More faculty input
As members of the Progressive Faculty Network, we are glad that pressures from students and resolutions by faculty councils at East Carolina University, UNC-Pembroke and UNC-Chapel Hill – asking for representation on the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions – led to some, yet not enough progress.
UNC system President Tom Ross agreed to the creation of a separate 12-person Faculty Advisory Council to provide input to the five-year planning committee. But input is not representation. And the committee remains dominated by administrators, politicians and CEOs, including some who oppose publicly funded higher education.
The 2007 UNC Tomorrow committee, while low in faculty representation, had a 14-member Scholars Advisory Council from its inception. Faculty conducted research and prepared briefs on student diversity, environmental challenges and economic inequality. Committee members visited all campuses, held 22 public forums and conducted a statewide survey.
Ross and the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions should institute ongoing public forums; take a year – not a few months – to prepare the report; and add faculty, students and staff to the committee who represent the diversity of North Carolina. A rush job with limited participation is likely to produce poor results that will ill serve the citizens of the state.
Professor, Department of English
Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies
This letter was endorsed by 40 other members of the UNC-CH faculty who also are members of the Progressive Faculty Network.