University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, January 19, 20063:15pm



Members:          L. Atkinson, G. Boudreaux, B. Butler, K. Cole, L. Cornett, B. Hook, P. Downes, H. Holt,

B. Larson, D. Lisnerski, C. McKenzie, S. Mills, G. Nallan, P. Nickless, M. Ruiz, S. Walters,

J. Wood; M. Padilla.


Excused:          S. Judson.


Visitors:            M. Alm, L. Dohse, E. Katz, W. Kirby, J. Noor, K. Ray, D. Sanchez-Ossorio, B. Spellman,

L. Walsh, K. Whatley.



I.          Call to Order

Pamela Nickless called the meeting to order at 3:28pm and welcomed Senators and guests.


II.         Approval of minutes

The minutes of December 1, 2005, were approved following a friendly amendment. 


III.        Administrative Report

            Mark Padilla gave the Administrative Report.

            Dr. Nickless announced that Ms. McClellan’s report on Student Affairs has been postponed until the next Senate meeting.

Academic Calendars

            Prior to the meeting, Senators received the 2006-07 academic calendar (previously approved), as well as the Draft 2007-08 and Proposed 2008-09 calendars.  AVC Kathy Whatley reported:

·         Renaming Exam Week

            Some faculty continue to disregard the policy that requires all classes to meet during Exam Week.    The time period scheduled for classes during Exam Week is included in the calculation of required time per credit hour for classes.  Exams are not required; a wide variety of educational experiences could be appropriate.  Changing the name of the week might reinforce to faculty the importance of meeting during these periods.  She suggested the name Capstone Week.

            Some Senators suggested renaming exam week might discourage the giving of finals while others thought it might help.  Dr. Cole noted that “Capstone Week” may confuse education students because the semester prior to student teaching is commonly referred to as the “capstone course semester.”  Suggestions included “Week 16,” “Final Week, and “Finals Project Week”. 

·         Duration of Winter Break 2008-09.

            Because Thanksgiving falls on November 27, 2008, classes must extend into the first week of December.  If Spring semester begins on January 12, 2009, as on the proposed calendar, Winter Break is only three weeks long.  An alternative would be to begin Spring semester on January 20, with graduation moved to May 16.  Senators indicated a strong need to preserve the four week break between semesters.

·         Due date for grades for Fall 2008.

            Because of the late date for Thanksgiving, the last day of Capstone Week is December 16.  It would be best to have grades due on December 18, to give Academic Affairs staff time to collect late grades and process student warning letters before the break.  The ever-increasing number of late grades (over 700 for Fall 2005) makes the close of the Fall semester very difficult for staff.

AVC Whatley noted that make-up class days, in case of snow or other adverse weather or emergency conditions, have been moved to the end of each semester.  This should allow more time for planning and notification of students, staff, and faculty, in the event we have to miss a class day. 

            Following discussion, Dr. Nickless noted that some faculty do not care for snow days but they may not know that they are integrated as reading days now.  When make-up days were initiated, it was done on an experimental basis.  She encouraged Senators to talk with faculty in the fall about make-up days.  She thanked AVC Whatley for asking for Senate input.  The Senate supported the 2007-08 calendar.  

New administrative guidelines on Students Who Fail to Maintain Active Full-time Enrollment

AVC Keith Ray explained that residential students sign a contract every year that binds them to full-time status.  One of their responsibilities is that they shall enroll for at least 12 credit hours per semester and attend classes throughout the semester. 

The administration has a pilot set of procedures that will be implemented this semester to identify and guide students who fall below 12 credit hours.  Our current system will be enhanced to better identify these students and a daily report will be generated beginning at the end of the last day of drop/add to supplement and verify information provided by students.  

            As a preventive measure, any student intending to drop below 12 credit hours must meet with the Dean of Students, who will outline the risks and consequences for taking this action.  The Dean of Students may pick up indicators that the student is struggling – either academically and/or emotionally – and can make a referral.  AVC Ray is working on an online form that will have a signature line for the Dean of Students.

            If the drop will put the student between 9-11 credit hours, there is a possibility that s/he could remain in the residence halls but s/he might have to meet certain conditions and the Dean of Students could withdraw that extension at any time.  Once a student drops below 9 credit hours it is virtually impossible to remain in the residence halls.  AVC Ray noted that student teachers carry an 8 hour load.  The Education Department has assured him that these students are as much or more academically engaged as those carrying 12 hours. He suggested they get an automatic extension unless they have a list of conduct violations.  

The administration would like to broaden this to include commuter students.  Commuter students who begin the semester with a minimum of 12 hours but fall below full-time status will receive a letter specifying non-residential implications (e.g. financial aid, parents’ insurance coverage) and requesting a meeting with the Dean.  The purpose of the meeting is to clarify implications and ascertain the need for additional and/or off-campus support services.  Early identification may assist in referring a student to the math lab, the writing center, the library, the counseling center, health services, or off campus to a support service.

Dr. Nickless suggested that the Dean of Students have a faculty advisory committee.  Dr. Padilla agreed that we should look at this when looking at joint committees.  

Continued discussion, from the Faculty Meeting, about needs for shared governance bodies

Dr. Padilla discussed the need for administrative staff and faculty to work together on the university’s most pressing issues by providing better links between the development and implementation of policies and procedures.  Two areas of shared governance (that the Faculty Assembly calls joint committees) already exist.  The Enrollment Services Task Force involves both administrators and faculty; it is a policy implementation committee that makes recommendations and hears appeals relative to admissions, suspensions, and scholarships.  The Position Allocation Committee involves faculty and administrators who review all position requests, especially for tenure-track positions.  He suggested three new areas for shared governance/joint committees:

1)  Information Technology

Dr. Padilla would like to see a robust committee that is advising the university on where to put our technology resources.  For example, what kind of palm pilot should we support?  Is wireless a good investment, and where?  We have 100 smart spaces and 20 of the machines need to be replaced.  Is spending ~$160,000 to replace the machines a good use of money?  Or should the money go into areas that we together decide are important, such as wireless.  He recommended reforming the two existing committees – the Computer and Telecommunications Committee and the Administrative Computing Committee.  He would recommend that Jim Kuhlman, interim CIO, chair the committee, that it be broadly represented and meet regularly, and that ITS staff be more involved.  Mr. Kuhlman has a host of issues that he would like the committee to consider.

2)  Curriculum Development

Dr. Padilla proposed an earlier point in the curriculum development that will allow APC to fulfill more of its interests in policies by having a lot of the curriculum changes begin at the program area level.  Chairs could be sharing ideas in these bodies that would include the AVCs who are aware of their areas’ major curricular developments.  Opportunities for administrators to participate in curriculum formation did not exist when our committees were set up.  Keeping the curriculum fresh is our central function and we should use resources that we have – including the administration – to do this.  The Faculty Senate would function in the same way, but some proposals might start in these other groups.  Revisions would still go through APC and there would be no change or circumvention of faculty governance.

Dr. Nallan noted that when Dr. Konz proposed new APC procedures for major and minor proposals last year he also proposed that the AVCs grant a concurrence on proposals in their areas.  The AVCs said they did not want to do that.  Dr. Padilla stated that a concurrence is more of a device and he was more interested in getting people together who are interested in curricular ideas and let them talk – and to do so in new ways with the people that lead the departments.  Dr. Nickless added that perhaps an organizational change can be made so Chairs can work with the AVCs and maybe with someone from APC.  She suggested that she, Dr. Nallan, the AVCs, Dr. Padilla, Chairs, and former Chairs discuss this further. 

3)  Faculty Development

Dr. Padilla asked the Senate to look at the faculty development bodies – to think of efficiencies of the University Service Council, the University Research Council, and the University Teaching Council – whether these bodies might meet as a single body or are they really doing the work that the faculty wants them to do now.  He was concerned that service is not distributed as well as it could be; he keeps seeing the same people and they look overworked.  He did not talk about this at the faculty meeting but it is another area he is looking for input on.  Would it be better to bring those committees together so they could look at Off Campus Scholarly Assignments?  He is committed to making the OCSA a more robust program and that there be faculty review of the proposals. 

Dr. Nickless asked AVC Katz to work with her by calling together a group to talk about the curriculum organization and they will consult with Dr. Nallan.  The Executive Committee will discuss the other suggestions and meet with Dr. Padilla.


The order of business was modified.

V.         Student Government Association Report

Devon Ossorio reported for the Student Government Association.

Mr. Ossorio distributed a list of Student Government Fall 2005 accomplishments and the Spring 2006 agenda:   Highlights include: 94% full student Senate, Student Organization Council to coordinate meetings; external discount cards, and work on the Homecoming Committee.  Goals include:  website for student organizations, master calendar for student organizations, and increase in SGA visibility.


IV.        Executive Committee Report

            Dr. Nickless reported for the Executive Committee.

Review of Robert’s Rules of Order on abstentions
Dr. Nickless explained that in recent years the Senate has drifted from common practice and Robert’s Rules of Order, and has called for abstentions on voice votes.  An abstention is not a vote.  The Senate will return to Robert’s Rules and will call for yes and no votes on voice votes.  The phrase “passed with no dissenting votes” will be used when there are no opposing votes.
            When it is necessary to count the number of votes, we shall record abstentions.  Under Robert’s Rules a majority of votes cast carries the motion. Committees have operated under the same rules. If the Senate or the Committees would like to change this to a majority of those present, it can be added to the Standing Rules and Rules of Order.

Dr. Nickless suggested that when Senators feel they have a conflict of interest and plan to abstain, they could instead recuse themselves before discussion of the motion. This makes it clear that the Senator feels a conflict and can not in good conscience vote.  The Senator would move out to the audience but may still speak for or against the motion as a member of the University, but not as a Senator.  Part of this procedure would be to discuss the conflict with the Chair of the Senate before the meeting.  The Senate may want to add this to its Standing Rules.   

Update on Strategic Planning
The Executive Committee met with Chancellor Ponder last week and she presented a calendar outline of how she sees the strategic planning process unfolding in the next year.  Copies of the process were distributed to Senators. 

The group loosely called the People Advisory Committee has been renamed the University Community Council.  The group will begin meeting with small groups on campus this semester, to focus on what kind of university we want to be.  In Fall 2007 we will have a strategic plan, a process by which we keep this going, and procedures by which we keep constituencies involved.   

UNC Faculty Assembly on Shared Governance

Senators received copies of the resolution on Standards of Shared Governance on the 16 UNC Campuses approved by the Faculty Assembly in April 2005.  Dr. Jeff Passe, Chair of the Faculty Assembly, discussed this resolution with the Senate during a campus visit last year.  Dr. Nickless encouraged Senators to read the November/December article:  “Some Branches Were More Equal Than Others,” in the publication of the AAUP, Academe, on the evolution of this document at the Faculty Assembly.

            Dr. Nickless suggested that the Executive Committee review the minimum standards of shared governance with Dr. Padilla and discuss our weaknesses.  We pride ourselves on strong governance but tend to get a little sloppy.  She has been reading about shared governance and how institutions make hard decisions on retrenchment of programs.  Most of what she has found has been on research universities.  The Executive Committee needs to discuss how the process would work if we are faced with a no growth environment. 


Return to administrative report

Senate input on visit of consultants to review Student Affairs administration the next week

            Dr. Padilla encouraged faculty to attend the meeting with consultants who will be on campus next Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the Chancellor’s review of the divisional union of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.  This is an opportunity to help guide the Chancellor who will make the decisions.  This is not a drill – it is a real review with real implications for our students and our approach to pedagogy.  Dr. Padilla noted that he wanted to do what was best for the university. 


The order of business was modified.

VII.       Academic Policies Committee

            Gary Nallan reported for the Academic Policies Committee.

            APC has not met since the last Senate meeting.  It will meet in the next couple of weeks and there will be documents to consider at APC and bring to the Senate.  AVC McClellan is coming to the next APC meeting where they will discuss a plan toward revising the academic dishonesty Catalog copy.  APC will also discuss the Honor Code.  Dr. Lisnerski noted that one new way of cheating involves text-messaging. 

            Second Reading: [Unanimously approved by APC]

            The following documents were considered for Second Reading:

            APC 13:  Change Titles and Descriptions for MUSC 351, 352, 353; Addition of New Courses
                           MUSC 358, 359, 360, 493, 494.

            APC 13 passed with no dissenting votes and became Senate Document 1806S.


            APC 14:  Change to requirements for Teacher Licensure.  Change to course descriptions for

                           MATH 251 and MATH 155.

            APC 14 passed with no dissenting votes and became Senate Document 1906S.


            APC 15:   Add MMAS 330 Internet-Based Art and Design. Add MMAS 332 Experimental Media.

            APC 15 passed with no dissenting votes and became Senate Document 2006S.


            APC 16:   Change requirements for the MMAS Minor.

            APC 16 passed with no dissenting votes and became Senate Document 2106S.


            APC 17:   Changes to Culture Course offerings in Classics: Delete CLAS 355, 491, 493. 

            Add CLAS 314, 343, 344, 345, 354, 356, 383, 393.

            APC 17 passed with no dissenting votes and became Senate Document 2206S.


VI.        Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report 

            Don Lisnerski reported for the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee. 

            Update on Activities

            Dr. Lisnerski reported that members of the Task Force on Disruptive Students should have received an email from Cathy Mitchell to look at the disruptive student policy and the honor code.

            FWDC will meet with Mr. Kuhlman to discuss revising the composition and responsibilities of the two computer/telecommunication committees that Dr. Padilla reported on. 

Faculty received notification of the upcoming election schedule and on the procedure to nominate faculty to committees.  The nominees will be contacted and their names will be italicized on the ballot if they do not refuse nomination.  Greg Boudreaux is coordinating elections this year. 


VIII.      Institutional Development Committee Report

            Bruce Larson reported for the Institutional Development Committee. 

            Update on Activities

            IDC met Tuesday and outlined prospective activities for this semester:

·         Continue discussion of master’s programs at UNCA; transform email responses into questions.  It is nice to see a strategic planning process laid out.  Dr. Larson sees it as supporting the current, deliberate, approach taken with regard to master’s programs at UNCA.

·         Anticipates receiving an Intent to Establish a Religious Studies Program from AVC Spellman.  The Senate approved a Request to Plan proposal last year.

·         Plans to submit a policy on Centers to the Senate for consideration.  A proposal went through various stages of development last year.

·         Anticipates receiving a Request to Establish the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness from AVC Ray.  The Senate approved a Request to Plan last year.

·         Strategic planning.

·         Shared governance.


Dr. Nickless asked if centers now have to be approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT).  Dr. Padilla explained that there are various ways that a center may be established.  In his opinion, the BOT needs to recognize a center because it is representing the university.  It would be very awkward for a Board member to learn that we have a new center when there was never a discussion of it.  He asked for input on how we move to the BOT stage. 

NEMAC has gone through faculty governance and it will be at the next Board meeting.  But there may be instances when there is a requirement for the university to create a center where the usual faculty governance/administrative procedures are not entirely relevant.  The Office of the President (OP) can simply notify a campus that it has a center – this happened to East Carolina University with an Oceanography Center.  In these instances, OP is not interested in the campus view of whether they should have the center or not – the Board of Governors thought they should have it.  A similar situation is occurring with the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness.  We will receive a substantial amount of money for a new facility with the expectation that we will have a center.  The needs of that program need to go forward quickly or there will be critics saying we are dragging our heels and it is a good place for a budget cut. 

The Chancellor is interested in taking the idea of a center to the Board pretty quickly.  It will be faster than our normal processes allow.  There will be rare instances when the university will create a center.  The university might see the BOT create a center that faculty governance has not fully evaluated.  Moreover, we have to get the centers that faculty governance has approved before the BOT. 


IX.        Old Business

            There was no Old Business.


X.         New Business

There was no New Business.


XI.        Adjourn

            Dr. Nickless adjourned the meeting at 4:55pm.


Respectfully submitted by:          Sandra Gravely

                                                Don Lisnerski