University of North Carolina at Asheville
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Minutes, December 11, 2003
Members: K. Bramlett, T. Brown, D. James, J. Konz, ML Manns, S. Mills, P. Nickless,
S. Patch, K. Reynolds, I. Rossell, M. Ruiz, J. Wood; M. Padilla.
Excused: M. Alm, R. Booker, D. Pierce.
Visitors: M. Burchard, E. Brotak, L. Friedenberg, T. Glenn, M. Himelein, A. Huang, E. Katz, P. McClellan, R. Sensabaugh, A. Shope, K. Whatley.
I. Call to Order/Announcements
Dr. Steve Patch called the meeting to order at 3:19 pm and welcomed senators and guests. There were no announcements.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of November 13, 2003, were approved following an editorial correction.
III. Administrative Report
Vice Chancellor Padilla gave the Administrative Report.
Campus-Based Tuition Increase (CBTI)
The Task Force on Campus-Based Tuition Increase (CBTI) has completed its work and has sent its recommendation to Chancellor Mullen. A special Board of Trustees meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss this matter.
Task Force on University Strategies
The Task Force on University Strategies met today from 1:00-4:00 pm, with 20-30 people attending. Two additional meetings are scheduled for next semester. Dr. Padilla has asked Irene Rossell, as Chair of UPC, to be the conduit to the Senate on this initiative.
IV. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Steve Patch gave the Executive Committee Report.
Speaking Privileges for Visitors
The Constitution states that visitors are allowed to speak at Senate meetings if they receive a majority vote. Dr. Patch considered this to be unnecessarily cumbersome and moved that the Senate automatically grant visitors speaking privileges for the remainder of the year. Dr. Manns seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Constitution Revision Task Force
The Constitution Revision Task Force is still taking comments. The Task Force will review the policy on visitors' speaking privileges.
Campus-Based Tuition Increase
Dr. Patch reported that the Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting tomorrow to discuss a campus-based tuition increase. As Dr. Padilla reported, the Task Force has made its recommendation to the Chancellor regarding this matter. The Task Force, Chaired by Bill Spellman, met three times. At the end of the third meeting the Task Force reached a consensus on the amount of tuition increase that UNCA would request. They were unable to reach a consensus on how the revenues would be spent. A majority had a formula that they preferred. The CSAC representative expressed an opinion that the amount was not high enough for staff members. Dr. Patch expressed an opinion that he did not believe the formula had a high enough percentage devoted toward faculty salaries. They sent in minority opinions to the Chancellor, who passed both the Task Force recommendation and the minority opinions along to the Board of Trustees.
The following document was considered for Second Reading:
EC 3: Revision to Policy Allowing +/- Final Grades (Revised SD3901S)
Dr. Patch moved to waive the Comer Rule so grades assigned this semester would be calculated under the proposed policy. Dr. Reynolds seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The document was then considered for Second Reading.
Dr. Patch explained that the software that calculates our GPA's truncates the quality points after the second decimal place. For example, an A-, which should receive 3.667 quality points, is currently being calculated at 3.66 quality points. Using two decimal places in quality points is the most straightforward method to improve this situation. The resulting changes in GPA's would be negligible.
Dr. Nickless asked if this change would affect academic honors that are awarded to three decimal places. Ms. McClellan replied that currently the grading table accepts two decimal places and that is where the quality point calculations originate. SIS Plus -- the system that we use -- has been programmed to carry the cumulative GPA to three decimal places. The original calculations begin with two decimal points and end with three in order to round up appropriately. EC 3 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 0903F.
Student Government Association Report
Mr. Tarik Glenn gave the Student Government Association Report.
The person charged with the Academic Committee at SGA has expressed concern about credits from internships, outward bound, and study abroad. Apparently it is different for each academic department. He asked if it is possible to have a departmental policy on outside credits from other sources. Mr. Bramlett confirmed that it is a departmental policy. Dr. Patch suggested that SGA draft a policy for APC to consider.
Mr. Glenn asked if it was mandatory for a professor to give a test prior to the withdrawal date. Dr. Wood read from the Catalog, page 31, "Each instructor arranges examinations in courses as appropriate. The student should receive the results of at least one evaluation by the end of the fifth week of each course."
Mr. Glenn asked what reasons would allow a student to withdraw after the withdrawal deadline. Dr. Nickless read from the Catalog, page 33, "Requests for withdrawal after the deadline will be accepted only in cases of extenuating and documentable circumstances." Dr. Patch noted that a proposal to revise the withdrawal policy has been returned to a committee for further review. Ms. McClellan stated that the Enrollment Services Committee has been revising the document that will eventually go to APC. Dr. Patch recommended that SGA contact Ms. McClellan if they have suggestions.
There is concern that during advising, some professors were unsure of what courses to tell students to take in their major. Ms. McClellan suggested that SGA invite her to a meeting to hear their concerns.
Mr. Glenn asked when SGA needs to appoint students to committees. Dr. Manns replied that this occurs at the beginning of each fall semester.
VI. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee
Dr. Mary Lynn Manns gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee (FWDC) Report.
Nominations for membership to the Task Force to Study Faculty Salary Distribution
The Faculty Senate appointed the following faculty members to the Task Force to Study Faculty Salary Distribution (composed of at least one faculty member from each of the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and Lecturer):
Gwen Ashburn Dee Eggers
Gregg Kormanik Bruce Larson (Chair)
Betsy Mayes Scott Walters
The administrative members are: Archer Gravely, Steve Honeycutt, Dwight Mullen.
The following documents were distributed for First Reading:
FWDC 2: Annual Evaluation of Faculty (with focus on Department Chairs) (Revision of Faculty Handbook Section 3.3 and 3.4)
FWDC 6: Establishment of Position Allocation Committee
FWDC 7: Establishment of Committee on Faculty Service
FWDC 8: Revision of "How Members are Selected" for Committees Whose Members are Appointed (Standing Committees) (Revision of Faculty Handbook Section 10.4.1.2)
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
FWDC 3: Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment (Revision of SD1488S, section 3 under Procedures for Application, Approval, and Accountability).
A lengthy discussion ensued regarding procedural aspects of the proposal, inconsistencies in wording in the Faculty Handbook, how much authority the department chair should have, and the difficulty of editing the proposal on the Senate floor. FWDC 3 was withdrawn for further review.
FWDC 4: Revision to the Process for Appointment of Lecturers (Revision of SD0202F).
Dr. Manns moved to amend FWDC 4 and distributed copies of the revision. Dr. Reynolds seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Dr. Manns noted that Melissa Himelein, who served on Committee of Tenured Faculty (CTF), was present and supported the proposal.
Dr. Patch relayed Dr. Alm's comments in her absence: "As a lecturer, it (FWDC 4) is an improvement on going to the CTF. But make sure it is not an onerous task. Remember, lecturers write an annual report and we are renewed annually for at least three years. I had 4 one-year contracts. Perhaps a section of our annual report could be called the PDP response. Not asking lecturers for an annual report like everyone else would be a bad idea."
Dr. Konz expressed concern that the rationale for the policy change is that lecturers are doing specific departmentally based assignments. The sense is that this is not a university concern but rather it is a departmental decision and concern. Dr. Padilla stated that all faculty are appointed for the specific needs of a department. The reality is that lecturers tend to be more department-oriented than other faculty in general. It is the process that is key and this is a way to get the conversation started.
Dr. Patch noted that this is a central issue because with this document we are allowing more individualized expectations for lecturers and there is less of a university standard for lecturers.
Dr. Nickless opposed the document. One of CTF's most valuable functions is to raise the question, "Why is there a lecturer in this position and is this person qualified?" The CTF merely advises the VCAA. It is important to have someone outside the department -- and removed from the negotiations between Chair and the VCAA -- to look at the lecturer positions. Dr. Padilla noted that this function had been transferred to the Position Allocation Committee (PAC). Due to the lack of clarity around this issue, he divided the responsibilities -- he asked the Council of Chairs to only take responsibility for the resource issues and he asked the CTF to only look at performance issues. It was an unfair review process because the CTF was holding against the performance the idea that the department filled the position with a lecturer rather than a tenured track position.
Dr. Nickless acknowledged the value of separating the functions but asked if lecturer positions - once granted - ever go back to the PAC? Dr. Padilla replied that it would return to the PAC when the position is vacated. Dr. Nickless noted that we still have the problem -- someone outside the process that creates the position has to look at them again whether they are vacated or not. The PAC is the obvious committee to go back every so often and ask, "Why is there still a lecturer here?"
Dr. Manns stated that concern from the CTF prompted the document. Melissa Himelein stated that this is not just a workload issue although that is certainly a part of it. The CTF is supposed to be evaluating a person on an individualized standard yet it never sees the contract. The CTF can evaluate teaching across the board, but if the rest of the contract is individualized, then it is not possible for CTF to do it well.
Dr. Padilla stated that departments must have the primary role in the evaluation, but there is a cultural norm. Departments have some leeway, but they cannot create completely different standards. It is the CTF's responsibility in the evaluation process to be the embodiment of the basic bar -- to make sure that the standard is equitable across the board. When he hears a recommendation from the CTF, he knows that the person has cleared that bar.
Dr. Nickless stated she placed a high value on CTF's role in maintaining consistency across departments in how the lecturers were being used and in requiring departments to articulate the lecturers' role in the contract. This could occur elsewhere -- perhaps with the AVCs -- but this document does not indicate that will happen. Dr. Padilla suggested that Dr. Nickless amend FWDC 6 (establishing the Position Allocation Committee) when it is considered in January. He added that looking at lecturers as a resource on a regular basis -- whatever the Senate decides -- is appropriate.
Dr. Nickless reiterated the need for the CTF to look at the long-term multi-year lecturers. Dr. James stated that she was not concerned that each department be able to articulate the exact same standard because one size does not fit all. However, each department should be held accountable for whatever its standard is. One of CTF's confusions - and what Dr. Himelein spoke to -- is the sense that there are individualized contracts and the details of the contract are unknown. Dr. James supported the policy but could see how foregoing the loop that makes us accountable to the university in some way is problematic.
Dr. Patch noted that the issue of whether a position should still be a lecturer is addressed in the Faculty Handbook: "Prior to the end of each contract term the chair of the department must request that the position be maintained for an additional contract term (see section 2.3). Section 2.3 refers to the allocation of faculty positions, which we may be changing, but currently it goes into how a faculty position is allocated. Dr. Nickless agreed that is what the document states -- but that is not how things work. She reiterated that long-term lecturers should go to CTF for evaluation.
Dr. Brown asked Dr. Nickless if it was the evaluation of the quality of their teaching or the evaluation of the appropriateness of their appointment that concerned her. Dr. Nickless hoped both issues would be raised -- but certainly the quality of teaching and the quality of whatever their contract is. If departments cannot articulate what the contracts are then there is a red flag. And it is helpful to have a CTF be able to say to the VCAA, "There is something wrong here."
Dr. Brown stated that he too served on the CTF with Dr. Nickless and Dr. James. He thought as a result of their discussions with the Tenure Review Task Force that Chairs had to address the nature of the contract when recommending lecturer reappointments. Resource implications and position allocations now have an appropriate venue in PAC. Dr. Patch read from the guidelines: "In all instances, reappointment requires evidence of highly effective teaching and successful performance in any other areas specified as components of contract (i.e., service, scholarship/professional/creative activity)." FWDC 4 passed as amended by a vote of 4 to 2 with 5 abstentions and became Senate Document 1003F.
FWDC 5: Revision to Grievance Policy (Mediation) (Revision of Faculty Handbook Section 3.6.3).
Dr. Konz questioned why this is being inserted in the Faculty Handbook after the Grievance Committee has done an initial screening to determine whether a detailed investigation is merited. Does the Grievance Committee then determine whether it is appropriate to offer mediation or does it happen automatically? Dr. Friedenberg replied that it happens automatically -- UNC mandated that we make mediation available to any party that wishes. Dr. Konz asked, in terms of the process, was there any reason for the Grievance Committee to conduct an initial screening before the mediation occurred. Dr. Friedenberg stated that the language was taken largely from the memorandum that the university received -- it stated that there should be an initial screening. Perhaps, if there is an initial screening and it is discovered that there is no foundation to the charges, then the person will withdraw the filing. The initial screening is a signal to the parties. FWDC 5 passed by a vote of 9 to 0 with one abstention and became Senate Document 1103F.
VII. Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council Report
Dr. Irene Rossell reported for the Institutional Development Committee/University Planning Council (IDC/UPC).
Interdisciplinary Studies Program/Global Studies
IDC met with Mark Padilla and Lisa Friedenberg last week to begin a discussion of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. In the current catalogue, IST contains catalogue copy for three majors (Individual Degree, Ethics and Social Institutions, and Multimedia Arts and Sciences), five minors (Africana Studies, Humanities, International Studies, Legal Studies, and Women's Studies), as well as Arts courses and the MLA Program. Some of these are separate entities, while some are under the direction of the IST director. Dr. Padilla has some concerns, which IDC shares, that an increase in the number of interdisciplinary offerings might begin to channel resources out of traditional departments.
IDC also met with Linda Cornett concerning her proposal to establish a new Global Issues major within IST. She does not believe that this new major belongs into any of the traditional departments, and has proposed several concentrations that draw heavily from existing departments on campus. IDC asked her to provide more information. They will meet with her again next semester to follow up on her proposal.
Report on Task
Force on University Strategies
Dan Pierce, Kevin Moorhead, and Irene Rossell represented UPC at the first meeting of the Task Force on University Strategies this afternoon. Tracy Brown and Dee James are also on the task force, but were not able to attend today's meeting. Dr. Rossell stated that she was impressed with the membership on the task force. There were a wide variety of people there, a number of whom are from the community and have had a long-term relationship with UNCA.
The consultants led the group through some of the steps that we as a university need to take to formulate strategies to achieve our goals. They discussed the strengths and weaknesses of this institution and how we can capitalize on the strengths and use the weaknesses as opportunities for change. A few of the items discussed were:
- how UNCA is perceived by the community.
- whether our enrollment cap of 3500 students is an asset or a liability.
- what balance of academics and other activities we want at UNCA.
- how to balance new freshmen and transfer students in our enrollment strategy.
Integrative Liberal Studies Proposal
UPC will consider resource implications in the final ILS document early next semester, before it comes to the Senate for a vote.
The following document was considered for Second Reading:
UPC 3: Notification of Intent to Plan a B.A. Degree in Women's Studies.
Dr. Nickless noted that Women's Studies is not part of the IST program. UPC 3 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1203F.
VIII. Academic Policies Committee Report
Mr. Keith Bramlett gave the Academic Policies Committee Report.
Update on Integrative Liberal Studies Implementation Proposal
APC has completed its public meetings on the ILS proposal. A number of significant changes were made:
- Increasing Language 120 from 3 to 4 hours.
- Dropping the number of Diversity Intensive courses from 2 to 1 and from 6 to 3 hours.
- Changing the number of topical clusters from 2 to 1 -- with at least 3 courses totaling 9 credit hours required within the one cluster, one course being a natural science course and another being a social science course.
The Overview is being rewritten and APC anticipates receiving the revised document with the catalog copy by January 8, 2004. APC will then hold its fourth and final review of the document and anticipates submitting the proposal to the Senate for first reading on January 22nd. Dr. Patch noted that if the proposal is distributed on January 22nd, then the Senate would hold a Special Senate meeting on January 29th to consider the entire ILS proposal. He asked senators to reserve January 29th for a possible meeting at 3:15 pm in the OWEN Conference Center.
Dr. Katz added that the credit hour total for the ILS program as amended in APC is 47 credit hours. He thanked APC for their incredibly hard work this entire semester. APC provided outstanding input and were very welcoming and collaborative with faculty -- especially the natural science faculty who attended all the meetings in large numbers. He thanked Keith Bramlett for his leadership in this effort.
APC review of Engineering curriculum
APC reviewed the curricular component of the Mechatronics program at its last meeting and provided the needed input of faculty governance that Dr. Padilla had requested. At the November Senate meeting APC noted that it preferred that the proposal not come back to APC. However, because of incomplete information and significant changes in the ILS document, it will need to come back to APC.
Dr. Patch asked Mr. Bramlett to summarize the nature of the discussion. APC approved the proposal unanimously, but the following concerns were articulated:
- the notion of a dual degree offering more elective credit than a joint degree.
- the ability of the Mechatronics students to fully participate in integrative liberal studies courses.
- the disadvantage to some of our students -- particularly in terms of the Introductory Colloquium or participation in topical clusters being primarily comprised of engineering students.
- concern for the precedent of distance learning on our campus, particularly for UNCA students that are full-time students taking a significant number of distance learning courses.
- the precedent for additional programs in engineering and what might come next, for example a computer engineering program.
- strong concern was expressed that the Introductory Colloquium be taught by a UNCA faculty member and that it not be a distance education course.
Mr. Bramlett thanked Kathy Whatley, who gave APC an overview of the program and helped them understand where we had flexibility and where we did not.
The proposal will be going to UPC for consideration.
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
APC 4: Deletion of ATMS 106, 214, 340.
APC 4 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1303F.
APC 5: Add two new courses, ATMS 241 and ATMS 251. Change prerequisites in ATMS 305, 315, 316, and 405.
APC 5 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1403F.
APC 6: Change course description of ATMS 103, Change title and description of ATMS 261, and Reduce credit hours of ATMS 410 and 411.
APC 6 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1503F.
APC 7: Change in required courses for Climatology and Weather Forecasting Concentrations.
APC 7 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 1603F.
IX. Old Business
There was no Old Business.
X. New Business
There was no New Business.
Dr. Patch adjourned the meeting at 6:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely
Mary Lynn Manns