The first regular meeting of the 2008-2009
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes
III. Special Order of the Day
A. Roll Call
C. Steve Ballard, Chancellor
D. Marilyn Sheerer, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
E. Janice Tovey, Chair of the Faculty
Boyer, Director of Academic Library Services
Baker-Flowers, Chief Diversity Officer
Diversity Action Plan
Weismiller, Chair of SACS Self-Study
Assessment of Student Learning – Building a Culture of Evidence
I. Question Period
IV. Unfinished Business
V. Report of Committees
A. Educational Policies and Planning Committee
Request for Authorization to Establish PhD Program in Curriculum and Instruction in the
B. Faculty Welfare Committee
Response to the UNC Tomorrow Report (attachment 1).
C. Unit Code Screening
Revised Department of Psychology Unit Code of Operation.
V. New Business
Resolution on Transparency, David Long (attachment 2)
September 9, 2008
FACULTY WELFARE COMMITTEE REPORT
Response to the UNC Tomorrow Report
Impact of Enrollment Growth on Faculty Welfare
The UNC Tomorrow report mandates
enrollment growth across the constituent campuses of the UNC System. In response to this report,
Faculty welfare is intrinsic to the quality of the university. The issues that affect faculty welfare are broad ranging and are inextricably interwoven with issues that affect our students and the quality of education. There is a serious concern among the faculty at ECU that our long history of underfunding, particularly in terms of funds allocated per student enrolled, will be further exacerbated by increased enrollment. This single factor could have a chilling effect on faculty welfare through depletion of already scarce resources and could significantly undermine the future development of our university. The continued scarcity of financial support commensurate with university size and growth will be detrimental to the construction of offices, classrooms, laboratories and other physical facilities that are used by faculty and students. It will have adverse consequences for the recruitment, retention and professional development of faculty and it will limit the opportunity to develop programs that expand the connections between the university and the citizens and region we serve.
While a diminished financial base will impact all areas of university development, enrollment growth will affect other aspects of university life that are viewed as central to faculty welfare. Physical space is at a premium at ECU. The immediate manifestation of this lack of space is a general shortage of offices, classrooms and laboratories. The existing level of crowding at ECU is already a matter of concern and without significant investment in ‘bricks and mortar’ will certainly be exacerbated by projected enrollment increases. Crowding generates inevitable deterioration of indoor and outdoor environments, contributes to stress and can have adverse health consequences, all of which are issues related to faculty welfare. Consider the perennial nightmare of parking, which is a surrogate for all the problems associated with crowding. Unfortunately, ECU’s past successes in garnering resources for the construction of buildings and acquisition of green space is poor, as exemplified by the serious existing level of crowding.
We are also concerned that increased
enrollment will impact the student to faculty ratio in a negative way. A decline in the number of faculty per
student puts added strain on faculty members who are intent on maintaining a
tradition of close interaction with students.
ECU has historically prided itself in its ‘small university’ feel, much
of which derives from the commitment of faculty to a high level of interaction
with students. An increasing student to
faculty ratio seriously threatens our commitment to our students and will very
likely create a less congenial atmosphere, one with an impersonal feel in which
student-faculty relations become more distant and strained.
Thus, one of the core issues for today and tomorrow is a careful assessment of the best means to deliver high quality education, whether faculty and students are located at a distance or on campus. The question is, during a time of burgeoning technology and increasing student enrollment, how do we grow and maintain a vibrant, engaged faculty and student population who contribute to the university’s goals? The issue involves effective connection with ECU’s learning community as well as the quality and sustainability of that learning.
In particular, Distance Education
(DE) faculty and students cannot be merely ‘add-ons’. They must be
intelligently incorporated into the mainstream of campus learning and campus
life. Current full-time faculty need to be engaged and involved in
developing a learning model that works for all students. Yet evidence of erosion in our ‘small university’ feel is
already manifesting, particularly among faculty who participate in distance
education programs. ECU has already
stepped beyond its physical campus boundaries and is recognized as a major
provider of online education. While 88% of the students taking only DE courses
Enrollment increases without attendant financial resources also place a burden on administrators who will be faced with decisions concerning whether to allocate limited resources to faculty salaries or benefits. We already suffer from marginal health care and retirement benefits and we have witnessed a system-wide decline in support for these programs. A further decrease in these benefits threatens to create an atmosphere of discord that is contrary to a high-quality working environment and presents risks in retention of faculty as well as increased difficulty in recruitment of new faculty. As ECU looks toward a brighter future, we can ill afford a policy of rapid enrollment growth uncoupled from a commensurate level of financial support.
September 9, 2008
Resolution on Transparency
To make the procedures involved in voting on the conferral of tenure, promotion in rank, and contract renewal of faculty members at ECU more transparent and consistent with due process.
WHEREAS, it has long been a
tradition and procedure at ECU to conduct votes relating to the conferral of
tenure, the promotion in rank of tenured and tenure-track faculty, and the
contract renewal of probationary faculty, under a veil of secrecy by voting to
enter into executive session; and,
WHEREAS, the purpose of going into
executive session is in order to allow for an open and honest discussion of the
reasons why a faculty member should or should not be conferred permanent
tenure, a higher rank, or continued employment as a member of the faculty,
while protecting the anonymity of the voting members of the committee
especially with respect to any negative opinions they may have about the person
under consideration; and,
WHEREAS, the inevitable consequence
of such procedure is that committee members are shielded in the expression of
attitudes that are sometimes based upon personal malice or hearsay impressions,
and in some instances those expressions may constitute lies or
misrepresentations of what is true; and,
WHEREAS, the conferral of permanent
tenure is a property right even if it is less than fully developed during the
tenure track period; and,
WHEREAS, the right to receive
promotion and contract renewal as provided for by the ECU Faculty Code, and in
accordance with the conditions set forth in that Code, are property rights
possessed by the faculty members from the time they enter into employment
contracts with the university; and,
WHEREAS, even beyond the fact that the aforementioned property rights exist, the experience of receiving a negative tenure vote, or a negative vote on promotion or contract extension, has a potentially devastating effect on the professional reputation and prospects of future employment of the affected faculty member.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the