Faculty Senate Meeting

March 3, 1998


Present: A. Basile, B. Carlson, K. Fortun, R. Franklin, M. Goldberg, G. Handelman, R. Leifer, J. Newell, R. Norsworthy, S. Salon, R. Smith, A. Wallace, T. Willemain


Guests: G. Gabriele, G. Gregg, M. Hanna, G. Hughes, J. Kolb, L. Layne, S. Molloy, D. Spooner




A. Wallace announced that the planning retreat at the recent Trustees Meeting will be reported at a later meeting of the Faculty Senate.The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be March 17.The minutes were approved subject to minor revision.


J. Kolb: Jack Wilson will not attend this meeting.


Shirley Molloy gave a presentation on the results of the Board of Trustees meeting February 28, 1998.Actions of the Trustees were as follows:


A. One new active trustee was elected.She is Mary Good, managing member of VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTORS and former undersecretary for technology, US Dept. of Commerce.


B. Eugene K. Bolton was approved for election in May as an active trustee.He is Executive Vice President, Domestic Equities, GE Investment.


C. Approved trustee committee assignments for Bolton and Good: Bolton on Investment Affairs Committee, Good on Academic Affairs Committee.


D. Approved the merge of the Hartford Graduate Centerís endowment and line of credit with the corresponding Rensselaer account.This merge provides more diversity for Hartfordís portfolio and the somewhat reduced cost of money for both.


E. Approved entering into forward purchase agreements on old bond issues.


F. Approved sale of two donated vacant lots in Indiana valued at about $50,000.


G. Faculty cases included appointment of Greg Hughes as Vice Provost for Information Technology and Mark Rice as Associate Dean in the Lally School.


Financial Report: Fiscal year 1998 second quarter forecast show an operating deficit projected to be $7.0 million as compared with the budget deficit of$7.4 million.The change from the earlier projection of a $6.4 million deficit is due to less cost recovery and higher expenses than anticipated.


A. Wallace:Is the merger with the Hartford Graduate Center complete?Are there any more actions that need to be taken?


V. Gregg:The institutions continue to have two boards of trustees although hey have been merged, the Hartford endowment remains in tact.All faculty appointments at Hartford are approved by the Dean of Faculty here.


A. Wallace:Linda Layne who is chairperson of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee and Dave Spooner will present the proposed curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.Our task is to act on this recommendation and pass it along to the Dean of Faculty with our comments.


David Spooner presented the curriculum, which is included in the attachment.


L. Layne: The BS in IT curriculum was approved unanimously by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.There are still some issues that need to be resolved.For example, what will the curriculum process be?There is a curriculum committee for IT.Will there be two curriculum committees?This is not yet clear.Such issues as course numbers, cross listing of courses, where the students will be assigned are undecided.Will the second discipline be a dual major?We donít know this yet.Concerning evaluation of the IT program, what will happen if it becomes successful by drawing students from other curricula?Presumably, the Presidentís Executive Committee and the Trustees will look at that.The whole curriculum document was distributed to the members of the Faculty Senate.


G. Hughes:We have also handed out at this meeting copies of slides that have been shown to various groups at RPI and will focus now on the curriculum itself.


D. Spooner gave a detailed discussion of the process followed by the Curriculum Committee and the various components of the curriculum.


T. Willemain: Is the Probability and Statistics course in the IT core to be a new course with the focus on IT issues?


D. Spooner: Thatís not clear.It probably will be a new course.


R. Smith: Will IT courses be only for IT majors?It appears the EMACS courses are available only to EMAC students.


D. Spooner: When the curriculum is complete there may need to be two sections for each course, assuming 50 students per section.We probably would plan to schedule teaching three sections of the course per year to allow for enrollment of other students.


R. Smith: Are the H&SS courses in the IT core to be counted as H&SS electives?


D. Spooner:No.


R. Smith: Many of these courses appear to overlap with existing courses.Will they be taught in parallel?Will these be the same as the existing course or new courses?Will the same faculty be involved?


D. Spooner:This will be decided on a course-by-course basis.


R. Smith: If the courses are new or if they are taught in parallel then there is the issue of the availability of the faculty.


D. Spooner: We do not have specific faculty members in mind for specific courses.If the program is successful, additional faculty will be needed.


G. Hughes:Initially, we will use existing faculty.Later if the program is successful, new faculty will be required.


R. Smith: There is still the question of where the IT curriculum is in RPI.There are many practical issues that come up.


T. Willemain: It seems that this second discipline in the IT curriculum is a thin soup.There are only two math electives.It appears that the IT core does not provide the background for courses in the 16 optional second disciplines.


D. Spooner:Prerequisites will be accounted for in implementing these second disciplines.


G. Hughes:This will be part of the process of developing the second disciplines.


B. Carlson: Concerning dual degrees, many of these second disciplines are not associated with the regular degree program.The prerequisites are not stated in the curriculum.It appears that the enrollees will be stolen from other schools.


G. Hughes:Acceptance letters for RPI admissions go out this week.Normally we have about 3600 acceptances and enroll between 1000 and 1100 freshmen.It is our intent in the first year to increase the yield by getting more of the students who are accepted to actually enroll.


B. Carlson:The students elect their schools at the time that they file their applications.IT is not in any school.Therefore, enrollment in IT will be stolen from other schools.


G. Hughes:We intent to attract 35 more of that 2500 who are accepted but who choose not to enroll at RPI.


B. Carlson:Has NY State approved this program yet?


G. Hughes:It will be submitted to NY State for approval as soon as the internal review is completed.


M. Hanna:There is precedent in our earlier courses in biochemistry and biomedical engineering for advertising curricula to prospective students when approval of the curricula by NY State was still pending.


B. Carlson:What about the prerequisite problem?There is at least one course here where the prerequisite is not stated and the curriculum does not include the prerequisites for that course.Curriculum is a faculty matter.


T. Willemain:What did the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee approve?


L. Layne:The committee approved the document that was distributed to you.There are gaps.There will be new courses.The second discipline curricula should also be reviewed by the curriculum committee in the home school or department.


B. Carlson:The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee should have checked the prerequisites for the IT courses by looking in the catalog.


R. Smith:What course are you referring to?


B. Carlson:The course in computer architecture.


J. Kolb:We need to get to the implementation phases to resolve all these prerequisite problems.


A. Wallace:Can your committee spot the short-falls in listing prerequisites?


L. Layne:That will happen for new courses but the old courses Iím not so sure.


M. Goldberg:Will this be done when the curriculum is submitted to the State?When will the IT curriculum be submitted to the State?


G. Hughes:Right after the Faculty Senate approval, this spring.


[Considerable discussion ensued.]


G. Gabriele:There is a Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Senate which is a check on errors that might be made by the IT faculty.


L. Layne:Redundancy in review may be done better by having course prerequisites resolved by the home department.


G. Gabriele: The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee should do this.


M. Hanna: I was chairman of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee last year.When we allow the curriculum to skirt the core, we ask that the curriculum committee run it by the home department to consult with them.This is not really an insurmountable issue.


M. Goldberg:These issues will not occur for at least one or two years.


R. Smith:Not in the second discipline.But there are nine courses in the IT core.We have to enforce prerequisites.This issue must be addressed as part of the review of the core program.


L. Layne: It seems that there are two procedures that weíre considering.First that the IT curriculum committee submits courses to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee or second that there is prior consultation with the home department before the courses come to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.This consultation seems to be a good idea.


M. Hanna:Letís get it on line for this year.


D. Spooner:Yes, we will look at the core courses and see if the prerequisites can be accommodated.


A. Wallace:The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee has examined the proposal pretty closely.


Meeting Resumes


A. Wallace:Would anyone like to offer a motion to endorse the curriculum?


J. Newell offered the following motion:


The Faculty Senate endorses the curriculum of the Bachelor of Science program in Information Technology.It charges the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee to continue to review the development of this curriculum as the details of specific course objectives and how they may be met by existing or new courses are developed.The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee expects to receive proposals from the information technology curriculum committee that have been coordinated in consultation with other school curriculum committees and approved by the IT faculty before being reviewed by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.


After considerable clarifying discussion the motion was approved by a vote of 11 to 2.


Mike Hanna gave a report from the Calendar Committee.The Committee had been charged by Dean of Faculty, Jack Wilson, to reexamine the calendar and to plan for future academic year calendars after AY 1998-99.As part of its charge, the Committee was asked to look at the three semester year around calendar and to identify positive and negative features of such a calendar and make recommendations.Other issues that he committee ahs been asked to investigate is the early start to the AY 1998-99 calendar, the fact that all holidays are designated for RPI staff which requires the use of an employeeís vacation days for religious holidays; and better utilization of RPI facilities.


A list of the members of the calendar committee is attached as well as a fixed calendar called the AB calendar which the committee has investigated.The key features of the AB calendar not being considered:


  • Meets all state requirements.
  • Consistency in start and stop times from year to year.
  • School always begins the day after Labor Day and always ends well before the Christmas holiday.
  • A similar schedule should be adopted for all campuses and programs.
  • Efficiency: Friday is utilized.
  • Community issues indicate less student participation in weekend events because Friday is a non-academic day in the current system.
  • We need to decrease the semester length to consider the three semesters per year calendar.
  • It does not interfere with athletics.


T. Willemain:If we were on a different schedule on this campus than the Hartford Center, then there will be difficulties when TV courses are exchanged with Hartford.


M. Hanna:Hartford prefers the AB schedule.


R. Smith:The AB schedule is easier for Hartford.


R. Norsworthy:Several people have mentioned to me the difficulties of arranging child care when the teaching schedule changes from week to week.


B. Carlson: Studio courses will be killed.Studio courses meet for longer times than is indicated by their credit hours.This proposal would actually reduce instructional time in our studio courses by about 25%.


R. Norsworthy:Is the three-semester year strongly linked to this proposal?


M. Hanna:The three-semester year is also being considered.Some adjustment would be required if we adopt a three-semester year.


A. Wallace:Be sure to send your comments by email to M. Hanna.


M. Hanna:We have to figure out how to accommodate the lab courses.


S. Cozzens:Studio courses are the problem.


B. Carlson:This is dumbing down the curriculum if we go to the State minimum.


R. Leifer:Executive Programs in the Lally School regularly meet on Fridays.This AB schedule could interfere with Executive Programs.


M. Hanna:Please send me your emails.One of the points we have been asked to deal with is that Friday is underutilized.


A. Wallace:But Friday is really used a lot for meetings since the introduction of the 4x4 so itís only underutilized in terms of class meetings not in terms of faculty time.


Meeting adjourned.