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The Daily Tar Heel

Faculty Council Considers Student Issues at Meeting

The Faculty Council meeting held Friday focused on student-related issues, including the passage of the higher education bond, tuition, Commencement and campus construction.

Chancellor James Moeser opened the faculty meeting by thanking everyone involved in the campaign to pass the $3.1 billion higher education bond.

"This shows the importance of the strong voice of the people in support of higher education," Moeser said.

The bond was passed with a 73 percent approval across the state to provide capital improvements to the state's public universities and community colleges. "We've caught the bear, now we have to skin it."

Discussion then moved to the issue of tuition increases for the business, dentistry, law, pharmacy and medical schools.

"The tuition proposal is an effort to maintain quality of strength in these programs in the most responsible way," Moeser said.

According to the report, the phased-in tuition increases will begin going into effect in the 2001-2002 school year.

Sue Estroff, chairwoman of the council, then took the stage to encourage an open discussion of campus issues.

Estroff's first concern was student behavior at Commencement. Other faculty comments echoed the overall consensus, deeming past student conduct at Commencement unacceptable and supporting a change in procedures. Estroff said the council would seek student input before proposing a change.

The next topic of discussion was the degree of confidence and familiarity that faculty members have with the Honor Court system. "Students have described professors as apathetic and uninformed of the system," Estroff said.

The council then discussed ways of informing students and faculty about Honor Court procedures. Timothy Taft, professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, suggested a complete reform of the Honor Court system.

"People are brought up for things that aren't about honor, they're illegal," Taft said. He said criminal activities should not be addressed by the Honor Court.

Finally, the board discussed construction and how to make the campus livable. Led by the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the discussion covered concerns with construction-related noise, pedestrian safety and loss of parking.

Estroff said dealing with the student-related issues discussed at the meeting will require compromise. "We are entering a new era on campus," she said. "It is a time when all of us will need to be willing to give a little bit more."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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