Faculty Senate
November 4, 2008


Report of the Chair of the Faculty


This report provides a summary of the discussions at the three open forums sponsored by the Task Force. I’ve tried to provide some of the key issues and concerns discussed in each forum. The recommendations for academic standards and policies from 2.8 of the report are now in the hands of the Admission and Retention Policies and Academic Standards Committees.  


Open Forums on Strategic Enrollment Management

At each session, Dr. Bailey explained that these recommendations from the Task Force on Strategic Enrollment Management are intended to be options for pursuing an appropriate enrollment management strategy. The report will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the November Board meeting.


Following the forums and the meeting of the Task Force on October 30, the final draft of the Report was prepared, and is now ready for discussion, revision, and approval by the university community, and implementation by the appropriate individuals and units.

The four major issues around which the report is focused are:


Retention and graduation rates

Academic program mix




Several individuals pointed out the risk of slowing growth, since a smaller increase in enrollment means fewer enrollment increase funding dollars. But, the impact of the unrestrained growth over the last decade was clear this fall: a higher yield of first-time, full-time first year students that exposed the weaknesses in infrastructure—classroom, office, and housing space, lack of student services, increased need for part time faculty, etc.


Tension between access and quality will have to be addressed. While we want to be able to serve our traditional student base, 60% of our total enrollment comes from west of I95—a change from the traditional makeup of our student population.


Retention and graduation rates

Retention and graduation rates must be the focus now—retention rates are dropping and graduation rates are stagnant, but a higher quality student population should address those issues. Future funding may be tied to graduation and retention rates

Among the concerns surrounding students are the following:

·         Dropouts (withdrawal from classes last 2 semesters)—50% are DE graduate students

·         Seniors with 90+ hours also withdraw

·         Standards for retention/academic standing/appropriate GPAs to continue

·          Retention numbers from the 1st to the 2nd year, but also after 3-4 years: What are the factors that impact students’ ability/desire to return? Surveys are being revised in such a way that we can better ascertain the reasons for their leaving/not returning to the university.

·         Increased standards for Community College transfer students

·         Number of grade replacements and how they affect GPA and financial aid; Fundamental lack of understanding of GPA—and how long it takes it to improve; training for both students and parents can be made available on the website

·         Importance of COAD 1000 to retention of first year students


Synergy between units and university as a whole is important and we should work together to try to identify students who may transfer.


The participants in the forums identified support for tutoring programs as one way to aid retention. But others felt that we should not usurp the role of the community colleges, but should work with them to ensure that students who need more college preparation get appropriate support.


Academic program mix

Questions were raised about the availability and enrollment of traditional on campus students in online classes intended for off campus students as well as the appropriateness of online classes for traditional students.


Concerns were also raised about students registering for UNC Online classes—space available basis? Who makes decisions about mix in the class? Articulation among campuses? Quality control of the classes? Who determines what is appropriate for a particular ECU degree?


University College/Studies degree has been proposed. Concerns about students whose GPAs are too low for specific majors are balanced by the wisdom and feasibility of such a degree. Faculty members expressed concerns about the negative connotations of such terms as “General Studies” or “University Studies” degree.


As we develop programs, we need to look at big picture and the impact on both graduate and undergraduate programs. Our mission pertaining to an undergraduate education can be enhanced by strong, productive graduate programs and research agenda.



Continued concerns about:

·         Banner implementation 

·         Financial aid

·         Appropriate faculty resources; teaching, clinical, research

·         Need for improvement of counseling center

·         Duplication of resources with various tutoring programs

·         Quality of space, efficient use of space