March 3, 2017

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Boikess, Borisovets, Cotter, Gillett (Chair), Janniger (on phone), Krapivin,  Mouradian, Otto, Pirrello, Thompson, Van Stine, Wang

MEMBERS EXCUSED:  Esposito, Gould, Krutyansky, Puhak

ALSO ATTENDING:  R. Barchi (President of the University, on phone), B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), J. Markert (Co-Chair, Senate Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee), S. Rabinowitz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors), A. Samant (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), M. Spiegel (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), K. Swalagin (Executive Secretary)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. in Executive Conference Room of ASB-III on the Cook Campus.

1.    Chair’s Report  - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Peter Gillett called the meeting to order at 12:00 noon. He said that he had sent a response on the dental hygiene program issue to Rebecca Welch Pugh, and had not yet received a reply. He also said that he had written to Kim Pastva, Secretary of the University, about the policy on political activity, and that the policy presented to the Board of Governors did not include a reference to ballot referenda, which had been of some concern to the Executive Committee. He then explained that Michael Van Stine's Proposed Charge on Rutgers/IPEDS Campus Comparisons Report, which had appeared on the previous month's agenda but on which no action was taken because Van Stine was not present at the meeting, was not on this meeting's agenda because Van Stine was in direct contact and discussion with Michael Gower, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, about the issue.

2.    Secretary’s Report
- Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
[Martha Cotter joined the meeting at 12:05 p.m.]

3.    Schedule of Senate and Executive Committee Meetings, Academic Year 2017-18

Next-year's schedule of Senate and Executive Committee meetings was discussed. Mary Mickelsen responded to questions about the schedule, which was modified and adopted. [Note: The link above goes to the schedule as adopted.]

[President Barchi joined the meeting by phone at 12:17 p.m.]

4.    Administrative Liaison

University President Robert Barchi presented an administrative report, which included comments on:
Barchi then responded to questions, or heard comments on the above subjects, as well as:
5.    Old Business

Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Revised Response to Charge S-1305 on Smoke-Free Rutgers [Note: Link goes to the report amended as suggested by the Executive Committee at this meeting.] - Viktor Krapivin and Samuel Rabinowitz, SAC Co-chairs
SAC Co-chair Viktor Krapivin summarized his committee's revised report on Charge S-1305, on Smoke-Free Rutgers. The report had been sent back to the SAC at a previous Senate meeting. The revised report was discussed at some length, and suggestions were made to clarify some of its content. The Executive Committee suggested several changes to the report, which Krapivin will implement. The report, with those amendments, was docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting. 

Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Increasing Student Voter Turnout in Federal, State, and Local Elections - Submitted by SAC Co-chair Viktor Krapivin  

The following proposed charge and rationale were discussed at length. A more limited, proposed charge specifically on canceling classes on presidential election days had been discussed at the January 6, 2017 meeting, but was not issued. This proposed charge was issued to the SAC with a January 2018 deadline.

Investigate how the number of Rutgers students who vote in federal, state, and local elections can be effectively increased. Consider what changes in policies, procedures, and practices can best encourage voting by students, including making election days University holidays. Make appropriate recommendations.

Rationale: Practicing the civic duty to vote is the responsibility of all citizens of the United States in order to ensure a thriving democracy representative of all beliefs and opinions. The future of this nation lies in the hands of young Americans. Statistics show that only about 58 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the 2016 United States presidential election. In a recent survey of 500 Rutgers students, 58 percent of the respondents voted at a polling location, 17 percent submitted an absentee ballot, 14 percent were registered but did not vote, 8 percent were eligible to register but did not, and 3 percent were not eligible to register and vote. When respondents were asked about any obstacles to voting (disregarding their voting status), 81 percent said “classes,” 13 percent said “work,” 33 percent said “inconvenient polling location,” and 21 percent said “confusion with registration/voting process.”

Proposed Charge to Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) on Grant Costs -
Submitted by RGPEC Chair Jane Otto at the Executive Committee's request at the January 6, 2017 meeting.

The following proposed charge and an accompanying rationale were discussed, and the charge issued to the RGPEC with a March 2018 deadline:

Identify specific grant cost issues that negatively impact the University’s mission to conduct research across disciplines, and actively engage its students in that research, including but not limited to: tuition, fringe rate, Facilities and Administrative costs (“F&A,” formerly known as indirect costs), support services, and negotiated vendor contracts. Identify and engage stakeholders, and make recommendations.

6.    Standing Committees, and Assignment of Nominating Panel

Nominating Panel 2017: Ken Swalagin said that he would send an email to all current Senators the following week announcing the opportunity to submit self-nominations or nominations of others for 2017-18 Senate officer and board representative positions, and that the email will direct Senators to nominating instructions and the Nominating Panel Charge. The Executive Committee was asked to suggest Senators to serve on a Nominating Panel that can be called upon to suggest additional nominees in categories not sufficiently populated within the next several weeks. Martha Cotter and Samuel Rabinowitz volunteered to serve on the Panel. Peter Gillett will ask Ann Gould, Jon Oliver, and Robert Puhak to serve on the Panel, and will also select a chair or co-chairs. Viktor Krapivin nominated student Senator Tyrus Jackson to serve as well. It was suggested that time limits be enforced on campaign statements at the election meeting. 

[President Barchi left the meeting (by phone) at 1:51 p.m.]


Ad Hoc Committee on Senate-Meeting Web Streaming Response to Charge S-1606 on Senate-Meeting Web Streaming - Ann Gould, Committee Chair

Ann Gould was unable to attend the meeting, but had submitted the Ad Hoc Committee on Senate-Meeting Web Streaming response to Charge S-1606 on Meeting Web Streaming. The Executive Committee discussed the report, and suggested adding a mechanism for reviewing the proposed web streaming. The report was docketed for the April 28, 2017 Senate meeting.

Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Response to Charge S-1511 on Personnel Considerations Related to Student Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching  - Joseph Markert and Alexander Settles, FPAC Co-chairs

FPAC Co-chair Joseph Markert summarized his committee's response to Charge S-1511 on Personnel Considerations Related to Student Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching. The FPAC had been charged with providing input to the Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) regarding personnel considerations and ramifications related to the ICAC's deliberations on Charge S-1510 on Student Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching. ICAC Chair Natalie Borisovets said that the FPAC and ICAC will meet jointly before the upcoming Senate meeting. The FPAC report will be sent to the ICAC.


Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on How Issues are Brought to the Senate Floor - Submitted by Viktor Krapivin

The following proposed charge on how issues are brought to the Senate floor, and accompanying rationale, were discussed. Viktor Krapivin responded to questions on his proposed charge, which was then issued as follows, with a March 2018 response deadline:

Investigate the process by which charges are issued to standing or other committees of the Senate, and the process by which items are included on the draft agenda issued by the Executive Secretary on behalf of the Executive Committee for adoption at the beginning of Senate meetings, and consider suitable modifications to allow the Senate to retain ultimate authority over these processes while preserving the value of the function currently exercised by the Executive Committee. Make appropriate recommendations. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by March 2018.

Rationale: Matters of concern to the Rutgers community are sent to the Executive Committee, which decides whether or not to issue charges. Another of the significant functions of the Executive Committee is to set the agenda issued for approval by the Senate at the beginning of Senate meetings. Rules for adding new business to the agenda are restrictive, requiring specific circumstances, the approval of the Chair, and a 2/3 vote of those present. This may be appropriate as a way of inhibiting introduction of business that has not been properly considered by committees or by senators. However, even when matters have been raised on a timely basis, if the Executive Committee decides not to issue charges or to include matters on the agenda issued, there is currently no mechanism for those raising potential motions to appeal or overcome the resistance of the Executive Committee. Without undermining the valuable function that the Executive Committee exercises in deciding what charges to issue and what items to place on the agenda, it may be possible to identify mechanisms whereby it is possible for potential charges that are widely supported by senators to be issued to committees, and for motions that are widely supported by senators to be placed on the agenda, even without approval by the Executive Committee. Care needs to be taken to ensure that such mechanisms do not provide for frivolous charges to be issued or motions raised, that legitimate concerns raised by the Executive Committee charged with managing such matters are given due consideration, and that such mechanisms avoid any one constituency seeking to impose its positions on the Senate as a whole. For example, a petition by an appropriate number of senators might require that a charge be issued or a motion be placed on the agenda; a provision that the petition be supported by some minimum number of senators from each of the main constituencies (faculty, students, staff, alumni, and administrators) might serve as a useful protection. A process allowing the Executive Committee the option of presenting its arguments against charging or scheduling to the Senate before being required to accede might help preserve the integrity of the Executive Committee's function.

Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) or Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) on Perceptions of, and Alleviating Concerns on, Public Safety - Submitted by Viktor Krapivin

The following proposed charge on Perceptions of Public Safety, and accompanying rationale, were discussed. Viktor Krapivin responded to questions on his proposed charge. The charge was not issued, but Kenneth Cop, Executive Director of Police Services, will be asked to speak to the Senate on public safety at a Senate meeting.

Proposed Charge: Investigate public safety on Rutgers campuses and, if appropriate, make recommendations to ensure acceptable levels are achieved.

Rationale: In the Fall of 2016, the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) conducted a survey of the entire Rutgers undergraduate population (with an approximately 10% response rate) and discovered that students felt less safe on some parts of the New Brunswick as compared to two years ago. All students have the right to feel safe on campus. The Student Affairs Committee should investigate this issue and identify if there is a decrease in public safety or its perception on other campuses and issue appropriate recommendations to increase safety and/or perceptions of safety on Rutgers campuses.

Proposed Charge on Review of Rutgers' Policy on Workplace Violence
- Submitted by Karen Thompson, on behalf of PTL Senator Cynthia Saltzman

The following proposed charge was summarized by Karen Thompson, discussed by the Executive Committee, and issued to the FPAC as follows:

Consider Rutgers’ Policy on Workplace Violence, in particular its clarity and method of implementation. To what extent does it apply retroactively to faculty and how far back in time? To what extent is the policy's language precise? For example: "reasonable." To what extent can it be arbitrarily applied? To what extent does due process exist for all faculty/employees to whom the policy might apply. Consult with the administration, students, and unions, as needed. Make recommendations for changes to the policy if deemed appropriate. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by December 2017.

Proposed Charge on Free Speech and Academic Freedom -
Submitted by Michael Van Stine

Michael Van Stine summarized his proposed charge and accompanying rationale (below) on free speech and academic freedom. No charge was issued, but Van Stine will work with Barbara Lee on developing a forum on the issue. Lee agreed to identify a staff member to do data collection at a committee level.

Proposed Charge: Consider the scope and extent of, and limitations on, free speech in American society in relation to academic freedom at Rutgers. Recommend appropriate policies for free speech by members of the Rutgers community in their personal and official capacities.

Rationale: Recent changes in national policy regarding immigration and the deeper evolution of broad public policy divides nationally at our varied campuses have given us pause to review the University’s overall policy regarding free speech. It is unclear as to what are the dividing lines between what constitutes ‘hate speech’ versus active public expression protected under 1st Amendment rights. Recent events at universities and in communities all across the country are testing what is the right balance point. Some have taken the position that any views short of hate speech may be expressed, but that others may robustly contest them. This raises the question of whether expressions of abhorrence by officials of the university is itself an impermissible constraint on free speech. Clarity is also needed on what is the balancing point between the rights of students to share their rating of professors by their academic expression versus the concurrent rights of professors to maintain academic freedom in their instruction. We need at minimum a review of the policies of our peer institutions to see how they are grappling with this issue and to conduct sufficient research to make policy recommendations to the President. It might be advisable to include the School of Law in this research.

Annual Review of All Outstanding, Pending Committee Charges: Charges issued to committees lapse in March of the year following the year in which the charge was issued. Hardcopies of pending committee charges were distributed at the meeting, were discussed, and deadlines extended as needed.

7.    New Business

Resolution Endorsing the March for Science - Submitted by Robert Boikess, on behalf of the Faculty Caucus

Robert Boikess summarized a Resolution Endorsing the March for Science, which he had submitted on behalf of the Senate's Faculty Caucus. The resolution was docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting, with Boikess presenting.

8.    University Senate Agenda

March 24, 2017 Senate Meeting: Items were docketed for the March 24, 2017 Senate agenda, as indicated above. The meeting agenda will also include the Budget and Finance Committee's Annual Report on the Rutgers Budget.

9.    Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:18 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate