M I N U T E S 

October 11, 2007

 MEMBERS PRESENT: Becker, Bodnar, Borisovets, Cotter, Greenhut, Leath (Vice Chair), Puniello, Rabinowitz (Chair), Stein, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Thompson

EXCUSED: Cooke, Gould, McCall

ALSO ATTENDING: Coppolo (Student Representative to Board of Governors), Furmanski (Administrative Liaison), Nolfi (University Structure and Governance Committee Chair)

 The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. in the G.H. Cook Room of the Cook Campus Center, Cook Campus.  The meeting had been rescheduled from October 12 because of a conflict with a New Brunswick Faculty Council meeting and teaching conference.

1.         Chairperson’s Report

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Samuel Rabinowitz called the meeting to order at 10:48 a.m. He thanked everyone for coming to the rescheduled meeting, and summarized the day's agenda, which included a number of prospective committee charges and issues to be considered. He also reported that he had met with President McCormick after the previous Executive Committee meeting, and been asked for Senate support for the initiatives mentioned in the president's annual address in September.

Chairperson Rabinowitz informed the committee that Interim Camden Provost Margaret Marsh had conducted a survey among Camden faculty to determine if there was interest in forming a Camden faculty council, that the responses indicated that only 20 percent of the faculty were in favor of forming the council, and that she did not think it would be in the best interest of the faculty to pursue the issue given her interim-provost status, so there will be no Camden faculty council for this academic year.

Rabinowitz said that the committee would be looking at the Middle States accreditation self-study, and that committee members would be asked to read and discuss the study report. After discussing the report, the Executive Committee (EC) will invite Bob Goodman, who chairs the university's accreditation committee, to attend an EC meeting to receive and provide feedback. Goodman is also being invited to speak on this subject at the Senate's November meeting.

2.         Secretary’s Report

The committee approved the day's agenda with minor changes, and the minutes of the September 7, 2007 Executive Committee meeting, as distributed by Secretary Swalagin.

One communication was presented: President McCormick's September 19, 2007 response to the Senate Student Affairs and Equal Opportunity Committees' April 2007 report and recommendations on Charge S-0406 (later S-0702) on Tolerance and Sensitivity.

Staff Senator Gayle Stein, noting that she often receives inquiries from her constituents regarding the ultimate outcome or implementation of Senate reports and recommendations, asked for a review of the status of all of President McCormick's responses to Senate advice. Swalagin pointed out that the Senate Handbook includes provision of a mechanism whereby Senators can submit to him in advance any questions for President McCormick, and that by forwarding those questions to the administration before Senate meetings, research could be conducted and a response prepared for the Senate. This provision does not preclude questions from the floor.

Following discussion of this issue, the committee instructed Swalagin to add to the Senate's online "Reports" page an additional "Follow-up" entry for each item, and to include in that category any implementation, dispensation or progress information received from the administration, Senators, media, or other reliable, verifiable sources. On behalf of the Executive Committee, Swalagin will also ask President McCormick for twice-yearly updates on outstanding items, and will inform the Senate that questions on those items may be submitted in advance so the president may be prepared to make informed responses.

3.         Administrative Liaison

Executive Vice President Furmanski presented the administrative report which included comments on:

Furmanski then responded to questions on subjects which included:

4.         Standing Committees: University Structure and Governance Committee

Tricia Nolfi, who chairs the Senate's USGC, could attend the meeting only briefly, so the following two items were addressed following the administrative report.

Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Enhanced Self-Governance, and University Senate: Following discussion, the Executive Committee issued to the University Structure and Governance Committee the following charge to review the Senate’s operations and make recommendations on how to enhance shared governance, which had been requested by the USGC:

Enhanced Self-Governance, and University Senate: Review the Senate Handbook and Bylaws, and make recommendations or suggestions for revision based on the USGC's self-submitted "Proposal to Review Senate Operations to Enhance Shared Governance." 

Addendum to USGC Charge S-0407, Senate Standing Committee Structure Review: The EC amended Charge S-0407 to include the following:

Include in discussions on Charge S-0407 the "Resolution from the Executive Council of the Graduate School-New Brunswick" regarding instituting a Senate Committee on Graduate and Professional Education.

Senators Cotter and Borisovets, and Secretary Swalagin commented on the addendum and the 2004-2005 review and revision of the Senate's committee structure which resulted in the current committees and their standing charges.

[Senator Nolfi left the meeting after these items concluded.]

5.         Nomination of Candidates for Faculty Member of the Senate Executive Committee

Nominations were made for candidates to replace Jozef Kokini, faculty member of the Executive Committee, who has left Rutgers. Nominated were:

Secretary Swalagin will contact all nominees to ask if they are willing to stand for election. The election will be conducted by ballot at the October 19, 2007 Senate meeting.

[Senator Puniello left the meeting at this point.]

6.         Standing Committees, Continued

Proposed Charge to Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee (FAPC) on Proposal to Extend Tuition-Remission Benefits to Part-Time Faculty: The EC reviewed and discussed a proposal to extend tuition-remission benefits to part-time faculty, which had been submitted to PTL Senator Karen Thompson. Thompson summarized, and responded to questions on, her proposal. Staff Senator Stein suggested that part-time staff should be added to the proposal as well, but the EC and Thompson declined to make the amendment, noting that it would “open the door for a huge issue and expense,” would compromise the academic nature of the proposal, and would move the proposal into a constituency-benefit matter rather than the intended educational-process one. Stein then asked that the charge be revisited in the future from the part-time staff perspective. Jonathan Becker suggested that the cost calculations of the charge response should include separate explorations of providing benefits to faculty members, as well as providing the benefits to their families. Some discussion of whether this issue was appropriate for the Senate due to its contract-negotiations and collective-bargaining implications led to the EC concluding that the issue was in order under the provisions of the Senate Handbook and Bylaws. The EC then issued the charge as follows:

Proposal on Tuition Remission for Part-Time Lecturer Faculty: Consider and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of implementing the "Proposal to Make Tuition-Remission Benefits Available to Part-Time Lecturer Faculty" received from Professor/Senator Karen Thompson. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by January 2008.

Proposed Charge to Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) on Intercampus Bus or Shuttle Service: The EC discussed the proposal submitted by the Student Affairs Committee to charge the BFC with exploring the feasibility of instituting free, daily bus service between Camden, New Brunswick, and Camden. Gayle Stein successfully moved to add “or low-cost” to the proposal. The charge was issued as follows:

InterCampus Shuttle Service: Consider and make recommendations on feasibility and usefulness of University-provided, free or low-cost, daily shuttle or bus service between the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick campuses for any persons holding valid Rutgers student or employee identification. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 2008. Begin discussions based on the "Proposal to Implement Bus or Shuttle Transportation Between Camden, Newark and New Brunswick" received from the Student Affairs Committee. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by January 2008.

[Senator Cotter left the meeting at this point.]

Proposed Charge to Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee (FAPC) on Tenure-Track Career Flexibility, submitted by Senator Peter Simmons: The EC discussed Senator Simmons’ request that the FAPC be charged with reviewing the American Council on Education’s reports on tenure-track career flexibility. A charge was issued to the FAPC as follows:

Tenure-Track Career Flexibility: Review and comment on the American Council on Education's 2005 release entitled "First-Tier Universities Offer Tenure-Track Career Flexibility According To American Council on Education Survey" and report entitled "An Agenda for Excellence: Creating Flexibility in Tenure-Track Faculty Careers" as requested by Professor/Senator Peter Simmons. Discuss and make recommendations regarding the advisability of instituting policies and practices similar to those outlined in the release and report at Rutgers. Respond with Preliminary Report to Senate Executive Committee by January 2008, and include a suggested response deadline for final report on this issue.

Budget and Finance Committee Response to Charge S-0504 on All-Funds Budgeting: The BFC report on all-funds budgeting had been received by the Senate secretary the previous day, and had been distributed to the EC for the first time as hardcopy at the meeting. Noting that there were concerns about some of the content of the report, particularly from Senator Stein, and that the issue of all-funds budgeting is generating some anxiety, the EC agreed to docket the report for discussion only, in committee-of-the-whole, at the upcoming October Senate meeting.

7.         October 19, 2007 Senate Meeting Agenda: Items were docketed as indicated above, in addition to the Camden Campus Report, for the October 19 Senate meeting to be held in Camden.

8.         Old Business

Chairperson Rabinowitz asked which EC members would participate in a discussion of the Middle-States Self-Study Report. Senators Stein, Greenhut, Becker and Thompson volunteered. The group made plans to discuss the report on the bus ride from New Brunswick to the Senate meeting in Camden. Ken Swalagin will put a link to the report on the October Senate agenda.

9.         New Business

Senator Becker, noting that he had been asked by the University Structure and Governance Committee to get faculty-numbers data to support discussions on its charges, asked for advice on how to get the information, as his attempts thus far had been unsuccessful. Vice President Furmanski offered advice.

10.       Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate