Faculty Senate Meeting

October 5, 1999

 

Present: S. Derby, J. Jansen, M. Rea, J. McLaughlin, A. Desrochers, J. Norsworthy, R. Parsons, M. Hanna, P. Hajela, S. Anderson-Gold, A. Van Epps, R. Diwan, K. Fortun, N. Rolnick, J. Napolitano, P. Boyce

 

Absent: J. Haddock, A. Kapila, R. Leifer, P. Quinn

 

Guests: D. Hess, R. Noble, G. Gabriele, D. Daves, F. Duchin

 

Agenda

Approval of Minutes of September 21, 1999

Discussion of Rensselaer Plan – Doyle Daves

H&SS Governance Document

Report from Visit to Hartford

 

Approval of Minutes of September 21, 1999

M. Hanna:  I’d like to call this meeting to order, and get the agenda approved- with the revisions suggested over email [indicating that Provost D. Daves would like to discuss the Rensselaer Plan with the Senate.]  Agenda passed.  Unanimously.

 

And we need to approve the minutes for the meeting on September 21st.  Minutes approved.  Unanimously.

 

And now we’ll hear from Doyle [Daves].

 

Discussion of Rensselaer Plan - Doyle Daves

D. Daves:  I have with me a document that lays out how we will proceed to put together the Rensselaer Plan.  It will be available to the campus by the end of this week, or by early next week.

 

It is a clear document, but is daunting in many ways.  The time-line, in particular, is daunting.  The schedule is for the Plan to be formally submitted to the trustees at their May meeting.  Which means the first week in October is the crucial go week.  President Jackson will meet the faculty at a town meeting on this coming Monday evening, from 5:00-8:00.  She wants everyone’s input- and is hoping that students in particular will come to the meeting.

 

There are many important parts to the Plan.  The goal has set for us is for Rensselaer to become a world-class technological institute with a global reach and global impact.  The Rensselaer Plan is meant to be our aspirations of the highest level.  It is a statement of intent.  Next year, President Jackson will call for an actual performance plan.  This year is high-level strategy.  Next year will be at the tactical level, when we will ask: Who are the actors? What are the steps?  Then, in following years, there will be a process to match specific plans to the budget.  Money will follow the plan – with a modified zero-based budgeting algorithm.  Each year, each unit will produce an operating plan, and a performance plan.  And the money will follow those plans as prioritized by the Institute.

 

There are some things that are important for us to begin to understand about Dr. Jackson and her views.  Her inaugural address told us a lot – about what she calls her “uniting principles”:  excellence, leadership, community.

 

The document I have referred to establishes the boundary conditions for the planning we will do to realize these principles.  These boundary conditions will be refined in the campus meetings over the next few months.  But the boundary conditions must be understood as prior to the plan, to direct it.  This will be a very directed planning process.

 

One important example of President Jackson’s specific goals – which she calls a boundary condition –is her commitment to turning Rensselaer into a Carnegie 1 research university.  Which means that we have to triple the amount of funded research on this campus.  We have to work within and for this commitment in our planning.

 

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of teching differentiates between Research I and II Universities as follows:

*Research Universities I: These institutions offer a full range of baccalaureate programs, are committed to graduate education through the doctorate, and give high priority to research.  They award 50 or more doctoral degrees each year.  In addition, they receive annually $40 million or more in federal support.

*Research Universities II: These institutions offer a full range of baccalaureate programs, are committed to graduate education through the doctorate, and give high priority to research.  They award 50 or more doctoral degrees each year.  In addition, they receive annually between $15.5 million and $40 million in federal support.

 

For more information, see: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/cihe/cihe-dc.htm

 

Another goal or boundary condition is to increase the number of PhDs we graduate each year – to 250 per year, from 115 last year.

 

The time frames for reaching these goals are not specified because that will be part of the tactical or performance planning, that we will start next year.

 

For this year’s plan, data collection and assimilation has to be done by November 15th.  The following 30-day period will be when the first draft will be put on paper.  David Haviland and I have been charged with this responsibility.

 

For the data collection state – in the next month – there will be two parallel processes: One will be accomplished within units – at the School level, but also by Student Affairs, etc.  Each unit will be responsible for answering “directive questions,” with our four core enterprises in mind: 1) Undergraduate education and residence 2) Research and graduate education 3) Education of working professionals 4) Fostering technological innovation

 

The directive questions ask where we are now, and where we aspire to go: 1) What is the intellectual core of our main endeavors? 2) Are we world leaders in these areas? 3) What will get us to world-class status? 4) Are there areas so important that we must develop them in order to be world-class? 5) Are there areas where we should stop working?

 

Tomorrow, the constitution of the campus planning committee will be announced.  It will be called REALCOM – the Rensselaer Leadership Assessment Committee, and will be made up of six faculty, five staff members and two students.

 

REALCOM will be charged to host approximately 25 campus meetings, with various “portfolio groups.” In many cases, there will be an outside consultant of national stature to facilitate these meetings.  Following each meeting, the committee will be asked to write a summary.  All the summaries will be in by November 15th.  Then David Haviland and I will begin writing up the first draft of the Rensselaer Plan – which will be ready for comments after the first of the year.  Feedback will be sought from students, the Faculty Senate and other important groups. 

 

We’ve been through a lot of planning at Rensselaer.  I think this is a very different process.  We have an action president, not a planning president.

 

President Jackson has already hinted at things she might be willing to move on right away, in her inaugural address.  I think this is going to take enormous resources – on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.  I think President Jackson knows this.  I think she knows we have too few faculty, too few staff, too few facilities.  I think she’s on a path to challenge the underlying structure of life at Rensselaer.

 

Professor Hajela and others on this committee [REALCOM] will be working very hard.  But I believe it will pay off.

 

A lot of what I have spoken of was in the inaugural address.  I encourage you to read it.  This is what I call a very directed planning process.

 

Now I’d be happy to take questions.

 

R. Parsons:  You gave some parameters on research and PhD.  Are there parameters on the size of the Institute?

 

D. Daves: Not very different from what we’ve got- she likes to play with the 5/3/3 model.

 

[5/3/3 is a figuration often used by President Jackson to refer to her vision of the appropriate balance between undergraduate/full-time graduate/part time students – in thousands.]

 

A. Desrochers: You said that one of her statements was that there were too few faculty.  That should be said first.

 

But you also said she had planned the first meeting for next Monday.  That’s next Monday, and it’s a Holiday.

 

D. Daves:  Monday was the first date she could clear her calendar.  There will be other opportunities for feedback.  She’s hoping for a large student turnout.  I’m not sure she’s aware it’s a holiday.  It hasn’t come up in our meetings.

 

J. McLaughlin:  I think the plan is very exciting, and I’m very glad the Faculty Senate is being represented on the planning committee.  But I’m very concerned that the elected committee for the Faculty Senate on Planning and Resources hasn’t been consulted and won’t be involved.

 

D. Daves:  The Planning and Resources Committee will be brought in to review the plan before it is finalized.  There is no place for organized committees before then.

 

J. McLaughlin:  I’m quite surprised by that.

 

D. Daves:  I can’t comment except to say that this is the way she has structured it.  President Jackson is quite set on there being a horizontal and vertical contribution.  There is no place for any organized groups in the process.

 

J. McLaughlin:  I don’t call the Faculty Senate Planning and Resources Committee an organized group.  This is the committee elected by the faculty to participate in Rensselaer planning processes.

 

D. Daves:  I suggest you take it up with the President.

 

S. Derby: I applaud this process, but I’m very concerned about scheduling the meeting for next Monday.  Faculty and students that I’ve spoken to are not planning to come back until Monday evening.

 

D. Daves:  President Jackson is very, very popular.  So there is a lot of calendar pressure.  Within a few days after the inauguration, she received hundreds of request for appearances off campus.  So we weren’t able to work with many options in scheduling the meeting.

 

M. Rea: Where does the money come from to pull this off?

 

D. Daves:  It will come from people who care deeply about this university.

 

Money issues won’t be part of the process this year.  This year the process will be what she calls “financially unconstrained.”  We’ll end up with a long list of aspirations that can then be prioritized from 1-100.  And we’ll start marking them off, as we have resources to support them.

 

M. Rea:  So the money won’t be part of the strategy?

 

D. Daves: Priorities will be set.  We will be making choices.

 

M. Rea: To Joyce’s point, who’s “we”?

 

D. Daves: The community.

 

A. Desrochers:  Don’t forget that the General Faculty meeting is Monday, October 18.  President Jackson’s calendar is clear for that.  The meeting planned for next Monday could be shifted there.  It would be a shame to kick this off without anybody there.

 

M. Hanna:  At the meeting [the General Faculty Meeting], we could accommodate the President’s needs regarding transmission – arranging for recording, video, etc.  So that her comments can be made widely available.

 

D. Daves:  I’ll discuss this option with the President.

 

M. Hanna:  Doyle has also agreed to take questions about other things, other than the Rensselaer Plan.

 

J. Norsworthy:  Can you tell use where we are with the Provost’s search?

 

D. Daves:  The search committee will be appointed tomorrow.

 

S. Derby: Is there an interim strategy for replacing the President of Hartford?

 

D. Daves:  Ann Stuart, President of Hartford, has accepted the position of President of Texas Women’s University.  This is a very great thing for her.  She has been asked to be relieved of her duties at Hartford by December 1st.  We’ll accommodate her request I’m sure.  I’m not yet sure how we’ll proceed to replace her.

 

The Faculty Senate should know that President Jackson visited Hartford and emphasized that there is only one Rensselaer.  She said that we are moving to a distributed university concept.  Hartford is not a branch, but a part of Rensselaer itself.

 

M. Hanna:  Thank you, Doyle.  We’ll now move to our next agenda item: review of the H&SS governance document.  Ralph Noble and David Hess, from H&SS, will explain the history and purpose of the document, and what is asked of us here.  Faye Duchin, Dean of H&SS, has also joined us.

 

R. Noble: We’re here to take the H&SS governance document through the chain of approval requested of us by the Administration.  We seek your approval of this document, or at least your non-objection.  What we ask is your approval for the way H&SS plans to govern itself.

 

H&SS Governance Document

It’s a technical document which I’ll try to move through quickly.  I was told I would have 5 minutes.  What we’re trying to do is specify how we do things.  H&SS had the same dean for over 25 years, and it worked fairly well, even though it wasn’t always clear what the procedures were.  We had a lot of experience and talent to work on this report.

 

H&SS Governance Document

I.          Why Present Governance Document to Faculty Senate

II.         History of the Document

III.       Why Present this Particular Document

IV.       What are the key elements of this Document

 

Why present a Governance Document to the Faculty Senate

I.          Historical Factors

            A formal assessment process was requested by the Administration

II.         Practical Considerations           

1) Given the turnover in the administration, it is appropriate and necessary for the faculty  

     to take responsibility for stability and continuity of the governance process.

2) There is a need for a credible formal understanding of how faculty will participate in governance at the school level.

 

History of the Document

I.          An ad hoc committee chaired by Ned Woodhouse evaluated the need for a formal governance process and worked on the issues from the spring of 1997 to the spring of 1998.  In the spring of 1998 the faculty voted overwhelmingly to continue the work of the interim council. (30-3).

II.         For the 1998-1999 year the interim council, which had two large members and a representative from each department included a former dean, two former chairs, someone who had chaired the H&SS curriculum committee both as a faculty elected chair and as a dean’s representative, a long term member of the Curriculum Committee.  Lots of talent and experience here.

III.       In the spring of 1999 the final document was presented to the Faculty at large at a meeting attended by twenty-two tenure line faculty, in the dean and the two associate deans.

IV.       After this meeting the proposal was approved by a formal vote of the faculty (26-2)

V.        35 faculty members voted in the election of the at large members of the Council.

 

Why present this particular document

I.          Spirit of the document

A.        Clear set of technically sound procedures articulated well enough to deal with complex issues even in hard times in a way that maximizes participation

B.         Non-partisan enduring guidelines for faculty participation in shared governance on a consistent basis.

C.        Clear commitment to credible and responsible faculty participation in shared governance.

 

II.         Key elements of the proposal

            A.        An unusual degree of formality and technical detail

            B.         Unicameral structure combining the council and the curriculum committee

                        1.         As council serves as a deliberative advisory body.

                        2.         As curriculum committee functions as curriculum committee has

functioned in past.        

3.         Rationale: suggestion for unicameral structure was made by a faculty member who saw it as a practical and efficient way to get things done and discussion on several advantages to this arraignment were identified by the committee:

C.        Faculty member chairs the curriculum committee, in recent times has been associate dean.

D.        Formal votes with written ballots on most issues to replace the “town meeting” general faculty meetings at which attendance has dropped dramatically.

E.         Explicitly states that all processes and procedures are to be in compliance with Faculty Handbook and Faculty Senate rules.

 

R. Noble: You don’t always need such a document.  But, when you need it, you need it real bad. 

It was a non-partisan group.  It made for a rigorous year, but we have a better document for it. 

We paid a lot of attention to nuts and bolts.

 

The idea for a unicameral body was put forward by a faculty member from LL&C, as a way to

Consolidate talent.  We saw a unicameral structure as a way to infuse the curriculum process

with broader processes, and a way to infuse governance with the sustained rigor of a curriculum

committee.  People on a curriculum committee often have a high ability to work together as a

group.  Faculty councils, on the other hand, often don’t have the espirit de corps you would hope

for in the present environment.

 

We also built in ways to broaden participation – through a mechanism that allows faculty to

participate asynchronously – through a written, mailed vote.

 

And we had enough people with bureaucratic talent in the room to ensure that we built a good set

of procedures.

 

After hearing Doyle speak about the planning process we are about to undertake, procedures

such as this seem all the more important.  At cyber speed you don’t have time to think it – so it

helps to have built in procedures.

 

R. Diwan:  What do you want from the Senate?

 

R. Parsons:  I can make a motion.  I move that the Faculty Senate acknowledge that the H&SS

governance document is the formal description of the processes and procedures by which H&SS

faculty choose to govern themselves.  And that the Faculty Senate recommends the formal

acceptance of the document by the administration.  Second: S. Anderson-Gold.

 

M. Hanna: There are a few clarifications.  How can the document be revised?

 

R. Noble:  There is an amendment process.  And a commitment to revise in compliance with the Handbook, and decisions by the Faculty Senate.  If the document is not in compliance with the Handbook, the Senate decisions, it will be made so.  On clinical faculty, for example.  It is written into the document that it will be updated in accord with whatever the Senate decides on this.

 

M. Hanna: Can you explain the way representation from departments is established?

 

D. Hess: There were strong differences on this.  Economics just wanted tenure-line faculty to vote.  Arts wanted everybody, including staff.

 

J. Norsworthy:  What is the super-majority required for amendment?

 

D. Hess:  Two thirds of the faculty.

 

N. Rolnick: As another H&SS faculty, I would first like to say that I support this document.  At the same time, I couldn’t disagree more with what we have come up with.  I would want a structure that was much more flexible, and gave people lots of room to move.  But the document has evolved through fair processes and through input from H&SS faculty, and I respect that.

 

S. Anderson Gold:  I was on a committee that put this document together.  And I think it’s important to remember what happens when you have the same Dean for 25 years. You forget how to do things, or at least why.  We can’t even figure out what a quorum was.  Schedules became a problem.  People just couldn’t get to meetings.  Yet, with a new administration, we needed a process that could help us move quickly.  In the past, things could move quite slowly.  That’s no longer acceptable.

 

R. Noble:  I do appreciate flexibility.  But his is a get-down-to-business approach.  You get decisions.  They have credibility.  You can move on it.  There will be faculty buy-in.

 

M. Hanna: There’s an interesting tie.  Most of us who have been here for a number of years know that Faculty Councils tend to wax and wane – but curriculum committees remain.  This could be seen as an experiment – trying the two functions together – to encourage continuance of governance.  It could help us have better governance.  Rigid or flexible.  This model could do this.

 

R. Noble: Having a team that works well together can get you a long way.  Times have changed.  Now, curriculum is part of growth, development and policy – and it cuts across units.  So you need cross-cutting oversight.

 

M. Rea: Could we hear from the Dean?

 

D. Duchin:  As you know, this has been a long process and an important process.  I think it’s an experiment to have this one group play both roles.  They certainly are working very hard at both roles.  I endorse this document, and encourage you to so as well.

 

M. Hanna:  Can we hear the motion again?

 

R. Parsons:  I move that the Faculty Senate acknowledge that the H&SS governance document is the formal description of the processes and procedures by which H&SS faculty choose to govern themselves.  And that the Faculty Senate recommends the formal acceptance of the document by the administration.  Passed. Unanimously.

 

M. Hanna:  Thanks to H&SS for running this experiment.

 

[Next agenda item: “Report from Visit to Hartford”]

 

Report from Visit to Hartford

Mike Hanna:  A group of us went down to Hartford last week.  We all began with different perceptions, and different experiences there.  Steve [Derby] has taught there occasionally over the past few years.  Bob [Parsons] had some familiarity due to his time in the graduate school.  We at least could fine it – which I don’t say to be facetious – I think we learned a lot that we did not know about our colleagues at Hartford.

 

We attended a faculty meeting, attended by about 30 of 42 faculty.  So that first misconception resolved was that Hartford faculty show up at 5.  They don’t.  They are full time faculty.  They are not people with other jobs.  There is only one tenured faculty at Hartford; everyone else is clinical or adjunct.  Here’s a brief overview:

 

Department of Engineering:

-         410 students, up 50% last two falls

-         3 on site faculty, all PhD; seamless with Troy

-         Hartford based dept.; reports to Dean of Engineering

-         Chair: Jim Hodges

-         Degrees:

o       M. Eng in Computer and Systems Engineering,

o       M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Engineering Science, Mechanical Engineering

 

Department of Computer and Information Sciences:

-         468 students, up 25% (in last year)

-         6 faculty (4PhDs), 10 adjuncts, share with Trinity

-         Hartford-based department – reports to dean of Science

-         Chair: Jim McKim

-         Offerings:

o       M.S. in Computer Science

o       5 Computer Science Graduate Certificate Programs

 

Lally School of Management and Technology

-         1,333 students; 5,810 credit hours

-         30 full time faculty; 15 adjuncts

-         12 administrators

-         Hartford-based department

-         Associate Dean and Chair, Dick LeMay

-         Offerings:

o       MBA: full and part time: Executive MS weekend, company specialized; many concentrations

o       MS Management, Environment Mgmt and Policy; Mgmt of Technology

o       3 certificate programs

o       dual degrees with Engineering and C.I.S.

 

R@H Students:  Same Quality as Troy, Different Qualities

-         >2000 matriculated, >7000 seminars & certificates

-         Experienced, older, working, already successful, staying in chosen field

-         Aerospace, financial services, insurance, biotech, government and entrepreneurs

-         Diversity:

o       Gender, similar to Troy

o       National origin – US residents, no student visas

o       Race and handicapping conditions – too low

 

R@H Alumni:

Every major company and industry in Connecticut has R@H alumni among its leaders

-         550 graduates in 1999

-         Alumni Association linking with Troy

 

Faculty Responsibilities:

-         Teach 6 courses per calendar year

-         Teach on Hartford, Groton and Troy campuses, and remote locations

-         Advisement for all students

-         Faculty supervise required CULEX

-         Committee service in Hartford and Troy

o       AACSB, Graduate Committee, etc

-         Publication

 

R. Parsons:  There has been a real resurgence of hiring in engineering which has really affected enrollments.  Pratt and Whitney is channeling students into the program.

 

In essence, there are, then, two computer science depts.  One here and one at Hartford.

 

J. Norsworthy: Computer science students are likely to be trying to change careers, as opposed to other fields – who want to further their penetration in the fields they are already in.

 

N. Rolnick: I don’t understand the numbers:  are these majors or people taking once course?  460 students and 6 faculty?  And these are graduate degrees.  It doesn’t seem like there is enough faculty to give them the time they need.

 

J. Norsworthy:  What we are looking at here is the faculty/student ratio- and it’s difficult to make sense of since very few students take a full load.  [The typical class size at Hartford is approximately 30 students.  Most students take one or two classes per semester.]

 

S. Derby: Most of the faculty do research, even if it’s educational research.  And most of the faculty have rolling contracts.

 

M. Hanna:  The administration doesn’t like to call it that.

 

S. Derby:  They have three year contracts, but always know they have two years ahead of them.  The idea of having a 30-day termination contract [as directed previously by the Senate] is ludicrous to them.

 

A lot of these people have been there for a long time.  And, before the merger, they had been told that becoming tenure track was a possibility.  Not anymore.

 

S. Anderson-Gold: 12 administrators for Management.  Can you explain that?

 

M. Hanna:  They have very good tech support for distance learning, and these people are counted as administrators.  As are other support people.

 

R. Norsworthy:  They have a 60 credit Executive MBA program – unlike most campuses, including here, where it is 45 hours.

 

R. Parsons: They have the same courses; to the extent you can if you have different faculty teaching them.

 

J. Napolitano: If there’s one Rensselaer, how can you have two different MBAs?

 

R. Parsons: They are the same courses, but offered by separate departments within the School of Management.

 

S. Derby:  There are probably ten faculty in Management who come up here to teach once a week.  We really are one campus.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  Will Hartford impact the School of Management the next time it goes through accreditation?

 

J. Norsworthy: We [the School of Management] are being re-evaluated for accreditation now.  It will have an impact.  I’m not involved in the process of preparing the case.

 

I will say that one problem with going into situations with an open mind sometimes means that you could change it – and I do feel more positively about Hartford since our visit.  That’s not to say that the accreditation won’t be impacted.

 

S. Anderson-Gold: Why didn’t we think this through, and offer as many faculty tenure lines at the outset?

 

J. Norsworthy: Five years ago, it probably didn’t make sense to make tenure offers.  Now it might.

 

S. Anderson-Gold: Could we, as a Senate, make a suggestion that the possibility of tenure should be re-opened for these people?

 

S. Derby: I won’t pretend to know what happened during the merger, and probably don’t’ want to know.  There were a lot of details that suggest the transition was rocky.  Like that Rensselaer couldn’t just shut Hartford down and sell the property- which is very valuable.

 

S. Anderson-Gold: President Jackson’s statement that Rensselaer is one, that Hartford is not a branch – that’s a strong thing to say.  We, on this campus, now have an even stronger stake in the issues.

 

M. Hanna: We need to remember that many Hartford students drive significant distances, often after work.  They are a very dedicated group of students.  Activity at Hartford is very dependent on how industry is going in Connecticut.  But sometimes – like at Pratt & Whitney – when they fired people, they give them resources to go back to school.

 

R. Diwan: Does Dr. Jackson’s 5/5/3 number include Hartford?

 

M. Hanna:  I think it does.

 

P. Hajela: What opportunities for growth are there at Hartford?

 

R. Parsons: Computer Science, for example, could not accommodate all the requests for admission they got this year.

 

J. Napolitano:  You said they couldn’t take in all the students they wanted to.  Aren’t there admissions criteria?

 

M. Hanna:  They’re having trouble hiring faculty.  In computer science, it’s particularly competitive.

 

We also should remember that their alumni are our alumni.

 

K. Fortun:  Did you get comparative salary figures?

 

M. Hanna: No.  I’ve asked for them before, from the administration, but haven’t received them.

 

J. Norsworthy:  I would be they get paid more than our [Troy campus] clinical faculty.

 

I also would point out that once it was named Rensselaer at Hartford, enrollments in Computer Science and Engineering went up.  So the evolution seems to have served them well.

 

M. Hanna: We spoke to them about governance, and have asked them to send representatives to join us.  So I think they will be here at the next meeting.

 

S. Anderson-Gold:  Signed in as guests?

 

M. Hanna:  As guests.  We didn’t hold anything back from them nor did they seem to from us.  The group who went down started all along the spectrum.  From predisposed good, to against.  It was a diverse group.  But I think we all came away with a more positive attitude, and certainly impressed by the Hartford faculty.

 

I now need to call for adjournment.  4:00 PM.

 

Prepared by Kim Fortun, Recording Secretary