University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, March 3, 2005



Members:          L. Atkinson, B.  Butler, R. Booker, L. Cornett, J. Konz, B. Larson, D. Lisnerski, G. Nallan,

S. Mills, P. Nickless, D. Pierce, B. Reynolds, I. Rossell, M. Ruiz, S. Walters; M. Padilla.


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

Dr. Pamela Nickless called the meeting to order at 3:18 pm and welcomed Senators and guests.  There were no announcements. 


II.         Approval of minutes

            The minutes of February 10, 2005, were approved with an editorial correction.


III.        Administrative Report

            Dr. Mark Padilla gave the 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.   


            Owen Conference Center – Forum to discuss conference space needs

            Dr. Padilla has scheduled a campus forum to discuss conference space needs on March 28th at 4:00pm 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 Owen Conference Center.  She implored that we should not change the OCC into offices – and we should make plans to remove the offices that have already encroached on the OCC.  She described it as a priceless jewel where alums and the campus community have heard wonderful speakers.  She compared the new Alumni Hall conference center in the Highsmith Union to Plato’s cave – even if Alumni Hall had a ceiling installed with good lighting and pictures on the wall – it would look like a decorated cave.  In comparison, the OCC is spectacularly beautiful.  Ms. Sulock argued that Chancellor Highsmith was adamant that the front of Owen Hall should face the campus and the mountains.  Leah Karpen, a prominent townsperson, is appalled at the idea of changing the OCC into offices. 

            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.


            Letter from President Broad re: Asheville Graduate Center

            Dr. Padilla read a letter from President Broad on the future of the Asheville Graduate Center.  In summary, the Office of the President will transfer authority for the Asheville Graduate Center to UNCA on July 1, 2005.  The operating budget is already located at UNCA, so the only funds to be transferred are the funds that have been used to support the .50 FTE director.  As UNCA assumes responsibility for the Center as a part of Academic Affairs, there are a number of initiatives that will need to be addressed.  Several campuses have been concerned about the rates that are paid to the Center.  Dr. Padilla is reviewing those rates to be sure that all campuses pay a fair rate to support the activities of the Center while not making the rates cost-prohibitive for small programs.  This is also a great opportunity to re-engage the campuses that might be interested in offering programs to meet community needs.  NCSU will no longer be offering the PhD in Adult Education, but there may be some alternative opportunities that would be responsive to local needs.  In this regard, it is President Broad’s hope that UNCA will be interested in offering some master’s degree programs through the Center.  President Broad anticipates that this change will make the Center a more visible presence on the campus and in the region.  This will be considered by the BOT at its March 15-16 meeting, with a public announcement on March 16th.


            Proposed Academic Program Review Group

            Dr. Padilla 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 in APC, for example, in the way that the previous administrative structure had been with the Dean of Curriculum.  The structure of IDC, APC, and the Faculty Senate works really well – the problem is on the administrative side. 

            Dr. Padilla proposed establishing an Academic Program Review Group which would involve the academic AVCs and the chairs of IDC and APC.  Academic programs would work with this new group when they are interested in any substantial changes to their curriculum before it goes through the faculty governance network so he will have a clear understanding of what is being done.  The group would also help him review departments that are considered under-performing by the OP guidelines.  Another consideration is that the AVCs and Dr. Padilla sit on the Position Allocation Committee.  We are getting positions but they need to have a better sense of curricular needs and issues.  It makes sense to have the academic AVCs sit both in this Academic Program Review Group and on PAC. 

            Dr. Padilla was not sure that APC can know whether proposals are fully resource neutral and whether they ought to go to IDC.  The AVCs can see resource implications and may ask IDC to look at a proposal in this context.  Any change can impact the curriculum.  Dr. Konz suggested that the evaluation and resource implications could be met by requiring concurrence from the appropriate AVC before the proposal comes to faculty governance.  A review group would add another layer and perhaps make it more cumbersome for faculty who have a curricular innovation that has any resource implications. 

            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.  Jeff Konz, Irene Rossell, Bruce Larson, Cathy Mitchell, and the academic AVCs have agreed to participate in the group.

            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 [] 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).  Pamela Nickless, Jeff Konz, Dan Pierce, Bruce Larson, and Irene Rossell are members of the committee. 

            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.

            Second Reading:

            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 report from Tarik Glenn as he was unable to attend the meeting. 

            The SGA voted on the revisions to the Constitution on February 23, 2005.  The revisions that will be made include:  reducing the number of senators from 18 to 16, and maintaining 2.0 grade point average minimum.  If a student falls below a 2.5 grade point average they will be on probation for a semester – but the SGA has not determined what the probation will include. 

            SGA will reconvene on March 16th to discuss Greenfest and spring elections.


VI.        Academic Policies Committee Report

            Dr. Jeff Konz reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

            First Reading:

            The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

            APC  25:  Changes to History Major Requirements; Remove Course Distribution Section;

                           Change Prerequisites for HIST 390.

                        APC 27:   Changes in MMAS Foundation Options.

                        APC 28:  Changes in MMAS Aesthetics and Social Awareness Options.

                        APC 29:  Increase Credit Hours for Courses in Mass Communication and Visual Media Production.

                        APC 30:   Delete MCOM 321, 362, 386, 486; Add MCOM 104; Replace VMP 205 with VMP 207 and 209.

                        APC 31:   Change Requirements for Major in Mass Communication; Change Requirements for

                                       Declaring a Major in MCOM; Change Requirements for Minor in Mass Communication.

                        APC 32:  Addition of International Studies Major; Changes to International Studies Minor;

                                       Addition of New INTS Classes.

                        APC 33:   Addition of Research Methods Courses to Biology Curriculum;

                                       Change Title and Description of BIOL 351.

                        APC 34:   Addition of Computer Competency Requirements for Biology;

                                       Changes in Descriptions of BIOL 444 and 455.

                        APC 35:   Changing title of MGMT 360; changing MGMT 413 to MGMT 323; Changing title and description of MGMT 394; adding MGMT 481; Changing description of ACCT 301, ACCT 302.

            APC 36:   Delete MGMT 358: Services Marketing.

            APC 37:   Prerequisite changes for ACCT 317, 417; MGMT 316, 380, 381, 398, 425, 458, 480, 491.

            APC 38:   Changes in major requirements for Management and Accounting.

            APC 39:   Change in Minor in Accounting.

            APC 40:   Addition of IST 331:Washington Experience (3); Modification of hours in IST Special Topics.

            APC 41:   Clarification of Art History requirements for Art majors.

            APC 42:   Changes in requirements for Art minors.

                        APC 43:   Changes in degree competency requirements for Art majors.

                        APC 44:   Changing description of ART 400.

                        APC 45:   Clarify Studio Art Requirements for B.A. with Concentration in Art History.

                        APC 46:   Changes in AP Credit for Art Courses. 

                        APC 47:   Changes in Drop/Add Policy; Changes in Academic Suspension and Dismissal Policy.

                        APC 48:   Proposal to Terminate Joint Program with the NCSU School of Forest Resources.

                        APC 49:   Computer Competency for students pursuing Individual Degrees;

                           Computer Competency for students concentrating in Ethics and Social Institutions.


            Second Reading:  (Unanimously approved by APC)

            The following documents were considered for Second Reading:


            APC 14:  Addition of New Course STAT 220: Intro to Applied Probability (1);

                           Modification of Description STAT 225: Intro to Calculus-Based Statistics.

            APC 14 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2105S. 


            APC 15:  Addition of ENVR 364: Ecosystem Ecology (4); Addition of ENVR 364 to list

                           of electives in Ecology and Environmental Biology concentration.

            APC 15 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2205S. 


            APC 16:  Correct Listing of the New Joint Engineering Degree.

            APC 16 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2305S. 


            APC 17:  Correct Listing of Joint Programs in Engineering.

            APC 17 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2405S.


            APC 18:  Correct Listing of Engineering Abbreviations.

            APC 18 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2505S.


            APC 20:  Correct List of Engineering Courses in the Curriculum for Industrial and    Engineering Management.

            APC 20 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2605S.


            APC 21:  Changing major restriction use for POLS 150; Change in Prerequisite for POLS

            APC 21 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2705S.


             APC 22:  Computer competency requirement for Computer Science majors.

            APC 22 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2805S.


            APC 23:  Addition of SPAN 481 to required list of courses for major.

            APC 23 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 2905S.


            APC 24:  Changing title of SPAN 481.

            APC 24 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3005S.


            APC 19 and APC 26 were set aside for discussion.


            APC 19:  New Entry for the Engineering Courses of Instruction.

            After APC approved this proposal, it was notified that there had to be a change in the curriculum to meet NC State’s mechanisms of achieving accreditation.  APC members accepted Dr. Konz’s friendly amendment to add ECON 102 into the curriculum as a required course in the engineering program in the degree in mechatronics and to change the hours required outside the major from 34 to 37. 

            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 prerequisites.  APC 19 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 3105S


            APC 26:  Major in Women’s Studies.  (Approval is contingent upon approval of the OP).

            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.  APC 26 passed unanimously and became Senate Document 3205S.


VII.       Institutional Development Committee Report

            Dr. Irene Rossell reported for the Institutional Development Committee (IDC).


            First Reading:

            The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

            IDC 7:  Request to Establish a Human Rights Center at UNCA. 

            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



            Second Reading:

            The following documents were considered for Second Reading:


            IDC 5:  Request to Establish the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center at UNCA.

            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, Mary Lynn Manns, Doug Miller, and John Stevens.  He referred the question to Dr. Manns, who is responsible for the student programs. 

            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

                           Charles James


IX.        Old Business

            There was no Old Business.


X.         New Business

            There was no New Business.


XI.        Adjourn

            Dr. Nickless adjourned the meeting at 4:45pm.


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

Don Lisnerski