Friday’s Faculty Council meeting covered everything, from the Arts Everywhere campaign to the passing of a resolution on University-approved absences. Here’s what you need to know:
1) The Faculty council approved a resolution which updated the current policy originating from 1957 on class attendance and university-approved absences.
Passed unanimously by the Educational Policy Committee on Jan. 18, the first resolution of 2018 said the original policy was vague and incomplete for current law, educational technology capability and student population changes.
The updated policy gives a clear process for how a University-approved absence is approved and communicated, and also provided a timeline through email notification for preliminary alternative plans for both instructors and students to follow. This change will alter the language from "excused absence" to "University-approved absence," and create a central office for handling university approved absences, rather than the student going directly to the professor.
Professor Joy Renner, who presented the proposed policy before the vote, said the Educational Policy Committee is proposing one additional position to the Office of the Deans of Students to help implement the new policy.
“We in no way, with this policy, want to stop the wonderful communication and collaboration that goes on between faculty and students now, this just gives some structure to how it can happen and taking away some of the ambiguity from both the students and faculty,” Renner said.
2) Provost Bob Blouin addressed the Faculty Council about Arts Everywhere and the implications of the steady increase in applications, and also answered questions regarding a new budget model and the boycott of UNC fundraising campaign by a Black alumni group.
Due to flu-like symptoms, Chancellor Carol Folt was unable to attend the meeting, so Provost Bob Blouin gave remarks on her behalf in addition to making his own.
As part of the Arts Everywhere campaign at UNC, Carolina Performing Arts opened the new CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio on Feb. 2. Blouin urged faculty to visit the center and said it had “The potential to serve as a very nice bridge between the University and the community.”