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Provost finalist: UNC's Gray-Little visits campus

By Lori Gula

When balancing teaching and faculty research, Bernadette Gray-Little believes each department should determine what combination of these attributes meets the department's and university's standards, while allowing individual faculty members to realize their strengths in each area.

Gray-Little, executive associate provost at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was the first of four provost finalists to visit the campus. She met with faculty, staff and students groups Monday, March 31, and Tuesday, April 1.

At the faculty/open forum Monday, faculty members asked her to discuss the tension often experienced by faculty who must balance their teaching responsibilities with the pressure to conduct research.

"The university departments need to be clear about standards in each of those areas. A person needs to reach those standards, but not everyone needs to excel in the same pattern. If there is a level of research that the university considers necessary to hold tenure, then that needs to be kept. However, there are going to be people who excel at that and people who are going to be just above that standard," she said. "I don't think it is realistic that the same combination of strength in every faculty member."

She noted that she has seen faculty reviews in which teaching was heavily weighted, with a standard set for research.

"You want to end up with both areas being strong," she said.

Gray-Little said she wants to come to UNH because she is ready for the challenge of being a provost. "I am interested in coming to an institution that wants to be better than itself," she said.

When asked about UNH's associate degree program, Gray-Little acknowledged she wasn't familiar enough with associate degree programs to speak in depth about them, but said she didn't see a problem with them if they had the proper resources and were of high quality.

She also was queried about the challenges of minority recruitment, both within the faculty ranks and student body. Gray-Little said while UNH's problems with minority recruitment may be more extreme than other universities, they are not different.

"There is a perception that this is very far away, very white and very New England, and into that is read that there is hostility, as well. The people who I know who have been here tell a very different story," she said.

In order to give people from outside of New England the correct perception of New Hampshire, Gray-Little suggested a multifaceted approach that includes bringing outside faculty members to campus for conferences, and hiring more minority faculty members at UNH.

In retaining minority faculty and students, Gray-Little said it is important to develop support programs, but not to the point that they isolate minority faculty and students. "There is a fine line in letting them know they are welcome without singling them out," she said.

Gray-Little describes her management style as someone who likes to have a clear definition of the task at hand and then proceed. She enjoys receiving input from colleagues about problem solving and enjoys staying on task until the task is complete. "I don't think of myself as a person who generates a lot of new, creative ideas. I think I can recognize a good idea, and it doesn't make a difference to me where the ideas come from."

The most enjoyable part about being in academic administration for Gray-Little is when she is the catalyst for new academic programs. Among her accomplishments at UNC is the inception of the Office for Undergraduate Research, which she was able to start through a grant.

The least enjoyable part about being in academic administration, she said, is dealing with bureaucratic delays and unnecessary changes driven by egos. "We are expending a lot of effort and now we can't do it for what I consider an impermissible reason," she said. "That is very heartbreaking."

Gray-Little became executive associate provost in September 2001. She is responsible for ensuring that the university effectively carries out its teaching, research and public service missions. She collects input for, as well as implement new, academic plans and promotes interdisciplinary efforts that support those efforts. Gray-Little also works with the provost on the annual budget planning process and advises him in making major funding decisions.

From 1998 to 2001 she was the senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. She served as chair of the Department of Psychology from 1993 to 1998, and prior to that directed a graduate program in clinical psychology.

Her research reflects a continuing interest in the relation of social and cultural factors to personality and psychopathology. She has been a Social Science Research Council Fellow and a recipient of a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council.

She received her bachelor's degree from Marywood College (Scranton, Penn.), and a master's and Ph.D. in psychology from St. Louis University.

She has chaired or been a member of numerous university boards and committees, including the Chancellor's Advisory Committee.

Outside the University, Gray-Little has served on the American Psychological Association's Board of Educational Affairs, Board of Directors of Division 12, and Committee on Accreditation. She has served as an accreditation site reviewer, external consultant for academic programs, and consultant in the leadership development of business and academic executives.




Is Shakespeare the Cola-Cola of literature?

By Erika L. Mantz

Douglas Lanier, associate professor of English, explores how modern popular culture has appropriated and refashioned Shakespeare as a cultural icon in his new book, "Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture."

"Popular culture is often described as all the things other than high art," says Lanier, a Shakespeare scholar. "Things like movies, TV, radio, comic books, children's books, detective and romance novels. Typically these things have been thought of as a world apart from Shakespeare, but the line has blurred.

"In the book I argue that the intersection between Shakespeare and popular culture is an important subject to study," Lanier says, "and the popular appropriation of Shakespeare's works doesn't necessarily mean that Shakespeare has been dumbed down in the process. Because of popular culture, Shakespeare is the one author students consistently know something about before they walk into a literature classroom. Popular culture is one means by which Shakespeare remains in wide cultural circulation, read and performed in our own day, though not in traditional formats or with conventional meanings."

Lanier worked on the project for close to eight years, and says it wouldn't have been possible without the Internet. The Internet allowed him to tap the collective wisdom of fan communities outside the academic establishment, and more easily create a database of examples of Shakespeare in popular culture.




Greenhouse open house starts today

By Sharon Keeler

April is a great time of year to visit the UNH Greenhouse Open House. This year's Open House will provide plenty of interesting displays and information to help chase away winter and welcome spring.

The two-day event sponsored by UNH's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension and the Thompson School of Applied Science takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5, 2003.

It is free and open to the public.

UNH's Greenhouse Open House will include educational lectures, colorful displays and demonstrations on a wide range of topics to satisfy anyone interested in home gardening and landscaping.

Lecture topics include poisonous and edible plants, a "tour' of China, wild mushrooms, identification of backyard plants and carnivorous plants.

Other events and activities include plant sales, a plant diagnostic lab (bring your 'sick' plants for diagnosis) and a scavenger hunt for the children.

The UNH Greenhouse is located on Mast Road in Durham. Lectures take place in Putnam Hall across the parking lot.

For more information call Cheryl Estabrooke at 2-3200 or contact her by e-mail at cheryl.estabrook@unh.edu, or visit the Web site http://www.ceinfo.unh.edu/agnews.htm for program guide.




TPC outlines parking and transportation plans

By Lori Gula

The Transportation Policy Committee has outlined a zoned approach to parking that aims to reduce demand for parking spaces and increase investment in parking and transportation infrastructure, including the shuttle system and a new parking facility, by using increased parking permit fees to fund these investments.

University administrators presented the TPC's final report and recommendations at two recent community forums following two years of intensive study by the committee.

The recommendations, as well as community comments made at the forums and to the TPC, will be presented to President Ann Weaver Hart for her consideration. The president hopes to make a decision about the report by commencement.

Several recommendations, such as the increased parking fees, cannot be implemented without the endorsement of faculty through collective bargaining. Candace Corvey, vice president for finance and administration, who chairs the TPC, has said repeatedly that UNH will not implement changes for staff, and not faculty. All changes must apply to all employee groups.

"We are faced with a situation in which we decide the solutions are more painful than the status quo, or we come together and everybody contributes to changes from which everyone will benefit," Corvey said.

Turnout at two forums Thursday, March 27, and Tuesday, April 1, was well below turnout at forums held last fall, which were attended by hundreds of faculty, staff and students. However, the small turnout did not preclude lively discussions that touched on numerous issues, from affordability to the creation of a class system among UNH personnel. Other commended the committee for its work and nodded in agreement when the discussion turned to whether they would pay the higher prices for a better system.

Managing demand is key

One of the key strategies employed by the proposed system is demand management, which allows UNH to control parking by managing demand for parking permits as well as availability of permits at all levels, through use of a tiered permit pricing schedule.

"I think everyone would agree that there is a much greater value for a reserved spaced as opposed to an open hunting space," Corvey said. "The differential between a reserved and an unreserved space is large, and it is intended to reflect the value as well as reflect demand."

To that end, the proposed tiered pricing plan divides the campus into three zones and provides for two levels of permits in each zone for faculty, staff, and commuter students: reserved and unreserved. In Zone 1, which includes all core campus lots, reserved spaces would be priced at $1,000 a year. Unreserved spaces would be priced at $200 year and comparable to the $32 permits in effect now. vPerimeter campus lots, such as A Lot, are designated as Zone 2. Reserved Zone 2 spots would be $750; unreserved would be $125. Remote campus lots, such as West Edge, are designated as Zone 3. Reserved Zone 3 permits would be $500; unreserved would be $50. The earliest the tiered pricing plan would go into effect is July 1, 2004. It also must be agreed upon by the faculty through collective bargaining.

Tax savings may offset price

The university also is pursuing a pre-tax program that would allow employees to use payroll deduction to pay for parking permits before taxes, effectively reducing the cost of permits through tax savings.

Tax savings would depend on each individual's filing status and taxable income, but for someone in the 30 percent tax bracket, the estimated pre-tax cost for a Zone 1 unreserved permit could be about $140, Zone 2 unreserved, $88, and Zone 3 unreserved, $35.

Parking garage in the plan

Increasing permit prices would allow UNH to build an 800-space parking garage, which would add 600 spaces to campus. UNH hopes to use the parking garage, which could be in place by December 2005, to generate revenue from special event parking that then could be used to enhance the system.

Audience members asked if UNH could raise money, similar to the UNH Foundation's recent capital campaign, to build a parking garage.

Corvey explained that most large donors provide funding for academic programs for which they have a substantial emotional investment. Raising funds for a garage would need to become UNH's fundraising priority, but it is unlikely a donor would be as compelled to donate for a garage vs. a scholarship or academic program.

"If I could think of any other way to finance a $15 million parking facility other than to borrow the money and pay it back through parking permit prices, I would," Corvey said.

At one point, an audience member asked if the parking garage could be taken off the table so that parking permit fees would not increase as much as is anticipated. That prompted another attendee to speak up.

"We have been talking about a parking garage for 20 years. I do not want to take it off the table. I am willing to pay the $200," she said.

Concerned about the proposed price of permits, attendees asked why UNH could not price parking permits as a percentage of salary. Corvey explained that the TPC considered such a plan, but was strongly advised against it by universities that had tried to implement such a scaled pricing approach. "It was so complicated to administer and so fraught with potential errors. And wherever you have a cut-off point, you have mayhem," she said.

Issues of class discussed

Others were concerned that the tiered plan would raises issues of class, with the most well-paid employees being able to afford the most expensive, reserved spots in core campus.

"The people who can pay more get better parking places. We all work here together. That's not fair," one employee said. "If we pay $125 to park in A Lot, there's not guarantee we are going to have a space, so we are paying more to not have a space."

Stephen Pesci, special projects manager with Planning and Transportation Services, said that the proposed system actually would increase the supply of spaces available by 600 or just under 40 percent in Zone 2. In all zones, there would be better accessibility because of more active management of parking space categories and issued permits.

In addition, UNH plans to continue with its strict enforcement of illegal student parking in faculty/staff lots. Corvey said UNH has already increased towing of cars parked illegally in faculty/staff lots, and is considering a gated system in at least on location to better control who parks in which lots.

"At the end of the day, there is an aspect of our proposals that is experimental -- yet based on proven application at other universities. This is sweeping change, which we know has worked at other institutions. I believe it can work here but we will have to be prepared to refine it a bit as we go," Corvey said.

Report is available online

The TPC's final report and recommendations are available to view at http://www.unh.edu/parking/TPC/index.htm. Faculty and staff who want to make comments about the proposed plan can e-mail Candace Corvey at candace.corvey@unh.edu; Dirk Timmons, director of Parking and Transportation Services, at dirk.timmons@unh.edu; or Stephen Pesci, special projects manager with Parking and Transportation Services, at stephen.pesci@unh.edu.




FITSI announces faculty participants for 2003

FITSI 2003, which will be held June 9-13, is full of hands-on activities and sessions designed to help faculty successfully integrate technology into their teaching and curriculum. All sessions emphasize pedagogy and present ways in which technology can enhance and support student learning.

Faculty members selected are Radim Bartos, computer science; Daniel Bellar-McKenna, music; L. Rene Bergeron, social work; Jason Boccaro, recreation management and policy; Jennifer Borda, communication; C. Anne Broussard, social work; Gale Carey, animal and nutritional sciences; John Chaston, languages, literatures and cultures; Karen Collins, kinesiology; Russell Congalton, natural resources; Annie Donahue, UNH Manchester Library; Joseph Durocher, hospitality management; Barry Feldman, social work; Piero Garofalo, languages, literatures and cultures; Karen Graham, mathematics and statistics; Brad Kinsey, mechanical engineering; Bill Mautz, atural resources; Stef Nicovich, marketing; Dana Sansom, horticulture; and Bill Stine, psychology.




Faculty Senate Report

By Barbara Krysiak, Faculty Senate Chair

The Faculty Senate met Monday, March 10, 2003. President Ann Weaver Hart expressed her support for the NEASC self-study, and asked faculty to read the full Transportation Policy Committee report available on the Web.

Chancellor Reno said the university system presented its budget proposal to both outgoing and incoming governors. Gov. Benson discussed a 5 percent budget reduction for the first year of the biennium and a 2 percent cut for the second year. USNH made a budget presentation to the house Finance Committee, asking for increases of 6.4 percent in the first year and 6.2 percent in the second year. USNH, while understanding the governor's challenge and the state's problems, also knows the needs for higher education and must continue to work with the legislature.

In 2001, the legislature appropriated $100 million of the $185 million requested for capital improvements. USNH is asking for the remaining $85 million, now $96 million because of inflation. The chancellor asks that faculty communicate with citizens and legislators regarding the value that system institutions bring to the state.

The trustees have asked the university system to address these questions: How can we better marshal university system resources to be sure that we are fully in tune with the needs of the state? Is the university system organized in the best possible way to serve that purpose? What improvements could we suggest? What should be the relationship between the community technical colleges and the university? Preliminary findings will be presented in April.

Competency-based achievement is under review to see how it can be used to meet university admission standards. The chancellor has met with the state delegation regarding federal funding opportunities. There is growing concern about accountability in higher education including faculty productivity, use of facilities, scheduling, and time to degree. Our challenge is to explain to New Hampshire's citizens the value of educating needed college graduates, doing research, and collaborating with the state's needs.

Regarding faculty contract negotiations in Durham and Keene, the trustees will work with the chancellor to establish general parameters and give negotiating responsibility to senior administrators. Tuition for the 2004/05 academic year is expected to include 4.5 percent increases in both in-state and out-of-state tuition. The marketplace for higher education is very competitive, and tuition increases could have an immediate impact on enrollment.

Gregg Sanborn asked the senate to approve the 2004/05 academic calendar, which has fall break Friday, Oct. 15, 2004, rather than on Monday, the traditional Columbus Day. He said the change was suggested due to low class attendance last Thanksgiving when the Monday classes were scheduled on the Wednesday prior to the holiday. He explained that there are more university classes on Mondays than Fridays, so using Friday minimizes the impact.

A professor said switching classes from one day to another in the same week wreaks havoc on laboratory and teaching schedules. He suggested that, since fewer laboratory classes meet on Fridays, the break should be moved to Friday permanently. Another professor said a number of part-time faculty cannot change the day of the week. A professor suggested holding Saturday classes. Another said that students claim that a class is their only one on Friday and that they must get home.

Mark Wrighton moved that the Faculty Senate reaffirm its 2/25/02 motion establishing guideline 11 regarding the standard Columbus Day. The motion was defeated. Kelly Giraud moved that fall break be on Friday, Oct. 15, 2004, and that the 2004/2005 academic calendar proposed in Sanborn's letter be approved, as a one-time exception to the guideline. The motion passed with 12 ayes, nine nays, and five abstentions.

On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Mark Wrighton moved that the senate reconsider its 2/10/03 motion on software to detect plagiarism. The senate approved the motion, with amendments, to read: "The Faculty Senate with the vice president of academic affairs will explore technologies available for detecting plagiarism and will consider the ramifications of the use of these technologies. The Faculty Senate urges the administration and faculty of the University of New Hampshire to better educate students as to what constitutes plagiarism and the expectations regarding the originality of their work."