University of North Carolina at Asheville


Minutes, August 31, 2006



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

B. Larson, D. Lisnerski, J. McClain, C. McKenzie, M. Moseley, G. Nallan, B. Sabo,

B. Wilson, J. Wood; M. Padilla.  Alternates: C. Bell, R. Bowen, B. Holmes.


Excused:     S. Judson


Visitors:       P. Catterfeld, L. Friedenberg, M. Honeycutt, E. Katz, G. Kormanik, T. Laughlin,

                   J. McKnight, P. Nickless, A. Ponder, B. Spellman, K. Whatley,




I.        Call to Order, Introductions, Announcements

          Dr. Gary Nallan called the meeting to order at 3:17 pm and welcomed Chancellor Ponder, Senators and guests to the first meeting of the academic year.  Introductions were made throughout the room. 


II.       Comments from Chancellor Anne Ponder

          A summary of Chancellor Ponder’s comments follow:

·         Thank you to those who remained for the opening All Campus meeting for the year.  She conferred with the Senate Executive Committee and received feedback on how we might eliminate duplication and put that event on a different day than the first faculty meeting.  Senators and other faculty members are invited to the All Campus meetings so they can receive the campus-wide university briefings. 

·         There will be a pilot December graduation this year.  Although there is not time this year, the Faculty Senate needs to review its sense as faculty of what we need to help students and their families celebrate.  She thanked faculty in advance for their involvement this coming December. 

·         Thank you to the many faculty who are already involved in plans for the Installation.  Those plans are about an occasion to celebrate the university – not the sixth chancellor.  She invited faculty to participate in as many events as they can.  This will bring many people to the university, and what they experience during Installation week may be all they will ever know about UNCA.    

·         Invited faculty to be involved in the evaluation of senior administrative functions – not administrators.  She would engage with a group of faculty leaders to consider how the faculty’s evaluation of administrative offices could be most meaningful.  At the end of the evaluation process, those faculty would confer with her about recommendations, concerns, or ideas that have come forward. The faculty group might value the advice or consultation of someone from General Administration – or in the case of Development – someone from CASE (the Council for the Advancement of Education) to help ask the right questions.  The Development area could be a pilot and the only office to be evaluated this year; each of the major areas could come forward regularly and periodically so that the reviews would be substantial.  She invited the Senate to consider this and to select a small group to work with her on designing something that would work for the university.   

·         The priorities for the Expansion Budget have been completed.  On Monday she had an opportunity to participate in a Chancellors’ discussion and she was pleased to report that our initial presentation of what would be important to include in additional resources for the university seemed well received.  Perhaps more importantly, President Bowles’ preliminary budget priority for this year is addressing the needs of under-funded institutions, recognizing specifically the difficulties that UNCA has in this way. 


     Dr. Hook asked if there had been a meeting of the University Community Council (UCC) to discuss morale and also asked the Chancellor to tell the Senate, at a future meeting, what has been done.  Chancellor Ponder stated that conversations are taking place.  In following-up on topics from the UCC questions posted last spring, all of those issues -- except for rolling out a program on professional development with an emphasis on people who have supervisory responsibility – are underway but are not yet resolved.  She will address this topic in more detail at another meeting. 

     Dr. Downes clarified that the Faculty Senate decided in 2000 that the all-campus Perceptions of UNCA Administrative Offices Survey would be performed every five years. 

III.      Approval of minutes

          The minutes of April 13, 2006, and April 27, 2006 (3:15 pm) were approved as distributed.  The minutes of April 27, 2006 (4:30 pm) were approved following an editorial correction. 


IV.     Student Government Association Report

          Tim Laughlin reported for the Student Government Association in John Noor’s absence; Mr. Noor plans to participate in future meetings.

          Mr. Laughlin thanked the faculty and staff who assisted in the Block Party, our back-to-school bash for students.  It was a large success with nearly 1,000 students in attendance.  SGA appreciates the work that members of the Student Affairs division did over the summer to ensure that the event went well.

          The SGA along with the student body is excited and looking forward to the Chancellor’s Installation and assisting with that event. 

          Representatives from SGA will come to the Faculty Senate to discuss textbook possibilities, the rising cost of textbooks, and ways that the faculty think we can mediate that issue with the students, making sure faculty have the resources they need to teach classes but keeping in mind the economic issues students are facing.  Dr. Nallan added that President Bowles has placed the textbook issue as a priority.


V.      Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee Report (CSAC)

          JoAnne McKnight, Chair of the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee, noted that the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee is faced with numerous worthwhile goals this year:

  • To ensure that the staff has a sense of pride and confidence in CSAC as their advocacy organization, willing and able to address tough questions and concerns that we share,
  • To enter into and maintain frank discussion with staff  in order to know and prioritize jointly-held issues and concerns and present these to the Chancellor in the form of potent advice,
  • To recommend strategies to the Chancellor that can be used (1) to build a culture of confidence and faith at UNCA that is a shared and unifying force among faculty, staff and students, and (2) to build a culture of inclusion which values all staff with a sense of equity and justice.


     CSAC has a formidable task ahead and even among its own ranks questions are asked:  How do we know we will not be engaged in endless conversation without meaningful outcome?  How do we know that when we speak our minds, our jobs will not be jeopardized?

     CSAC hopes to play a significant role in the process of strategic planning.  We are obligated by our bylaws to advise the Chancellor, and our mission is to constructively address the concerns of UNCA staff employees, provide professional growth through education, and foster exemplary communication between the staff and administration. 

     Ms. McKnight outlined four pillars to inform and direct their course: institutional history, current reality, truth, and the building of trust.  The institutional history will teach us what we did and did not try, and what did and did not work.  That foundation will save grief and time.  The current reality is, “If it is not upbeat and positive, I do not want to hear it.”  But if we do not tell it like it is, and if the staff is suffering some level of dis-ease, it cannot be solved.  We have to identify it, we have to own it, and then we can correct it.  Truth is linked to this.  When the CSAC teams participate in the strategic plan we have to come with our own truth.  How can we ask people who are scared to bare their truth and to give us their opinions about what ought to be done if we cannot be transparent?  Over time, our truth will engender trust. 

     She did not know what the CSAC talking points will be as it moves through the strategic planning process, but she will encourage the committee to lead the conversation toward measurable objectives.  As the objectives are met, the campus culture will shift and the University will be renewed with a sense of unity that ultimately makes the exemplary education received by students even better as they matriculate through UNCA.  CSAC will provide the Faculty Senate with updates. 

     The bylaws of CSAC provide a seat for a faculty member to provide valuable input from the unique faculty point-of-view.  She urged the Senate to find a member who is willing and able to meet with CSAC monthly.  The next meeting is on September 18th and she is hopeful that the faculty chair will be occupied by this time.

     During the first CSAC meeting three sub-committees were empowered to perform the following work:

  • Make a first draft of “Talking Points” for the CSAC portion of the Strategic Plan,
  • Research across the UNC system to find out what other schools have done to establish, develop and/or encourage inclusive school spirit that acts as a cohesive thread for faculty, staff, students and the administration,
  • Prepare a CSAC budget to present to the Chancellor at an upcoming meeting.

     The committee talked about the lack of participation in CSAC, which is filled to about 50% of its capacity, and about how to rectify this situation.  CSAC also developed a recommendation for the Chancellor regarding how it might be an integral part of the team process out of which the strategic plan takes place.


The agenda was modified to accommodate Dr. Nickless’ teaching schedule.

VI.     Executive Committee Report

          Proposed Changes to Faculty Handbook

          Pamela Nickless explained that the format of the Faculty Handbook was designed prior to our extensive use of computers and access to information via links.  Over the summer, Dr. Nickless, AVC Friedenberg, and Sandra Gravely discussed reformatting the Handbook by eliminating the numbering system, removing unnecessary sections, using links where feasible, and making navigation easier.  Although several sections of the Handbook are out of date (university organization, history, mission) one of the most important sections – Appointment, Promotion, and Reappointment – is up to date.  Changes made by the 2005-06 Senate are also included.  Dr. Nickless used UNCG’s website as an example of good design and requested feedback from the Senate before moving forward on the year-long project.  She also asked Senators to notify her about sections they want to keep. 

          Dr. Moseley questioned whether this would affect the contractual element of the Handbook – there are items that oblige faculty to do certain things.  Dr. Nickless agreed and suggested that those sections be printed for new faculty.  There are currently two Handbooks – (1) those with contracts dated prior to the 07/01/03 and (2) those with contacts on/after this date.  This occurred when there was a change in going for promotion and tenure simultaneously.  We will all use the same Handbook again in one year when the distinction will no longer apply.  Using links keeps the information current.  For example, when changes are made to the University’s Code, these would come to us through the Chancellor and the Provost’s Office.  At times in the past, these changes were not clearly communicated to faculty.    


VII.    Administrative Report

              Provost Mark Padilla reported for the Administration. 

          -Update on Articulation Agreement between UNCA and AB Tech

          UNCA and AB Tech faculty have drafted an articulation agreement for students who complete the A.A.S. (applied associate of science) degree in Early Childhood at AB Tech and then want to transfer to UNCA to earn B-K certification while completing a four year degree in Psychology. 

          The impetus and benefits of this work on the articulation agreement follow:

  • Meets the mandate of the “Priorities of the University of North Carolina” for “More and Better Teachers; Improved Schools” which calls on universities to expand efforts in teacher preparation by considering innovative approaches, including collaborative 2 + 2 programs with NC Community Colleges;
  • Meets the mandate that calls on universities to expand efforts to increase the supply of highly qualified teachers in high needs areas (B-K is an area of high need);
  • Is part of an effort of the B-K Higher Education Consortium which began in 2000 to create statewide articulation agreements between universities and community colleges;
  • Creates a seamless pathway for early childhood candidates from the community college to complete a 4-year degree and licensure in B-K at UNCA;
  • Addresses the need for qualified candidates to fill early childhood positions as all state and federally funded programs require that Early Childhood teachers have a 4-year degree and be licensed by the state;
  • Fills a need left by the departure of WCU which has dropped its early childhood undergraduate program.


This is a twist of the existing articulation agreement:  The Education Department will accept five courses from the AB Tech Early Childhood program to satisfy five department courses.  Those courses are currently offered by the Education Department at the 300-level but these courses from AB Tech will count towards them.  Eighteen other NC schools have adopted this model. 

          - Faculty Salary Models for 2006-07

          Dr. Padilla distributed a report on a Proposed 2006-07 Salary Adjustment Model proposed at the August 17 faculty meeting.  The process is moving quickly – his recommendations are due in the Finance Office by the end of next week so the BD-119 can be submitted to GA on time.  The expectation is to have increases registered in the September paycheck.  Dr. Larson agreed that the guidelines conformed to the recommendations of the Task Force to Study Faculty Salary Distribution.  Dr. Padilla explained that one goal is to set minimal rank salary levels.  For example, this would involve equity adjustments for full professors who are not at the $60,000 minimum. 

          The following comments were made during discussion:

  • Junior faculty members have great difficulty finding a place to live while also paying student loans and supporting families.
  • What is the likelihood of building condos on campus for faculty/staff to buy directly/lease?
  • Does anyone keep track of time-in-rank?  UNCA faculty may stay longer in rank than other places and it makes our average salaries look better than they really are. 
  • The differential in UNCA faculty salaries in comparison with other UNC schools:
    • Assistant professor rank -- $ 17,000 less
    • Associate professor rank -- $22,000 less
    • Full professor rank -- $40,000 less
  • UNCA has the opportunity to improve faculty salaries this year from two sources:
    • What the Legislature provided
    • All of the tuition increase that is not returned to Financial Aid for students. 
  • Since 2000, about when the great appreciation of living in Asheville occurred, there have been over $3,000,000 in cuts from UNCA’s budget.  A present value calculation shows that amount is $18,000,000.  The State appropriation is approximately $30,000,000.  $18M in cuts on a $30M State appropriation is unsustainable.  Faculty salary is one of the dire examples of that difficulty.
  • The financial reward for High Merit versus Merit is very small compared to the expectations we have when we make those decisions.
  • Many faculty members prefer more emphasis on merit and less on across-the-board increases.
  • Merit increases are only effective if there is significant difference in the categories.
  • Across-the-board increases and Merit raises used to be a percentage – not a dollar figure.  A raise of $3,428 is 3% for the highest paid faculty and 14% for the lowest paid faculty.  This is one reason why our full professor salaries are $40,000 less than full professors at Chapel Hill.
  • We prefer to practice salary compression over salary inversion – although both are threats.
  • Use models that address both salary compression and salary inversion to some degree. 
  • Have a fixed amount for High Merit, regardless of rank.  Merit should be a larger portion of the increase. 
  • Reward merit every two years instead of annually – it would have more impact and faculty could work on a two-year project.  This would also solve the small-department problem.  Suggested that FWDC look at this in terms of a recommendation.  We need to clarify what constitutes Merit, High Merit, and Extraordinary Merit.  Different disciplines work somewhat differently but there could still be basic guidelines – and criteria that would belong to each category.  


Return to Executive Committee Report

          Standing Rules and Rules of Order (SRRO)

          Dr. Nallan explained the only new section in the Standing Rules and Rules of Order this year pertained to recusals and abstentions.  The Standing Rules and Rules of Order passed without dissent.


VIII.   Academic Policies Committee Report

          Claudel McKenzie reported that the Academic Policies Committee will have its first meeting next week

to discuss its goals for the year.  There are no documents to consider at this time.  All APC meetings will be

held in the Red Oak Room this academic year. 


IX.     Institutional Development Committee Report

          Bruce Larson reported for the Institutional Development Committee

          The Handbook of the IDC was distributed at its first meeting last Thursday to have a sense of history and a sense of responsibilities.  IDC looked at documents generated last year through the shared governance meetings of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Academic Affairs. 


Significant outcomes of the shared governance meetings were highlighted:

·         the importance of departmental and program reviews and that IDC devote time to this project.

·         Deans have been assigned to each of the Faculty Senate committees as ex officio members.  Dean Katz is assigned to APC, Dean Friedenberg is assigned to IDC, Dean Spellman is assigned to FWDC, and Dr. Padilla has been invited to the Executive Committee meetings.  This is a good way for the faculty and Academic Affairs to work together to advance the interests of the university. 


          The Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education has been meeting and its final report is due in mid-September, although what is effectively its final report has already been issued.  IDC considered the value to the faculty and consequently the university as a whole of having open discussions in small group settings on the report.  This is one area where IDC will focus this year.


X.      Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

          Don Lisnerski reported for the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.

          FWDC’s first meeting will be next Thursday in Owen 113.  Dean Spellman will work with FWDC this year. 

          Sense of the Senate Resolution

          Dr. Lisnerski distributed a Sense of the Senate Resolution to request authorization to make editorial changes to existing Senate documents to reflect the change in administrative titles.  Dr. Padilla suggested using the Associate Vice Chancellor titles for the time being as there are a number of personnel processes that need to take place before that title changes to Dean.  The resolution was amended by Dr. Sabo and Dr. Downes to read as follows:


Since UNCA has reorganized several of its administrative divisions and has adopted

a change in administrative titles, FWDC requests to be authorized to make editorial

changes in existing Faculty Senate documents related to such changes when these

changes are consistent with the intent of the document.


Dr. Moseley moved to approve the resolution and Dr. Hook seconded the motion.  The Sense of the Senate Resolution passed as amended without dissent and became SD0106F. 


          Mentoring Program

          FWDC is reorganizing the Mentoring Program for new faculty.  Tucker Cooke, who used to coordinate this effort, has agreed to work with a committee.  Merritt Moseley will work with the group and Mary Lynn Manns has volunteered to coordinate the social functions.  Faculty members who are willing to volunteer to help the group are asked to contact Dr. Lisnerski. 


XI.     Old Business

          There was no Old Business.


XII.    New Business

          Dr. Sabo raised two concerns:

·         At the faculty meeting an announcement was made about a task force to review International Programs and International Studies.  He suggested that it would be more consistent with Senate intentions if the procedures specified in the Standing Rules were followed.  Under those rules the Executive Committee is to “appoint ad hoc committees or task forces”.  Since the International Programs Advisory Committee (IPAC) is composed of individuals who have volunteered for the committee and are interested in international programs it makes sense to have them do the work.  He did not see the reason for yet another task force unless there are concerns or problems with the programs and the people involved with them.  He suggested that the Executive Committee appoint the standing faculty committee as the task force unless there is some compelling reason to think that the committee is not doing its job.

·         Referring to Ms. McKnight’s CSAC report, Sabo noted that recent changes in staff personnel have increased the pressure to address the concerns she raised as soon as possible.  He noted that CSAC’s goal of soliciting information from the staff regarding their interests, concerns, troubles, and priorities is one of the most important, demanding, and difficult things CSAC has to do.  Concerned that faculty have been too passive in their response to some things that have happened, he suggested the Faculty Senate offer to help CSAC.  He was not sure of the proper procedure for doing so, but urged the Executive Committee to consider ways of assisting CSAC.

          Dr. Sabo also expressed concern that recent staff changes have led to the departure of talented long term employees on whom faculty have come to rely heavily.  He was worried about these changes and their affects on other staff for two reasons.  First, these changes are starting to affect his ability to do his job.  This makes it a faculty concern in that faculty’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities depends so much on the support that staff members provide.

          Second, Dr. Sabo argued that the circumstances under which some of the changes seem to be taking place ignore the University’s mission.  Noting that the Mission Statement says that “UNCA brings together faculty, students, and staff to interact closely in a supportive community,” he questioned whether the environment was indeed supportive of staff.  Calling attention to the phrase in the third paragraph “It encourages students, faculty, and staff to interact with and serve...” he noted that it was going to be difficult to interact with people who are not comfortable in the campus’ environment.  He recalled that there was discussion in 1999 and 2000 about whether “staff” should be included in the mission, but that incorporating staff into the statement was ultimately approved overwhelmingly because faculty desired UNCA to be a totally encompassing community.  He also noted that the way some people are being treated directly violates the fourth line of the Mission Statement:  “…an understanding that values play a role in thoughts and action.”   Some recent events are discouraging because they struck him as “procedurally incorrect and, more importantly, substantively wrong” which makes it difficult to understand how values can be an important part of students’ education when they are not practiced.  He encouraged the Executive Committee to put this on its agenda and determine how the Faculty Senate can best help CSAC.  Dr. Nallan placed the issue on the agenda and invited Dr. Sabo to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss his concerns. 

          - Student Rating of Instruction

          Dr. Downes referred to Dr. Mathews’ final Task Force Report on Student Rating of Instruction (SRI) given last spring and stressed that she did not want this to slip under the table.  Some people have the misconception that the form that Dr. Mathews put forth is a completely satisfactory alternative.  Dr. Mathews indicated last spring that the alternative was a step in the right direction but more work has to be done.  The report is available at: Final Report of the Task Force on SRI

          - Annual Faculty Record

          Dr. Downes referred to the meeting last April when the Senate discussed the Annual Faculty Record and other things which “measure” a faculty member’s “worth”; a number of departments are trying to clarify their own criteria in defining excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.  She suggested that the Executive Committee consider encouraging all departments to do this and then to talk with the appropriate Dean.  That could lead us to a good all-university discussion of these criteria.  Dr. Nallan supported Dr. Downes’ suggestion. 


XIII.   Adjourn

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


Respectfully submitted by:    Sandra Gravely

                                           Don Lisnerski