Atkinson, B. Butler, P. Downes, M. Harvey, H. Holt, B. Hook, B. Larson, D.
J. McClain, C. McKenzie, G. Nallan, B. Sabo, B.
Wilson, J. Wood; Chancellor Ponder.
C. Bell, R. Bowen, B. Holmes.
Excused:G. Boudreaux, K. Cole, S. Judson, M. Moseley.
Adell, M. Bettencourt, T. Brown, P. Caulfield, J. Daugherty, V. Derryberry, E.
Epstein, V. Frank, A. Hantz, A. Huang, K.
Krumpe, S. Malicote, M. Manns,
Mathews, P. Nickless, R. Palmisano, C.
Riley, R. Sousa, G. Trautmann.
Dr. Gary Nallan called
the special meeting of the Faculty Senate to order at and welcomed Chancellor Ponder, Senators
explained that consultations about the long-term leadership of Academic Affairs
and the search for that leadership will occur later.Today’s consultation is what we should do in
the interim.As everyone knows, Mark Padilla had the opportunity to visit with many people
individually and with a number of constituent groups including the Executive
Committee of the Faculty Senate.He is appropriately
ambitious and has decided to move on; we need to think about how we will
administer and lead Academic Affairs between now and the time that we figure
out what we will do more permanently.
Dr. Ponder posed questions to consider:
should the interim duration be?Spring
semester? Or spring semester and next year, in that it would give us options about
the pace of a search.
– and from what experience?Should it be
one of the Deans?A senior faculty
member with pertinent experience?Someone
from General Administration?Someone
from outside?Are there blended or
alternative options that should be brought forward?
About a dozen individuals have had their names mentioned or have
self-nominated.She is two-thirds of the
way through consulting with groups and is leaning toward taking a longer rather
than a shorter period of time.Her
rationale is getting in at the right time of the search season, being clear
about what we are looking for, and having time for a highly participatory
search.She wants all the advice she can
get.There are a number of processes and
procedures – including evaluations – to resolve what we will be doing during
this interim time.Although Mark Padilla will be in this role through the end of
this calendar year, her goal is to resolve this by the end of this month or
shortly thereafter.What are your views?
comments/suggestions were made during discussion:
members supported an 18-month interim period.No one present voiced support for the
short, spring semester interim.
Favored choosing the
best person for the position, wherever they are from.Consider Deans first as they were chosen
from faculty and have some experience.There are several retired presidents and chief academic officers near
Asheville.An interim from General Administration
would be last choice.
We have two choices
– to find someone to fit a clearly defined position or to seek someone to
redefine the job.Which option we
choose depends on how comfortable we are with the current structure,
functions and performance of Academic Affairs.We need a careful and systematic review
of the division’s performance – preferably by someone from the outside who
is familiar with UNCA’s mission and history (Roy Carroll, Sam Schuman,
Larry Dorr, Doug Orr) who could help us evaluate our current system and
thereby assist in the review.
Academic Affairs.When the
structure was put into place Mark Padilla
promised there would be a review.
Favored folding the
review of Academic Affairs into the search process.Preferred a smooth, peaceful transition
that a Dean could provide.Someone that
Chancellor Ponder is comfortable working with who will be a tactician and get
the job done without challenging the division that should come from the
Chancellor’s office.Have an open
search with a lot of faculty input.
outside campus will have less baggage and will be more objective in
evaluating Academic Affairs.
Although it is good
to look at what we are doing now, it is really about how do we get to
where we want to be in light of the strategic planning process? Will someone on campus help us to move in
that direction better than someone off campus?Strategic planning puts assessment in a
Agreed that where
we want to be should be tied with the strategic plan.We also need to know where we are – many
are confused with our current structure and its purpose and function.It makes sense to review Academic
Affairs now – it is the core and should be the centerpiece of a strategic
plan.The interim should be who is
best capable of helping us do a good job of evaluation.The ideal mix is someone connected very
well with higher education generally but also is very familiar with UNCA.
Whether it is
called an evaluation or a preliminary part of the search process, it needs
to look forward.
Favored having the
new Provost involved in strategic planning.That could be an argument for short term
but a short term is not favorable.By
evaluating where we are, we are telling the new Provost – this is the way
it is and we want you to fill the role the way we want it to be.
It is a question of
the degree to which we want someone to fit our impression of where we are
and what we’re hoping to be as opposed to someone helping us identify
that.The Provost will be involved
in strategic planning but may not be involved in planning Academic
A strategic plan is
a living document and is evaluated cyclically.It is not unusual to bring in an
individual while a plan is in place; the person gives input during the
next cycle of evaluation.
Chancellor Ponder did not want to suspend strategic planning to wait for
a new Provost.Strategic planning is
cyclical and she imagined that the new Provost would come in during the implementation
stage of the cycle.
We need someone who
is familiar enough with the university to get other people thinking to help
contribute to the strategic plan.
Academic Affairs and individual departments.We are in a unique situation – not like
our private peers.As a member of
the state system, we have to respond to the demands of General
Administration, the Board of Governors, and the legislators.It would be asking too much of the interim
person to do what is required in the Provost position while also
evaluating and running a self-study of Academic Affairs.If we want a self-study of Academic
Affairs, we should have another mechanism to do that – whether it comes out
of the Faculty Senate or a Task Force.
Chancellor Ponder had thought about the possibility of having some shared
responsibility for leadership in this area in the interim.Some of the individuals involved in leading
the area could have different, specific assignments -- essentially, not embody
the entire responsibility for coverage and transition in one individual.What do you think about that?
That model will be
as successful as the people that are in it.If you go with shared governance, the
people have to be able to work together.
When we restructured
Academic Affairs and added the four Deans, the agreement that was reached
in the Faculty Senate with the Provost’s office was that those would be
evaluated after all four Deans had served a full term and that is not
until the end of this year.Evaluating the structure is not due until the end of this
year.Reviewing the structure could
be done with the Faculty Senate and Academic Affairs and would not take
that much time.
the Deans where they are – doing their jobs.Having a Dean as interim Provost creates
more turmoil because then there are two interims – an interim Provost and
an interim Dean.
Affairs and Student Affairs under one structure was a fairly recent
change.Dr. Padilla went from being
the Vice Chancellor to the Provost.Are we replacing a VCAA or are we replacing a Provost?And what is the difference?
When Jim Mullen combined
the two positions that was the justification for creating the position of
Provost.If the positions are not
combined, that is something to look at.
advantages to both sides – whether you’re bringing in an outside person or
someone who is already on campus – one thing is to have someone involved
in the strategic planning process for the future who is not going to be
part of that future.Maybe there is
an advantage to that.But there
also may be an advantage to having someone involved in that process even
though they are going to step down eventually but nevertheless will be part
of that future.He was leaning
toward someone who would be part of that future -- they would know the
university, have been here a while, and also would have a sense of what
they wanted to be a part of.
Does the faculty have views about whether you want the leader of the
division of which you are a part to be a Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
or a Provost?
What is the difference
in a VCAA and a Provost besides the title?Now that Student Affairs and Academic Affairs have split, clarify the
differences in the duties and responsibilities between a VCAA and a Provost
– that would help us determine who we want.
There are two questions – what we need in the short run – and then what
the title and the portfolio of who we want in the long run.
Preferred the label
of VCAA – it is more descriptive and it is the first among equals.Having “Academic Affairs” in the title says
The head of
Academic Affairs in the whole state system is called Vice President for
Academic Affairs – not Provost.
Our tradition has
been that the VCAA has been the first among equals.
appointed for the interim cannot help but do some evaluation of how the
structure is working.Whether we
have a formal evaluation or not, you will be conversing regularly with
that person and will be asking how things are working.That will give you and the campus a
sense of where changing and tweaking should happen if needed.
It is an odd
position to put a Dean into.It may
be okay to use a Dean for the evaluation portion, but not as interim in
One of the most acute assignments of the chief academic office,
regardless of title, is evaluation – especially of faculty at moments where that
is important.Do you have views about
Faculty who are coming
up for tenure are worried about being examined by someone from outside
campus.Our most important resource
is our people.
Any interim worth
their salt would defer to the recommendations of the Tenure
Committee.We have gone through several
interims that they have yielded to the Tenure Committee recommendations.
This points to the element of shared governance that we as a faculty and
as a university share.There is an extra
responsibility for the Promotion and Tenure Committee during a time of
transition because there is anxiety in folks coming up for tenure.
The other point is, once this
changes, there will be a lot of demands from faculty in the hope that we can
change together in a better direction.That is when the Senate should change course where we talk about
minority enrollment, diversity, and programs.That is when the Senate, Deans and
Program Directors need to have more power in the sense of being a cohesive
institution – an entity on its own.
you talk more about objectification?
Objectification in the sense
that we assume that we all know what we are talking about rather than
negotiating through discussions.There should be debates between the Deans and the Senate – they
should be parallel structures.Talk
about strategic planning in the concrete – what would it mean?What would that entail for the
Senate?What will the Senate do for
and on behalf of faculty, students and everyone else?That also implies coming to terms with
what we are as a Senate.This is
important.We need to think outside
the box as we go through the process of finding a replacement.
There is a Senate
voice – it will have to come to agreement on the voice of the individuals.
faculty feel about a Dean moving into the interim Provost position, he
would have no hesitation in having Kathy Whatley in the interim
position.He has worked with the
other Deans on a limited basis and based on those interactions nothing
would sound alarms if any of the other Deans were appointed as the
The Deans are
intimate with the position of Provost, having worked with Mark in that
role for several years; the promotion of one of them to the interim
position would be a natural progression.He would have no problem with Kathy Whatley filling that role.Any Dean should be able to move into
Regarding the possibility
of a team-based position with shared responsibilities, one fit into that
is the very collaborative nature of the Deans’ offices.Collaboration is important as we move
forward.It would be a natural move
for a Dean.
The shared responsibility as an idea occurred to Chancellor Ponder in
reflection over the weekend and, given the consultations she has had over the
first part of this week, she has not yet rejected that as a possibility.
need to consider the value of experience and we need to consider the chaos that
a learning curve would cause if we pull someone from too far away from responsibilities
that are currently going on.
Chancellor Ponder agreed, adding that she knows the liberal arts but is
new here.Having a set of colleagues
that I work closely with including academic administration who have some
continuity and recent history with the university is very valuable because I
don’t possess that personally.
experience is essential.The Deans have
had that close experience and they collaborate well with each other.If we have a Dean in the interim position we
want someone who has worked well outside the circle as well as inside the
circle of Deans.And it might be Kathy
should not break up the current Dean structure if people are comfortable with
it.We could distribute some of Mark’s
duties to the current Deans and that would solve the concern with experience.Then bring in a coordinator to re-evaluate
and study of the administrative function and personnel that seems to be
necessary.An interim Dean is going to have
a learning curve and the person moving up to interim VCAA is going to have a
learning curve – it is the worst of both worlds.
need an inside person – but there should be an understanding from the outset
that the interim will not be a candidate for the job.The Deans might be most interested in the job
permanently.It is asking a lot to say
to someone who has experience and who is on this career path – “you can be the
interim but you cannot apply.”Whereas
another senior faculty member who has some experience – and we have other
people who have dean-like experience here – could do it and might not be
interested in the job permanently.
Let’s talk about the prohibition of whoever serves not being eligible to
be considered for the permanent position.There are at least two ways to look at that – both from the inside of
the perspective candidate and that being a curb on behavior during the interim
structure.It also turns those times
into the world’s longest search because everyone is torn – it is fraught with awkwardness.What is your view as a faculty about that?
We should take
inside candidates seriously but the interim should not be a candidate for
the permanent position.
Is that view shared?
Agreed that the
interim would not be a candidate.What would be your reasons?
It is very hard to
turn down an interim who we all know and who has been on the job for a
year.It is particularly difficult
for the search committee to be objective.It also limits the pool of applicants if they are competing again
the person who is in the job and who has been there for a year.
Frankly, we have
had some bad experiences with interims becoming candidates.
These are interims
that did not get the job and they were angry for decades.
Would there be a similar difficulty with someone who is a senior faculty
member or a Dean who comes into the interim role and then returns to the
not believe this would be a problem.
would not be a problem if it was understood from the outset.
with this perspective.
is value in finding an outsider who knows the campus – like Sam Schuman, Larry
Dorr, Roy Carroll, or Doug Orr – they would solve the problem.
keeping the Dean structure intact.
we had a bad experience with an interim who applied and didn’t get the job and
was frustrated, we also had an interim who was not a candidate and smoothly
moved back to the faculty with no problem whatsoever.
interim acts differently – the person is doing the job that needs to be done
versus trying to appease certain elements of the campus so as not to upset
anyone or alienate any group because you want to have that support.
you have an idea of whether you were going to specifically target an outside
provost for the new position – or is it up to the search committee to consider
whether to have inside candidates or not?
The only decision Chancellor Ponder has made about that is that it
should be a full and open search to find the best candidates wherever they
are.That could be outside – that could
with the sentiment expressed.Tell whoever
is going to be the interim – if you have aspirations to be the VCAA then do not
accept the interim position appointment and apply for the job.That has the fewest drawbacks and the most
short list could be everyone who is one to two years from retirement and does
not want the job.
Chancellor Ponder was very pleased that several members of the faculty
and university community decided to join the Faculty Senate for the open
meeting.Everyone was encouraged to
offer comments and suggestions by the end of the week when most of the
consultation will be completed.