May 20, 2011

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bodnar, Borisovets, Fishbein, Gould, Leath, Panayotatos (Chair), Rabinowitz, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Thompson

2011-20012 MEMBERS-ELECT PRESENT: Muse, Yoon

MEMBERS EXCUSED:  Barnett, Binetti, Bubb, David, Gillett, Levine

ALSO ATTENDING:Cotter (Faculty BOG Representative), Jasey (2011-12 Graduate Student BOT Representative), Yabut (2011-12 Undergraduate Student BOT Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, May 20, 2011 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 1:15 p.m. He welcomed all present, including next-year's Executive Committee members and board members. All present introduced themselves. Noting that President McCormick, Executive Vice President Furmanski, and Vice President Fehn would not be attending the meeting, he said there would be no administrative report, and the meeting agenda would therefore be short.

2.    Secretary’s Report

Senate Executive Secretary Ken Swalagin asked for approval of the meeting agenda, amended to correct a reference to the President's Address meeting in September, and of the Minutes of the April 8, 2011 Senate Executive Committee Meeting. Noting that the Executive Committee approves, on behalf of the Senate, the minutes of the last meeting of each academic year because that year's Senate does not meet again, Swalagin asked for, and received, approval of the April 29, 2011 Senate Minutes.

3.    Standing Committees

Selection/Nomination of Standing Committee Chairs: Draft Committee rosters for 2011-12 were distributed in hardcopy at the meeting. Swalagin noted that, because the Executive Committee meeting had been rescheduled from its usual June date, committee rosters were still being completed. The Executive Committee then nominated co-chairs for the Student Affairs Committee, and the Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC). Secretary Swalagin will contact the nominees to ask if they're willing to serve as co-chairs. A co-chair was also suggested for the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC). Swalagin will first ask BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel if he wants a co-chair before contacting the nominee.

Review/Continuation of Current Pending Charges: Standing committees' specific, pending charges were reviewed by the Executive Committee. There were multiple expired deadlines and deadline errors listed on the online table of pending charges. Swalagin said that it appeared to be an older version of the table which had been uploaded in error, and that he would revise it and bring it back to the Executive Committee for review in September. The Executive Committee agreed. 

[Draft committee rosters for 2011-12 will be finalized over the summer, and returned to the Executive Committee for approval in September.]

Issues for 2011-12 Senate Committee Consideration/Proposed Charges: Discussion of Additional Issues for 2011-12 Senate/Committee Consideration
4.    Old Business

Proposed Charge on Best Practices for Assessment of Student Learning Goals: Leslie Fishbein read her draft, proposed charge on best practices for assessment of student learning goals. She had been asked to draft this charge when she raised the issue at previous Executive Committee meetings. Her proposed charge was as follows: "Investigate best practices for improving assessment of student achievement of learning goals as they are reflected in individual student master of the learning goals on the placement tests they take upon entry to Rutgers, including the question of whether these test results should be employed as the sole assessment mechanism or in conjunction with other criteria, and in the remedial and E-credit courses in which they are enrolled at Rutgers in order to ensure: 1) that students are placed properly in introductory courses; 2) that grade inflation is minimized because fewer students will be placed in courses whose learning goals they already have mastered; and 3) that student learning outcomes thereby are enhanced." EC members noted that the Senate does not usually get involved with construction of tests, that the matter seemed to be something best left to the faculties of the various units, and that the Senate should not be making distinctions that would be necessary to tailor testing for multiple areas and disciplines. Panayotatos suggested the issue may be more appropriate for the New Brunswick Faculty Council. After continued discussion, on vote, the EC declined to issue the charge.

Follow-up on Form 1A Corrections: Leslie Fishbein said she had spoken with Richard Tedesco, in the office of Institutional Research and Academic Planning, who said that he has no indication that the recommendations from the February 2011 Senate report on Form 1A are being implemented in the units. Panayotatos asked Vice Chair Ann Gould to follow up on the matter. Panayotatos also said that this issue was raised in the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) during discussion of the 10-year rule report, and that EVP Furmanski had said he would wait for the 10-year rule report and recommendations before acting on the Form 1A issue, but that Furmanski's resignation from the EVP position left the matter in question and in need of an additional, follow-up charge to the FPAC.

Senate Operating Budget: Panayotatos explained that the Senate's non-salary operating budget is currently set at zero, and that Swalagin and Furmanski had a verbal agreement that Furmanski would cover the Senate's operating expenses, but that the total lack of an operating budget was not acceptable in principle because the Senate should be able to pay for its meetings and operation, and because Furmanski is resigning. Swalagin presented to the EC documentation that supported a request for a minimum of $12,000-per-year budget allocation to cover operating expenses. Paul Leath suggested that the Senate should have a similar budget request each year, based on needs and inflation. Panayotatos will write to Furmanski and McCormick to request that minimum budget allocation.

Recruiting New Faculty Senators: Panayotatos said that the Ad Hoc Shared Governance Task Force had discussed ways in which newly tenured faculty could be made aware of, and encouraged to participate in, the University Senate, and had decided to ask President McCormick to recognize newly tenured faculty at the President's Address meetings, and to enable a gathering or mechanism afterward by which those faculty could be approached and encouraged to join the Senate, and to also ask President McCormick to invite the EC faculty members to the reception he holds each year at his house for newly tenured faculty. Panayotatos said he had asked President McCormick about those ideas, and that he had agreed to do them.

President's Address Meeting Invitations: Panayotatos said he had discussed with, and received agreement from, President McCormick the idea of sending President's Address invitations jointly from himself and the Senate chair, except for those invitations sent to legislators, which will be sent from the president to those legislators inviting them on behalf of himself and the Senate chair.

5.    New Business

Meeting with Dick Edwards, Acting Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs: Martha Cotter suggested that, at some point after July 1, someone should contact Dick Edwards and arrange a meeting with him, Cotter, Swalagin, Panayotatos, Ann Gould and Paul Panayotatos as a delegation from the Senate to discuss the Senate and its relationship to the administration. Cotter will make that contact to arrange a meeting, and also to let Edwards know that there will be a meeting with himself, McCormick, Panayotatos and Gould to discuss issues in, or of interest to, the Senate.

6.    Adjournment

Panayotatos thanked everyone present, and, in particular, thanked those who would not be returning next year, adding that it had been a privilege to work with them. The meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

Minutes Written and Submitted by,
Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the University Senate