Executive Committee

September 9, 2016 - Noon
Brower Commons Room ABC, 145 College Avenue, New Brunswick

PLEASE NOTE: We will meet at 12:00 noon for lunch (provided) before the meeting begins promptly at 1:10 p.m.

Meeting Agenda:

1.    Chair’s Report

2.    Secretary’s Report

3.    Administrative Liaison 4.    Standing Committees

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Change in Graduation Date for Students Completing Degrees in Summer - Requested by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee, Submitted by Immediate Past Senate Chair Ann Gould

Proposed Charge:

At the request of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee, consider a proposal to move the official graduation date from October to August for students who complete degree requirements in the summer, which ensures that official reporting of summer degrees falls within the parameters of federal reporting regulations and better reflects when students actually complete their degrees. Respond to the Senate Executive Committee by November 2016.

Rationale, from Barbara Lee: 

There are some compelling reasons to do so.  Here is the research I have done:

1. The registrar says that now that records are computerized, it should not be a problem for schools to submit final grades for students enrolled in summer school in time for an August 31 graduation.  As you know, summer school enrollments are considerably lower than fall or spring.


2. Students will benefit because now, although they have finished their degree in August, it is not official until October, and that can complicate their ability to get a job in the early fall.


3. I have checked with all four chancellors, and they checked with their deans. They have no objections. Some of the schools within RBHS (Dental School and Nursing, I believe) have rolling graduations.  This calendar change would not affect their rolling graduations.


4. The “official” university commencement would still be in May.


5. Rutgers is required to report graduation data to the U.S. government and to various other entities.  Most of them have a cutoff for reports by August 31, which means that we have to report October graduations the following academic year, which can be misleading and makes it difficult to compare our graduation rates with those of our peers.

Proposed Charge to Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on University Policy on Student Use of Drugs and Alcohol
- Submitted by Student Senator and New Brunswick Student Member of the Executive Committee Viktor Krapivin

Proposed Charge:

Consider and make recommendations for changes to university policy on student use of drugs and alcohol. Consider the role of restorative justice in university policy. Consider any deterrent effects of current policy to students seeking emergency medical services. Refer to the Medical Amnesty Report authored by the Rutgers University Student Assembly for additional information when considering this charge. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by [Insert deadline].


1. The last time the University Senate reviewed Student Alcohol policy was in 1999. A standing charge of the Student Affairs Committee is to “examine and address general student interests in University policies and operations… matters as University policies on student use of drugs and alcohol”, therefore it is appropriate for the Student Affairs Committee to periodically review the drug and alcohol policy.


2. Our policies do not currently have a statute of limitations. A student may be charged with a violation committed as a freshmen during that student’s senior year. This is fundamentally unfair as a student may have forgotten the events that transpired or witnesses to the event may have graduated or transferred to other institutions.


3. The policy prohibiting alcohol and drugs at Rutgers University uses extremely vague language which ultimately makes it difficult for students to understand which conduct is prohibited and which conduct is allowed. In addition, the possible sanctions for violation of policy may differ grossly from student to student, which raises issues of fundamental fairness and due process for students.


4. Our drug policies are excessively punitive for students. It is current policy to ban any student arrested for marijuana possession from living in on-campus residences. As the overarching goal of the University is to educate students, not punish them, policies towards alcohol and other drugs should deter students from illicit drug use, while at the same time allowing for students to rehabilitate their reputation among the Rutgers community. For this reason, we should investigate the merits of a policy based on restorative justice.


5. Two years ago a student died from acute alcohol poisoning. It is important that our drug policies do not act as deterrents to students seeking medical assistance. The Student Affairs Committee should review policy to identify roadblocks to students seeking medical assistance.

Proposed Charge to ASRAC on Changes to the Rutgers University Academic Integrity Policy - Submitted by Faculty Senator and ASRAC Co-chair Martha Cotter

Proposed Charge:

Proposed charge: Consider and make recommendations on how the Rutgers University Academic Integrity Policy should be revised in light of the merger with units of the former UMDNJ. Should there be a single academic integrity policy applicable to all Rutgers schools and colleges? Should the procedures for adjudicating alleged violations of academic integrity be different for different types of schools? As part of the deliberations, consider the draft academic integrity policy tentatively endorsed by the 2013 ad hoc committee charged with reconciling the Rutgers Code of Student conduct and Academic Integrity Policy with the UMDNJ document Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Disciplinary Procedures. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by [Insert deadline]


ASRAC has been working on this matter without a formal charge for the last year and a half. We should have a report and recommendations to present to the Senate in November at the latest. Our previous charge on academic integrity expired some time ago while we were waiting - in vain - for the University to revive the process of reconciling the Rutgers and former UMDNJ policies and procedures after the original "reconciliation committee" stopped meeting for reasons that are not fully clear.

Proposed Charge/Issue Raised on Implementation of Senate Reports/Recommendations
- Submitted by PTL Senator and Executive Committee Member Karen Thompson

“I would like to figure out how to maximize the possibility that reports/recommendations such as this one (Response to Charge S-1409 on Greater Integration of Contingent Faculty in the Rutgers Community) do in fact reach implementation of some sort. Could we consider assigning another committee the task of developing a method of ensuring implementation of Senate recommendations in this specific case and with others? If that is to be the EC’s role, could we consider how to best ensure that something indeed happens. I seem to recall that there is an opportunity for the Chair of the Senate to meet with the President/Chancellors to discuss just this problem and President Barchi has, I think, made some headway in this area. Could we talk about a more concrete procedure to use in the future?”

Potential Merger of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and Graduate School - New Brunswick (GSNB) into a new Rutgers School of Graduate Studies - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

5.    University Senate Agenda

September 23, 2016 Senate Meeting:

6.    Old Business

Proposed Charge on Handling of Student Complaints: Faculty Senator David Hughes writes: "The union is now dealing with at least two grievances arising from student complaints handled poorly." Natalie Borisovets discussed the matter with Hughes, and writes that it "...does seem to be a legitimate area of concern. There are apparently a couple of cases where the AAUP has had to become involved because the lack of any recognized channels for student complaints resulted in things escalating way beyond what would seem to be necessary." Hughes proposes a charge "along the lines of":

Design a procedure for investigating student complaints against instructors, beginning at the department level, and, if necessary, escalating upwards from there.

See Section 4, Standing Committees - Issues/Proposed Charges in the Minutes of June 3, 2016 Senate Executive Committee Meeting.

Draft Report on Parliamentary Procedure - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate Parliamentarian and Chair, and discussed at the June 2016 meeting

Appointment of University Commencement Panel

7.    New Business

8.    Adjournment