Faculty Senate Minutes



Return to Revised Minutes of 2/14/01


Present: P. Hajela, M. Hanna, K. Anderson, B. Peterson, L. Kammerer, S. Anderson-Gold, J. Erickson,

R. Leifer, L. Caporael, P. Boyce, G. Korenowski, B. Parson,


Absent:S. Derby, M. Embrechts, C. Breneman, R. Gutmann, K. Craig, K. Fortun, A. Dyson, P. Quinn,

J. Mitchell, G. Belfort,


Guests:M. Staniszewski, G. Gabriele


Summary:1) Curriculum Committee Report

 2) Discussion on Senate Representation for 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 January 17th?Minutes approved unanimously.Our next scheduled meeting for Feb 28th will be a joint meeting with the student senate.This will be in Sage 5711 from 3-5p.m.The meeting schedule for March 14th will be canceled due to spring break.We have scheduled a meeting for March 7th in CII 5003 from 3-5 p.m.; we felt a four week period without a meeting was to long.


First item on the agenda Report from Curriculum Committee by MaryAnne Staniszewski (see attached)


P Hajela: The writing requirement, does it extend to graduate students or is it primarily the undergraduates?


M. Staniszewski: I believe it is just undergraduates but the graduate issue as a requirement should be addressed.Many students have scores that are acceptable but yet they can barely write a sentence.

P. Hajela:Perhaps a formal writing program should be in place so that if an advisor feels his/her student needs such a writing course, one is available.


G. Gabriele: These courses currently do exist, for the undergraduates; certainly a graduate student could take them.I not sure that I would want to necessarily count those kind of courses towards a degree requirement. There is a pretty extensive array of different writing courses/communication courses that LLC offers.


M. Hanna: Would there be a 6000 equivalent to technical and professional communication? Is there or could there be one that is geared towards technical writing by a graduate student?


G. Gabriele:Is there one now? I don't know the answer to that.


M. Staniszewski:That would be a department question, unless LLC would be providing such a course.


M. Hanna:Would LLC provided such a course?I agree with P. Hajela that if a graduate student is doing a technical paper the academic advisor should be able to help to some extent, but some times it's more then just helping, it's actually rewriting the paper.


G. Gabriele:We started out with the question "Is there a writing requirement at the graduate level?"No. Should there be or should there be an opportunity for a graduate student to take writing courses? Yes.A writing course already exists.Graduate students can take this writing course and probably should if the academic advisor feels they need it.


P. Hajela:Why don't we have a writing requirement for graduate students?


G. Gabriele:That is an issue that the curriculum committee should take. If a requirement were added for graduate students where would it fall in terms of their graduate degree?


R. Parsons:If a graduate student takes an undergraduate course, where does the credit fall in terms of their degree, it ends up being a credit they can't put towards their degree.


G. Gabriele:Now you are getting into the issue of do we count these kinds of credits towards degree completion?That becomes perhaps a department issue or a graduate school issue. One could argue those are the kinds of skills you should come to graduate school with, so why should we use the credit towards a degree.The graduate degree requirements are becoming a much boarder issue, which we have been considering in the curriculum committee. Actually this would be best served when a graduate dean is in place to help organize this issue, and then bring it to the curriculum committee for review.


M. Staniszewski:Do we have an idea of how long it is going to take before we have a graduate dean?


B. Peterson:As soon as we have finalized the decision to hire a graduate dean, we will initiate a search and have someone in place hopefully by Summer, and certainly by fall.


L. Caporael:The writing and communication problem has come up year after year and my question is, is it possible to resolve any of these issues without money?Has there been any change at all in this? Is there any new money? What can the faculty senate, or B. Petersonís office does to actually make a difference in the communication problem?


G. Gabriele:What I'm trying to do first is see if I can better understand what the problem is.I don't know where we are at this point, because I don't know what the communication problem is.Is it any worse here then any place else or do we have a real issue? I had a discussion with J. Watt and he's promised me that his department would do a proposal on how to investigate this issue and then bring it forward to the faculty for feedback.I think the first issue is to do an assessment on the most critical problems.I did fund an initial program by LLC to create what we are calling the Virtual Writing Center.We are trying to create a program that will provide students help via the computer.LLC has actually done some prototyping on that and we are testing it this semester.We have many alternatives to solve this problem but before we move forward I would like to know more about where the most problems lie.


G. Korenowski:Has anyone reviewed what we have done in the past, and compared to what we are doing now. We don't have to repeat the same procedure twice?


G. Gabriele:No, we are aware of writing courses from the past, but they were not the solution.What we are doing now is talking to experts in the communication field and to find out what the communicationsissues are.The feedback we are receiving is that just a writing course is not enough.They don't solve all the issue surrounding the required core communications problems.


M. Staniszewski: We are in the process of electing a committee, hopefully by the summer, to review the core.In doing this we will be looking at past reviews of the core and the issues discussed today. If you or any other faculty or staff has comments please have them e-mail me(stanim@rpi.edu) as we welcome the feedback.Basically all the issues voiced here today will be addressed as part of the core curriculum review. We have a lot of issue that demand a review; these include schools requirements, 4 X 4, and laptops.


P. Hajela:What are your specific plans for reviewing the core? Have you established the guidelines?


M. Staniszewski:The subject of reviewing the core has just been approached in our last meeting, so we have no specific plans or guidelines as of yet for conducting this review process.


G. Gabriele:The Curriculum committee has discussed how to format this process, and over the next part of this semester we will develop a charge to review past documents and existing programs.We will then decide of what the committee will be undertaking.Once this has been accomplished, we want to be able to fundamentally answer the question"What should no student leave RPI without?"


G. Korenowski:What kind of review is planned on the impact of 4X4?Since the 4x4 was put into place it has been my experience that everybody has become more territorial about the number of credits for their curriculum because of restrictions placed on schools do to 4x4.


G. Gabriele: The committee has not yet discussed how to look at what impact the 4x4 has had, and how to measure it.


Second item on the agenda Senate Representation for Clinical Faculty on Troy Campus. 


L. Caporael: Review of amendments bought forth at last meeting (see attached)


S. Anderson-Gold:We keep assuming that if clinical faculty participates they fully participate, except for the P & T Committee.I believe the reasoning is that clinical faculty doesn't under go through a tenure process so we assume they don't understand the standards of tenure.Given that we might have a full professor who is a clinical faculty member, and then it's not clear to me that they don't belong on the P & T Committee.If they are going to fully participate, why not let them participate on the P & T Committee?


R. Leifer:Can the librarian participate in P & T, as they are part of the faculty?


S. Anderson-Gold:Are librarians full professors? We are looking at rank because the P & T Committee composition is based on faculty rank.


R. Leifer:We have classes of faculty now (librarian, researchers, archivist), who don't participate in

P & T. We do have instances where we do exclude part of the faculty from some aspect of functions throughout the university.


S. Anderson-Gold:We have done this presumably because they don't understand the standard of evaluation that is needed.We seem to feel that clinical faculty should not be involved in the P & T. Maybe there is a real core reasoning for that, but it's not obvious by the way we are coming at this.If we want to call them Faculty then they should fully participate, do all the things we do.Why should they be excluded from P & T?


P. Boyce:What is the difference interest of clinical faculty and tenure line faculty?


S. Anderson-Gold:I think it's the commitment to the university.It's career commitment, a life long



G. Korenowski:I'm still not clear on where the term clinical faculty came from?In the past they would have been called lectures.


P. Hajela:There are a few minor differences in definition of lecturer and clinical faculty.Peer review is mandatory for clinical faculty by the regular tenure track faculty within the department, for a lecturer it is 

recommended but not mandatory.For lecturer the length of appointment is a term to an academic year, the term is not spelled out for clinical faculty.

R. Leifer:When we connected the experience base with commitment for Hartford faculty and tried to put traditional titles on these people, it didnít work. I think this is where the term clinical faculty came about. 

It is in fact a long-term commitment, a commitment to the institution, a commitment to all the goals except that their background does not usually make them interested in doing traditional academic research.


S. Anderson-Gold:We are not arguing against hiring clinical faculty, what we are trying to straighten out is why we should include them in the faculty senate.


R. Leifer:Because they are part of the faculty.


S. Anderson-Gold:That's to be decided


M. Hanna: I think we would have less of a problem with this, if there was only one category of clinical faculty, and that would be clinical professor.That would give a person with the skills from the outside, which is recognized as an expert in their field, with the title clinical professor.This is as opposed to someone in his/her first job being called clinical professor, as they would not have the experience that should go with the title clinical.


L. Caporael:Should we hold off on having this discussion until the description of clinical faculty is resolved?


P. Hajela:We don't know how long it will take to come up with a definition. We do want to give some sort of representation in the interim to clinical faculty on campus.


P. Boyce:If we have approximately 20% of the faculty working full time on campus that are not represented I think we need to do something about that.I also agree there is a difference in a faculty with a long-term commitment and a faculty with a short-term contract. I feel that amendment 2b is more appropriate representation then 2a.I think we need to deal with this now.If we are to wait until the committee's work is done, it could be another two years where some faculty would go without representation.


P. Hajela:When the new definitions are in place we will have to revisit these same arguments again as several titles could possible be rolled into one title, creating a new title that is not listed as faculty in the handbook. We will then need to decide if they are part of the small "f" or the big "F" faculty.


L.Caporael:Yes, we will have to revisit these issues but I feel when this happens we will be more confident about what those terms really mean.


J. Erickson:I believe faculty are going to think that (2b) means if a clinical professor can now be on the faculty senate then that means they can be on P & T committee. This is not correct and it leaves it up to us to explain, especially the distinction between little "f" and big "F".


M. Hanna:We will probably always have to explain that P & T membership. It is strictly full professor tenure track components of the faculty and if you not a full professor you cannot be on the P & T committee.


L Caporael:Could we please take a vote on the amendments 2a or 2b?


S. Anderson-Gold:I make a motion that the faculty senate endorses Amendment #2b and that it should be taken to the general faculty.


P. Hajela: Could I have a second on this motion?

K. Anderson

Motion Passed: 5 in favor, 4 opposed, 1 abstaining


R. Leifer:I make a motion for Amendment #2a and that the faculty senate endorses this amendment and take it to the general faculty.


P. Hajela: Could I have a second on this motion?

L. Krammerer

Motion Failed: 3 in favor, 7 opposed


S. Anderson:I would argue that per the vote, the faculty senate has decided to take (2b) forward and has to get the ten signatures.


R. Leifer:I would not agree with that. I feel both amendments should go before the general faculty and let them decide on which amendment to adopt.If we pick one amendment by implication, it's saying the faculty senate supports this amendment. If we bring forward both amendments we are saying that there is a majority but there is also discussion on another option.All minutes are available for their review. Let them read the amendments and make their decision. 


B. Peterson:R. Leifer, all you need to do is get ten signatures and you may bring 2a forward as well, which will then allow the faculty to review both and make the decision.


L. Capoarel:The faculty senate will take 2b to the faculty.R. Leifer will get ten votes and bring 2a to the general faculty as well.R. Leifer will prepare a position statement for 2a and S. Anderson-Gold will prepare a position statement for 2b.


J. Erickson:Will the general faculty have a chance to review and discuss this amendment before voting on it?


P. Hajela:Yes, an explanation and implications of both amendments will be disturbed to all faculty for their review before the meeting. 


B. Peterson:All changes to the constitution must be distributed 30 days in writing before the meeting. 


M. Hanna:It might be a good idea to post the details of both amendments and arguments (pro & cons) on the senate web page.


P. Hajela:Conclusion is that the senate, by vote, has a preference for 2b and a minority request to bring the second amendment 2a to the general faculty. 


L. Caporael:I have two other amendments:

·Allowing voting to be done by electronic mail.

I make a motion for electronic voting:

Second motion 

A. Anderson

Motion Passed: 10 in favor, 1 abstaining

·Purchasing of new policy and procedure book for the senate


P. Hajela: We will purchase a few copies of this book for reviewing before voting on this amendment.


Meeting adjourned 5:00 p.m.