The Assembly is dedicated to upholding and exercising the principles of academic freedom, shared governance, tenure, and the faculty's primary responsibility for the university's curriculum.
0.0 PREFACE (Administrative Handbook Changes dated December 2019) (SD11312S)
The Faculty Handbook is the most important document representing shared governance between the faculty and the administration at UNC Asheville. It is a joint document created by both the faculty, through the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee (FWDC), and the administration, primarily through Academic Affairs. Because it is a living document, continually amended, members of the faculty and the administration should consult the most recent version of the Faculty Handbook to know current policies and procedures. The only exception is in policies for the granting of tenure, in which case the relevant language is that in place at the time of initial hire.
The Faculty Handbook has a number of purposes. It is the primary location for policies which affect faculty, containing both academic policies for matters such as faculty hiring, evaluation, and workplace conditions, many of which are approved by the Faculty Senate through FWDC, and other policies which originate elsewhere in the university or off-campus. It describes the procedures which have been put in place to enact these policies. It provides information about faculty ranks, faculty committees, opportunities, and awards. Finally, it describes both the rights and the professional responsibilities of members of the faculty at UNC Asheville.
As the product of shared governance, both the faculty and Academic Affairs have a role to play in the creation and maintenance of the Faculty Handbook. All suggested changes to the Faculty Handbook should be sent to the Chair of FWDC who, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Academic Affairs liaison to FWDC, determines whether a revision represents a change in academic policy requiring Senate approval, a change in administrative procedure or non-academic policy, or a simple editorial revision.
1) Changes in academic policy must be approved by FWDC and the Faculty Senate. This includes standards for annual evaluation of faculty; standards and procedures for reappointment, tenure, and promotion; the responsibilities of faculty committees; faculty grievances; and others. Policies which originate in the UNC Policy Manual or other sources outside of UNC Asheville do not require Senate action to be included in the Faculty Handbook unless internal policies are revised to comply with external directives.
2) Changes in administrative procedures proposed by Academic Affairs to implement academic policies which appear in the Faculty Handbook, such as those for annual evaluation, hiring of faculty, and application for professional leaves, should be reported to FWDC and, if they wish, to Faculty Senate before submission to the Editor of the Faculty Handbook. The same protocol is followed for changes in policy which are not under the purview of Academic Affairs but which appear in the Faculty Handbook, such as those originating in the General Assembly, UNC General Administration, or other divisions of the university.
3) Editorial changes correcting errors or reporting changes in website addresses, organizational structure, and the like can be made directly by the Editor of the Faculty Handbook with approval from the Chair of FWDC.
These categories of changes are intended to be hierarchical. If there is uncertainty about the category of a proposed change, it will be treated as if it is in the higher category.
0.5 SHARED GOVERNANCE (SD9013S)
The university aspires to effective shared governance. The following document, adopted by the Faculty Assembly in 2005, articulates standards suggested for the 16 UNC campuses. While not all standards are followed at UNC Asheville, the Senate supports the general principles of this document and encourages the university to make decisions in the spirit of shared governance.
Adopted by the Faculty Assembly of the University of North Carolina April 2005
A strong tradition of shared governance is essential to the excellence of any institution of higher learning. This principle is embodied in Section 502D(2) of the Code of the Board of Governors, which makes it the responsibility of the chancellor of each constituent institution of The University of North Carolina to ensure that the institution’s faculty has the means to give effective advice with respect to questions of academic policy and institutional governance, with particular emphasis upon matters of curriculum, degree requirements, instructional standards, and grading criteria, and that the appropriate means of giving such advice is through an elected faculty senate or council and an elected chair of the faculty. To the end that chancellors may more effectively carry out this responsibility, the Faculty Assembly commends the following statement of essential standards of governance.
As used in this document, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
a. an adequate budget
b. reasonable authority over its budget
c. adequate office space
d. adequate secretarial support
a. Faculty representation must appropriately reflect the degree of the faculty’s stake in the issue or area the committee is charged with addressing.
b. The faculty members of joint committees must be selected in consultation with the elected faculty leadership or by processes approved by the senate.
1.0 HISTORY, ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
1.1 The University of North Carolina (UNC) System
The University of North Carolina was authorized by the State Constitution in 1776 and chartered by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1789. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill admitted its first students in 1795.
The Constitution of North Carolina, Article IX, Section 3, provides that the "General Assembly shall maintain a public system of higher education comprising The University of North Carolina and such other institutions of higher education as the General Assembly may deem wise. Beginning in 1877, the General Assembly of North Carolina established or acquired ten additional separately governed state-supported senior institutions of higher education: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Pembroke State University, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University.
In 1931 the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted legislation which brought together UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, and UNC-Greensboro, into a multi-university system identified as The University of North Carolina. In the 1960's the University of North Carolina at Asheville (1969), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1965), and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1969), were added to UNC to create a six University system governed by a one-hundred member Board of Trustees.
In 1971, the General Assembly redefined The University of North Carolina; under the terms of that legislation all sixteen public senior institutions became constituent institutions of UNC responsible to the Board of Governors (see Section 1.1.3 for list by category).
Each constituent institution of The University of North Carolina elects its own Board of Trustees, administers its own budget, appoints its administration with the Chancellor as the chief administrative officer, hires and evaluates its own faculty, sets policies for admission of its own student body, and is responsible for self-governance consistent with Board of Governors policies.
1.1.2 Board of Governors, the President, and General Administration
126.96.36.199 Board of Governors
The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with "the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions." It elects the president, who administers the University. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms. Special members are non-voting members with varying terms. Such members are former chairs of the board, former governors and the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, or that student's designee. For more information, visit https://www.northcarolina.edu/apps/bog/members.htm.
188.8.131.52 The Code of the University of North Carolina/UNC Policy Manual
The UNC Administrative Manual has been merged with The Code of the UNC Board of Governors. The contents of these documents may now be found in the UNC Policy Manual. All faculty have access to The Code online at this website.
184.108.40.206 The President
The President, elected by the Board of Governors, is the chief administrative and executive officer of the University and has complete authority to manage the affairs and execute the policies of The University of North Carolina and its constituent universities, subject to the direction and control of the Board of Governors and the provisions of The Code. The President is the "official administrative spokesperson for and the interpreter of the University" to all external constituencies. The President is responsible for all reports and presentations about the University to the General Assembly, the Governor, state offices and commissions and the Federal Government. For more information, visit https://www.northcarolina.edu/president/.
220.127.116.11 The University of North Carolina System Office (System Ofiices)
The President is assisted by professional staff members who are elected by the Board of Governors on nomination by the President. For more information, visit https://www.northcarolina.edu/leadership-and-governance/president/unc-system-office/.
1.1.3 UNC Faculty AssemblyThe Faculty Assembly is the elected body of representatives of the faculty of the seventeen campuses of the University of North Carolina. Its objectives are set forth in the Assembly's Charter.
The Assembly is dedicated to upholding and exercising the principles of academic freedom, shared governance, tenure, and the faculty's primary responsibility for the university's curriculum.
1.2 History of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville)
The University of North Carolina at Asheville originated as Buncombe County Junior College, founded in 1927 under the aegis of the Buncombe County school system. It operated as a free public institution until 1930, when a financial crisis forced the county college to begin charging tuition. It changed its name to Biltmore Junior College and was controlled by the faculty until 1934, when a newly-established board of trustees secured a charter under the name of Biltmore College. In 1936 control passed to the Asheville City School Board, and the name was changed to Asheville-Biltmore College. It was by this name that the institution was known until 1969 when it became a member of The Consolidated University of North Carolina.
In 1955, the General Assembly of North Carolina voted the first state appropriations for the support of Asheville-Biltmore College, and in 1957, under the provisions of the Community College Act, the college became the first institution to qualify as a state-supported community college.
Two locally-initiated and approved bond issues, along with state appropriations, enabled the college to begin a period of vigorous development. In 1961, the institution moved to its current 165-acre site in north Asheville and occupied the first two buildings on the new campus (Phillips and Rhoades Halls). Five additional buildings followed in the next few years (Ramsey Library, Carmichael, Lipinsky, Owen and Zageir Halls).
On July 1, 1963, Asheville-Biltmore College became a state-supported senior college, under a new board of trustees, and began establishing the character of the institution that ultimately was to emerge as the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In his Report to the Board of Trustees of Asheville-Biltmore College on July 1, 1963, the then President of the college, William E. Highsmith, stated that the institution was beginning the development of a liberal arts college stressing excellence in teaching and learning.
As early as 1962, Asheville-Biltmore College had expressed its ambition to become a campus of The Consolidated University of North Carolina, and in 1966, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution endorsing this goal. In 1968-69, after extended discussions of the state-wide implications of such a move, the Board of Trustees of the Consolidated University and the State Board of Higher Education endorsed the proposal, which was subsequently approved by the General Assembly of North Carolina. On July 1, 1969, Asheville-Biltmore College became the University of North Carolina at Asheville, one of six campuses of the Consolidated University. On July 1, 1972, the ten remaining state-supported senior institutions were merged into a unified sixteen-constituent member system, The University of North Carolina.
When it was established as a four-year senior state institution in 1963, again in 1969 when it joined The University of North Carolina, and throughout the vicissitudes of the past two decades, UNC Asheville has remained dedicated to its distinctive role in North Carolina: a public undergraduate liberal arts institution striving for the highest standards of excellence in teaching and learning.
UNC Asheville's mission has received further endorsement from the UNC General Administration. In January 1991, the President of The University of North Carolina asked four external consultants to review the missions and long-range plans of the sixteen constituent institutions. They were to recommend changes appropriate for each within the context of the constituencies they serve, the needs for higher education in North Carolina in the next decade, and the ability of the state to provide resources to meet those needs.
As part of its mission review for General Administration, UNC Asheville asked to be reclassified from a Comprehensive II institution to a Liberal Arts College I, to reflect more accurately its philosophy, character, and ambition. In November 1991, the President released the consultants' findings, which stated, in part:
"UNC-Asheville has developed a solid reputation as a public liberal arts institution. Its rate of enrollment growth in recent years has been very high. At the same time it attracts a high quality student body. . . . It prides itself on its interdisciplinary undergraduate core curriculum and its highly successful Master of Liberal Arts curriculum. . . . The institution is qualified to be classified as a Liberal Arts College I. This designation reflects its mission and we recommend that the change be approved.
This confirmation of UNC Asheville's historic commitment to undergraduate liberal arts education, coupled with an equally strong commitment to serve the region and state in ways that complement its educational program, sets the stage for the institution in the coming decade and beyond."
Since this reaffirmation of our place as the public liberal arts university in the UNC system, UNC Asheville has continued to enhance its national academic reputation and is consistently noted as one of the leading public liberal arts computers in the country.
UNC Asheville is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degrees. A Bachelor of Science in Engineering is offered jointly with North Carolina State University.
For additional history, read The University of North Carolina at Asheville, The First Sixty Years written by former Chancellor William E. Highsmith, published in 1991 by UNC Asheville. It is available in Ramsey Library.
1.3 Planning Guidelines for UNC Asheville
The University of North Carolina at Asheville is designated a Liberal Arts University in the University of North Carolina and offers degree programs at the baccalaureate level. A strong liberal arts curriculum has been broadened by the addition of several career-oriented programs.
The Asheville Graduate Center, offering a wide range of courses and cooperative programs, was established on the UNC Asheville campus in 1984. It plans, promotes and coordinates graduate education in Asheville by hosting programs from other UNC institutions on our campus.
UNC Asheville offers a Master's in Liberal Arts degree program. This interdisciplinary program is offered through the Asheville Graduate Center and builds upon a highly successful undergraduate humanities and arts core curriculum.
1.3.2 Mission Statement (Adopted by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees June 19, 2009)
(Approved by the UNC Board of Governors November 13, 2009)
1.3.3 Strategic Plan (Adopted by the Board of Trustees in June 2016) (SSR1016S) (SD11112S)
Success means creating a culture that recognizes that our strength as an institution lies in our diversity, and that we must nurture our community to make it more inclusive and accepting. Success also requires innovation, encouraging everyone to take risks, try new ideas, and spread good ideas across our community. Success requires a strong commitment to holding ourselves accountable as we strive to meet our goals. To be a successful university of the future we will commit to a culture of sustainability, continuously finding new ways to support the natural environment, our communities, and the long-term health of the institution and her people.
UNC Asheville’s strategic plan rises from a commitment to our mission as a public liberal arts institution, distinct in the state of North Carolina and a national leader, as one of the founding members and headquarters of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. As one of 17 institutions in the UNC System, our plan draws from statewide priorities of access, affordability and efficiency, student success, economic impact, and excellent and diverse institutions. Through this plan, UNC Asheville will continue to press forward as a nationally recognized center of creativity, innovation, and excellence in the public liberal arts.
1.4 Administrative Structure
The administrative structure of UNC Asheville may be seen in the UNCA Factbook.
1.4.1 Board of Trustees
The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees is composed of thirteen members, eight elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the Governor and the current President of the Student Government Association, ex officio. Elected and appointed members serve staggered four year terms commencing on July 1. Powers and duties of the Board of Trustees are described in Chapter IV, Section 403 of The Code. For Delegations of Duty and Authority from the Board of Governors to Board of Trustees see Appendix I of The Code. A membership list of the Board of Trustees is available at https://leadership.unca.edu/board-of-trustees/board-members/
The administrative and executive head of UNC Asheville is the Chancellor who exercises complete executive authority therein, subject to the direction of the President. Chapter V of The Code discusses Officers of the University with Section 502 devoted to Chancellors of Constituent Institutions. In the absence of the Chancellor, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is the Presiding Officer. In the absence of both the Chancellor and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Presiding Officer rotates through the Senior Staff. If the chancellor is absent or incapacitated for an extended period of time, UNC Asheville will, working with the General Administration and the President in naming leadership, recommend that the Provost and VCAA be asked to serve.
The Chancellor is Dr. Nancy J. Cable.
The Chancellor's senior staff consists of:
- Garikai Campbell, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Kirk Swenson, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
- Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
- John Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Campus Operations
- Heather Parlier, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity, and General Counsel
- Janet Cone, Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Athletic Director
- Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff
- Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing
- Darin Waters, Special Assistant to the Chancellor
In addition, the Chancellor provides direct leadership and supervision of:
1.4.3 Academic Affairs
The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for oversight, management, and accomplishment of the institution's educational mission. To this end, the Office of Academic Affairs works with departments and programs to create and maintain an environment that cultivates student learning and growth; provides varied opportunities for students to achieve our learning outcomes; promotes diversity among people and ideas as a way to enrich students' lives; encourages students to explore of interdisciplinary connections; and provides the faculty support and development critical to the evolution of vibrant learning environments for our students.
The Provost and VCAA is responsible for all activities in the area of Academic Affairs. The Provost and VCAA is the Chancellor's delegate in all areas of the academic program, including curriculum and academic policy, as well as the development of personnel policy, hiring, evaluation, salary determination, and promotion of all professional personnel in the academic areas.
Academic Affairs Staff (follow a link for more information about a unit.)
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Deans and Provost's Staff
Susan Reiser, Senior Advisor to the Provost
Tracey Rizzo, Interim Dean of Humanities
Herman Holt, Dean of Natural Sciences
Melissa Himelein, Interim Dean of Social Sciences
Lynne Horgan, University Registrar
Brandy Bourne, Interim University Librarian
Catherine Frank, Executive Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Charlotte Smith, University Grants Manager
Anne Marie Roberts, Associate Director of Advising and Academic Success
Evelyn Chiang and Karen Cole, Interim Co-Directors, Center for Teaching and Learning
Academic Affairs Support StaffPat O'Brien, Executive Assistant
18.104.22.168 Department Chairs (SD11212S)
Academic departments have at least two tenured or tenure-track faculty positions (as the primary affiliation in the case of joint appointments). Most departments also host baccalaureate degree programs; the notable exception is the Education Department, which grants various forms of teacher licensure. Each academic department is supervised by a Department Chair.
Chairs are the academic and administrative leaders of departments. Chairs are appointed by the Provost and VCAA, generally for a four-year term, which may be renewed. For a detailed description of Chair duties, see Section 3.1.2. For information on the evaluation of Chairs, see Section 3.4.4.
22.214.171.124 Academic Program Directors (SD11212S)
UNC Asheville has a number of additional academic programs which offer interdisciplinary and collaborative curricular opportunities that are essential to the university’s mission and that offer members of the faculty opportunities to collaborate with faculty from other departments. Some programs offer interdisciplinary degrees, others offer minors, and still others provide enriching curricular opportunities for students. Academic programs become departments when they have at least two tenured or tenure-track faculty positions. These programs fall into three basic categories:
Programs which grant degrees
Includes Interdisciplinary Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program (M.L.A.S.)
Programs which offer interdisciplinary
minors but do not grant degrees
Includes Africana Studies and Humanities.
Programs which support the
University's mission but have neither minors nor degrees
Includes Arts and Ideas, Honors, Teaching Fellows and Undergraduate Research.
Program Directors, rather than Department Chairs, are the academic and administrative leaders of academic programs. Program Directors are appointed by the Provost and VCAA, typically for a four-year term, which may be renewed. For a detailed description of their duties, see Section 3.1.2. For information on the evaluation of Program Directors, see Section 3.4.4.
126.96.36.199 The Faculty Body
The faculty is organized into academic departments and programs which are informally grouped into four program areas: Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and University Programs. The departments/programs in each cluster follow. Click here for a list of department websites.
Dr. Tracey Rizzo
Dr. Herman Holt
Dr. Melissa Himelein
Chief Research Officer
Dr. Timothy Elgren
1.4.4 Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA)
The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs is the chief administrator of the Student Affairs Division. The fundamental purpose of this Division is to provide support systems that enhance the educational mission of the University. Questions concerning students' rights and responsibilities, student life, and services should be directed to the VCSA.
1.4.5 Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations (VCFO)
1.4.6 Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff is responsible for planning, organizing, and guiding the activities and initiatives of the Chancellor’s office as they relate to the internal relationships and operations of the university, as directed by the Chancellor in support of the university’s mission.
1.4.7 Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics
The Athletics Director and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises oversees official collaborations with the city of Asheville, Mission Hospital, Buncombe County and other community partners, directs the Department of Athletics, and is responsible for the operations of the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness.
1.5 Budget Process for Academic Areas
1.5.1 State Budget Process
Biennially the General Assembly of North Carolina appropriates funds to the University of North Carolina based on the recommendations of the UNC Board of Governors. Minor budget adjustments are made in the "short sessions" held in even numbered years. Each of the constituent institutions submits budget requests to the Board of Governors through the UNC General Administration. The budget requests typically include three types: Continuation Budget, Expansion Budget, and Capital Budget. The Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations is responsible for the preparation and management of these budgets at UNC Asheville.
The Continuation Budget, as defined by the State, provides for the continuing level of service of existing programs. The Expansion Budget provides for expansion of existing programs (including enrollment increases), new programs, and salary increases and/or benefits for teachers and state employees. The Capital Budget provides for construction of new facilities, repair and renovations to existing facilities, major equipment purchases, land purchases, and infrastructure improvements. Capital funds are normally appropriated by the General Assembly for a specific project.
More information on budget process and procedures can be found in the Academic Affairs Budget Primer for Chairs.
1.5.2 Budget Procedures at UNC Asheville
The Provost and VCAA oversees the budget process for the instructional program with assistance from the Deans. Department and program operating budgets are based on student enrollment, number of faculty, and disciplinary instructional expenses. Education and Technology Fees are used to supplement budgets for those departments with particular technology or materials needs.
Once funds are allocated to departments/programs, the chairs/directors are responsible for the management of the budget. Monthly status reports are provided electronically by the Business Office. An individual faculty member wishing to expend funds must have the signed authorization of the chair/director, or the Dean in the Chair's absence.
A faculty member may request funds to be expended from a 201xxx (academic instruction) budget by identifying the purpose of an expenditure and an approximate amount and presenting the request to the department chair/program director for review.
If funds are available in the departmental budget the chair/director may approve the request and forward it for processing. If funds are not available but the chair/director approves the rationale for an expenditure, it may be forwarded to the Dean for consideration for funding from non-department source.
1.6 FORMS for Section 1.0No forms for this section