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UNC Faculty Council to talk budget cuts, rankings

Today marks the Faculty Council’s first full meeting of the year, and new chairwoman of the faculty Jan Boxill is looking to emphasize more participation in the absence of any pressing issues.

Boxill said she plans to encourage the council to work as a collaborative body rather than as several committee groups.

“My major plan for the council meeting is to set my tone in what I would like to do this year,” Boxill said.

“I want the council to be more interactive so that the faculty can actually discuss things and know ahead of time what the issues are.

“We don’t just want reactions. But instead, we want a better understanding,” she said.

Though the council will welcome reports, the meeting will serve primarily as an introduction. No resolutions will be voted on, she said.

Another key component of Boxill’s reform is inviting guests to spark conversation.

Friday’s guests will be Student Body President Mary Cooper, Student Body Vice President Zealan Hoover, Director of the Visitors Center Missy Julian-Fox and ophthalmology professor Richard Davis, Boxill said.

Boxill said she anticipates some of the larger issues presented by Chancellor Holden Thorp and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney to be about budget cuts, updates on the NCAA investigation and the recently released U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Also on the agenda is an update on the University’s transition from Blackboard to Sakai.

“During the summer, we were able to meet face-to-face with 300 faculty and staff members that wanted to learn about Sakai,” said Kimberly Eke, manager of the Teaching and Learning Interactive within Information Technology Services.

“We also want to make them aware of the types of communication with faculty that will be offered in the future.”

Biology professor Kerry Bloom will present the research committee’s annual report, he said.

Bloom said he wants to make the council aware of new research enterprises, and will emphasize the importance of building bridges between the College of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.

Bobbi Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, will present the fifth annual report of the Quality Enhancement Plan, which will focus on innovative educational programs, undergraduate research and international activities.

Bloom said he is excited about what Boxill has to offer.

“She really embodies what this University is about,” he said.

The meeting is at 3 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

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