University Planning Council
Minutes for August 29, 2008
Present: Melissa Acker, Amanda Alvarez, Gwen Ashburn, Jane Fernandes, Bill Haas, Archer Gravely, Bill Haggard, Herman Holt, Jeff Konz, Jim Kuhlman, Nick Ladd, Amy Lanou, Bill Massey, Linda Nelms Adrienne Oliver, John Pierce, Anne Ponder, Christine Riley, Barbara Svenson, Betsy Wilson
Absent: Buffy Bagwell, Becky Doyle, Dan Pierce
1. Chancellor Ponder convened the first UPC meeting of the 2008-09 year in Highsmith 105 at 3pm on August 29. The UPC membership roster is provided on the web: http://www.unca.edu/ir/plan/upc/members.html
This year we will work on implementing the strategic plan developed last year. The meeting scheduled for September 2 will be used for individual work groups. The next full UPC meeting is scheduled for September 26.
2. Chancellor Ponder reported that the Diversity Action Council (DAC) will proceed this year with discussions of both external and internal definitions of diversity. They will also conduct an analysis of the resources expended on diversity efforts and find ways to ensure maximum benefit.
Dr. Fernandes reviewed the attached two-page report from the DAC that provides a definition, context, and set of principles for understanding diversity. She indicated that the definition of diversity in the attached report is for internal purposes and that an external definition will be developed at a later date. Dr. Fernandes summarized the definition discussion by noting that we have tried to focus on increasing the representation of people of color and underrepresented populations among students, faculty, and staff while also including all aspects of human diversity.
UPC comments and suggestions about the DAC report included the following.
- The definition should include our individual responsibility for being increasingly inclusive.
- We ought to be more clear about the definition beyond increasing the numbers.
- Some students do not feel comfortable expressing conservative views in classes, and the definition should include ideology as well.
- Questions were raised about the statement of principle that “diversity stands opposed to assimilation” (1) some people of color may choose to assimilate; and (2) there seems to be a conflict between non-assimilation and building a community of learners with shared values, goals, and experiences. Dr. Fernandes will provide this feedback to DAC along with UPC’s thanks for their important work.
3. Chancellor Ponder gave an update to UPC on UNC Tomorrow. She reported that our strategic planning process really helped inform the University’s response to UNC Tomorrow. UPC members discussed the recent GA teleconference that provided us with very positive feedback on UNC Asheville’s response to UNC Tomorrow. Chancellor Ponder noted that the only negative aspect of the meeting was GA’s lack of response to her request for required resources. Ms. Riley will coordinate our response to Phase II, which is due December 1, 2008. The Phase II report focuses on the following academic areas:
A. Review of existing Degree Programs (including recently-approved degree programs) for alignment with UNC Tomorrow.
B. Review of proposed new Degree Programs (if any) with special attention to high-need areas, consistent with UNC Tomorrow recommendations
C. Review of Inter-institutional Centers and Institutes for alignment with UNC Tomorrow (due September 1, 2008)
D. Plan for improved Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention
E. Review of Faculty Promotion, Tenure and Reward System
F. Mission Review
4. Mr. Kuhlman gave a web demonstration of a draft version of a planning dashboard that will use our planning benchmarks to highlight institutional performance on our goals. The sample demonstration is provided on the web: http://facstaff.unca.edu/kuhlman/Stratplandash.htm UPC reviewed the Strategic Plan Implementation Timeline (http://www.unca.edu/sp/) and the draft work group assignments. The work groups will convene between now and the next UPC meeting. Chancellor Ponder made two assignments for UPC members: (1) review work group membership and revise if necessary (some groups may be ready to start meeting); and (2) start developing benchmarks for each planning goal.
5. Chancellor Ponder spoke briefly about the overall budget picture at the State level and reported that UPC will assist the University in responding to anticipated budget pressures from the Legislature. More budget information will be available in our next meeting.
Report from the Diversity Action Council
Submitted by Jane K. Fernandes, Provost
Last spring, Chancellor Ponder established the Diversity Action Council (DAC) upon the advice of the University Planning Council. The DAC is composed of campus leaders who have decision-making and budget authority for diversity initiatives within their areas. The group brings these leaders from throughout campus together in a forum where each member can develop shared knowledge and appreciation for the work of other members on creating respect for difference among people on campus.
The DAC is charged with several tasks, the first of which is to develop a definition of diversity at UNC Asheville. The attached draft definition reflects the DAC’s work to date. After finalizing this, the DAC will share it with representative groups and key constituents on campus.
Additional tasks that the DAC has been asked to perform include developing a public definition of diversity that serves as a message understandable to members of the general public and to share information about the members’ respective diversity programs and budgets. This dialogue will lead to increased collaboration and greater efficiency and effectiveness. The group will also be developing action plans to address diversity-related strategic plan goals.
Members of the Diversity Action Council are:
Keith Bramlett, Faculty, Sociology; Jane Fernandes, Provost; Dee James, Faculty, Language and Literature; Rory James, Director, Intercultural Center; Ed Katz, Dean, University Programs; Calvin Kelly, Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs; Pat McClellan, Assistant Provost; Patrice Mitchell, Dean of Admissions; Rusty Marts, Affirmative Action Officer; Deborah Miles, Director, Center for Diversity Education; Karla Piccirillo, Employment Manager; Alikhan Hugo Salehi, Student Body Representative; Robert Straub, International Student Advisor; Elizabeth Snyder, Director, International Programs; Betsy Wilson, Co-chair, University Planning Council
What is Diversity at UNC Asheville?
Draft 3: August 21, 2008
At UNC Asheville, diversity means increasing the presence of underrepresented racial and ethnic populations, simultaneously enhancing human diversity, including but not limited to dimensions such as age, religion, disabilities, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identities, national origin, and culture.
We seek to dismantle the current university structures, policies, and practices that reinforce privilege and advantage. We recognize that every member of our community has a role in creating a culture of inclusion.
As a public liberal arts institution, the university takes as its primary aim the cultivation and exploration of knowledge and ideas. By so doing, we prepare human beings to thrive in a diverse world. To negotiate in such a world, we must have the capacity to empathize, to exercise patience, to encourage active listening, and to assume important leadership roles.
Statement of Principles
UNC Asheville must prepare students to live and grow in an increasingly diverse world. We must provide our students, faculty, and staff with rich opportunities to engage with each other. We must recruit, enroll, hire, retain, and support underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in order to enhance our environment for learning and exchange. We want our campus to reflect the demography of our region and state. Thus, diversity must be integral to the UNC Asheville experience. We believe:
- Diversity is basic to a free society.
- Diversity is a matter of form as well as content.
- Diversity stands opposed to assimilation.
- Diversity is difficult, takes practice and requires skill.
- The idea of diversity changes and requires continual attention.
UNC Asheville will be a safe place for all. It is the responsibility of each member of the UNC Asheville community to take action upon this definition.