RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SENATE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
M I N U T E S
November 3, 2017
DRAFT - Will be considered for approval at the December 1, 2017 meeting.

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

MEMBERS EXCUSED:  Esposito, Walters

ALSO ATTENDING:   B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), R. Schwartz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees and ASRAC Co-Chair)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Executive Board Room of ASB III, Cook Campus.

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

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Peter Gillett called the meeting to order at 12:00 noon. His Chair's Report included comments on:
[Ann Gould and Michael Kelly joined the meeting at 12:06 p.m.]

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 for Academic Affiars Barbara Lee presented an Administrative Liaison Report, which included comments on the following subjects:
Lee also responded to Karen Thompson's question about a website or clearinghouse for a Rutgers postdoc office. She and Thompson will both speak with Vivian Fernández, Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness about the matter.

4.    Old Business

Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee on Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel - Alex Settles and Joe Markert, Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Co-chairs
 
This matter had previously been assigned to, and subsequently removed from, the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) as Charge S-1612. The Executive Committee (EC) discharged S-1612 at the previous EC meeting at the request of SAC Co-chair Viktor Krapivin, who noted that the issue was too broad for the SAC, and cited other related challenges. The EC requested a draft charge from FPAC Co-chair Alex Settles, after consulting with Senators Boikess and Krapivin.

Proposed Charge to FPAC: Consider and make recommendations for improving procedures for handling student complaints against Rutgers personnel, as well as how those procedures are communicated to students.

The rationale submitted originally with the charge proposal was: There are student complaints that are not covered by Rutgers University policies, and that are handle in an ad-hoc manner by department chairs, deans and other administrators. For grade complaints there is an established policy in the course catalog for each campus. For issues related to the following policies there are established procedures for handling complaints: Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Related Misconduct by Employees and Third Parties Resources Supplement; Discrimination, Harassment, Workplace Violence, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation; Policy 60.1.12, Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment; Policy 60.1.13, Policy Prohibiting Workplace Violence; Policy 60.1.16, Conscientious Employee Protection Policy; Policy 10.3.12, Student Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Related Misconduct; Policy 10.2.11, Code of Student Conduct; RBHS Students Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures; and Student Life Policy Against Verbal Assault, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Defamation. A policy gap exists when the student complaint against a faculty member does not fall within these policies. When a complaint is made concerning an instructor, the department chair, dean or other administrator may make a decision concerning the complaint without consulting the instructor. There is a need to review existing policies, identify the policy gap concerning student complaints, and make appropriate recommendations.

The Executive Committee issued the charge to the FPAC as follows:

Consider and make recommendations for improving procedures for handling student complaints against Rutgers personnel, as well as how those procedures are communicated to students and other personnel. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 20, 2018.


5.    Committees/Panels

Committee Reports:

Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) Response to Charge A-1708 on Proposal to Improve Evaluation of Teaching at Rutgers - Natalie Borisovets, ICAC Chair

The ICAC had been charged as follows:

Review the proposal to improve the evaluation of teaching received from Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee, and make appropriate recommendations as input to the Senate's Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee.

Borisovets summarized her committee's report on Charge A-1708, on a Proposal to Improve Evaluation of Teaching at Rutgers, which had been requested on a short deadline as input to the FPAC's work on the same issue. The ICAC response was discussed, and several suggestions were made for revisions. The report was then advanced to the FPAC in compliance with the ICAC's charge.

[Robert Scoloveno joined the meeting at 1:01 p.m.]

Instruction, Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) Response to Charge A-1711 on Draft Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources - Natalie Borisovets, ICAC Chair

The ICAC has been charged as follows:

Review the draft information technology policies, and respond with comments.

Borisovets summarized her committee's report on Charge A-1711, on the Draft Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources. The report was discussed, and several suggestions were made for minor changes. The report was then docketed for action at the upcoming Senate meeting. 

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Procedures for Adjudicating Academic Integrity Policy Infractions - Submitted by Matthew Winkler, ASRAC Co-chair

ASRAC Co-chair Matthew Winkler had submitted the following proposed charge and rationale on procedures for adjudicating Academic Integrity Policy infractions:

Proposed Charge:

Examine the administrative and procedural processes of the University Academic Integrity Policy. Review current status of, and provide recommendations for the enhancement and expedition of, the educative and adjudication processes of the Offices of Student Conduct regarding infractions of the University Academic Integrity Policy. Identify areas of concern, review best practices of peer institutions, and provide appropriate recommendations. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 20, 2018.

Rationale:

At the October 2017 Senate meeting, ASRAC hosted Mr. Kevin Pitt, director of the Office of Student Conduct. This meeting was slated following the issuing of an email sent on behalf of Mr. Pitt's office that was sent to all faculty asking for feedback about their experiences with, and attitudes about, academic integrity and the Office of Student Conduct.

Since ASRAC and Senate have traditionally worked very closely with  administration on the development of, and adjustments to, the Academic Integrity Policy (AIP) we felt it was imperative that we meet with Mr. Pitt to discuss his process, the roles of ASRAC and Senate vis a vis the AIP, and ways we might work together more closely in the future.

At that meeting Mr. Pitt presented troubling data and expressed a number of concerns regarding the exponential increase in AI violations, the lack of support from administration, and serious staffing issues causing unacceptable average times for adjudication of AIP violations and many other issues.

While this may be a primarily New Brunswick issue, ASRAC requests that a charge be issued to our committee to investigate the current procedures for adjudicating AI policy infractions on all three campuses with the goal of determining what recommendations we may consider regarding what we see as a vital issue for students and faculty alike.


The matter was discussed, and the following charge was issued to the ASRAC:

Review the current status of the educative and adjudication processes of the Offices of Student Conduct regarding infractions of the University Academic Integrity Policy. Identify areas of concern, and provide appropriate recommendations. Include in deliberations input received on this issue from the Senate's Student Affairs Committee. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by April 17, 2018.

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) is to provide input to the ASRAC on this matter by February 2018, so a charge was also issued to the SAC, as follows:

Review the current status of the educative and adjudication processes of the Offices of Student Conduct regarding infractions of the University Academic Integrity Policy. Identify areas of concern, and provide appropriate recommendations. Provide a response which will be forwarded to the Senate's Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee on this same issue. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by February 20, 2018.

[Mrittika Majumdar left the meeting at 2:00 p.m.]

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Student Membership on Senate Executive Committee - Submitted by Viktor Krapivin, on behalf of the Student Caucus

Viktor Krapivin, on behalf of the Senate's Student Caucus, had submitted the following proposed charge and rationale on student membership on the Senate Executive Committee:

Proposed Charge:


Consider the manner in which student representatives to the Senate Executive Committee are elected. Investigate if it is necessary to amend the process by which Student Representatives to the Executive Committee are elected in order to ensure there are no vacancies on the Executive Committee, and if necessary make appropriate recommendations.

Rationale:

The Student Caucus of the University Senate encourages the Executive Committee to charge the University Structure and Governance Committee with drafting a proposal to refer to the Board of Governors that would amend the Senate Bylaws to allow for Student Representatives on the Executive Committee to be fulfilled by any student who is a member of the University Senate if the position has not been filled by a Student Senator from the campus to which the position is specifically allocated after a specified period of time.

The Student Caucus specifically endorses such a change that would permit any student to fill the aforementioned position, after having been elected by the Senate in accordance with all established bylaws and procedures, after the position has been vacant for the spring organizational meeting and the first fall meeting, provided no student from that campus is nominated at the second fall meeting.

The Student Caucus emphasizes that such a change would still promote student representation on the Executive Committee from each campus while still ensuring full student representation, based on the seats allocated to students, in order to better enable to Senate to act as a unified body of all stakeholders within the university.

The Student Caucus supports a mechanism by which the at large student would continue to consider the best interests of the campus to which the allocated position belonged by frequent communication with the Senators from that campus. The Student Caucus can also serve to provide this forum for communication. This at large student should recuse themselves from issues that unfairly benefit the campus they represent in the Senate if this is to the detriment of the campus to which the allocated position belonged.


This past year there was a vacancy on the Executive Committee due to the absence of an elected student senator from Newark wishing to run for the position of Executive Committee Representative for Newark students. This position is critical for student representation from Newark and student representation as a whole. Additionally, I would like the committee to which this charge is issued, if issued, consider the endorsed language (above) from the Student Caucus.

The proposal was discussed, and it was proposed that Charge S-1501, already pending in the University Structure and Governance Committee, be amended to include this specific issue. That proposal was not adopted. The Executive Committee decided to bring this issue back as old business at the next meeting.

[Barbara Lee left the meeting at 2:19 p.m.]

Issue Raised by Student Justin Valeroso regarding Raising the Minimum Wage at Rutgers, on behalf of Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops (RUSAS), a labor rights organization

Mr. Valeroso had asked Ken Swalagin to allow RUSAS's resolution on this issue to be presented at the October 20 Senate meeting. Swalagin responded that he could not grant that request, but that he would inform the Executive Committee of the issue and the resolution. The matter was discussed, but was not considered to be appropriate for the Senate, or to charge to a Senate committee, at this time.

6
.    University Senate Agenda

November 10, 2017 Senate Meeting: The upcoming Senate agenda was discussed and approved.

7.    Additional, Late Business

Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) Matters
- Robert Schwartz, ASRAC Co-chair

ASRAC Co-chair Robert Schwartz raised an issue regarding ASRAC Charge S-1602, on Policies on Excused Student Absences for Religious Observance. Robert Boikess said that Barbara Lee had declined to allow a University attorney to meet with the ASRAC to discuss the matter. Gillett will speak with Lee about that meeting. Swalagin was instructed to remove Barbara Lee's name from Charge S-1602.

8.    Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:39 p.m.


Minutes written and submitted by,

Ken Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the University Senate