Faculty Senate Meeting

September 21, 1999

 

Present: M. Hanna, P. Hajela, R. Leifer, K. Jansen, K. Fortun, J. McLaughlin, A. Van Epps, J. Haddock, M. Rea, P. Boyce, P. Quinn, R. Diwan, S. Anderson-Gold

 

Absent: J. Norsworthy, R. Parsons, S. Derby, A. Kapila, J. Napolitano, N. Rolnick

 

Guests: G. Gabriele, B. Veryzer, J. Perras, T. Lu

 

Agenda

Senate Officer and Membership Changes

Search for Vice President for Research - Prof. toh-Ming Lu, Chair, Search Committee

The Rensselaer Plan - Senate Representation on the Committee
Vice President for Human Resources Discussion

M. Hanna:  Called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM.  Move to approve the agenda.  [Discussion

Over revisions to agenda suggested by email.]  Passed unanimously.

 

Senate Officer and Membership Changes

M. Hanna:  I would like to talk about the membership and officer changes, and deal with it as a group—because I think it would be faster.  Bob Messler has taken Gary’s [Gabriele] old position [as Associate Dean of Engineering], so has had to resign as Chair of the Faculty.  We approached Alan Desrochers about accepting the position as Chair of the Faculty, because he had previously served as President of the Faculty Senate.

 

Amy Van Epps has been suggested by the library as their representative, to replace Abbie Basile, who left the Institute.  There are also two replacements on P&T [Promotion and Tenure Committee], both for one semester:  Randy Norsworthy will replace Al Paulsen for this semester as the representative from Management.  Victor Roytburd will replace Langdon Winner in the spring, as at-large representative.  All these positions need to be confirmed by the Senate, through a vote.

 

R. Diwan:  I’m not sure of the procedure of re-appointment here.

 

M. Hanna:  We can go back to the last person on the ballot, or the Executive Committee can make a recommendation.

 

R. Diwan:  The Chair of the Faculty – is it necessary to fill this position?

 

P. Hajela:  There are ceremonial duties – such as participating in the inauguration.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  There are people who think that the growth of the Executive Committee has diluted the sense of individual responsibility.

 

M. Hanna:  I think – just because of the workload – it is good to have it filled.  There are duties to be performed.  And having a filled roster is a way to get someone to all the meetings we need to be at.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  Having many people go to the meetings sounds like the problem of dilution.

 

M. Hanna: Dilution of responsibility or shared responsibility?

 

R. Leifer:  I move to accept the proposals to fill these positions.

 

P. Hajela:  Second.  Passed.  Abstentions: R. Diwan, S. Anderson-Gold, P. Quinn


 Search for Vice President for Research - Prof. toh-Ming Lu, Chair, Search Committee

M. Hanna:  I have promised Professor Lu that he can go next to discuss the search for a Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Education.

 

T. Lu:  Our purpose here is to get feedback.  First, I’ll provide an overview of the search committee members, then an overview of events that have taken place so far.  But I’d like to point out that the committee, per my suggestions, is now quite diverse in terms of age and rank, to encourage a diversity of perspectives.

 

Email from President Jackson with announcement of Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Education Search

Search Committee

Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Education Job Qualifications

 

[Overview of events

-         July 22 – Dr. Jackson and Dr. Daves met with Department Chairs, Faculty Senate, Chair Professors and Directors to discuss and get input for the search.

-         August 19 – with Senate Executive Committee

-         September 2 – Committee appointed

-         September 9 – Committee met the first time

-         September 15 – Dr. Jackson met with Committee to clarify the charge

-         September 16 – Committee met the second time to work out a detailed plan for the search

-         September 21 – Discussion with/input from Faculty Senate

-         September 27 – Discussion with/input from Directors/Chairs/Dean

-         September 29 – Discussion with/input from Chair Professors]

 

[Overview of search schedule:

-         by October 18 – input and nomination from campus

-         by end of October – reviewing and interview process

-         early November – selection process

-         before Thanksgiving – search complete]

 

T. Lu: Questions?

 

P. Hajela: Does the Committee have the option of branching beyond the campus?

 

T. Lu: No.

 

P. Hajela:  Hypothetically, what if a suitable candidate is not found on campus.  In what kind of time frame would it be decided to branch beyond the campus?

 

T. Lu:  If that were to happen, the Committee would be fired.

 

M. Rea:  This person will also be dean of Graduate Education.  What is the transfer of responsibility?  Who serves in this role now?

 

T. Lu: This person will not be in the cabinet.  Note that President Jackson’s cabinet is different from the cabinet convened by Byron Pipes.  Internally, this person is more like a Vice-Provost, and a Dean – he or she reports to the Provost.  The title of Vice President makes more sense outside.  But, since it is important not to disconnect the position from academic affairs, the position will remain under the Provost.  Though this person will be working with the President, because of the connection to fund raising.

 

B. Veryzer:  Because of the need for fundraising, the connection to the President is especially important.

 

R. Diwan:  The task of fundraising and leading graduate programs can be very different.  One is short term, the other long term.

 

B. Veryzer:  This is a full time position- this person will not be able to keep his or her own research stream going.  Indication of willingness to give this up will be important in candidate selection.

 

J. McLaughlin:  Can you tell us what the interview process will look like?  Will the campus community be involved?

 

T. Lu:  My feeling is that it would not be good to have an open house – because we don’t want to pit candidates against each other.  I don’t have a problem talking to everyone.  But I would think it would be difficult to convince candidates to do so.

 

J. McLaughlin:  My view is that it would be good to have a larger group.

 

T. Lu:  How big is large?

 

J. McLaughlin:  In the selection of a Dean, there would be an open process.  I am not suggesting a fully open forum.

 

M. Rea:  What would success look like for this candidate?  In a few years, what would it look like to say, “We did a good job” in this selection process?

 

R. Leifer:  When looking for a provost, the issue of funded research was key.  Basically, our funded research is 1/3 of what it should be.  The provost- and I assume this new Vice President, will be responsible for this.  So their record of funded research will be important.

 

B. Veryzer:  The Carnegie rating is also important – the goal of moving into the first tier.  I think the President is working with a three-year time frame.

 

M. Rea:  Day to day, what will this person do?  On Monday morning, what does he or she do?  Pray? Travel a lot? Run colloquia on how to write proposals?  What are the skill sets?

 

R. Diwan:  I have a friend at MIT who told me about how it works there.  He goes to the Office of Research and tells them his idea.  Then they tell him who has money for it and what spin he should put on the proposal.  They have contacts – networks of them.

 

M. Rea:  This position seems to imply an infrastructure.  It’s not just a person.  It’s a person with a staff.  Have staff positions been considered?

 

B. Veryzer:  Means have not been specified, but the President did make clear that this person would play a role in helping people get grants.

 

R. Diwan:  Then the role is very different than that of a dean.

 

P. Boyce:  It sounds like the Dean of Graduate School is just an add-on.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  I think there are two roles.  One is oriented toward raising money, traveling.  The other, the dean of the Graduate School, has to be here at specific times – or we won’t have any graduate students here.

 

M. Hanna:  Maybe this is a matter of who all is in the office of this Vice President – if the Vice President is oriented externally, and then maybe someone in the office would be more internally oriented.

 

T. Lu: The goal is to put all of this under one umbrella.

 

M. Rea: Are you hopeful that you can accomplish these objectives?

 

T. Lu: More so than I was with the Provost search because this position doesn’t cover so many different responsibilities.  Absolute confidence?  No.  I think there are several people on campus eligible to apply- whether they want to is another issue.

 

K. Fortun:  Why nest the two positions?

 

T. Lu: I’m not sure.  Except for the coordination.

 

K. Fortun:  Will you be looking among faculty members, or primarily among those with significant administrative experience?

 

J. Perras:  The search committee does not have notes on the candidates’ qualifications including demonstrated ability to secure funding, to bring diverse groups together, excellent people skills, etc.

 

P. Quinn:  I seem to be coming at this from an opposite point of view from Mark Rea.  Prior to the Monday morning issues, is the question of whether the person has a good record of delegating responsibility and authority.  And the question of whether this person can articulate the research component of Rensselaer’s vision.  A record of supporting interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial. If we are talking about moving to the first tier, then we have to have someone who can articulate this vision- not only to NSF, but also to others.

 

M. Rea:  It is not clear to me what kind of authority this person will have to delegate.

 

P. Quinn: Nor to me.

 

T. Lu:  The vice President of Research will probably have the ability to provide matching funds in designated categories.  The candidate will, probably negotiate exactly how much money will be available for start-up funds and matching funds.  I hope there will be enough offered to get a good start.

 

M. Hanna:  Thank you Professor Lu.

 

T. Lu:  The feedback I have heard from this group is that this position seems to be two jobs.  Is that right?  [general agreement]

 

[Next agenda item:  appointment of committee to develop the Rensselaer Long Range Plan.]


 The Rensselaer Plan - Senate Representation on the Committee

M. Hanna:  We have been asked by Interim Provost Daves to submit a list of five faculty, not necessarily Senators, for his consideration to be appointed to this Committee.  He needs the list by the end of the day today.  I would like some Senate representation and a strong overall slate.  I do have written recommendations from J. McLaughlin who had to leave early.

 

[J. McLaughlin recommends that the Committee to develop the Long Range Plan should be the same as the Planning and Resource Committee, or at least this committee should be well represented.]

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  What is the membership of this committee?

 

M. Hanna:  Joyce [McLaughlin].  Randy Franklin [The Planning and Resources Committee also includes: Curtis Breneman, Bob Degeneff, Bruce Nauman, and Louis Peters.  The Committee does not have representative from Architecture or H&SS.  They need to be appointed.]

 

R. Leifer:  What is the time from for the Committee’s work?

 

M. Hanna:  Information seeking (through community meetings, for example) will be completed by the end of October.  A draft of the plan will be ready by the end of November.  When we thought that the Administration wanted one representative from the Faculty Senate, we put forward Prabhat [Hajela] and he agreed.  This is a fast track.  The committee will be appointed within a week or less.  The whole project will be finished by March.

 

M. Rea:  What will be asked of these committee members?

 

P. Hajela:  Will they be charged to articulate the vision?

 

M. Hanna:  For the capital campaign, for example.

 

M. Rea: Is this a value proposition?

 

R. Diwan:  If this is a values thing, Joyce’s recommendation is not that important.  Her Committee is about the nitty gritty, not values.

 

G. Gabriele:  There will be many inputs to this process, from Deans, for example, who can provide a more vertical perspective.  This Committee will get a broader more horizontal perspective.  It will have a series of questions and some consultants to help them gather the information.

 

R. Leifer:  How is this different than previous initiatives of this kind?

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  The Planning and Resources Committee does have value-choices to make.

 

M. Hanna:  Many of these issues are usually only talked about at the level of vision, without the nuts and bolts.  This is one of the first Presidents who want to talk at this level.

 

So I suggest that we retain Prabhat [Hajela] as a nominee to the committee and a person from the Planning and Resources Committee.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  There will be a person from each school?

 

P. Quinn:  We need someone on this committee who is willing to raise dirty questions.  Someone who is not shy… People who have done interdisciplinary undergraduate education.  Someone who knows about long-range research.

 

M. Hanna:  I though we should have someone who knows something about biotechnology, since that will clearly be part of the mix. 

 

Should we specify a way to delimit the list?  [Specific names suggested have been deleted from the record.]

 

P. Quinn:  I suggest that the Executive Committee decide, rank the list then submit it.

 

M. Hanna:  Agreed?

 

[Yes, the Executive Committee should choose among the list at hand.]

 

[Discussion on whether representation should come from Schools.  P. Quinn argued that it should not.  M. Rea concurred.  R. Diwan argued that there should be a representative from each of the schools since they would know the undercurrent of their schools – and because of the importance of diverse perspectives.]

 

Vice President for Human Resources Discussion

[Next agenda item: Job description for Vice President of Human Resources.  Distribution of job description for review.]


 Vice President, Human Resources Announcement

P. Quinn:  I’ve already got a problem.  Requiring 15 years of experience cuts out many young people.

 

[Discussion of role.]

 

R. Diwan: Relating to this role is something that happened a few weeks ago on campus.  A faculty member was escorted off campus by public safety.  I think it’s very frightening and unfair.

 

M. Hanna:  I spoke to Doyle [Daves], and he said this doesn’t need to be kept quiet.

 

M. Rea:  Can you fill us in?

 

[Senate discussion formally taken off the record until 3:50 PM]

 

G. Gabriele:  I hear a call for more information and discussion on two issues – regarding due process procedures in cases of termination and regarding the role and use of security on campus.

 

P. Boyce:  We also need more information on the specifics of this incident.

 

M. Rea:  I make a motion that we receive written explanation from the Interim Provost regarding two things: 1) the details of this incident and how due process was carried out.  2) Details on how perception of the incident will be handled.

 

S. Anderson-Gold: Second. Passed.  Unanimously.

 

M. Rea:  I make a motion to adjourn. 4:00 PM.

 

Prepared by Kim Fortun, Recording Secretary.