We live in a revolutionary time in higher education and in our world.
During my exposure to higher education in this state, from beginning as an undergraduate at The Citadel in 1954, to forty years later, I have seen this University grow into a true comprehensive University. This is a short time compared with the age of some of the world's great universities. But in that forty years, we grew from graduating 500 baccalaureate recipients to graduating 4,700. From 135 masters to nearly 2,000. From one Ph.D. to 285. From 4,300 enrolled students to 38,600. From 250 faculty to 2,400. From some 20 degree programs to more than 400. And from a one-campus university into a modern, multi-campus University that teaches on eight campuses and more than fifty sites across the state. In every aspect of the university, we've seen revolutions. Outside pressures continue intensifying, including funding pressures and professional affiliations that challenge our faculty's allegiance to our University and the higher ideals and principles that give our University credibility and character.
We've also seen the economics of university support change in a major way. It's not only that the state and federal government decreased support for higher education. Behind these shifts, we've also seen a profound idea change, that higher education is a private enterprise. This idea holds that after education to the most basic level--through high school--the individual must shoulder more financial responsibility. And we've seen this change at the same time higher education faces rising costs for technology and information, library resources, personnel, and infrastructure, things without which it literally cannot flourish or even exist. All this happened in a time of revolutionary change in the world. Consider the past five years: The end of the Cold War. The telecommunications explosion. The information explosion. Our University took 170 years, until 1971, to build its first one million volumes in the library. Ten years later, we had our second million. And we're approaching our third.
In the meantime, cultures increasingly inter-mingle. This causes great stresses, but also great opportunities for human, economic and cultural development, and, hopefully, peace and justice, that we've barely begun to appreciate.
And diversity came to center stage. Nineteen-fifty-four was also the year of Brown v. Board of Education. We must continue to rise to its challenge of justice, fairness, and equality in our multi- cultural society.
This simple mention of these revolutions highlights our immediate challenges. We also must prepare for the challenges of the 21st century. In such a shifting terrain, we must be clear about our goals to fulfill the role of our University in South Carolina and in our free-market democracy.
At the end of my remarks, I am going to describe the specific vision that I believe we need for our University. It points us toward specific goals as well as those traits that give individuals and institutions credibility and character. The world seems to be seeking individuals and institutions with credibility and character. With all the various institutions today--governmental, industrial, commercial, and private--I believe the best institution to serve the changing world is still the university. But only if it has credibility and character. Without them, it loses its ability to serve.
One of the most important ways to develop credibility if not character is by self-analysis, and by sticking to what gives you integrity and value. So before I spell out the specific vision, I want to reflect for a moment. Because it's been a busy three years of self-analysis and self-adjustment.
When the '90s began, this University was facing a financial and image crisis. It commanded attention, and not just good management, but also imagination and collective leadership. We looked at ourselves squarely, and I think we're a better University for it. Two summers ago, likewise, we supported our academic freedom during a debate over a course. In its attention to our responsibilities, it was similar to what we faced earlier. In both cases we re-affirmed the fundamental purposes of a university.
We also have conducted a number of extensive self- assessments. These have been collective efforts that this faculty made possible. We looked at our academic structure, programs, and priorities. We evaluated our technology and how to improve it. We reviewed our leadership. We looked at our operational processes. We looked at our administration and eliminated unnecessary administrative offices, and I think we did the right thing. We looked at our admissions and enrollment management system. We studied our physical plant. We discussed the vital issues as a multi-campus institution, and struggled, but in the end all eight campuses reached a new commitment to the concept of a multi-campus university. We looked at our development structure and our alumni relations. And we looked at our athletics program.
What were the results? I'll mention a brief dozen.
First, I think we've restored the faith the people of South Carolina have in this University. I can tell you that on the national level, among the faculty I know and among academic leaders and major foundations, the credibility and quality of this University were never in doubt. But image was a problem in other constituencies. I think it's been solved. All over the state, I have seen a renewed sense of trust in this institution. It may be the most important achievement of all for us.
Second, our faculty should feel a new sense of shared empowerment. Because of the faculty's involvement, we accomplished a great deal. Through the Future Committee process, we established clearer academic priorities, despite a bleak financial background. And we invested based upon priorities--$16 million over three years. What a difference going through that tough process made in our credibility during budget negotiations with the General Assembly this year.
Third, we re-committed ourselves to undergraduate excellence across all our campuses. I've called our Carolina Scholar winners each spring, and there's no question that we can compete for these talented students. That message is getting out, and we're going to keep working at it. As part of this, you voted to raise admissions standards, continued strengthening the tenure and promotion process and standards, and we continued rewarding good teaching. That focus on undergraduate excellence is critical for us as the state's only comprehensive public university. Most people don't realize that we have nearly double the degree programs of any other institution in South Carolina. The Southern Regional Education Board calls us a "Four Year I" institution. There are only 73 of them in the United States. We're the only one in this state. They're the most comprehensive universities, from undergraduate up to the doctoral programs.
Fourth, we made progress toward resolving salary inequities built up over many years. We've also begun to establish an equitable process to prevent those from re-occurring. That is crucial for morale and fairness on all our campuses. The pay for performance increases we initiated this year is only the first step to making our salaries competitive. We want to pay "Category One" salaries to "Category One" faculty. In all these academic areas, the provost is going to give you more specifics and the dollar investments.
Fifth, we've begun wiring the University of South Carolina for the 21st century. We've joined the "information highway." We laid fifteen miles of fiber-optic cable this summer. We're introducing new technical equipment. We have almost finished linking 180 buildings on this campus and interconnecting them all on the one backbone. So far, we've invested almost $4.5 million dollars in these computer communications. We are doing it in a coordinated fashion to link all eight campuses by computer. Few universities in this region possess this computer linkage. For our faculty and staff, but especially for our service to our students, this is a major step.
Sixth, we established a comprehensive master facilities plan. This $425 million plan is as bold a plan for our physical plant as we've ever had. This summer, the board approved the first phase. Two weeks ago, so did the Commission on Higher Education. By 2001, the first phase will mean more green spaces around the Horseshoe; new and renovated academic buildings; additional recreational and parking space; and the renovation or re-building of a third of all USC Columbia campus housing. We already have renovated a number of dormitories.
Seventh, we developed a new enrollment management and information system. We had over 50,000 inquiries from students this year. This should be our guide: A student who inquires about attending our University should be a potential member of the University of South Carolina family for life. Students should feel like they are served, that we care for them.
Eighth, with openings from retirement and other vacancies and departmental needs, we hired 365 new faculty on the eight campuses, even during a time of flat budgets. One-hundred-and- ninety-two of them have been tenure-track. It's a credit to you that these new colleagues committed to this institution. They are some of the best young faculty anywhere. We are building for the future in combination with the excellence we already have.
Ninth, we re-integrated athletics into the University. The athletic department participated fully in the Future Committee process and now contributes $1.5 million the University's general fund, including $100,000 annually to general scholarships. We want an athletic program that in every respect is a credit to this University. We are recruiting the best student-athletes. We've also taken major steps toward gender equity in the athletic department and hired excellent women leaders in athletics administration and coaching positions. We are adding new women's sports. We want our female student-athletes to be able to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the highest level.
Tenth, we established a Five-Point Plan that states our specific program to serve minorities inside and outside the University. We must continue to play a leadership role in this crucial area for our community and state. We have the highest percentage of minority students of any historically white public university in America. You may have seen the August issue of Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. It ranks us third among public institutions in graduating black students, behind only the Universities of Virginia and Michigan.
Eleventh, we conducted national searches and welcomed our new leadership. Over the past three years, we've appointed six new deans on the Columbia campus, two regional campus deans, and a chancellor. Five of these deans have come from within the University, a tribute to them and this faculty that they were selected after competitive national searches.
Twelfth, this summer, the Commission on Higher Education adopted the report on the two-year campuses, without alterations. That secures the concept of the University of South Carolina as a multi-campus University. We already have begun to implement the report's recommendations.
That completes a select review of what were many more actions from these last three years. The credit for them goes largely to a faculty and University community willing to engage in self-scrutiny, to give time and commitment to the larger questions in addition to your other responsibilities, and to build toward quality in everything we do. If we are not going to do it well, we should not do it at all.
Now, where do we go from here? We've looked at ourselves with intensity. We've taken steps to build upon the foundation of this University. We've made difficult choices and begun backing them up with financial investments.
Looking ahead, I believe our vision must address three obligations:
First, our vision must be ambitious but realistic. Not a product of hype or public relations, but of substance. Not selfish, but communal and selfless. Not stimulating cynicism, but responding to constructive skepticism. In this way, our vision can strengthen the credibility and character of this great University.
Second, our vision must help us serve our young people. We must be a catalyst for this state to create wealth, strengthen the economy, and improve the lives of all those we serve. But most of all we must raise the sights of our young people, to economic success and to all the dimensions that enrich life--for their well- being and the well-being of those whose lives they touch.
And, third, our vision must help us fulfill our obligations to the larger society of our nation and world.
Our vision begins with two mutually reinforcing goals. We must achieve them by 2001.
We should aspire to be one of the top five public universities in the Southeast. You can't put us, yet, with UVA, UNC, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and the University of Tennessee. We ought to be of such high-quality that we come immediately to mind whenever such a list is made. In the past ten years, Florida and Georgia made tremendous progress. We can be equally successful in the years ahead.
And we should be of such quality as to deserve membership in the top 60 universities in America, the Association of American Universities. It currently has 58 members, two from Canada, 56 from the United States. The AAU invites institutions that have strong programs of graduate and professional education and research. The Universities of Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia are members, and there's no reason we can't be. In many ways we deserve the invitation now. In other ways, we have much work to do. We are the only University in the state that has an opportunity for such membership.
To attain these two over-arching aims, we must pursue a series of specific visions--tangible and intangible. Working toward them, we will be of such quality as to deserve membership in the AAU. But more importantly, our diligent pursuit of these goals shall make us better for the sake of our fundamental purpose as a university. They will help us establish those right conditions under which we can best contribute to the lives of our young people and our changing society. What are these specific tangible visions?
In our academic programs, by 2001, I believe we should:
One, have one of the top five public undergraduate programs in the Southeast. Every great public research university that I know of builds upon a great undergraduate program. This means excellent teaching, and an excellent undergraduate student population. We must significantly increase our recruitment of the finest students. And when they come here, they must find the excellent teaching we promise. The provost will speak to other aspects of this more specifically.
Two, have the best honors college in the South. We're almost there, but we must continuously improve this program.
Three, have at least a dozen graduate and professional programs among the South's top ten. Some are there now. Some have potential for this stature.
Four, improve our peer-reviewed scholarship. Quality over quantity.
And, fifth, provide competitive faculty and staff salaries. Last year, I said my three top priorities were "salaries, salaries, and salaries." Thanks to the General Assembly and the support of the board for the tuition increase, we have lifted salaries out of their holding pattern. And we are going to continue to do everything we can to get the resources to pay our faculty and staff properly based upon merit.
In the area of infrastructure, we have only one tangible goal to achieve by 2001 as part of the larger vision I've described: We must provide one of the finest learning environments in the nation. This means having one of the top five public universities in the South in information technology. Our investments in this area have put us far ahead of our peers. That investment will continue. It also means our university library must be one of the top 50 in the nation. We've made major library investments these past three years, and we will continue to do so. And it means completing our ambitious master plan.
Finally, the last tangible parameter of our vision, that of funding and research. It calls for five specific achievements:
First, by 2001, we must stabilize our tuition. It's unfair to our students and their families when we increase tuition at the last minute and often erratically. The current budget process, unfortunately, forces us to make budget decisions in late June or, as with this year, in July. I am working now with the CHE on a five- year plan that would assure increased, stable funding from the state. In return, we will stabilize tuition increases and avoid last-minute increases. To achieve this, we will ask the General Assembly to commit to stable funding as a percentage of the cost of higher education. Together we can ease the burden on our students and their families.
Second, by 2001, we must double our funded research, service, and training grants to $140 million per year.
Third, by 2001, we must raise our endowment from its current value of $80 million to $200 million.
Fourth, by 2001, we must increase private giving to $50 million per year. I assure you, we will be tireless in pursuing proper state support. But in these changing times, we also must be tireless in seeking private funding. We've already begun laying the groundwork for a major capital campaign for all our campuses.
Now, to the intangibles. You have heard me use Chaos Theory in physics as a metaphor for the difference a university and an individual can make in the world. Chaos physics focuses on small perturbations that can produce massive changes in complex systems. But those changes only come about when the conditions are right. Chaos physics shows us the meaningful inter-relations between all parts of a complex system, and how each depends on the other.
With that in mind, I would ask, what are the right conditions for this University to meet its higher responsibilities?
These conditions speak to the finer principles of human communities. They speak to our heritage. They speak to our role in serving all the people of South Carolina. And they relate to our role in addressing the political, social, and cultural revolutions we've seen in this country and around the world. We thought that at the end of the Cold War, we would live in a more just and peaceful world. But what we've seen is the cap lifted from extraordinary tensions among different cultures.
How are we going to solve these problems without the help of universities? What other institution besides a university can give the enlightenment, guidance, and insight needed to address these complex issues?
I ask these questions believing that a university can only serve in this broad way if it has credibility and character, and the moral authority attendant to them. What are the right conditions for that credibility and character?
The conditions include having a genuine image. Our institution's quality, value system and commitment can stand on their own, without manipulation. Not only are we the state's largest, most comprehensive university, we also are the oldest and furthest-reaching. And we were founded upon higher principles. Our motto speaks to this: "Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel." We should honor our heritage with a legitimate and honorable image.
The conditions include a culture of healthy skepticism. Our skepticism must not degenerate into cynicism. Which does a student, our university, our society need: healthy skepticism, or cynicism?
The conditions include a commitment to seeking truth for its own sake. It's not easy, of course. The world continually tries to fool us, to create illusions, to distort reality, to oversimplify, to paint a picture of things different from the truth. We see that in political races, in business practices, and in our culture and the rhetoric cast our way. A university must help see through these distortions. One purpose of a liberal arts education is to enable you to see through what might fool you and make your own decisions based upon the truth.
And the conditions include honoring the fundamental laws of a university: seeking, imparting, and using knowledge to benefit others; avoiding conflicts of interest; having integrity; and treating students and each other with honesty, fairness, trust, and respect. These are the intangible qualities of the great universities, and there is no reason our University cannot be exemplary in upholding them. We should hire with these principles in mind. We should make tenure and promotion decisions with these principles in mind. We should evaluate our colleagues' performance, and our own, with these principles in mind. This is particularly critical in an institution that guarantees lifetime employment. It is a high responsibility of university life, and it calls us to self-assess, to self-criticize, and to self-correct.
The university that has these conditions and respects these higher ideals will be stronger. It will be better able to help solve problems that our society faces. It will be better able to prepare its students to lead and serve. It will have the right conditions for achieving the tangible goals. It will have character and credibility.
We have grown for 193 years, especially over the last forty, to a stature I suspect our founders could not have imagined, to have an impact they likely never dreamed. Now, after all our recent self- scrutiny, we are ideally positioned to play a major role not only in this state, but also in the nation and the world. We stand on the verge of a new century. At a time when you and I share responsibility for this University. Whether here or elsewhere, we joined university life, I suspect, for both noble and practical purposes. As we look ahead for this University, I suggest that we begin again with respect for the noble purposes. In those purposes, our vision finds meaning. From those purposes, springs the real value of a university and of university life.
Our 38,000 students have returned to our eight campuses. You can feel their energy, hope, and optimism. I've been working in universities for 35 years, and I never stop getting that lift from these young people. I think it's one reason we all stay in university life. This year, I am more optimistic than at any time since I joined this University of our ability to realize our collective goals and move forward toward the greater vision of this institution. I believe that we are a University of credibility and character. I believe that we are dedicated to serving our students, and to returning to our society graduates and service that are worthy of the university life we share. I look forward to our continued efforts this year, and I thank you for all your support and dedication.
We begin this academic year with a great sense of momentum and anticipation, even excitement. I sense a new spirit of enthusiasm and commitment on the part of the faculty that I have not seen in the past two years, due at least in part to the fact that at last we were able to provide merit salary increases for faculty. We made progress across several fronts over the summer, which contributes, I believe, to a new sense of good feeling for and about the University.
You have heard President Palms articulate his long-term vision for this University. In order to reach that ultimate vision, we have some immediate tasks, some short-term goals which must be met. We must have the full and active participation of the faculty if we are to meet these goals, and that is why your morale is so important to us. This afternoon, I want to lay out what I consider to be our immediate objectives as well as a strategy for achieving them.
Before I do that, please allow me to detail some of the other positive steps we have taken over the summer in constructing the budget for this academic year.
You should know that the salary plan was not achieved without great difficulty. Although we received a net increase of $1.5 Million in new funds plus a 4% appropriation for salaries, we had to absorb a $2.5 Million reduction in the budget in lost tuition revenue as a result of projected declining enrollment. In addition, the Governor vetoed a portion of the state appropriation, adding to our problem. Notwithstanding these difficulties, we were able to increase the actual average merit salary increase to just over 6%, as a result of funds reallocated to salaries through the University Future Committee plan.
The commitment to salaries was grounded in the realization that our ability to make progress in meeting our short-term objectives hinges on full participation by the faculty, and thus, on faculty morale.
I want to assure you that salaries will remain our number one priority in the coming legislative session. We realize that one good rain does not end a drought. We must break out of the pattern of occasional merit pay plans in election years to a pattern of regular and recurring appropriations for salaries. This will not necessarily be easy, and it will require work from all of us to increase public support for higher education that can be translated into legislative appropriations.
Appointment and Review of Deans While salaries were our principal concern, we have taken some additional positive steps that address directly some of the concerns we have heard from faculty. Dr. Palms has already mentioned the appointment of new deans. I am delighted at the appointment of our six new deans, who are already bringing new vitality and vision to the most significant level of academic leadership in the University. I look forward to working with them. In addition, more searches for key positions are just underway or about to begin -- the Vice Provost for Research, the Vice President for Medical Affairs/Dean of the School of Medicine, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies, and Director of the University Press.
I want to thank all the faculty who have served on search committees for all these positions. This is arduous service, and it is vital to the university to have your participation in the search process. It is equally important that the people appointed to these positions be accountable and responsible in their service, and to that end, we have also put in place a schedule for the automatic five-year review of all deans, beginning with the most senior deans. The first reviews will take place in 1995-96, with review committees being formed in the spring of 1995. These reviews will take place in accordance with the policy established to govern this process, a policy that was developed in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee over a year ago.
Incentives for Faculty Research We have developed a philosophy of funding academic programs that puts the money as close to the local level as possible, keeping very little centrally. In line with this philosophy, we decided to place the allocation of one-time funds for new faculty start-up and for research grant equipment matches on a more rational and stable footing for college deans. In addition, we wanted to provide additional incentives to faculty to seek external funding. Therefore, we have established a policy effective with the current budget to allocate directly to each college an amount of one-time funding in direct proportion to the indirect cost recovery produced by that college, eliminating the back-and-forth negotiations between deans and the Office of the Provost for equipment matches and start-up funds. For most colleges, this has translated into an increase in the funding available; no college has been adversely affected. Most importantly, since the amount of the allocation each year will flow directly from previous year's grant funding, the incentive to produce more external funding will be clear.
Following the recommendations of a faculty committee, we doubled the funding allocated to the Research and Productive Scholarship Fund, which supports faculty scholarship and seed funds for new research. This is the first increase in this fund since it was established in 1978.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize the increase in research activity that is already taking place. Research funding at USC increased 5% this past year, while most major universities saw declines or stable funding. Our faculty submitted 1290 proposals this past year, an 11% increase from the preceding year. That is wonderful progress.
Rewarding Outstanding Teaching For the past two years, we have said much about the need to reward excellent teaching. However much we talk about it however, I have sensed a lingering skepticism that we really mean it; that when the chips are down, research is all that counts. We sought a way to send a clear message that excellence in teaching is a vital and essential part of the reward structure of the University. Therefore, we retroactively increased the salaries of all the previous AMOCO Teaching Award winners by the current amount of the cash award, $2500. In the future, this award will carry not only a cash award from the AMOCO Foundation, but a permanent salary increase in the same amount.
The first Board of Trustees Teaching Professorship was awarded this summer to Professor Horatio Farach in the Department of Physics, based upon the recommendation of a faculty committee.
I want to stress that when I talk about teaching, I am talking about teaching at all levels, including graduate level instruction. Graduate students need incredible amounts of faculty time and attention. Many of them will enter the academy as the next generation of faculty. More than we realize, they will emulate what they see in us.
Advances in Information Technology Dr. Palms has reported briefly on the progress made over the summer with regard to completion of the computer network. I want to thank Vice Provost George Terry and Director George Ballington and the staff of Computer Services Division for an incredible amount of progress over the summer. We have invested over $4 Million in laying over 15 miles of fiber optic cable, linking an additional 84 buildings and increasing the number of workstations from 2300 to 5218. Dr. Terry tells us that this project is now 97% complete, an amazing feat in a very short period of time. This compares to a 50% completion rate at Chapel Hill which has just let a contract with ATT to complete their network over the next three years.
A little over a year ago, we created the new division of Libraries and Information Technology under Dr. Terry's leadership, eliminating a separate structure with its own vice provost. The results speak for themselves and are a tribute to George and his entire staff. It is gratifying as well to see how many other universities are following our example with regard to the integration of libraries and computer services.
Classroom Renovations Also as a result of the reallocations of the Future Committee, we have begun the process of renovating our major lecture halls. Calcott and Currell Auditoriums were renovated over the summer. This will be an on-going process to bring our classrooms up to modern standards.
The Vitality of New Faculty In a moment, each college dean will introduce the new faculty appointed in that college this year. Again, as a result of the budgetary restructuring made possible both by the Future Committee reallocations and the retirement incentive program, we have been able to bring to the University some great additions to the faculty. That we have added 365 new faculty, 192 new tenure-track faculty, over the past three years is an indication of the dynamism of this University. For the coming year, we have added 52 tenure-track faculty across all campuses, 36 tenure-track faculty at Columbia. Well over half of these appointments have been women; university- wide, we have added nine African Americans to tenure track positions, seven at Columbia.
Investments in Development: Capital Campaign In the current budget, we have committed sufficient resources to allow the beginning of a staff-building process that will ultimately culminate in constituent development officers in each of the colleges and sufficient central staff to support a major campaign. Over the next two years, we shall add at least $1 Million to the development program to create this essential human resource. Many of our goals depend upon our ability to build the University's endowment to support academic quality in terms of scholarships and fellowships, endowed faculty chairs, and program support endowments.
Our Immediate Goals for the University If we are to achieve the long term vision that President Palms has laid out for us, we must lay out for ourselves a concrete plan of action to attain that vision. If we aspire to be elected to membership in the AAU, which would designate us as among the 50 top research universities in the nation, (and I believe that is an appropriately lofty yet attainable goal), then we must establish as a short range goal lifting the University of South Carolina out of the third quartile of rankings in U.S. News and World Report. Certainly, no one in this room is satisfied with that ranking, not the least because our major in-state rival Clemson is listed in the second quartile. How is this ranking derived, and what can we do to change it?
If we analyze the principal qualitative differences between this university and Clemson, notwithstanding the significant difference in mission and scope between the two institutions, Clemson's only advantage is in the quality of the undergraduate student body. By almost every measure, Clemson outperforms USC in recruiting good students from South Carolina high schools and does considerably better out of state.
Is Clemson's faculty superior to ours? Absolutely not. Are their graduate programs superior to ours? Clearly not. Department by department, except for a few technological or agricultural areas where we would expect them to be the lead institution, we have better quality and far greater diversity and comprehension.
How, then, did we arrive at this point? I suggest it comes as a result of years of neglect, with little attention to the quality of undergraduate students.
We have already set in motion the process to change that equation by the actions of the faculty to raise admission standards last year and again next fall. We saw a precipitous increase in the average SAT scores of entering freshmen last fall, and we are holding our own this fall. However, raising admission standards alone is not enough. We must make some fundamental changes in the quality of the undergraduate experience; fundamental changes in the very culture of this University.
Improving the Quality of the Undergraduate Experience We have taken concrete steps to improve dramatically the quality of the undergraduate experience. I want to acknowledge here the leadership of Interim Associate Provost Don Greiner, who has spearheaded all of what I am about to detail.
We are preparing to open Preston Dormitory next fall as the first residential college at the University of South Carolina. The dorm will be restored and reconfigured to allow for an apartment for a faculty principal; we will create seminar and discussion rooms and some offices for faculty who will serve as faculty associates to the college. These faculty will agree to eat at least one meal each week with the residents of the college, to be part of an on-going program of discussion groups and educational experiences sponsored by the college. We all know how these colleges have created the special ambiance at Ivy League institutions and, closer to home, at the University of Virginia. It can happen here as well.
We have created the Office of Scholarships and Summer Programs, housed in the Honors College under the able leadership of director Novella Beskid, who has already commenced a program of mentoring and coaching students to prepare for Truman, Goldwater, Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, and other major awards. Notwithstanding the absence of any organized program to mentor students for such awards in the past, we have had some success. Other universities, however, who have engaged in an organized approach to this opportunity have had far greater results. We are confident that this will make a difference.
Last week during student orientation, for the first time our entering freshmen had an academic experience as they learned their way around the university. Three-hundred-eighty freshmen were all asked to read Pat Conroy's The Water Is Wide before they came. Don Greiner asked thirty-eight members of the faculty to lead discussion groups about the book. The students saw an exhibit in McKissick Museum about the island where Conroy taught school; they went to lunch together with the faculty discussion leaders, where the discussions continued -- "this book is racist -- no its not -- this is what the south is like -- the south has changed." Intellectual ferment and excitement over lunch. Most importantly, those students had an early and a very positive encounter with a real faculty member.
We are also developing proposals for a three-year baccalaureate program, and dual undergraduate and graduate/law/or medicine admission for students with high grade point averages and sufficient high school advanced placement work. These proposals have been drafted by Peter Sederberg, the new dean of the Honors College and will be submitted this year to the Faculty Senate and the Graduate Council for approval.
This fall, during one week every student taking English 101 or 102 on the Columbia campus will read the same book. That means just about every freshman student will be reading the same book at the same time, and we hope, talking about it.
Let us not forget that we have in University 101 a program already in place that is a national model for freshmen seminars, a program that makes a positive and demonstrable contribution to student retention. I want to urge members of the faculty to develop special sections of 101 designed specifically for students entering specific majors or colleges. Such seminars are already in place in Humanities and Social Sciences, Applied Professional Sciences, Journalism, and Science and Math.
Why are these programs important? What is the common element of their success? Clearly, the answer is direct faculty involvement; direct faculty contact in and out of the classroom.
We should ask ourselves, what is the secret of the success of the small liberal arts college? What is their competitive edge? The answer is clear: direct contact between students and quality faculty, faculty who are scholars, who love teaching, and who love students. The most successful of these colleges create a real sense of academic community.
What is the most frequent charge made against large research universities? You know it as well as I do -- that we don't care about undergraduates, that we don't care about teaching, that we don't reward those who do. That charge hits us all -- faculty and administration.
If we are going to change external perceptions of the University, we must first work internally to change the culture. That must be our task together if we are going to climb out of the third tier.
The Critical Role of Faculty in Changing the Culture; in attaining our goals.
Let us be candid about some critical changes that have occurred in the academy nationally over the past two decades. As the pressures to publish and to pursue external grants have mounted, (and here I am describing changes that have occurred in every college and university in this country), faculty have increasingly come to identify themselves not with their home institution, but with their national and international professional associations, with their research colleagues. As the nature of research itself has become ever more narrowly focused, we have experienced what some have called the atomization of the academy. I understand the need for connectivity with one's research colleagues around the world. Somehow, however, we must recover the sense of institutional citizenship, which I fear we have lost.
I ask each one of you to think back upon your decision to enter the profession of scholarship. I believe that each one of us was lead by a love of learning, a love of the pursuit of knowledge, by intrinsic idealism. If we are going to succeed in changing the culture of this university for students, we must first change it for ourselves. We must recapture our lost idealism, our lost faith in the virtue of the pursuit of truth, the pursuit of beauty, the pursuit and definition of ethical and moral values.
We must not only recapture that spirit of idealism, we must harness it and use it as the engine of change, as we begin to pursue our full potential as a community of scholars.
As we raise standards for students, so must we continue to raise the standards that we set for ourselves. That is why the work of the University Committee on Tenure and Promotions to provide a stronger framework for the establishment of unit criteria is so important. The General Faculty body will deliberate these proposed changes. I hope that the entire faculty will participate in the process and that the ultimate result will be a major step forward in achieving our vision.
A Strategy to Recruit "High End" Students
Don Greiner and I asked Professor Randy Engle in the Department of Psychology to study our policies and procedures for the recruitment and scholarship awards. Dr. Engle chairs the Carolina Scholars Committee and is strongly committed to the Honors College. He has made some specific recommendations for some fundamental changes in both policy and procedure which were unanimously endorsed by the Council of Academic Deans.
The underlying tenet of his recommendations is that we if we succeed in recruiting the very best students, the "merely excellent will follow." He recommends that we develop a concrete set of recruiting goals for the university and that we use the award of merit-based scholarship money as a means of implementing that mission. Specifically, he recommends that we set a goal of increasing the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled as freshmen by 20% per year for the next 10 years by doubling the current amount of the awards given to National Merit Scholars. He cites two other universities that have used this strategy to increase dramatically the number of national merit scholars enrolled.
I am convinced that some fundamental changes in recruitment and scholarship award strategy are essential if we are to make the fundamental change we seek in the quality of the undergraduate student population. I welcome the advice and counsel of the faculty as we consider this important policy issue.
At the same time, let us not forget the equally important issue of quality graduate students. Carol Garrison, the new dean of the Graduate School, argues persuasively for new funding to support competitive graduate student fellowships, pointing out that the University of Georgia funds about $2 Million each year in competitive fellowships and the University of Maryland about $4 Million, while we spend a few thousand dollars. I believe the most appropriate source of new funds for graduate fellowships would be increased indirect cost recovery from grants, which I have already addressed.
However, policy and funding changes alone will not solve our problem. We must also change our culture, and this can happen only with the full, active, and enthusiastic participation of the faculty.
The Critical Role of Faculty in Recruiting Students
First, faculty need to be directly involved in the recruitment of these "high end" students. This works at other institutions, small liberal arts colleges most notably, but increasingly at large universities as well. Our faculty need to be in the twenty-five top high schools in South Carolina --not just the Education faculty, but our math and science faculty, English, history, psychology, music and art. Our up-state neighbor has demonstrated the effectiveness of this kind of direct faculty involvement in recruiting students. Last year they made a concerted effort for their faculty to be present at the Governor's School of Science and Math-- giving lectures, conducting special seminars, and just being visible. The results speak for themselves. From last year's Governor's School, 17 students matriculated at Clemson, 4 at Carolina.
Second, we have to develop a culture of concern about student learning and progress, a culture that intervenes when students are not doing well; that takes seriously its obligations not only in the classroom, but out of the classroom as well, to be available for counseling and advising.
Recruitment and Retention Are the Keys to Maintaining Enrollments
At the beginning of these remarks, I referenced the budgetary impact of $2.5 Million as a result of declining enrollments. In two years, we have lost a total of $5 Million in lost tuition, and we are projecting yet another similar loss a year from now. Most of these losses are due to poor retention. We will address this gradually through raising the entrance threshold, but in the short term, that will hurt enrollments also, probably about 300 fewer freshmen next fall.
I am absolutely convinced that intervention by the faculty is the key to retention, that we do not have to accept these projected enrollment losses as a given. This is not an invitation to grade inflation. Not only is that dishonest, it merely places a cosmetic cover to the problem. The answer lies in the very culture change that I have been describing. We can do a better of job of advising students, of intervening and counselling.
We can also be more entrepreneurial in finding new and more efficient ways to teach. With the $4 Million investment we are making in information technology, and additional investments in television studios for distance education, we will be well- positioned to continue as a leader in the field of distance education. The average age of the college freshmen nationwide is rising each year. We can no longer think of undergraduates as being solely in the 18-22 year old range. We need to be innovative in finding ways to reach this expanding market.
We shall establish a new system of enrollment-based budgeting, providing incentives for colleges and departments that can find ways to be more productive. The College of Library and Information Science is a good example of what I call "academic capitalism," now exporting its master's degree program via television to the states of Georgia, West Virginia, and Maine. The College of Business Administration has just signed contracts with Sonoco and Blue Cross Blue Shield for distance education delivery degree programs. The corollary to enrollment-based budgeting is, of course, that units whose productivity declines will also see their resources decline.
In short, we have a two-fold task, and we cannot afford to fail at either of them. First, we must improve our recruitment of quality students, recognizing that student quality is essential to being the kind of university we aspire to be.
At the same time, we must maintain enrollments, or we shall continue to see our budgets eroded by lost tuition. These two goals are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they reinforce each other. The more successful we are in attracting the very best students, the more attractive we will be to those who just meet our admission standards.
I truly believe that the University of South Carolina stands at a critical turning point in its history. To paraphrase Frost, two roads diverge. Which shall we take? Let us take the road less travelled, the road that leads away from mediocrity and being merely adequate; away from scholarly isolation; away from cynicism, distrust, and despair; let us take the upward path, through the yellow wood, that leads through hope and vision; through the search for truth and excellence, to the community of scholars that each of us sought when, in the idealism of our innocent beginnings, we made our individual commitments to this pursuit.
Statement by the committee chair for the committee.
I want to make a comment about the privilege that I and so many others in the room that I see served on the UCTP have in seeing colleagues like those introduced today come through with promise of making contributions to this university and to the unique responsibilities we have as a university faculty member. It is a high honor. It is one that all of else who serve on this committee take seriously and as one of the elected members of the committee and now chair this year I want to report to you that what we have done this summer in terms of follow through on the minutes of the May meeting last year - like last spring - is to continue with the orientation sessions we do for new faculty who are chairing unit committees and for candidates who intend to go up for tenure and promotion and to try to be as open about the process as we can be. I want to get to the business at hand but I do want to have a chance to make a plea to my colleagues who are here today to talk to the elected members and appointed members of this committee. A lot of you have colleagues who have served on this committee and there needs to be a lot more truth telling about the relationship that this committee has with the Provost and the President's office and with unit chairs etc. This is the highest form of service I know of to the University. These members work their buns off to do right by the institution etc. What this proposal from the committee last year about the guidelines is all about is the fact that as the public that decides the link in the size of the shadow with the reputation of this place - that is the faculty have to be just as introspective of ourselves as we ask all the other constituent groups that have a stake in this institution to do. And so certainly and appropriately the Provost and the President and the President took the lead last year and said "it seems to us that you the UCTP come back on a rather consistent basis with questions concerning unit guidelines and maybe we need to be more proactive and the faculty who have served as chair of this committee in the past and who are serving on the committee now maybe you have some ideas about what we can do to get the faculty to perhaps revisit the issue of unit guidelines etc. This is not an effort on the part of the Administration in any way to be coercive. There were some points raised at the meeting last May that it appeared that the UCTP had adopted guidelines from another institution. I am offended by that as somebody who spent a good deal of time writing much of the document. I have sat down and written a letter to the members of the UCTP summarizing some of the things that we have done this summer talking about the fact that I have had lunch with the Provost who visited with some of the faculty members who were concerned about this process and said that we were going to have a general faculty meeting on the 7th and it would be the recommendation of myself after having talked to outgoing chair Jean Wood and to the Provost that what we do is encourage units to look at the recommendations of the UCTP regarding changes in the language in the FM, to encourage them to talk to colleagues who have served on this committee, to people who are serving on it now, that we would try to get on the gopher system a copy of that so that any of you who have misplaced your paper copy. We would have these recommendations available in every form that we can imagine and then we come back at an appropriate time and have a called general faculty meeting. I don't know when that will be. Ideally perhaps it would be this fall but maybe that doesn't give the units a chance to deliberate and think about this issues. What I do want to say is that this is an honest attempt on the part of the UCTP to come to grips with two things. There is if we are honest with ourselves - there is unevenness in the quality and standards of several units with respect to teaching and scholarship. If you do believe that the reputation of Carolina is largely a function of the reputation of the faculty in large measure and that's what our research shows about the intention of students to come to graduate school etc. I have been involved in some of that work. The two publics that are most important are our students who have been there and the faculty. And if 39% of the revenues of the university are coming from state government we have to make up the rest and the reputation, the energy, the commitment of the faculty to contributing to the knowledge base from which we teach, from taking the idea of service as a normatively contribution all of us make in every profession to the community at large. If we really believe in those things then there is no reason to fear having a group of our colleagues and peers suggest to us that we go back and look at some of the language in the handbook - faculty handbook that we think is contributing to some of the problems that we have in our unit guidelines and saying let's continue the process of trying to meet and discuss our unit guidelines. Let's deal with the fact that the university is changing and that it is no longer reasonable perhaps to follow a policy that now exists which is that faculty members who have been hired in a particular year under a set of guidelines be obliged that the institution and units be obliged to honor those guidelines throughout the academic life of that faculty member. So the issues in the recommended language change are twofold. One is yes there is some recommended language in the UCTP recommendations. that suggest in terms of the syntax of that prose and some of you called that to our attention that we seem to be waiting. The language with respect to tenure and promotion guidelines and in the direction of scholarship and teaching and we don't seem to be putting much emphasis on service. In my letter to my colleagues on this committee I said let me try somebody has served on a committee on two occasions to give you my sense, may take on why I think if that is the impression faculty have that it is entirely logical. And I start in that letter with the idea that there is something idiosyncratic about being a member of the professoriate that has to do with contributing to the knowledge base from which we teach. We have a comparative advantage in doing that. People expect us to do it. And so why isn't it reasonable to suggest that we want faculty in all of Ernest Boyer's sense - scholarship and discovery etc. to be productive, active scholars. And that be effective in sharing that with students. And then I say I don't think service is unimportant - it's a kind of primitive term. Surely all of us take the notion of being stewards to the community and participating as public servants seriously. Now sure some service commitments are truly extraordinary and maybe should be rewarded in an extraordinary ways. But the idea that we would expect faculty members to take especially seriously issues having to do with scholarship and teaching seem entirely appropriate. But this is a debate we can have and we know that the professional schools and I represent one sometimes you are very active in terms of their service obligations and cases can be made for the fact that they are not actively not involved with those publics who are hiring our students and who are coming back to us 10 and 15 years after those students have graduated and asking for services etc. that our source of funding will dry up. and they won't hire our students. We have a service obligation. So one of the debates about does the language put to much emphasis on service. Perhaps. It's a debate we can have. It is your call. It is not my call as chair of the committee or the 24 members - we are not getting pressure from John Palms or Jim Moeser and that is something I want to really spell out that is something that our colleagues that may or may not be aware of. This really truly what we do in the UCTP is to represent as best we can the interest of the faculty and the institution and we give of our time and try to give as fair a review to this as we can. There is no - people don't talk behind closed doors in any private meetings with the administration over in the Osborne Building. Don't believe any of those things! It just is not true. What we do is what any good scholar would do - anybody who believes in Dewey's suspension of judgment - we say let's look at the record, let's look at the claims and the arguments that our colleagues are making for the fact that this person has met the guidelines and provide yet one more look which is what this faculty asked the university committee to do. And that's what we do. It is a process that I want to try to leave with you - it's clean, it is of high integrity, and I think that everybody who has served on this committee will tell you that. It is something that we take very seriously and there is no effort to bring people down or to impose unrealistic standards on our colleagues. What I'm here simply to say to you that we would like to have our colleagues discuss these proposed recommended changes at the unit level and I think as the faculty department chairs of the tenure and promotion committees come back and let me know and the deans let the provost know through the Council of Academic Deans where we stand in terms of having had a chance to think about these issues that then we can call a general meeting at which time we will take up this issue and then this issue only. If that happens later on this fall to terrific - if not John it could be this spring. perhaps.Charles Weasmer (GINT) asked when the faculty could consider the guidelines of the UCTP. These must be approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees.
I do want to reiterate that we have made available these recommended changes on the University Gopher System so those of you who have misplaced a copy of it. The printing budget of the FS Office is gone. We don't have any money to be printing another copy of these minutes but we have - Jeanna in the FS Office has copies and we have put copies of the proposed language on the University E Mail System and it will be available in Gopher.