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The Faculty Council met on February 19th. Materials from the meeting as well as a link to the recording can be found on the Faculty Governance website. President Ryan Collins and Chief of External Relations and Advocacy Maian Adams attended the meeting and compiled the following notes.

  • Faculty Council Chair Mimi Chapman provided opening remarks in which she addressed the recent revelations about the Silent Sam settlment and encouraged the campus to look forward on continuing the work of racial reconciliation. 
  • Remarks from Chancellor Guskiewicz
    • Noted that Silent Sam was a symbol, but the issues it represented did not disappear with its removal from campus. 
    • Praised the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council as well as the Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward. 
    • Lessons Learned from the Settlement.
      • First major encounter with the tensions of the UNC System governance structure (Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, legislature)Ultimately he as Chancellor had no authority to negotiate, approve, or decline the settlement, and the fate of the statue remains in BOG control.
      • Chancellor has to work within the structure as it exists and balance the demands of competing constituencies (current students, faculty, alumni, Board of Governors, etc.).
      • Chancellor was not willing to take the risk of any actions that might increase the risk of the statue returning to campus. 
      • Chancellor recognizes the “profound effect of even the idea of a settlement” on community activists, but also recognized that others saw the return of the monument to campus was unacceptable, and this was the way to do that. 
      • Work must continue to address race, budget shortfalls, protecting students/faculty/staff, and creating emergent programs to re-imagine the university.
    • BOG continued 5-year freeze on resident tuition in order to preserve affordability, especially in the face of COVID-19. 
    • The Fall 2021 semester is the current focus, with an aim to restore as much of campus operations as possible.
    • Highlighted the success of the Carolina Together Testing Program and thanked housekeepers, dining services, librarians, and instructors for their work.
  • Dr. Wesley Burks offered a short presentation on the work of UNC Health in responding to COVID-19 in everything from treatment to research to vaccine development and distribution.
  • Faculty Council unanimously adopted a resolution “On Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 on Faculty Careers.
  • Vaccine Rollout 
    • Quintana Stewart (DirectorOrange County Health Department) 
      • Vaccine providers are required to follow the NC DHHS Vaccine Priority List as outlined in the NC DHHS COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.
      • Although some counties may begin vaccinating individuals in Phase 3 next week, Orange County is not there. The county still has high demand among Phase 2 individuals (adults aged 65 and over).
      • Orange County expects to vaccinate K-12 teachers first, then other front-line workers.
      • Orange County has had strong outreach programs to Black communities, but needs to increase Latinx outreach, as engagement among this population is low.
      • 17% of Orange County population has received its first dose, 10% are fully vaccinated.
    • Tony Lindsey (Chief Medical OfficerUNC Health)
      • UNC has seen a rapid decline in hospitalizations since January but remains concerned about emergent variants.
      • “College and University instructors and support staff” added to frontline essential workers as part of Phase 3. Phase vaccinations are expected to begin at UNC Health on March 10.
      • Frontline workers must be working “in person” to qualify, even if essential.
      • The state is not currently requiring employers to submit lists of names of qualified individuals, as was the case for healthcare workers. It will be a self-identify honor system.
    • Catherine Brennan (Executive Director, UNC Envrionment, Health and Safety)
      • University has established COVID vaccine working group to advocate for UNC community members, which includes representation from various groups on campus. The group meets weekly to discuss the latest state guidance.
      • UNC’s main focus in Phase 3 are nutritionists, social workers, and school of education student teachers in K-12 placements.
      • Additional information can be found here: https://ehs.unc.edu/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/vaccinations/ 

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