February 6, 2015

MEMBERS PRESENT: Barraco (by phone), Boikess, Borisovets, Burrell, Cotter, Gould (Chair), Joshi, Langer, Oliver, Otto, Puhak, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Thompson, Velan


ALSO ATTENDING: R. Chen (Dean, Newark Law School), Edwards (Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs), J. Oberdiek (Dean, Camden Law School), Rabinowitz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors), Spiegel (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:10 p.m. in the Executive Board Room of Administrative Services Building-III, Cook Campus.

1. Chair’s Report 

Senate and Executive Committee Vice Chair Martha Cotter called the meeting to order at 1:19 p.m., saying that Chair Ann Gould was on her way to New Brunswick after giving a talk in Pennsylvania. There was, therefore, no chair's report at this time.

2.    Secretary’s Report - Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
3.    Administrative Liaison Report

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Edwards presented an administrative report, which included comments on:
[Sherry Burrell joined the meeting during the Administrative Liaison Report.]

Edwards then responded to questions or heard comments on subjects including:
Ann Gould assumed the chair at 1:35 p.m.

4.    Standing Committees/Caucuses

Committee Chair: Matt Winkler has volunteered to co-chair the Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC). ASRAC Chair Martha Cotter endorses the appointment. The Executive Committee approved the appointment.

Committee Reports: 

University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) Response to Charge S-1309 on Senate Election Procedures [Report is for information only. No bylaws or procedural changes are recommended.] - USGC Co-chairs Jon Oliver and Robert Puhak, and USGC member and Senate Executive Secretary Ken Swalagin summarized their committee's report on Charge S-1309 on Senate Election Procedures. The USGC had been charged as follows: 

Charge S-1309, Senate Election Procedures: Review election procedures used by the Senate, and, if appropriate, recommend improved procedures.

The report was docketed for information only at the February 20 Senate meeting.

In a related issue, Swalagin described an issue requiring attention relative to an amendment to Senate bylaws made from the floor at the April 2005 Senate meeting, which he described as impossible to implement. The amendment stipulated that nominees in the Senate's election of Senate chair and vice chair, Executive Committee members, and board representatives could run for more than one position in the same election. The committee instructed Swalagin to draft a report recommending removal of that clause of the bylaws, that could be introduced to the Senate at the February meeting, and could be voted on at the subsequent meeting. The draft was to be circulated to the Executive Committee by email for approval prior to docketing. [Note: Swalagin drafted a report that was docketed for introduction at the February 20 Senate meeting. The report was amended at that Senate meeting, but is online in its as-introduced form here.]

Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Response to Charge S-1313 on Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement (TABER)  Appendix 1: TABER Survey Appendix 2: TABER Survey Summary - FPAC Co-chair Ann Gould summarized her committee's report on Charge S-1313 on Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement (TABER), including the survey document and results. The FPAC had been charged as follows: 

Charge S-1313, Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement (TABER): Review current university policies and practices concerning reimbursement to faculty and staff for professional expenditures, including but not limited to, travel, conference attendance, and purchases; survey impacted constituencies for suggestions, and propose possible modifications or improvements to the current system.

The report was docketed for Senate action at the February 20 Senate meeting.

5.    Discussion of Proposed Merger of School of Law - Camden and School of Law - Newark - John Oberdiek, Acting Dean of the School of Law - Camden, and Ron Chen, Acting Dean of the School of Law - Newark, arrived at the meeting at 2:12 p.m. for a discussion of the proposed merger of the Camden and Newark Law Schools. Prior to this meeting, the committee had been sent the following supporting documents prepared by the law schools' administration::

Chen and Oberdiek summarized the merger proposal, then responded to questions from the committee and others present. At the end of the discussion, Gould asked all committee chairs (at least one chair of each committee was present) to take the documents and discussion to their committees, and forward to Swalagin a list of questions that would then be compiled and sent to the law deans for response. The Executive Committee will then consider those responses, and produce a report that can go to the Senate floor for a vote on approving the merger.

4-A.    Standing Committees/Caucuses (Continued)

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge (Revised) to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on The State of Shared Governance at Rutgers, submitted by Jon Oliver, USGC Co-chair: USGC Co-chair Jon Oliver summarized his proposed charge to the USGC, which had been submitted as follows:

Consider the state of shared governance at Rutgers including its strengths and challenges. Recommend any changes based on our aspirant AAU and Big 10 peers and on the basis of the foundational element of "Robust Shared Governance, Academic Freedom, and Effective Communication" in the university strategic plan.

The charge was issued as proposed, with a February 2016 deadline.

Report on Staff Caucus Meeting with Deputy Chief Michael Rein, Division of Public Safety - Jon Oliver, Staff Caucus Convener: Jon Oliver, who, by virtue of his position as Staff Member of the Executive Committee, also convenes the Staff Caucus, summarized a recent meeting of several staff Senators with Division of Public Safety heads and chiefs of police of Rutgers Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, as well as emergency management and emergency services personnel. It was suggested that the Senate could host a similar presentation by the Division of Public Safety sometime next year.

6.    Old Business

Proposed Charge on Modifying Academic Calendar and Exam Times for Online Courses, submitted by James Massachaele, Executive Vice Dean of SAS-NB via email as follows:

"I write in my capacity as Executive Vice-Dean of SAS to ask the Senate to consider a proposal for making an adjustment to the University's exam schedule. A number of faculty in SAS have asked for an improved process for scheduling final exams in online courses. Currently the University makes no provision for this. Many faculty who teach online courses feel that in-person final exams are the best way to ensure the integrity of the exam. To make the scheduling of final exams for online courses more effective, we propose that the University set aside and advertise certain time slots as standard exam times for online courses. You can find details of the proposal on the attached document. Please let me know if you need more detail or if there is a different avenue I need to pursue to have the proposal considered by the Senate."

This matter was discussed at the January Executive Committee meeting, where it was suggested that ASRAC Chair Martha Cotter would consult with Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) Chair Natalie Borisovets to determine how this issue may fit in with ICAC discussions on exam space and facilities, and online course exams. The issue was discussed again at this meeting, at which Academic Standards, Regulations, Admissions Committee Co-chair Martha Cotter and Instruction, Curriculum and Advising Committee Chair Natalie Borisovets were present. Cotter and Borisovets will draft a charge on the matter, which will come to the Executive Committee at the next meeting.

Jerry Langer also mentioned that the RBHS academic calendar is different from the current Rutgers University academic calendar, and that some Rutgers University holidays conflict with the RBHS teaching schedule. It was suggested that this may be an issue for future consideration by the Executive Committee.

Proposed Merger (or formation of an umbrella unit) of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences with a new Rutgers Division of Graduate Studies - This issue, having been previously discussed in the Executive Committee, was again discussed. Graduate School New Brunswick Dean Jerry Kukor and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Dean Kathy Scotto had been given the USGC draft questionnaire on mergers, and will prepare a proposed timeline, as well as responses to the appropriate portions of the questionnaire, and will meet with the Executive Committee in March. 

7.    New Business

There was no new business.

8.    University Senate Agenda for February 20, 2015

The February 20 Senate meeting agenda was determined, and will include:
9.    Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 3:36 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate