University Planning and Quality Council

Minutes

November 21, 2003

Members Present: Dr. Paul Hosier, Ms. Kay M. Ward, Mr. Scott Cowdrey for Dr. Robert E. Tyndall, Dr. James Dragna for Ms. Pat Leonard, Dr. Jo Ann Seiple, Mr. Lawrence Clark, Dr. Virginia Adams, Dr. Cathy Barlow, Dr. Robert Roer, Dr. Terrence Curran, Dr. Mark Galizio, Dr. Dan Noland, Dr. Carol Pilgrim, Dr. Thomas Schmid, Mr. Robert S. Russell. 

Others Attending: Mr. Max Allen, Mr. Mark Lanier, Ms. Marybeth Bianchi, Ms. Sharon Boyd, Mr. Ed Davis, Dr. Rebecca Porterfield, Ms. Peggy Chance and Dr. Kenneth Spackman.

A quorum was established and Provost Paul Hosier called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.

The minutes of the November 5, 2003, meeting were approved as distributed on the Web.

Background Information

Dr. Spackman described the contents of the packet of information provided to the Council, including a list of existing statements addressing UNCW's identity, mission statements of UNCW's six divisions (as well as mission statements of UNCW and the UNC System, and the Board of Governors' Strategic Directions), transcripted comments from the Chancellor's open benchmarking forums, and interim results of the Identity and Core Values Survey (94 responses as of November 20).  Dr. Spackman also presented two brief sets of PowerPoint slides-one highlighting the possible uniqueness of UNCW's combination of quality undergraduate education and research activity as measured by research expenditures; the second showing that UNCW has a comparatively large proportion of transfer students among its entering students.

Council Discussion

On transfer students

Hosier:  There has been a conscious effort to bring in more transfer students over recent years.  Advantages include a) transfer students perform as well as students entering as freshmen (especially those who enter through articulation agreements), b) transfer students don't require as many introductory resources (Basic Studies courses), and c) enrolling transfer students gives us the opportunity to serve the region by providing an alternative means of entering UNCW through community colleges.

Noland:  Doesn't it look bad if people we won't admit (referring to transfer students) do at least as well as those we do admit?  In answer to Dr. Noland's question, the following points were made:  a) community colleges help to do the selecting for us, b) those transfers who come in with an AA degree are "completers" (and have a 3.0 at community colleges), and c) the students are not the same populations (many transfers never applied as freshmen to UNCW).

Porterfield:  She observed that the number of non-returning students was 813 this year (up from 653 last year).  It was agreed that it is important to look further into this, possibly with a breakdown by area.

Hosier:  We must monitor the transfer student mix to make sure we get enough out-of-state students to maintain financial viability.

Spackman:  In answer to several questions: 44% of students transferring to UNCW come from four-year institutions; 82% of all transfers to UNCW are North Carolina residents; however, 41% transfer their most recent credits from out-of-state universities or community colleges.

On teaching & research

Schmid:  Does the distribution of research at UNCW affect our research expenditure comparison?  In answer to Dr. Schmid's question, there was agreement that institutions not as active in sciences (or engineering, for example) are likely to have lower research expenditures, and that most institutions have one area that dwarfs others in research expenditures.

Noland:  Are we asking whether what we want to be is an institution dedicated to four year liberal arts education and select graduate research-oriented programs?

Spackman:  Many of the survey comments are fairly generic; they would apply to almost any university.  We want to pinpoint what makes UNCW unlike other institutions so that we can work on cultivating that and convincing the Board of Governors, the legislature, the public and the parents of prospective students that we are worthy of their support.  You should be able to tell by reading our answer to "Who are we?" that "That must be UNCW."

Roer:  "The fact that we can provide doctoral level experiences for our master's and our undergraduate students may be a key point-that's unique.  We have master's programs that predominate at the graduate level, we have lots of undergraduate students who are engaged with faculty, and we are obviously providing them with doctoral level experiences."

Barlow:  "We're a master's level institution, and we're in the same ballpark with doctoral institutions."

Hosier:  What is it that we have done that has led to that and can foster and continue that if, in fact, that's what we decide we want to do?

Roer:  An emphasis on marine biology and marine science has set the course.  Other programs (e.g., creative writing and psychology) have risen to that level of scholarly productivity and engagement.  Several graduate programs at UNCW are experiencing increasing rates of attracting research dollars.

Clark:  "I think that what's unique is that we've had the scholarly output but we've kept teaching important."  He cited AACSB survey statistics (that likely apply across campus) that confirms the simultaneous quality of undergraduate education and scholarship.  We can have good teaching and good research-it doesn't have to be either/or.

Galizio:  "The data show the juxtaposition of the research dollars and the commitment to undergraduate education, and it shows not only that juxtaposition exists here, but that it's fairly unique.  It defines the niche.  But I think you can go broader than that.  It's not just research opportunities, but the opportunity to study with very high quality faculty: our undergraduates get individualized attention, they work on internships, they work on research, they work on creative writing projects.  It's this combination of infrastructure of a large doctoral-granting school with the continued commitment to individualized undergraduate experience.  There aren't very many places like that."

Curran:  "I don't hear across the board students saying that they are so immersed in research and scholarship and intellectual communication-there are some, and those are those who have the capability and intellectual capacity to engage in those kinds of dialogues and experiences with faculty...The real question is, 'How elite do we want to become?'"

Pilgrim:  "...new faculty know that high quality teaching and high quality research are the expectation-that's what they see modeled around them and they're flourishing in that."

Roer:  "...part of the problem is that we haven't articulated [UNCW's combination of research activity and individualized attention to students] and that's why a lot of students don't realize the capabilities that are afforded to them."

Curran:  "As we grow in size, how far can a faculty member stretch themselves to provide that level of individual attention...It's not practical for a public university to be like a smaller private liberal arts institution."

Davis:  We continue to ask "who are we?"-the other question is "who do we want to be?"

Lanier:  "It's this combination of quality teaching with high quality research that we are becoming, and if we're saying that's who we are, we're really saying it with the other question in mind of who we want to become.  But it gives us direction in terms of some of the important decisions."

On changes at UNCW over the years

Seiple:  The percentage of UNCW students who complete their baccalaureate degrees at other UNC institutions has declined.  (UNCW is now more of a "destination" school.)

Schmid:  We have been a growth institution and a great market for hiring at a time when many highly qualified PhDs were available.

Seiple:  Faculty we are hiring now are committed to discovery.

Roer:  The attitude in some departments years ago was, "This person is too good; we don't want someone like that."  (Faculty feared they wouldn't come here, or were afraid of what everyone else would look like.)  There was agreement that whole culture is totally gone.

Roer/Seiple:  There was for the longest time two camps-the "teachers" and the "researchers"-and neither should be expected to do the other.  "You don't hear that any more."

On planning in general

Hosier:  Rather than focus only on five or six indicators, we should "pick a constellation of fundamental activities" that will have the effect of improving the indicators.

Hosier:  "It's apparent that the number of small classes is decreasing and the number of large classes is increasing just because of our financial resources...By the same financial issues that we have...we're getting a larger number of part-time faculty teaching our 100- and 200-level classes...Those are the kinds of things that we want to change.  When we change those things, then these other factors are going to change."

Hosier:  (Following Dr. Schmid's comments about faculty recruitment)  We need to do constant environmental scanning with respect to faculty supply and locations where they may be attracted as the economy, market conditions and competition change.

Provost Hosier asked Dr. Spackman to coordinate by e-mail, prior to the meeting on December 18, an exchange among Planning Council members of written proposals for answers to the planning questions:  "Who are we" (and what do we want to become?) and "What are our core values?"

There was no new business.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 pm.

Future Meetings

December 18, 2003, 3:30-5:00 pm, AL 215

Return to Planning Minutes Homepage

Last Updated: December 8, 2003


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