FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Members: L. Atkinson, B. Butler, R. Booker, L. Cornett, J. Konz, B. Larson, D. Lisnerski, G. Nallan,
S. Mills, P. Nickless, D. Pierce, B.
Visitors: M. Alm, J. Burges, J. Fahmy, M. Gibney, M. Hale, ML Manns, C. Mitchell, J. Passe,
A. Shope, J. Stevens, D. Sulock, G. Voos, S. Weatherford, K. Whatley.
I. Call to Order and Announcements
II. Approval of minutes
The minutes of
III. Administrative Report
Transportation for Class Use
A task force with Yuri Koslen, Steve Baxley, Jim Petranka, and Chris Bell is looking at parking and transportation issues and will make recommendations to the administration. Mr. Koslen is the transportation planner on campus and is chair of the task force. Dr. Padilla has asked the group to look into the need for vans to take students on field trips as they discuss what to do with the mini buses. They will need faculty input to know what kind of vehicles are needed and how often they will be used.
Dr. Padilla has scheduled a campus forum to discuss conference space needs on March 28th at in Laurel Forum. Bill Massey emailed the campus about scheduling the OCC this semester.
Dot Sulock of the Mathematics
Department gave an impassioned speech on the future of the
Dr. Nickless thanked Ms. Sulock and noted that Mr. Massey would receive a copy of the minutes with her comments. Dr. Padilla added that decisions about the OCC are made by Chancellor Mullen with Mr. Massey. His job is to follow the Chancellor’s decisions, but faculty have the power to write letters and put pressure on those decisions.
Problems at Highsmith Union
Dr. Padilla referred to a recent incident involving a peeper in a women’s restroom and reported that the administration is discussing the protocols for communicating incidents on campus. Security on campus is an important issue and we need to develop a Campus Safety Committee. The Banner and WLOS reported on the peeper incident and steps were taken to increase security.
from President Broad re:
Dr. Padilla read a letter from President
Broad on the future of the
Proposed Academic Program Review Group
reported that the role of Academic Affairs in helping to shape, plan, and respond
to curricular changes had not been defined since the reorganization. The administration needs to be fully invested
Dr. Padilla proposed establishing an
Academic Program Review Group which would involve the academic
Dr. Padilla was not sure that
Dr. Padilla explained his vision to provide more faculty leaves and more course reductions by streamlining and simplifying the curriculum. There is a natural tendency with faculty to specialize but the administration needs to resist constant curricular changes to move in the direction of more release time.
Dr. Nickless suggested that a group
be assembled to discuss the proposal with Dr. Padilla.
Dr. Larson commented that we have a number of problems that we are trying to solve with this proposal. Talking through it would help to clarify what those are and whether or not we can agree on a solution that would meet those needs. Cathy Mitchell added that she was not sure that what Dr. Padilla was proposing is the solution but she concurred completely with the problem. Our curriculum is out of control – essentially we need a curriculum transformation initiative. (Dr. Mitchell wrote a proposal to reduce the faculty load to nine hours by essentially not teaching small enrollment courses).
Dr. Larson added that in relation to this conversation, institutional assessment has decreased in importance since the last SACS review. A group like this will be an opportunity to reassert some of the institutional assessment activities that we used to do on a regular basis that we are not doing now. He asked the group to keep that in mind.
IV. Executive Committee Report
Dr. Nickless gave the Executive Committee Report.
UNC Faculty Assembly Report
Jeff Passe, Chair of UNC Faculty Assembly (FA), explained that the FA was established in the 1970s as an advisory group that responds to and initiates issues with President Broad. It meets four times a year and has seven committees: Budget, Programs, Governance, Technology, Welfare and Benefits, Academic Freedom, and Faculty Development. Areas of the university that are centralized (technology, teacher education and nursing, and relationships with the community colleges) would benefit from bringing multiple perspectives from the 16 campuses together.
Dr. Passe explained last year’s notable loss in the area of political action. The OP and the BOG recommended a substantial pay raise for faculty that was compromised because the students were better organized than the faculty. The students made a terrific case based on anecdotal evidence that if more money was collected from tuition, it should not go into faculty salaries – it should go into reducing class size, providing more courses, and reducing the number of adjuncts. The BOG hopped on board and faculty got less of a pay raise from tuition increases than they could have gotten.
A major issue over the last year dealt with the 2 + 2 community college program. Various task forces are concerned about how easily students can transfer from the 2-year community colleges into the 4-year programs. The view from many of the people on the BOG of both the community colleges and the universities is that we need to standardize more to make the transition easier. The FA emphasized the need for diversity within our 16 campuses and got a lot of flexibility in the arrangement with the community colleges.
The FA has strengthened faculty governances at our historically minority institutions that have more of an autocratic administrative system by creating a caucus that is now a permanent part of the FA structure.
The Governance Committee developed a survey and published a check-list on the FA website [http://www.ncfaculty.com] that shows, e.g. what campuses do not have a committee that looks at the budget. It is putting together a report card that will rate the campuses on the quality of their faculty governance. The State has been using report cards for years and it is an effective way of getting change to occur.
The FA is holding a special conference on April 7th for incoming Senate Chairs and others who would like to learn more about how to be effective leaders in faculty governance. There will be panels and presentations on communicating with faculty, running effective meetings, managing committees, relations with administration, and reviewing the budget.
Dr. Passe suggested that as UNCA searches for a new chancellor, faculty should use this opportunity to make their priorities known in terms of faculty governance, and to establish some protocol concerning the Chancellor’s role, the role of Academic Affairs, and the faculty’s role in making decisions.
He encouraged faculty to talk with state/federal legislators, to volunteer in their initiatives, and to solicit support for higher education. In the 16 campus system, buildings get built and money is provided for the programs, but faculty issues fall by the wayside. There should be a letter from a UNCA faculty member every week in the local paper -- but ask a colleague to proofread it to ensure diplomacy.
Off Campus Scholarly Assignment (OCSA)
The revision to our Off Campus Scholarly Assignment policy has been postponed as the Office of the President is now developing system-wide guidelines. Chief Academic Officers have been encouraged to move towards a more liberal sabbatical leave policy. The Faculty Assembly has had input in the guidelines.
Strategic Planning Committee Report
Dr. Nickless reported on
the first meeting of the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Committee (SPC).
Following an overview of the task force’s work, they discussed community involvement. It became clear that there is confusion about the master plan and city planning, and there needs to be better communication. Steve Baxley will give an update on the master plan and answer questions at the April 7th Senate meeting. Dan Ray will update the SPC on plans for a city corridor and hub.
The Senate discussed the future of the University Planning Council and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, both of which have not functioned the last two years. The Strategic Planning Committee has not been officially endorsed by the Faculty Senate – it is a fragile enterprise that has only met once and it is the Chancellor’s Group and he is leaving. Dr. Rossell noted that if planning continues to be an issue, the Senate could revive UPC and tweak it as there is a lot of overlap in membership between the UPC and the Chancellor’s group. Dr. Konz added that the Senate needs to articulate the message that faculty participation in planning is essential.
The following document was considered for Second Reading:
EC 2: Changes in Faculty Handbook Editor (Revision of SD3485).
EC 2 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2005S.
V. Student Government Association Report
Dr. Nickless read a
VI. Academic Policies Committee Report
The following documents were distributed for First Reading:
Change Prerequisites for HIST 390.
Declaring a Major in MCOM; Change Requirements for Minor in Mass Communication.
Addition of New INTS Classes.
Change Title and Description of BIOL 351.
Changes in Descriptions of BIOL 444 and 455.
Computer Competency for students concentrating in Ethics and Social Institutions.
(Unanimously approved by
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
Modification of Description STAT 225: Intro to Calculus-Based Statistics.
of electives in Ecology and Environmental Biology concentration.
Discussion turned to how this change would impact the total number of hours in engineering, what the course level would be, and if there would be a prerequisite. Dr. Konz replied that engineering has almost zero flexibility. One way to achieve more flexibility is for Dr. Fahmy’s course in Materials and Society to be an ILSS course in the cluster on Technology, Culture and Society that engineering students would use for their ILS social science course. We also add flexibility if we ensure that we have an available arts course in that cluster. This is a 200-level course with a prerequisite in physics. There would be other courses in the cluster that would not have prerequisites. The only potential problem philosophically is that it is likely to be a course that is populated by students in engineering and perhaps other sciences, rather than a broad spectrum of UNCA students.
Dr. Rossell expressed concern that this would set a precedent. She could imagine many departments with big curricula wanting a special course for their students because it makes the curriculum work. Dr. Konz stated that he shared her concern – philosophically we would like to have all of the cluster courses be more or less available to all of our students.
Dr. Ruiz asked if a cluster course
had to have a social science course with no prerequisite to fit into the
cluster. Dr. Konz explained that every
cluster has to have at least one course that fulfills the ILS natural science
requirement and one course that fulfills the ILS social science requirement without
any prerequisites. But there can be any
number of additional courses that fulfill those requirements that do have
Dr. Lisnerski expressed concern that students can theoretically meet the major requirements by taking four 100-level courses. Students can take WMST 100, HWP 154, ANTH 100, and a 100-level special topics course and meet one third of the requirements needed for the major. Dr. Mitchell stated that there is not a requirement that x number of hours in the major must be at the 300 or above level – that is for the total graduation hours. This is an interdisciplinary degree and they want to keep as many courses as possible resident in the departments.
Dr. Lisnerski asked why WMST 100 was not a higher level course. Dr. Mitchell explained that essentially they took the existing minor curriculum which has WMST 100 and 400. Dr. Konz stated that there is a precedent in an existing interdisciplinary curriculum. The Ethics and Social Institutions curriculum requires ESI 101, ECON 101 or 102, and SOC 100 and one of the courses in the elected program could be at the 100 level. It is possible for a student to use twelve 100-level hours toward the degree.
Dr. Lisnerski expressed concern over the message this sends. He understood that this is an interdisciplinary course but by having this overall distribution, students do not build one course on top of another – they are just taking a variety of different courses. Dr. Mitchell explained that there are themes that come up repeatedly in the different areas. There is also a distribution requirement so that students cannot just take all women’s literature courses and then say they have a Women’s Studies major.
Dr. Lisnerski noted that many of
these courses have two or three prerequisites.
Dr. Mitchell explained that students tend to go to x department and take
more courses in x department. In those
cases, students will be taking some of the courses that have
prerequisites. Dr. Nickless added that
many of the courses that have prerequisites also list WMST 100,
or permission of instructor as options.
They have dealt with this with the minor as well. Many times students who have the Women’s
Studies minor were permitted into a course even though they did not have the
prerequisites – this is a perennial problem in interdisciplinary programs.
VII. Institutional Development Committee Report
The following documents were distributed for First Reading:
IDC 7: Request to Establish a
IDC 8: Intent to Plan a B.A. in Religious Studies.
Dr. Rossell referred to IDC 7 and reminded Senators that this document was discussed at the last meeting. Senators received the current version last week. Dr. Lisnerski moved to waive the Comer Rule to consider IDC 7 for Second Reading. Dr. Booker seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Dr. Rossell explained that the earlier version had a sentence added asking that an Assistant Director be given release time. That was not an issue that IDC had discussed during its meeting with the Center representatives and the document was withdrawn from consideration. The sentence has been removed from IDC 7. Dr. Rossell has reviewed IDC’s procedure for handling paperwork so that documents will flow more smoothly in the future. IDC 7 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3305S
The following documents were considered for Second Reading:
IDC 5: Request to Establish the National
Environmental Modeling and
NEMAC has been on campus for about a year and occupies a suite of offices and two other rooms in Rhoades Hall. They will be conducting a national search for a director. John Stevens is the acting director.
Dr. Konz noted that a
significant amount of funding is devoted to undergraduate stipends. He asked how many undergraduate students were
involved in the program. Dr. Stevens
explained that NEMAC has a central administrative group – called the Quad –
that administers the program. The Quad
includes Gerard Voos,
Dr. Manns stated that nine students are currently involved in the program and they are paid $10 per hour. She had requests this week for two additional students. The students give research presentations to the NEMAC group on Fridays and they will also present at the April 13th event. They are responsible for writing reports and they have a faculty mentor. Students that work on projects off-campus also have an off-campus supervisor. Dr. Stevens added that it is interdisciplinary – students are coming from atmospheric sciences, computer sciences, management, and mathematics. IDC 5 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3405S
IDC 6: Proposal to Establish a new degree program in Women’s Studies.
IDC 6 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3505S
VIII. Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report
Dr. Don Lisnerski gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report.
Nominees for Upcoming Election
The Senate approved the following nominees for upcoming elections:
-- Academic Appeals Board Slate
Chris Bell Dot Sulock
Karen Cole Cathy Whitlock
Bill Haas Gordon Wilson
IX. Old Business
There was no Old Business.
X. New Business
There was no New Business.
Dr. Nickless adjourned the meeting at .
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely