September 4, 2009

MEMBERS PRESENT: Borisovets, Bodnar, Gillett, Gould, Katz, Levine, McArdle, Panayotatos, Rabinowitz (Chair), Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Wild

MEMBERS EXCUSED:  Leath, Schramke, Thompson

ALSO ATTENDING: Cotter (Faculty BOG Representative), Fehn (Administrative Liaison), Furmanski (Administrative Liaison), Kaplan (Student BOG Representative), McCormick (Administrative Liaison), Blimling (VP for Student Affairs)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, September 4, 2009 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 Samuel Rabinowitz called the meeting to order at 1:20 p.m., welcoming all present. He commented about the recent opening of the new Rutgers-Camden recreation center, and about the previous day's investiture ceremony of University Professor Joachim Messing in the newly created, endowed Selman Waksman Chair in Molecular Genetics.

2.    Secretary’s Report 3.    Administrative Liaison

President McCormick and Executive Vice President Furmanski presented an administrative report which included comments on:
Furmanski and McCormick then responded to questions, or heard comments, from the Executive Committee on topics which included:
Draft Expulsion Clemency Policy: Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory Blimling summarized an addendum to the University Code of Student Conduct, which he had sent to the Executive Committee with an explanatory cover email. Dr. Blimling said that the policy would be going to the Board of Governors for action in October, and that the University Senate did not need to approve it. He explained the process by which a committee assigned to the task had developed the clemency policy. Blimling said the item had been brought to the Executive Committee as an information item, and asked if anyone had suggestions for areas of consideration not previously mentioned. He then responded to questions about the policy relative to decisionmaking authorities, similar policies at other institutions, the need for the policy, the number of requests for clemency from expelled students, and specifics of readmission and admission on disciplinary probation. Senator Peter Gillett suggested changing "mitigating circumstances" to "extenuating circumstances," a suggestion with which Blimling agreed. There was also brief discussion of clemency officers, the academic integrity policy, and the process by which changes to these policies are enacted.

Other Items from Vice President Blimling: Blimling said Rutgers is also currently looking at the possibility of implementing a policy prohibiting unauthorized recording of personal conversations, such as using videotapes to intimidate people in their offices, or wanting to generate on-the-spot webcasts. Other schools' policies will be examined. He added that Rutgers is also looking at how student disciplinary hearing boards are structured, particularly with respect to how it is now possible to dismiss a student from Rutgers without anyone from the student's school being involved in the decision to do so.

4.    Standing Committees

2009-10 Senate Standing Committee Rosters: Senate Executive Secretary Ken Swalagin briefed the committee on the status of standing committee assignments. Noting that they were still in process, he said he would bring the committee rosters back to the Executive Committee in October.

Appeals Panel Members:
The Executive Committee authorized Secretary Swalagin to solicit from the Senate, via email, volunteers to serve on the Senate's Appeals Panel, as he had done last year. Swalagin had requested that authorization, and had explained that the panel is ad hoc, and functions only when and if an appeal is filed, but the panel members need to be appointed at the beginning of each academic year.

Proposed Charges/Issues:

Academic Calendar Commencement Date Changes: Secretary of the University Leslie Fehrenbach, in a July 27, 2009 letter, had requested that the University Senate change the University Commencement dates on the academic calendar for 2010 and beyond. Senator Gillett pointed out that, although the academic calendar can only be changed or established by action of the University Senate, the change for 2010 had already been announced publicly and in The Daily Targum. President McCormick noted that the Senate should have been given time to act on the requested change before it was announced or implemented. Senator Kevin Wild moved to divide the issue into two parts, with one part being the urgent change for the 2010 commencement date, and another generating a charge to committee to consider the requested, permanent change. It was pointed out that the Executive Committee has the authority to act on behalf of the full Senate in exceptional or emergency situations. The Executive Committee then, on behalf of the University Senate, voted (with none opposed, and one abstention) to change the May 2010 university commencement date from Tuesday, May 18 to Sunday, May 16 (at 1:00 p.m.). The Executive Committee then instructed Secretary Swalagin to draft and issue a charge to the Senate's Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee to consider and report on changing the commencement dates for 2011 and beyond.

Targum Referendum/Concept Plan:
In anticipation of a spring 2010 referendum, the 2009 Targum Concept Planhad been forwarded to the Senate for its consideration, and evaluation of its programs' educational value. Swalagin was authorized to draft and issue a charge to the Senate's Student Affairs Committee to evaluate the educational value of Targum's programs as outlined in the plan.

Proposal to Increase Staff Representation on the University Senate:
The Union of Rutgers Administrators - American Federation of Teachers Local 1766 had generated and circulated a report which proposes, in its last paragraph, the following: "We recommend that the University Senate double the number of seats for staff from 10 to 20 by January 1, 2011." Swalagin had docketed the item for Executive Committee discussion. Senator Paul Panayotatos moved that the charge should admonish the committee that they should look at how this would affect the weight and balance of the Senate's constituency groups. The motion was seconded, and the amendment was discussed, but failed on vote. Swalagin was authorized to draft and issue a charge to the University Structure and Governance Committee to consider the issue and report back to the Executive Committee by January 2010.

Part-Time Lecturer (PTL) Senator Elections and Representation:
An issue relating to PTL Senator elections raised informally by Senator Karen Thompson (who was excused from this meeting) at the June 2009 Executive Committee meeting was discussed briefly. The matter was postponed until Thompson could draft a charge and be present to discuss it.

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on revising standing charge of Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC)
: At the June 2009 Executive Committee meeting, Senator Justine Hernandez Levine had requested that the University Structure and Governance Committee be charged with considering addition of an undergraduate research component to the standing charge of the Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee. The charge, drafted by Swalagin, was discussed and issued as follows:

Charge S-0904, Assessment of Research, and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) Standing Charge: Review the RGPEC standing charge (See #8) and evaluate whether an undergraduate research component should be added. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by January 2010.

Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) to replace Charge S-0809 on Implementation of Interim Academic Integrity Policy
: ASRAC Co-chair Martha Cotter had drafted, and requested that the Executive Committee issue to her committee, a charge to replace Charge S-0809 on implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy. The Executive Committee issued the charge, as drafted, as follows:

Charge S-0905, Academic Integrity Policy: Consider and critique the draft permanent Academic Integrity Policy prepared by the Ad-hoc Academic Integrity Committee. Provide comments, criticisms, and suggestions for changes to the Ad-hoc Committee on an ongoing basis. Report to the Senate on progress on developing a new policy by March 2010.

[Original Charge S-0809 - Implementation of Interim Academic Integrity Policy: Monitor the progress of implementation of the Interim Academic Integrity Policy and of the University-wide Academic Integrity Committee's (AIC) efforts to develop a new, permanent academic integrity policy. Provide ongoing input to the new AIC charged with developing the new AI policy. Report to the Senate on progress to date toward the end of the 2008-9 academic year. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by April 2009.]

5.    September 25, 2009 University Senate Agenda

The September 25, 2009 Senate meeting agenda will be dedicated primarily to President McCormick's Annual Address to the Community. Chairperson Rabinowitz will also ask all standing-committee chairs to report on their committees' plans for the upcoming academic year at the start of the Senate meeting. Senator Cotter will also announce the upcoming, October 2 Academic Integrity Conference at the Douglass Campus Center, and will invite participation.

6.    Old Business

Senator Gillett proposed that something be done about finding software to run elections in the various units at Rutgers. No committee charge was issued, but Swalagin will email Vice President Furmanski if there has been any progress on finding appropriate software.

7.    New Business

Executive Secretary Swalagin, who is an alumnus of University College-New Brunswick and the School of Communication and Information, explained his experience with, and difficulty in, joining, contacting, and getting responses from the Rutgers Alumni Association. Senator Dan McArdle, an alumnus of the Camden College of Arts and Sciences, explained his own, related difficulties. The Executive Committee suggested that Swalagin and McArdle raise the issue again when the administrative liaisons were present.

8.   Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:12 p.m.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate