Academic Affairs

Text: Provost's Perspectives, An Update from Provost Sheerer

February 25, 2019                                     NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Dear Colleagues,

Although we still face challenges caused by Hurricane Florence, we are up and running with classes, clubs and activities, recognitions and athletic events. Homecoming proved to be a huge success with a large number of returning alumni and special programs. Thanks to the staff and Alumni Board for a job well done.

Facilities Update

Mobile units may not look great from the outside, but everyone seems to agree that the labs inside are quite good. Most of them are now functional and students are actively engaging in their work. The installation of these labs represents Phase 1 of the Dobo plan, which means that they are temporary and will be removed once Dobo is completely redone.

The Administrative Building will soon be ready for occupancy, and staff moves are expected to begin on March 4. Plans are also underway for another building close to Friday Annex. This building will be designed for research space for chemistry and biology (Phase 2). Finally, Phase 3 will focus on the repair and renovation of the current Dobo building.

Thanks especially to the faculty in Chemistry and Biology and their department chairs who have been working through all of this with facilities and administrative staff. These efforts represent a large part of the recovery plan, and we appreciate the demonstrated patience and collaboration.

In addition, we have been looking closely at the best use of space all over campus. Space allocations made before the hurricane may have to be adjusted due to the extent of the damage. One focal point is the location of offices for faculty we are recruiting and hiring for our new academic programs.

Faculty Office Planning

As noted above, we clearly see the need for the development and assignment of faculty offices. The table below shows the projections as we now see them:

Office Space Planning
New Faculty Offices/
Re-allocations Fall '19
67 Admin. Annex, Friday Annex, Friday Hall, King Hall (includes Centralized P/T Faculty Offices)
Offices from New Construction Spring '20  14   Applied Learning Research Facility
Offices from New Construction Fall  '20 110

Veterans Hall



The count of 67 is entirely dependent upon how the deans and departments choose to reallocate 25 offices currently being used for part-time faculty. With Veterans Hall coming online in fall 2020, we will have added or reallocated almost 200 faculty offices to campus in a two-year span.

SACS Fifth-Year Interim Report

The Office of Institutional Planning and Research, under the leadership of Andy Mauk, has been working hard on our SACS report, which is due in about three weeks. Andy and Rich Ogle also chair the SACS Steering Committee, which is addressing a number of assignments and documentations to meet the requirements.

You may hear many requests for documentation of various sorts and we appreciate your cooperation around these tasks. SACS is always looking for clear evidence of why and how decisions have been made and who has been involved. Consequently, items like minutes of meetings are very important.

For the Fifth-Year Interim Report, there is no campus visit; but at the 10-year marker, there will be. Consequently, work on SACS will continue even after we submit the current report.

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in this important work.

Automating Core Processes

(From University Business – January/February 2019; University of Washington)

“We learned that modernizing is not just about system replacement. The bulk of the work is in reviewing, evaluating and redesigning the business processes. The departments have to be ready and willing to do this work, and that’s not easy. Business process-modeling consultants are sometimes brought in to work with individual departments.

Through the whole sphere of document discovery, we estimate that on paper, it may take staff about 3,000 hours to find 100 responsive documents; but with those documents in a digital system where they’re being managed, it could take about two minutes. That translates to $125,000 of staff time to under $1 of staff time.”

Our work around Curriculog, Digital Measures and Starfish are good examples of where we are trying to become more digital! Thanks to Paul Townend, Carol McNulty, Andy Mauk, and Melinda Anderson for moving us in these directions.

Higher Education Employment Report

Several points of interest to faculty:

  • Higher education job postings experienced the highest growth in almost two years, regardless of quarter.
  • Both faculty and non-faculty job postings increased in Q2 2018.
  • Growth in job postings was driven entirely by an increase in job postings for full-time positions.
  • Job postings for full-time faculty increased as postings for part-time faculty decreased.

Shared Governance at UNCW

As we come closer to the end of the semester, there will be calls for the involvement of faculty in the governance process – specifically, Faculty Senate and Faculty Senate Committees in the next academic year. I sincerely hope that many faculty will become involved in these important vehicles. Under the new leadership of Dr. Nathan Grove, the Faculty Senate Steering Committee will work closely with the Provost and Chancellor to address issues and areas of concern in a collaborative manner. 

Please know that this administration is strongly committed to shared decision making, particularly around curriculum and program matters. We are indeed one university – and a very successful one. We need to continue to work together as we move into our new Research II status. 

Reminder from the System Office

The Board of Governors has asked us to submit the following information and I am sending this along as a reminder of our policies.

Timely Grade Submission (V.A.1.i.5. Reporting of Grades)

All grading is recorded on the web via SeaNet for Faculty. (For information about how to access SeaNet, see the SeaNet guide or call 910.962.3126).

Grade reporting deadlines are mandatory and are taken seriously; faculty must meet the deadlines in order for grades to be processed, for the students to be notified, and for final graduation check. Students obtain their grades through SeaNet for Students or SeaPort (the university’s telephone interactive voice-response system), and no grade reports are mailed to students. Faculty may verify grades by viewing them on SeaNet for Faculty. Faculty should correct grade discrepancies by the published deadline located under the “Grading Period” link on SeaNet for Faculty. Grades entered through SeaNet are "rolled" to student transcripts every evening. After the deadline, faculty should correct grade discrepancies by filling out a “Change of Grade” form (available in departmental offices), obtaining the necessary signatures, and forwarding it to the Office of the Registrar. Chairs and deans are very proactive in identifying, reprimanding and pushing the relatively small number of non-compliant faculty to get late grades in as soon as possible.

A grade of incomplete requires the approval of the department chair and must be assigned using the Incomplete Grade Assignment procedure.

Office Hours (V.A.1.l. Office Hours)

Although the university has no specific requirements regarding faculty office hours, each member of the faculty is expected to be available to students and advisees during office hours, the number of which shall be determined by departments. The office hours shall be posted on office doors and shall be convenient to students. On any occasion when an unavoidable conflict arises, faculty should post a note (or have the secretary post a note) on their office door. For online classes, course policies must be posted online.

The university does not have an official policy or procedure for non-compliance.

Spring Flowers

Before closing, I would like to ask you to please take a moment to congratulate your colleagues who were recognized at the February 19 Researchers' Recognition Reception for their excellent work. We have many, many reasons to be proud!

Best wishes for a happy springtime... it’s just around the corner!


Marilyn Sheerer signature

Marilyn Sheerer
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs