February 10, 2012

MEMBERS PRESENT: Barraco (by phone), Borisovets, Bubb, Gillett, Gould, McKeever, Panayotatos (Chair), Puhak, Rosario, Swalagin (Executive Secretary)

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Muse, Paterno,Thompson, Yoon

ALSO ATTENDING: Cotter (Faculty BOT Representative), Fehn (Administrative Liaison), Greenhut (Research, and Graduate & Professional Education Committee Co-chair), Rabinowitz (Faculty BOG Representative), Shapiro (New Brunswick Faculty Liaison), Spiegel (Faculty BOT Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, February 10, 2012 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 Paul Panayotatos called the meeting to order at 1:12 p.m. He reported that the New Brunswick Faculty Council had adopted a resolution asking that the two recommendations on Rutgers (regarding the medical school, and Rutgers-Camden) contained in the UMDNJ Advisory Committee Final Report be separated, and urging Rutgers' Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to vote "yes" on the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and other units being merged with Rutgers, but to vote "no" on the proposal to separate Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers University and combine it with Rowan University.

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

Bruce Fehn, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, presented an administrative report which included comments on:
4.    Standing Committees

Committee Reports:

Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee Response to Charge S-1107, Publication Repository/Open Access - Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) Co-chair Victor Greenhut summarized his committee's response to Charge S-1107 on Publication Repository/Open Access. Several members of the Executive Committee expressed concerns related to payment of surcharges that might be imposed by journals and publishers when open access is required. The report was discussed at some length, and eventually was sent back to committee, as the RGPEC had requested. The RGPEC will conduct additional discussions and consultation with faculty, legal counsel, and others before bringing the report back to the Executive Committee in October 2012. The Senate will also hold a committee-of-the-whole discussion on this report and charge at the upcoming meeting in Camden.

Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee Response to Charge S-1104 on Online Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching Performance - ICAC Chair Natalie Borisovets summarized her committee's work on Charge S-1104 on Online Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching Performance. Consistent with the original charge, the report will go to the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee for review and comment before being docketed for action by the Senate. Peter Gillett asked that a recommendation be added regarding best practice for closing the online evaluation window after the timing of final grades. Borisovets said she would amend the report after consulting with Monica Devanas of CTAAR. Paul Panayotatos asked for revision of the section regarding paper versus online evaluations. Borisovets will consult with CTAAR, then revise the report and email it to the FPAC chairs and Ken Swalagin. The FPAC will respond to the Executive Committee on this report in March. 

Proposed Charges, and Charge Deadlines:

Proposed Charge to Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) on Questions Related to the Final Report of the UMDNJ Advisory Committee (a/k/a the "Barer Report") - BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel had proposed that the following charge be issued to his committee:

The proposals of the Barer "Final Report (UMDNJ Advisory Committee 1/25/2012) raise important questions concerning their ramifications for budgetary and fiscal health of Rutgers University. Including queries over the viability of shared Rutgers programs to be separated, responsibilities for the values embodied in RU-Camden facilities, the burden of debts of UMDNJ for Rutgers, the financial strength of the units to join Rutgers and the disentangling of commingled assets and endowment funds among other conceivable issues. The Budget and Finance Committee is instructed to provide a careful formulation of the questions of a fiscal nature for investigation before such a significant move takes place.

The isssue was discussed, with Vice President Fehn responding to many comments and questions related to the timing and financial aspects of the proposed merger with the medical school, as well as the proposed separation of Rutgers-Camden. After considerable discussion, the Executive Committee declined to issue the charge, but asked the Budget and Finance Committee to formulate a list of questions informally, and bring those to the Executive Committee, which would in turn ask President McCormick to provide responses.

Proposed Charge to the Student Affairs Committee on Separation of Rutgers-Camden:The Student Affairs Committee (SAC), Alumni Caucus, and Student Caucus had requested that the SAC be issued a charge on the proposed separation of Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as follows:

Examine the short- and long-term ramifications of the proposed separation of Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey as relate to, and from the perspectives of, past, present, and prospective students.

The rationale for the charge had been stated as follows: "There are many issues of concern to students, prospective students, and alumni that go well beyond the financial and political, including but not limited to the relative value of a Rutgers-Camden diploma, the effects on present enrollment and perception of the institution by prospective students. These are issues that are not adequately addressed in the current report rationale."

The Executive Committee issued the charge, and a parallel charge to the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee to respond from the faculty and staff perspective. Both charges were assigned an April 2012 deadline for responding to the Executive Committee.

Expiring Pending-Charge Deadlines: Pending charges on which deadlines are expiring were discussed. Several deadlines were extended as suggested by the charged committees' chairs. On some other charges, the Executive Committee decided that, pursuant to Senate policies on charge deadlines, they would review the pending charges in March and decide which should be renewed, and which, if any, should be allowed to lapse.

5.    University Senate Agenda

The February 24 Senate meeting will be held in Camden, and will include Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett's Camden Campus Report, the committee-of-the-whole discussion on the RGPEC's "Publication Repository" report docketed above, and an open forum on the potential separation of Rutgers-Camden.

6.    Old Business

There was no old business.

7.    New Business

Sam Rabinowitz mentioned webpages related to the Rutgers-Camden separation. Ken Swalagin will post links to the sites on the Senate website.

8.    Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate