The following is a synopsis of current progress towards implementing the 2011 Academic Plan:
ACADEMIC PLAN: PROGRESS AND IMPLEMENTATION AS OF AUGUST, 2012
- Guarantee every entering first-year student a seat in a First Year Seminar – Funds have been allocated towards making this goal a reality and approximately 80% of First Year students will be able to enroll in a First Year seminar this coming year.
- Pilot innovative lecture courses – Funds have been allocated to support a slate of 3-credit courses advanced and approved by the College of Arts & Sciences. New one credit courses proposed were not funded this year.
- Support the expansion of the Honors Program and develop alternate opportunities to Honors – The Honors Program has achieved its goal of doubling the number of incoming Honors Program students with over 400 enrolled for the Fall 2012 semester.
- Reinstate the spousal hiring program – As of October 2011, the spousal hiring program has been fully restored with the Provost’s Office agreeing to assist departments in recruiting, funding and employing partners of new tenure track or tenured faculty to the University.
- Fund University libraries so they can collect and preserve the scholarly materials that faculty require – Recurring funding has been approved for campus library resources.
- Recognize and reward the contributions of fixed-term faculty to the teaching and research missions of the University – A third rank for lecturers has recently been established.
- Endorse and support faculty research and study assignment provisions across the University – A survey was recently completed that polled faculty members about their views and suggestions on this issue which will be used to inform the decisions that are made going forward.
- Coordinate and expedite collaborative teaching efforts across departments, schools, and disciplines in terms of co-funding mechanisms – The College of Arts & Sciences has committed funds for the coming academic year to encourage the development of interdisciplinary teaching and research in three areas: conferences; research initiatives; team teaching initiatives.
- Develop strategic programs to support short- and long-term interdisciplinary research and teaching programs such as expanded joint hiring of interdisciplinary faculty – A fund was established for the hiring of new faculty in the areas of Applied Physical Sciences and Health Informatics.
- Broaden the mandate and resources of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and empower its staff to monitor progress toward the University’s goals – The Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs has been awarded funds for staff and office restructuring and will now add to its portfolio developing methods to help hiring committees address issues of equity and inclusion in the search process.
- Initiate a comprehensive review of harassment and discrimination policies, particularly the student grievance policy. Establish a network of student grievance mentors to help resolve conflicts and grievances. Establish a task force to examine whether a student ombudsperson is needed – In November 2011, a memo endorsing expansion of the Ombuds Office purview to include students was forwarded to the Provost by the Equity & Inclusion Subcommittee. Further discussions are needed with Student Affairs but the Ombuds Office staff began working with undergraduate students as of July 1, 2012.
- UNC-Chapel Hill should maintain its strategic partnerships with North Carolina high schools with substantial Native American, Latino, and African American populations, expanding them in advantageous directions, such as UNC-Pembroke’s First Peoples program and the Project Uplift program in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs – This is the purpose of the Carolina Advising Corps. We have 29 recent graduates working as college and financial advisers in 57 low-income high schools across the state. During the last academic year, they conducted more than 10,000 one-on-one meetings with more than 9,200 students and held more than 2,000 groups meetings and classroom presentations.
- Increase the number of faculty with international expertise – At last count, the campus faculty has very significant international expertise, with deliberate unit-based investment in new global faculty.
- GRI and the campus launched the theme of Water in our World.
- Global Visiting Students @ UNC being rolled out for Fall, 2013
- Global housing and Living-learning initiatives begun
Submitted Proposals Awaiting Implementation
- Pilot innovative lecture courses – A formal proposal for large, 1-credit lecture courses separate from those being advanced by the College of Arts & Sciences has been submitted and the vetting process is forthcoming.
- Create a pilot Faculty-Student Mentoring Program – A subcommittee has been convened and has generated a preliminary proposal for an on-line mentoring hub. Financial implications have been discussed and the work to polish this program is ongoing.
- Launch a UNC Engagement Council – Spearheaded by the Carolina Center for Public Service, a proposal for the aforementioned council has been drafted and forwarded to the Provost for review. The next steps after approval of this proposal are selecting and convening the members of the executive group for this council.
Recommendations Currently In Process
- Create Bachelor’s to Master’s degrees that can be earned in four or five years of combined study – A subcommittee has been convened which has met with various campus constituents to discuss both the academic and financial ramifications of such programs. A key component for the success of this endeavor will be the approval of the MA in Global Studies, now pending at General Administration. In terms of direct-entry programs, the School of Information & Library Science currently has a BSIS – MSIS program.
- Develop direct-entry undergraduate-professional school matriculation programs – Planning needs to begin to determine interest in direct-entry tracks for Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Social Work, and Public Health, among others.
- Establish a Provost’s committee of students, faculty, and administrators to examine existing academic regulations – A working group has met several times and includes faculty from a variety of areas, including Academic Advising, Student Affairs, Arts & Sciences, Medicine, Registrar’s office, and several undergraduate students. Issues of discussion include: Cross-school registration; double majors and time to completion; 1st year guide for new students; junior year preparation for graduation; communication of academic regulation to students; and part-time and transfer student concerns.
- Ensure that salaries and compensation are equitable through continuous monitoring of faculty and staff salaries – The Faculty Salary Equity Task Force recently completed its large-scale report and the deans of each program and school have been asked to identify any individual outliers and explain their situations. The findings of this study will be rendered to the Provost in a report that is being drafted currently by the staff in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
- Enhance facilities and technological systems for interdisciplinary activity, specifically space development and reallocation for short-term projects – Planning for interdisciplinary research space at Carolina North is currently underway. Seeking to establish a new incubator space in downtown.
- Develop strategic programs to support short- and long-term interdisciplinary research and teaching programs such as scholars or artists in residence – The Global Research Institute recently welcomed a cohort of GRI Fellows for the 2012 -2013 academic year. The University’s diplomat in residence program also fulfills this recommendation’s aim.
- Coordinate and expedite collaborative teaching efforts across departments, schools, and disciplines in terms of maximum collaboration and resource sharing with other Universities – In addition to our growing partnerships with Kings College London and the National University of Singapore, a biodiversity endeavor in Brunei is underway.
- Facilitate interdisciplinary activities such as an annual interdisciplinary conference or speaker series – This is being handled via our first campus-wide theme, Water in Our World. Funding is being provided by the Budget Committee for speakers and joint endeavors.
- Require equity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff participating on search committees for faculty and EPA staff positions – An ongoing task for the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.
- Explore and implement new strategies for recruitment that will increase the breadth of representation among Carolina faculty and administrators – An ongoing task for the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.
- All academic and enrichment programs should offer and advertise application fee waivers so that no potentially qualified applicant is discouraged from applying due to financial constraints – Undergraduate Admissions already waives fees for the most disadvantaged students, and are working to make sure that waivers are made available to those in need who apply.
- Establish priority registration for students who have significant commitments outside the University, such as parenting or employment in order to pay for school. Allowing student parents and those who must work more than half time to register for classes early will provide them maximum flexibility in scheduling their classes, which will facilitate their progress toward graduation – Discussions with the Registrar have begun on this issue.
- Examine policies for undergraduate and graduate students that govern continuous enrollment, semester limits, and academic eligibility to determine if more options and advising can be provided for students whose circumstances place them at risk for not graduating in a timely fashion – Graduate School Dean Steve Matson will soon appoint a committee for this purpose.
- Include engaged scholarship and activities in promotion and tenure evaluations – In March, 2011, the Provost’s Office asked the deans to provide a comprehensive update to their promotion and tenure policies, with a December 2012 submission date. All schools will have presented the final version of their reports by March 2013.
- Augment global learning opportunities for students – With the completion of a global student survey in late 2011 and ongoing conversations with campus partners, the following options are now being explored: global-themed housing opportunities; a global students buddy organization; a global students’ handbook.