Executive Committee


March 7, 2014 - 1:10 p.m.

1.    Chairperson's Report

2.    Secretary’s Report 3.    Administrative Report  - Richard Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

4.    Standing Committees/Panels

Selection of Nominating Panel Members - Article IV of Senate Bylaws states: "Prior to March 15: The Executive Committee appoints a Nominating Panel to recommend candidates for chair, vice chair, members of the Executive Committee, and representatives to the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees. In recent, past years, the Nominating Panel has consisted of the Executive Committee members, and a selected chair. Additional Executive Committee positions for student and faculty members from RBHS have been added to the Nominating Panel charge.

Staff and PTL/AAF Elections for RBHS: Proposed changes to Senate bylaws enabling staff and PTL/AAF elections for the RBHS campus are still pending, but the election processes for those two categories begin next week. The elections must be done because RBHS is now a fourth campus, and is entitled to representation in those categories. However, the number of Senators for each category is not yet adopted. Ken Swalagin proposes calling for election of Senators as indicated below. If additional staff Senators are allocated later, the next-highest votegetters can be appointed.

Committee Reports

Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) Response to Charge S-1312 on Responsibility Center Management Models [Link not yet active. BFC Chair Menahem Spiegel will summarize the report, which should be finalized before the upcoming Senate meeting.] - The BFC has been charged as follows:

Responsibility Center Management Models: Evaluate proposals for the implementation of the responsibility center management (RCM) budget model.

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Potential Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on University Closures During Exam Periods - Submitted by Chris Morett, Director of Scheduling and Space Management. .

Mr. Morett wrote: "Has the Senate ever discussed what it would do if the university were closed during finals?"

Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Taking Classes on Other Campuses - Submitted by Samuel Berman on behalf of the Student Caucus

Proposed Charge: A number of obstacles currently prevent students across all three of Rutgers' campuses from accessing educational resources located on any of the other two campuses. One such obstacle is the administrative difficulty of transferring course credit; another are the logistical difficulties associated with transportation and parking; still another is the low visibility of some of Rutgers' most prestigious programs on other campuses. Many more exist. The Student Affair Committee shall look at these obstacles, as well as others not enumerated in this charge but which the Committee may find relevant in the course of its discussion, and investigate changes the University can make to promote and encourage the growth of inter-campus collaboration on the part of students. This includes not only changes to current policies which may inhibit such activity, but also affirmative steps the University may take to promote such a vibrant student culture. Proposed due date: 3/28/14.

Rationale: New Brunswick students are actively discouraged from taking classes at Newark and Camden. Various administrative and academic barriers disincentivize taking these classes to fulfill requirements, or in many cases at all. The same is true for students at Newark and Camden campuses seeking to take advantages of programs and opportunities on the New Brunswick campus; a range of logistical considerations stymie most students who may otherwise benefit from such opportunities. While there are certainly natural geographic barriers to this type of activity on the part of students, it is unconscionable for Rutgers, through administrative negligence, to continue erecting additional barriers or exacerbating the natural ones further. It is a direct contradiction of our professed commitment to the principle of "One Rutgers", and as long as our actions and our words differ in this regard, feelings of mutual mistrust and competition (instead of cooperation) will continue to characterize the relationship between the three campuses. If we are to truly consider ourselves One Rutgers, it is incumbent on us to seek to mitigate these barriers as far as the natural geographic distance will allow.
Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Cost of Textbooks
- Submitted by Samuel Berman

Senator Berman wrote: [This] “item, brought up by Senators Baffo and Nieman, is a discussion of the costs of textbooks, the negative impacts this is having on student education, and any possible role the Senate could play in helping to combat this disturbing trend. For additional information, see the attached report, compiled by the Public Interest Research Group.”

[See also other Senate reports on Textbooks:
December 2007 Senate Response to Charge S-0607, Sale of Examination and Desk Copies of Textbooks
April 2007 Senate Response to Charge S-0602, Course-Textbook Reserve Requirement  
March 2005 Report on Possible Conflict of Interest in Assignment of Textbooks
May 2003 Report on  Textbook Buyback]

Discussion and Potential Charge to Committee on Budget Transparency  - Submitted by Samuel Berman

Senator Berman has requested “a discussion of budget transparency and ways to improve the Budget and Finance Committee's ability to effectively answer its standing charges with respect to the same (including, potentially, a new standing charge or changes to current standing charges, requiring the creation of a budget-in-brief type document in cooperation with University Administration).”

Proposed Charge to Committee on Policy and Processes Relating to Structural Changes to University Units - Submitted by Jon Oliver

Proposed Charge: Consider whether the University Senate should establish a general procedure, timeline, template and process for any university unit that wishes to merge, disband or make any structural change. This would assist units in working in a deliberate, consultative and rational way so that all issues, impacts, concerns and benefits can be properly considered. Make recommendations on time limits, and process.

Rationale: Within the past two years, the University Senate has had to scramble to investigate and approve two requests for the merger of schools within the university. Both times the proposals were presented for decisions within days for processes that had been ongoing for months unbeknownst to the Senate. Rapid decisions are not always good decisions. Creating a process and timeline should alleviate some of these issues, providing for a more deliberate and consultative process.

Proposed Charge to Committee on Processes Relating to Revising University Policies - Submitted by Karen Thompson

Proposed Charge: Investigate the procedure for disseminating revisions to University Regulations in the University Policy Library and make recommendations for improved communication within the University community.  Consider to what extent the Senate, the unions, students, and academic units are informed of changes made to the University Policy Library.  For instance, Section 50.1.8 “Administrative Governance” (issued in 1959 and revised in 1990) was rescinded.  Who was informed of this change and how?

Issue: Response in Opposition to Naming of Condoleezza Rice as Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient - Submitted by Robert Boikess
Senator Boikess proposes that the Senate respond with opposition to the selection of Condolleeza Rice as Commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Proposed Charge to Committee on Procedures for Selecting Commencement Speakers - Submitted by Robert Boikess

Proposed Charge: Examine the procedure for selecting Commencement speakers to determine whether there have been recent changes in the procedure, and whether the current procedure encourages appropriate input from the entire Rutgers community.

Charge-Deadline Extensions:

5.    Discussion of Senate Response to the Nursing Units Merger Proposal:

6.    [At approximately 2:30, when speaker arrives] Discussion of Pearson eCollege Contract - David Hughes
Supporting documents:

7.    Agenda for March 28, 2014 Senate Meeting
8.    Old Business

9.    New Business

10.  Adjournment