October 4, 2002

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Barone, Borisovets, Cotter, DeRosa, Hirsh, Manhoff, Rabinowitz (Vice Chair), Panayotatos (Chair), Rijhsinghani, Scott, Swalagin (Executive Secretary)

ALSO ATTENDING:  Redd (Graduate Student BOT Representative), Seneca (Administrative Liaison), Walker-Andrews (Faculty BOG Representative), Wozniak (Student BOG Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, October 4, 2002 at 1:10 p.m. in the President’s Dining Room, Brower Commons, College Avenue Campus.

1. Chairperson’s Report

Chairperson Panayotatos called the meeting to order, and told the committee that letters have been sent from him and Former Chair Scott to faculty Senators who were absent from at least half of last year’s standing-committee meetings.  The letters ask those Senators if they would prefer to be on a different committee, or identify a volunteer to replace them on the Senate.

2. Secretary's Report

Minutes:  The Minutes of the September 13, 2002 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed by the Secretary.

Communications:  The following communications were presented and acted upon as indicated:

3. Administrative Report

University Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Seneca presented the administrative report, which included comments on:  suspension of the presidential search, and appointment of former Newark provost Norman Samuels as acting president, effective October 7, 2002; a report anticipated by next week on the potential merger of UMDNJ, NJIT, and Rutgers University; and undergraduate and graduate enrollment university-wide and by campus.

Senator Seneca responded to questions regarding Route 18 construction and its effect on travel time between classes.  He also offered to bring final enrollment numbers, as well as data on applications, admits, admit-comings, and enrolled to the November 1 Executive Committee meeting.

4. Standing Committee Actions, Reports and Charges

Senator Borisovets’s proposed charge on Mid-Semester Course Assessment to the Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee, which she chairs, was reviewed, and issued, as follows:

Review the use of the Mid-Semester Course Assessment as a formative assessment tool; identify barriers to the use of the Mid-Semester Assessment at Rutgers; consider whether such an assessment should be required/recommended for all courses.  Report to Senate Executive Committee by January 2003.
Senator Borisovets included background and rationale for the charge in a brief report handed out at the meeting.  The report stated:
While completion and posting of the Student Instructional Ratings Data is required, research shows that the most useful assessment is often a mid-semester instructor-generated assessment which allows for adjustments prior to the completion of the course.  Based on input from the Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee, the Senate has previously recommended [Charge S-9913:  “Review the training of graduate students by departments for teaching undergraduate-level courses at Rutgers,” endorsed February 23, 2001] that TAs be required to make use of the Mid-Course assessment in their courses.  Rutgers’ E-College courses require the use of a mid-semester evaluation.

The TEC has available a Mid-Course Online Survey that instructors could have their students submit.  The form allows for specific question response and narrative input and goes back only to the instructor.  Last year, the New Brunswick TEC set up some 100 sites for instructors wishing to have their students complete a mid-semester review of their course.  Instructors have found the information gathered useful; several departments (Math, Economics) have requested survey sites for each instructor in the department.

Secretary Swalagin was instructed to ask Professor Charles Fay, a former non-Senator member of the Faculty Affairs and Personnel (FAP) Committee, if he would be interested in becoming a Senator and chairing the FAP Committee.  Secretary Swalagin will also ask Senator Peter Simmons if he would be interested in co-chairing the committee.

Senator Pieczenik’s five “motions” (see above “Communications”) were considered as potential charges to standing committees.  The first three were considered to be outside of the Senate’s purview.  The Executive Committee suggested that Senator Pieczenik refer those items which involve negotiated benefits to the AAUP.  On the fourth item, involving reports of British and other European alleged bias against Israeli academics, the Executive Committee instructed Secretary Swalagin to request full background information from Senator Pieczenik.  The fifth item, which suggested requiring approval of the University Senate before investment of University money through TIAA-CREF or endowment into certain corporations, was discussed.  It was determined that responsibility for individual investments is handled by professional portfolio managers, and that Rutgers has no organizational control over how TIAA-CREF invests its funds.  No charges were issued.

During discussion of the October 18 Senate meeting agenda, Senator Scott offered to draft a charge to the University Structure and Governance Committee on the anticipated proposal to merge Rutgers with UMDNJ and NJIT.  The committee decided that, once the report becomes available, Executive Committee members will send their thoughts on a proposed charge to Secretary Swalagin, who will assemble them into a draft charge to be considered at the November EC meeting.

5. Senate Meeting Agenda

The following items were docketed for the October 18, 2002 meeting agenda:

6. Old Business

Secretary Swalagin reported that Senator Erika Sondahl, a student at the School of Law-Camden, had been selected by the Student Caucus of the Senate to serve on the Enrollment Committee, and that he has set up a webpage for the Enrollment Committee.  He also said that he is in the process of setting up the first meeting of that committee.

7. New Business

The Executive Committee, on behalf of the University Senate, approved the following resolution expressing appreciation for President Lawrence’s relationship with the Senate:

Whereas, Dr. Francis L. Lawrence, while President of Rutgers University, has shown consistent and sustained interest in the activities of the University Senate; and,

Whereas, during his time as President, Dr. Lawrence was instrumental in the implementation of nearly every recommendation forwarded to him by the Senate; and,

Whereas, during his tenure he promoted the exchange of information between the Senate and the University administration; and,

Whereas, during that time the Senate acted on issues of significant importance to Rutgers, and benefited from the cooperation and respect of the President and administration;

Whereas, Dr. Lawrence has completed his term as President of Rutgers;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate expresses its gratitude and appreciation for the courtesies and attention given it by President Francis L. Lawrence.

Chairperson Panayotatos said that researchers from the University of Southern California will be visiting Rutgers on October 16, 17 and 18 in order to interview members of the Senate Executive Committee and other administrators.  October 17 and 18 being Board of Trustees and Senate meeting days, respectively, it was decided that the interviews would take place at the Senate office on October 16.  Ms. Mickelsen of the Senate office will be contacting each committee member individually to schedule interview times.

8. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:25 p.m. by Chairperson Panayotatos.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the Senate