Handbook for Delegates to the UNC Faculty Assembly

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. History and Role of Faculty Assembly

a. Establishment
b. Charge
c. Proportional Representation among the Campuses
d. Bylaw Provisions

III. Relationships with Campus Faculty Governance Leaders

a. Relationship between Campuses and the UNC Faculty Assembly in General
b. Faculty Senate Chairs
c. Faculty Senates/Councils
d. Sharing Work in Progress and Important Campus Reports

IV. Structure of Faculty Assembly

a. The Assembly as a Whole
b. Faculty Assembly Officers and Staff
c. Faculty Assembly Executive Committee
d. Assembly Committees and Task Forces

V. Responsibilities of Delegates and Alternates

a. Terms of Office
b. Identification of Campus Lead Delegate
c. Preparation and Participation in Meetings
d. Faculty Assembly Committee Work
e. Communication with Colleagues on Campus
f. Identifying Campus Insights and Issues to Share
g. Campus Alternates: Staying in Touch and Responsibilities

VI. Communications

a. Key Contacts
b. UNC Faculty Assembly Web Site
c. Keeping Records Up to Date

VII. Logistical Issues

a. Meeting Location and Dates
b. Attendance Plans
c. Travel
d. Lodging
e. Food
f. Reimbursement Protocols

Appendix: Additional Resources

a. On the University of North Carolina (System) Website
b. On the UNC Faculty Assembly Website


I. Introduction

Welcome to the UNC Faculty Assembly. Your campus colleagues elected you to serve with others from across the UNC system as advisors and advocates relating to matters of how the University of North Carolina operates in regard to faculty issues. This handbook will assist you in your service. If you have questions that are not answered here, e-mail them to Sandie Gravett (gravettsl@appstate.edu or slgravett@hotmail.com), current UNC Faculty Assembly Chair.

II. History and Role of the UNC Faculty Assembly

a. Establishment

The UNC Faculty Assembly was established in 1972, at the time that several campuses were “consolidated” under the UNC system. Created at the request of then UNC President William Friday, the Assembly continues to work with the President, UNC General Administration, and the Board of Governors to represent campus concerns and communicate policies of the University.

b. Charge

Under the UNC Faculty Assembly’s Charter, the Assembly serves to:

  1. gather and exchange information on behalf of the faculties of the constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina;
  2. advise the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, the General Assembly, and other governmental agencies and officers on matters of university-wide importance through the appropriate channels; and
  3. advise and communicate with the President of the University of North Carolina with regard to the interests of the faculties and other matters of university-wide importance. 

c. Proportional Representation among the Campuses

The Faculty Assembly’s Charter (http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/charter.htm) provides for proportionate representation for each campus, under a system which allocates 2, 3, 4, or 5 delegates per campus, depending on that campus’s budgeted full-time faculty positions as seen in relationship to full-time faculty positions for the whole UNC system. The number of delegates is reviewed and determined based on a three-year rolling average. All delegates must be full-time faculty members (including librarians with faculty rank), but campuses are allowed to make their own judgments on the process of selection. Changes in the Charter require approval by 2/3 of the campuses before taking effect.

d. Bylaw Provisions

The Faculty Assembly’s Bylaws (http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/bylaws.htm) address the details of its operation. The Bylaws specify the length of terms served by delegates (2 or 3 years, at a campus’s discretion), limit the length of service, and provide that alternates should be selected. The Bylaws also address such issues as officer and committee responsibilities and serve as the source of guidance regarding elections and voting. They specify that Roberts’ Rules of Order function to address procedural issues.

III. Relationships with Campus Faculty Governance Leaders

a. Relationship between Campuses and the UNC Faculty Assembly in General

The UNC Faculty Assembly operates as an extension of campus faculty governance activities, but has no power to direct faculty senates to proceed in any particular manner. UNC Faculty Assembly campus delegations in some instances serve as members of their local Faculty Senates/Councils. UNC Faculty Assembly minutes appear on its website and delegates should share this information with the Faculty Senators on their campuses. The Bylaws indicate that Faculty Assembly delegates present a yearly report to their campus Senates no later than the last meeting of the Senate during a given academic year. The UNC Faculty Assembly from time to time determines that delegates should ask their campus Senates to address particular matters in order to provide a record of faculty viewpoints that can prove critical in conveying faculty views to the UNC system leadership or the Board of Governors.

b. Faculty Senate Chairs

Campuses determine whether their current Faculty Senate Chairs serve as members of their local Faculty Assembly delegations. Many campuses choose to send their current Senate Chairs as delegates to the Assembly (within their total number of delegates), but others choose for their “Chair-Elects” to serve in that capacity. The Assembly endeavors to communicate with campus Faculty Senate Chairs as a matter of course, even if the current Faculty Senate Chair is not formally a delegate. Faculty Senate Chairs who are not current Assembly delegates may attend and participate in Faculty Assembly meetings, but may not vote.

c. Faculty Senates/Councils

Faculty Senates or Councils on the campuses (http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/camfacgovlinks.htm) are situated at the heart of shared governance, since the campuses are the place where education is delivered, faculty live and work, and critical decisions are made. In important respects, campus action is controlled by provisions of state legislation as well as by the UNC Code (the first chapter of the UNC Policy Manual, approved by the UNC Board of Governors), found athttp://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php. For example, Section 502 of the UNC Code details the relations of the Chancellors to the UNC system President, to the campus Board of Trustees, and to the “institution” they serve. Section 502D(2) provides:

(2) The chancellor shall be a member of all faculties and other academic bodies of the institution and shall have the right to preside over the deliberations of any legislative bodies of the faculties of the institution.

The chancellor shall be responsible for ensuring that there exists in the institution a faculty council or senate, a majority of whose members are elected by and from the members of the faculty. The general faculty, however, which shall include at least all full-time faculty and appropriate administrators, may function as the council or senate. The faculty shall be served by a chair elected either by the general faculty or by the council or senate. However, the chancellor may attend and preside over all meetings of the council or senate. The council or senate may advise the chancellor on any matters pertaining to the institution that are of interest and concern to the faculty.

In addition to ensuring the establishment of a council or senate, the chancellor shall ensure the establishment of appropriate procedures within the institution to provide members of the faculty the means to give advice with respect to questions of academic policy and institutional governance, with particular emphasis upon matters of curriculum, degree requirements, instructional standards, and grading criteria. The procedures for giving advice may be through the council or senate, standing or special committees or other consultative means.

Other provisions (particularly Sections 601-610) are important because they address academic freedom, tenure and promotion, and other issues of considerable concern to faculty members. The duties of campus Boards of Trustees are set forth athttp://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=vb&node_id=4210.

Faculty Assembly delegates should also familiarize themselves with such key provisions of the UNC Policy Manual as those relating to detailed aspects of tenure and promotion, faculty grievances, faculty service and military leave, faculty serious illness and disability leave, political activities and candidacy, relationships with students, and much more. While Assembly delegates should not try to provide “free-lance” interpretations of policies such as these, their responsibilities extend to understanding the relationship between campus policies and UNC system policies in order to help alert colleagues of key developments in times of need.

The UNC Faculty Assembly serves as a liaison to UNC General Administration, which in turn operates under the oversight of the UNC Board of Governors (the citizen governing board charged by the North Carolina Legislature with many responsibilities for decision-making and oversight of the collective UNC campuses). Faculty Assembly leaders endeavor to attend all Board of Governors meetings and communicate information that is made available to them so that those on faculty leaders on the campuses can know what is going on. Delegates are also encouraged to subscribe to the e-mail mailing list that notifies interested parties of matters on the UNC Board of Governors’ meeting agenda (https://www.northcarolina.edu/bog/subscribe.php). For those interested in learning more about the legal framework governing the UNC system, relevant statutes are available athttp://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByChapter/Chapter_116.pdf.

UNC Faculty Assembly delegates can assist their campuses by becoming familiar with the structural relationship between the UNC system and the individual campuses, staying up-to-date on current developments, and sharing emerging issues from the campuses with the UNC Faculty Assembly leadership so that coordinated efforts can be undertaken where relevant. Recent examples where such coordination has proved helpful include the development of updated campus post-tenure-review policies and the articulation of a united faculty view concerning changes in the UNC Code and Policy Manual regarding conditions controlling potential discharge of faculty members for cause.

d. Sharing Work in Progress and Important Campus Reports

Faculty Senates on the individual campuses undertake important work every year on a variety of subjects. One of the principal responsibilities of the UNC Faculty Assembly is to facilitate communication and exchange of best practices within the UNC system. The Faculty Assembly has therefore asked campus delegations to assure that minutes of Faculty Senate meetings on the campuses, and major reports (on such difficult questions as work load, tenure-review, support for non-tenure-track faculty members, and so forth) are shared with the Faculty Assembly leadership so that this information can be made available to all.

IV. Structure and Operation of the UNC Faculty Assembly

a. The Assembly as a Whole

The UNC Faculty Assembly endeavors to meet at least five times per year. Since July 2008, substantial cuts by UNC General Administration and state constraints on funding of travel have limited in-person meetings. If state funds are not made available for the scheduled meetings, efforts are made to secure private funding to cover costs of delegates from campuses 100 miles or more distant from Chapel Hill where the meetings will be held.

UNC Faculty Assembly meetings generally run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on designated Fridays through the academic year. Meeting dates are posted at http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/meetings/index.php.

b. Faculty Assembly Officers and Staff

The Faculty Assembly has several officers: a Chair (serving a two-year term), a Chair-Elect (who serves for one year in that capacity and then takes on a two-year term as Chair), a Vice Chair (elected for a two-year term), a Secretary (elected for a one-year term), and a Parliamentarian (appointed for a one-year term by the Chair from among either current or past delegates). The Assembly also has a staff liaison who provides support at General Administration.

The Faculty Assembly Chair and Chair-Elect endeavor to attend all UNC Board of Governors meetings and try to work together in raising issues with UNC General Administration as appropriate. The Chair endeavors to make available to delegates information regarding particularly significant correspondence and other developments. In addition, the Faculty Assembly Chair attends meetings of the Chief Academic Officers (Provosts) and the Chief Financial Officers from around the UNC system, and may be appointed to serve on various committees or task forces for the UNC system.

c. Faculty Assembly Executive Committee

The Faculty Assembly Charter and Bylaws were revised in 2008 to provide for an Executive Committee elected in a way that allows representation of campuses by “size-clusters,” and in 2010 to assure the service of the chair of the Historically Minority Institutions committee. At one of the spring Faculty Assembly meetings, delegates from campuses with five delegates (ASU, ECU, NCSU, UNC-CH, UNCC, UNCG) elect one member, those with four delegates (FSU, NC A&T, UNCW) elect one member, those with three delegates (NCCU, UNCP, WCU, WSSU) elect one member, and those with two delegates (ECSU, NCSSM, UNCA, UNCSA) elect one member. The Assembly as a whole elects two members “at large.” At least one member of the Executive Committee must be drawn from a historically minority institution. There are other limitations on membership of the Executive Committee set forth in the Bylaws.

d. Assembly Committees and Task Forces

The Bylaws provide for one standing committee: Historically Minority Institutions. This committee will cover issues relating to historically minority institutions (HMI) and minority issues, system-wide and nationally, and work with other committees to assure that priority issues important to HMI's are incorporated into the thinking and work of all other committees.

The Chair, in cooperation with the Executive Committee, will determine the need for other committees and workgroups and task delegates with assignments as needed.

V. Responsibilities of Delegates and Alternates

a. Terms of Office

Faculty Assembly delegates serve for terms specified under their campus's policies. Terms begin on July 1 and run through June 30. Delegates who may be on leave during a give year have discretion to advise their campus Faculty Senate Chair whether they wish to relinquish their term altogether or request that an alternate serve during a specified period.

b. Identification of Campus Lead Delegate

Campus delegates should select one of their number (their current Faculty Senate chair or a senior delegate) to serve as their campus’s “lead delegate” in order to assist Faculty Assembly leaders to encourage coordination in travel, communications to the delegations, communications to faculty colleagues on campus, and other matters.

c. Preparation and Participation in Meetings

All UNC Faculty Assembly delegates are expected to prepare for and participate in meetings unless they have made arrangements for a campus “alternate” to take on their responsibilities for a given meeting. Materials for meetings will be made available electronically a week prior to a designated meeting, if at all possible, and delegates are encouraged to download, print, review, and bring relevant materials with them. Delegates who will be absent from a particular meeting are expected to arrange for an alternate from their campus to stand in for them and to attend committee meetings in their stead.

No printed materials will be available at meetings.

d. Faculty Assembly Committee Work

Delegates need to bear in mind that the effectiveness of the UNC Faculty Assembly depends in large part on the work of its committees, both during and between meetings. All delegates are expected to participate actively in the work of the UNC Faculty Assembly committees to which they are assigned.

e. Communication with Colleagues on Campus

UNC Faculty Assembly delegates serve as principal contacts among faculty colleagues from across the system. They should take responsibility to “network” with others in order to increase communication where needed.

f. Identifying Campus Insights and Issues to Share

Faculty delegates from a specific campus should take responsibility for raising concerns about critical issues facing their campuses, as well as “best practices” developed by their campuses that might benefit those on other campuses. Related ideas should be shared with the leaders of the UNC Faculty Assembly so that they can consider how best to proceed.

g. Campus Alternates: Staying in Touch and Responsibilities

The UNC Faculty Assembly treats alternate delegates from the campuses as an important part of its governance activities. Alternates, as well as delegates, receive communications from Assembly leaders and information concerning upcoming meetings.

Individual campuses determine how alternates relate to the operation of the UNC Faculty Assembly. On some campuses, individual alternates are designated to attend Faculty Assembly meetings if specific delegates are unable to attend, while on other campuses, alternates may substitute for whatever delegate or delegates are not in attendance. Individual campuses make their own arrangements about how to coordinate exchange of information and determination about attendance. The UNC Faculty Assembly endeavors to communicate with all delegates and alternates to be sure that everyone has information he or she may need.

Alternates attending in lieu of elected delegates should participate in those committee meetings that the missing delegate would otherwise attend, in order to maintain a level of continuity and communication. Alternates are also welcome to attend all Faculty Assembly meetings if they wish to do so, but reimbursement is only available if the alternate stands in for a delegate who is unable to attend.

VI. Communications

a. Key Contacts

UNC Faculty Assembly delegates or alternates who have questions about the operation of the UNC Faculty Assembly should feel free to contact Sandie Gravett (gravettsl@appstate.edu or slgravett@hotmail.com) or Kelley Gregory (UNC General Administration staff, kelleyg@northcarolina.edu, 919-962-4612).

b. UNC Faculty Assembly Web Site

The UNC Faculty Assembly website is maintained through UNC General Administration athttp://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly. Delegates are also given access to Active Collaborate (the "Working Groups" menu links to https://collab.northcarolina.edu/public/wayf.php?entityID=https%3A%2F%2Fcollab.northcarolina.edu%2Fsp%2Fshibboleth&return=https%3A%2F%2Fcollab.northca). Active Collaborate provides for the posting of files, a delegate discussion board, a calendar, and task lists to be kept current. Smaller groups will be assigned their own working space on this site if requested.

c. Keeping Records Up to Date

Help the Faculty Assembly keep records up-to-date. A list of delegates, with contact information, is provided on the Faculty Assembly website (http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/delegates.htm). If changes are necessary, please contact Kelley Gregory at kelleyg@northcarolina.edu.

VII. Logistical Issues

a. Meeting Location and Dates

UNC Faculty Assembly meetings are generally held in the Spangler Center, home of UNC General Administration, located at 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688, telephone (919) 962-1000. For directions to the Spangler Center: http://www.northcarolina.edu/research/sp/sparc/meetings/Spring2010/Directions_to_the_Spangler_Center-1.pdf.

Meeting dates of the UNC Faculty Assembly are posted on the meetings page of the web site (http://www.northcarolina.edu/facultyassembly/meetings/index.php).  There is a menu item labeled "Meetings" on the left of the Faculty Assembly website.

b. Attendance Plans

UNC Faculty Assembly delegates will generally receive a link to a “doodle” poll from Kelley Gregory (kelleyg@northcarolina.edu) about two weeks in advance of scheduled meetings. Please respond to the poll so that we are able to arrange for food for the meetings at an appropriate level, without wasting our scarce funds. If you are not available for the particular meeting, be sure that one of your campus alternates can attend in your stead.

c. Travel

UNC Faculty Assembly delegates are asked to car pool and use state cars whenever possible to keep costs down. For more detailed information, see http://www.northcarolina.edu/finance_policy/index.php?pg=vb&node_id=556.

If you have questions, contact Kelley Gregory at (kelleyg@northcarolina.edu) for information. Note that you will need to certify that a state car is not available in order to receive reimbursement for your private car.

It is requested that reimbursement for private cars be utilized judiciously as resources are limited. If you are in the Triangle area, please consider not filing for reimbursement.

d. Lodging

The State of North Carolina has established very limited rates for reimbursement of lodging while on official travel. Kelley Gregory (kelleyg@northcarolina.edu), our UNC Faculty Assembly staff assistant, has negotiated rates that are very favorable for delegates at several good local hotels in Chapel Hill, provided that delegates reserve in advance and clearly indicate that they are traveling in connection with attendance at meetings sponsored by UNC General Administration.

You will be provided links for registration in emails prior to the meetings.

Please note that you will not be reimbursed at a higher rate than $69 per night.

It is requested that you spend the overnight ONLY when it is NOT possible due to distance for Friday morning travel. Again, resources are scarce.

e. Food

We observe the state limits on reimbursement for food while on state-approved travel. Faculty members coming from a distance may be eligible for limited levels of reimbursement for dinner on the Thursday evening prior to a Faculty Assembly meeting.

Contact Kelley Gregory (kelleyg@northcarolina.edu) if you have questions.

Assembly delegates will NOT be reimbursed for breakfast or lunch costs on the day of a Faculty Assembly meeting, since continental breakfast is generally provided as part of hotel arrangements at the specified hotels, and lunch is provided for all delegates as part of the Faculty Assembly meeting (delegates may be asked to fund lunches in the 2010-2011 year).

In addition, we ask that those with dietary restrictions (allergies or other constraints) notify Kelley (kelleyg@northcarolina.edu) in advance of meetings so that we can be sure we make appropriate arrangements for food that meets your needs.

f. Reimbursement Protocols

Help us be sure that we submit reimbursements in a timely manner. Assembly delegates are asked to sign and submit documentation relating to attendance at UNC Faculty Assembly meetings at the end of those meetings so that reimbursements can be processed.

Reimbursement requests not submitted within 30 days of the date when they are incurred are no longer subject to state reimbursement.

Contact Kelley Gregory at kelleyg@northcarolina.edu if you have questions.

Appendix: Additional Resources

a. On the University of North Carolina (System) Website

The UNC Faculty Assembly website is a part of the central website of the University of North Carolina (sometimes referred to informally as "the UNC system"). Sections of particular interest to members of the Faculty Assembly include:

(Note that links to Board of Governors and Staff Assembly can be found under Leadership on the ribbon across the top of the northcarolina.edu website; a link to Faculty Assembly can be found in the same place.)

b. On the UNC Faculty Assembly Website

Other Faculty Assembly organizational documents (in addition to this Handbook) can be found in the following sections of the Faculty Assembly website: 

Other useful information can be found in the following sections:

(Note that links to all of these other sections of the Faculty Assembly website are provided by way of the website's menu items on the left.)