Dec. 2, 2022 – 12:00 noon
Chair’s Report– Adrienne Simonds, Senate Chair
Secretary’s Report– Vicki Hewitt, Senate Executive Secretary
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of the Nov. 4, 2022 Senate Executive Committee Minutes
- Policy Update
- Administrative Responses
- Response to S-2109: Communication Mechanisms Regarding Major Changes in IT Applications
- Update on Response to S-2101: Review of University Policy 10.2.4 – Units of Credit
Administrative Report – Prabhas Moghe, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Discussion with Antonio Calcado, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Institutional Planning and Operations, and J. Michael Gower, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Administration
Administrative Requests for Follow-Up
Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee Co-Chair
Chancellor Strom’s Approach to Responding to the Senate’s Questions
Format of University Senate Meetings for Spring 2023
Update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Bylaws
Science Communication Efforts at Rutgers University – Submitted by Senator Lauren Adamo, School of Arts and Sciences-NB, Faculty
Charge: To review the barriers to incorporating science communication training into STEM and relevant STEM-related majors, and build upon efforts by the Rutgers Science Communication Initiative to promote science and research communication training, programs and outreach. We are looking to identify and advance a list of preliminary measures that will raise awareness of the current limitations in the field of science communication across the entire Rutgers research community.
Rationale: Science is not finished until it is communicated (Walport, 2013). However, communication training is not a key component of training of scientists, and so the act of communicating science to non-scientists is more likely to be done poorly or not at all. Unfortunately, in the 15 years since Dr. Alan Leschner (then CEO of AAAS; Rutgers alumnus) said in a 2007 Science editorial that communications training should be added to the scientific training agenda, there is still a lack of skills development for scientists to be effective communicators. Since that time, concerns about how we communicate science, and the failures when we do it poorly, have increased nationally and internationally. Institutions and groups, including the
- National Academy of Sciences,
- Public Communication of Science and Technology,
- American Association for the Advancement of Science,
- Wellcome Trust,
- UK Office of Science and Technology Science and the Public,
- UK House of Lords, National Science Foundation,
- Association of Science and Technology Centers,
- and journals such as Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, Science, and Journal of Research in Science Teaching
repeatedly address this issue through conferences, workshops, articles and special issues. Generally advocated in order to generate a scientifically literate public who can participate in democratic processes, however, it has come to be recognized that content alone is insufficient to make a scientifically literate public. Incorporating science communication skills-based programs before graduating from formal education is critical to create “competent outsiders”, that is, someone who can access and use science as needed (Feinstein, Allen & Jenkins, 2013). To achieve this goal, what is required is formal training in science communication, not only to promote the ability of scientists to actively communicate their work to other scientists, but also to the general public (Feinstein, 2011; Ryder, 2001), all of which promotes science cognition and participation in decision-making processes for non-scientists. It builds an interactive network with the community and supports further recognition of Rutgers programs outside academic spaces.
This proposed charge recognizes that incorporating science and research communication training into STEM and STEM-affiliated majors will lead to foundational literacy and successful outcomes in STEM (content knowledge, interest in science and scientific identity). It will also elevate Rutgers to the level of excellence expected from a university of its size and national ranking.
Investigate Pending Change in Rutgers Admissions Policy and Make Recommendations – Submitted by Senator Robert Scott, School of Arts and Sciences-NB, Faculty
Charge: On Thursday Oct 27 at Rutgers-ND SAS Chairs meeting it was announced that the Chancellor-Provosts Office has decided to change admissions policy. It appears that:
- 500 fewer students will be admitted in Fall.
- This will be offset by admitting 500 more students in Spring.
- The stated aim is to maintain or improve Rutgers ranking by keeping % admitted students low in Fall which is what influences ranking while maintaining increased revenue from a larger entering class which was much larger in Fall 22 (about 10%)
The proposed charge should include investigation of lower Camden admissions as well as the New Brunswick change.
Rationale: The changes announced appear to have been made without consultation and in isolation by the Chancellor-Provost Office. The changes will have dramatic consequences for students and degree programs. They run the risk of creating a “second class” of Spring admits, appear to possibly game the rankings system, and will be very consequential for many major programs that have set course sequences. The idea of such a change should have been referred to the Senate for study prior to a decision being made.
Examining the Efficacy of the LSAT – Submitted by Senator Sanjib Bhuyan, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Faculty
Charge: Examine the effectiveness of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and its impact on Rutgers University’s Law Schools. Investigate other peer aspirants.
Rationale: Given what the Senate decided in November with regard to GRE requirements, may I propose that the Senate Executive Committee charge a Senate Committee (maybe ASRAC or an ad-hoc committee like it did for the GRE) to look into the efficacy of the LSATs (and perhaps MCATs) and their use at Rutgers.
Committee Report and Recommendations:
Instruction Curricula and Advising Committee (ICAC) – Natalie Borisovets and Taryn Cooper, Co-Chairs
The ICAC was charged as follows:
Consider the work of the Office of Disability Services and how it has been affected by the pandemic. Examine the patterns of responsibility and interaction between the office, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty. Identify any perceived issues that might impact ODS’s mission to provide and maintain equal opportunity and access across the University, and potential strategies to support their work.
Open Charge Request:
S-2114 Review of Interim Code of Student Conduct Policy
ASRAC and SAC were charged as follows: Investigate proposed changes to the current code of student conduct policy based on the report from the Cannabis Decriminalization Impact Task Force.
ASRAC investigated this charge and found no need to alter student policy since students were not being dismissed or punished. ASRAC suggests discharging both committees.
Open Charge Request:
S-2204: Impact of CourseAtlas
FPAC and SAC were charged as follows: Explore the impact of CourseAtlas to benchmark institutional goals of the system, on academic units and departments, on faculty work-life balance, and make recommendations as appropriate. Specifically, (i) Investigate to what degree CourseAtlas has achieved the goals it was designed and implemented to achieve, (ii) explore the impact of CourseAtlas on academic units and departments’ ability to manage their own academic programs, (iii) assess the impact of CourseAtlas on the work-life balance of faculty, and (iv) propose feedback mechanisms which allow timely and meaningful faculty input on scheduling changes.
The Student Affairs Committee has reviewed S-2204 and believes that the focus of the charge is on the impact on faculty, not students. The Student Affairs Committee requests to be removed from this charge, as it is more appropriate for the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee.
Open Charge Request:
The following was charged to the Budget and Finance Committee without a deadline. The Executive Committee is requested to set a deadline for:
- S-2208 Divestment of Retirement Funds from Fossil Fuels
The following was charged to the University Structure and Governance Committee without a deadline. The Executive Committee is requested to set a deadline for:
- S-2209 Implementing Democratic Standards for University Senate Committee Governance
University Senate December 9, 2022 Agenda
- Regular Senate Meeting on Zoom
- RBHS Chancellor Presentation – Brian Strom