Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WCU Cuts Jobs

From the Asheville Citizen Times this morning.


More of our campuses will be doing the same in the days to come.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Legislatures and Education

This piece in the morning CHRONICLE is much like what is happening in North Carolina now. We have a job to do -- working with our legislative liaisons to help our elected representatives understand what it is we do and why it has value. In times where we have experienced significant cutbacks and are anticipating more, this work is crucial to the survival of what we do.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Refusing to Cut

Today's N&O ran the story below about state agency's not offering cuts. UNC is not playing the game this way. The requested 10% will be identified, but so will some new budget requests.

It is a delicate balance between letting the state know what we assess that we need to operate and to continue to serve the citizens of North Carolina and knowing that we will have to do our part to close the budget gap. Figuring out creative, long-term solutions to this issue is something we at the Faculty Assembly have been talking about for a good while now. All state agencies will have to do the same.

Of course, cutting positions will mean the need for unemployment and other forms of support of the people who lose their positions. The state is on the line either way.

Leadership, from the governor and the General Assembly, is going to have to work closely with state agencies to make it happen. Posturing is the first thing that should go. Unfortunately, it is the only way most know how to play the game.


Published Sun, Nov 14, 2010 04:19 AM
Modified Sat, Nov 13, 2010 11:28 PM
Agencies offer little for budget
Gov. Bev Perdue's office hasn't gotten many solid suggestions from state agencies on how to fill a $3.5 billion budget hole.

The agencies were asked to cut their budgets by 5 percent, 10 percent or 15 percent by either dumping or consolidating programs and cutting management, and given an Oct.29 deadline. So far, it appears that most are ignoring the guidelines.

Perdue's budget office has gotten few suggestions for cuts. Taken together, those that have heeded the call don't come close to chopping $3.5 billion from this year's nearly $19 billion budget.

Perdue has said she would announce her plan for government consolidation after the election, offering a partial preview of her budget proposal.

The Democratic governor will be working next year with a Republican-dominated legislature looking to shake up budgeting.

"The agencies should very clearly understand the governor is looking for programs that can be eliminated," said Chrissy Pearson, Perdue's spokeswoman.

Instead, many are looking to raise revenue.

John W. Smith, the chief state courts administrator, suggested the court system could make up nearly 5 percent by increasing fees and making unspecified reductions but told Perdue's budget director the judicial branch couldn't take deeper cuts.

The Department of Insurance didn't come up with any cuts, either. Instead, the department, which lives on fees, suggested collecting more from insurers, agents, adjusters and others licensed to do business in North Carolina.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler flat-out refused to make any suggestions, saying his department has lost 180 jobs in the past 10 years. It doesn't make sense for the department to offer ideas ahead of the government consolidations that Perdue says she will make and a budget review by lawmakers, Troxler said. "This is putting the cart before the horse," he said.

The full slate of proposals is unknown. Pearson said that state budget director Charles Perusse was not able Friday afternoon to retrieve the budget cut information agencies provided electronically. "His new system has some bugs in it," Pearson said.

The UNC system said last week that a $270 million, 10 percent budget cut would cost about 1,700 jobs that likely would include faculty members. The universities, community colleges and K-12 public schools - which spend about 60 percent of the state budget - don't have to dig as deep as the other agencies. The budget office has asked them to offer cuts up to only 10 percent.

The community college office did not respond to a request for its proposal, and the state Department of Public Instruction said its suggestions for cutting K-12 education won't be ready until Monday.

A handful of smaller agencies provided copies of their suggested cuts last week.

The state Labor Department suggested cutting vacant jobs and operating expenses to help get to the 15 percent mark, and the Secretary of State's office said it could pay salaries and benefits for about 40 workers from agency receipts rather than the state budget.

State departments aren't good at coming up with their own cuts, said Rep. Jim Crawford, a Henderson Democrat who has been a chief budget writer for years.

"Agencies have traditionally picked their programs that are the most popular and put them on the chopping block," he said. The resulting public outcry usually helps spare popular programs.

It would be better if agencies made practical suggestions, especially this year, Crawford said. "If I were the agencies, I'd really look at the programs and see what they can live without and what they can't," he said.

'Revolutionary things'

Any potential savings the departments suggest will help, Pearson said.

Changes by a Republican-dominated legislature may turn budgeting on its ear, making next year's discussions about spending different from any in recent history. Legislators may start working on their own budget before Perdue submits hers, said David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican. Traditionally, legislators use the governor's budget as a template.

Rather than relying on agency suggestions, he said, legislators are going to review the functions of every department as if they'd never received money before.

Lawmakers will ask the public their budget-cut suggestions, Lewis said, and may set up a system to reward people who come up with workable ideas.

"We're going to try to do some revolutionary things," he said.

Staff writer Alan Wolf contributed to this report.

lynn.bonner@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4821

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dire Economic Times

The Greensboro News and Record this morning ran the following piece on its editorial page. It demonstrates a gathering momentum for radical solutions to our budgetary woes. We need to be thinking proactively about possible solutions to the economic situation in which we find ourselves. Other systems are shelving campuses, closing programs, and laying off faculty. We well might not escape this kind of pain. A letter below the article is one response. Our meeting this week will represent another avenue of thinking. Creativity and boldness are the order of the day.

Brains and budgets
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 (Updated 3:01 am)
Erskine Bowles stunned some observers at his final UNC Board of Governors meeting as system president last week. He said a state university campus might have to close someday to save money.

Drastic measures must be on Bowles’ mind these days. He’s been pulling double duty as co-chairman of a federal deficit-reduction commission.

Whether trying to whittle down the national debt or balancing the state budget, every option has to be considered. UNC numbers-crunchers already are looking at the potential impacts of 5 percent, 10 percent or 15 percent funding cuts. Laying off faculty and reducing course offerings are likely results in the short term. If the financial picture gets worse, more serious actions may be required.

Closing any of the UNC system’s campuses would ignite a firestorm of protest from the affected community. But, when a study of the entire state government structure is overdue, the universities can’t be overlooked. Considering the low graduation rates at some, legitimate questions about effectiveness can be raised. In fact, Bowles also suggests that budget cuts might be tied to poor academic achievement: Graduate more students, get more money; let more students drop out, lose funding. It’s a survival-of-the-fittest approach to higher education.

Yet, there’s more to a university’s value than a four-year graduation rate. Every campus accounts for a huge economic impact. Furthermore, tough times make it harder for students — especially those from economically challenged backgrounds — to stay in school. Cutting faculty and course offerings likely will slow students’ academic progress even more. Still, the state can hardly afford to continue high subsidies for poor results. Universities must find ways to improve retention and graduation rates.

One way to cope with cuts is to share resources. That’s obvious when campuses are only minutes apart. UNCG and N.C. A&T can offer more classes to students from both campuses and reduce duplication. Greater distances can be overcome by increasing the availability of online classes. A professor in Chapel Hill can lecture to students from Cullowhee to Elizabeth City all at once. A virtual campus costs less to construct than one built with bricks and mortar. It would not offer the same campus experience that present and past generations of college students have enjoyed, but North Carolina needs to provide higher education to more students at less cost per capita.

Retreating from a commitment to higher education will leave this state far behind in the race for economic growth in a sophisticated world. The smart people who run our universities must figure out how to fill more brains for the buck.

The lousy economy won’t last forever, but it can do more damage every year. North Carolina must maintain a strong public university system while spending less money. Identifying and reducing costly weaknesses is one necessary step.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 (Updated 3:05 am)

Every time the UNC budget takes a hit, chancellors threaten to cut faculty and eliminate classes. Erskine Bowles rightly targeted the university system’s bloated administration in the last belt-tightening. University bureaucracies and bureaucratic salaries grew exponentially from the mid-1990s when the system adopted a “business model,” changing its mission from providing a good education at reasonable cost to a focus on image and national standings.

Now is the time to return to the mission of providing good educational opportunities for North Carolinians at affordable prices. Instead of cutting faculty and services, the universities need to move to “step two” in trimming the bureaucracy: cutting administrator salaries to associate professor levels. Paying administrators at rates double or triple that of faculty is outrageous, given the differences in job requirements. Both of our local universities could hire Nobel laureates for the money they pay some of their administrators. It’s time to return some sanity to the cost structure of our state universities.

Harol Hoffman

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am just returned from the UNC Board of Governors Meeting. All of the talk of budget and some of the dire news reports have made me think about the beginning of our economic meltdown in the US. Wall Street was making all kinds of crazed moves while there was no watchdog.

Shared governance is the only way that we assure that all the voices in a university get heard and respected. If we neglect that duty now, we may wake up with a world we no longer recognize and do not want.

I will be communicating with delegates in a long email report in the next few hours about content. But, for now, I remind us of our duty.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Faculty Productivity

The following piece appeared in this morning's WSJ. Lest you think it is not coming to North Carolina, I can assure you that the documents I sent to you this week are already about measuring our productivity. Our value to the taxpayer is not too far away as there are always legislators wanting faculty workload information and the like. We all already know that most of our jobs are not seen by the public and there is a perception that a 9 hour teaching load, for instance, means we work for 9 hours. We have to do a better job in making our work transparent and in demonstrating its value to the people whose tax dollars support us.


THE SATURDAY ESSAYOCTOBER 22, 2010.Putting a Price on Professors
A battle in Texas over whether academic value can be measured in dollars and cents..

Carol Johnson took the podium of a lecture hall one recent morning to walk 79 students enrolled in an introductory biology course through diffusion, osmosis and the phospholipid bilayer of cell membranes.

A senior lecturer, Ms. Johnson has taught this class for years. Only recently, though, have administrators sought to quantify whether she is giving the taxpayers of Texas their money's worth.

View Full Image

Matt Wright-Steel for The Wall Street Journal

Chester Dunning, a history professor, has won several teaching awards. According to a report by the chancellor, he also loses money for the university, though his department is in the black overall.
.A 265-page spreadsheet, released last month by the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, amounted to a profit-and-loss statement for each faculty member, weighing annual salary against students taught, tuition generated, and research grants obtained.

Ms. Johnson came out very much in the black; in the period analyzed—fiscal year 2009—she netted the public university $279,617. Some of her colleagues weren't nearly so profitable. Newly hired assistant professor Charles Criscione, for instance, spent much of the year setting up a lab to research parasite genetics and ended up $45,305 in the red.

The balance sheet sparked an immediate uproar from faculty, who called it misleading, simplistic and crass—not to mention, riddled with errors. But the move here comes amid a national drive, backed by some on both the left and the right, to assess more rigorously what, exactly, public universities are doing with their students—and their tax dollars.

.As budget pressures mount, legislators and governors are increasingly demanding data proving that money given to colleges is well spent. States spend about 11% of their general-fund budgets subsidizing higher education. That totaled more than $78 billion in fiscal year 2008, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

The movement is driven as well by dismal educational statistics. Just over half of all freshmen entering four-year public colleges will earn a degree from that institution within six years, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

And among those with diplomas, just 31% could pass the most recent national prose literacy test, given in 2003; that's down from 40% a decade earlier, the department says.

"For years and years, universities got away with, 'Trust us—it'll be worth it,'" said F. King Alexander, president of California State University at Long Beach.

But no more: "Every conversation we have with these institutions now revolves around productivity," says Jason Bearce, associate commissioner for higher education in Indiana. He tells administrators it's not enough to find efficiencies in their operations; they must seek "academic efficiency" as well, graduating more students more quickly and with more demonstrable skills. The National Governors Association echoes that mantra; it just formed a commission focused on improving productivity in higher education.

View Full Image

Carol Johnson lectures at Texas A&M; she netted the university $279,617, according to the chancellor's report.
.This new emphasis has raised hackles in academia. Some professors express deep concern that the focus on serving student "customers" and delivering value to taxpayers will turn public colleges into factories. They worry that it will upend the essential nature of a university, where the Milton scholar who teaches a senior seminar to five English majors is valued as much as the engineering professor who lands a million-dollar research grant.

And they fear too much tinkering will destroy an educational system that, despite its acknowledged flaws, remains the envy of much of the world. "It's a reflection of a much more corporate model of running a university, and it's getting away from the idea of the university as public good," says John Curtis, research director for the American Association of University Professors.

Efforts to remake higher education generally fall into two categories. In some states, including Ohio and Indiana, public officials have ordered a new approach to funding, based not on how many students enroll but on what they accomplish.

Details vary, but colleges typically earn points under such a system for pushing students to take science, engineering and math; for ensuring that they complete classes that they start; for improving on-time graduation rates; and for boosting more low-income students to degrees.

.These performance metrics generally affect just a portion of an institution's public funding—but that can be significant. In Ohio, for example, state funding for one community college jumped 11% in each of the past two years because of the new formulas. Several four-year campuses, by contrast, lost about 5% a year. President Barack Obama has pushed for similar incentives on a national level but could not get a proposed $2.5 billion fund for high-achieving colleges through Congress.

A second approach to reform is driven by college administrators seeking to build credibility with the public by disclosing their school's strengths and weaknesses.

Minnesota's state college system has created an online "accountability dashboard" for each campus. Bright, gas-gauge-style graphics indicate how many students complete their degrees; how run-down (or up-to-date) facilities are; and how many graduates pass professional licensing exams.

The California State University system, using data from outside sources, posts online the median starting and mid-career salaries for graduates of each campus, as well as their average student loan debt. "Taxpayers can make a pretty good estimate of their rate of return," says Mr. Alexander, president of CSU Long Beach.

A few schools have even taken to guaranteeing their education. Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., pledges to retrain any of its graduates whose employers are dissatisfied with their skills or attitude.

View Full Image

Matt Wright-Steel for the Wall Street Journal

Assistant professor Charles Criscione works one-on-one with an undergraduate; he ended up $45,305 in the red.
.Concern about America's higher-education system kicked into high gear in 2006 when Margaret Spellings, education secretary for President George W. Bush, issued a biting report. She chided universities for coasting on their reputations and urged them to start measuring how much students learn—and why a degree costs so much.

The same year, a survey conducted by a coalition of corporations found that nearly 30% of employers ranked new hires with four-year college diplomas as "deficient" in written communication skills.

The reports jolted academia. Scrambling to respond, scores of public colleges agreed to post data they had previously kept private on a "College Portraits" website—including their scores on standardized tests that attempt to measure how much a school improves students' critical thinking skills between freshman and senior years. About 300 colleges now participate in the site, run by two consortiums of public colleges.

Public Higher Ed: From Jefferson to the Cold War
View Full Image

Getty Images

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which formally opened in January 1795 with a single professor, Rev. David Ker, was the country's first public university to admit students. One of the duties of the school's early professors was to perform morning and evening prayers and examine students on the "principles of morality and religion." By the end of June, 41 students had enrolled.

View Full Image


The University of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson, along with his friend James Madison, believed that public education was vital to maintaining a strong republic. In 1789, he wrote that "wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government." He founded the University of Virginia—the country's first nonsectarian university and the first to use an elective course system—in 1819.

View Full Image


President Abraham Lincoln
The Morrill Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, laid the foundation for a nationwide system of public universities. It granted each state 30,000 acres of land for every member of its congressional delegation. The land was then sold off to fund public colleges, with a particular focus on schools that specialized in agriculture, engineering and science. The act ultimately funded 69 universities.

The standards for tenure, or job protection for professors, were first laid out in 1915 by the American Association of University Professors over concerns about academic freedom. (There had been several incidents in which colleges punished or fired faculty—for teaching evolution, for example.) As of 2007, 21% of U.S. faculty members were full-time and tenured, down from 37% in 1975.

View Full Image

Getty Images

Scientist operating micromanipulator
In the postwar years, a flood of federal research money transformed U.S. universities and boosted their reputations internationally. Vannevar Bush, director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, wrote in an influential 1945 report that basic scientific research should take place in universities, relatively free from the pressures of "convention, prejudice or commercial necessity."

View Full Image

Getty Images

Dr. Clark Kerr
From 1958 to 1967, Clark Kerr served as president of the University of California system, expanding its reach and inspiring other state officials to follow his model. He created a system with multiple campuses state-wide to serve a range of students, from community colleges to elite research universities. He also proposed that every student should be able to go to college, regardless of ability to pay.
.To critics, that isn't enough. They see a system in which some tenured professors teach just two or three classes a year, sometimes on obscure topics that mesh with their research but not necessarily with student needs. At the same time, more instruction is handled by part-time lecturers, who now make up at least 50% of the nation's higher-education faculty—up from 30% in 1975, according to the American Association of University Professors.

Meanwhile, tuition is soaring; undergraduate costs at public four-year universities climbed 139% between 1990 and 2010, according to the nonprofit College Board. Last school year, average tuition and fees were $7,020 at a four-year public university and $26,273 at a private institution, the College Board says.

Nowhere has the overhaul movement taken hold more firmly than in Texas. A law that took effect this fall—and which passed the legislature unanimously— requires public universities to post online the budget of each academic department, the curriculum vitae of each instructor, full descriptions and reading lists for each course and student evaluations of each faculty member. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, requ ires the information to be accessible within three clicks of the college's home page.

Supporters say the information will help students pick useful classes so that they can move more quickly toward degrees. Skeptics fear it will spark culture wars as left and right tussle over the merits of specific classes and teachers. Ideologues could "find something they don't like in a syllabus, take it out of context and paint the wrong picture," said Karan Watson, interim provost at Texas A&M.

Others are concerned that posting students' evaluations online will boost the status of professors who are entertaining—or an easy A—over those who require kids to wrestle with tough material. "I know from experience that everyone who taught statistics got a lower evaluation than those who taught courses that were a little less challenging," says John Antel, provost at the University of Houston.

Individual Texas colleges also are moving on their own reforms. Thomas Evenson, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas, has ordered his faculty to spend at least four hours a day, four days a week, on campus or engaged in field research, in addition to the hours they spend teaching. The goal: to make "more of an effort" to ensure that faculty are "present, available and productive," he said. The University of Houston has doubled the pot of money set aside for teaching awards, to $400,000 a year.

But perhaps the most far-reaching initiative is the cost-benefit balance sheet at Texas A&M, the oldest public university in the state. Each faculty member is assessed on criteria including the number of classes that they teach, the tuition that they bring in and research grants that they generate.

One metric divides their salary by the number of students that they teach. The range is striking. Some nontenured lecturers earn less than $100 for each student they instruct. Other professors are teaching such small classes that their compensation works out to more than $10,000—in a few cases, more than $20,000—per student.

Mr. Criscione, the assistant professor studying parasites, came out at $23,563 per student. He says that is because he was setting up his lab and applying for grants most of that year, as is standard for new hires in the biology department, so he supervised just two students.

Faculty on the huge flagship campus, which serves 39,000 undergraduates here in east-central Texas, say some of the data on the spreadsheet are inaccurate, including inflated salaries and missing grants. They also say it's unfair to judge their productivity by class size when they often can't pick what they teach but are assigned by their department heads.

And they point out that the data do not take into account the many hours spent preparing lectures, advising students, serving on curriculum review committees or making other contributions to the college community. "A 50-minute lecture takes me two days to prepare," says Mr. Criscione. "There are 24 lectures in a semester, so you do the math."

In response to complaints, administrators recently pulled the report from a public website to review the data. University President R. Bowen Loftin sent a letter to faculty promising the data wouldn't be used to "assess the overall productivity" of individuals.

Administrators in the chancellor's office, which produced the document, declined to be interviewed. The Board of Regents also declined.

The concept of a productivity spreadsheet came from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that Gov. Rick Perry invited to a state university summit in May 2008. The group suggested several reforms with a common theme: Let taxpayers see what's going on at every public institution—and let them decide what's worth subsidizing.

Bill Peacock, a vice president at the foundation, acknowledges that this approach could mean a radical reshaping of academia, with far more emphasis on filling students with practical information and less on intellectual pursuits, especially in the liberal arts.

That's OK by him. "Taxpayers of the state of Texas," Mr. Peacock says, should decide whether "they should be spending two years paying the salary of an English professor so he can write a book of poetry simply to add to the prestige of the university or the body of literature out there."

When the choice is put that bluntly, Chester Dunning, a history professor at Texas A&M, wonders if he'd pass muster. Mr. Dunning teaches two classes a semester and has won several teaching awards. His salary of about $90,000 a year also covers the time he spends researching Russian literature and history. His most recent book argues that Alexander Pushkin's drama "Boris Godunov" was a comedy, not a tragedy.

Mr. Dunning says his scholarly work animates his teaching and inspires his students. "But if you want me to explain why a grocery clerk in Texas should pay taxes for me to write those books, I can't give you an answer," he says.

His eyes sweep his cramped office, lined with books. Then Mr. Dunning finds his answer. "We've only got 5,000 years of recorded human history," he says, "and I think we need every precious bit of it."

Write to Stephanie Simon at stephanie.simon@wsj.com

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit

More In Life & Culture
EmailPrinter FriendlyOrder Reprints Share: facebook
Yahoo! Buzz

Journal Community.Add a CommentWe welcome your thoughtful comments. Please comply with our Community rules. All comments will display your real name.
Want to participate in the discussion?Register for Free Or log in or become a subscriber now for complete Journal access.
Track replies to my comment Go to Comments tab ClearPost
Related Stories.A Luxury Shopping Guide to Buying Wine, Helicopters, Vintage Cars, Handbags, Face-Lifts and Estate JewelryYesterday 10:00 P.M. .Book review: Higher Education?8/2/2010 .Tight Races, Moon's Water, Not-So-Private Apps11 hrs ago .Standards and PracticesYesterday 12:01 A.M. .Reviews for 'Nowhere Boy,' 'Leaving,' 'Secretariat,' and More10/8/2010 .Recession-Swelled Rolls Test Community Colleges9/30/2010 .Texas Hailstorms Drive Cotton Prices Higher 11 hrs ago Subscriber Content Read Preview
.At Oktoberfest, a Controversy Brews Over Racy Designer Dirndls9/30/2010 . .
Related Videos. 10/5/2010 Campaign Journal: Can Republicans Take the Senate? . 10/7/2010 Currency 'War' Sparks Global Tensions as the U.S and China Battle over the Value of the Yuan. . 9/30/2010 PM Report: Rahm Emanuel to Step Down . .
.Back To . .
Back To..MSN Money Homepage.MSN Money Investing. .nullEmail Newsletters and AlertsThe latest news and analysis delivered to your in-box. Check the boxes below to sign up.
WSJ.com Email Features Personal Journal Update In Today's Paper SubmitThe email address null is already associated with another account. Please enter a different email address:
Enter Your Email

Sign UpSIGN UP New! To sign up for Keyword or Symbol Alerts click here.To view or change all of your email settings, visit the Email Setup Center..Thank you null!
You will receive in your inbox.
To view or change all of your email settings, visit the Email Setup Center.
nullEmail Newsletters and AlertsThe latest news and analysis delivered to your in-box. Check the boxes below to sign up.
WSJ.com Email Features This Week's Most Popular On the Editorial Page SubmitThe email address null is already associated with another account. Please enter a different email address:
Enter Your Email

Sign UpSIGN UP Manage Email Preferences.Thank you !
You will receive in your inbox.
Manage Email Preferences
Recent Columns.Putting a Price on Professors .The Karma of the Tea Party .Goodbye, Free Trade? . .
Video .previous next Talking with "Hip-Hop Godfather" Russell Simmons 15:48 . French Senate Passes Pension Reform 1:39 . Cholera in Haiti 1:46 . .
More in Life & Culture.Watching Baseball Through 'Knothole' Isn't Naughty .Rangers Leave No Doubt .Shanghai: The Bling Dynasty .Comfortable but Not Too Familiar .On the Threshold of the Avatar Era . .
Most Popular.Read Emailed Video Commented Searches .1.Opinion: Noonan: Tea Party to the Rescue .2.Moon Not Only Has Water, but Lots of It .3.Opinion: Emilio Karim Dabul: NPR's Taxpayer-Funded Intolerance .4.H-P Releases Its $800 iPad Rival .5.WikiLeaks Prompts U.S. Alert to Iraqis .1.Opinion: Noonan: Tea Party to the Rescue .2.Big Spender: Public-Employees Union .3.Big Step for Yuengling .4.Opinion: Emilio Karim Dabul: NPR's Taxpayer-Funded Intolerance .5.Silicon Valley 3.0: Tech's New Wave .1.digits: H-P Starts Selling Slate Tablet.2.Talking with "Hip-Hop Godfather" Russell Simmons.3.Opinion Journal: Bush Is Back?.4.PM Report: U.S. Encounters Turbulence at G20 Event.5.Cutting Back: Italians Endure Government Cuts.1. Obama's Incoherent Closing Argument800 comments .2. Opinion: Tea Party to the Rescue614 comments .3. NPR Firing of Analyst Sparks Media Debate520 comments .4. Opinion: NPR's Taxpayer-Funded Intolerance443 comments .5. Niche Lawyers Spawned Housing Fracas333 comments .1. Facebook.2. economy.3. Apple.4. Mad Men.5. China.Most Read Articles FeedMost Emailed FeedMost Popular Video FeedMost Commented FeedMost Popular Feeds .Editors' Picks. Crystal Cathedral's Cracks Show in Bankruptcy Filing . Biodynamics: Natural Wonder or Horn of Manure? . Watergate Prosecutor Neal Dies . Homeowners Win Fights Over Mistaken Foreclosures . Silicon Valley 3.0: Tech's New Wave . Baby Names Q&A: Why Jayden Rules the Crib . The State of Jay-Z's Empire . Moon Not Only Has Water, but Lots of It . 'Boxing Gym': A Bout With Human Nature .

Friday, October 8, 2010

BOG Update

The UNC Board of Governors met Thursday and today. Here are some highlights.

1. UNC Online. The board saw the proctoring system being run at ECU on a start-up basis. It prompted a discussion about online education and where we need to be going in the near future. The next UNC Online Project Task Force meeting in two weeks will include Hannah Gage and our meeting on online issues is in March. There are a number of issues we want to get out in front on. More to come.

2. Budget. Setting budget priorities is the big topic on the table now. How to handle tuition is also something that will be determined. The latter is a scheduled review. Deferred maintenance (see the recent N&O article) will likely get emphasis. Capital projects will be scaled back (as with the decision not to build the UNC Law School). We will have to follow all of these discussions carefully. We also should note that enrollment funding is likely to have some significant change (we will be looking at a new model later this month for connecting enrollment to retention and graduation) and we also need to follow the discussions on where tuition dollars will go (to campuses or to the general fund; we, of course, prefer the former).

3. Executive Compensation will be an on-going issue in P&T. A study done last year reveals that we are significantly behind most of our peers for Chancellors. But EVERYONE from President Bowles down stressed that NOTHING is to be done now in this climate and NOTHING is to be done until the Faculty and Staff get the raises that they also deserve. The issue here is how to recruit and retain the best....no matter what the category of employment.

4. We have to set new peers for each school. That process will be delayed until Tom Ross comes on board in January.

5. The big news, new VP for Finance Ernie Murphrey is retiring at the end of the year and Jeff Davies will head the search for his replacement ASAP. Ernie has a long career with our system, but needs to step away to deal with some family issues.

These highlights give you an idea of what is happening. UNC Football was on the front pages, so you can read that one on your own.