Faculty Chairperson Bruce Cairns, who was in the audience of Faculty Council members, said he supports Carolina Conversations, a series of campus dialogues on race and inclusion.
“This is a very important time for the University, and it’s clear that there are a lot of emotions — there are a lot of real challenges,” he said. “It’s quite clear (the changes) need to be taken seriously at Carolina. We need to be more like a family rather than just a community, and I have the sense that this is how we are addressing this.”
Nancy Fisher, chairperson of the Fixed-Term Faculty Committee, and Rumay Alexander, chairperson of the Community and Diversity Committee and Folt's newly appointed special assistant, continued the conversation with a presentation on diversity issues among fixed-term faculty and racial and professional labeling.
According to their report, 80 percent of fixed-term faculty are white and 54 percent are female.
“The thing that we really heard was the tone of the text-responses (of the survey) was, more often than not negative,” Fisher said. “There are things we need to improve on. One faculty member said ‘I currently have a one year, full-time contract but I have been here for over 30 years.’”
The council also voted not to adopt a resolution that suggested the University eliminate the admission of “athletic recruits whose first-semester GPA’s are expected to fall below 2.3.”
Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, represented the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions, which recommended the Council vote no on the issue.
“We are strongly supporting a fair treatment of all student-athletes without targeting certain subgroups and not others,” she said.
Panter said the committee determined the Committee on Special Talent is effective in evaluating students.
“We find that the review of academic performance of student-athletes is acceptable from the Advisory Committee’s perspective,” she said.