Executive Committee

June 7, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.


1. Chairperson's Report - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

2. Secretary’s Report - Mary Mickelsen, Senate Executive Secretary

3. Administrative Report - Barbara Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

4. Standing Committees/Panels

Draft Standing Committee Rosters 2019-20, and Assignment of Chairs [Current draft committee rosters will be distributed in hardcopy at the meeting.] 

Appointment of 2019-20 University Commencement Panel (UCP) - Jon Oliver, UCP Chair

2018-19 Members of University Commencement Panel (UCP) - The Executive Committee assigned members of the UCP, which is composed of representation from each unit (R-C, R-N, R-NB, RBHS), as follows:

  • Executive Secretary of the Senate: Mary Mickelsen (non-voting)
  • Vice Chair of the Senate: Jon Oliver (chairs the UCP)
  • Four Faculty Senators
    • Tenure-Track: Samuel Rabinowitz (Camden) and Martha Soto (RBHS)
    • Non-Tenure-Track: Eleanor LaPointe (New Brunswick)
    • Part-Time Lecturers: Anthony Filippelli (RBHS)
  • One Staff Senator: Chazz Fellenz (Newark)
  • One Alumni Senator: Houshang Parsa
  • Two Student Senators: Tyler Wilde (Camden) and Julieline Serrano (New Brunswick)

Issues/Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) on Support for Rutgers University's Undocumented and Foreign National Students and Employees- Submitted by Joseph Markert, FPAC Chair

Proposed Charge: Examine the University's policies and initiatives in support of its undocumented and foreign national students and employees and more specifically consider whether the Senate should (1) formally express its strong support for the University's current initiatives on behalf of DACA students (2) urge the University, with specific suggestions, to increase its help to DACA students, and (3) urge the University to expand its programs and policies that support documented students and employees.

Rationale: Undocumented immigrants that were brought to this country as children can defer deportation through the DACA program, introduced by the Obama administration in 2012. Research into the effects of the DACA is in its early stages but it seems to indicate that DACA has an overall positive effect on the life of these immigrants including increased wages and employment status, and mental health. The University supports the DACA initiative through the Rutgers Immigrant Assistance Program (RICAP) which provides legal advice and support to DACA and other undocumented students. The RICAP initiative fills the gap between criminal and civil courts as only the former grants everyone the right to a lawyer. Questions remain, however, about whether the University could do more to support and protect its DACA students. In light of the University's support to DACA students, it is also and opportune time for the University to review and improve the assistance that it gives to its foreign national students and employees (including, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians) who have formal sponsorship for immigration but who may need ongoing assistance, particularly within the changing landscape of U.S. immigration policies. For example, many of these individuals look for a path to citizenship, but they do not receive any form of support from the International Office of the University.

It might be important for the Senate to use this moment to urge the University to provide sponsorship, legal advice and counsel, and other forms of support to its international students and employees both documented and undocumented.

Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) on Normal Teaching Loads - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Proposed Charge: Considering Rutgers' Strategic Plan, our aspirations as a research university, and the demands of our teaching commitments, recommend norms for teaching loads at Rutgers, and make recommendations regarding how such norms are implemented and followed in practice.

Rationale: University policy 50.2.2 on the duties and powers of the Senate stipulates that the Senate shall…recommend norms for teaching loads. In practice, there has been no specific demand for the Senate to address this issue for a generation or more. On the other hand, it appears that we currently rely more extensively on the use of PTLs than we used to, and than our peers currently do. Now is an appropriate time to investigate what should be appropriate normal teaching loads for the future, and what role if any is played in our possible overreliance on PTLs by such norms, or by the many pervasive deviations from such norms that occur as we struggle also to improve our research productivity and enhance our public prominence. In proposing such investigations, it is not implied that changes are needed or practical, or that such changes alone would resolve all the challenges that face us in addressing our teaching mission. Either way, a careful investigation should inform our future development.

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance (USGC) on Time Limits - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Proposed Charge: Consider possible changes to the standard time limit for Senate meetings and make appropriate recommendations for such charges.

Rationale: The current normal time limit of 2½ hours for Senate meetings has been in place for a very long time, during which the Senate has grown considerably in size, and Administrative Reports followed by Question and Answer sessions have regularly been added to Senate Agendas. A change to, say, 3 hours would considerably reduce (but not entirely eliminate) the need to seek Senate approval for extensions without making meeting finish inordinately late. We would continue as at present to adjourn when business is concluded, so such a change would not in any case increase the duration of most of our meetings.

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance (USGC) on Reconsideration of Charge S-1605, Size and Composition of the Senate - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Proposed Charge: Consider which of the recommendation in the USGS’s response to charge S-1605 (many of which were important in practice though incidental to the original purpose of the charge) should be brought back to the Senate, and how this should best be achieved. Make any appropriate recommendations.

Rationale: The main purpose of charge S-1605 was to consider reducing the size of the Senate in light of growth since the last time this was done, and anticipated future growth. The 2019-2020 Senate may or may not have an appetite for addressing this. However, many other matters (such as changes in job titles at Rutgers) were addressed as part of the same set of recommendations, and all were lost when the resolution proposed by S-1605 failed. It may be appropriate to bring back some or all of these proposals to the new Senate in the near future.

Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance (USGC) on Honorary Degree Commencement Speaker Selection Speaker Process- Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Proposed Charge: Consider possible improvements to our policy and processes for selection of recipients of Honorary Degrees and Commencement Speakers.

Rationale: During the drafting of the USGC's recommendations in relation to charge S-1410, proposed constraints on the constitution of the University Commencement Panel were relaxed; however, the final policy recommendation failed to reflect this. A recommendation that the policy accurately reflect the recommendation would avoid ambiguity and make the appointment of the University Commencement Panel each year less difficult. In addition, the current process requires the Executive Committee to appoint the University Commencement Panel "at the beginning of each year" which has been taken, in practice, to mean at the September Executive Committee meeting. Recommendations to Chancellors with regard to appointments to their Commencement Committees have thus been available somewhere between October and December. However, Chancellors have sometimes been anxious to appoint their Commencement Committees sooner than this; in addition, there has been confusion as to whether and how prior Commencement Committee members should continue to serve until new members are recommended and appointed. It might be helpful if, instead, the Executive Committee appointed members of the University Commencement Panel at the June meeting, so that the panel could meet and make recommendations to the Chancellors prior to the start of the fall semester each year. 

Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs (FPAC) on Evaluation of Rutgers Sick Time and Sick Leave Policy - Submitted by Brian Everett, Camden Staff Senator

Proposed Charge: Evaluate University Policy 60.3.5 - Sick Time and Sick Leave and determine if it mirrors/reflects current state law and make appropriate recommendations.

Rationale: Section 34:11D-3 of the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law states clearly that earned sick time can be used for "time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee's mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee." The University Policy should be updated to reflect, or at least mirror, state law.

5. New Business

6. Adjournment