Faculty Welfare Committee Aims To Improve Care Resources For UNC Professors

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For their final meeting of the academic year, members of the faculty’s wellness committee discussed hopes for the upcoming fall semester and ongoing issues affecting faculty on Monday.

Dr Muge Gucsavas-Calikoglu, chair of the committee, spoke about his expectations for the 2021-22 academic year.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “The University is going to open and we are all vaccinated or in the process of being, I hope. And it will be another year in which we have shown survival, resilience and hope to move forward. “

What happened?

  • Gucsavas-Calikoglu has announced that she will be stepping down from her management position, citing burnout.
    • “I am so sorry that I was not as active as needed for my second time, but I am leaving the group in good hands,” she said.
  • The committee discussed how to most effectively use the data from the COACHE survey and identify gaps to work on. COACHE is a faculty-based work-life survey from Harvard University’s Collaborative On Academic Careers in Higher Education.
    • Gucsavas-Calikoglu said she is keen to work alongside the faculty on women’s issues as there is significant overlap.
  • Members also discussed the new Care Working Group which seeks to improve resources for caregivers at UNC.
    • JD DeFreese, professor of exercise and sports science, said the caregiver task force is working to collect qualitative data to better meet the needs of people at UNC. The working group is expected to brief the Chancellor on progress in June.
    • Gucsavas-Calikoglu said in his experience that the UNC School of Medicine “hijacks” its teachers on the topic of child care. She cited the lack of daycare for sick children.
    • Shu Wen Ng, professor in the Department of Nutrition, said it’s important to have qualitative data that puts a face to people’s stories about the difficulties in balancing child labor and education.
      • “Teachers are human too, you know. We have families and we also have needs and challenges, ”said Ng.
  • Journalism professor Rhonda Gibson said information about updates to the tenure and promotion processes, related to COVID-19, had not been “passed on” to faculty. She would like the committee to welcome visitors who are familiar with tenure and promotions so that the committee can then disseminate this information to the faculty.

Who is on the committee?

  • The committee consists of seven active faculty members of the University, who are appointed by the president of the faculty. A director and two non-voting consultants also sit on the committee.
  • The committee aims to work to improve the working conditions of professors, according to the Faculty Code.

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