University Planning Council
Minutes for November 7, 2008
Present: Melissa Acker, Gwen Ashburn, Buffy Bagwell, Becky Doyle, Jane Fernandes, Bill Haas, Archer Gravely, Herman Holt, Jeff Konz, Jim Kuhlman, Nick Ladd, Amy Lanou, Bill Massey, Linda Nelms, Adrienne Oliver, Dan Pierce, John Pierce, Anne Ponder, Christine Riley, Barbara Svenson, Betsy Wilson
Absent: Amanda Alvarez, Bill Haggard
Guests: Patrice Mitchell
UPC met from 3-4:30pm in Highsmith Union Room 104.
1. In a budget update, Chancellor Ponder reported that we are still planning for a cut of 4 percent ($1,655,000) and that we have the flexibility to manage our current budget. We will probably not get any new information until January 2009. We do not know to what extent the cut will be for one-year or a permanent budget reduction. There is also the possibility of an additional 1 percent reduction. We have lost this year’s repair and renovation funds and the Carmichael Hall planning money. Chancellor Ponder stated that, despite the economic downturn, our Investment Committee’s policy of using a 3-year rolling average for disbursement of funds will benefit us in these difficult economic times, in that we will actually have more money available for student scholarships next year than this year. This will help our students and our enrollment significantly.
2. Dr. Wilson asked UPC members to provide updates on their activities of the planning workgroups. Mr. Massey reported that the Branding and Marketing workgroup has involved 30-33 people and has been meeting for nearly a year. The group is waiting for a research report prepared by a consulting firm. Dr. Holt indicated that the Undergraduate Research Planning Group has had its first meeting and will soon start developing benchmarks. Dr. Fernandes reported that the Retention and Graduation group has subdivided into four subgroups: (1) First-Year Experience; (2) Financial Aid; (3) Advising; and (4) the Campus Experience. The Diversity workgroup is discussing legal parameters of a definition of diversity with Mr. Lawton, University General Counsel. After a general discussion of benchmarks, Ms. Riley suggested that the workgroups use Dr. Gravely as resource. Ms. Riley also requested that each workgroup prepare two benchmarks by our next UPC meeting on December 5th.
3. In an effort to identify and celebrate early victories of our Strategic Plan, Chancellor Ponder noted the increasing recognition of UNC Asheville’s liberal arts mission as evidenced by the new recurring funding awarded in the last legislative session, which was unfortunately lost to budget cuts. Chancellor Ponder spoke to the increasing awareness, value, and use of our strategic plan. She reported that UNC Asheville will be the new home of the Council of Public Liberal Arts (COPLAC) Office. A search for a full-time director is underway and should be completed in Spring 2009. This position will be funded by COPLAC member dues and will report to Chancellor Ponder with input from COPLAC.
4. Mr. Kuhlman demonstrated a test version of the new strategic planning website developed by Librarian, Brandy Bourne. UPC members provided observations, feedback and suggestions for improvements to the website. The new site will be announced to the UNC Asheville community later this semester.
5. UPC reviewed UNC Tomorrow Phase II draft reports on Faculty and Staff Recruitment and a Review of Tenure and Reward System. UPC members made a number of comments and suggestions. Both reports will also be reviewed and revised by various committees and constituents throughout November. These reports are due to UNC General Administration on December 1st.
6. UPC’s next meeting is on Friday, December 5, from 3:00-4:30 pm in HU 104. The agenda will include the remainder of the UNC Tomorrow Phase II report drafts:
A. Existing Degree Programs (Provost) – due December 15
B. New Degree Programs (Provost) – due January 15
C. Mission Study (UPC) – due January 15.