Educational Policies and Planning Committee

Meeting Minutes

January 14, 2011


I.                    Call to order:  Scott Gordon, EPPC Chair, called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. on January 14, 2011 in Rawl Annex 142.  The following persons were present:

Regular Members:  Susan Bashinski, Scott Gordon, James Holloway, John Kenney, Janice Lewis, Ed Stellwag

Ex-Officio Members: Deedee Glascoff, Linner Griffin, George Kasperek, Brenda Killingsworth, David Seigel, Blaise Williams

Guests:  Lori Lee, Karen Summey, Provost Marilyn Sheerer, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Phyllis Horns


II.                  The minutes of the December 10, 2010 meeting were approved as submitted.  Chair Gordon noted that the Unfinished Business agenda item would be delayed until after New Business.


III.                New Business

a.       Request for Department Name Change – Department of Counselor and Adult Education to Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education 

Professor Vivian Mott presented a request from the Department of Counselor and Adult Education (COAD) to change the department’s name to the Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education (HACE).  She explained that the proposed name better reflects the totality of the programs offered by the department.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to change the name to Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education.


b.      Request for Certificate Name Change – Lean Six-Sigma Certificate to Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt Certificate

Professors Merwan Mehta and Evelyn Brown presented a request from the Department of Technology Systems to change the name of an existing graduate certificate from Lean Six-Sigma Certificate to Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt Certificate.  The term “Black Belt” is used in the name of similar certificates at other leading universities and is widely used and accepted within the industry.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to change the name of the graduate certificate to Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt Certificate.


c.       Request to Establish a BA in Religious Studies

Professor Derek Maher presented a request from the Religious Studies Program to establish a BA in Religious Studies.  Currently, ECU offers a major in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Religious Studies.  The proposed standalone degree program will increase the program’s visibility and make the degree more easily understood.  Professor Maher reviewed the history of the Religious Studies Program at ECU, the number of prospective majors, and the benefits of rebranding Religious Studies as a separate degree.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to approve the request to establish a BA in Religious Studies.


d.      Request to Establish an Interdisciplinary Minor in Linguistics

Professors Michelle F. Eble and Slobodanka Dimova presented a request from the Department of English and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to establish an Interdisciplinary Minor in Linguistics.  No new courses are needed for the minor, which will require nine core student credit hours and 15 hours of electives.  The minor will be a good fit with various majors, including Anthropology, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to approve the request to establish an Interdisciplinary Minor in Linguistics.


IV.                Unfinished Business

a.       Faculty Manual Revisions Relating to Program Discontinuation (Reconciliation of Part V. Section III. with Appendix D)

Chair Gordon announced that Part V. Section III. Subsections A-C have been approved by the ECU Faculty Senate and the latest revisions have been sent to the Chancellor.  He informed the committee that following the December EPPC meeting, a question arose as to the status of Subsections D and E; specifically, whether they were intentionally removed from the revised version of Part V, Section III sent to the Faculty Senate or whether all or a portion of these subsections still need to be included in the ECU Faculty Manual.  Upon initial review, it appeared that these subsections were incorporated into other parts of Section III.  Due to time limitations at the meeting, the Chair asked committee members to thoroughly review D and E before the February meeting and note if any content still needs to be incorporated into Part V. Section III. A-C. 


Prior to the meeting, Professor Walker suggested that the committee consider adding wording dealing with termination of faculty employment to Part V. Section III.   Following discussion, a motion was made and seconded that “at the beginning of Part V. Section III. C.2., a sentence be added stating ‘This section refers to changes [such as but not limited to curtailment, discontinuation, restructuring, etc.] in programs.  For information about how changes affect faculty employment, see the ECU Faculty Manual, Appendix D.’” Discussion on the motion was limited due to the scheduled arrival of the Provost and the Vice-Chancellor for Health Sciences.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to table the motion until the February meeting.  Lewis will prepare a draft of Part V. Section III that includes the proposed sentence, so that committee members can review it before the next meeting.


b.      Discussion of Program Elimination/Curtailment Issues with Dr. Sheerer, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and Dr. Horns, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences

Dr. Sheerer summarized the low productivity review and reporting process which is initiated by UNC General Administration every two years.  She emphasized the importance of faculty input in the preparation of the Dean’s response to the low productivity report.  The process includes the Academic Council meeting with the Dean to discuss the report; sometimes the Dean invites the department chair to attend this meeting.  If the Academic Council recommends that a program be discontinued, the recommendation will be sent to the EPPC, in accordance with the ECU Faculty Manual.  The EPPC’s role is to make a recommendation to the Chancellor and report its recommendation to the Faculty Senate.  During this year’s review process, the Academic Council did not recommend that any programs be discontinued.


Dr. Sheerer chairs the UNC GA Program Curtailment Committee.  A program can be curtailed even if it is not a low productivity program.  The committee wants to involve faculty in upcoming discussions regarding program consolidation.  UNC GA believes that it is important for those in higher education in the state to look at overlap and redundancies, rather than leaving this to the legislature.  Dr. Sheerer and Dr. Horns noted that it is important to educate members of the Boards of Governors and Trustees on the tenure system and the implications of eliminating programs.  


Chair Gordon noted that he has had questions from faculty about the procedures for low productivity review.  Dr. Sheerer indicated that she would send him a copy of the procedures.


Dr. Sheerer and Dr. Horns indicated that they think that the low productivity review process sufficiently incorporates faculty input.  However, they want to ensure that there is adequate faculty input into any proposed program cuts associated with the current round of budget cuts, and asked for suggestions from the EPPC.  Those present agreed that the EPPC is the most appropriate Faculty Senate Committee to be involved in this process.  Dr. Horns reiterated that she would like the EPPC to make suggestions about how to approach the upcoming cuts.


Chair Gordon left the meeting at 2:40 p.m. and Vice-Chair Ed Stellwag assumed the role of Chair.  Dr. Sheerer proposed that we develop a model for faculty involvement in the budget cutting process that could be used by other institutions.  Additional topics discussed included the implications of declaring financial exigency, the need to review critically proposed programs while at the same time encouraging strategic growth, and the overall need to make strategic decisions that do not injure strong programs.


V.                  Announcements

Chair Gordon attended a recent meeting of the University Budget Committee meeting at which Dr. Niswander discussed upcoming budget cuts.  The extent of the cuts may not be known until summer or fall.  EPPC will be involved if the university proposes the discontinuation of any programs.


VI.                Adjournment

There being no further business, Vice-Chair Stellwag adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.


The next EPPC meeting will be on Friday, February 11, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in Rawl Annex 142.


Minutes submitted by Janice S. Lewis