Faculty Senate Meeting

November 5, 1996


Present: M. Abbott, J. Brunski, B. Carlson, A. Desrochers, M. Hanna, T. Harrison, G. Judd, M. Kalsher, J. Newell, B. Racicot, A. Wallace


Guests: B. Drobnicki, J. Buttridge, T. Yurkewecz


A. Desrochers announced replacements for faculty senate and other committees.



What Can Faculty Do to Help Insure Security at Rensselaer – B. Drobnicki, Director, Public Safety; J. Buttridge, Director, Department of Risk Management; T. Yurkewecz, Vice President, Administration


Drobnicki presented nationwide crime statistics and the classification instrument used to categorize various types of crimes.  Public Safety uses this instrument to track Rensselaer’s crime statistics.  At Rensselaer, the most prevalent crime is theft.  The most typical items stolen from Rensselaer fall into the $200 and over category.  He then provided a breakdown of theft by year, noting an unusual decrease in 1994, although the rate of theft has since returned to “typical” levels during 1995 and 1996.


He related that crime at Rensselaer seems to occur in cycles; lab thefts seem to be “thefts of opportunity”, sometimes because of distribution of practices, access, etc.  Theft deterrent security devices are being added to existing buildings and as others are renovated.  This is a very expensive practice; as much as $3000 per door, plus maintenance costs.  There are less costly alternatives, such as changing the lock cores; however, there are many, many cores on campus.  Presents a logistical problem; plus begins to infringe on individuals’ rights and access.  The estimated cost of “re-coring” the entire campus is approximately $155,000.00.


The Rensselaer community must weigh whether its loss pattern warrants the kinds of investments necessary to increase the level of security.  He added that most thefts are perpetrated by persons from within the RPI community and not from people outside the institute.


J. Buttridge, Director, Risk Management, then discussed the insurance aspects of losses due to theft- especially computer losses.  Current institute policy is as follows:


Last year, there were 62 instances of Campus thefts, amounting to $277,000.00.


Peer Intervention Team – B. Racicot, Secretary of the Senate

Racicot noted that the Peer Intervention Team was created to deal with violations of students’ rights.  Noted that many of these instances can be solved easily, or are sometimes the fault of the student.  However, she noted that they are concerned with the few serious instances of student abuse that occur involving physical abuses or chronic verbal abuse.


This group wishes to erect a structure with some “teeth.”  Raised the possibility of forming a faculty senate standing committee for student issues.  The purpose of the group would be to investigate serious infractions.  First problem is to establish criteria for what constitutes a “serious” instance.  Should be carefully defined and followed consistently.  Also noted that this problem is occurring with a very small percentage of the faculty, but this can be problematic, especially for a faculty member who deals with large numbers of our students.


Another goal of the group is to focus on providing feedback to violators, perhaps helping them find counseling if the problem stems from personal problems.  There was a motion to have B. Racicot continue with the development of the program and to report no later than December 17.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Report of the Board of Trustees Meeting of October 12, 1996 –

Al Wallace reporting for Shirley Molloy


A. Wallace reviewed highlights of S. Molloy’s report, adding that the report would be included as an attachment to the meeting minutes (see detailed minutes for a copy of this document.)  He also reminded the group of the upcoming faculty senate sponsored meeting on institute priorities.


a. Desorchers then reported on the President’s Retreat on Institute Priorities.


There was a motion to adjourn at 3:49 p.m.  Motion passed unanimously.