Senate Minutes

March 17, 2015

EB 162

Meeting called to order:  2:09

Quorum confirmed

 

Minutes from last 2 meetings (2/17 & 3/3) approved with no corrections or objections.

 

I.                    Chancellor�s Report:

a.       Updates on the Chancellor search �  The official announcement will come on April 10.  This Thursday, our BOT will forward 3 names to President Ross.  He will review the candidates with 3 individuals, and forward 1 name to the BOG.  The announcement will be made after the BOG meeting at ECU on 4/10, and then the individual will be brought here for receptions, etc.  The final candidates included five accomplished individuals, none of whom have served previously as a university president or chancellor.  Chancellor Sederburg has never seen such a diversity of candidates, nor less certainty with respect to where they line up on the future directions of the institution.  Transition plans for the new Chancellor are in progress full speed. 

b.      Congratulations to Max Allen, who is leaving to go to Clemson.  Discussion is in progress internally about filling the Chief of Staff vacancy.  A search process should be in place by April or May, and the new Chancellor will make the choice.

c.       The last BOG meeting was fascinating with respect to the recent closing of centers and institutes.  Chancellor Sederburg has recommended a strong agenda to guide the review, and to decide on a new President of the system.  Our requested increases in tuition and fees were approved, including funds for 10 new faculty hires and for support for applied/engaged learning.  A 2-year plan was forwarded; the revenue looks in reasonable shape for institutional priorities.  The Governor has released his budget; together with tuition increases, our total budget would increase about 8%, but the Governor�s budget may not pass.  Increases in fees will be used to help support campus police and supervision with respect to Title IX.

 

II.                  President�s Report:

a.       In news from the Faculty Assembly, a new process has been put in place by the BOG for selection of the new UNC President.  The FA was successful in arranging for faculty input to be included; 3 faculty members will be involved in the search, and one of those will be our own Stuart Borrett. 

b.      Regarding the Chancellor search, 20 faculty were involved in lunch interviews with the final five candidates.  They supplied input to President Lugo, who compile and forward faculty responses to Max Allen and the Search Committee Chairs.  An unspecified process will be used to select the final three names.  When asked if there was faculty consensus on one or more candidates, Chancellor Sederburg offered that there was a broad sense that 3 of the 5 would be preferred, that those 3 were a bit stronger, and would likely be the ones going forward.

c.       Turn-over in our FA delegates will happen soon.  One position is open for the FA � Senators are encouraged to consider this role.  The FA is an important venue for our voices to be heard.  The next Faculty Senate President will automatically be a member of FA.

d.      A final vote on the Faculty Handbook will be taken at our next and final regular Senate meeting; however, the Handbook will not be finalized until the Policies of Academic Freedom and Tenure are approved by the BOT.  We are close to having agreement with AA on the final version to go forward.  Once these policies are approved, the Faculty Handbook Committee will review the Handbook again for any inconsistencies.  President Lugo proposed that we change the name of the Committee to the Governance Committee, as they will have oversight over all of our governance documents.  Some aspects of the Handbook � such as PTR - will need to be implemented right away once approved by the BOT and BOG, which should happen quickly.  It is President Lugo�s hope that by next year, RTP documents will be submitted electronically, rather than in the binders.

e.       Regarding RPT and the CRTP Committee, one unresolved problem involves the wording that specifies a �tangible record� of scholarship and research as a requirement for promotion.  President Lugo proposed a change to �sustained� pattern of scholarship and research.  Senators should consider this; a vote on the wording modification will be taken at the next meeting.

f.        One other RPT issue that has continued to generate discussion concerns leaving the composition of senior faculty up to a departmental decision.  If any additions regarding exceptions for departments with few senior faculty are desired, there would need to be a motion to this effect and an approval by the Senate.  (It was noted that if this is to be a stand-along policy, it would need a 2/3 majority approval.)

 

III.                Committee Reports:

a.       USAC �

                                                               i.      Motion 2015-03-M01 and 2015-03-M02 � to adopt new US course listings.  A vote was called on both motions simultaneously.  The vote was 46 in favor, 1 against.  The motions passed.

                                                             ii.      2015-03-M03 � Moratorium on new submissions to US for one year (including a possibility of exceptions given a strong need).  One concern voiced about the motion was that there are few course options at the 100 and 200 levels for some US categories, with many of the options aimed at specific majors.  The vote was called:  there were 39 votes in favor, 9 against.  The motion passed.

b.      Academic Standards �

                                                               i.      Motion 2015-03-M04 - on out-of-state instructional opportunities.  A forum on the issue was held as requested; one person attended.

                                                             ii.      Summary of discussion from the floor:

1.       The motion is intended to ensure that all state and federal requirements are met.

2.       The current phrasing (�a portion of a course�) is too broad; it would include even � day field trips.  Policies targeted federal and state laws would be appropriately handled by our legal counsel, not by faculty.  It has been argued that the relevant administrators are sympathetic to our concerns, but this policy wording will remain after the administrators change. Submitting a form for every field trip will be cumbersome.  It would be nice to hear from legal on this.  Rewording of Section O is requested.

3.       Across the 49 states and DC, there is a wide range of requirements on compliance.  Those conducting field experiences should check to see that we have authorization.  It does add to our work load.  A matrix is being designed to indicate the authorizations we have in place.   The authorization requirement could impact the possibility of a student receiving credit for a particular piece of coursework.

4.       Any fees required would be paid by the university rather than by the department (although a large fee where few students are involved could be problematic).  Many states have no fees.  The issue of what defines �physical presence in a state� varies by state.  For most states, the definition would cover only internship arrangements, but this is not the case for all.

5.       Regarding forms, for internships, the current form will be routed through the Office for External Programs, as needed.  For other experiences, no form will be needed � just a phone call or email to doublecheck on authorization. The requirement for authorization is already in place.  Any deadline would depend on when the credit-bearing experience will occur.

6.       It is the case that states cannot prevent inter-state travel, but it is each state�s right to enact policy relative to educational experiences within the state.  This requirement is specifically with respect to earning course credit.

7.       Questions � Should this be university policy (rather than Senate policy)?  What would happen if we voted no on this?  Responses:  Faculty involvement is desired; students may not receive credit for an experience after completing it if there is no authorization.  Including this policy in the Handbook would be consistent with level of detail on other university-wide academic processes.

8.       Are the authorizations standing, or is a check required for every experience?  State regulations can change, and the time period for any given authorization varies by state.  External Programs monitors changes on a regular basis.

9.       The vote was called:  there were 31 votes in favor, 15 against.  The motion passed.

 

IV.                There was no old or new business.

 

V.                  For the good of the order �

a.       This discussion will be an open conversation on trends and attacks on higher education.  A number of documents have been forwarded on the topic.  There has been increased intrusion of the BOG into business that has traditionally been the purview of faculty, including harmful defunding and motivated by politics.  Having just one BOG member on the chancellor search committee has had a tremendous impact on the nature of the conversation.  There has been a trend toward homogeneity of political position of BOG members.  In whole, the situation is serious.  There are certain steps on our part that will be effective, and ones that will not.  The political reality is that the legislature won�t be swayed by anything except votes.  Faculty must send messages that can impact how folks vote, folks from all areas.  The recent message from President Ross (forwarded by Lugo) is significant. We need to try to understand all that�s being said in his message, reading between the lines.  There is a small number of faculty who want to precipitate a vote of no confidence in the BOG.  Others believe that this will not be effective.  We�ll be cast as hoodlums and the public is likely to buy that.  We need to be smart.  Or, we can be silent and they will walk all over us.

b.      Summary of discussion from the floor:

                                                               i.      I�ve been speaking with my students about their need to be more involved with decisions being made in Raleigh.  I don�t give my opinion specifically, but students are interested and see the point.  We might incorporate messages from Ross in our lessons � not to indoctrinate students, but to expose them to ideas so that they�ll go home and continue to discuss them.

                                                             ii.      A massive educational process is needed, including with the faculty, many of whom are unaware. 

                                                           iii.      Data are available to show the budget cuts to higher ed since 2008.  The inverse relation between state appropriations and tuition is clear and well documented.  We�re now education 60% more students with only 2% more support.  Mark Lanier has the data.  The current ratio is about 1:1 appropriations to tuition.  Laying out this information to others is important.

                                                           iv.      National trends are much like local ones.  There is emboldened legislative discussion in support of cuts to universities.  Gov. Walker from WI received a standing ovation at the Governors� Conference for describing cuts.

                                                             v.      Chancellor Sederburg�s previous comments about the resources a state has to offer can be useful to cite, and contacts with community members about the value of an education population is important.

                                                           vi.      It�s a media war.  Closing centers in NC is a big news item all over.  But discontent at UNC on this is presented as an attack on academic freedom, which doesn�t resonate with the community.  We argue for the importance of the centers in their own right.  It�s a question of how we deliver the message, to impress others in the community.

                                                          vii.      The pattern in NC seems the opposite of that in WI, where Madison is being left unscathed while other institutions bear the brunt.  Here, Chapel Hill seems to be the target, so this attack may bring us closer as an institution.  They�re going to go after the HBC�s � this is racism, pure and simple.  This, along with poverty, may be the appropriate target for our support.

                                                        viii.      We must speak with others, community members, about the importance and value of education.  If we don�t, constituents won�t support us.

                                                           ix.      Statements made at BOG about closing HBC�s came from the Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chancellor Sederburg raised the issue with the Chair of the Board, who does not agree with the Finance Committee Chair.  The Chancellor voiced concerns about the impact of the Finance Chair�s statements.

                                                             x.      There is a national conversation about education as a public vs private good.  The challenge is to remind folks what the public good is.  We have failed to make that argument understandable to those outside of the university.  Folks don�t understand how they benefit from having a university here.  We must do this at an individual level as well as at the university level.  The message needs to be put in understandable terms � the value of education is not just short-range and getting jobs after graduation.

                                                           xi.      Emphasizing accessibility, and using personal examples can be useful.  There is a myth that there is no educational value to having a degree, when all the data show otherwise. 

                                                          xii.      We need to create an action plan that is deliberate and long range.  We must reach out; we cannot solve this ourselves internally.  Students and staff should also be engaged.

                                                        xiii.      There is an upcoming AAUP conference on �Changing the Narrative.�  It�s free, you just have to let them know you�re coming and they�ll give you lunch.

                                                        xiv.      There is a Facebook group called United for UNC, where lots of info is available.  Some faculty have suggested starting a blog.

                                                          xv.      We should work with public teachers as well � we�re often viewed as the elite of the problem teachers.

                                                        xvi.      It would be useful to have a repository of materials, to serve as a resource for data, updates, etc.

                                                      xvii.      Mark Lanier offered his support for this important conversation, and a reminder about restrictions on the use of state recourses for political activities.  (No mass emails, please.)

                                                     xviii.      Chancellor Sederburg noted that there is an important line between conversation and advocacy.  He suggested a small delegation of UNCW faculty to meet with BOG members and legislators, to help them understand possible consequences of recent actions in a serious face-to-face discussion.  These are not bad individuals, and there is a basic support for higher ed, but they get swept along with the tides.  He invited faculty to work with his office and Mark�s to coordinate.  We need to bring the university to life.

                                                        xix.      Faculty can also visit legislators during their office hours when they�re home.  We can work to empower them, to feel that they�re helping education.  They believe they�re doing the right thing for the institution.

                                                          xx.      We also need to help the broader community understand in order to have a broader impact.

                                                        xxi.      This conversation will continue.

 

Meeting adjourned 3:45