2013-15 Campus Conversations
In the 2013-14 year, the Altac Working Group met twelve times and in 2014-15 planned to meet nine times. We also held several additional convener-only or subcommittee meetings to work on specific projects and issues. Either in whole-group meetings or convener-conducted meetings, we had focused conversations with the following people identified as having pertinent expertise or being in a position to effect change:
- Tiffany Eatman Allen, head of human resources, UNC Library
- Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty (2011-14)
- Lowry Caudill, Chair, Board of Trustees
- Jim Dean, Provost
- Julia Sprunt Grumbles, Minor in Entrepreneurship and former Interim Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
- Steve Leonard, Associate Professor of Political Science (UNC-CH) and Chair, UNC System Faculty Assembly (2014-16)
- Steve Matson, Dean of the Graduate School
- Maura Murphy, Assistant Dean for Human Resources, UNC School of Government, Fall 2014 ULEAD Project on Faculty-Staff Collaboration
- Abigail Panter, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
- Terry Rhodes, Jonathan Hartlyn, Kevin Guskiewicz, Senior Associate Deans, College of Arts & Sciences
- Brian Rybarczyk, Graduate School
- Rachel Seidman, Associate Director, Southern Oral History Program, UNC-CH, Fall 2014 ULEAD participant
- Beth Shuster, Assistant Dean, Academic Advising
- Ron Strauss, Executive Vice Provost and Chief International Officer
- Leslie Zenk, Tamara Johnson (UNC-Charlotte Provost’s Office)
- Members of the Faculty Executive Committee, 2013-14
2013-15 Working Group Projects
UNC-Chapel Hill Altac Survey
We conducted a general survey (link goes to PDF of survey instrument) about workplace experiences, scholarship, teaching, and other professional work of the 139 altacs we identified around campus (109 responses received for an 78% response rate); analysis proceeding now, and final report will be posted here after June 20, 2014. We’ve posted a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation we created summarizing the survey results here.
Altac Contributions Document
We’ve created a compendium of “AltAc Contributions” — scholarship, teaching, and campus and professional service work conducted from 2012-present by members of the Altac Working Group, designed to demonstrate our range of scholarly accomplishments and activity.
Altac Opportunities Inventory
We’ve begun to build an inventory of nearly 100 campus professional development / support resources to assess their availability to altac scholars. This will be posted here after June 10, 2014.
Altac Internship/Mentorship Program Exploration
We’ve opened serious conversations with Dean Steve Matson and Dr. Sandra Hoeflich in the Graduate School about a pilot program that would connect altac mentors in campus offices with current graduate students participating in funded altac internships as a part of their career development. Such a program, we think, could beneficially connect current graduate students, current altac scholars on campus, and, potentially, graduate/PhD alumni of the university who are themselves pursuing non-faculty careers. As conversations about the program developed during the fall of 2014, we assisted in the development of a pilot altac and “post-ac” internship program for graduate students to be debuted by the Graduate School in the summer of 2015.
Altac Discussion Forum
We ended the 2013-14 year with a combined social / networking / public forum event on June 10, 2014 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the University Room at Hyde Hall. The object of this gathering, attended by about 60 altacs and key campus allies, was to present the results of the survey and our other work, to discuss altac issues with the wider altac community, and to consider the way forward. Download a PDF version of the survey PowerPoint presentation.
Articles about Our Work
The articles below describe some of our work this year:
- “The ‘Altac’ Track Seen as Worthy Choice for Many Ph.D.s,” University Gazette, 16 April 2013.
- A Move to Bring Staff Scholars Out of the Shadows, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 25 November 2013.
- “UNC Staff with Ph.D.s Seek Support for Research,” by Donna Bickford and Anne M. Whisnant, UNC Employee Forum In Touch newsletter, February 2014.
- “The Altac Track: Carving Out a New Professional Space for Ph.D.s in Academe” (by Donna M. Bickford and Anne Mitchell Whisnant), Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics, 8 April 2014.
- Non-tenure track faculty hope for better working conditions, The Daily Tar Heel, September 24, 2014.