RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SENATE
M I N U T E S
June 7, 2019
MEMBERS PRESENT: Borisovets, Dasari, Gillett (Chair), Gould, Field, Kelly, Oliver, Pappas, Parsa, Thompson, Van Stine
MEMBERS EXCUSED: Oleske, Serrano
MEMBERS ABSENT: Estriplet
ALSO ATTENDING: R. Boikess (2019-20 At-Large Faculty Member of the Executive Committee), A. Hunter (2019-20 Staff Member of the Executive Committee), E. Kane (2019-20 New Brunswick Student Member of the Executive Committee), R. Kaye (2019-20 Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors), B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), E. Matto (2019-20 At-Large Member of the Executive Committee), M. Mickelsen (Senate Executive Secretary), B. Paskhover (2019-20 Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), R. Schwartz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), M. Spiegel (2019-20 Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees)
The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, June 7, 2019 at 1:10 p.m. in Room 405 at the Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering, Busch Campus.
1. Chair’s Report - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair
Senate and Executive Committee Chair Peter Gillett called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. He made note that this is our first away meeting on the New Brunswick Campus and thanked Chancellor Molloy for joining us for lunch and for Dean Thomas Farris' hospitality. He updated the EC that he has submitted names to SVP Lee for the Chancellor Review committee for Chancellor Strom and University Librarian Krisellen Maloney, which completes all outstanding items for 2018-29. He then welcomed the incoming 2019-20 EC Members in attendance and asked all present to introduce themselves and their affiliation.
2. Secretary’s Report - Mary Mickelsen, Executive Secretary of the Senate
- Agenda: The meeting agenda was approved with the following corrections
- Time of meeting start to be changed from 1:00 p.m. to 1:10 p.m.
- Peter Gillett will be chairing the 2019-20 University Commencement Panel, not Jon Oliver, as in the previous year
- The Proposed Charge to USGC on Reconsideration of Charge S-1605, Size and Composition of the Senate was changed to Composition of the Senate
- The Minutes of the April 12, 2019 Senate Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed by the Executive Secretary.
- The Minutes of the May 3, 2019 Senate Meeting (which the Executive Committee approves because the 2018-19 Senate does not meet again) were approved as distributed by the Executive Secretary.
- President Barchi's Response to the Senate's report and recommendations on Charge S-1712, Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel
- Van Stine raised concerns that the President's Response did not address the original recommendations. It was determined the EC would let the FPAC decide if they wanted to formulate a reply when they meet in September.
- President Barchi's Response to the Senate's report and recommendations on Charge S-1804, How Student Senators are Elected
- President Barchi's Response to the Senate's report and recommendations on Charge S-1802, Online and Hybrid Course Support
- President Barchi's Response to the Senate's report and recommendations on Charge S-1801, How OIT and Other Offices Solicit and Integrate Feedback
- Spiegel reported the committee will wait to see what, if any, recommendations were implemented for 1 year. The EC also agreed to invited CIO Michele Norin to speak to the recommendations in the Spring of 2020.
- Response from Chancellor Brian Strom on the Senate Resolution on Faculty and Staff Participation in the Rutgers University, Rutgers Health Group, and RWJ Barnabas Health Affiliation Process
- Paskhover asked the EC respond and ask for Chancellor Strom to reply to the Resolution when he is legally able. Executive Secretary Mickelsen will write to the Chancellor relaying the decision.
- Rutgers Camden Faculty Council Resolution on Support for the PTL Collective Bargaining Position (Since this Resolution was passed, the PTLs and the Administration have entered into a tentative contract)
- The following University Policy was recently reviewed/updated:
- 60.3.5 - Sick Time and Sick Leave
3. Administrative Report - Barbara Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee presented an administrative report, which included comments on:
- Rutgers 253rd Commencement Ceremonies;
- Largest class in the history of Rutgers with over 18,800 graduates
- Governor Murphy received an honorary degree
- Several collective bargaining agreements have been settled;
- Update on the agreement between Rutgers and Botswana;
Lee then responded to questions, or heard comments on the above subjects, as well as:
- specifics on enrollment of international students; and
- whether current Rutgers students are involved in the pre-departure program in China.
4. Standing Committees/Panels
Draft Standing Committee Rosters 2019-20, and Assignment of Chairs
The Executive Secretary distributed hardcopies of draft 2019-20 committee rosters, and summarized the assignments and those still needing additional work. All Chair and Executive Committee Liaison appointments were approved. It has been customary that the Student Affairs Committee have a student as a Co-Chair. Elizabeth Matto, SAC chair expressed interest and will revisit the possibility when the roster is full, possibly in September. The EC then approved the standing committee rosters provisionally based on the summary of what would be changed or added.
Selection of Members of University Commencement Panel (UCP) - Peter Gillett, Chair of the 2019-20 UCP
Committee discussed possible members of the UCP, which is composed of senators with representation from each unit (R-C, R-N, R-NB, RBHS), as follows:
a. Executive Secretary of the Senate (non-voting) – Mary Mickelsen
b. Vice Chair of the Senate (chairs the UCP) - Peter Gillett (New Brunswick)
c. Four Faculty Senators, with each of the following groups being represented:
- part-time lecturers
d. One Staff Senator
e. One Alumni Senator
f. Two Student Senators
The Executive Secretary will issue a call for volunteers from the Senate.
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, FAPC Co-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.
Thompson, FPAC-EC Liaison, summarized the proposed charge on Support for Rutgers University's Undocumented and Foreign National Students and Employees. Some EC members expressed confusion by the proposal since the Rutgers Administration has been extremely proactive in this area and the Senate passed a resolution in support of Rutgers being a safe and welcoming environment for DACA students. It was determined, after much discussion, that the EC will not issue the charge at this time and will give Senator Markert a chance to address his concerns with the President at the September 20 Senate meeting during his President's Address.
Proposed Charge to Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) on Normal Teaching Loads - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate and EC 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.
Gillett summarized the proposed charge and background on Normal Teaching Loads, making a note that Chancellor Molloy made mention of the possibility that the Senate address this topic. Senator Boikess raised a concern that this issue is within the collective bargaining negotiations, however Gillett noted this topic is within the Senate's power as per policy 50.2.2. The EC voted to issue the charge to FPAC with a reporting deadline of March 2020.
Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Time Limits - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate and EC 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.
Gillett summarized the charge and his reasoning for submitting it. After discussing the possibility of removing standing items that have historically not added much value to the meeting, it was determined those items will stay on the agenda while making an attempt to make them more meaningful. The EC issued the charge to USGC with a reporting deadline of December 2019.
Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Composition of the Senate - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate and EC 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.
Gillett gave background of the proposed charge on the Composition of the Senate. The EC agreed to issue the charge to USGC with a reporting deadline of January 2020.
Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker Selection Process - Submitted by Peter Gillett, Senate and EC 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.
Gillett reviewed the background briefly since it was already discussed earlier in the agenda. The EC issued the charge to USGC with a reporting deadline of February 2020.
Proposed Charge to University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) 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.
Senator Everett was not present at the meeting to discuss the rationale for the charge. The committee reviewed pros and cons and decided to invited Vivian Fernandez to the next EC meeting to discuss the changes made to the policy and address concerns that it is not within the guidelines of NJ State Law.
5. Close of the 2018-19 Year
Gillett expressed his appreciation to all 2018-19 EC members and board representatives for their time, support and talent this year, and welcomed all new EC members coming on next year. He reminded new and continuing members that the next EC meeting will be on September 6, 2019 and looks forward to supporting the incoming chair, Jon Oliver, while serving as Vice Chair next year.
The meeting adjourned at 3:27 p.m.
Minutes written and submitted by,
Executive Secretary of the University Senate