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Friday
Mar 6th
1:10 pm

Executive Committee Meeting

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center
Rehearsal Hall 1
11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

Agenda Items Due On
Wednesday, February 26th


Agenda Distributed On
Monday, March 2nd

UNIVERSITY SENATE
Executive Committee

A G E N D A

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Rehearsal Hall 2, New Brunswick
March 6, 2020 – 1:10 p.m.

TIMETABLE:

10:30 a.m. –Meet at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Rehearsal Hall 2, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick Map & GPS Address

11:00 a.m. – Tour of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC)

12:00 p.m. – Lunch with Chancellor Molloy in the Rehearsal Hall 2 of the NBPAC 

1:10 p.m. – Executive Committee meeting begins in the Rehearsal Hall 2 of the NBPAC

Chair’s Report– Jon Oliver, Senate Chair

Secretary’s Report– Mary Mickelsen, Senate Executive Secretary

Administrative Report– Barbara Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Annual Review of All Outstanding, Pending Committee Charges: Charges issued to committees lapse in March of the year following the year in which the charge was issued. [Hardcopies will be distributed at the meeting.] Full list of Committee Charges

2020-2021 Senate Calendar Approval

Old Business

Possible Integration of Robert Wood Johnson Medical and New Jersey Medical School

  • Updated questionnaire completed by Chancellor Brian Strom and distributed to all Committee Chairs on February 20 via email by Executive Secretary Mickelsen
  • List of questions compiled by Senate Standing Committees will be distributed in hardcopy

Standing Committees/Panels

Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Review of the Student Code of Conduct – Submitted by Nicholas Tharney, RBS:UNB (S)

Charge: Review the changes to the Student Code of Conduct and provide recommendations if necessary.

Background: Approximately two years ago, substantive changes were made to the Student Code of Conduct, without any effort to solicit feedback from the University Senate, ay of the Student Governments, or the Honors Council which is responsible for adjudicating conduct disputes. Moreover, an external review found discrepancies in how the code of conduct is applied across the different campuses; and student members of the Honors Council have expressed concern that the implementation of the Student Code of Conduct has been more punitive in recent years, as opposed to focusing on alternative resolutions. Less severe outcomes, such as forms of probation, have been consolidated under the recent revisions. The Student Affairs Committee may wish to consider how the code addresses de minimis and less serious violations, how the policy is enforced, and how the policy is recommended.

Proposed Charge to the Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel Regarding Instruction – Submitted by Carolyne White, SAS-Newark (F)

Charge: Investigate the procedure for reporting and adjudicating student complaints against Rutgers personnel, specifically in regard to course instruction and/or concerns about faculty.

Background: Last year the senate forwarded a report from the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee to the president about charge S-1712: Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel. The president issued a memo dated May 28, 2019 with links to the how complaints are handled on each campus. The link for the Newark campus, my campus, opens a form that focuses upon reporting for Bias Incidents, Sexual Misconduct, Violations for Student Code of Conduct. There is nothing about students reporting complaints about course instruction or concerns about professors.

The attached draft article [distributed in hard copy] discusses the bullying I have experienced over the last three years from student complaints not being handled with clear policies and procedures. When these issues emerged, and after I filed grievances through the union, the first dean told me we have no policy or procedure across all three Rutgers campuses for handling student complaints about instruction and the second dean told me we have a policy and it is the Grade Appeal Policy, a policy he did not follow. We need clear policy that resolves student complaints in a manner that support both student learning and faculty academic freedom. I believe some campuses have a ombudsperson who may handle such issues but the Newark campus does not. We need a consistent and clear policy and procedure that honors healthy and effective conflict mediation. The absence of such clarity inadvertently fosters an environment where instructors are penalized for challenging student intellectual growth and many become resigned and end up contributing to the problem of grade inflation.

Proposed Charge to the Research and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) on Preparing Graduate and Professional Students to Teach in the 21st Century – Submitted by Adam Kustka, UC-Newark (F) and RGPEC Chair

Charge: Evaluate the current policies, practices, outcomes and plans across the University related to how graduate and professional students are prepared for effective teaching, including online instruction, and make recommendations as appropriate.

Background: Professional development and career preparation are critical components of graduate and professional education. There are inconsistencies in how our graduate and professional students are prepared for effective teaching. Additionally, the ability to teach on-line courses may be a critical aspect of their professional development and advance their employment opportunities.

Proposed Charge to the University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Standing Committees and the Chair of the Senate – Submitted by Vice Chair Peter Gillett

Charge: Consider the duties of the Chair of the Senate in relation to its various standing committees and make any appropriate recommendations.

Background: Historically, senators elected to serve as Chair of the Senate have usually served previously as chair or co-chair of one it its standing committees, and ordinarily have continued to do so. While this has the benefits of retaining their experience within the standing committee, and continuing to keep serving chairs actively engaged in the ongoing work of the Senate, it also has the practical effect of tying up chairs with committee work in the mornings before Senate meetings. An alternative model adopted by many organizations is that the chair of the assembly becomes an ex-officio member of all its committees. Adopting such a model, in conjunction with not assigning the Chair of the Senate to serve as a regular member of any standing committee, would facilitate the Chair of the Senate spending time over the course of each year attending meetings of its various standing committees. This might provide for better communication between the Executive Committee and the other standing committees, and might reduce the appearance that the Chair of the Senate favors the agenda of any one particular committee. It might also reduce some of the burden of work that falls to the Chair of the Senate; conversely, however, it might be seen as discouraging committed chairs of standing committees from being willing to serve as Chair of the Senate. Better communication between the Executive Committee and the chairs of the other standing committees can only improve the outcomes of all our work and the Chair of the Senate may play a useful liaison role in achieving that, as a result of this or other possible changes.

Proposed Charge to an Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Voting  – Submitted by Vice Chair Peter Gillett

Charge: Make recommendations on how voting is conducted and recorded at Senate meetings.

Background: Senate votes have most commonly been based on counts of raised voting cards issued prior to the start of each meeting. This naturally has its own practical limitations: it is hard to get stable, consistent counts, or to be sure that cards have not been passed to non-senators when senators leave the meeting. Counting takes up time, and re-counts have been demanded in close votes. This year, Turning Technologies clickers were introduced. While they have the potential to reduce some of these difficulties, they have created new concerns, such as whether the technology is reliable, whether there is a loss of transparency if senators can no longer see how other senators are voting, whether or not voting should be anonymous, and – if it is not – whether voting records should be maintained and or published. In addition, using clickers has the potential to improve voting at senate elections (which ARE anonymous) considerably, but their use for this purpose need not compel their use for all voting. The committee should make recommendations relating to these and any perceived related issues.

Nominating Panel 2020: An email has been sent by Mary Mickelsen to all current Senators this week announcing the opportunity to submit self-nominations or nominations of others for 2020-2021 Senate officer and board representative positions. The email will direct Senators to nominating instructions and the Nominating Panel Charge. The Executive Committee is asked to appoint Senators to serve on a Nominating Panel that can be called upon to suggest additional nominees in categories not sufficiently populated within the next several weeks. [Senate rosters will be distributed in hardcopy at the meeting.]

New Business

University Senate March 27, 2020 Agenda

  • Regular Senate Meeting on Busch Campus, New Brunswick
  • Senate Resolution dedicated to President Robert Barchi
  • Presentation on the Institute for Secure Communities by Director Elie Honig

Adjournment

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SENATE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
M I N U T E S
March 6, 2020

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Bachmann, Boikess, Borisovets, Dasari, Gillett, Gould, Hunter, Kane, Matto, Oliver (Chair), Parsa, Thompson, Van Stine

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Shobut

ALSO ATTENDING:  B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), M. Mickelsen (University Senate Executive Secretary), M. Spiegel (Board of Trustees Faculty Representative)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 1:10 p.m. in Rehearsal Hall 1 of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, College Avenue Campus, New Brunswick.

1. Chair’s Report– Jon Oliver, Senate Chair

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Jon Oliver called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. He welcomed all to the meeting at the NBPAC and Chancellor Christopher Molloy for providing lunch.

2. Secretary’s Report – Mary Mickelsen, Executive Secretary of the Senate

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:

  • Coronavirus Update
    • University of Washington has cancelled all in-person classes for the remainder of the semester;
    • A message will be sent to faculty regarding advice on planning converting face-to-face class meetings to online only;
    • There are no plans as the moment to close the University;
    • DOCS is putting together a resource list for faculty in the interest of continuity of teaching.
  • DACA
    • The current state of DACA is uncertain and speculative;
    • The Supreme Court is expected to issues a response, which is likely to be negative;
    • If the program is ended by the court and the administration will allow the current DACA students to continue out their term;
    • The university has a DACA working group that will be meeting with the students for advice as early as the week of March 8.
  • Carbon Neutrality
    • Task Force is working on an interim report that is due in May and the final report is expected in June.

Lee then responded to comments on the above topics as well as the following:

  • Bandwidth ability if the university decides to move to solely remote teaching;
  • UHR policies regarding telecommuting during the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Hand sanitizer availability;
  • The status of action at the Chancellor/Deans level in light of the ICAC report and recommendations on S-1803: Students Posting of Faculty Owned Documents.

4. Annual Review of Outstanding, Pending Committee Charges – Peter Gillett, Senate Vice Chair

  • S-1809: Student Success: Advising & Career Services – Extended to May 2020
  • S-1811: Review of Rutgers Commitment to Renewable Energy – Extended to March 2021
  • S-1812: University Office of Sustainability & Engagement – Extended to March 2021
  • S-1901: Follow Up on Completed Unit Mergers or Other Structural Changes – Lapse
    • S-2011 was issued to the University Structure and Governance Committee under the same title with the following charge language:
      • Consider how Rutgers and the University Senate can assess the results, challenges, and effectiveness of each complete process for merger, dissolution, or structural change to any university unit that has been approved by the Senate. Respond to Senate Executive Committee by March 2021.
    • S-1904: Review of Proposed Resolution on Rutgers’ Faculty Councils Inclusion in the University Policy Library – Extended to April 2020
    • S-1905: Normal Teaching Loads – Extended to March 2021
    • S-1908: Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker Selection Process – Extended to April 2020
    • S-1909: Senior Leadership Status – Extended to April 2020
    • S-1910: Grade Inflation – Extended to April 2020
    • A-1912: University Policy Prohibiting Consensual Relationship in Academic Settings – Extended to May 2020
    • S-1912: Health and Wellness Support for Rutgers University Students – Extended to April 2020

5. 2020-2021 Senate Calendar Approval

Executive Secretary Mary Mickelsen reviewed the draft 2020-2021 Senate Calendar with the Executive Committee.  The following suggestions were made for revision:

  • Move the Senate Meeting on October 16th to Camden and the November 20th meeting to New Brunswick.
  • Change the October 2nd Executive Committee meeting to October 9th

Mickelsen agreed to work with Central Reservations to secure rooms for the proposed changes and report back to the Executive Committee at the April 17 meeting with the final draft of the calendar.

6. Old Business

Possible Integration of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School

  • Updated questionnaire completed by Chancellor Brian Strom and distributed to all Committee Chairs on February 20 via email by Executive Secretary Mickelsen
  • List of questions compiled by Senate Standing Committees will be distributed in hardcopy

Chair Oliver distributed the rough draft of the questions that were complied from all Senate standing committees after discussing Chancellor Strom’s proposal for a medical school integration. After a large amount of discussion, the Executive Committee agreed Oliver will format the document without changing the integrity of the questions, and submit to Strom with a cover letter expressing that, with the vast number of questions he is being asked to answer, it might be prudent to delay the proposal to merge and resubmit a new one in the fall. However, if he chooses not to do so, the EC is respectfully requesting the answers by the next Senate meeting on March 27.

7. Standing Committees/Panels  

Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Review of the Student Code of Conduct – Submitted by Nicholas Tharney, RBS-UNB (S)

Charge: Review the changes to the Student Code of Conduct and provide recommendations if necessary.

Background: Approximately two years ago, substantive changes were made to the Student Code of Conduct, without any effort to solicit feedback from the University Senate, ay of the Student Governments, or the Honors Council which is responsible for adjudicating conduct disputes. Moreover, an external review found discrepancies in how the code of conduct is applied across the different campuses; and student members of the Honors Council have expressed concern that the implementation of the Student Code of Conduct has been more punitive in recent years, as opposed to focusing on alternative resolutions. Less severe outcomes, such as forms of probation, have been consolidated under the recent revisions. The Student Affairs Committee may wish to consider how the code addresses de minimis and less serious violations, how the policy is enforced, and how the policy is recommended.

Senator Emily Kane gave some insight as to where this charge originated from. It was discussed and determined the issue needed to be investigated at a more local level before it was it was charged to a Senate committee.

Proposed Charge to the Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel Regarding Instruction – Submitted by Carolyne White, SAS-Newark (F)

Charge: Investigate the procedure for reporting and adjudicating student complaints against Rutgers personnel, specifically in regard to course instruction and/or concerns about faculty.

Background: Last year the senate forwarded a report from the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee to the president about charge S-1712: Procedures for Handling Student Complaints Against Rutgers Personnel. The president issued a memo dated May 28, 2019 with links to the how complaints are handled on each campus. The link for the Newark campus, my campus, opens a form that focuses upon reporting for Bias Incidents, Sexual Misconduct, Violations for Student Code of Conduct. There is nothing about students reporting complaints about course instruction or concerns about professors.

The attached draft article [distributed in hard copy] discusses the bullying I have experienced over the last three years from student complaints not being handled with clear policies and procedures. When these issues emerged, and after I filed grievances through the union, the first dean told me we have no policy or procedure across all three Rutgers campuses for handling student complaints about instruction and the second dean told me we have a policy and it is the Grade Appeal Policy, a policy he did not follow. We need clear policy that resolves student complaints in a manner that support both student learning and faculty academic freedom. I believe some campuses have a ombudsperson who may handle such issues but the Newark campus does not. We need a consistent and clear policy and procedure that honors healthy and effective conflict mediation. The absence of such clarity inadvertently fosters an environment where instructors are penalized for challenging student intellectual growth and many become resigned and end up contributing to the problem of grade inflation.

This issue was discussed after a review of documents distributed, which Senator White did not want to be made public at this time. It was subsequently determined this is a need that can be explored by the Senate and a charge was subsequently issued to ASRAC with a report due date of December 2020.

Proposed Charge to the Research and Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) on Preparing Graduate and Professional Students to Teach in the 21st Century – Submitted by Adam Kustka, UC-Newark (F) and RGPEC Chair

Charge: Evaluate the current policies, practices, outcomes and plans across the University related to how graduate and professional students are prepared for effective teaching, including online instruction, and make recommendations as appropriate.

Background: Professional development and career preparation are critical components of graduate and professional education. There are inconsistencies in how our graduate and professional students are prepared for effective teaching. Additionally, the ability to teach on-line courses may be a critical aspect of their professional development and advance their employment opportunities.

After a small amount of discussion regarding the charge and its background, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed to issue the charge to RGPEC with a report due date of December 2020.

Proposed Charge to the University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) on Standing Committees and the Chair of the Senate – Submitted by Peter Gillett, RBS:UNB (F) and Vice Chair

Charge: Consider the duties of the Chair of the Senate in relation to its various standing committees and make any appropriate recommendations.

Background: Historically, senators elected to serve as Chair of the Senate have usually served previously as chair or co-chair of one it its standing committees, and ordinarily have continued to do so. While this has the benefits of retaining their experience within the standing committee, and continuing to keep serving chairs actively engaged in the ongoing work of the Senate, it also has the practical effect of tying up chairs with committee work in the mornings before Senate meetings. An alternative model adopted by many organizations is that the chair of the assembly becomes an ex-officio member of all its committees. Adopting such a model, in conjunction with not assigning the Chair of the Senate to serve as a regular member of any standing committee, would facilitate the Chair of the Senate spending time over the course of each year attending meetings of its various standing committees. This might provide for better communication between the Executive Committee and the other standing committees, and might reduce the appearance that the Chair of the Senate favors the agenda of any one particular committee. It might also reduce some of the burden of work that falls to the Chair of the Senate; conversely, however, it might be seen as discouraging committed chairs of standing committees from being willing to serve as Chair of the Senate. Better communication between the Executive Committee and the chairs of the other standing committees can only improve the outcomes of all our work and the Chair of the Senate may play a useful liaison role in achieving that, as a result of this or other possible changes.

Senator Gillett summarized the proposed charge and background with emphasis on the importance of 2-way communication between the Senate Chair/Executive Committee and the Committee Chairs. It was agreed to issue this charge to USGC with a report deadline of January 2021.

Proposed Charge to an Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Voting – Submitted by Peter Gillett, RBS:UNB (F) and Vice Chair

Charge: Make recommendations on how voting is conducted and recorded at Senate meetings.

Background: Senate votes have most commonly been based on counts of raised voting cards issued prior to the start of each meeting. This naturally has its own practical limitations: it is hard to get stable, consistent counts, or to be sure that cards have not been passed to non-senators when senators leave the meeting. Counting takes up time, and re-counts have been demanded in close votes. This year, Turning Technologies clickers were introduced. While they have the potential to reduce some of these difficulties, they have created new concerns, such as whether the technology is reliable, whether there is a loss of transparency if senators can no longer see how other senators are voting, whether or not voting should be anonymous, and – if it is not – whether voting records should be maintained and or published. In addition, using clickers has the potential to improve voting at senate elections (which ARE anonymous) considerably, but their use for this purpose need not compel their use for all voting. The committee should make recommendations relating to these and any perceived related issues.

Gillet summarized the proposed charge and explained the necessity of convening an Ad Hoc Committee and not issuing it to USGC.  The EC issued the charge to the Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Voting and nominated the following Senators to participate:

    • Chair Jon Oliver, Vice Chair Peter Gillett, Executive Secretary Mary Mickelsen, Sanjib Bhuyan, Anna Haley, Farid Alizadeh, Nicholas Tharney, Emily Kane, Houshang Parsa, and Arlene Hunter

8. Assignment of the Nominating Panel 2020

Nominating Panel 2020: Mary Mickelsen sent an email on March 4th to all current Senators announcing the opportunity to submit self-nominations or nominations of others for 2020-21 Senate officer and board representative positions, and that the email will direct Senators to nominating instructions and the Nominating Panel Charge.  The Executive Committee was asked to suggest Senators to serve on a Nominating Panel that can be called upon to suggest additional nominees in categories not sufficiently populated within the next several weeks.  Ann Gould will serve as chair and Natalie Borisovets, Elizabeth Matto, Sanjib Bhuyan, Emily Kane, Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Ralph Giraud, Sarah Shobut, and Tina Pappas will be asked to serve as members on the Panel.  

9. Agenda for the March 27, 2020 Senate Meeting

  • Regular Senate Meeting held on the Busch Campus
  • Committee Meetings will meet at 10:00am – 1:30pm (with a 15 minute break for lunch)
  • Caucus Meetings will convene at 1:30pm – 2:00pm
  • Main Senate Meeting will begin at 2:15pm
  • Resolution for President Robert Barchi, who is slated to step down as of July 1, will be passed around to the Executive Committee via email for final approval and presentation at the March 27 Senate meeting.

10. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:34 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Mary Mickelsen
Executive Secretary of the University Senate

Present Senators

Gloria Bachmann Robert Boikess Natalie Borisovets Babu Dasari Peter Gillett Ann Gould Arlene Hunter Emily Kane Elizabeth Matto Mary Mickelsen Jon Oliver Houshang Parsa Morgan Smith Karen Thompson Michael Van Stine

Excused Senators

Sarah Shobut

Absent Senators

Chase Stoprya