A G E N D A
December 4, 2020 – 12:00 noon
1. Chair’s Report– Jon Oliver, Senate Chair
2. Secretary’s Report– Mary Mickelsen, Senate Executive Secretary
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of the November 6, 2020 Senate Executive Committee Minutes
- Update on the proposed charge presented by Senator Kevin Schroth at the October 9, 2020 Executive Committee meeting.
3. Administrative Report– Prabhas Moghe, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
4. Student Affairs Report – Salvador Mena, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
5. Standing Committees/Panels
Proposed Charge to Research and Graduate & Professional Education Committee on Investigation of Changes to the Rutgers University Patent Policy– Submitted by: Senator Troy Shinbrot, Engineering (F)
Proposed Charge: Review the changes made to University Policy 50.3.1 Patent Policy. Investigate potential impacts the changes may have on research, and innovation & technology transfer. Also, determine whether appropriate faculty input was considered prior to board approval, especially considering the changes revise the distribution of invention income.
Background: The policy for distribution of patent revenues was quietly changed on 6/10/2020 from a longstanding distribution approach that better supported the inventor and originating research unit to a new policy that diverts funds to the president, chancellor and RCM center (not necessarily the institute or department where the research originated). Faculty were not consulted, and this diversion reduces incentive for innovation as well as taking funds from responsible research organization and sending the funds to upper administration.
Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee on Re-Examination of the Add-Drop Period During the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond – Submitted by: Carolyn Moehling, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Proposed Charge: Consider if and how the Add-Drop period should be adjusted for Spring 2021 assuming that the University will once again be offering most instruction remotely.
Also, to evaluate the standard structure of the Add-Drop period and assess whether the changes instituted by the Senate several years ago — in particular, having the Add period extend one day beyond the drop period — have had the desired effects.
Background: The move to fully remote instruction changes the way that students are able to get information about courses and instructors. Accordingly, we may want to consider changing the Add-Drop period to be responsive to the challenges created by the remote instruction environment for our students.
Several years ago, the Senate recommended that the Add period be one day longer than the Drop period. The notion behind this was that the longer period to add would allow students to take advantage of the seats opened up by other students dropping courses. Some advisors have observed, however, that students often do not drop courses by the drop deadline precisely because they are waiting for seats to open in other courses. Given that the policy has been in effect for a number of years, it would be helpful to conduct an investigation as to whether it has had the desired effects.
Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee to Investigate the Need and Impact of Pass/No Credit Option Among Rutgers Students – Submitted by: Zayaan Syed, SAS-NB Student
Proposed Charge: Study the effect of P/NC option on students’ ability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Make recommendations in regards to whether the P/NC option should be available to students for the Spring 2021 semester.
Background: Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, 2020, Rutgers University has taken a series of measures to both prevent the spread of disease and support students. One of the measures implemented is the P/NC option. In Spring 2020, students have the option to switch their course grade to a Pass (for any grades above F) or No credit (for grades in F) in the week after they have received their final grades. Many schools in the Big Tens have initiated similar yet distinct measures. Currently, students still face many adversities due to the pandemic. Since the option of Pass/No credit or the lack of it has potentially significant impact on students, the Rutgers Senate should study how the option has impacted students’ ability to cope with the pandemic, compare the results with other schools in the Big Tens, and recommend whether the option should continue given the status of the pandemic, students’ learning environment and needs.
Proposed Charge to Instruction, Curricula, and Advising to Consider The Implementation of A Pass/No Credit Grading System for The Fall 2020 Semester – Submitted by: Charlie Jay MacCaayan, SAS-NB Student
Proposed Charge: The committee should consider options regarding an alternative grading option for the fall semester. Whether it involves a similar system to the spring with a fully pass/no credit option, a pass/fail option, or a credit/no credit option. All options should be considered given fairly by students and faculty given the continuing damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the population.
Background: The University Senate should seriously consider this option given the lack of action from the Office of Undergraduate Education at Rutgers. The fact that they are waiting for action from other universities speaks to the lack of leadership being taken to address student needs. It’s a sad concept to hear from a student’s perspective. That that is what the university thinks of its students. It therefore demands action from the bottom up instead, through the powers vested to your body. Many administrators have to realize that students cannot be swayed into utilizing university resources for mental health so that they can just power through the semester. Current as well as emerging obstacles such as Zoom fatigue, seasonal depression, and the bleak nature of quarantining again to combat a second wave of COVID cases have set a number of students back either minutely through stress or immensely to a point that the work itself looks daunting. Give students a signal that the university is considering to be flexible, because right now the silence is deafening to the thousands of students stuck in such a terrible predicament.
Student Caucus Resolution in Support of the Implementation of a Pass/No Credit Policy for the Spring 2021 Semester – Senator Gavin Mayes, SAS-NB (S) and Senate Student Caucus Leader
Instruction, Curricula, and Advising Committee (ICAC) Response to Charge S-2016 Lessons Learned from The University-Wide Online Learning – Natalie Borisovets, ICAC Chair
The ICAC was charged as follows:
Evaluate the current policies, practices, plans and outcomes for remote instruction across the University in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assess any sessions learned from the transitioning to online learning because of the pandemic.
Information Technology Committee (ITC) Response to Charge S-2017 Evaluation of The Universities Continuity of Operations – Adrienne Esposito and Brian Everett ITC Co-Chairs
The ITC was charged as follows:
Evaluate the IT implications of remote instruction, research and telecommuting necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examine issues including the range of remote instruction offered to students and the transition to Canvas and make any recommendations.
6. New Business
7. Old Business
8. University Senate December 11, 2020 Agenda
- Regular Senate Meeting via Zoom
- Administrative Report by University President Jonathan Holloway
- Chancellor’s Report by RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom