University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, October 14, 2004



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

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


Excused:          R. Booker.


Visitors:            M. Alm, J. Burges, T. Glenn, P. McClellan, A. Shope, J. Wexler, S. Whisenhunt.



I.          Call to Order and Announcements

Dr. Pamela Nickless called the meeting to order at 3:20 pm and welcomed senators and guests. There were no announcements. 


III.        Approval of minutes

            The minutes of September 16 were approved as distributed.


IV.        Administrative Report

            Dr. Mark Padilla gave the Administrative Report.

            Religious Studies Task Force

            Last year Dr. Padilla convened the Religious Studies Task Force to study the merits of establishing

a UNCA degree in Religious Studies.  The committee consisted of Gordon Wilson (Chair), Bill Sabo, Sophie Mills, Rick Chess, Heon Lee, and Grant Hardy.  Dr. Padilla shared their report with faculty and it elicited more emails than any other topic -- all of it emphatically positive.  At the same time, the report had a bold recommendation to create a department with up to five members in a short order of time.  Before moving forward with such a program – whether it is the model suggested or another one – Dr. Padilla wanted to convene a meeting of the university community in early November for greater discussion and response.  He would ask that members of the Position Allocation Committee, APC, IDC, and anyone else who would like to attend to discuss it.    

            Faculty Committee Assignments

            Dr. Padilla was pleased by all of the work that has gone into the formation of the Integrative Liberal Studies Oversight Committee (ILSOC).  He would suggest to ILSOC -- if it meets with the Senate’s approval – that it accept some resource people from Student Affairs.  He is looking to find ways to gain fruit from the division union and one of the goals was to allow faculty who are working on curricula to have a deeper understanding of what students are receptive to and what they are interested in.  Faculty would not cede any control over the curriculum – but they would have more information as they develop the curricula.  He has asked Student Affairs to develop co-curricular and extra-curricular programs that emphasize the curriculum and it would be helpful to them to know what the thinking of the faculty is.  There is also some interest in the clusters, where some faculty might be interested in Student Affairs’ perspectives and visa versa. 

Faculty governance would decide whether down the road ILSOC should have an ex officio, non-voting member from Student Affairs.  Dr. Padilla suggested that he invite a couple of members as resource people to the ILSOC and see what happens.  He asked if there were any objections to him taking that step.  Dr. Nickless suggested that Dr. Konz take it up with APC.  She did not believe Senate action was required to add a resource person to any committee, but it might be wise to discuss it with APC.      

            Strategic Visioning Task Force

            Dr. Padilla distributed copies of a report from Dan Ray, of The Institute at Biltmore, regarding UNC Asheville’s Strategic plan.  He stressed that this document was not adopted by the Strategic Visioning Task Force.  The Task Force met four times to discuss various areas of strategic importance to the university, with its main goal to develop better expertise and understanding of how contemporary strategic planning is conducted and the purposes of strategic planning.  It was also a way to allow university employees to meet and discuss university priorities with a broader constituency of parents, alumni, and community leaders. 

            The issues raised were big and important, and the Task Force never decided if there was a consensus or not.  Dan Ray submitted his personal recommendations to the Chancellor and Dr. Padilla as something to be provocative that would help to keep the conversations going.  It is important that it be known that this is not adopted by the university and it is not a strategic plan.  It is a possible basis for strategic discussions that might occur. 

            Dr. Padilla highlighted some major areas. 

·         That Integrative Liberal Studies be applied from the classroom to the campus, and ultimately to the greater community in a unique approach to be known as the “Asheville Experience.”  (We have already expanded this through the union of Student and Academic Affairs.  Perhaps it could be expanded further as a working concept to talk about our engagement with the community, in ways to be defined at another point). 

·         That UNCA proactively increase its full-time enrollment (FTE) through 2017.  (The Task Force on Enrollment Growth and University Size is looking at this issue).

·         That UNCA consider the role of the Graduate Center as a way to maximize access to the UNC system and other institutions, and as a means to determine graduate programs to be introduced by UNCA.  (This is something we will need to talk about the rest of the year).


            Dr. Padilla referred to the Senate’s decision to have the Institutional Development Committee (IDC) function as the University Planning Council (UPC) for this year, which leads to the question of where formal strategic planning will take place.  Strategic planning has a strong communication role; it communicates what is happening inside the campus with outside the campus, and it aligns resources with goals.  Typically the President or the Chancellor chairs the strategic planning group that is broadly representative of the university with faculty governance participation.  He anticipated that the Chancellor will chair and convene a Strategic Planning Committee at UNCA that is standing and has broad membership.  This committee would receive Dan Ray’s recommendations and decide what, if anything, to do with it.  It might also receive the Task Force on Enrollment Growth and University Size report and anything else of such magnitude.  He anticipated this filling the void of a UPC. 

            Dr. Pierce sat on the Strategic Visioning Task Force and noted that some of the most valuable input came from community members.  Dr. Padilla added that it is interesting to look at both aspects -- what it means to be a high quality liberal arts college that emphasizes the undergraduate experience and be part of a larger community that has needs of the college, needs of our expertise and involvement -- and how we reconcile that.  Some of this has to do with terminology.  The community does not like to hear words such as “undergraduate research” or “undergraduate share.”  This is language that we think of as natural, but it is not natural, it is the product of institutional thinking.  Words like “branding” and “market” jar us, yet those words may be more acceptable than words like “integrative liberal studies” or “service learning” which often seem like oxymorons to the community.  How do we find a language that allows outside perspectives, which are so refreshing and are reality checks for us, to come in?  And how do we find the language to convey our core values and curricular principals that do not glaze over the community?  We are very challenged by this. 

            Dr. Konz commented that he found himself confused in the distinction between strategic visioning and strategic planning.  According to earlier explanations, visioning has to do with branding, marketing, and telling people who we are and what our values are.  Just about everything in this document deals with issues he would call strategic planning – such as proactive growth.  Dr. Padilla replied that the focus of the exercise was strategic visioning, not planning.  This report was designed to provocatively take it beyond strategic visioning into strategic planning should we wish to do that.  There has been no decision to do that. 

            Dr. Nickless asked if the next step is putting together a Strategic Planning Committee.  Dr. Padilla replied that the next step would be for the Chancellor to convene a Strategic Planning Committee and for him to decide who should serve on it, and for that committee to meet and receive this report.  It would decide whether it wants to create a new strategic plan, or to keep our current strategic plan, but maybe fine tune it and implement it in a more public way, which was his hope.

            Dr. Lisnerski found it interesting that we have a University Planning Council but it is not to serve in strategic planning.  He asked what the original intent of the UPC was -- was it more of an operational planning group rather than a strategic planning group?  Dr. Nickless replied that there were times when UPC was operational, times when it evaluated programs, and times when it was strategic.  Dr. Larson agreed that UPC performed a variety of functions at different times.  Dr. Ruiz added that it was a very powerful committee in the past. 

            Dr. Larson asked Dr. Padilla if we got out of this process what he had hoped to get.  Dr. Padilla explained two objectives that were met:

·         His goal of broadening the idea of what strategic planning can be was achieved.  He wanted the campus to be more aware of the need to develop a better communication strategy so that we can share what we are in to with the outside world in case there are people with resources that want to help us.  The language that we use now is too insular for that purpose.  We saw the importance of developing a vocabulary that is broader and we also saw the challenges.

·         He wanted to show that it is increasingly difficult for strategic planning to be rooted in faculty governance alone because of the way higher education has changed.  Faculty governance has to be involved, but it has been re-centered at the senior staff level.    


Dr. Padilla wished the document had more context material, more documentation.  The Task Force was so worried about going into strategic planning that it erred on the side of minimalism.  There are some PowerPoints that the Task Force on Enrollment Growth will be looking at.    

            Dr. Rossell asked if the document, to Dr. Padilla’s knowledge, was provided to the Task Force.  Did they receive this as a follow up, or have an opportunity to submit comments on it?  Dr. Padilla replied no; it was useful to have a consultant, but the value was starting to wane.  Due to financial considerations, he asked for a summation document.  We will take the process over ourselves.   

            Dr. Rossell noted that the document was written as recommendations offered to the Strategic Visioning Task Force.  The Task Force talked about some of these issues during one meeting.  It seems like the document should go to the Task Force – and it seems like we stopped short of something.  Dr. Padilla agreed -- does the Task Force exist anymore?  If the Chancellor decides to include those folks in the strategic planning process, then it does exist; if not, then it has essentially been disbanded, so there is no Task Force to receive this document.

            Dr. Nickless asked if it was inappropriate to suggest that it would be polite to send the Strategic Visioning Task Force members a copy.  Dr. Padilla replied that a letter thanking the Task Force members was on his desk and the report will be included.  He had waited because he wanted to say what the next step was.  The Chancellor wanted time to think about it, but he believes now that Chancellor Mullen has decided to convene and chair the Strategic Planning Committee.  The letter will go out to Task Force members and the report from Dan Ray will be attached.

            Dr. Pierce noted that we received valuable input from the community.  He asked if community members would be on the Strategic Planning Committee.  Dr. Padilla stated that he would convey this recommendation to the Chancellor.  Dr. Pierce added that one of the most important things they discovered is that most people who know what is going on feel like we are doing a very good job – but we are doing a terrible job of communicating that.  

            Dr. Lisnerski noted that we also need to communicate internally, so people know what is going on and have some idea why changes are occurring.  Dr. Padilla agreed – strategic planning is really a communication strategy.  Things are always in motion and we have to adapt to the world – it is very hard to clearly communicate that in ways that do not create unnecessary controversy.  Lack of communication and a lack of strategic planning are really the same. 

            Dr. Nickless noted that the Executive Committee is meeting with the Chancellor on a regular basis and they will keep the Senate updated.  IDC will be involved in whatever planning takes place. 

            Student Affairs Annual Report

            Dr. Nickless reminded Senators that every fall the Vice Chancellors are asked to give a report on their area goals and activities for the year.  Senators received reports from Keith Ray and Pat McClellan, AVCs for Academic and Student Affairs, last week.  The reports may be seen at: Activities and Goals for Academic and Student Affairs and

Report on Activities for Student Activities and Integrative Learning.  Dr. Ray was out of town.  Pat McClellan explained that she and Dr. Ray worked closely together and he had given her permission to answer questions having to do with his report.  He will follow up on any unanswered questions. 

            In response to questions/discussion, the following points were made:

·         A smart classroom is being furnished and equipped in Governor’s Hall and will be available for limited use by faculty next semester.  Health and Fitness will offer several courses in this classroom in the spring.    

·         It is likely that counseling services will become increasingly important on campus.  A clinical psychologist should be on our wish list, particularly someone who can help with learning disabilities and more seriously disturbed students, in addition to transition issues.

·         Highsmith Union operations budget, supported by student fees and some state funding, is presently projected over-budget due to uncertainty about utility costs and auxiliary revenue.  Information regarding actual cost/revenue and possible fee increase will be available in the spring.  We are delaying the decision and possible hiring of a Union Director.  John Bucher is serving as interim facility manager.      

·         The meeting rooms in Highsmith Union lack good acoustics.  Our wish list should include carpet and draperies to improve the acoustics.  It may not be feasible to lower ceilings.    

·         The administration is looking to provide faculty and academic departments with support for alternative learning experiences and plans to assess needs for course-related travel and to develop predictable travel alternatives.  UNCA purchased two mini-buses to shuttle students that will be available for university use next year.

·         Senators were pleased to see materials from the Enhancement part of the SACS Self-Study embedded in Ms. McClellan’s report. 

·         Last year, nearly 750 students were employed in some capacity on campus.

·         Plans are underway to have a combined Calendar of Events to enable faculty, if they wish, to include events/activities in their syllabus. 

·         Class mentors for the Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquia have been received very favorably by students.  About 75% of the colloquia have class mentors to serve as support for students.

·         Phase II of the bond referendum could take place in 2006 or 2007.  Wayne McDevitt’s group has been studying what the $75,000,000 proposal might look like.  Mr. McDevitt is scheduled to meet with the Faculty Senate in November.


V.         Executive Committee Report

            Dr. Nickless gave the Executive Committee Report

            Constitution Update

            Dr. Nickless distributed three documents:  Highlights of Constitution Revision, Draft 3 Proposed Senate Constitution Revision, and Sample Rules and Rules or Order.  The Constitution Revision includes suggestions made by the 2003-04 Senate.  Article 2 Section 1.2 is new.  It outlines the powers and duties of the Senate.  It proposes adding three members to the Senate for a total of 18 members. 

            Article 2 Section 5 has a provision for Standing Rules and Rules of Order.  These govern how we conduct business outside of Roberts Rules of Order, such as the Comer Rule.  It would include the traditions that have not always been written down.  For example, the Constitution says that if an alternate is elected to be a senator, they shall take on the full duties and power of that position.  The Executive Committee has interpreted that to mean that the Senate alternate fills the remainder of the Senator’s term.  That is an interpretation of the Constitution.  The duties of the committees may change from time to time, or year to year.  Typically the Standing Rules and Rules of Order are approved as the first order of business with each new Senate.  The Senate would go through these and amend them if necessary.  She noted that we cannot create Standing Rules and Rules of Order until the Constitution revision has been approved by the full faculty.   

            First Reading:

            EC 1:  Proposed Faculty Senate Constitution Revision. 


            EC 1 will be considered for Second Reading on October 28, 2004 at the Owen Conference Center at 3:15pm.  This is a special meeting to discuss this revision.  Dr. Nickless will be there as the Chair of the Task Force to answer questions and to help with revisions.  If the Faculty Senate approves EC 1, it will go to the full faculty for a vote.  Faculty are required to have 30 days to review the document, and the vote must be by secret ballot by those eligible to vote in Senate elections.  Dr. Nickless favored using paper ballots.  She may ask Dr. Padilla to allot time during the December faculty meeting to discuss the changes.  Links to the documents will be on the Senate agenda and webpage. 

            Dr. Nickless asked that substantive changes be made in writing.  Editorial changes can be made via email and will be handled in the same way as in the ILS proposal.  Substantive changes will be discussed on October 28.  She encouraged everyone to participate.  The Task Force consisted of Pamela Nickless (Chair), Bill Sabo, Leigh Atkinson, Alice Weldon, and Charles James. 

            Dr. Nickless noted that nothing in the Constitution shall abrogate the Chancellor’s final authority over policies and procedures and all procedures must be compatible with acts of the legislature, rules of the BOG and the BOT, and rules established for the University as a whole.  She will ask the university counsel to review the proposal.  After the faculty vote on the Constitution, it will go to Chancellor Mullen for consideration.        

            Update on Minority Affairs Commission

            As Faculty Senate Chair, Dr. Nickless serves ex officio on the Minority Affairs Commission (MAC).  She was asked to convey to the Senate that Dwight Mullen has decided to step down as the Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, perhaps at the end of this semester.  The Commission anticipates advising the Chancellor on his replacement, whether there should be an interim for the spring semester, and what kind of search we might look for in the future.  Dwight Mullen will give a report to the Senate in January. 

            Dr. Padilla suggested that in thinking about how to advise the Chancellor on filling the position, to consider whether the Senate prefers someone who works on diversity across the board or whether the goal is to work on a particular aspect of diversity for a defined period of time.  That will determine what kind of person you are looking for because it requires different skill sets.  Make sure that the person you want is in line with those expectations.  Helping faculty with the curriculum requires a different skill set than student diversity would require.  Once people start nominating themselves there is an expectation -- if you send out signals ahead of time about what we are looking for, you will be more likely to get that person and also ruffle fewer feathers. 

            Review of SD1003F:  Revision to Process of Appointment of Lecturers

            The Executive Committee is recommending the review of SD1003F:  Revision to Process of Appointment of Lecturers.  This document passed last year with a minority of Senators voting for it.  It sets the process of appointment of lecturers, but the primary change was the evaluation of lecturers.  The Executive Committee wants FWDC to look at it, while also working with Academic Affairs. 

            There is an increasing use of contingent faculty on campus – either part-time faculty or non-tenure track full-time faculty.  A lot of faculty appointments are being made this way instead of with the more traditional tenure track appointments.  This is a national trend. 

            FWDC is being asked to look at the AAUP guidelines and its suggestions.  UNCA follows many of AAUP’s recommendations, such as allowing lecturers to serve on the Faculty Senate and integrating them into our campus community.  Dr. Nickless added that when the Senate passed this document, she was not sure it gave serious enough consideration to what it means to have lecturers that are not peer reviewed.  This is one of AAUP’s recommendations.  The Executive Committee is concerned with academic integrity, academic freedom, and to some extent protecting non-tenure track personnel throughout the campus. 

            Interdisciplinary Studies Task Force

            Last year IDC endorsed Dr. Padilla’s recommendation that we have a Task Force on Interdisciplinary Studies to make recommendations for the next phase of the program’s development.  The following individuals have been appointed to the Task Force:  Pamela Nickless (IST Director), Edward Katz (AVC), Bill Sabo (past-director of IST), Jeff Konz (ESI), Tracey Rizzo (WMST), Linda Cornett (INST), Mary Anna LaFratta (MMAS), Pete Williams (Study Abroad), and Alicia Shope (Registrar’s Office).  The Task Force will be co-chaired by Pamela Nickless and Edward Katz.   


VI.        Student Government Association Report

            Mr. Tarik Glenn reported for the Student Government Association.

            Mr. Glenn reported that students have to be elected to the SGA – it is not a club or organization that students can join.  Three Freshman Senators were elected last week. 

            Greenfest is held every semester where students volunteer their time to beautify the campus.  Last year trees were planted near the Reuter Center, trash was picked up, and an electric hybrid car was displayed on the quad.  This year, dumpsters will be on the quad for recyclables, and work will be done across from the Botanical Garden.  Dr. Padilla encouraged the SGA to develop a communication plan well in advance so everyone can plan to participate in this event.  He would like this to be a major fall and spring term event that complements Earth Day in the spring.  Mr. Glenn noted that seven organizations are helping to coordinate the event this year.

            SGA is trying to reserve the mini-vans on campus to transport students to the polls on November 2.  Students are also volunteering to drive students to the polls.  Dr. Reynolds encouraged the SGA to familiarize students with the election ballots so they know they cannot vote a straight party ticket.  Dr. Nickless suggested that SGA provide students with sample ballots.


VII.       Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

            Dr. Don Lisnerski gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report.

            Committee Assignments

            The committee assignment list has gone out for fall semester.  This is the fifth revision and there will likely be a final list soon.  There were questions about whether a couple of committees were still viable due to changes that have taken place.  After discussions with Dr. Padilla, previous committee members, and committee chairs, FWDC decided to fill those committees and to ask them to decide their fate – whether they wish to continue or make a recommendation to change the charge in a Senate Document. 

            The Asheville Institute Advisory Committee was not included on the assignment list.  FWDC will initiate the documentation for the Faculty Senate’s consideration.  This committee advises Elaine Fox on summer programs. 

            Dr. Lisnerski asked that when committees meet and select their chairs, to notify Elaine Warren, Don Lisnerski, Scott Walters, or Sandra Gravely so the committee lists can be finalized.    

            Change in Faculty Record

            The Provost provided FWDC with suggested changes to the faculty record for feedback.  FWDC met and offered suggestions: 1) separate the top portion by semester and workload, and 2) broaden the scope of the new section where faculty describe their contributions to ILS to include other programs -- such as Africana Studies, Women’s Studies, and teaching outside the department. 

            Nomination Process

            FWDC has started discussing a nomination process.  They are considering publishing a calendar of when elections will take place at the beginning of the spring semester and have some open nominations where individuals can self-nominate or others can nominate if they check with the individual and they agree to run.  FWDC will need time to validate those candidates to make sure they are eligible to serve, and then they would hold the elections.  Anyone with concerns or suggestions should contact members of FWDC.  Dr. Nickless noted that the Constitution has to be revised before the election process can be changed.       


VIII.      Institutional Development Committee Report

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

            Task Force on Enrollment Growth and University Size progress report

            The Task Force on Enrollment Growth and University Size has met twice and has made

progress towards one of its goals, which is to define how we will identify a “student”.  She reminded Senators of earlier discussions on how we define the term student.    

            The Task Force will meet again next week when Dr. Padilla will lead them through a discussion of the strategic vision report from Dan Ray.  They will be discussing the recommendation in his report pertaining to growth and will give Task Force members background on that issue.  The Task Force would like to have its first all-university focus group meeting before Thanksgiving to start addressing the issue of growth and university size.


IX.        Academic Policies Committee Report

            Dr. Jeff Konz reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

            Goals for 2004-05

At its September 23 meeting, the Academic Policies Committee adopted the following goals for 2004-05, in addition to carrying out its normal consideration of documents proposing curricular changes.

1)  Diversity:  To continue advocating for diversity in the university curriculum, particularly when

considering proposals for introducing or modifying degree program curricula.

2)  Consistency in the Catalog:  To develop a degree program template to guide faculty making

proposals for changes in the curriculum.  This template will include catalog conventions in style, program and concentration descriptions, descriptions of the method of fulfillment of competencies, faculty listings, etc.  This template will not be directive (requiring all programs to change their description to conform) but will serve as a guide for proposed changes.

3)  Study of Plus/Minus Grading:  UNCA has had plus/minus grading since Fall 2002.  In response to

faculty requests, APC will undertake a study considering the impact of plus/minus grading on the grade distribution, including issues of grade inflation, grade compression, and equity across departments, student GPA, and multiple-section courses.  Two members of APC will research the findings of other institutions which have moved to plus/minus grading, while two others will be charged with developing questions for Institutional Research to answer.  At this time, this study is intended only to gather information to be reported to the Senate.

APC will consider extending the submission deadline of documents to APC due to time lost during the hurricanes.   


X.         Old Business

            Senate Orientation Luncheon

            Dr. Nickless and Dr. Larson met with new Senators for an orientation luncheon last week.  Dr. Nickless thanked Dr. Padilla for paying for the event.  She suggested making this a tradition with the full Senate, but perhaps hosting it earlier in the academic year. 

            Critical State of Shared Governance

            Dr. Nickless distributed an article on The Critical State of Shared Governance by the AAUP.  The article may be viewed at:  "The Critical State of Shared Governance" . *Joan Wallach Scott, “The Critical State of Shared Governance,” Academe 88 (July–August, 2002): 41–49.


XI.        New Business

            There was no New Business. 


XII.       Adjourn

            Dr. Nickless adjourned the meeting at 4:50pm.


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

Don Lisnerski