MINUTES:   Regular Meeting of the University Senate

DATE:   March 1, 2002

TIME AND PLACE:   1:10 p.m., Multipurpose Room, Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Avenue,
College Avenue Campus

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Antwi, Baldi, Bell, Berz, Bhandari, Borisovets, Bossard, Boylan, Bronzan, Butwinski, Caprio, Cicma, Colaizzi, Cooper, Cotter, Cowley, Cronk, Daniels, Darien, Davidson, E. Dennis, R. Dennis, DeRosa, Deutsch, Dimond, Diner, Domb, Duncan, Elovitz, Esser, Evans, Flanagan, Friedrich, Gaunt, Gillis, Hall, Hamm, Haugerud, Hawkesworth, Hirsh, Hornichter, Hughes, Jesse, Karel, Kennedy, Keoskey, Krueckeberg, Laguna-Diaz, Lang, Leath, Leontiades, Manhoff, Markowitz, Maudlin, Maw, McKay, McKeever, Messer, G. Miller, J. Miller, Morrow, Naus, Nordstrom, O’Connor, Oren, Panayotatos, Pellegrine, Penfield, Perr, Pieczenik, Plummer, Puniello, Quinn, Rabinowitz, Ramsay, Rijhsinghani, Roselli, Rountree, Saniefard, Scott, Seneca, R. Simmons, Sims, Smith, D. Snyder, P. Snyder, Spencer, Stamato, Swenson, Szatrowski, Tallau, Toledo, Tripolitis, Varma, Wadia, Walker-Andrews, Wallenstein, Wasserman, Webb, Wilkinson, Winterbauer, Wozniak

EXCUSED:  Adelson, Barone, Bathory, Bittner, Blasi, Bry, Cizewski, DeCarlo, Forman, Gary, Griffith, Habib, Hillman, Jessen, Kauffman, Kenney, Kirschner, Lawrence, Lee, Marsh, Millican, Pottick, Rohr, Roth, Saidel, P. Simmons, Solomon, Stauffer, Stein, Tuckman, Vodak, Wyly, Zaborszky

ABSENT:  Albers, Boikess, Boucher, Breton, Bronzan, Chopra, Cohen, Darkenwald, E. Diamond, Driscoll, Falk, Felson, Gross, Hara, Hyndman, Jackson, Jones, Keating, Kenfield, Klein, Kokini, Kressel, LaPadula, Laurente, Lehman, Li, Maradonna, Martinez-Fernandez, Matsuda, Mills, Nagarajan, Paris, Perlman, Ros, Samuels, Schlegel, Silver, Slawsky, Strom, Sullivan, Theodossiou, Vershon, Zaveri, Zylstra

ATTENDANCE SUMMARY:  Faculty: Of 87 total: 46 present (53%), 19 excused (22%), 22 absent (25%);
Students: Of 47 total: 29 present (62%), 3 excused (6%), 15 absent (32%); Administrators: Of 39 total: 23 present (59%), 10 excused (26%), 6 absent (15%); Alumni: Of 6 total: 4 present (66%), 1 excused (17%), 1 absent (17%)
View Senate attendance record for this year




PRESIDING OFFICER:   Kathleen Scott, Chairperson

CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT:  Chairperson Scott’s report included an update on the status of action on the School of Continuing Professional Development (SCPD, formerly CAPS) issue.  She said that SCPD planning has been discontinued at this time due to the budget situation, and that the Senate’s University Structure and Governance Committee, which she co-chairs, will bring a report to the Senate shortly, as charged.  She mentioned that she and Secretary Swalagin are working on the election process which will enable part-time lecturer membership on the University Senate.

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY: Agenda:  On motion and duly seconded, the agenda was approved as distributed by the Secretary.  Minutes: On motion and duly seconded, Minutes of the January 25, 2002 Senate meeting were approved as distributed by the Secretary.  Communications:  The text of a Memorandum from President Lawrence to Chairperson Scott, dated March 4, 2002, regarding University Healthcare Insurance for Graduate Students was posted online.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT:  University Vice President for Academic Fairs Joseph Seneca presented the administrative report, which included comments on:  President Lawrence’s recent fundraising activities; a Liberty Science Center event featuring the marine science work of Professor Richard Lutz; "The Victor Weeps" photography exhibit at the Zimmerli Art Museum; the Mason Gross School of the Arts presentation entitled "Rutgers Presents"; the use and value of Rutgers University Press, most notably the recent attention received by Professor Angus Kress Gillespie’s scholarly monograph on the World Trade Center, as well as the undergraduate education opportunities afforded by RU Press; Governor McGreevy’s nomination of Roy Vagelos to Rutgers’ Board of Governors; the presidential search; and the state budget.


Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee:  Committee Co-chair Paul Leath presented the Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee’s report on Charge S-0109, Best Practices in Teaching Assessment.  The charge had asked the committee to look at "Best Practices" in how teaching is assessed for faculty personnel purposes, and to recommend a model or models to emulate at Rutgers.  The report included seven recommendations for evaluation practices suggested for Rutgers, as well as a resolution.  Several modifications were made to the recommendations, either through friendly amendment accepted by Senator Leath, or on motions which were seconded and approved by the Senate.  Chairperson Scott approved Senator Diner’s request that the minutes reflect his comment that the report and its recommendations are advisory, and are not to be used as the basis of a grievance unless these recommendations are incorporated into the tenure and promotion structure.

Following lengthy discussion on the report’s Recommendation 7, which addressed normalizing student course evaluation scores against the appropriate departmental mean, on motion and duly seconded, the Senate referred Recommendation 7 back to the Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee for further examination.

Following further discussion on the report (without Recommendation 7), the question was called.  On card vote, the Senate approved the report and its recommendations, as amended.

The recommendations and resolution, as approved, follow:


1.  The statement on the reverse side of the student course evaluation form that "This information is intended to be used by the instructor to modify or improve the course" should be deleted.

2.  The Committee commends the process of mentoring and peer observation and peer evaluation used by the History Department-New Brunswick.  We recommend that departments assign a teaching mentor to every first year untenured faculty member in consultation with that faculty member.  Mentoring activities may include meeting periodically to discuss teaching, visiting each other's classes, co-teaching courses, reviewing instructional materials, and other aspects of teaching and student advising.  We recommend that all departments conduct peer evaluation, taking steps to ensure that there are consistent guidelines and procedures for this process.

3.  Departments should encourage faculty to develop a teaching portfolio for use in evaluations for reappointment, promotion and tenure.

a.  Written comments from students can be included in the portfolio.  All written student comments should be available, at least in the supplementary materials, to every level of the reappointment, promotion and tenure process.

b.  A personal statement concerning teaching philosophy and accomplishments as well as scholarship and service should be included with the reappointment or promotion/tenure packet.

4.  Each department should securely keep on file all of the information contained on the completed student course evaluation forms for at least ten years, or since an individual faculty member's last academic promotion, whichever is longer.

5.  Candidates for promotion should be able to list student course evaluation scores for years prior to their last promotion, particularly to demonstrate any changes in student course evaluation scores prior to and after the last promotion.

6.  The Teaching Excellence Center should be asked to maintain a database for each faculty member of student course evaluation scores and summary statistics that will be provided to the individual faculty member, the department chair, and the dean upon request.

7.  We recommend that student and peer evaluations of teaching be reviewed and discussed as part of the post-tenure review process.


In Support of Committee Report and Recommendations

Whereas, teaching is a core priority of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and
Whereas, faculty should be provided mentoring and feedback on their teaching prior to being evaluated for reappointment, promotion or tenure; and
Whereas, the current system for reporting and using student course evaluation scores should be made more useful to individual faculty members and to individuals involved in making reappointment, promotion and tenure recommendations; and
Whereas, many institutions use teaching portfolios and have found them to be useful for individual faculty and for individuals judging that faculty member's teaching;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate endorses the Report on Best Practices in Assessment of Teaching, and urges the Administration to implement its Recommendations.


Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee - Open-Forum Discussion on Minus Grades: Chairperson Scott introduced the discussion on minus grades, noting that it was intended to be a committee of the whole discussion rather than an action item.  Committee Co-chair Craig Oren summarized the issue, explaining that the purpose was to have a discussion on the merits of adding minus grades to the University’s default grading system.  On motion, second, and voice vote, the Senate entered committee of the whole.  Substantial discussion followed, during which time for the discussion (which had been set at 30 minutes) was extended.  When discussion ended, a motion that the committee rise was approved, bringing the Senate out of committee of the whole.

OLD BUSINESS:  There was no old business.

EXTENSION OF MEETING TIME:  The overall meeting-time limit of 2-1/2 hours having been reached, on motion and duly seconded, the meeting time was extended for five minutes at 3:52 p.m.

NEW BUSINESS:  Several nonsenators took the floor and spoke about labor issues regarding office cleaners at Rutgers-Newark.  Senator DeRosa moved to refer the issue to the Senate’s Equal Opportunity Committee.  The motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT:  On motion, second, and vote, the meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.

Kenneth Swalagin
Secretary of the University Senate