November 7, 2003

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Barone, Blasi, Cotter, Hirsh, Nedick, Rabinowitz (Vice Chair), Rijhsinghani, Panayotatos (Chair), Swalagin (Executive Secretary)

EXCUSED:  Manhoff

ALSO ATTENDING:  Furmanski (Administrative Liaison), Leath (Faculty BOG Representative), McCormick (Administrative Liaison), Redd (Student BOG Representative), Sclar (Newark Faculty Campus Liaison), Scott (Faculty BOT Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, November 7, 2003 at 1:10 p.m. in the Cap and Skull Room, Rutgers Student Center, College Avenue Campus.

1. Chairperson’s Report

After calling the meeting to order, Chairperson Panayotatos began a discussion of recent activities and considerations of the University Commencement Committee.  Following a discussion of potential changes to University commencement, President McCormick suggested that he, Vice President for Administrative Affairs Karen Kavanagh, and Secretary of the Boards Leslie Fehrenbach meet with a subset of the Senate Executive Committee next week for a discussion of the topic.  Joseph Nedick, Martha Cotter, Kathleen Scott, Paul Panayotatos and Ken Swalagin volunteered.

2. Secretary's Report

Minutes:  The Minutes of the October 3, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved with one modification.

3. Administrative Report

President McCormick delivered the administrative report, in which he expressed his thanks for the support he has received during a difficult week, and his deep commitment to Rutgers.  His report also included comments on:  recent state elections; restructuring of higher education in New Jersey, and the anticipated December 2003 report of the steering committee; and state funding.

4. NJPIRG Student Chapters Concept Plan

Senator Redd, Student Representative to the Board of Governors, spoke on behalf of the NJPIRG Student Chapters Concept Plan, which had been received by the Senate office for evaluation of its programs’ educational value, in anticipation of a 2004 referendum.  Following discussion, the Executive Committee, on behalf of the University Senate, by majority vote approved the NJPIRG Student Chapters Concept Plan for its educational value.

5. Committee Charges

Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee on Academic Calendar:  Following discussion of the 15-year, default University academic calendar formulated by the Senate in 2000, and particularly focusing on issues arising in years proposed to begin prior to September 1, the Executive Committee charged the Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee as follows:  “Consider and report on the default academic calendar for academic years 2005-2006, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012, which call for an August 31 start date.  Respond to Senate Executive Committee by January 9, 2004.”

Charge to Equal Opportunity Committee on FAIR v. Rumsfeld:  Senator Peter Simmons’ request that the Equal Opportunity Committee be charged with examining whether Rutgers should be encouraged to join FAIR v. Rumsfeld as a party plaintiff was discussed.  The issue involves US military discrimination against homosexuals, and educational institutions’ tolerance of that discrimination to avoid possible loss of federal funds.  Senator Simmons had previously transmitted the background documents on this issue to the members of the Equal Opportunity Committee.  The Executive Committee charged the Equal Opportunity Committee as follows:  “Consider and report on whether Rutgers should be encouraged to join Fair v. Rumsfeld as a party plaintiff.  Report to Senate Executive Committee by November 28, 2003.”

Potential Charge to Committee:  The Executive Committee considered a potential charge regarding restrictions on eligibility to hold office in student organizations.  The issue was considered less broad than would be appropriate for the University Senate.  Secretary Swalagin will ask Vice President for Student Affairs Emmet Dennis if the task force he currently chairs, which is reviewing some specific provisions of the policies governing student organizations on the New Brunswick campus, if the scope, of that task force could be expanded to include all student-organization policies on all three campuses, and if its membership could also include students.

Committee Attendance:  The Executive Committee briefly discussed committee attendance of those Senators, primarily faculty, who have regular, Friday-morning teaching or other commitments which prevent them from attending Friday morning Senate committee meetings.  Secretary Swalagin will state the need for Senators to be available for committee meetings on Senate-Friday mornings in the entitlement letters he sends to all units to facilitate their annual elections.

6. November 21, 2003 Senate Meeting Agenda

The Newark Campus Report by Newark Provost Diner was approved for docketing on the November 21, 2003 Senate agenda.

Chairperson Panayotatos’s asked about the status of the Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions (ASRA) Committee’s progress on charge S-0322, Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics' (COIA) request for endorsement of its Framework for Comprehensive Athletics Reform.  Senator Cotter, Executive Committee liaison to the ASRA Committee, summarized the committee’s action and plans.  The Executive Committee agreed to ask ASRA to return a decision on the COIA Framework which could be placed on the November 21 Senate agenda.

Senators Blasi and Scott, co-chairs of the University Structure and Governance Committee, were asked if their committee could return for November Senate action a resolution on governance of the proposed, restructured NJ higher education system.  They agreed to call meetings, and circulate drafts of such a resolution by e-mail to get approval for a resolution which could be placed on the November 21 Senate agenda.

7. Old Business

There was no old business.

8. New Business

Senator Blasi suggested that the Executive Committee formally ask President McCormick to respond to all reports and resolutions as they are forwarded to him by the Senate.  Chairperson Panayotatos said that President McCormick, Secretary Swalagin and he had discussed those acknowledgments before the meeting was called to order, and that President McCormick had agreed to begin sending acknowledgments.

9. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m. by Chairperson Panayotatos.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the Senate