Faculty Senate Meeting
January 15, 2013
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. EB 162
Meeting called to order at 2:05 by President Lugo.
Roll call. Quorum noted.
December 04, 2012 minutes approved
Special order of the day: Election of the 2012-2013 senate President. (P. Turrisi)
·Gabriel Lugo nominated
·Gabriel Lugo elected by acclamation
Chancellor Miller’s report is attached to these minutes.
President of the Senate Lugo.
· At the state level, “shared governance is threatened and needs protection.”
·As a result, the Faculty Assembly and the Faculty Advisory Council of the Faculty Assembly are working on responses to the most recent drafts of the UNC Strategic Plan. These responses will be discussed at the next Faculty Assembly meeting on Friday, January 18, 2013. (See http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/19Jan2013_Faculty_Assembly_Response_to_the_Jan16_Draft_of_th.pdf for these responses.)
·US/QEP position update: A position statement is being developed by search committee co-chairs Gabriel Lugo and Steve McFarland.
·Major space adjustments are in order due to future S&B building renovations in 2014, as up to 83 offices will be relocated. The Faculty Welfare Committee will be involved.
·UNCW’s Intellectual Property policy needs to include non-patentable items.
The Steering Committee offers the following motions:
[Motion 2013-01-M01] Grade Policies
Amend the charge of AS to explicitly include grade policies.
Motion 2013-01-M01 passes.
[Motion 2013-01-M02] Revision of standing committees
That to reflect the new AA restructure, membership of senate standing committees be amended as follows:
·AS: Change “Director of the University College” to “Associate VC & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.”
·UCC: Change ex-officio member, “Director of the University College” to “Associate VC & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.”
·USAC: Change ex-officio member, “Director of the University College” to “Associate VC & Dean of undergraduate Studies.” Add ex-officio member “Director of US/QEP.”
A motion passed to amend the last bullet to read: USAC: Add “Associate VC & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.” Add ex-officio member “Director of US/QEP.”
Motion 2013-01-M02 as amended passes.
[Motion 2013-01-M03] US Competency Crediting Form
That the senate adopt the University Studies Competency Crediting form included herein.
There was considerable discussion from the Provost and faculty about how does UNCW treat transfer students, will potential transfer students be informed of the transferability of competencies before enrolling or soon thereafter, and will UNCW continue to be attractive to transfer students if our competency crediting process is perceived to be unnecessarily complex.
After this discussion, Motion 2013-01-M03 passes.
As a result of this discussion, a motion was made and seconded to extend the “patch” for a year. President Lugo indicated that this motion would be referred to USAG.
[Motion 2013-01-M04] Faculty Assembly resolution on general education
That the senate endorse the Faculty Assembly resolution included below and that President Ross be notified of this endorsement.
·FA resolution on minimum GS competencies
Motion 2013-01-M04 passes unanimously.
No old business noted
No new business noted
For the Good of the Order
The following items related to the UNC Strategic Plan draft were raised.
Senator: There seems to be a decoupling of where teaching is done and where the crediting or degrees are earned. What are the consequences?
Chancellor Miller: This questioning of the value of place is partly due to various national e-learning initiatives. Faculty views are expected to prevail even in the teaching of general education.
Senator: Graduates of Ph.D. programs do not typically stay within in the state. Are there problems about making a case about our value to the state for these programs?
Chancellor Miller: This should not be a problem.
Senator: For the future what is the mix of duties seen for UNCW faculty by the Board of Governors?
Chancellor Miller: Research will continue to be part of the mission. We will have to pay a lot of emphasis on transfers to help reach the goal of 32% of NC citizens having bachelor degrees. Some institutions such as Carnegie Mellon are increasing learning and access through e-learning initiatives. Students with e-learning appropriately integrated in their programs have higher graduation rates.
· Michelle Scatton-Tessier; Director of Women’s Studies and Resources Center: Please review details about UNCW’s Lactation Policy and the location of the three campus lactation rooms. See http://uncw.edu/hr/resources-lactation.html.
Meeting adjourned at 3:51.
UNC Strategic Directions: Managing a Future of Change
The Faculty Senate
The University of North Carolina Wilmington
Gary L. Miller
Thank you for the opportunity to report to you today on an important emerging program of transformation in higher education in North Carolina. I have deposited a copy of these comments with President Lugo who will make them available to you on the Faculty Senate web page.
Let me begin with some comments on how we got to where we are now and where we will go from here with the UNC strategic planning process. Then, I will make some general comments about the draft plan you may have seen. I should note that several chancellors (including me) and several faculty leaders from around the system have provided written reviews of the current Strategic Directions draft. I have provided President Lugo with an electronic version of those to be posted on the Faculty Senate web page.
The process in which we find ourselves – the development of a strategic plan for the UNC system—is required by statute. System level strategic planning has taken different forms over the years in accordance to the wishes of the different presidents and the perspectives of their boards. The most recent iteration – UNC Tomorrow – has expired. A new five-year plan is required for the system. The right and responsibility of developing and implementing a strategic plan for the University of North Carolina belongs to the UNC Board of Governors and the President of UNC. So, this plan is a part of the normal and appropriate functioning of the Board of Governors and the UNC President.
In thinking about the development of this plan, the Board of Governors wished to create a strategy that would both support the covenants of UNC (i.e., Academic Excellence and Access; Value for Students and North Carolina; Solutions to the State’s Biggest Challenges; Engagement with North Carolina Communities) and serve as a compelling case to the legislature for increased investment in higher education. The General Assembly faces economic constraints not seen in many decades and, unfortunately, the education budget in the state of North Carolina, like most states, is the single biggest discretionary budget item and is, thus, a tempting source of funds for resolving seemingly intractable state budgetary issues.
As you know, the draft we are considering was developed by the Strategic Directions Committee, a small group of General Administration Staff and four chancellors (Miller, Anderson, Dubois, Woodson) led by a member of the Board of Governors. This Committee held numerous meetings through the late summer and fall (indeed, I met with the group yesterday in Chapel Hill). The group considered a vast amount of data (much of it imprecise and unhelpful—a feature of higher education data in general), commissioned studies, reviewed programs from other states, and read scholarly works about higher education. Some of these sources are cited in the draft report. The work of this group is to be considered, revised and approved by a high-level advisory group chaired by the Chair of the Board of Governors and the President of the University of North Carolina.
In their introductory comments to the BOG last week, Chairperson Peter Hans and President Ross emphasized that they consider this to be a “living” document subject not only to the revisions of the current draft but to future revisions based on experience and new knowledge. This is an important acknowledgement of the complexity of both the system and the challenges we face.
I want to note that the four Chancellors who agreed to serve on this committee were not directly involved in the drafting of the current draft documents primarily because of the ambitious writing schedule. All of us have submitted detailed comments on the draft and have been engaged in very active conversations with the Board regarding areas where we believe more consideration is needed. For example, I strongly objected to the omission of a system research focus area in Marine Science. I am happy to report that that situation is being corrected. Future drafts will include Marine Science as an important research investment area for the state. I will mention some other accommodations we have gained through our informal conversations later in my comments.
Let me spend the rest of my time with you making a few observations about the current draft of this plan in the hope of adding some context. Hopefully, we will have time at the end for questions.
Observation 1. – There is no doubt this plan is heavily influenced by a confluence of interrelated political, social and economic forces shaping a dramatic transition in American higher education. Among the most important of these are: (1) the economic realities of the Great Recession including the likelihood of both a slow recovery and lingering structural challenges with entitlements, health care and other social programs; (2) rising costs of public higher education, stagnating middle class wages and, consequently, increasing student debt; (3) advancements in technology and its relationship to learning, transforming traditional classroom practices and having the potential (not yet fully realized) to create significant efficiencies and new markets for learning; (4) declining public interest in the commonwealth value of colleges and universities and growing ambivalence (supported by some data) of the individual value of the liberal arts based college degree and (5) a strong perception among policy makers and business people of a disconnect between curriculum and career. Taken together, these forces signify a period of dramatic change for the enterprise of public higher education and for the way each of us conducts our work in that enterprise. Our opportunity here is to understand the environment and shepherd the most precious parts of enterprise – our beliefs in the importance of the liberal arts and our assiduous dedication to free inquiry, discovery and thought – through this period of change. To be as direct as possible: UNCW will continue as a world-class institution and UNCW will not be able to achieve that in the same way we are achieving it now.
Observation 2.—It is evident that the draft sections of this plan were prepared separately by different authors and, thus, the document is in need of careful editing which is underway. Because the draft is unusually undeveloped for a first public document there are great opportunities to influence the outcome if you work rapidly. So, this is a good time to dig deeply into the narrative and make specific comments and suggestions about it and to relay those to me and the Faculty Assembly.
Because I was part of the discussions resulting in this draft, I am aware that the current narrative tends to mask some of the more positive aspects of the plan, underemphasize important operating principles (the two most notable are mentioned in Observation 3), and misrepresent the intent of some of the tactics suggested. There are many big ideas about the future of higher education in North Carolina, some of which derive from important and difficult questions about the efficacy of university operations in the environment of transformation in which we find ourselves. While some of the strategies and actions represented here may seem almost revolutionary, it is important to know that those working on this project have attempted to balance the need for change, supported by the strong forces noted in my first observation, with the need to preserve the most important features of an already excellent higher education system.
Observation 3. – In addition to the impending inclusion of Marine Science as an area of research focus for the state, there are two important principles that in my opinion must be better emphasized. These are: (1) the essential requirement of shared governance and (2) a full and direct commitment to the importance of regionalism in the UNC system. The principle of shared governance is a founding precept of the UNC system and codified in state law. It is clearly discussed in the preamble to the “Strengthen Academics Quality” section of the draft proposal (as appropriate) but many of us, including me, continue to argue for a stronger commitment to these principles in the very beginning of the document and throughout. All of us believe true commitment to shared governance necessarily includes the full practice of it throughout the system including at the General Administration level. Our committee discussions yesterday suggest to me there will be a more appropriate emphasis on these principles in coming drafts.
Regionalism is the foundation of the variable missions of the universities in the UNC system and, in order to sustain the integrity of the system with this precious variability intact, regional university missions must be acknowledged and, where appropriate, emphasized. This is important for all of the key elements of the university mission: teaching, research, service, community engagement. Embracing variation in mission is also necessary for this plan to succeed. Each campus will address the requirements of the plan in ways that fit their mission and operating philosophy. For these reasons, am confident that regionalism will be more prominent in future drafts of this plan.
Observation 4. – The “Degree Attainment” section of this draft sets forth a very ambitious state-wide goal of moving from about 28% of citizens having a four-year degree to just over 32%, which would put the state in the top ten in the nation (assuming other states don’t improve). Much of the rationale for this is based on workforce analyses which, as the report acknowledges, are imperfect. I am very much in favor of the attainment goal but I (and many others) have argued strongly that there are other reasons besides workforce development for desiring a high proportion of educated citizens. Many degree holders choose not to work and we know those with college degrees are more engaged citizens. I am encouraged that this view continues to gain strength among the Board and others who have worked on this plan. While the new attainment goal will no doubt require us to rethink some of our processes, because of our success with transfer students (UNCW has the second highest transfer population and the highest transfer graduation rate) and military personnel and their families, we are in a good position to meet new attainment goals.
Observation 5. – “Strengthen Academic Quality” is the section of most importance to faculty. I am not sure how President Lugo intends to organize your thinking about this but I would encourage you to use one of your committees or to form a special group to very carefully review this plan with me so that I can give you some perspective of what the committee was thinking as these ideas emerged. I want to commit to you that I will be happy to participate in a working session on this in the near future.
Let me make a few broad comments about this section. First, you probably noticed as you read this – I certainly did – the academic plan seems to move the center of gravity of academic planning away from campus and to the general administration. With respect to ideas about general studies, I do not believe this is the intent. Indeed, the creation of a system-wide General Education Council to manage system changes in general studies was an idea lifted from the Faculty Assembly report and intended to make sure faculty retained control of this important part of the curriculum. I believe our best strategy at this point is to participate in the General Education Council with great vigor.
Secondly, I am convinced that a strong system-centric approach to distance education (eLearning) will emerge from this plan. The forces urging more eLearning throughout the system to affect efficiency, lower costs and reduce redundancy are extremely strong. UNC as a system is not considered a national leader in this area which is rich with innovation. And, more than with general education (the theory of which has stagnated for decades in my opinion), there are emerging compelling models of the transformational power of technology and learning. In my view, the eLearning movement is much more of a potential disruptor for regional universities like UNCW than is the discussion of general studies.
Finally, this section makes assumptions about retention and graduation rates that do not fully apply to selective universities like ours. One of the most important of these is that all or most retention and graduation problems are related to student academic performance. While this is true for most universities with low retention and graduation rates, it may not be the main driver of such rates for universities like ours. Our rates are much more dependent on inputs (admissions) and on student choices (e.g., to transfer to another fine university, to study abroad, to take a third or fourth major). These assumptions drive actions steps such as summer bridge programs, more intensive advising, etc. that, while always useful to us, may not represent the best way for us to improve already very high retention and graduation rates. I am optimistic considerable inter-institutional variation in approach will be accommodated in working to increase retention and graduation rates.
Observation 6. – The importance of strongly incorporating regionalism into the plan is particularly important in the section on “Serve the People of North Carolina.” As I mentioned above, I believe this will be better emphasized in the next draft. Several of us have also argued – successfully I hope – that this section must have much stronger language, including specific examples, of the importance of service, community engagement, extension and all those intangible services that contribute to the roughly $1.1 Billion economic impact of UNCW on the region. Among the most important reasons for including this theme is the strong acknowledgment of the Board of Governors – emphasized in the faculty workload policy approved at their January meeting – of the role of faculty in providing these services and the need to document this as part of faculty workload. One of the major challenges here is developing methodology to quantify (return on investment) our engagement and service activities. Because of the work of our Community Partnership office, we have already begun thinking about how this might be accomplished.
Observation 7. – There are two sections of this plan that I have seen that are not yet available to the public. These deal with university efficiency and the strategic plan budget. These sections will be extremely important to us and, in many ways, favor us. The Board appears to have settled on a methodology based on the Delta Cost Project of the Lumina Foundation for studying university efficiency. It involves a standard method for calculating cost of degree that is gaining support throughout the country. Vice Chancellor Maimone and his group are preparing a full analysis of this method which we will be happy to share with you in the near future. Using this method for the UNC system, the average cost per degree has dropped 12.2% and the average annual number of degrees has risen 17.6% since 2007-2008. This is a great story but, as you can imagine, there is a desire to continue this trend. UNCW looks very good in this analysis and, some of the analytical approaches we have instituted over the past year or so are now being used by General Administration. So, I believe we will continue to be a leader in this area.
Perhaps the most important element of these last two sections will be a re-consideration of university missions. I am not yet aware how this will be configured but the outcome will be significant to us since our current mission prevents us from moving forward with long-planned and essential doctoral program. An important part of the UNCW Strategic Action Planning Workgroup is to revise the university mission statement.
Observation 8. – Although the Provost and I have not completed a full comparison of the draft strategic directions document with our existing strategic plan, it is my view that the two can be complementary. It is likely our process of strategic refreshing now underway under the direction of the Provost will reaffirm many of our specific strategic goals. However, there is no doubt that the new Strategic Directions of the Board of Governors will require us to dramatically change many of our approaches and, perhaps, priorities. It will be necessary for us to begin to merge these two documents beginning in late spring and through the summer and fall.
Observation 9. – What keeps me awake at night is how the vast change in direction and strategy embodied in this ambitious plan will affect this precious place: UNCW. What helps me sleep is my admiration for and trust in the people in this room and all the others who work for this university. There are many, many opportunities for us here. Together, we will find and exploit those opportunities.
Thank you President Lugo. I will be happy to answer questions if there is time.