Faculty Senate Meeting

November 16, 1999

 

Present: M. Hanna, B. Parsons, S. Derby, R. Leifer, S. Anderson-Gold, A. Desrochers, A. Van Epps, M. Rea, K. Jansen, K. Fortun, J. McLaughlin, P. Quinn, P. Boyce

 

Absent: P. Hajela, N. Rolnick, J. Haddock, R. Diwan, A. Kapila, J. Norsworthy, L. Winner, K. Craig

 

Guests: C. Breneman, R. Franklin, D. Nazon, J. Jones, G. Gabriele [attending for D. Daves], P. Azriel [Media Relations]

 

Agenda

Campus Wide Diversity Communications Plan – Deborah Nazon, Director, Institute Diversity

            And James Jones, Director, Training and Diversity, NACME

Approval of Minutes - October 19, November 2 and General Faculty Meeting, October 18, 1999

Diversity Communication Plan Motion

Planning and Resources Committee – continued discussion
Planning and Resources Committee Motion Re: Role in Rensselaer Plan

 
Campus Wide Diversity Communications Plan - Deborah Nazon, Director, Institute Diversity and
James Jones, Director, Training and Diversity, NACME

M. Hanna:  I’d like to call the meeting to order though we can’t yet approve either the agenda or the minutes from past meetings since we don’t have a quorum. 

 

Now we’ll hear from Deborah Nazon, Assistant-Provost for Institute Diversity and James Jones, Training Director for NACME, about the campus-wide Diversity Communication Plan.

 

[NACME is the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.  See www.nacme.org for further details on the programs discussed below.]

 

D. Nazon: As most of you know I’m in the office for Institute Diversity, which now directly reports to the Provost.  Previously, we were within Human Resources.  I’ve served on a special committee on Institute diversity co-chaired by Greg Hughes and Doyle Daves.  The committee has been working on a campus-wide Diversity Communications Plan and on initiatives that support the recruitment and retention of women and faculty of color and the recruitment and retention of women students and students of color- at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

 

The purpose of these initiatives is to promote campus diversity – beyond race and gender.  Our goal is to make Rensselaer a more welcoming place for everyone.  In graduate programs, for example, we are trying to recruit more American-born students.  We believe that in order to be world-class, Rensselaer must be a diverse community.

 

Jim Jones, from NACME, will tell you about the diversity workshops we are running and hope faculty will participate in.

 

[D. Nazon: The Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) was established in October 1998 under Acting President Neil Barton.  The Joint Councils (now referred to as the President’s Cabinet and the dean’s Council) and the Board of trustees endorsed the establishment of the Board.  The purpose of the DAB is to create an environment that is inclusive, welcoming and respectful for all Rensselaer.  This environment will reflect a diverse profile of students, faculty and staff that is recognized nationally for leadership among universities.  It was important to have the leadership of the University, who possess the ability to initiate change, be a part of this effort.  DAB membership is as follows:  Bud Baeslack -Dean, School of Engineering; Dave Bohan ’82 – Director, Alumni Relations; Nancy Connell – Director, Marketing & Media Relations; Doyle Daves, Co-Chair, Interim Provost; Dan DiTusi – President, Graduate Council; Teresa Duffy – Dean, Undergraduate Admissions; Gail Gere – Director, Graduate & Academic Enrollment Services; Michael Hanna – President, Faculty Senate; Greg Hughes ’67, Co-Chair, Professor – Information Technology; Vicki Lynn- Assistant Dean, School of Engineering; Cynthia McIntyre – Chief of Staff & Assistant Secretary of the Institute; Kevin Moraes – Graduate Student; Deborah Nazon ’85 – Assistant Provost for Institute Diversity; Eric Schmidt ’01 – Grand Marshall; Mark Smith – Associate Dean, Directory of Minority Student Affairs; Larry Snavley – Vice President, Government & Community Relations; Tom Yurkewecz – Vice President, Administration; Trina Beaudoin – Administrative Support to Diversity Advisory Board]

 

J. Jones: We are now in Phase 3 of our program here.  In the first phase, members of the Advisory Board, Deans, Vice Presidents and the Provost participated.  In Phase 3, we need faculty and students to participate.  Phase 4 is what we call the “train-the-trainer” phase, when people at an organization make the process their own.

 

Before giving you further detail, however, I’m going to run through some slides that give you some background on NACME, and context for this initiative.

 

About NACME:

-         Established in 1974

-         Not for profit corporation

-         Goal: Strive for parity in the engineering sciences

-         Methodology: Partnering with industry, academia, government

-         Largest provider of scholarships for minority students

 

NACME Mission:

-         Expand the pool of successful African American, Latino and American Indian engineering students

 

NACME Organization:

-         Research and Policy Analysis

-         NACME Scholars Programs, Corporate Scholars, Vanguard Scholars

-         “ Math is Power”

-         Education programs and training

 

J. Jones: Many things deserve highlighting here – including the fact that our programs are not just about race – they’re about parity, which implicates everyone.  The Corporate Scholars Program, for example, places first year students in summer internships, gives them access to corporate mentoring, and to NACME leadership development conferences.  It ends up working like a football draft.  With a certain level of donation, companies gain a certain level of access to interns.  First-rate interns, who become first-rate professionals.  Everyone wins.

 

Everyone wins with the Math is Power program as well.  In part, it’s an advertising program – we run bus ads in New York City, for example.  Encouraging people to demand access to algebra, calculus, etc.  We try to begin as early as the first grade.  Lighting that fire.  Trying to make sure that the first isn’t extinguished in school.

 

NACME Highlights:

-         Pioneered and funded development of university outreach and support programs

-         Provided seed funding and technical assistance to 40+ pre-college engineering programs

-         Graduated more than 6,700 engineers

-         Received 1996 Presidential Award for excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring

-         Received 1998 Department of Labor Exemplary Public Interest Contribution (EPIC) Award

 

The NACME Challenge:

-         Growing demand for technical leaders

-         African Americans, Latinos and American Indians remain severely underrepresented in engineering

-         K-12 education continues to fail students

-         Low retention in engineering remains intractable

-         Dismantling of Affirmative Action

 

J. McLaughlin: What are the figures nationally?  What percentage of the population are minorities?

 

C. Breneman: Is there a website where we can get annual information?  I’m quite shocked by the PhD figures, and it seems we could use the numbers to help us work on it.

 

J. Jones: Call me [212-279-2626 / jjones@nacme.org] or go to the NACME website

 

NACME Numbers:

-         Minorities in Engineering, 1971: Minorities are 18% of college age population, minorities are 1.6% of engineering graduates

-         Minorities in Engineering, 1998: Minorities are 29.9% if college age population, minorities are 10.3% of engineering graduates

 

J. Jones: NACME programs have been developed in response to these numbers.  There isn’t yet parity.  We still have lots of work to do.  And it has become even more important that we succeed, given the growing diversity of the population and the growing need for technical professionals.

 

One way we’ve extended our efforts is to offer a variety of programs for institutions.  NACME Diversity Seminars are done in phases, with a two-day training session at the center of each phase.  We’ve done full institutional programs at Northwester, at Illinois Institute of Technology, at Harvey Mudd.

 

We also do one-day workshops that bring together people from different institutions, in both education and industry.  And we do mentor training – in a program called “Mentoring for Excellence” – for people who will do mentoring themselves, or who are responsible for setting up mentoring programs in their institutions.  In our view, mentoring is very important – as a way to career success for individuals and as a way to build sustainable diversity in an institution.  [NACME is a 1996 winner of the President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.]

 

We all do do Myers-Briggs indicator workshops to introduce people to ways of understanding personality and individual differences and how they affect people’s ability to work together, solving problems, building organizations, etc.  And we can help with assessments of how cultural difference is perceived at an institution – by individuals and by groups.

 

We don’t come to a place like Rensselaer presuming to know about the culture here.  We come to help people at Rensselaer figure out what their culture is.  By providing safe spaces, exercises and activities where Rensselaer’s culture can be brought to the surface.

 

So even though there is a focus on science and engineering, our work goes beyond that.  WE help people and organizations develop, from their own experiential base.  The context of that experience does matter – which is why we always emphasize the figures when we explain why diversity training is important.  People and organizations need to develop who they are – knowing that they work in a context that can’t yet offer parity and in which we urgently need to tap the full potential of every segment of our society – as said so well in the quote here by my boss, Dr. George Campbell.

 

NACME Training Programs:

-         NACME Diversity seminars

-         NACME Diversity workshops

-         Mentoring workshops

-         Myers-Briggs

-         Organizational Assessment

-         Corporate and Government Consulting

-         Staff & Team Development Workshops

 

NACME Diversity Seminars:

-         Centered in group process

-         Interactive

-         Learner-centered

-         Experiential

-         Mixed-media

-         Large and small group exploration

-         Safe Space

 

NACME Diversity Seminar Participants:

-         Receive research information

-         Explore impact of cultural programming

-         Make critical linkages between individual, group and institutional cultural paradigms

-         Examine dynamics of cross-cultural relationships in learning environments

-         Begin personal and institutional action planning

 

Science and Engineering Diversity Landscape:

-         “A shortage of information technology works, expected by 2005, may pose a serious risk to the U.S. economy…”  (America’s New Deficit, 1997 Report by the U.S. Office of Technology Policy

 

Science and Engineering Diversity Landscape: Workforce

-         20% will be 65(+) years

-         Minorities = 32%

-         Women = 50%

-         National shortage of IT professionals

-         Asians = 3% of population, 10% of S&E workforce

-         Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians = 23% of population, 6% of S&E workforce

 

Science and Engineering Diversity Landscape: Universities

-         Campuses as microcosms for societal issues, efforts and tensions

-         Alarming lack of tenured faculty of color, particularly in S&E disciplines

-         Women S&E PhD’s over-represented at elementary/secondary school and 2-year colleges: less likely to have tenure

-         Vulnerability to stereotypes seen as major factor in minority student academic achievement

 

NACME President and CEO George Campbell, Jr. PhD

-         “An engineering workforce that utilizes the full potential of every segment of our society is essential – not only to our nation’s economic growth, but also to our political goals, social objectives and responsibilities for global leadership.” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Dr. Nazon: Dr. Campbell’s quote highlights an important aspect of our approach at Rensselaer.  We hope to see diversity as an asset for the university, not as an add-on.  It cuts across disciplines and goes beyond race and gender.

 

J. Jones: I should emphasize: I don’t think of these workshops as “training” in the didactic sense of the term.  They help members of an organization build on their own experiences and then ask them to assume responsible for facilitating continuing development at their own institution.  In the “train-the-trainer” phase, people become responsible for their own institution.  We hope to train people to be such trainers in the spring.  It’s called owning the process.

 

D. Nazon: Eric Schmidt [Grand Marshall] is heading a student committee that will play a role.

 

J. Jones: Notice, too, that there are not bullet points under “next steps.”  People at Rensselaer have to fill this in for themselves.

 

Rensselaer’s Diversity Commitment:

-         Diversity Advisory Board

-         Re-alignment of Office of Institute Diversity

-         Creation of Assistant Provost for Institute Diversity

-         OMSA

-         1999 Vanguard Program

-         NACME Diversity Seminars

 

Rensselaer’s Diversity Advisory Board

-         Recruitment and retention of faculty of color and women

-         Recruitment and retention of students of color and women

-         Campus-wide Diversity Communication Plan

-         Graduate students initiatives

 

Rensselaer’s Diversity Communication Plan:

-         Diversity Advisory Board

-         Garnet Baltimore Lecture Series

-         Intra/Inter-group team building

-         Prejudice reduction

-         Sexual harassment training

-         Address learning culture and design classroom instruction to meet multiple perspectives

-         Where appropriate, build diversity into curricula

-         Implement NACME diversity training

-         Create incentive/reward structure to include more diverse content in courses.

 

NACME Diversity Seminars at Rensselaer:

-         Demonstrate impact of valuing diversity on the success of relationships at RPI

-         Dissect issues of identity and knowledge, teaching and learning within the context of the PRI culture

-         Explore communication among individuals from diverse cultural reference points and “world views”

-         Begin to develop action plans to widen the personal and institutional cultural paradigms

 

M. Hanna: What are the immediate next steps?

 

J. Jones: Buy – in.  Faculty have to be willing to get involved.

 

D. Nazon: Faculty from all schools.  We don’t have a lot of ethnic diversity on campus, but we do have disciplinary diversity – which we need to build on.  So that this is really about our culture, not about trying to be something we aren’t.

 

J. Jones: The mere fact that I walk into a training venue and there are 35 white people doesn’t mean that there isn’t diversity here.  Even in this group I bet there is a lot of diversity.  We need to build on it.

 

Ask Mike [Hanna] about his experience – by the end of the day, we had unearthed a lot of diversity.

 

Mike Hanna: A personal reflection.  I hate anything touchy-feely. [D. Nazon concurs.] This workshop wasn’t like that.  It was a really rewarding experience.  Things were pushed forward for me, to the front of my thinking.  I think this could really help create a more welcoming environment.

 

Perhaps you should tell them what a faculty member is committing to if they sign up.

 

J. Jones:  A two day commitment.  People need to stay connected to the group process for two days.  We can do that many different ways – nights, weekends, etc.

 

J. McLaughlin: It’s sounding a little like a group therapy session.  Can you describe it in a little more detail so that I go away with a different impression?

 

J. Jones:  I can’t guarantee why kind of impression you will go away with.  Yes, it is group centered – purposefully drawing on people’s experiences.

 

M. Hanna: There are interactive exercises that show how diversity matters and a planning process.

 

D. Nazon: The workshops are action oriented.  We have to come up with some plans to make Rensselaer a better place.  We don’t just walk out holding hands.

 

Which we couldn’t do if we wanted to.  We’re not there.  We think we know Rensselaer, but we have a lot to learn.  This was clear in the first two rounds of the workshops.

 

J. Jones:  It’s awareness we’re after, not group fusion.  People don’t need to leave singing Kumbaya.  They should leave with great awareness of the different dimensions of diversity, and of the different ways valuing diversity can be built into an institution.

 

J. McLaughlin: Could I oversimplify b saying that the first day is sensitivity-training and the second is planning?

 

R. Franklin: A question for Mike [Hanna].  What came forward in your mind?  The administration keeps loading stuff on us, I need to be able to rank order them.

 

M. Hanna: Diversity.  The significance of our differences – positive differences.  It came to the front of my brain, became part of who I think I am.

 

R. Franklin: We won’t know how the Administration sees these differences – and these workshop – until we’re told that they are as important as getting another contract.  We’ll have to be told that attending the workshops will be accounted for in the raise process.

 

R. Leifer: What are we measuring that we are concerned about?

 

A. Desrochers: What is the problem we are trying to solve?

 

[J. Jones: All will depend on where each person is in his or her own process or diversity journey, and the kind of choices each thinks is appropriate, manageable or even necessary.  Obviously, the super ordinate goal is aimed at an institution payoff for RPI in terms of attracting, retaining and nurturing a more diverse student body, faculty and staff. Depending on where each person is positioned in the organizational scheme, each may see his or her role and empowerment differently.  There are clearly broad categories of action options for (1) those who are responsible for identifying faculty (2) those whose job it is to select student: (3) those committed to enriching minds; (4) and, finally, those whose focus is on ensuring that the institution continues to maintain a strong administrative and financial infrastructure.  Part of the diversity training centers on beginning action planning from these various institutional frames of reference.]

 

R. Leifer: I agree with Randy: unless this becomes part of an evaluation process it won’t be taken seriously.

 

J. Jones: I agree.  It should be part of the evaluation process.  It often isn’t – at universities, as well as in industry.  That’s why many of these things go down the toilet.

 

D. Nazon: It should be part of the evaluation process, but that’s not easy to make happen.

 

M. Rea: I think people around this table know that I take a very goal-oriented, business model approach to most things we do here.  But I think this is a process oriented activity, not a goal oriented activity.  WE aren’t going to evaluate our Thanksgiving by what we take away from it.  Nor this.  I’m of the opinion that this is a qualitatively different set of activities that are very different than other things we do.  And I think they are important.

 

R. Leifer: I do a lot of training, in a lot of different organizations.  People want to know what they are going to get and how their culture is going to change.  You have to have goals.

 

M. Hanna: There are broad goals: making the campus a more welcoming place, increasing retention, etc.  More specific goals are set within the workshop.

 

Think about it.  Every time I do an experiment, I don’t know the answer I’ll get – just that I’ll have more to work with than when I started.  This is a little like that.

 

P. Quinn: Consider the assumptions that are built into this process- that certain populations are underrepresented; that K-12 education is failing students; regarding affirmative action.  All this baggage is brought into the workshops.  Which means we must ask: are these workshops structured guidance or structured ritual?  Guidance is a series of steps that takes you somewhere.  A ritual is repetitive, without much room for creativity.  Are these workshops just a place to play out the assumptions built into them?  Is there room within the workshops to question these assumptions?

 

J. Jones: There is a lot of room for questions.  And I certainly don’t make any assumptions about the future of Rensselaer.  My job is to help people imagine a future state.  Which means that we don’t need to deal with affirmative action per se.  We need to imagine what we want this institution – and society more broadly – to look like in the future, and what its going to take to get use there.

 

M. Rea: I think we should make the point that this process is not at odds with society as a whole.  If we don’t get on board, we’ll be out-of-step.

 

A. Desrochers: Something else needs to be done to get the faculty to buy in.  I can’t think of anything in the past twenty years that faculty have committed two days to.  For people to commit to two days, you’re going to have to be much more specific.

 

D. Nazon: People, departments and Schools need to figure out where diversity fits into their plans.

 

A. Desrochers:  You can’t just say diversity is important.  The people who most need the workshops won’t be the ones who go to them.

 

R. Leifer: We need to define the future state:

 

A. Desrochers: I need to know what I am supposed to end up doing.  Concrete examples would help people buy in.

 

M. Rea: What’s next?

 

D. Nazon: We need to meet with the deans and set up the workshops – which will be voluntary.

 

R. Leifer: I would suggest that if the faculty is asked to participate, that the elected body participate first.  Or pass a resolution saying we think it is important.

 

Approval of Minutes - October 19, November 2 and General Faculty Meeting, October 18, 1999

M. Hanna: We now have a quorum so we can approve the agenda and the minutes.  Agenda approved.  Unanimously.

 

Now we need to approve three sets of minutes – for October 19, November 2 and for the General Faculty Meeting on October 18.

 

J. McLaughlin: I’d like to change the wording where I was quoted at the end of the minutes for October 19.  I sent Kim [Fortun] an email indicating what changes I would like.

 

M. Hanna: This can be a friendly amendment.  With the change, we can approve the Minutes for October 19?  Approved.  For November 2?  Approved.  For the General Faculty Meeting on October 18?  Approved.

 

Diversity Communication Plan Motion

Do we want to make a motion about our participation in the Diversity Communication Plan?

 

R. Leifer: I make a motion that the faculty senate support participation in the workshops for diversity.

 

M. Hanna: Discussion?

 

A. Desrochers: Shouldn’t we go through this ourselves before we propose it for faculty?

 

M. Rea: I think the motion should stand.  Philosophically.  These workshops are important, whatever the elected body thinks of the specifics.

 

R. Leifer: There are two things being addressed here – the diversity initiative and the workshops.

 

M. Rea: These two things will continue to be confused.

 

P. Quinn: We shouldn’t support the workshops without knowing how they will accomplish specific goals.

 

M. Hanna: Can we table it?

 

M. Rea: The motion has been made.  Do we support it?

 

R. Leifer: Repeat the motion.

 

K. Fortun: From R. Leifer: “I make a motion that the faculty senate support participation in the workshops for diversity.”

 

M. Hanna:  Passed.  6 in favor, 2 opposed, 2 abstentions.

 

Planning and Resources Committee - Continued Discussion

Bob Parsons will report the results of the ad hoc committee appointed to meet with members of the committee – to discuss their proposed resignations and their role in the future, particularly as regards the Rensselaer Plan.

 

B. Parson: The first page of the handout I’ve distributed includes the description of the role of the Planning and Resources Committee in the Faculty Handbook.  The paragraph reads as follows:

 

“Following appropriate review and approval by the Senate or the Faculty, decisions of the Committee to approve or terminate programs shall become binding with the approval of the President of the Institute.  The President of the Institute shall act with all deliberate speed either to approve the decision (and, as necessary, to request the approval of the Board of Trustees), or to convey a notice of rejection to the President of the Senate, giving cause for the rejection.”

 

Also note the description of the duties of the Planning and Resources Committee:

 

“The Committee shall review all proposals to approve new programs or to terminate existing programs that, due to their scale or uniqueness, bear substantial impact on the Institute community at large.  Following timely review and approval by the Senate or the Faculty, decisions of the Committee to endorse the creation of new programs or the termination of existing programs shall become binding with the approval of the President of the Institute.”

 

This is powerful language – that suggest the reasons for the disconnect between the committee and perhaps the Senate, and the new administration.  One problem is that the administration has a lot going on right now.  The Provost is not attending Senate meetings.  The executive committee has not met with the President since the summer.  Joyce had a meeting with the President, that Mike was supposed to attend, but then he got dis-invited from.

 

What I have learned from dealing with my own advisees is that it helps to write things down, to force the conversation.  So the ad hoc committee has drafted a letter to President Jackson, which is also attached here – that could be delivered before the executive Committee meets with President Jackson next week.

 

Let me emphasize: I think this planning process is really quite exciting.  We need to work out the details of our involvement.

 

K. Fortun: Hasn’t Prabhat’s [Hajela] argument been that the P&R committee has a designated role.  It’s just at a different time in the process than the P&R Committee itself has wanted.

 

J. McLaughlin: I don’t think the P&R committee is in the process at all.

 

[The document titled “Building the Rensselaer Plan” defines the Rensselaer Plan as “an ‘evergreen’ plan that will be revised on a regular basis.” “Performance plans,” to be drafted Summer 2000, are where resource requirements will be identified and then prioritized by the President (p.1).

 

Also noteworthy are the principles of “community participation” (p2): “Faculty leadership” are granted a role as “reviewers” of the final draft of the Rensselaer Plan, before it is approved by the cabinet, president and Board of Trustees.]

 

A. Desrochers: I think the letter needs to say that the committee will take responsibility for meeting with affected groups of faculty and departments.

 

M. Rea: I think there are actually teeth in description in the faculty handbook.  Look at the wording.  It sounds like nothing can go forward without this committee’s approval.  Not even this Plan.

 

B. Parsons: It does say that decisions by the committee go forward at the pleasure of the President.

 

R. Leifer: When might this letter be delivered to the President?  You can’t expect her to act instantaneously on something we’ve talked about for a long time.

 

What needs to be done here is to insert the Planning and Resources committee into the process in an explicit way – as representative of the faculty.  It needs to be explicit.  Lois [Peters] confirmed for us that members of Real COM are there as individuals, not as representatives of groups.

 

P. Boyce: This a re-organization of where we comment, not if we comment--- correct?  What we are asking is to come in after the first draft.

 

M. Hanna: Whether or not we have a “right” to this by reference to the Faculty Handbook is ambiguous.

 

M. Rea: What’s ambiguous?

 

G. Gabriele:  It says that the Planning and Resources Committee has a role when programs are approved or canceled.  The Rensselaer Plan isn’t necessary a program in itself.

 

M. Rea: How can it not be?  The fifth item all portfolios are asked to address is what programs should be canceled.

 

G. Gabriele: As an example of what might come out of this planning process, look out at Rensselaer 2000.  It high level- abstract, not specifics.

 

[A. Desrochers: Rensselaer 2000 was the long-term plan for Rensselaer initiated shortly after George Low became President.  There were numerous specific goals related to graduate enrollments, research volume, undergraduate enrollments, national reputation, etc.]

 

M. Rea: Lets work with an example:  we just saw a presentation that goes hand-in-hand with a move of Institute diversity initiatives from Human Resources to the Provost’s office.  Is that too significant to count here?

 

P. Quinn: I repeat what I said at the last meeting:  the mandate for the Planning and Resources Committee is both incredibly vague and incredibly specific.  Is it academic programs or something else that they have right-to-approval over?  It is on these grounds that I am uncomfortable with the letter we have here.

 

B. Parsons:  The President can accept this or reject it.

 

J. McLaughlin: Are you trying to solve the larger problem of the role of the Planning and Resources committee, or just its role within the planning process?

 

M. Hanna: It would be nice to fix the constitution, but it’s very necessary to establish our role in the Rensselaer Plan – very soon.

 

M. Rea: What do we want to do with the Rensselaer plan? We have the opportunity to do almost anything we want here, given this language.  The question is: what do we want?

 

I think Joyce has raised important issues.  I think you [the Executive Committee] may be trying to be too nice to the President.

 

K. Fortun: I think there is a different way to look at it.  By cooperating with the planning process, we are giving the President the space to use her organizational expertise – which we presumably hired her to deploy.

 

M. Rea: That is a slippery slope – overriding the Constitution.

 

R. Parsons:  We suggested a role for the Planning and Resource Committee in the writing process for the Rensselaer Plan, and that was turned down [by members of the P&R Committee].  We also suggested that they attend the Real COM meetings, take their own notes, and submit their own assessment of what was heard.  That was turned down as well.

 

[J. McLaughlin: the {first} suggestions was that the P&R committee participate in the first draft of the plan and that was turned down… but not by P&R.  [It was also suggested] that the Planning and Resources Committee organize it’s own meetings, prepare it’s own set of reports of what was presented at those meetings and then submit those reports as input to the planning process.  This was turned down by P&R.  However, the P&R committee strongly supported it’s participation in the writing of the first draft of the plan.]

 

P. Boyce: Someone’s go to produce a straw man, so that it can be countered.  That’s how I see the first draft of the Plan.

 

I make a motion that the Planning and Resource Committee prepare and submit commentary after the first draft, and again after the second draft.  And that the plan must be approved by the Planning and Resources Committee once it comes to the resource allocation stage.

 

M. Hanna: What are we going to do about this letter the ad hoc committee has proposed submitting to President Jackson?

 

K. Fortun: I think the tone is a problem.  The letter says that no role has been granted to the Planning and Resources Committee in the planning process – which can be countered simply be referring to the document explaining the exercise.

 

K. Jansen: Tone is important.  There is no point being antagonistic from the outset.

 

M. Rea: I agree with Kim on tone.  The stakes go up when things go into writing, so we need to take care with the presentation.

 

But, for the record, Joyce was right.

 

[J. McLaughlin: M. Read indicated that he supported my position.]

 

P. Quinn: To follow on Kim’s point: the beginning of the letter can be made more positive.

 

M. Hanna: So we don’t submit the letter.  Do we have a modification to the motion?


 Planning and Resources Committee Motion Re: Role in Rensselaer Plan

M. Rea:  I make a motion that it be communicated to the President in the meeting next week that the Faculty Senate wants the Planning and Resources Committee to have an explicit role in the development of the Rensselaer Plan – through submission of feedback from faculty on the first and second drafts of the Plan, and as the Plan becomes the basis for allocating resources.

 

B. Parsons: Second. Passed. Unanimously.

 

M. Hanna: There is one final item before we adjourn.  Steve Derby has asked that we pass a resolution congratulating the football team for their accomplishments this season.

 

The resolution will read as follows:

 

The excellence of the Rensselaer student athletes and the Rensselaer coaching staff has led the Varsity Football Team through its regular season undefeated.  This is a great accomplishment, and the Faculty Senate hereby sends its congratulations to the team.  The Faculty Senate also sends best wishes to the team for the upcoming NCAA playoff games.

 

Pass. Unanimously.

 

S. Derby: I’ll deliver a copy of the resolution to Joe King [Head Football Coach] before their game on Saturday.

 

Adjourned.  4:15 pm

 

Prepared by K. Fortun, Recording Secretary

 

** Note that [text in brackets] was added when the Minutes were edited by members of the Faculty Senate and guest presenters.  The purpose of the additions is to provide clarification and supplemental detail.