UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Academic Restructuring: The Provost’s Perspective

111710Headline_PerrinLast Friday afternoon, Dr. David H. Perrin, provost and executive vice chancellor, sat down with Mike Harris, Campus Weekly editor, to speak about – and respond to questions about – academic restructuring at our university.

Provost Perrin, can you give a brief overview of the academic restructuring here at UNCG over the past months?

We began a conversation about the potential of academic restructuring this past June. I, at that time, appointed a subcommittee of the Dean’s Council, to really focus on two charges. The first would be to explore potential models around the country that might help to inform our conversation at UNCG about restructuring. And the second was to formulate the plan by which faculty would lead that process. Fairly soon after appointing that subcommittee, we added faculty representation, in particular a senior faculty member from HHP and a senior faculty member from HES – professors Dan Bibeau and Gwen O’Neal.

Admittedly, we got off to a rocky start. That particular approach generated some concern about the extent to which it would be a transparent process, the extent to which the faculty would be involved. If I had it to do it again, I probably would have started with the faculty/staff/student committee we now have, rather than a sub-committee of the Deans Council. But that said, thankfully, we are where I had hoped we would be at this point in time, which is, having a restructuring committee of faculty, staff and students that are really leading the process.

And the list of that committee is online?

Yes, we have a web page, and the committee is listed online as is the charge of the committee and why we are engaging in academic restructuring at UNCG.

So, we have two units – two academic units, both schools, both very strong, that have historic strengths in health and human development – as well as some other very strong departments, by the way, that have real strengths in health and human development. We think there are some very exciting opportunities to enhance collaboration.

Which two units [for those new to this discussion]?

Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences. So we think we have some very exciting opportunities to consolidate, if you will, two schools into one – and that might even involve other programs on campus, or departments or schools – and to enhance collaboration through interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum, community engagement and research.

So, our goal here is to create a single academic unit that could be either a school or a college, that would build on our strengths in health and human development. And the charge of the committee is to create several options, with an accompanying narrative for each option, identifying the advantages and disadvantages and challenges of each option, for consideration – that I can consider and discuss with the chancellor and the board of trustees.

Can I ask you a question about the timeline: When do you think you will have recommendations from this committee to you?

Ideally, the committee will be able to share with me a preliminary draft of their work by the end of this semester. I could then provide them some feedback which could be helpful to them in refining and completing their report by the end of this academic year, by the end of the spring semester. At that time, we would consider the options, consider the possibilities and bring forth to the board of trustees, ultimately, a recommendation for what the restructured unit would look like.

We would also need approval of the Board of Governors. And once approved, we would then appoint a Transition Committee of faculty and staff from that unit – from departments and programs that would be in the restructured unit. They would work on implementation of the transition through the 2011-12 academic year, so we would actually be fully operational and implemented the fall of 2012.

Along the way, we are – and I am – communicating very closely with the Faculty Senate leadership –

That’s a question I have. How are faculty involved, and how is Faculty Senate involved?

Well, the faculty are essentially leading this, through the committee. It’s co-chaired by Professor Bibeau and Professor O’Neal who have facilitation being provided by David Altman from the Center for Creative Leadership. There is representation on the committee from each of the departments in Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences, as well as representation from the School of Nursing, the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the chair-elect of the Faculty Senate is a member of the committee. We also have representation from Staff Senate, and a staff member and student from each of the schools, Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences.

The committee – how many times has the committee met?

The committee has met three times. I think they are making great progress. The chancellor and I met with them this week [week of Nov. 8], at their third meeting. They had some questions.

Can I ask, what are some of the questions they had? And how did you respond?

There were some questions about the charge of the committee and the timelines for completing the work. I provided some clarification related to the charge: that we’re looking for multiple options, with a narrative to accompany each option. A very important point is that each narrative for each option would need to address – or identify – the home for any departments that would not be a part of the restructured unit.

So this process is not about program elimination or elimination of departments. That’s a very important point to make, I think.

What are some other questions that they – ?

Well, we talked about the timeline (and I talked you through the timeline already). I provided some clarification there. There were some questions about whether the unit should be a school or a college. And we encouraged them to think about options that would include both. We did remind them that the process must reduce, not add, to administrative costs, so that would be something they would need to consider as they thought about this. Related to whether it’d be a school or a college was the question: What other units on the campus or what other departments or programs on the campus should be a part of the conversation, beyond Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences?

For example, “Should Nursing be a part of that conversation, or should Biology, or…” Was that the question?

Yes, exactly, and I think the units and the departments that were being discussed most about were Psychology, Biology and Nursing.

What we’re trying to create here would be a professional school or a professional college. So I don’t think it makes sense to think about moving basic disciplines like psychology and biology into this professional unit. Now the School of Nursing should be a part of the conversation. But I think it’s important to note that the School of Nursing is accredited as a school. Human Environmental Sciences and Health and Human Performance are not accredited as schools. They have programs and departments within their school that are accredited, but they would continue to be accredited regardless of how they were configured or where they were housed.

So, if the School of Nursing were to be a part of this, we would probably be talking about “college,” under which could be a School of Nursing and multiple departments around “health and human development.” But, the committee may determine it doesn’t make sense for a college to put Nursing – and one of their options may be a school that would not include it. So they can go either way and I’ve encouraged them to think about this either way.

At Faculty Convocation, you said twice, maybe more, “Imagine the possibilities.” Does that still hold, is that still a key message here?

Absolutely. You know, anytime you engage in change of this magnitude on a university campus, it raises lots of concerns and fear. I’ve been in higher education 30 years, and I’ve never seen change, at a university, where there is 100 percent consensus and support for it. And that’s actually a good thing, that’s a healthy thing. That keeps us all honest. It requires us all to think very carefully about what we’re doing. So I think that’s a good and a healthy thing. But I think we have the opportunity here to create something very exciting for UNCG. Something that will optimally prepare our students to compete for positions in these fields, careers in these fields – something that will foster more collaboration. I think a good example where we have some real opportunities here is we have some real strengths in these two units around community engagement and sustainability. And I think there could be some very innovative things done with curriculum and with outreach and community engagement, around those things, as we build a new unit.

So it sounds like it would not only be good for UNCG, but also – in a wider scope – for the community and possibly North Carolina? Is that accurate or – ?

Yes, I believe that is accurate. Many universities around the country are reorganizing around these kinds of strengths. I think it’s going to be real important for us to do this, to be able to compete, to bring greater visibility to the strengths that exist on this campus around these fields. I would expect there to be enhanced opportunities for community engaged scholarship and, again, a lot of the interdisciplinary things I think will evolve from this.

This discussion I hear mixed in with the discussion about budget. There’s also the component of making UNCG a better university. Which is a greater factor here?

The primary motivation here is an academic one and a programmatic one. To restructure in a way that will maximize our strengths.

That said, we are facing some extraordinarily challenging budget times, and we need to be proactively preparing as best we can for what promises to be some very significant budget reductions. This process will reduce administrative costs without having to eliminate faculty positions or close programs.

It obviously, alone, isn’t going to be sufficient to meet our budget cuts, but it’s a secondary purpose. It’s a reality that we need to be thinking about how this can help us prepare for budget cuts.

Provost Perrin, is there anything that I have not asked you that maybe I should ask, at this point?

I know that there is concern among alumni who are fearful of losing this important part of our history at UNCG. You know, HHP started as Physical Education. And HES started as Home Economics. And from my understanding of the history of the university, there were some real outcries when those two moved from Home Economics and Physical Education to something broader than that. So I understand the concerns. I respect very deeply the history of the institution.

But I think it’s very important for alumni to consider, Is it more important to have a structure that meets the needs of students from the past, or to have a structure that best prepares students for the future?

And that’s what this is all about for UNCG. How to best position ourselves for the future, how to best prepare our students for the future. We will honor the history of these academic units. But we have a real opportunity here, I think, to do something very exciting, moving the university forward.

Photograph from UR archives by Chris English.

The Web Becomes Alice’s Wonderland

111710Feature_AliceYou can bet Lewis Carroll never imagined this. The Mad Hatter is a DJ, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are two dance crews and the White Knight is on a razor scooter. Oh, and the Looking Glass is a computer screen that pulls Alice into the internet.

Adapted and directed by Jim Wren, associate professor of theatre, this new “Alice” production is being described as an urban techno original that draws on Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

“Internet safety is a theme because in this version Alice falls asleep at her computer and awakes to find herself in a strange, exciting and dangerous new world,” Wren said. “We decided to connect ‘Alice’ to this issue because the rabbit hole in our production is the internet.”

Staging a classic in contemporary terms is a challenge that Wren enjoys. In “Alice,” the play is internet-inspired. This becomes a jumping off point for talking about internet safety, which has been publicized widely for problems like cyber bullying and cyber stalking.

“The internet is a valuable tool for children,” Wren said. “Many schools now are emphasizing the importance of internet safety – with specific lessons about how the internet may seem strange and exciting with fascinating information – but that some of that information is dangerous and not appropriate for children.”

The stage for Wonderland/Internet and its special effects promises to be a unique experience for audiences.

The play, which opened last week, has plenty of fun for audiences, and the major characters will be there, although some with a more contemporary twist.

“The title character, Alice, uses Skype to talk with her big sister at college, she plays Wii on stage, she has her iPod and iPhone and is completely connected technologically speaking. But on her journey through the internet she meets fascinating and sometimes dangerous characters,” Wren says.

There is an educational component, with a study guide that has been developed for school groups, and an online internet safety quiz that children can take.

The play is a joint production of UNCG Theatre and NC Theatre for Young People. Performances in Taylor Theatre are at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19; 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17-19; and noon on Nov. 18. Tickets cost $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, students and children; $9 for groups of 10 or more and UNCG alumni; and $7 for UNCG students. Tickets may be purchased at boxoffice.uncg.edu, 4-4849 or campus box office locations.

By Steve Gilliam
Photography by Jody Cauthen

Looking ahead: November 17-30, 2010

Native American Heritage Celebration
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC

Faculty Senate forum, “”The Role of Faculty Governance in the Restructuring Process”
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 3 p.m., Alexander Room, EUC

Lecture, “The 2010 Midterms and Their Consequences,” Dr. David W. Rohde
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., Weatherspoon

Great Conversations lecture, Dr. Rob Guttentag (Psychology), “Some of My Favorite Weird Beliefs”
Thursday, Nov. 18, 5 p.m., Faculty Center

Will Read for Food, readings
Thursday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Weatherspoon

Dance, Prime Movers
Friday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m., Dance Theatre

Opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors”
Saturday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

Music, University Band
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

more at calendar.uncg.edu

Litter Patrol Before Dawn

111710Feature_GroundsStaffIf you see a piece of trash at 3 a.m. on campus, it’ll be disposed of by 6.

Overnight, trash may blow on campus from busy streets. Fast food bags and cups from late night runs may pepper the parking lots. Wrappers and papers from the day before may be seen here and there.

No problem. By the time dawn arrives, the Grounds staff, part of Facilities Operations, has covered campus, picking it all up.

About 24 members of Grounds check in at 5:30 a.m. They meet for a few minutes when there are particular areas of emphasis – such as the site of an event at the plaza, College Avenue or Foust Park. And then the first hour is devoted to litter patrol. The crew has a map of campus, colorcoded for each small team of individuals. Some sectors, such as the Quad, have one person. Some very public areas have three or four.

Then by 6:30 a.m.or so, they’re ready for their other jobs, says Bill Hardin, a Grounds supervisor.

Those first hours are valuable. On the one hand, they can’t use any noisy equipment near any residence halls until about 9 a.m., so some potential work like mowing and sawing has to be scheduled after that, says Hal Shelton, a Grounds supervisor. But those very early hours mean little car traffic and almost no foot traffic – so getting around and doing jobs quickly is a snap.

“It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it,” says Shelton.

Grounds does a lot to make the campus attractive, from the planting and mulching to the weeding and leaf pickup. And they don’t like litter messing up the beauty.

“If there’s litter, it takes away from all the other great work the Grounds staff has done,” says Chris Fay, assistant director for Grounds.

He notes that after litter pickup, early each morning, their attention turns to getting up leaves, this time of year – but they have to do it without disturbing sleep.

“We stay away from the dorms.”

Know of any other staff members doing interesting jobs in the overnight hours on campus? University Relations photographers want to hear about it. Email them at cwenglis@uncg.edu or dswilson@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson

Tolstoy for Breakfast

111710NewsAndNotesTolstoyThose honors college students who might have heard Russian literature wafting from the Lounge in the wee hours of Satuday morning, well, it couldn’t be helped. The readers in the “24 hours of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace'” event were on a mission. To read ‘War and Peace’ in its entirety, within 24 hours. [Read more…]

Notes: November 17, 2010

NotesIconFaculty Senate Forum “The Role of Faculty Governance in the Restructuring Process” will be the topic of the forum today (Wednesday, Nov. 17), 3 – 5 p.m., Alexander Room, EUC. According to information distributed by Faculty Senate, this Faculty Senate Forum will deal with the topic of the role of faculty governance in the restructuring process that will merge some programs in the School of Human Environmental Studies with some programs in the School of Health and Human Performance to form a new unit that will focus on Health and Human Development. Those faculty who attend may share ideas and help identify the role the Faculty Senate will play in the process.

Obama at midterm The Center for Legislative Studies will be have its final lecture in the series “Obama at Midterm: Polarization and Backlash.” Dr. David Rohde of Duke University will present, “The Midterm Elections and Their Consequences” on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weatherspoon Auditorium. There will be a reception following his presentation.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Campus Weekly will not publish Wednesday, Nov. 24. Publication will resume Wednesday, Dec. 1. The final issue of the semester will be Wednesday, Dec. 8, the first day of final exams. The first issue of the spring semester will be Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Helping students at Jackson Library University Libraries and the University Writing Center are teaming up to help students with end-of-the-semester papers. Writing Center consultants will be available alongside Reference and Instructional Services in Jackson Library from 9 p.m. to midnight for five nights after the Thanksgiving holidays and before Finals Week. Refreshments will be served all five nights. Cathy Griffith, the assistant head of Access Services, and Mary Ann Graham, the 24/5 night manager, both in the University Libraries, received an Innovation and Enrichment Grant to bring the writing tutors to the library. The grant will cover the costs of three tutors each night, plus the food. The program will be repeated again in April.

Honoring slain student Kyle Harris Our campus will hold a candlelight vigil for slain student Kyle Harris on Thursday, Nov. 18. The vigil, organized by the UNCG Residence Hall Association, will begin at 6 p.m. on the lawn outside the Quad. Attendees should wear Carolina Blue, Harris’ favorite color. Harris, a 19-year-old sophomore sociology major, was fatally shot Nov. 6 during a robbery while he worked at a Fayetteville pawn shop. He was concentrating in criminal justice and aspired to earn a law degree.

Task force to focus on aiding military veterans UNCG is establishing a Military, Veterans and Families Task Force to make recommendations designed to facilitate the enrollment and the success of UNCG students who are active duty members of the military, military veterans and military dependents. See details.

Men’s soccer took title With a 1-0 victory over Furman in Sunday’s SoCon tournament title game, the men’s soccer team claimed the championship. Sophomore Hakan Ilhan, the SoCon’s leading scorer, had the winning goal. The team will face Georgetown on Thursday, Nov. 18, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

American Indian heritage A Native American cultural Fair and Dance Demonstration will be Wednesday, Nov. 17, in Cone Ballroom, EUC, beginning at 11 a.m.

The current G-cast On the university’s official Facebook page, Dr. Donna Duffey (Kinesiology) is featured in a G-cast. G-cast is a way to ask campus experts questions about various topics. Duffy can answer questions via G-cast about athletics – from the role of women in athletics to how athletes should manage media to how a student can combine athletics with academics. You’re invited to post questions.

“Bound to Please: The Custom Bookbindings of Don Etherington & Monique Lallier” Don Etherington and Monique Lallier are two highly respected bookbinders. Born in England and Montreal, respectively, they have undertaken projects for clients around the globe, and they have spent much of their careers teaching others the art and craft of what they do. They now live in Summerfield, where Don’s reference library and papers are in the Special Collections of the University’s Library. Through Dec. 22, some of their custom bindings will be on display in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room on the second floor of Jackson Library.

University Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Award Students may submit their research projects for consideration. The award is given in recognition of an outstanding UNCG undergraduate research project by an individual or a group that best demonstrates the ability to locate, select and synthesize information from library resources and uses those resources in the creation of an original research project in any media. The winning entry will receive a $500 prize funded by the University Libraries and awarded at April’s Undergraduate Honors Convocation. Applicants must 1) Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate during Spring 2011 at UNCG in any discipline; 2) Have completed a research project for a credit course or supervised independent study at UNCG during the spring, summer, or fall semesters in 2010; 3) Agree to contribute a copy of their paper or project to the UNCG Institutional Repository; 4) Submit their paper by March 1, 2011. Last year, Theatre and Media Studies student Mary Robinson won the award for “Poetry in Motion: The Divine Sarah on the English Stage,” a paper written for Professor Christine Woodworth’s Theatre 501 class. See more details.

UNCG Dining Services will hold their annual Thanksgiving lunch in the Spartan Restaurant from 11a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. They will have all your Thanksgiving favorites from fresh carved turkey, ham & stuffing to authentically mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Bring a non-perishable item to donate to the Greensboro Urban Ministry and UNCG Dining will match pound for pound all donated items. As a way of saying thank you, Dining Services will also offer a discount when you donate items: lunch would be $6. For more information, visit www.dineoncampus.com/uncg or call 4-5116.

Project Clean Plate initiative Dining Services was able to reduce food waste in the Spartan Restaurant by 15 percent recently. As a result UNCG Dining Services will donate 500 pounds of food to the Greensboro Urban Ministry. Project Clean Plate is a program that Dining Services conducts twice a year to promote not only healthy eating, but sustainability as well. This semester the program ran for eight weeks and began with a weekly amount of more than 4,000 pounds of food being wasted in the Spartan Restaurant.

Course Reserve Deadlines for winter, spring terms Faculty members, it’s time again to set up your course reserves at the University Libraries. To be available by the first day of class, lists are due by Friday, Dec. 10. Visit http://library.uncg.edu/info/depts/access_services/reserves/ to create your lists, or contact the reserve staff at reserves@uncg.edu or 6-1199 for more information.

UNCG Bookstore Faculty & Staff Appreciation Sale Dec. 1 Find something for all the Spartans on your holiday shopping list! In addition to your current 20 percent Faculty/Staff discount, take an extra 10 percent off non-book items (magazines, bargain books, sale items, computer hardware and software not included.) Present your SpartanCard to the cashier to receive your discount.

“Staying Ethical in a Changing World” That’s the title of the UNCG Counseling & Educational Development Mini-Conference on Nov. 19, 10-11:30 a.m. in Room 251, Ferguson Building. There will presentations by first-year master’s students. The mini-conference addresses ethical challenges counselors face in a rapidly changing world. Sessions include posters and handouts on a variety of topics, including the following: preventing LGBTQ bullying in schools; finding the middle ground in dual relationships; self-disclosing through social networking sites; understanding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; and implication of spiritual competencies. The mini-conference is free and open to all.

Habitat for Humanity blog Work continues on UNCG’s Habitat for Humanity house. Keep up with progress at the blog https://uc.uncg.edu/prod/uresites/habitat.

How to prepare for winter weather Each year, winter weather has the potential to impact the Triad and the UNCG community causing significant delays and adverse impacts. This year is no exception. What does winter weather mean for you as an employee if classes are cancelled and the University is open, but you cannot make it to work? And what exactly does a “warmer and drier winter” mean? Come join the Office of Emergency Management and Human Resource Services to learn more about how to prepare for winter weather, what the university has in place to respond to winter events, and what winter weather means for you as an employee. Two workshops are currently scheduled. The first is on Nov. 30 from 11-11:45 a.m. and the second is on Dec. 1 from 10-10:45 a.m.. To register for a workshop or find out more information, contact the Office of Emergency Management – Phone: 6-8639 or email: BeReady@uncg.edu. Space is limited, so register soon.

‘Amahl’ at Aycock Auditorium

111710EyeOnArts_AmahlJoin the UNCG Opera Theatre on Nov. 19-21, as they present their biennial production of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” [Read more…]

Campus People: November 17, 2010

011310CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dean Lynne Pearcey – Imogene Cathey – Dr. Ana Hontanilla – Justin Maullin – Dr. Bob Wineburg – Dr. Linda Buettner – Dr. Gregory Carroll – Dr. James Benshoff [Read more…]

Announcements: November 17, 2010

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Campus Weekly will not publish Wednesday, Nov. 24. Publication will resume Wednesday, Dec. 1. The final issue of the semester will be Wednesday, Dec. 8, the first day of final exams. The first issue of the spring semester will be Wednesday, Jan. 12.

See/hear: November 17, 2010

The men’s soccer team won the SoCon tournament last weekend. See the post-game interviews of two leading players and interim coach Justin Maullin, as well as a photo gallery of the championship game. They advance to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will take on Georgetown Nov. 18.

The Sports Information department caught Coach Dement and two players immediately after the home opener versus Florida State. The next home game is this Sunday, as they host the ACC’s Virginia Tech.

Check out the Spartan Athletics news page regularly for updates on games – and the stories behind the scenes.

And see past video clips at the Athletics YouTube page.

Sports Information Director is Mike Hirschman. Assistant SID’s are Phil Perry and David Percival. Former News and Record sports reporter Rob Daniels is a staff writer.