Faculty Senate Meeting
October 8, 1996
Present: M. Abbot, J. Brunski, C. Canier, B. Carlson, A. Desrochers, R, Franklin, G. Gabriel, M. Goldberg, G. Handelman, M. Hanna, T. Harrison, G. Judd, M. Kalsher, J. Newell, B. Racicot, A. Wallace
Abstracted Minutes distributed; for detailed minutes, contact the Faculty Senate office or archives.
The Future of
A. Wallace discussed details of the upcoming special faculty
meeting. The purpose of the meeting is
to elicit active participation of
Issues Regarding Pay Practices at
R. Franklin raised the issue of certain pay practices at
Rensselaer, referring to recent instances in which faculty members were asked
to return monies paid to them when they began a leave of absence prior to the
end of the Fall Academic term (i.e., the 4/9 pay rule). G. Judd emphasized that the administration is
currently looking to see if the practice can be changed. It may be a remnant of the past; for example,
when mid-terms were given after Christmas break. R.
Discussion of the Core Curriculum Resolution
The basic core requirement remains at 24 credits of Humanities and Social Sciences and 24 credits of Science and Engineering Science. Any school or department may replace 4 credits of the Humanities and Social Science core requirement and/or 4 credits of the Science and Engineering core requirement by a substitute(s) approved by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.
M. Hanna noted that the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee feels that the resolution is appropriate. Since its members are part of the faculty senate, which in turn, represent the faculty, they believe that they have the faculty’s best interests “at heart”. R. Lahey, Dean of Engineering, explained why the proposed resolution is critical to engineering’s restructuring efforts. The majority of opposition to the resolution focuses on the need to ensure that adequate controls are in place to ensure that the integrity of the core curriculum is preserved. M. Hanna responded to the various criticisms, arguing that the point of the resolution is not to replace courses haphazardly, or to reduce the core, but rather to enhance the overall flexibility of the core. He reminded the group that all five schools have representation on the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee; therefore, each school has a voice in these matters. He added that when needed, the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee seeks input from appropriate persons. As a compromise, Senator T. Harrison offered the following friendly amendment:
The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee will consults with the appropriate school regarding whether a proposed educational experience is an acceptable substitute for the core credit(s).
The point was made that we have an obligation to look out for the best interests of our students; they frequently fail to see the professional relevance of courses outside of their major. M. Hanna reiterated that the point of the resolution is not to break the system, but rather to flex it to meet each program’s needs. With appropriate controls, it will work.
Vote on the resolution, as amended: Passed unanimously, no abstentions.
The Writing Curriculum
M. Hanna questioned whether
Faculty Voice in the Curriculum
B. Carlson wondered whether adequate controls exist to
preserve faculty control over the curriculum.
A. Desrochers called for the meeting to end.
Adjournment at 4:00pm
*Please note that the minutes of Faculty Senate meetings were distributed in a condensed format at the time. The change in reporting format was adopted to reduce costs, while increasing readability. Detailed minutes of each meeting can be obtained by contacting the Faculty Senate office or by contacting Institute archives.