University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, November 11, 2004



Members:          L. Atkinson, R. Booker, L. Cornett, J. Konz, B. Larson, S. Mills, G. Nallan,

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


Excused:          B. Butler, D. Lisnerski.


Visitors:            T. Glenn, W. McDevitt, L. Preston, S. Robinson, K. Whatley.




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. 


II.         Approval of minutes

            The minutes of October 14, 2004 were amended as follows:  on page four, $750,000 was changed to $75,000,000.  The minutes were approved as amended.


III.        Administrative Report

            Dr. Kathy Whatley represented the Administration in Dr. Padilla’s absence. 

            Administration and Financial Affairs Annual Report

            Mr. Wayne McDevitt, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Financial Affairs, thanked the

Faculty Senate for the opportunity to present a summary and update of several functions for which

he is responsible.  His report is available at: Executive Summary. 


            - Staff Pay-grade System

            Dr. Rossell asked how converting from the pay-grade system to the career banding system would impact staff salaries.  Mr. McDevitt explained that the Office of State Personnel (OSP) and the governor have decided that all public institutions are going to move from the current personnel structure to a competency-based system.  This structure is for SPA employees only and has three competency levels (contributing, journey, advanced) within ten career bands.  We are beginning a five-year cycle toward the new system.  In the next five years, no employee’s pay will decrease and a lot will increase.  It would cost about $160,000 to get everyone to the journey level.   

UNCA is making the case with the OSP that some small agencies are restricted in having the ability to grow revenue; money should be given to OSP and there should be criteria so that we can apply for money to do this.  Otherwise, we will have to find ways to address this over a several year period.  It could cost between $1.5M to $2M over the next four to eight years.  We have not been told when we have to fully implement the new system and it has not been funded at this point. 

            - Equity funding and enrollment growth

            Dr. Konz stated that he understood that the equity funding we were to receive was in the enrollment growth budget and not the continuing budget – is that correct?  Do we get a bonus in our base budget for being the liberal arts institution?  Mr. McDevitt replied that there is a formula for funding the campuses that is based on student credit hours, and part of the formula is based on average faculty salaries.  There is no money within that system for the liberal arts.  This campus decided to pursue equity in 1996.  We received $500,000 in equity funding for the first time in 2003 and this goes into the continuation budget.  However, our budget cuts that year were about $510,000.  We were the only one to receive the equity funding and it helped because we were able to break even. 

For the last several years, the university system has been asking for focused growth money for the growth campuses.  The historically black campuses are in that grouping.  It is quite a bit of money.  We changed the approach.  We refer to this as “special and strategic institution” money rather than equity money.  We also put it in with the focused growth campuses; we are partnering with them.  It is a separate line so there is no misunderstanding by anybody – we are not a growth campus in the sense of what they are calling growth campuses. 

For funding purposes only, we would benefit by moving to the baccalaureate area (with Winston-Salem State and Elizabeth City State).  If they moved us to 90% of the minimum in that category, our base budget would increase about $2M.  That is a different, more long-term strategy.

            We will go to the General Assembly for the equity funding.  At the campus level, we will ask for $1.5M for the next biennial session -- $750,000 for each year.  Mr. McDevitt would argue that as long as the focus growth campuses are doing that year after year, we should continue to receive it.  Once we receive it, it is in our base budget and it is a continuation budget item.

Dr. Pierce asked that as we look at the issue of campus growth, can we count on any special funding recognition for our institutional mission on an on-going basis.  It sounds like we have to request special funding every year.  Mr. McDevitt replied that we received it one year.  It is on-going once it is in the base budget.  We have good evidence, relative to our peers and to other institutions, and we can make the argument for the need.  But whether it is using the funding formula, the equity funding, or the special institution funding – only in the special institution funding are we saying that we are a liberal arts institution and therefore we have special needs.  That recognizes that we are by definition a smaller institution and we are not growing.  That is on-going, although we would be served just as well if they moved us for funding purposes into the baccalaureate area and funded us at 90-100% of minimum. 

            NC Center for Health and Wellness Promotion and Multi Purpose Center

            Dr. Walters asked how the NC Center for Health and Wellness Promotion and Multi Purpose Center came about.  Was this on our strategic master plan?  It showed up all at once and he did not understand that it was a priority for us.  Mr. McDevitt explained that in 1986 the Faculty Senate adopted the Health Promotion  as a focus.  At the time, there were three focus areas – health and wellness, humanities, and undergraduate research.  We have made great strides in the humanities and in undergraduate research.  While health and wellness has become more important to society, the program on campus has not received that kind of focus.  The legislature decided to address the issue of health and wellness statewide.  Initially the legislature planned to use tobacco settlement revenues and find a way to dedicate a revenue stream to health.  During the legislative process, a bill was introduced to fund a cancer research facility at UNC-Chapel Hill, a cardiology facility at East Carolina University, a bio-informatics research facility related to health at UNC-Charlotte, and UNCA was invited to be at the table.  The bill was about health and health promotions.  Each chancellor was asked to come before the legislative body and our proposal received very positive responses.  That is how it evolved.  Now we have that facility.  We have an initial grant from BlueCross-BlueShield and they are suggesting that they might want to use that money to endow a lecturer series.  In October, the administration went to the Office of the President and the BOG about the importance of funding the Health Promotions degree. 

Dr. Nickless added that in 2001 the Faculty Senate approved a Health Promotion major, but did not have the funding to go forward with it.  Mr. McDevitt noted that faculty governance also addressed this last May.   


IV.        Executive Committee Report

            Dr. Nickless gave the Executive Committee Report

            Update on Planning

            The Executive Committee met with Chancellor Mullen and talked extensively about our planning process.  The Chancellor is getting ready to create a Committee on Strategic Planning that will include five or six faculty members from the Faculty Senate.  The membership is still under negotiation but it will include part of IDC and perhaps the Executive Committee.  The Chancellor wants the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Vice Chancellors to also serve on the committee.  The committee should be underway before the end of the semester. 

            Constitution (clarifying election process SD0204F)

            Dr. Nickless notified faculty that the Senate passed the revision to the Senate Constitution on October 28, 2004.  Now the full faculty will vote on whether or not to ratify the revisions.  Ballots will be distributed in early December and voting will take place from December 6-14.  This gives faculty thirty days to review the document.  A two-third majority of the votes cast are necessary for approval, providing that a simple majority of faculty vote. 


V.         Student Government Association Report

            Mr. Tarik Glenn reported for the Student Government Association.

            The SGA passed a bill to discontinue charging all students a $70 parking fee.  Students who bring cars to campus would continue to pay the fee.   

            Cubicles in the student activity wing of the Highsmith Union are underutilized because many organizations do not have enough members to staff it for the required twelve hours a week.  SGA is considering lowering the staffing requirement. 

            Josh O’Conner, the current Vice President of SGA, is resigning due to military obligations. 

            Many older students on campus do not have health insurance.  The SGA is laying the groundwork to offer affordable health insurance for these students.      

            Greenfest was a success.  Students planted trees around the Highsmith Union and Founders Hall, and picked up debris.  Efforts are being made to raise awareness of the energy usage in Highsmith.  Last year the residence halls held a contest to see which hall could use the least amount of resources. 


VI.        Institutional Development Committee Report

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

            Update on Enrollment Growth and University Size Task Force

            The Enrollment Growth and University Size Task Force has announced the first of several

campus forums.  Faculty, staff, and students have been invited to the first forum on November 18,

from 3:15-5:00 pm in Owen Conference Center.  The conversation will center around: 

            -the nature of the student body we would like to have at UNCA,

-the campus environment we would like to have, and

-the working environment we would like to have.


The Task Force will give a brief introduction to its charge, along with background information relevant

to enrollment planning.  There is a link to supporting documents on enrollment planning on the Faculty

Senate webpage:

            Update on UNCA Centers

            Dr. Rossell and Dr. John Stevens have met periodically since last May regarding a Policy and Procedures document regarding Centers at UNCA.   IDC will meet next week with Dr. Stevens to review this document that explains how Centers are planned, established, reviewed, and dissolved.  This is important because the number of Centers on campus has been increasing and questions come up frequently.  Although this will be a UNCA policy that does not require a Senate document, it would be prudent for the Senate to endorse the policy.  Dr. Rossell wants to ensure that Senators have sufficient time to review the proposal.

            Several Centers submitted Requests to Plan last year and IDC approved all of the requests with the understanding that the planning documents would come to IDC.  The planning documents are now coming to IDC.  As many as six Centers will likely bring planning documents (Requests to Establish) to IDC through the end of spring semester.   

            Next week IDC will consider the Request to Establish the Pisgah Astronomical Research Science and Education Center (PARSEC).  PARSEC would be a UNCA Center that is administered by UNCA and interfaces with PARI (the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) located in Transylvania County.  If IDC approves the proposal, it will come before the Senate for consideration as a Senate document. 

            IDC is primarily looking at the resource implications of the Centers.  They are taking up space on campus, using facilities, and should be self-supporting.  IDC plans to review and keep track of the Centers. 

            Dr. Ruiz asked how many Centers there were.  Dr. Rossell replied that six Centers will be coming to IDC over the next six months.  This includes the Environmental Quality Institute (EQI), which has been operational for a long time, but was never formally approved as a Center.  Likewise, the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) is already on campus, but the paperwork has not gone through yet.  The Mossbauer Center has been approved so the Senate will not see the paperwork on it.  The Center for Health and Wellness is still under discussion and development. 

            Major in Women’s Studies

            IDC will meet soon to consider a Request to Establish a major in Women’s Studies. 


VII.       Academic Policies Committee Report

            Dr. Jeff Konz reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

            Report on Study of Plus/Minus Grading

            As reported at the last meeting, APC established two teams within APC to study plus/minus grading.  Drs. Cornett and Ruiz reported on their research findings at other schools that either were  considering plus/minus grading or had already done so.  They found that plus/minus grading had little impact on the overall grade distribution, particularly with reference to grade inflation.  The only student cohort that seems to have been affected is the very upper end of the grade distribution (3.8- 3.9 students who are now getting A’s but could now get an A- without the possibility of getting an A+).  Those are the only students that appear to have been affected at other institutions.  Dr. Konz noted that this was anticipated when the Senate adopted plus/minus grading.  Drs. Cornett and Ruiz also found that the concerns faculty have at other institutions about plus/minus grading are essentially the same concerns our faculty have – concerns about the possibility of grade inflation and, in particular, concerns about issues of equity across multiple section courses.  APC will continue to look at these issues in the spring. 

            Drs. Nallan and Atkinson began to gather information from Institutional Research on the grade distributions that we have had since plus/minus grading has been implemented.  The information was distributed to APC members, who will consider it in greater detail in March or April.

            ILSOC Membership

            At the last Senate meeting, Dr. Padilla suggested that the ILS Oversight Committee receive a member from Students Affairs in an ex officio capacity, and it was referred to APC.  Dr. Konz consulted with ILSOC Chair Linda Nelms, and it was discussed at an ILSOC meeting.  It was decided that this was an idea worth pursuing.  Dr. Padilla, Dr. Katz, Ms. Nelms, and Dr. Konz will meet to discuss how that this might be brought about.   

            First Reading:

            The following documents were distributed for First Reading:

APC 1:    Excluding Liberal Studies Colloquia from Satisfying Requirements for a Minor.

APC 2:    Requiring Different Courses to Fulfill Lab Science and ILSN Requirements.

APC 3:    Addition of LANG 311: Tutoring Writing I (1) and LANG 312: Tutoring Writing II (1)

APC 4:    Change in the number of hours required for ASTR 105; Replacing CSCI 142 with

               CSCI 201 in the Applied Physics Concentration.

APC 5:    Clarifying use of PHYS 101 and 102 for ILS; Adding ILS labs, PHYS 121 and 122.

            APC 6:    Addition of ECON 230: Sports and Economics (3);

                           Change in title/description/prerequisite for ECON 250;

                           Change in title/description for ECON 330. 


The APC unanimously approved APC 1 through 6.  It has been the Senate’s practice to vote on these documents as a block, although Senators will always have an opportunity to set aside any document at the second reading to ask questions, make comments, or consider them independently.   


VIII.      Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

            Dr. Kitti Reynolds gave the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report in Dr. Lisnerski’s absence.

            Status of Child Care

            Dr. Keith Ray has offered to look into the feasibility of offering child care on campus.  Limited child care was offered on campus about two years ago, then it disappeared.  FWDC believes that having good child care on campus could be an important recruiting and retention tool.  The lack of child care may explain why some of our young faculty members with children have not stayed.  Dr. Reynolds suggested that SGA may want to survey students on this issue; however, they should coordinate this with Dr. Ray. 

            Dr. Rossell reminded Senators that at one time the Child Care Center was going to be located where the new student parking lot is now located.  During the several meetings she attended, they were trying to reduce the cost and trying to help students who needed assistance with child care.  Dr. Nickless noted that many of our sister institutions fund child care for students.  Dr. Reynolds added that AB Tech offers child care at a reduced rate for students.     

            First Reading:

            The following document was distributed for First Reading:

            FWDC 1:  Proposal to Modify the Composition of ILS Intensive Subcommittees

                            (Revision of SD0703F and Faculty Handbook 10.3.8)


             Committee Assignments

            A number of committees do not have Senate documentation and some committees do not have their membership structure finalized.  Dr. Lisnerski has met with Porscha Yount about appointing students who are needed on committees.  


III.        Administration

            Dr. Nickless returned to the Administrative Report. 

            Dr. Whatley did not have a report but offered to answer questions.

            Transportation for Class Use

            Dr. Rossell asked if the mini buses would be available for class use next year.  Dr. Whatley did not know the status of the mini buses.  During discussion, Dr. Nickless stated that it was her understanding that if the mini buses were not needed to shuttle students to apartments next year, then they would be available for campus use.  Dr. Rossell had heard this, but she also heard that the mini buses might be used as a shuttle for general transportation.  Dr. Whatley agreed to ask Dr. Padilla about the status of the mini buses. 

            Dr. Rossell expressed concern that if their one van is disabled, then departments will have no transportation for class use.  Dr. Whatley stated that the administration tried to work out a contract with Young Transportation; she was supposed to collection the information from the departments that used the van on a regular basis but it died for lack of support.   


IX.        Old Business

            Faculty Handbook Editor

            Dr. Nickless explained that in the 1980s, the Faculty Senate passed a document that recommended that a faculty member edit the Faculty Handbook and that the appointment be for two years.  Although the document was accepted by the administration, a Faculty Handbook editor was rarely appointed; instead, we followed the practice of periodic major revisions.  Chuck Bennett was appointed as Faculty Handbook editor and has served in that capacity for two years.  This year when the Executive Committee looked into a new editor, they entered into negotiations with Academic Affairs and everyone agreed that Sandra Gravely should edit the Faculty Handbook as she has the most familiarity with the documents.  The Executive Committee will be involved in making sure that the documents are placed in the Faculty Handbook and Dr. Bennett has agreed to help in the transition process this year.  The Executive Committee will bring a document to the Senate to revise the Senate document.      


X.         New Business

            There was no New Business. 


XI.        Adjourn

            Dr. Nickless adjourned the meeting at 4:40pm.


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

Kitti Reynolds