October 6, 2017

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Boikess, Borisovets, Esposito, Gillett (Chair), Gould, Kelly, Krapivin, Oliver, Parsa, Scoloveno, Settles, Thompson, Van Stine


ALSO ATTENDING:   M. Norin (SVP and Chief Information Officer), M. Spiegel (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, October 6, 2017, beginning at 1:10 p.m. in Room 450/451 of the Nursing and Science Building on the Camden Campus.

1.    Chair’s Report  - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Peter Gillett called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. He thanked Chancellor Haddon, Ken Swalagin and Mary Mickelsen for arranging the trip to Camden, and the day's activities. He said that the University Commencement Panel (UCP) had completed its work, but that there were some issues of how one Chancellor's Commencement Committee transitions into another, and that the Secretary of the University had issued a call for honorary-degree and commencement-speaker nominations before the UCP could complete its work, so the Senate may need to work on those timing issues. He said that Michelle Norin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, would be joining the meeting today, but that there would be no Administrative Report because Barbara Lee had been diverted to another responsibility, so questions on the policy list (see below) she had sent would be raised at the next Executive Committee meeting.

2.    Secretary’s Report - Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
3.    Administrative Liaison Report - Barbara Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Senior Vice President Lee had been assigned to another responsibility at the time of this meeting, so there was no Administrative Liaison Report.

4.    Old Business

Preliminary Response to Charge S-1612, on Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel - Viktor Krapivin, Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Co-chair
In a September 24, 2017 email to Peter Gillett, Krapivin wrote:

Hello Peter,

A few Executive Committee meetings ago you asked me to go to my committee to figure out how charge S-1612 could be responded to (language regarding charge reproduced below):

Discussed charge S-1612 - Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel:

Investigate procedures at Rutgers for handling student complaints against University personnel, and make recommendations regarding how such procedures should be best publicized and communicated, and how the rights of all parties might be appropriately protected. Consider also how training might improve our response to such complaints. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by October 2017. [Issued September 2016.]

The committee deliberated on this issue, this past meeting. The committee does not have enough information to proceed as the grievance process is confidential. Most members do not have any experience with this issue. The committee is more than willing to provide feedback on a specific proposal. Additionally, in regards to the question on how procedures should be publicized and communicated, we can also issue a response to how things should be communicated to students.

Thank you,

Viktor Krapivin

The matter was discussed. Krapivin said that the issue is too broad for a committee composed mostly of students. Ultimately, the Executive Committee discharged the SAC on this matter. Senator Settles will speak with Senators Boikess and Krapivin and draft a charge for the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee, and submit that to Swalagin no later than ten days before the next Executive Committee meeting.

Response to Request for Compiled List of University Policies and Statements on Academic Freedom and Free Speech - Barbara Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

In a September 26, 2017 email to Ken Swalagin transmitting the above-linked document, Lee wrote:

Dear Ken,

At the last Senate Executive Committee meeting, members of the committee asked me to compile a list of University policies and statements on academic freedom and free speech. I interpreted that request very broadly to include any official statement posted on the university website. So attached is a 43-page list of those policies and statements.

Please let me know if you have questions, or if there are additional people to whom this should be sent.

Thanks, Ken.


Barbara A. Lee
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

The issue was discussed. Lee was not present at the meeting, and therefore could not respond to any questions about the list itself, but the Executive Committee decided to accept Van Stine's offer to put together a summary of some of the points related to the need for a more cogent free-speech policy. However, the Committee voted against placing the issue back on the next agenda.

Preliminary Draft of the Middle States Decennial Reaccreditation Review Self-Study [NetID and password required.] - Mentioned at the September 8 Executive Committee meeting, and subsequently forwarded by email to the Rutgers community, and comments invited therefrom to the Middle States Steering Committee, by Barbara Lee on September 25, 2017

Ann Gould, who co-chairs Rutgers' Middle States Steering Committee, spoke briefly about the Preliminary Draft of the Middle States Decennial Reaccreditation Review Self-Study, and reiterated the solicitation of comments from the Rutgers community. Swalagin pointed out the sections of the Self-Study in which the University Senate is mentioned.

Follow-Up Response to Response to Charge S-1614 on Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources  - Michele Norin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

The following Draft Policies and Overview related to Rutgers' Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources were summarized by Michele Norin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and were discussed by the Executive Committee:
Norin said that her goal was to use the next two or three weeks to gather feedback, have discussions, and modify the draft policy and have it instituted by the end of October. Gillett said the Senate could look at the draft, but could not respond in that timeframe. Norin offered to look into a question about the absence of parameters in the policy regarding what is, and is not, acceptable to send via email. After discussion, the following charge was issued to the Instruction, Curricula, and Advising Committee:

Charge A-1711 - Review Draft Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources: Review the draft information technology policies, and respond with comments. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by October 24, 2017.

5.    Committees/Panels

University Commencement Panel -
The University Commencement Panel, chaired by Senate Vice Chair Jon Oliver, met on Friday, September 29, and selected Senator members for each Chancellor's Commencement Committee. Oliver has informed the chancellor of those selections and appointments, as follows:

Faculty: Perry Dane, Samuel Rabinowitz, Robert Scoloveno
Students: Michael Van Stine, Christopher Shinn

Faculty: Alexander Settles, Adam Kustka, Philip Patrick
Students: There were no student volunteers from the Senate, so Senior Vice Chancellor Peter Englot will work with Newark student leaders to select from the following Newark student Senators: Kemal Abayhan, Mrittika Majumdar, Sindu Parvthaneni, Rita Nasr, Jon Gonzales [Note: Rita Nasr has since resigned from the Senate.]

New Brunswick/RBHS:
Faculty: Eleanor LaPointe, Karen Thompson, Mary Bridgeman
Students: Viktor Krapivin, Aneesh Deshpande

The UCP process was discussed briefly, particularly regarding the need to address overlap of processes and Chancellors' Commencement Committees whose work takes longer than a year, as well as the timing of solicitation of commencement-speaker and honorary-degree nominations by the Secretary of the University.

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Requested Review of Proposed Realignment of School of Arts and Sciences - New Brunswick Support Staff - Proposed by Joanna Kempner, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

In an October 3, 2017 email to Peter Gillett, Kempner wrote:

I'm writing to you, in your capacity as the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate [sic], to request that the Senate investigate the NB School of Arts and Sciences' plan to "realign" the organization of departments' support staff.

The SAS faculty are so concerned about SAS's proposal and its roll-out that we, though the AAUP-AFT union, petitioned Executive Dean Peter March to hold a special meeting with faculty and staff about this plan. We have multiple concerns, including faculty governance and autonomy, as well as the increasing corporatization of the university.

I am attaching a memo that explains the reorganization in more detail. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions.

Many thanks,


The matter was discussed, and it was pointed out that is related to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) Charges S-1403 and S-1604 on Senate structure and organization, or structural changes at Rutgers, respectively. The Executive Committee then sent this issue to the USGC to consider in its deliberations on Charge S-1604 on Process for Unit Mergers or Other Structural Changes, Continued.

6.    University Senate Agenda

October 20, 2017 Senate Meeting:
7.    Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:56 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate