CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated Bob Blouin's name in a quote. The article has been updated to reflect the change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced at Friday's Faculty Council meeting that he would be creating a new commission to replace former Chancellor Carol Folt's History Task Force. The commission, called the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward, will be formally announced in the next several days.
The Faculty Council also discussed the Campus Climate Survey, the Tar Heel Bus Tour and faculty satisfaction.
New Commission on History and Race
The University will hire two new faculty members to serve on the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward, Guskiewicz said in the meeting.
He also provided an update on the lawsuit concerning the use of race in the University’s admissions practices. The suit will be going to trial on June 8, per a federal judge.
“We are proudly defending this case because we think that our holistic admissions process works very well here, and provides the kind of educational benefits that are important to us as a community,” Guskiewicz said.
The council discussed faculty satisfaction at the University, continuing the discussion from a previous meeting.
Lloyd Kramer, interim chairperson of the faculty, said there's been discussion about faculty morale due to the challenges of recruiting new faculty, the need to retain current long-serving faculty members and continuing uncertainties about the state budget.
Kramer invited Executive Vice Provost Ronald Strauss to the podium to present the results of the 2018 Collaboration on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey. This project assessed the faculty climate at the University via an email sent to all faculty at the beginning of 2018.
The results presented at the meeting focused on responses from tenured and tenure-track faculty.
Before presenting, Strauss said it was important for the Faculty Council to keep the time at which the survey was issued into context when analyzing the results.
“What was happening in 2018, in February and March?” Strauss asked. “Carol Folt was still our chancellor. Bob Blouin had just started as Provost about six months before them. Winston Crisp was still our vice chancellor for student affairs. Silent Sam hadn’t been toppled yet.”
The University participated in the same study in 2015, and saw an increase in satisfaction in areas including collaboration, tenure clarity and departmental quality. The only decrease in satisfaction was with senior leadership.
AAU Campus Climate Survey
Kramer also invited interim Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Becci Menghini to the front to discuss the results from the Association of American Universities’ 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct.
The University was one of 33 schools that participated in the survey. The report found that UNC followed aggregate trends of increasing rates of non-consensual sexual touching and penetration in both women and men.
The report also found that more than 80 percent of victims told at least one other person, but only 17.5 percent contacted a resource or program.
Menghini said that these numbers are disconcerting.
“If students are not coming to University resources immediately but are experiencing traumatic events, how do we help talk to their friends who they are going to automatically, to help them know what to do and how to respond once they’ve experienced trauma of this sort?” Menghini said.
Tar Heel Bus Tour
Faculty also discussed the Tar Heel Bus Tour, a trip taken by University faculty members through different areas of North Carolina. Four professors who went on the trip shared their experiences.
Patia McGrath, a professor in the Kenan-Flagler Business School, said as a native New Yorker, she applied to the bus tour because she saw it as a good opportunity to connect to the state where she teaches.
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