The General Faculty of UNC-Greensboro met on Wednesday, April 20 to discuss recent COACHE survey results and other faculty business.
Anne Wallace commenced the meeting, and Wade Maki read preceding senate’s meeting.
Provost Dana Dunn provided the introductory statement, mentioning a Virginia school case ruling that bathroom laws were discriminatory, and held implications for North Carolina law.
Specifically, the ruling stated that such laws could be considered a Title IX violation, which guarantees protection from sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities.
“I hope that is where we are headed,” Dunn said, referring to a possible overturn of HB2.
According to Dunn, the next faculty meeting will formally endorse UNCG’s commitment to non-discrimination.
Dunn also announced the retirement of Graduate Dean William Wiener on Aug. 1. The position will be restructured concurrently, to be replaced by the Vice-Provost of Graduate Education.
“It will provide a closer linkage between the Graduate School and the Provost’s Office,” Dunn said. “It will result in positive changes.”
The position will be filled in the near term, according to Dunn.
Jennifer Motszko, Chair of the Committee for Committees, delivered the results of the at-large election, before beginning the COACHE presentation.
Mary Krautter presented the COACHE Survey Action Committee Report, compiled by a group chosen by the Provost.
“The survey is designed to determine current job satisfaction levels of faculty at peer institutions,” stated the slideshow at the presentation.
UNCG was compared against five other colleges: Bowling Green State, East Carolina, Kent State, UNC Charlotte and Virginia Commonwealth.
Non-Tenure Track (NTT), or Tenure-Free Faculty, scored lower than average for Health and Retirement Benefits, Collaboration and Appreciation out of COACHE-surveyed institutions.
Krautter also noted that NTT responses were low, making general analysis difficult.
Concerns for NTT faculty included family health benefits, salary, extra-departmental collaborative opportunities and advising/scholarship/service/outreach recognition.
The Committee recommended that University Administration or Faculty Senate conduct a NTT survey, and act on those concerns.
Compensation consistently scored lowest on COACHE surveys for UNCG faculty, accounting for 51 percent of answers. The next item, lack of research/creative work support, was only 26 percent. Thirty percent of respondents said that if they left UNCG, it would be for better benefits and salary.
The Committee recommended that the administration advocate to the state for improvements in salary and benefits, as well as adjust raise allocations to salary compression and provide transparency for raise merit criteria.
Additional Human Resources recommendations included more internal communication assistance and individual health, retirement, and financial benefits advising.
Leadership scores varied, indicating low satisfaction with the chancellor but strong satisfaction with the provost and unit- and department-level leadership.
Recommendations on leadership were active senior leadership engagement with faculty concerns, mechanism establishment for the chancellor and provost to gather feedback and examination if inter-unit leadership dynamics by administration.
In teaching, UNCG is low in time spent on administrative tasks, ability to balance teaching/service/research and time spent on research. The committee stated the need for more support of research in time and funding.
Issues included class size and workloads relating to advising, class level and course type. The Committee advised leadership and service obligation adjustments, as well as research/creative activity release time. Grants, professional development and online teaching support were among these suggestions.
Additionally, the Committee recommended that course revision/review processes be streamlined.
UNCG scored low in service satisfaction, indicating a need for clearer focus and decreased redundancy of committees.
Krautter noted the irony of this comment by the Committee for Committees.
The committee’s findings indicated that tenure merit clarity needed improvement. They recommended further mentoring, which so far has compared favorably with other universities.
All recommendations were formed based on comments made by faculty, which had significant quote extracts passed out at the meeting.
Despite complaints, respondents indicated that UNCG was still a fulfilling institution.
“People like working here,” Krautter said.
Krautter concluded the presentation with an opportunity for questions.
Additional concerns from the audience included salary, which the faculty lack control over. Many members were said to be “checking out” because of the lack of salary progress. The need for creative solutions and thinking was emphasized.
“Salary is a universal concern,” Dunn said.
Provost Dunn concluded by thanking the committee for their suggestions.
“I pledge that we will work with these changed going forward,” Dunn said. “People will thank you for this work.”
The next faculty senate will be held on May 4, 2016 at 3 p.m. in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room.
Additional details are available online in the Committee’s report.