January 8, 2010

MEMBERS PRESENT: Gillett, Gould, Katz, Levine, McArdle, Rabinowitz (Chair), Schramke, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Thompson, Wild

EXCUSED:  Bodnar, Borisovets, Leath, Panayotatos

ALSO ATTENDING: Cotter (Faculty BOG Representative), Fehn (Administrative Liaison), Furmanski (Administrative Liaison), Stein (Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee Co-Chair)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 1:10 p.m. in the Executive Board Room of Administrative Services Building-III, Cook Campus.

1. Chairperson’s Report 

Senate and Executive Committee Chairperson Samuel Rabinowitz called the meeting to order at 1:18 p.m., wishing all present a happy new year. Noting the heavy agenda, he reminded the committee that they should focus on whether or not they should docket reports for Senate action, rather than debating the issues in the reports. There was no chairperson's report.

2.    Secretary’s Report 3.    Administrative Liaison

President McCormick was on vacation. Executive Vice President Furmanski presented an administrative report which included comments on:
Furmanski and Administrative Liaison Bruce Fehn then responded to questions, or heard comments, on topics which included:
4.    Standing Committees

Committee Reports:

Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee Response to Charge S-0807, Add/Drop Period  - The ASRAC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0807 - Add/Drop Period: Consider and report on the Proposal on the add/drop period submitted by Senator Candice Greaux, and the related resolution from the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Consult with financial aid personnel at Rutgers when discussing the issues in the proposal and resolution." Senator Cotter, Co-chair of the ASRAC, summarized her committee's report, and noted that there may be some editorial changes forthcoming. The report was docketed for action at the January 29, 2010 Senate meeting. [Note: Cotter later asked that this report be docketed for Senate action in February, but because the issue is largely one concerning New Brunswick, the Executive Committee declined to move the report to the Newark meeting agenda.]

Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee Partial Response to Charge A-0906, Commencement Dates - The ASRAC had been charged as follows: "Charge A-0906 - Academic Calendar, Commencement Dates: Consider and decide on Secretary of the University Leslie Fehrenbach's request (and its attachment) that the University Senate change the University Commencement dates on the academic calendarfor 2010 and beyond. The Senate Executive Committee, at its September 2009 meeting, on behalf of the Senate, approved the change for 2010 as an urgent matter requiring immediate action. The ASRAC is now asked to consider the requested changes for academic years 2010-11 and beyond." Senator Cotter summarized her committee's report. There was some discussion of whether this charge would remain open (given that this is a partial response which leaves open for further consideration changes to commencement dates beyond what is addressed in this report), and of revision to the recommendations in this report. Cotter will revise the report, which will be docketed for action at the January 29, 2010 Senate meeting.

Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee Response to Charge S-0801, Employee Professional and Personal Development - The FPAC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0801 - Employee Professional and Personal Development: Discuss, and make recommendations on, how Rutgers can best promote professional and personal development for all of its employees. Consider in these discussions Rutgers' established mechanisms for providing educational opportunities for faculty and staff and their families, the draft resolution on this matter from the Staff Caucus, and relevant input solicited through appropriate Rutgers offices and individuals from various, affected constituencies. Evaluate the mechanisms by which such opportunities are made available to employees, and suggest improved means for encouraging Rutgers employees to take advantage of available professional and personal development programs, and for establishing a continuing culture of employee development at Rutgers." Senator Gould, Co-chair of the FPAC, summarized her committee's report, which was docketed for action at the January 29, 2010 Senate meeting.

Budget and Finance Committee Response to Charge S-0803, Rutgers Emergency Communication Processes - The BFC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0803 - Emergency Communication Processes: Investigate and make recommendations on communication processes used to inform students, faculty, and staff about what to do in various emergency situations. These situations may include bomb threats, fires, chemical spills, and individuals with weapons. Consult with Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory Blimling, Executive Director for Public Safety Jay Kohl, and Senior Director of Campus Information Services Matt Weismantel on this issue." Senator Spiegel, Chair of the BFC, was traveling, and unable to attend the meeting. The Executive Committee had questions about some aspects of the report's recommendations, so the report was sent back to the BFC for clarification.

University Structure and Governance Committee Response to Charge S-0908, Proposal to Increase Staff Membership on the Senate - The USGC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0908 - Proposal to Increase Staff Membership on the Senate: Review the Proposal to Increase Staff Representation on the University Senate from the Union of Rutgers Administrators - American Federation of Teachers Local 1766, which proposes (see last paragraph of linked document) the following: 'We recommend that the University Senate double the number of seats for staff from 10 to 20 by January 1, 2011.'" Senator Gillett, Co-chair of the USGC, summarized his committee's report. Chairperson Rabinowitz noted that Senator Panayotatos had emailed a request that this report be tabled and brought to the Senate along with a response on the charge on Senate voting proportionalities (which charge Panayotatos had sent on behalf of the Faculty Caucus, and which was docketed later on this Executive Committee agenda). Following some discussion, the report was tabled. [Note: After all docketed reports had been discussed, Senator Katz successfully moved to reopen consideration of this report. Senator Wild's motion to docket the report for introduction at the January Senate meeting was then adopted.]

University Structure and Governance Committee Response to Charge S-0902, Senate Speakers, Discussions, Forums - The USGC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0902 - Senate Speakers, Discussions, Forums: Consider proposals to limit discussion during University Senate meetings, when motions are on the floor, to that of Senators and specifically invited guests. Also consider proposals to provide for public input to issues before the Senate, such as possibly providing for opening the Senate meetings to the public during the President's Annual Address to the Rutgers Community, as well as during the three annual campus reports, and at other times, such as in public hearings or forums by the Senate or any of its committees, and possibly when the Senate is in committee of the whole." Senator Gillett summarized his committee's report. Questions were raised on: the inclusion of Sakai, which is not used university-wide; means by which requests may be made to be placed on a speakers' list; the appropriateness of opening committee meetings to non-Senators as a general policy; and other elements of the report. On Senator Gillett's motion, the report was returned to the USGC for reconsideration, particularly of recommendations 7 and 13. The new response deadline will be April 2010.

University Structure and Governance Committee Response to Charge S-0903, Senate Committee Charge Response Limits - The USGC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0903 - Senate Committee Charge Response Limits: Consider whether the University Senate should establish a general, maximum time limit for committee responses to charges issued by the Executive Committee. Make recommendations on time limits, and how to deal with charges that are pending in committee beyond specific deadlines or overall time limits." Senator Gillett summarized his committee's report. The recommendations contained therein were deemed to not constitute changes to Senate bylaws, and the report was docketed for action at the January 29, 2010 Senate meeting.

University Structure and Governance Committee Response to Charge S-0904, Assessment of Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee Standing Charge - The USGC had been charged as follows: "Charge S-0904 - Assessment of Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) Standing Charge: Review the RGPEC standing charge (See #8) and evaluate whether an undergraduate research component should be added."  This report was discussed, and questions were raised regarding which groups associated with research should be included, and, ultimately, whether any change was needed to the RGPEC standing charge at all. The report was sent back to committee, with a new deadline of February 2010.

Proposed Committee Charges:

NJPIRG Student Chapters' Concept Plan (preliminary to a Fall 2010 referendum) to be charged to Student Affairs Committee for assessment of educational value of NJPIRG programs. This proposed charge was summarized by Secretary Swalagin, and issued by the Executive Committee, earlier in the meeting during the secretary's report. When the NJPIRG Student Chapters' concept plan arrives, it will be immediately charged to the Student Affairs Committee for evaluation of its programs' educational value.

Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee on Opportunities for Full-time Staff Who Teach Part-time: The following charge, which had been submitted by Senator Gayle Stein, and discussed at the previous Executive Committee, was reconsidered along with additional information that had been requested from, and supplied by, Senator Stein, who attended the meeting to discuss the proposed charge. The charge was issued to the FPAC as follows:

Examine opportunities available to PTLs who are in a bargaining unit that are not available to those who are ineligible (co-adjutants), including internal grants and professional development opportunities. Assess existing mechanisms used to inform PTLs about university academic business to see if they are or can be applied to co-adjutants. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 2011.

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee on Proportionalities of Senate Core Constituencies, sent by Paul Panayotatos on behalf of the Faculty Caucus: The Executive Committee considered and discussed the following charge, sent by Senator Panayotatos (who was traveling and unable to attend the meeting), and subsequently declined to issue the charge::

Determine how recent additions to the University Senate roster have affected the relative voting weight of the core constituencies of Faculty and Students. Suggest ways for addressing such erosion in the present case as well as for the future.

Potential Charge to Budget and Finance Committee on Pedestrian Safety, based on email exchange between Senator Karen Thompson, one of Senator Thompson's constituents, and Jay Kohl: The Executive Committee considered the correspondence and elements related to this issue, and decided not to issue a charge on the matter, which was perceived as insufficiently broad and not university-wide.

5.    New Business

Appointment of Interim Vice Chairperson: Senate Vice Chairperson Paul Leath is on leave, and will not be attending Spring 2010 Senate or Executive Committee meetings. In the absence of Senate-handbook-specified procedures for dealing with such instances, the Executive Committee appointed former Senate chairperson and faculty Board of Governors representative Martha Cotter as interim vice chairperson for the Spring 2010 semester. Cotter accepted the appointment.

Senate Functions, and Executive Committee Involvement in Fundamental or Structural Senate issues: There was a discussion of  general Senate functioning and structure, as well as the committee system and the Executive Committee's standing charge as they relate to fundamental Senate issues, and whether the USGC should be the sole venue for examination of organic issues relating to the Senate itself. [Note: This discussion continued informally following adjournment, and after several Executive Committee members had left. Secretary Swalagin will email to the Executive Committee the report of the 1998 Senate Revitalization Committee for further consideration and future discussion.]

6.    January 29, 2010 University Senate Agenda: In addition to the items docketed above, the following will appear on the Senate's January 29, 2010 agenda:
Time Limits: Time and speaker limits were established as follows:
7.    Old Business

There was no old business.

8.   Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate