March 2, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Cotter (Chair), Bodnar, Borisovets, Gould, Mauroff, Ng, Puniello, Rabinowitz (Vice Chair), Stein, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Szatrowski, Thompson, Tittler

ALSO ATTENDING:  Furmanski (Administrative Liaison), Leath (Faculty BOG Representative), McCormick (Administrative Liaison), Nolfi (University Governance and Structure Committee Co-Chair)

EXCUSED:  Eldreth

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, March 2, 2007 at 1:10 p.m. in the Executive Board Conference Room, Administrative Services Building III, Cook Campus.

1. Chairperson’ Report

Chairperson Martha Cotter called the meeting to order at 1:22 p.m. She thanked staff Senator Tricia Nolfi, who attended the meeting, for co-chairing the University Structure and Governance Committee.

2. Secretary’s Report

3. Administrative Liaison

President McCormick delivered the Administrative Report, which included comments on:

4. Committee Reports

University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC), Response to Charge S-0608, Merger Proposals

The Executive committee reviewed and discussed the USGC response to charge S-0608 on Proposals to Merge Rutgers, UMDNJ, and NJIT. The USGC had been charged as follows:

Original Charge: Proposals to Merge Rutgers, UMDNJ, NJIT: Revisit the structural and governance aspects of the proposals to merge all or part of UMDNJ, and perhaps NJIT, with Rutgers University, with or without splitting the merged entity into parts. Review President McCormick's recent testimony (11/09/06) on this subject before the Lesniak-Caraballo Legislative Task Force on Higher Education, as well as previous Senate reports and recommendations concerning the merger proposal put forth three years ago by the Vagelos Commission. Are there additional key principles to emphasize beyond those enunciated by President McCormick? What are the broad pros and cons of the various structural and governance models that have been proposed? Which of the concerns and recommendations put forth by the Senate in November 2003 are still valid and worthy of reiteration? Consult with the Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee concerning personnel ramifications of the various proposals. Also obtain input from the Newark and New Brunswick Faculty Councils and from faculty governance groups in Camden. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 2007.
USGC Co-chairs Tricia Nolfi and Jonathan Tittler asked that they be allowed to edit the report before it is circulated to the Senate. Some specific changes were suggested by the EC members during the discussion.

If time permits, the revised report will be circulated to the Senate with a specific request that comments be e-mailed to the USGC co-chairs before the Senate and USGC meet on March 23. The report was docketed on the March Senate agenda.

University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC), Response to Charge S-0107, Referendum Guidelines Review

The Executive committee reviewed and discussed the USGC response to charge S-0107 on Referendum Guidelines Review. The USGC had been charged as follows:

Original Charge: Referendum Guidelines Review: Review the “University Senate Guidelines Regarding Special Student Organizations” and recommend revisions where needed. Include recommendations for clarifying any ambiguities, particularly as may arise when a referendum fails on one or more campuses. Recommend revised language wherever possible.
[President McCormick left the meeting at 2:05 p.m.]

USGC Co-chairs Tricia Nolfi and Jonathan Tittler summarized the report's recommended changes to the Referendum Guidelines. Following discussion and multiple suggestions for amendment, Chairperson Cotter moved the report back to committee for revision. The motion was adopted by the Executive Committee.

Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee (FAPC), Response to Charge S-0415, Faculty Retirement Incentives

The Executive committee reviewed and discussed the FAPC response to charge S-0415 on Faculty Retirement Incentives. The FAPC had been charged as follows:

Original Charge: Faculty Retirement Incentives: Evaluate the desirability and feasibility of faculty retirement incentives, in particular of phased retirement plans such as the one that was being negotiated by the New Brunswick Faculty Council and the Lawrence administration in the mid-1990s and the one recently proposed by the AAUP under their Proposal for a Faculty Retirement Transition and Renewal Program.
FAPC Co-chair Ann Gould summarized, and responded to questions on, her committee's report. Following discussion, the report was docketed for action at the March 23 Senate meeting.

5. Committee Charges and Changes

Proposed Change to Charge S-0702 to Equal Opportunity Committee on Diversity and Tolerance: Student Affairs Committee Co-chair Valerie Johnson, noting that the SAC had been working on the issue, had requested that Charge S-0702 be transferred to the Student Affairs Committee in collaboration with the Equal Opportunity Committee. Following discussion, during which SAC Co-chair Kim Mauroff further explained the rationale for making this a joint charge, the EC approved assignment of this charge to both the SAC and EOC.

[Executive Vice President Furmanski left the meeting at 3:15 p.m.]

There was some discussion of a proposed charge to the University Structure and Governance Committee on whether the EOC's standing charge should be incorporated into the charges of other relevant committees. The discussion was prompted by EOC Chair Gus Friedrich's expressed concerns about the viability of the current EOC, and the very limited number of its members who are attending meetings. The EC declined to issue the charge to the USGC, but will consider the matter again after the joint SAC/EOC charge discussed previously is completed.

Proposed Charge to Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee (FAPC) on Tenure for Administrative Appointees (from B.J. Walker, Staff Representative, AAUP, via Ann Gould): The proposed charge shown below had been considered and discussed at the February 2007 EC meeting. At that meeting, Executive Vice President Furmanski provided responsive information on the issue, and also offered to communicate with Gould and others who may be concerned about it. The Executive Committee did not issue a charge at that time, but had asked that the item be redocketed for this meeting.

Review current practices related to the granting of tenure to administrative appointees. Determine whether university regulations and policies governing faculty appointments with tenure are sufficiently clear and/or consistently followed for administrative tenure appointments so as to ensure appropriate consultation with the faculty of the respective academic units. Recommend guidelines and/or principles to protect the integrity of the tenure process with regard to administrative hires with tenure.
FAPC Co-chair Gould, who had proposed the charge, withdrew it, noting that she had spoken with, and recently received related documentation from, someone who had promoted the charge. The documents will be reviewed, and Gould will provide further information at the next EC meeting.

6. Old Business

There was no old business.

7. New Business

Paul Leath (not a member of the EC) asked if the Senate could become involved in discussions of the recent change of status of several varsity sports. Following some discussion, it was agreed that, because this is a New Brunswick-specific issue rather than a university-wide matter, it would not be appropriate for the Senate. Cotter suggested that it should instead be discussed by student governing associations in New Brunswick, and by the New Brunswick Faculty Council.

There was some discussion of possible alternative charges to Senate committees (particularly the Budget and Finance Committee) on formulating general principles in similar matters, and requiring consultation with the Senate, but no charge was issued.

Edward Ng asked Ken Swalagin if he had been informed about the appointment of the oversight committee for the upcoming Targum referendum. Swalagin said that he had not yet received the information.

Kim Mauroff spoke about current practices which support Camden students' membership and participation in the Senate, such as providing a rented van to transport Senators to and from Senate meetings in New Brunswick. This assistance is provided by, and budgeted through, the student governing association. Mauroff suggested that the practice should be expanded, continued, and formalized. She said she would try to bring a proposed charge and background information either from the Student Affairs Committee (which she co-chairs) or the Student Caucus.

As finances were being discussed, Secretary Swalagin noted that the Senate's operating budget for the current year was almost entirely depleted. He said that years of cuts, and particularly the most-recent, drastic reduction to the Senate budget, have now created a situation in which the Senate can no longer afford some operating necessities. The EC asked Swalagin to bring to the next meeting a summary of the Senate's operating budget and expenses.

8. March 23, 2007 Senate Meeting Agenda

Items were docketed for the March 23, 2007 Senate meeting agenda.

9. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary