March 4, 2016

MEMBERS PRESENT: Borisovets, Cotter, Gillett, Gould (Chair), Janniger, Langer, Lee (phone), Okuwobi, Oliver, Otto (phone), Puhak, Schulberg, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Theiss, Thompson


R. Barchi (President of the University), B. Lee (Senior V.P. for Academic Affairs), 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)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, March 4, 2016 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 Chair Ann Gould called the meeting to order at 1:16 p.m. She introduced the new Camden student member of the Executive Committee, Senator Oluwatoniloba Okuwobi. Senator Okuwobi then spoke briefly about her background, and was welcomed to the committee. Gould said that the meeting's agenda was the largest she had seen, and that she would therefore try to limit discussions to about five minutes per issue.

2.    Secretary’s Report - Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
[Senator Langer joined the meeting at 1:22 p.m.]

3.    Administrative Report -
Robert Barchi, University President

University President Robert Barchi presented an Administrative Report, which included comments on:
President Barchi then responded to questions, or heard comments, on the above subjects and others including:
In response to a question from Senator Langer, Barbara Lee said she did not know if UHR does exit interviews for faculty, but that she would inquire.

Langer also said it might be helpful for the New Brunswick and RBHS members of the Executive Committee, who reviewed and ranked the honorary degree nominees, to see the final rankings. Ann Gould said that she considers the list to be not public, but that she would share it.

4.    Standing Committees


Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Religious Holidays, and Students Excused from Classes for those Holidays - Suggested by Barbara Lee during her February Administrative Report to the Executive Committee

The following proposed charge and supporting rationale, suggested by Barbara Lee, were discussed:

Rationale (from the February EC discussion): Diversity makes the list of religious holidays more extensive. Should a public university recognize religious holidays? Instructors cannot require a note, nor can they ask if a student is a practitioner of a particular religion. 

Proposed Charge: Consider policies at Rutgers regarding excused class absences for religious holidays. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by [insert deadline].

The charge was issued to the ASRAC with a November 2016 reporting deadline.

Proposed Charge on Sale of Alcohol in Stadiums - Submitted by New Brunswick Student Member of the EC Justin Schulberg

The following charge rationale, submitted by Justin Schulberg, was discussed:

Rationale: "After RUSA passed a resolution calling for the sale of alcohol in stadiums, specifically looking at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) and High Point Solution Stadium, it is appropriate for the Senate to also look into this matter. This issue does not just affect New Brunswick students, which RUSA represents, but it stretches to the domain of faculty, staff, alumni, and countless others who attend Rutgers' athletic events. This issue is heated and dynamic, as it has broad-reaching consequences. As the most representative body at Rutgers University, it is desirable for the University Senate to look into the sale of alcohol in the stadiums and advise President Barchi on its investigation and recommendations into the matter."

The Student Affairs Committee and Budget and Finance Committee were suggested as recipients of this charge. President Barchi suggested an ad hoc committee. The EC decided that an ad hoc committee consisting of chairs of committees or their representatives, plus three other people to be selected by the EC, would be formed. The committee would meet on Senate-Friday mornings. Ken Swalagin will work with Justin Schulberg to develop charge language for the next EC meeting.

Proposal to Elect a Senator to be the Official Representative to the NJ State Legislature - Submitted by Senator David Hughes

The following charge rationale, submitted by Senator David Hughes, was discussed:

[On February 19], “in the faculty caucus, I proposed that the Senate consider electing a senator to be the official representative to the NJ State Legislature.  The Faculty Senate of the University of Washington deploys such a person and he or she has been effective in securing state funds and in otherwise adding to the good name of the University. I request that the Executive Committee consider this proposal at its next meeting. Let me add that, as union president, I met with State Senator Ray Lesniak last month. He told me specifically that Rutgers needs a voice. Our administration has not done a good job of conveying the depth and breadth of what Rutgers does, especially what the faculty do. Other legislators in Trenton have expressed a similar sentiment. Even if the administration was representing Rutgers adequately, a voice from the Senate would strengthen our hand in legislative hearings and in regulatory processes. This person would not serve as a professional lobbyist - no one otherwise employed at Rutgers has time for that - but she or he would testify and meet informally now and then to underscore the perspective of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”

Sam Rabinowitz pointed out that the Board of Governors' External Relations Committee, which includes faculty and student representatives from both the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees, as well as some components of University relations, are already functioning in a manner similar to what was proposed. No charge was issued.

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. Ken Swalagin had emailed all standing committee chairs to ask for a status report on pending charges for EC review at this
meeting. Hardcopies of the status reports that were received were distributed at the meeting. Action on this matter was also deferred.

5.    Old Business

Proposal on "Senate Transparency" - Submitted by Justin Schulberg, New Brunswick Student Executive Committee Member: This issue had been discussed by the EC at several meetings. The clicker and voting record aspect of the proposal was deemed not feasible, but on the matter of whether Senate meetings should be live webstreamed and archived, the EC decided an ad hoc committee should be formed consisting of volunteers from the Senate's standing committees. At this meeting, a draft charge was discussed, and modified to become:

Consider the feasibility and desirability of videorecording and live webstreaming University Senate meetings, and archiving those videorecordings online for later viewing. Include in discussions aspects of the issue as transparency, technology, costs, benefits, audience, need, personal privacy of participants, etc. Present arguments both for and against the streaming and archiving. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 2017.

The charge is to be issued to an ad hoc committee that would consist of two volunteers from each of the standing committees. The ad hoc committee would meet an hour before the standing committees convene on Senate Fridays. Ken Swalagin was asked to find out if other senates are streaming and/or archiving videos of their meetings.

[President Barchi left the meeting at 2:35 p.m.]

Proposed Charge on RCM and Allocation of Faculty Lines - Submitted by Senator Karen Thompson: This issue was discussed at the previous EC meeting. Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) Chair Menahem Spiegel accepted the proposal as an addendum to ongoing work the BFC is doing on RCM, but wanted to change the language of the charge. The rationale below was submitted originally by Senator Thompson:

Rationale: With student enrollment growing at Rutgers, and with Responsibility Center Management (RCM) as our budgeting model, we increasingly notice that departments no longer retain control over faculty lines and/or have great difficulty obtaining a line when the enrollment and the curriculum suggest a line is needed. Faculty in individual departments who design courses/curricula are in the best position to determine the need and allocation of lines.

A revised charge proposed by BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel was amended and issued as follows:

Allocation of Faculty Lines/Positions in RCM Units: Investigate policies at Rutgers University regarding allocation of faculty lines/positions within Responsibility Center Management (RCM) units. Identify areas of concern, and make appropriate recommendations. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by March 2017.

Charge Revision Request
- Submitted by Senator Joseph Markert, Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Co-chair: The FPAC had requested deletion and resubmission of Charge A-0812-3 to indicate a focus on chancellors only. The following charge was issued to the FPAC:

Evaluation of Administrators, Part II: Evaluation of Chancellors: Reconsider the process for evaluating upper administrators  recommended by the University Senate in 2012, focusing on a process for evaluating the chancellors. Respond to the Senate Executive Committee by April 2016.

Proposed Charge on Test-Optional Admissions - Submitted by Senator Robert Boikess: Senator Boikess had sent the following charge suggestion:

"Dear EC Members, Perhaps it might be appropriate for you to issue a charge related to 'test optional admissions' in light of this new information from today's [January 26, 2016] Inside Higher Ed."

This issue was discussed at the previous EC meeting, during which ASRAC Co-chair Martha Cotter said she would consult with Vice President for Enrollment Management Courtney McAnuff on the matter before the EC considers issuing a charge to the ASRAC. At this meeting, Cotter said she will continue her research on this issue, and report back to the EC at the next meeting.

Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) Response to Charge S-1504 on Determination of Student Attendance
- Natalie Borisovets, ICAC Chair

This report was postponed at the February Senate meeting due largely to student objections to its recommendations and the Senate meeting in Camden on that day, and the expectation that student Senator attendance would be greater at a New Brunswick meeting. The ICAC had been charged as follows:

Develop guidelines that would allow units and individual instructors to comply with U.S. Department of Education requirements that Rutgers keep records for students receiving federal financial aid that substantiate students' participatory attendance in the classes for which they are registered.

ICAC Chair Natalie Borisovets said she would bring back a revised report. She will also try to have staff from Financial Aid attend the Senate meeting to respond to questions or concerns when the revised report is presented.

[Senator Borisovets left the meeting at 3:40 p.m.]

NJPIRG Student Chapters Concept Plan Review - Addendum to Concept Plan: NJPIRG Student Chapters had submitted their Concept Plan and audit reports to the Senate office and directly to the Student Affairs Committee during the first week of this semester, in preparation for a Fall 2016 referendum. A cover memo was submitted later when Ken Swalagin requested it. The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) met with NJPIRG representatives and discussed the documents at the January 22 SAC meeting, and submitted the following response to the Executive Committee:

"There is no doubt that the presence of NJPIRG on Rutgers campuses provides educational value. While the students do express some concern about the eventual fate of the funds provided by the student body and the formal wording of the proposed resolution, NJPIRG is welcome to continue to work with the Rutgers community."

The SAC had not responded to the other concept plan requirements explaining some financial matters, and the need for the funding mechanism being requested, and outlined in the policy on funding for special student organizations. On January 26, Nick Jermer, a member of the Executive Committee of the NJPIRG Students Board of Directors, sent a "NJPIRG Budget Shorthand" email directly to Ann Gould. Ken Swalagin sent a detailed list of concept plan deficiencies, with citations from the policy, to NJPIRG Student Chapters, and they responded with the Addendum. The EC reviewed additional information provided by NJPIRG Student Chapters, and approved the concept plan (with two dissenting votes) as satisfying the requirements outlined in the policy.

Timelines for Commencement Panel/Committees - From Kim Pastva, Interim Secretary of the University:

Interim Secretary of the University Kim Pastva had sent the following message relative to the Senate's November 2015 Response to Charge S-1410 on Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker Selection Process, as amended to include timelines:

"We are in the process of getting the call [for honorary-degree and commencement-speaker nominations] out to the community. My suggested timeline is:

"After the Senate receives the nominations, how much time do you think you will need for review and ranking? Do you think we could have the results by the end of May (after graduation?) Then the administrations can meet and start making offers over the summer. I think we should then do a call in September 2016 for 2018's commencement. Barbara Lee suggested that, and that would certainly give us a lot of time to get on people's calendars."

The issue was discussed. Ann Gould said she would ask Kim Pastva to issue the call for nominations after Spring Break. Ken Swalagin will send an email to the Senate asking which faculty and student Senators are interested in volunteering for their chancellor's committees, and will bring a list of volunteers to the next EC meeting so names could be chosen and communicated to the chancellors.

[Senator Schulberg left the meeting at 3:59 p.m.]

6.    New Business

Nominating Panel 2016:
An email had been sent by Ken Swalagin to all current Senators on February 24 announcing the opportunity to submit self-nominations or nominations of others for 2016-17 Senate officer and board representative positions. The email directed Senators to nominating instructions and the Nominating Panel Charge. At this meeting, the Executive Committee is asked to suggest Senators to serve on a Nominating Panel that could be called upon to suggest additional nominees in categories not sufficiently populated within the next several weeks. Jon Oliver and Robert Puhak again agreed to chair the panel and present the slate and election process at the April 29 Senate meeting. Additional members of this year's Nominating Panel will be Edmund Janniger, Martha Cotter, and Samuel Rabinowitz.

5.A.    Old Business (Continued)

Addendum to Charges S-1510 (to ICAC on Student Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching 2015) and S-1511 (to FPAC on Personnel Considerations Related to Student Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching):
 Senator Boikess had forwarded a New Brunswick Faculty Council Resolution on this matter. He also asks that the ICAC and FPAC "Consider how the Senate could extend the planned actions on the New Brunswick campus concerning evaluation of teaching to the other three campuses as well." Ken Swalagin will forward the resolution to the FPAC and ICAC chairs. The related charges were not changed.

7.    University Senate Agenda

April 1, 2016 Senate Meeting:

8.    Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:41 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate