Faculty Senate Minutes
Present: P. Hajela, M. Hanna, K. Anderson, C. Breneman, B. Peterson, L. Kammerer,
S. Anderson-Gold, S. Derby, M. Embrechts, J. Erickson, J. Mitchell, R. Leifer, L. Caporael,
P. Boyce, G. Korenowski, B. Parson, G. Belfort,
Absent: R. Gutmann, K. Craig K. Fortun, A. Dyson, P. Quinn,
Guests:G. Gregg


Summary:             1) Performance Plan

2) Discussion on Senate Representation for Hartford and Clinical Faculty on Troy Campus


P. Hajela:I'd like to call the meeting to order.Before we begin could we approve the minutes of November 28th?Minutes approved unanimously


First item on the agenda thoughts on the Performance Plan with C. Breneman (see attached)


P Hajela:Isdepartment consolidation a final goal?From what I understand there has been no final decision made concerning department consolidation.


C. Breneman:How is the admission process going to be handled in the future?


B. Peterson:We are in the process of forming a committee to look into this process.The president would like to form a process called "Admission to Renssealer".The current process is as such that a student is admitted into a particular school. The new process would be that a student would be admitted into Rensselaer as a whole.This would eliminate having different admission criteria for different programs. This is the direction the president would like us to move towards.How this will be accomplished is still unclear.


C. Breneman:In terms of faculty evaluation it seems that we are trying to move towards a unified process among the different schools.


B. Peterson:I have sent a memo to the deans with my impression of what the annual performance evaluation process should consist of:

·Each year every faculty member would be asked to fill out an activity form, that describes his or her activity for the year.

·Every faculty member would have an opportunity to meet with his or her supervisor (dean or chair) to discuss the activity report.

·A written report of the discussion, which both parties would sign. (not that they both have to agree the contents of the report)

·The discussion and activity summary report then can be used as a part ofthe determination of merit increases.


C. Breneman: The concerns are:

·Making the faculty evaluations more like the staff evaluations

·It's perceived as kind of a bad thing, because faculty tend not to be able to write down what their job goals were for the last year.The form C. Powell originally handed out seemed threatening, because their was no way to map traditional faculty activities.


B. Peterson: A very reasonable way to approach that evaluation is to say this is where we are going.How do you see yourself contributing to this?How do you contribute to the organization? Then next year evaluate how well they achieved those goals.


C. Breneman:In the final process of the budget 90%,100%,110 exercise, is Dr. Jackson just going to go down the list saying you get 90, you get 100, and you get 110?


B. Peterson:Dr. Jackson will make the ultimate decision on the budget.But this process is a very involved.The deans has presented their budget request to the entire cabinet. After each presentation the president and the cabinet have a session discussing where the strengths are, how does this play out into the whole plan.


C. Breneman:My intention was to ask whether the scenario played out by various department chairs regarding these three options are going to play into these discussions.


B. Peterson:My expectation is that we will be closer to 110% then we will be to 90%.


M. Hanna:It would be nice if a faculty member was to sit through the presentations to the cabinet by the deans and by any unit that have an impact on academics.It might help for the rest of the faculty to believe that someone was present who would comment if something was wrong or off the wall.


B. Peterson:I think that is the responsibility of the provost.


M. Hanna: The Senate is an elective body of the faculty (this is not meant to downgrade the role of the provost at all.). But as elected members of the faculty I think the rest of the faculty would be more comfortable knowing that somebody is there who knows what's going on, could at least stop rumors etc. I think that your (B. Peterson) coming to the senate meetings makes an amazing difference in that, but I still think that we need to improve communications beyond that.


C. Breneman:There is a perception out there (true or not) that the faculty senate grass roots should be represented at the highest level, probably by the chair.


B. Peterson:I'm not offended, but I do believe that is the responsibility of the provost.The provost represents the faculty to the administration of the institution.


S. Derby:I think it would be good to get a memo from you directly once in awhile.Even with all your good intentions, by the time the information filters through the deans/chairs its has a totally different translation.


Second item on the agenda: Senate Representation for Hartford Faculty and Clinical Faculty on Troy Campus with L. Caporael.

P. Hajela:At the last meeting M. Hanna made a presentation in which he outlined the steps that would have to be undertaken in order to allow the Clinical Faculty to have representation in the senate.These included:
        ·         A change in the senate handbook
·Increasing the strength of the senate to include designated participation from these two groups.
Presentation by L. Caporael with two different amendments introduced for discussion (see Attached)

S. Derby:So, your intention is to have something we can do now to get Hartford representation, but as things change later we may need to do this differently.
M. Hanna:This differs from the amendment that I put out previously.These would not change the main body of the constitution but be added at the end of the constitution as amendments. Part of the reasoning for this is that the situation may change over time.It is cleaner to keep these separate rather then put them together within the constitution.

L. Caporael:Each amendment will add one more person.
R. Leifer:Why can't we just have one person representing all clinical faculty.
L. Caporael:Excellent question, but to do that we would have to change the formal definition of what faculty means in the Handbook.M Hanna discussed this in his presentation.What this amendment does is try to achieve representation for two groups who have not had it before, and there is some sense that there should be representation.The issue of representation is separate from the issue of making a decision about the state of the clinical faculty. This allows us for the moment to side step the issue.


R. Leifer:Why do they need two?One could argue for one or two and some could argue that they have no representation.


L. Caporael:The reason I proposed two amendments, which would have two people on, is that I think it would be difficult to have someone at RPI (Troy) represent someone at RPI (Hartford). I don't think this would work, as there are fundamental differences in interests.The purpose of this amendment is to recognize those differences and bring in two voices about the state of clinical faculty on the two campuses.This would allow the faculty senate to have discussions with people who have experience in those roles.


G. Korenowski:We have not addressed the real issues

· Let the faculty vote if the clinical faculty should have representation.

· If the faculty believe that clinical faculty should have representation then decide on how to put amendment in the constitution?

Right now it looks like we are trying to slip this thing through the back door, and it going to be perceived that way by the majority of the faculty.I believe we need to go out there and ask the faculty if the clinical faculty need/deserve representation.


L. Caporael:What you are proposing is that at the next general faculty meeting we ask for a vote on whether the clinical faculty should have the role of faculty member?


G. Korenowski: Whether they should have representation.


L. Caporael:No, this is an issue that in fact we are trying to side step. There is a national thing about the relationship of tenure and non-tenure faculty.


G. Korenowski: Let's face the tough issue and deal with it. It has to be dealt with sooner of later.


L. Caporael: I think it should be dealt with. How do you propose we go about doing this?


B. Peterson:One possible solution would be to do an amendment that would change the definition of faculty to include clinical faculty in additional to associate, assistant, fully professor etc.Add clinical faculty to that list, which would address the issue head-on.


L. Caporael:I would like to know from B. Peterson if his office is engaged right now in trying to assess all faculty categories and trying to reduce the number of catorgies and clarify the roles of these groups.It does not make sense to have a different kind of work going on when these two works impact each other.


B. Peterson:I agree with you completely. However, when the committee I'm working with has made a decision on what to do with the faculty titles, and if they decide to do away with clinical faculty, there will still be clinical faculty who will be here for five years by appointment.I don't think we are necessarily at odds.I'm not sure that these amendments as proposed will last for five years.


G. Korenowski: Bring it out to the faculty, inform them, and get their input on this.


L. Caporael:What your recommendation would be is not to go and ask if the clinical faculty be added to this existing list.


G. Korenowski:Why not? Why not at the next general meeting we bring this issue up and ask for input.


M Hanna:You can bring it up as an amendment or you can bring it up as a discussion point.Certainly as amendment you might stand a chance of getting greater faculty turnout at the meeting.My feelings are that you either change it in terms of the amendment that was proposed last time, or you can do it by this mechanism.We among the senate need to agree on what position we want to take.It's not required to bring an amendment to the senate for approval; it just takes signatures of ten faculty members and the right timing to allow an amendment to be bought to a general faculty meeting.


L. Caporael:Some issues

        ·Whether clinical faculty should be considered as regular faculty

·Whether clinical faculty should have representation; one can have representation without necessarily being redefined as faculty.

·Any amendment that faculty senate brings forward to the general facultythat raises the issue of clinical faculty has the chance being voted up or down by the faculty.

As the faculty senate we can be going forward in terms of representation for clinical faculty, without having to make the commitment or response to the issues at this point and time.

L. Caporael:I make a motion for Amendment#1 and that the faculty senate endorses this amendment and then takes it to the general faculty for a vote.

P. Hajela:Could I have a second?


All in favor of accepting this motion: 10 in favor, 2 abstaining

R. Leifer:I would suggest that we attach the background information about this amendment as we sometimes forget the rationale of this discussion later on


Meeting adjourned 5:00 p.m.