October 28, 2016

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Boikess, Borisovets, Cotter, Esposito, Gillett (Chair), Gould, Janniger, Krapivin, Mouradian, Otto, Pirrello, Puhak, Thompson, Van Stine

MEMBERS EXCUSED:    Krutyansky, Wang

ALSO ATTENDING:  B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), S. Rabinowitz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors), M. Spiegel, (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), Swalagin (Executive Secretary)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 1:10 p.m. in the Chancellor's Conference Room at the Center for Law and Justice at Rutgers University - Newark.

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 spoke about:
2.    Secretary’s Report - Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
3.    Administrative Liaison

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee presented an administrative report, which included comments on:
Lee then responded to questions, or heard comments on the above subjects, as well as:
4.    Standing Committees


Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Response to Charge S-1305-2 on Smoke-Free Rutgers - Viktor Krapivin and Samuel Rabinowitz, SAC Co-chairs

This report was discussed at the previous Executive Committee meeting, and was then withdrawn by SAC Vice Chair Viktor Krapivin. The now-revised report was summarized by SAC Co-chairs Viktor Krapivin and Samuel Rabinowitz. The report was discussed at some length, and additional changes were recommended. The revised report was docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting.


Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Considering Religious Issues with the University Calendar - Submitted by Professor Leslie Fishbein

The following issue and rationale, submitted by Professor Leslie Fishbein, was discussed as a proposed charge to the ASRAC:

"I would suggest that the university annually poll the religious organizations of every denomination on campus to ask which of their religious holidays preclude work so that instructors would know definitely when students have religious obligations that entitle them to accommodations and would be obliged by university policy to provide appropriate accommodations. Disseminating such information to faculty also would make it easier to make sure that when events are scheduled they are less likely exclude students who have religious obligations that might interfere with the timing of such events."

ASRAC Chair Martha Cotter noted that her committee already has a charge that could incorporate this issue (Charge S-1602 on Policies on Excused Student Absences for Religious Observance). No additional charge was issued.

Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Allowing Absentee Ballots in Special Student Organization Funding Referenda
- Submitted by Student Senator and SAC Co-chair Viktor Krapivin

The following proposed charge and rationale, submitted by Viktor Krapivin, were discussed:

Investigate the desirability of changing University Policy 10.3.3 on Funding for Special Student Organizations to allow for absentee ballots in referenda conducted based on that policy. Recommend revisions, as needed.


"I currently serve as the chair of the NJPIRG Referendum Oversight Committee for the New Brunswick and RBHS campuses. An issue brought up by one of the members of the committee is that a large portion of the students in that member's unit are online students. These students cannot vote in the referendum as they do not physically attend Rutgers on a regular basis. While the current rules allow for mail in ballots for use with the University College community or graduate schools, there is no general procedures for students at other units to request mail in ballots."

Following discussion, a modified charge was issued to the SAC, as follows:

Investigate changing University Policy 10.3.3 on Funding for Special Student Organizations to allow for absentee ballots in referenda conducted based on that policy. Recommend revisions, as needed. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by April 3, 2017.

Issue/Potential Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) on Staff and Faculty Hiring Eligibility and Screening Protocols
- Submitted by Student Senator Michael Van Stine

The following rationale for a proposed charge, submitted by Michael Van Stine, was discussed:


“The university has a complex set of eligibility and screening protocols for hiring for staff and faculty positions. They range from minimal educational and experience requirements and varied proficiencies to veterans and collective bargaining unit preference. The university is at core mission designed to serve students and students are the primary revenue source for the university. Students have in many cases skills and knowledge that set them apart from open outside competition for open positions. I would like to propose that the FPAC committee explore possibilities after all existing primary considerations are satisfied – including veteran’s and existing staff preference, that active students (and possibly alumni) be afforded first consideration for open positions over outside market competition. It would be of interest if there is a precedent for this at any of our peer universities.”

Ann Gould, FPAC member and former chair, and Van Stine will discuss this issue and bring it back to the Executive Committee at a subsequent meeting. No charge was issued.

Requests for Charge Deadline Extensions

The University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) had requested charge-deadline extensions, which were summarized by USGC Co-chair Robert Puhak, discussed by the Executive Committee, and acted upon as noted below:
5.    Old Business

Review of Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) Charge S-1613 on Tuition Freeze: BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel spoke about the complexity of addressing a charge on a tuition freeze in the context of the enormous amount of budget data that would need to be examined. He asked that the charge be withdrawn. The request was discussed at some length, and a majority of the Executive Committee members voted in favor. Charge S-1613 was withdrawn.

Update on Selection of Members of University Commencement Panel (UCP) - UCP Chair Robert Puhak presented an update on the status of the UCP. The Executive Committee acted on this matter at the previous meeting, but the panel selections exceeded the requirements, and were subsequently revised via email. Puhak said the UCP will begin meeting in the next few weeks. The UCP assignments are:
a. Executive Secretary of the Senate (non-voting) - Ken Swalagin
b. Vice Chair of the Senate (chairs the UCP) - Robert Puhak
c. Four Faculty Senators, with each of the following groups being represented:
tenure-track: Samuel Rabinowitz, Camden; and Michael Shapiro, RBHS
non-tenure-track: Eleanor LaPointe, Assistant Instructor, New Brunswick
part-time lecturers: Ray Leibman, PTL, Newark
d. One Staff Senator - David Edward, Newark
e. One Alumni Senator - Josephine Marchetta
f. Two Student Senators- Christopher Shinn, Camden; and Karla Dimatulac, New Brunswick

6.    New Business

Discussion of NJ Higher Education Affordability Study Commission Report Recommendation of Three-plus-one Programs: This matter was discussed, and it was decided that Martha Cotter and Natalie Borisovets would draft a resolution opposing Rutgers participation in three-plus-one programs. The resolution would be circulated to the EC for approval to docket it as an action item from the Executive Committee for the upcoming Senate meeting.

5.A.    Old Business - Continued

Revised Report of the Senate Parliamentarian - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Former Senate Parliamentarian, and first discussed at the June 2016 meeting: The revised Report of the Senate Parliamentarian, which Peter Gillett wants added to the Senate Handbook, was summarized by Gillett, focusing on changes made since the previous Executive Committee meeting. Discussion of the report was not completed because the bus that had transported some Executive Committee members to Newark was scheduled to return to New Brunswick at 4:00 p.m., and the Senate agenda had to be established at this meeting.

7.    University Senate Agenda

The November 11, 2016 Senate Meeting agenda was discussed, and will include:
8.    Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate