March 9, 2012

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

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Bubb, Paterno, Yoon

ALSO ATTENDING: Cotter (Faculty Board of Trustees Representative), Edwards (Administrative Liaison/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs), Finegold (Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning), McCormick (Administrative Liaison/University President), Rabinowitz (Faculty Board of Governors Representative), Shapiro (New Brunswick Faculty Liaison), Spiegel (Faculty Board of Trustees Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, March 9, 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 he and Senate Vice Chair Ann Gould had met with Executive Vice President Edwards and President McCormick, and that the meeting was productive.

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

Administrative Report: President McCormick presented an administrative report which included comments and discussion on:
[President McCormick left the meeting at 1:35 p.m.]

Report on Request for Proposals on Online Education
- David Finegold, Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning: Following previous Executive Committee discussions on a Request for Proposals (RFP) Rutgers had issued on online education, Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning David Finegold was asked to brief the Executive Committee on the RFP and Rutgers' plans for online education generally. Finegold spoke about the educational, financial, marketing and other aspects of online education, including what is being done at comparable institutions. During the discussion, Karen Thompson asked about the proportionality of part-time and full-time teaching in online teaching, and noted that previous Senate requests for data on part-time and full-time teaching had brought a report in 1999, then new, but incomplete, data in 2010 from then-Executive Vice President Furmanski. Executive Vice President Edwards suggested that the Senate request for this data should be renewed, and he would look into it. Natalie Borisovets, chair of the Senate's Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee, cited the recommendations contained in her committee's Response to Charge S-1015, Online Education at Rutgers , which the Senate endorsed in April 2011. Finegold said that the newly formed Task Force for Lifelong Learning had met for the first time the previous week, and that Sam Rabinowitz and Natalie Borisovets are on that task force. Paul Panayotatos asked Finegold to be sure to review the Senate's reports on this issue, including reports on the College of Applied and Professional Studies (March 2002), and the upcoming report on University College and Non-traditional Students. Ken McKeever and others asked about issues related to online education and military veterans, and Service Opportunity College (SOC) both at Rutgers and other institutions. Martha Cotter said that SOC had been discussed by the New Brunswick Faculty Council, and that current information on how SOC is being done at peer universities would be helpful. Finegold said he would provide that information.

Administrative Report (continued):
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Edwards continued the administrative report with discussion on efforts to create a Rutgers presence in China, jointly with the South China University of Technology, in the Haikou City on Hainan Island. There was discussion of the Senate's responsibility to advise on the creation of new Rutgers units, and Paul Panayotatos noted that this proposal is for the creation of a different institution, or a third university, rather than a Rutgers campus in China, and that the condensed timeframe may preclude Senate consideration of the plans. In response to Karen Thompson's questions about what the faculty profile of the new institution would be (particularly part-time and full-time faculty ratios), Thompson was asked to draft a charge on the issue to be considered at the next Executive Committee meeting. David Finegold also participated in this discussion.

[David Finegold left the meeting at 2:45 p.m.]

[The schedule of 2012-13 Senate and Executive Committee meetings was discussed and adopted at this point in the meeting. The item is documented above under "Secretary's Report."]

4.    Standing Committees

Committee Reports:

Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) 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 response to Charge S-1104 on Online Teaching Evaluations, and Best Practices in Evaluation of Teaching Performance. The ICAC had been charged as follows:

Investigate best practices in the evaluation of teaching performance, in particular addressing the question of whether paper or online evaluation formats should be used and whether any appropriate safeguards can be put in place to make the use of whatever format or formats might be employed more efficient and accurate. Obtain data relating to changes in response rates and average evaluations since the adoption of online teaching evaluations.

Consistent with the original charge, the report had been reviewed by the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee, which issued comments in Response. Borisovets pointed out that Peter Gillett's requested recommendation regarding a best practice for closing the online evaluation window after the timing of final grades had been added. The report was docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting.

Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Response to Charge A-0812A, Part 2, Evaluation of Upper Administration - FPAC Co-chair Paul Panayotatos summarized his committee's response to Charge A-0812A, Part 2, on Evaluation of Upper Administration. The FPAC had been charged as follows:

Examine the feasibility of extending the process of faculty, staff and student evaluation of deans to include vice presidents and other administrators.

Peter Gillett proposed that the recommendations regarding out-of-cycle evaluations be clarified, and Panayotatos agreed to do that. [Note: The link above goes to the revised version of the report.] The report was docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting.

Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) DRAFT Response to Charge S-1103 on Information Technology and IT Services at Rutgers - BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel summarized his committee's response to Charge S-1103 on Information Technology and IT Services at Rutgers. The BFC had been charged as follows:

Evaluate aspects of information technology services at Rutgers including whether systems communicate effectively with each other, incorporate user experience levels and feedback, are user-friendly, improve data flow, and enhance coordination among information technology personnel. Explore ways that the Office of Information Technology can more efficiently provide services to users. Identify opportunities for Rutgers to centralize or take a more distributive approach to various information technology functions, and investigate the advantages and disadvantages of deploying more open software. If developments during the time of deliberations warrant it, consider the ramifications of a reunification of Robert Wood Johnson Medical with Rutgers New Brunswick on the above.

The Executive Committee discussed the report at some length, and specific concerns were expressed regarding installation and use of Dell Kase software on university computers, and how that practice may potentially conflict with Rutgers' email privacy policy. Other relevant issues were also discussed, and Paul Panayotatos asked that the report be revised to reference prior Senate recommendations on email privacy. The report was sent back to committee for additional discussion and revision. Panayotatos asked for a charge to the FPAC on the use of Dell Kase software, but it was reported that the software installation and use is slated to begin soon, and that a charge now might not be timely. No charge was issued.

[Executive Vice President Edwards left the meeting at 3:34 p.m.]

University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) Response to Charge S-1201 on Senate Size and Composition - USGC Co-chair Peter Gillett summarized the probable content of a not-yet-drafted report from his committee on Charge S-1201 on Senate Size and Composition. The USGC had been charged as follows:

Consider the effective functioning of the University Senate in light of past and possible future changes in its composition and size, together with recent patterns of active participation, and the structure of comparable bodies at other universities, and recommend changes to University Policies and the Senate Handbook, as appropriate.

Noting that recommendations likely to appear in the report would require changes to Senate Bylaws, therefore requiring introduction at a Senate meeting followed by voting at the following Senate meeting, Gillett proposed two options for the Executive Committee: extend the deadline on the charge; or docket it provisionally for introduction at the March Senate meeting, and withdraw it if it is not deemed ready when the draft arrives. The report was not docketed for introduction to the Senate. Instead, the charge-response deadline was extended to December 2012.

Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Response to Charge S-0909A on University College- SAC Co-chair Robert Barraco summarized his committee's report and recommendations on Charge S-0909A on University College. The report had not been submitted previously nor posted online before the meeting, but SAC Co-chair Sam Rabinowitz distributed hardcopies of the report to the Executive Committee at the meeting. The SAC had been charged as follows:

Investigate and make recommendations for improvement upon the current scope of University College on each of the regional campuses. Include in your investigation admissions criteria, marketing techniques separate from the general university, availability for support and student services, as well as general campus life information for these “non-traditional” students. In addition, explore ways that University College can be expanded to improve the university as a whole. Recognizing the lack of a designated “University College” on the New Brunswick-Piscataway Campus, explore the support structure which is in place in the University College Community.

Barraco observed that comments heard earlier from Vice President Finegold related to lifelong learning are relevant to University College in ways sufficiently significant to warrant revision of the report. The SAC co-chairs said they would revise the report accordingly, and send it to Ken Swalagin in the next few days. The Executive Committee docketed the report for action at the March Senate meeting.

Proposed Charges, and Charge Deadlines:

Issue Raised by Student on Spring Break/Passover 2013:Brian Thomas, Pharm D. Candidate 2015, wrote: "Some of my classmates and I are curious as to the ease (or difficulty) of changing Spring Break 2013 in the academic calendar to coincide with Passover next year. Next year they are very close to each other already and moving spring break to the week of Passover would prevent many students from our large Jewish population at Rutgers from missing many classes during that time." The Executive Committee, noting that academic calendars are established well in advance, and that myriad university functions and facilities operate on schedules established by the calendars, declined to issue a charge on this suggestion.

Proposed Charge to Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) on Financial Aspects of Academic Planning at Rutgers University - BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel proposed that the following charge be issued to his committee:

Study and determine the major components of the desired process of (financially founded) academic planning and suggest metrics and measurements to evaluate its success. Study the involvement of key stakeholders in planning in other universities and similar institutions; suggest possible ways to involve the Rutgers Senate, as the major stakeholder institution of the University, in the planning process.

The proposed charge had not been submitted in advance, but was distributed in hardcopy at the meeting. It was discussed briefly. Swalagin will edit the charge, and, as the Executive Committee instructed, issue it to the BFC with a response deadline of December 2013.

Expiring Pending-Charge Deadlines: Pending charges on which deadlines are expiring were discussed. Deadlines were extended, or charges reissued, as needed.

[Robert Barraco, attending by phone, left/disconnected from the meeting at 4:29 p.m.]

5.    University Senate Agenda

The March 23, 2012 Senate meeting will be held in New Brunswick, and will include committee reports indicated as docketed above, and reports regularly docketed at Senate meetings.

6.    Old Business

There was no old business.

7.    New Business

There was no new business.

8.    Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:33 p.m.

Written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate