MEMBERS PRESENT: Borisovets, Dasari, Gillett (Chair), Gould, Kelly, Oleske, Oliver (Vice Chair), Pappas, Parsa, Serrano, Thompson, Van Stine
MEMBERS EXCUSED: Field
MEMBERS ABSENT: Estriplet
ALSO ATTENDING: B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, M. Mickelsen (Executive Secretary of the University Senate), M. Nemes (Administrative Assistant to the University Senate), I. Perez (Undergraduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees), S. Rabinowitz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors)
The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, February 1, 2019, beginning at 1:10 p.m. in the Board Room of the Alumni House on the Camden 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 thanked Chancellor Haddon, Mary Mickelsen and Morgan Nemes for arranging the trip to Camden, and the day's activities. He noted Senior Vice President Barbara Lee will be giving the Administrative Report and asked all members to be conscious of the time today since many were taking the bus back to New Brunswick. He mentioned his disappointment with the January 25 Senate meeting, first referring to the hard work USGC put into S-1605 and its subsequent failure to pass on the floor despite the fact the charge came from a report previously passed by the Senate. He then noted, although it was ultimately his approval of the President's request to speak earlier in the agenda than is the Senate's practice that may have led to the request for a time extension of 1 hour that was ultimately unsuccessful and then left four committee reports to be handled as Old Business at the February 15 meeting, it was a discouraging result considering during the Committee of the Whole discussion may Senators advocated for the Senate to take on more responsibility in shared governance. He expressed an opinion that not approving an extension to handle the remaining Senate business was not the way to send that message.
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:
Lee then responded to questions, or heard comments on the above subjects, as well as:
4. Review of NJPIRG Student Chapters Concept Plan and Financial Statements for Fall 2019 Referendum
The NJPIRG concept plan was submitted for review by the University Senate Executive Committee and/or Student Affairs Committee pursuant to conducting referenda for funding via term bills next semester. The plan was to be reviewed as outlined in University Policy on Special Student Organization Funding:
5. Committees and Panels
Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee (FPAC) Response to Charge S-1701: Reconciling RBHS Procedures for Review of Deans and Programs with Other Existing Procedures - Ann Gould, FPAC EC Liaison
The FPAC has been charged as follows: Consider and make recommendations as to how procedures for review of deans and programs at RBHS might best be reconciled with existing procedures in other parts of Rutgers. Respond to the Senate Executive Committee by November 2018
Gould summarized the background and report and after much discussion it was determined this report was ready for docketing with a few minor wordsmithing changes. This report was docketed for the March 29 Senate meeting due to a backlog of reports from the January 25 Senate meeting.
Course Selection Timeframe - Submitted by Senator Abhiskek Kashalikar, SEBS Student Senator
Consider the time frame in which courses are available for selection at Rutgers-New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.
Many students have expressed concerns regarding the time frame in which courses are selected. Students feel an additional burden to their academia as they are forced to select future classes without knowing how they performed in their current semester. By opening the WebReg portal at a later date in the semester, students will be better able to assess their future semester as they have a cleaner understanding of their current academic standing.
Julie Serrano, NB Student Member of Executive Committee, gave a background on the charge, as she understood it. The committee discussed it and decided to send the proposed charge back to Senator Kashalikar to be re-written and re-submitted for the March 8 EC meeting. Senators Serrano and Borisovets were willing to offer assistance, as needed.
Position Focusing on Contingent Faculty - Submitted by Michael Van Stine, Camden Student Member of the Executive Committee
Investigate whether the University could and should create a dedicate position within the University's administrative structure to enhance utilization of contingent faculty.
Effective and fair utilization of contingent faculty by the University has proven to be a complex issue and an elusive goal. Thousands of contingent faculty members at all Rutgers University campuses are responsible for the vast majority of classroom and online instruction at the University. Concerns surrounding their compensation, benefits, job security and related issues evolved and persist with inadequate resolution, either within our outside of collective bargaining unit processes. The Senate past produced Charge S-1409 “Greater Integration of Contingent Faculty in the Rutgers Community”. These issues were well outlined in this Charge, as well as the history of related issue-specific charges issued between 2012 to 2018. Of specific note was substantial discussion and documentation by the Faculty Personnel and Affairs Committee (FPAC) to even get reliable quantitative data surrounding the utilization of contingent faculty. President Barchi responded to the report issued on S-1409 on March 6, 2017 with what was seen by the Executive Committee as an inadequate response prompting a reply from the Executive Committee on September 1, 2017. This reply stated in relevant part:
“[…] your statement […] did not go far enough in providing direction to the Rutgers community on how we can create a more equitable, collaborative, and respectful environment for all scholars and teaching professionals, and especially for contingent faculty.
“(We feel) there is a need for administration leadership on building parity and inclusion in the University community for all faculty members outside of any union contractual obligations. We therefore request that you reconsider your response to the Senate in this matter, and provide input and advice on obtaining support of the Senate's report, recommendations, and resolution on Charge S 1409…This can be achieved through directives and recommendations from you and your administration to all deans, and encouraging broad support of complete inclusion of contingent faculty in school and department events and meetings.”
President Barchi then subsequently replied to the EC on September 17, 2017 in brief response citing the creation of a web page for PTL’s, an desire for their greater inclusion in departmental meetings and plans for Senior VP Barbara Lee to create processes for better evaluation and career opportunities for PTL’s. This response also failed to address the numerous core issues of S-1409.
In over a year that has ensued, according to President Barchi’s Administrative Report to the full Senate on January 25, 2018, there has been some minor progress with an admitted even further increase in total teaching hours performed by contingent faculty and an arguable decrease in tenured faculty as a percentage of the whole.
Because of the substantial complexities in the collective issues surrounding contingent faculty, entwined collective bargaining issues, and clear inertia to deal with these issues with the sense of urgency seen as necessary by the Senate, we would like the FPAC to consider the utility of creating a F/T position to devote full focus to analyzing all relevant quantitative/qualitative data and produce better actionable management reports to effectuate the goals of S-1409.
Van Stine discussed his rationale for the proposed charge and answered questions of the Executive Committee. After some debate, Van Stine was convinced this was not an effective method to assist Contingent Faculty in the way he intended, and withdrew the proposal.
Creation of a University-wide Freedom of Speech Review Committee - Submitted by Julie Serrano, New Brunswick Student Member of the Executive Committee and Michael Van Stine, Camden Student Member of the Executive Committee
Create a permanent University-wide Freedom of Speech Review Committee to include full University constituent representation.
Rutgers University, like most all public universities and colleges in the U.S., has consistently struggled with issues of First Amendment freedom of speech and academic freedom. A recent tabulation of all existing university policies on topic compiled by university administration documented thirty different polices, many overlapping and in some ways duplicative. The sheer quantity and duplicity of these diverse polices creates confusion. The University Senate has devoted substantial time and resources to assist university administration to assess and develop more uniform, legally correct and more universally understood policies while Issues surrounding the lack thereof continue to create concerns, most recently evidenced surrounding the termination of a tenured professor, mixed opinions about a so called “professors watchlist” as well as some public protest issues. During the ensuing investigation and review process regarding case with the one professor, substantial analysis was made by the University’s Office of Employment Equity. The report output was considered deficient by President Barchi, who then requested the university’s Office of General Counsel to “convene an advisory group to provide guidance on alleged policy violations that involve First Amendment and academic freedom questions” and has asked for that panel to be comprised of “First Amendment and academic freedom scholars and attorneys and faculty representatives” at the exclusion of student and/or alumni representatives. Also, the intent of the panel seemed to clearly be intended to be ad-hoc simply addressing the issues surrounding the one incident rather than create a more durable structural solution.
Because of the mixed history, complex maze and duplicity of university policies on topic, and because of continued controversies and ineffective responses to individual incidents surrounding issues of free speech, both the Camden SGA and RUSA have passed resolutions supporting action that the appropriate Senate committee consider a permanent university compliance review structure to include qualified representatives from all main university constituent groups, including qualified students, to deal with these issues in a more effective and durable manner.
Van Stine briefed the EC on the background for submitting the proposal with Serrano adding specifics around New Brunswick students. After much discussion it was decided Serrano and Van Stine will bring this idea directly to the President asking to create a committee, separate from the General Council Advisory group, which will focus on issues of Free Speech and include all constituencies of the university.
6. Old Business
Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Response to Charge S-1804 on How Student Senators are Elected - Julie Serrano, SAC Co-Chair and New Brunswick Student Member of the Executive Committee
The SAC has been charged as follows:
Evaluate and make recommendations on how Student Senators are elected. Consider if there should be a requirement for direct election on senators. Report to the Senate Executive Committee by January 2019.
This report was presented at the January 11 Executive Committee Meeting and was subsequently sent back to committee for changes and requested back for review at this meeting. Serrano reviewed the changes that were made during the SAC meeting on January 25. The EC suggested one minor wordsmithing change and docketed it for the March 29 Senate meeting due to a backlog of reports from the January 25 Senate meeting.
7. New Business
Selection of Members of Chancellor Evaluation Committees for Dr. Nancy Cantor, Newark Chancellor
After reviewing The Process for the Evaluation of Chancellors, the Executive Committee submitted suggestions. Chair Gillett will contact the faculty nominated and respond back to the EC for the March 8 meeting.
6. University Senate Agenda
February 15, 2019 Senate Meeting