The sixth regular meeting of the 2006-2007 Faculty Senate was held on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Room.


Agenda Item I.  Call to Order

Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.


Agenda Item II.  Approval of Minutes

The minutes of January 30, 2007, were approved as distributed. 


Agenda Item III.  Special Order of the Day


A.        Roll Call

Senators absent were: Professors Zoller (Art and Design), Abdel-Rahman (Medicine), Cope (Faculty Assembly Delegate), and Provost Smith.


Alternates present were: Professors Lazure for Kim (Art and Design), Bradley for Christian (Business), Ballard for Dosser (Child Development and Family Relations), Henze for Deena (English), Abdulali for Benson (Mathematics), Hewan-Love for Gilliland (Medicine), and Moll for Hall (Music).


B.        Announcements

1.         Vice Chancellor Deirdre Mageean was in Durham and unable to attend the meeting.

2.         The annual Teaching Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at 11:00 a.m. in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Room.  A reception will follow immediately afterwards.  Faculty awarded for their teaching achievements will be recognized at this event and all faculty are welcome to attend.

3.         There is no longer a curriculum submission deadline for inclusion in the official ECU catalog. Faculty are reminded that the official ECU catalog is now the online catalog. The University Curriculum Committee will continue to meet through April 2007 to address curriculum matters.  Please direct any questions to Professor Janice Neil, Chair of the University Curriculum Committee at cuc@ecu.edu.

4.         The Chancellor will host a Faculty Senate reception in the Chancellor’s residence on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.    Formal invitations will be forthcoming to all Faculty Senators, Alternates, past Chairs of the Faculty, and their guests.  

5.         Letters concerning unit elections for the 2007-2008 Faculty Senate representation have been mailed to unit code administrators.  In accordance with the ECU Faculty Manual, Appendix A, elections are to be held during the month of February.  Please call the Faculty Senate office if you have any questions.

6.         The scheduled discussion of the University’s Strategic Plan was postponed until the meeting on March 20, 2007.

7.         The University’s Centennial Celebration begins on March 8, 2007.  In order to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the legislation that was passed to create ECU, the North Carolina General Assembly will be meeting in Wright Auditorium on March 8, 2007 at 10:30AM.  Please save time on your calendar for this important centennial event, which celebrates the very beginning of our university.

8.         March 26-30, 2007 is “Research Week” at ECU.  There will be many events and sessions throughout the week.  They will be held in the Mendenhall Student Center.  There will incude special presentations, as well as graduate student presentations throughout the week.  Please contact Graduate School Dean Patrick Pellicane or Vice Chancellor for Research and Greaduate Studies Deirdre Mageean for more information.


C.        Steve Ballard, Chancellor

Chancellor Ballard urged faculty to participate in Centennial activities, noting the Board of Governors will be having it meeting at ECU and in attendance at the festivities on 16-17.


Regarding inquiries received concerning the change to a trimester system, he stated that to meet enrollment demands over next decade, two things are clear: that GA expects us to be “24/7, 365” university, and that classroom and lab utilization rates must improve. Our rates are in the low 60% range, at the middle of the UNC institutions. It is in our interest to be proactive in order to frame the debate to our advantage. Bond issues and capital requests will not be received favorable if our utilization rates do not improve. He does not believe the change has to affect workload distribution or compensation.


The Chancellor stated that in the hiring process for his senior administrators, he looks for leadership characteristics and his priority is to find administrators who can build and work in a culture of openness and collaboration to maximize organizational performance.


Chancellor Ballard informed the Senate that the Fall 2006 diversity ratios are embarrassing to ECU, which is in the last 25% of  the system in the number of minority faculty and students. For comparison purposes, a score of 1 is considered good; UNCA ranked first with 1.42, there were 7 above .72, and ECU’s ratio was .53, below similar UNC institutions. He stated we must become proactive, innovative, and creative in seeking solutions to this problem.


Glascoff (Health and Human Performance) noted that one impediment is that we cannot ask candidates their race, but must wait to discover it on the campus visit; she asked if there would be resources for additional positions. The Chancellor responded that the Provost has monies for making up the difference between ECU salaries and market value, stating that “we will not let resources be an impediment”.


Long (History) asked if there were any incentives provided to units for minority hiring, and asked if college-by-college breakdowns of data were available?


Corbett (Geology) inquired what the percentage is for just faculty? The Chancellor replied that we are at 10.8%, not among best, and that data would be forwarded to senators (see link above).


Henze (English) asked what the status was of the policy on parking privileges for retired faculty approved on 05/23, pending use study. Chancellor Ballard responded that Vice Chancellor Seitz would address that question in his remarks.


Wilson (Sociology) asked what would happen to the Friday summer schedule if the trimester system is adopted, noting that great energy savings were claimed as a result. The Chancellor answered that the original purpose is no longer a priority, that the data he has seen is not compelling that much money was saved, and that we are a much different university that we were then, adding that we are responsible to the public for doing business during standard business hours.


D.        Kevin Seitz, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

Vice Chancellor Seitz responded to concerns about ECU’s website affirming that the IRCC continues its work to upgrade, that they began by updating the cosmetics first, and are now addressing navigational and content needs.


Vice Chancellor Seitz announced that he has transferred responsibility for parking Bill Koch. Koch stated that in the 4 years since the parking plan changed, Parking Services has had 3 priorities: to enhance customer service, to maximize flexibility, and to develope a closer relationship with the police and Student Transit. In responding to concerns about administrative parking, he noted that there is no free parking for administrators, and that during the past year the Executive Council has discussed ways to reduce the number of reserved spots, currently at 56 at a cost of $328 per year, but changes have not yet been put into effect. 


Vice Chancellor Seitz then discussed property acquisitions, informing the Senate that downtown projects, namely the proposed parking ramp, office building, and hotel and conference center have been placed on indefinite hold, although developers are still interested. He noted that ECU remains interested in purchasing properties, especially in the 10th St corridor, but that the Executive Council has any plans for major purchases on hold. They will pursue leases when terms are advantageous.


He then reported that PirateFest organizers are still studying prospective sites, and affirmed that appropriate groups will be consulted in due course before a decision is made.


Vice Chancellor Seitz updated the Senate regarding the status of the North recreation fields, stating that the original intent was to install 8 recreational fields, a pond, parking, and utility/maintenance facilities as phase one; other possibilities have been discussed but no action taken.


Warren (Education) asked if ECU was still considering an acquisition of the C M Epps Middle School property. Seitz responded that discussions with the school board are ongoing, but want the board would like compensation to build sufficient to build a new school at another location.


E.        Jim Smith, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Chair Taggart expressed Provost Smith’s apologies due to his absence attending a meeting out of town.


F.         Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty

Professor Taggart briefly touched upon the importance of Unit Codes in shared governance at ECU. Unit Codes should include descriptions of procedures followed in the unit that are not covered in Appendix L and other Appendices of the ECU Faculty Manual, including Appendices C and D, which were recently revised and approved.  A revision to the ECU Faculty Manual may well create a “ripple effect,” which may necessitate each individual unit to revise their code, since all unit codes must comply with applicable portions of the Code of the University of North Carolina, the ECU Faculty Manual, as well as relevant North Carolina and Federal Statutes.

Professor Taggart stated that unit codes play an important role in appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure.  Academic  unit code should have the criteria for promotion and tenure spelled out in detail.  The recently revised and approved Appendix D gives individual units the option of establishing policies and procedures for filling the additional roles of the unit tenure committee, for example.  A unit tenure committee is comprised of all of the permanently tenured voting faculty members of that unit.  However, if the unit code permits it, the tenure committee may delegate some of the following roles, such as consulting with the unit administrator on the progress towards tenure letter, producing a list of possible external reviewers, selects the materials for external reviewers, and prepares the cumulative evaluation.  If your unit Code is silent on this, then all members of the committee will participate in these additional roles.


Provisions in unit codes may specify other materials that reflect the candidate’s scholarly activities that may be included in the selection to be sent to external reviewers, i.e. “Code units that require more than three external reviewers shall make special provisions in their unit codes.”

So how does the individual unit revise their unit codes or “keep up” with changes in university policy that may mandate a change to their codes?  The procedures are found in the Unit Code Screening Committee’s “General Guidelines for Writing and Revising a Unit Code of Operation".  These guidelines describe the amendment procedures to be followed as well as the “Comprehensive Code Review” which mandates how the Unit Code Screening Committee facilitates the units in determining if their codes need to be revised in order to be in compliance.  This review should occur, cyclically, every seven years.  This past semester, he noted that he had notified the departments of Sociology, Math, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Psychology, Health and Human Performance, Anthropology and English that their codes are up for a compliance review.  With all of the recent changes to the ECU Faculty Manual, it would be safe to say that many more units than the above mentioned should begin the process of determining if their codes are in compliance with the ECU Faculty Manual. 


G.        Commendation for Catherine Rigsby, Past Chair of the Faculty

Vice Chair of the Faculty Dee Dee Glascoff (Health and Human Performance) read the commendation for Professor Catherine Rigsby, Past Chair of the Faculty and it was unanimously approved by acclamation with a standing round of applause.  RESOLUTION #07-02


H.        Election of Faculty Officers Nominating Committee

According to the ECU Faculty Manual, Appendix A, Section VII., the following Faculty Senators were nominated to serve on the Faculty Officers Nominating Committee: David Long (History),

Zach Robinson (Mathematics), Ken Wilson (Sociology), Jan Tovey (English), Paul Fletcher (Medicine) and Rodney Roberts (Philosophy).  Following an election, the following faculty members were elected to serve on the Faculty Officers Nominating Committee: Professors David Long (History), Zach Robinson (Mathematics), Ken Wilson ( Sociology), Jan Tovey (English), and Paul Fletcher (Medicine). This Committee will present a slate of 2007-2008 Faculty Officers to the Faculty Senate on April 24, 2007.


I. Question Period

Moll (Music) asked Vice Chancellor Seitz if he believed present parking policies are in best interest of ECU’s various communities or not? Seitz responded that while some policies, such as visitor parking and towing, need to be revised, he did. Moll then asked why, of the 50 spots in front of Fletcher, 35 are empty at any given time, and why the A limitation expired as late as 7:00? Bill Koch answered by asking that specific concerns be communicated to him or the Parking Committee, and that they would then be remedied


Schenart (Medicine) observed that the School of Medicine has no direct connectivity with main campus for people who shuttle between the campuses.  Jones (Criminal Justice) asked if any shuttle or other transportation to facilitate travel between East and West campuses is being planned. VC Seitz commented that planning for a corridor not interrupted by the railroad is being planned by the city and the Department of Transportation, but that it involves displacing established neighborhoods, and would therefore take time, with construction possibly beginning by 2010-11.


Tovey (English) asked the status of ECU’s share of parking fines. Seitz answered that, due to our loss of the court decision, we are only allowed to keep up to 20% and that the rest goes to the school districts, pointing out that our share does not cover the cost of enforcement.


Long  (History) asked Chancellor Ballard if, presented with a resolution for a +/- grading system, would you approve it?  He responded that he has always been partial to such a system, but did not want to enter into too many hypotheticals because he would need to consider all factors brought to his attention.


Rose (Nursing) stated that she found handicapped parking difficult to negotiate. Seitz answered that Liz Johnson deals with those interest, and that he would let her know of Professor Rose’s concerns.


Reisch (Business) noted that after 5 p.m. available ‘A’ spots in the central East Campus area were hard to find, and stated that he would like the Parking and Traffic Policy Committee to consider reserving several spaces for ‘A’ stickers 24 hours per day in several ‘A’ lots.


Robinson (Mathematics) thanked the Chancellor for asserting that ECU must improve in minority hiring.


Agenda Item IV.  Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business to come before the Faculty Senate at this time.


Agenda Item V.  Report of Committees

A.        Admission and Retention Policies Committee

Wendy Sharer (English), Chair of the Committee, presented the proposed revisions to the ECU Undergraduate Catalog, Section 5. Academic Regulations, relating to Grade Points and Grade Point Average, Grade Replacement Policy, Warning and Probation, and Special Readmission (Forgiveness) Policy.


Professor Sharer reported that the committee studied the use of this policy in other universities, as well as how the change had affected graded at other institutions that switched. As a result, they endorse the change to bring us in line with peers, 2/3 of which use it.  They also found that the present standard, when translated into the +/- equivalent, was disadvantageous in 89% of cases. The committee found that +/- is more precise and fair—proper credit is given for significant differences in performance, yet minor differences still translate into the same grade. She furthermore observed that it improves motivation, and that studies show it does not have a significant impact on average of grades overall, nor does it consistently alter them in one direction. Finally, she commented that Professor Michael Bassman, Director of the Honors Program, supports the proposal.


Allen (Chemistry) asserted that his students are botheres by the fact that it would not allow for an A+, thus seeming unfair, and asked if that had been considered. Sharer answered that no peer institutions offer an A+, and research showed employers and graduate schools are unfamiliar with it, and that it may result in the latter multiplying all ECU grades by .93 to compensate, creating a larger negative effect on our students’ applications.


Stevens (Health and Human Performance) noted that Penn State eliminated the grade of C-, for 2.0; she endorsed the proposal to keep ECU in line with the norm, and to more accurately reflect performance.


Long (History) noted that the Senate passed such a resolution18 years ago, but that Chancellor Eakin vetoed it. He then proposed an amendment modifying the descriptors for each grade.





Excellent Achievement substantially exceeds basic course expectations


Above Average Achievement exceeds basic course expectations


Average Achievement adequately meets basic course expectations


Unsatisfactory Achievement falls below basic course expectations


Failure-no credit given for course

Failure - achievement does not justify credit for course


Roberts (Philosophy) asked for a clarification of why the amendment was necessary stating that he does not see how the amendment provides any decrease in subjectivity. Long(History) stated that the current language using the term “average” is too ambiguous.Moll (Music) responded that it takes away subjectivity by better defining each grade. Tovey (English) said she favored the amendment, provided that instructors have the freedom to define on their syllabi what they understand these terms to mean. Jones (Criminal Justice) asserted that he was unfamiliar with the +/- system, as to what percentage corresponds each grade, and asked if guidance would be provided. Sprague (Physics) called the question; the amendment passed


Glascoff (Health and Human Performance): noted that the implementation of a C- would make it impossible for some students to get into a major, would affect readmission appeals, and proposed an amendment that C- and D+ should be added to the grades eligible for replacement. She also asked how many UNC institutions use the system, and how many have graduate. Sharer responded that 10 of the 16, although she did not have the breakdown, and that her committee would not oppose.


Glascoff moved that a grade of C- be included in the section concerning grade replacement. Riley-Tillman (Psychology) asked why the grade replacement should be cut off there. Sharer noted that any other change would need to go through Academic Standards Committee. Sprague (Physics) called the question. The amendment passed.


Jones recommended that guidelines be supplied on how to apply the system, which Sharer promised will be circulated. Levine (Medicine) noted an inconsistency in terminology in Part 1 concerning the calculation of GPA between semester hours credit by numerical values, but later refers to semester hours. Niswander (Business) pointed out that at time the language did not specify whether GPA was for a course or overall. Sprague (Physics) clarified that the question was if “credit” should appear after semester hours. Sharer noted that that was the original language, and her committee had not changed it.  Robinson (Mathematics) moved to add the word “credit“ after “semester hour”. The motion passed.

Niswander pointed out that this proposal constitutes a substantive change in the way faculty grade, and expressed concern that it had not received wide enough dissemination. He moved to table final action on this committee report until the March 20, 2007, Faculty Senate meeting. The motion failed.


Wang (Geography) asked why an A+ could not equal 4.0? Sharer answered that she was unfamiliar with that practice, but that the norm for institutions allowing an A+ option is that it is counted as 4.3, causing the problems mentioned earlier. She asked what an A would then be, Wang responded that both A and A+ were 4.0, but that the A+ could thus appear on the transcript. Smith (Technology and Computer Science) with respect to the danger of an A+ causing grades to be “watered down” by graduate schools by the application of a multiplier, asked if there was any reason why the A+ could not appear on the transcript but be calculated as a 4.0.  Angela Anderson, ECU Registrar, stated that the computer system requires that each letter grade option be assigned a different decimal value. Sprague (Physics)  called the question.


Following a lengthy discussion, the proposed revisions to the ECU Undergraduate Catalog, Section 5. Academic Regulations, relating to Grade Points and Grade Point Average, Grade Replacement Policy, Warning and Probation, and Special Readmission (Forgiveness) Policy were approved as amended.  RESOLUTION #07-03


B.     Educational Policies and Planning Committee
Dale Knickerbocker (Foreign Languages and Literatures), Chair of the Committee, presented for information only the proposed addition of a concentration in biomedical engineering for the BS Engineering, Department of Engineering, College of Technology and Computer Science.  There was no discussion and the information was accepted as presented.


C.  Faculty Welfare Committee
David Lawrence (Geology), Chair of the Committee, presented the proposed revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI.I.J. Salary Policies.


Professor Lawrence informed the Senate that the proposed changes were to  clarify, update, and eliminate details unnecessary to the ECU Faculty Manual, and that such updates are required by the General Administration. Sprague (Physics) noted the wording at the end of 4th sentence of 7th bullet “External Professional Activities for Pay”, “while under full-time contract to the university”, and stated that it should be clarified that it does not include summer for those on 9 month contracts. Robinson (Mathematics) supported this, pointing out that such language could conflict with contractual grant obligations. Smith (Technology and Computer Science) observed that the present language says that it does not apply to summer work. lascoff (Health an Human Performance) asserted that the ECU Faculty Manual,  should not mention the number of hour worked. Bradley (Business) asked what the rationale was behind that language. Lawrence responded that it came directly from the General Administration document.


Sprague (Physics) read the ECU Faculty Manual,  Part VI. D2 concerning external professional activities for pay. Glascoff (Health an Human Performance) then moved that the sentence referring to the number of hours (8) be removed, beginning with “moreover”. Riley Tillman (Psychology) noted that the norm is that full time faculty be able to work 1 day a week consulting, and that it would look bad to ask for more. Tovey (English) observed that 8 hours is specified in UNC policy. Glascoff (Health an Human Performance) stated that we do not want our days and weeks work defined in hours.


Jones (Criminal Justice) spoke in favor of the amendment, noting that such language may be used to abuse faculty rights since the word “equivalent” makes the meaning unclear.  Eason (Nursing) observed that we are nonetheless bound by UNC guidelines. Tovey (English) noted that the language appears in UNC Policy 300.2.2.  Riley-Tillman (Psychology) pointed out that the UNC code does not specify eight hours. Long (History) called the question. The amendment to remove the sentence carried.


Brown called the question on the entire proposal. The motion was approved. Following a lengthy discussion, the proposed revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI.I.J. Salary Policies were approved as amended.  RESOLUTION #07-04


D.  Unit Code Screening Committee
Garris Conner (Nursing), Chair of the Committee, presented first the approval of the revised College of Health and Human Performance Unit Code of Operation.  There was no discussion.  Professor Conner then presented the approval of the revised Department of Geology Unit Code of Operation. Again, there was no discussion and both revised unit codes of operation were approved as presented.  RESOLUTION #07-05

E.  University Curriculum Committee
David Long (History), member of the Committee, presented the curriculum matters contained in the minutes of the December 14, 2006, January 11, 2007, January 25, 2007, and February 8, 2007, University Curriculum Committee meetings. There was no discussion and the curriculum matters contained in these minutes were approved as presented. 


Agenda Item VI.  New Business

Rigsby (Geology, Past Chair of the Faculty) moved to have the body consider the Faculty Governance Committee’s revisions to Part XIII of ECU Faculty Manual. The motion passed.  Puri Martinez (Foreign Languages and Literatures), Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, presented proposed revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part XIII. Promotion and Tenure Timeline.

Martinez stated that these were to correct problems that had come about with the implementation of the new Appendix D and Part XIII.


Tovey (English) thanked the Faculty Governance Committee for making these corrections so expeditiously. Wilson (Sociology) inquired when these would take effect? Martínez responded that she anticipated the Chancellor’s prompt signature in early March.


Following discussion, the proposed revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part XIII. Promotion and Tenure Timeline were approved as amended.  RESOLUTION #07-07


There being no further business to come before the body at this time, the meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Dale Knickerbocker                                                              Lori Lee

Secretary of the Faculty                                                        Administrative Officer          

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures         Faculty Senate




07-02  Commendation for Catherine Rigsby, Past Chair of the Faculty

Disposition:  Chancellor


07-03  Revisions to the ECU Undergraduate Catalog, Section 5. Academic Regulations, relating to Grade Points and Grade Point Average, Grade Replacement Policy, Warning and Probation, and Special Readmission (Forgiveness) Policy.

Disposition:  Chancellor


07-04    Revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI.I.J. Salary Policies.

Disposition:  Chancellor


07-05  Revised College of Health and Human Performance Unit Code of Operation

            and Department of Geology Unit Code of Operation.

Disposition:  Chancellor


07-06  Curriculum matters contained in the minutes of the December 14, 2006, January 11, 2007, January 25, 2007, and February 8, 2007, University Curriculum Committee meetings.

Disposition:  Chancellor


07-07  Revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part XIII. Promotion and Tenure Timeline.

Disposition:  Chancellor

A complete listing of these resolutions are available online at: