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Thursday March 30th

Faculty Welfare Committee aims to improve caregiving resources for UNC faculty

<p>Screenshot from the Faculty Welfare Committee meeting on Monday, April 12, 2021.</p>
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Screenshot from the Faculty Welfare Committee meeting on Monday, April 12, 2021.

For their last meeting of the academic year, members of the Faculty Welfare Committee discussed hopes for the upcoming fall semester and ongoing issues that affect faculty on Monday.

Dr. Muge Gucsavas-Calikoglu, chairperson of the committee, spoke on her expectations for the 2021-22 academic year.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "The University is going to open and all of us are vaccinated or on the way to be vaccinated, I hope. And, it is going to be a new year to which we have shown survival, resilience and hope moving forward."

What happened?

  • Gucsavas-Calikoglu announced she will be stepping down from her leadership role, citing burnout. 
    • “I am so sorry that I have not been as active as I needed to be my second time around, but I am leaving the group in capable hands,” she said. 
  • The committee discussed how to most effectively use the COACHE survey data and identify gaps to work on. COACHE is a faculty work-life survey that came out of the Collaborative On Academic Careers in Higher Education at Harvard University.
    • Gucsavas-Calikoglu said she wants to work beside the faculty on women’s issues because there are significant overlaps.
  • Members also discussed the new caregiving task force that seeks to improve resources for caregivers at UNC.  
    • J.D. DeFreese, a professor of exercise and sport science, said the caregiver task force is working to gather qualitative data to better meet the needs of those at UNC. The task force is expected to update the chancellor on progress in June.
    • Gucsavas-Calikoglu said, in her experience, the UNC School of Medicine "shortchanges” its faculty on the topic of child care. She cited the absence of sick day care for ill children. 
    • Shu Wen Ng, a professor in the Department of Nutrition, said it is important to have qualitative data that puts a face to people's stories of the difficulties in balancing work and raising children. 
      • “Faculty are human too, you know. We have families and we also have needs and challenges,” Ng said.
  • Journalism professor Rhonda Gibson said information on updates to the tenure and promotions processes, related to COVID-19, has not “trickled down” to faculty. She wants the committee to host visitors who are knowledgeable on tenure and promotions so that the committee can then disperse this information to faculty. 

Who is on the committee?

  • The committee consists of seven active University faculty members, who are appointed by the chairperson of the faculty. One administrator and two non-voting consultants are also on the committee. 
  • The committee aims to work toward the improvement of faculty working conditions, according to the Faculty Code.

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