old Business.
X. New Business
There was no New Business.
Dr. Patch adjourned the meeting at 5:15 pm.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely
Mary Lynn Manns