Executive Committee Minutes
November 30, 2018

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Borisovets, Dasari, Estriplet, Field, Gillett (Chair), Gould, Kelly, Oleske, Oliver, Pappas, Parsa, Serrano, Thompson, Van Stine

ALSO ATTENDING:  M. Bugel (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees), B. Lee (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), M. Mickelsen (Senate Executive Secretary), Ilce Perez (Undergraduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees), S. Rabinowitz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors), R. Schwartz (Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. in Room 202ABC at the Cook Student Center, Cook Campus.

1.    Chair’s Report  - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair

Senate and Executive Committee Chair Peter Gillett called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. He welcomed all members, reviewed the speakers for the afternoon and asked everyone be conscious of the time as there are many items of discussion.

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

3.    Rutgers Selection of Canvas as the Official Learning Management System - Michele Norin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer and Charles Collick, Associate Director for Information Technology

CIO Norin and Associate Director Collick introduced themselves and gave a brief overview of the path that lead to the decision to choose Canvas as the Official Learning Management System at Rutgers, focusing on enhancing the student experience. They then answered questions on the following topics:

4.    Administrative Report

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee presented an administrative report, which included comments on:

4.    Standing Committees

Committee Reports:

Budget and Finance Committee (FPAC) Response to Charge S-1801: How OIT and Other Offices Solicit and Integrate Feedback - Menahem Spiegel, BFC Chair

The BFC has been charged as follows: Investigate and make recommendations on how OIT and other offices solicit and integrate feedback from all constituencies at Rutgers to ensure the optimal purchase and use of information systems. Respond to the Senate Executive Committee by December 2018.

Senator Peter Gillett, the BFC Executive Committee Liaison, summarized the work of the BFC sub-committee as well as the recommendations of the report. Senator Natalie Borisovets recommended Michele Norin's name be removed from Recommendation #6 and be replaced with Chief Information Officer. All members agreed and then voted to docket the report for the December 7 Senate meeting.

Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) Response to Charge S-1808: Code of Student Conduct Policy Review - Regina Masiello and Robert Schwartz, ASRAC Co-Chairs 

The ASRAC has been charged as follows: Review the new University Policy 10.2.11 on Code of Student Conduct, identify any concerns and, if appropriate, recommend further changes or other courses of action. Respond to the Senate Executive Committee by December 2018.

Senator Robert Schwartz, ASRAC Co-Chair, and Senator Babu Dasari, ASRAC EC Liaison, discussed the work of the committee and the proposed recommendations. After a short discussion it was determined the report did not answer the original charge and was then returned to the committee. It was suggested the committee review the tracked changes version of the Code of Student Conduct Policy to enhance their report.


Issues/Proposed Charges:

Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on the Rutgers University Brand in Relation to Admissions - Submitted by Robert Schwartz, ASRAC Co-Chair

Proposed Charge: Consider, investigate, and make recommendations on how Rutgers University presents and brands itself to prospective applicants.

Rationale: We have noticed some inconsistences and perhaps inaccuracies in the way in which the University presents and brands itself to prospective applicants.

Senator Robert Schwartz discussed the rationale for the proposed charge on the Rutgers University Brand in Relation to Admissions. Chair Peter Gillett reminded Senator Schwartz that Vice President for University Relations Kim Manning, will be addressing the Senate at the December 7 meeting. It was agreed that this charge will be revisited at the January 11 Executive Committee meeting after hearing the Vice President's report.

Proposed Charge to Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee (ASRAC) on a Review of the Academic Calendar in Relation to Reading Days - Submitted by Robert Schwartz, ASRAC Co-Chair

Proposed Charge: Consider, investigate, and make recommendations on the Rutgers University calendar, particularly focused on the scheduling of reading days, and determine whether changes are possible or desirable.

Rationale: We request a charge to do an expedited review of the academic calendar for Fall 2019 and for addition years that require the University to remain open for an extra weekend so that two reading days can be scheduled and to determine whether changes are still possible or desirable.

Senator Robert Schwartz discussed the rationale for the proposed charge on a Review of the Academic Calendar in Relation to Reading Days. The extensive work ASRAC put into the Academic Calendar in 2017 was discussed and it was recommended, and subsequently agreed upon, that the committee invite Martha Cotter, former-Chair of ASRAC, to discuss their issues and perceived descrepancies. After that time, and if the committee still finds it necessary, the proposed charge will be reconsidered.

Proposed Charge on Senate Meeting Locations and Technology Options - Submitted by Joseph Markert, RBS:N/NB, Faculty Senator

Proposed Charge: Consider and make recommendations regarding representation of all members in scheduled Senate and committee meetings, with a focus on campuses and location. Explore the technology and the pros and cons of remote access. In particular, review other Big Ten University-Senates for similar Rutgers multi-campus locations and methods of inclusion. In recommendations for policy or procedure changes to current Senate operating protocols.

Chair Gillett reminded all EC members of the meeting held with Jane Gilman in early November regarding the Newark Faculty Council's views on the Senate holding more meetings in Newark and/or an increased use of technology for senators unable to travel to New Brunswick. After extensive discussion it was determined that this issue will be brought back under Old Business at the January 11 Executive Committee meeting to be discussed in relation to the creation of the 2019-2020 Senate meeting calendar.

Faculty and Personnel Affairs Request for Information from the Administration Imperative to the Completion of S-1806: Review and Revisit the Senate's Response to Charge S-0705 - Contingent Faculty Proposal - Part I - Submitted by Karen Thompson, PTL-NB, Faculty Senator

Rationale: Below is an email from Senator Thompson to Executive Secretary Mickelsen outlining the rationale.

The FPAC wanted to respond immediately to the need for data while we continue to work on the rest of the charge S-1806. Our Committee attempted to get data on the balance of FT and PT faculty 10 and 15 years ago with no results and barely excuses. We need to know, and the administration must have, the numbers of FT and PT faculty (by campus and unit), the percentage of FT and PT faculty (by campus and unit), and the numbers and percentages of students taught (by campus and unit). The State government legislated a limited version (faculty numbers only) of this request 20 years ago and it gave rise to questions but no actions. If we could at least discuss this topic at the EC, consider the FPAC's request, and perhaps have the EC make the request for data, that would be good. If the request for data has to be a partial response to S-1806 that goes to the entire Senate, then so bit it, but that seems excessive.

Senator Thompson outlined the committee's concerns regarding the lack of information supplied by the administration regarding the number of full-time and part-time faculty teaching loads. After much discussion it was determined that Executive Secretary Mickelsen will draft a letter, which will be signed by herself and the co-chairs of FPAC, to President Barchi's to that affect.

Proposed Charge on a Review of Rutgers' Commitment to Renewable Energy - Submitted by Julie Serrano, SAS-NB, Student Senator

Proposed Charge: Investigate whether the University should or should not commit to a renewable energy plan and provide recommendations.

Rationale: As the climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations, Rutgers University must take active steps in ensuring a sustainable future. Research has shown that Rutgers University is able to garner 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources by harnessing solar and wind resources and taking advantage of innovations in energy efficiency, green transportation, energy storage, and other technologies. The University Senate should investigate whether committing to do so is best and provide recommendations.

Senator Serrano gave a detailed description regarding her concerns regarding Rutgers' current commitment to renewable energy, specifically citing the lack of a concrete plan for the future. After some discussion regarding alternative solutions, it was decided to issue the charge to the BFC with a reporting deadline of December 2019.

7.    Old Business

Review of Proposed Charge on University Office of Sustainability and Engagement- Submitted by Kathleen Parrish, SEBS Student Senator and Julie Serrano, SAS-NB, Student Senator

Kathleen Parrish and Julie Serrano submitted the following proposed charge and rationale on University Office of Sustainability and Engagement: 

Proposed Charge: Research and make recommendations regarding the creation of a university-wide Office of Sustainability and Engagement.

Rationale: Global organizations such as the United Nations have taken a holistic approach to Sustainability to address the interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. They have encouraged universities to be leaders in this movement. The Rutgers University Strategic Plan states its dedication to sustainability. Furthermore, as a land-grant university, Rutgers has a responsibility to promote, health, welfare, and economic prosperity of people in New Jersey. Rutgers Business School has signed on to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education, as a step towards demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. However, Rutgers still stands alone in the Big 10 as the only school that does not have an Office of Sustainability to provide leadership in benchmarking its sustainability efforts. As a result, or efforts to fulfill our Strategic Plan and land-grant mission have many gaps, as they are often siloed and unable to reach their full potential. 

A Sustainability Committee of mostly faculty, created in 2005 and reinvigorated in 2014 has attempted to fill these gaps. The Committee has created a University-wide sustainability website to be released soon, and it has held the event, RU Sustainable, each semester for the last three years. Students working with the committee have formed their own coalition of close to 20 student organizations looking to address these issues at the student level. Within RUSA, the Sustainability Task Force, further research the topic and compiled their findings in a 2017-18 report, also recommending the creation of an Office of Sustainability. 

Together, we have learned that understanding and coordinating our sustainability efforts across campuses is a full-time job, and cannot be left to what little time staff and students are able to contribute on a volunteer basis. What's more the information gap created by the current lack of communication and leadership in sustainability is leading us to missed opportunities. Our students are missing chances to learn and engage in an up-and-coming field. Our researchers lose out on collaborative projects, access to funding opportunities, and a seat at the table when policy solutions are being discussed. Our centers and academic schools are missing out on chances to easily collaborate across schools and disciplines. With an office, we can take action on these opportunities and more. Potential students would be attracted to study at Rutgers to network with multi-national organizations and add sustainability to their academic and professional experience. If those potential students are engaged in sustainability efforts they are more likely to stay in contact with Rutgers as alumni, and mentor other students in their sustainability journey. An Office of Sustainability and Engagement under the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement would work with stakeholders and on-going efforts on and off campus to ensure that our students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration, and our state can live, learn, and succeed in sustainability. Rutgers has the potential to become a national and global leader in sustainability continuing its lasting legacy.

At the November 2 EC meeting Senator Serrano spoke to the rationale for proposing the charge and answered questions of the Executive Committee.  It was agreed to not issue a charge at that time and revisit the subject in conjunction with the above proposed charge on Renewable Energy. Serrano summarized the proposed charge and background on University Office of Sustainability and Engagement.  The Executive Committee discussed this proposal and agreed to issue the charge to the USGC with a reporting deadline of November 2019, separately from the proposed charge on Rutgers' Commitment to Renewable Energy.

7.    New Business

Proposal to docket S-1605: Size and Composition of the Senate, Reviewed, for the December 7 Senate Meeting - Jon Oliver, USGC Chair

Senator Oliver proposed, since change to the Senate handbook requires the report to come before the Senate twice before voting and if approved, the changes would affect the 2019-2020 elections which begin in February, that the Executive Committee review and approve to docket the USGC report via email. The EC unanimously in favor Senator Oliver's proposal.

8.    University Senate Agenda

The December 7, 2018 Senate Meeting agenda was discussed, and will include: 

9.    Adjournment 
The meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m.

Minutes written and submitted by,

Mary Mickelsen
Executive Secretary of the University Senate