Faculty Senate Minutes


Present: M. Hanna, P. Hajela, B. Parson, K. Anderson, M. Embrechts, J. Mitchell, C. Breneman, B. Peterson, L. Kimmerer

Absent: L. Caporael, K. Fortun, S. Derby, S. Anderson-Gold, G, Belfort, P, Boyce, A. Dyson, G. Korenowski, R. Leifer, P. Quinn, J. Erickson, R. Gutmann, K. Craig


Guests: G. Gabriele, Mary Anne Staniszewski, P. Azriel, B. Baeslack, C. McIntyre

Senators report on Ad Hoc Committee for FPRC
RPI Medical Director - On TB related health concerns
Discussion on senate review of Administrators
New Business

P. Hajela:I'd like to call the meeting to order.Before we begin, I would like to distribute the minutes of the August & Sept. meetings for your review, so we can approve them at the next meeting. Please note the different level of detail in each of these minutes. I would like to get a sense from you as to the preferred format.


First item on the agenda Report on the ad hoc committees.


P. Hajela:How is the planning process progressing?Do you need any more information/help from the senate?


C. Breneman:No additional support is needed at this point, possibly after our meeting. The planning process is still in the primary stages. The formation of the ad hoc committee members is almost complete, but we have no feedback as of yet.


P. Hajela: What is the sense from the faculty perspective about this process?


K. Anderson:The Faculty has doubts that the administration will listen to their concerns and interest.


C. Breneman: The basic input we have received from faculty so far is a reluctance to believe that this process is really going to happen in the way that people say it is. This reluctance comes from past experiences where planning process were not seen as moving forward. On the other hand we have concern that it will move forward to quickly, and with large research allocations impending, they are wondering, will this help us or hurt us.


B.Parsons: I sense that there are many avenues of communication for faculty to voice their input. Hopefully they will take advantage of these and get their information in.


M. Hanna:The School of Science has formed four (4) additional committees that will look at issues that are cross-departmental.

a.                    Research

b.                   Curriculum

c.                    Infrastructure

d.                   Diversity & Community

This will provide more input into the process.


P Hajela: It appears to me that there is a strong push to try and get the focus areas inline with IT &.My concern is that while the IT and BT initiatives themselves are a good objective, we must not neglect the broad academic enterprise; Iget the sense that somehow this is being left out.


Second item on the agenda is the election of a new senator to fill the position vacated by Amy Van Epps.A motion was made to appoint Larry Kammerer to this position. Larry was elected in an internal election within the library. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Third item on the agenda is a discussion from R. Athanasiou, Medical Director on TB related health concerns  Free testing will begin on Oct 23th and run for two weeks.Please inform your graduate students and colleagues that the medication is free, and there is no risk to their visa/immigration status.


Four item on the agenda is a discussion on the Senate review of Administrators. B. Parson reports that the committee will put together a draft of the process and then present this to the senate for further discussion. The committee needs one more person. 


B. Peterson:There is a process for review of the deans.This process does not specifically talk about a committee of the faculty senate, but it talks about a faculty committee that is charged with the responsibility of soliciting input from the faculty and other administers. I will send P. Hajela a copy of the memo describing the process.


B. Parson:I feel we should review this process before moving forward so that we do not end up having duplicate review processes.


P. Hajela:The faculty Senate needs to decide if this is a worthwhile cause for us to pursue.I feel that commenting on how the chairs are doing is a very useful exercise because it allows for an immediate and direct input to the chair.


K. Anderson:I feel this will be a worthwhile exercise, and I would also like to see a more formal layout of what the procedure should be.


P Hajela: All issues addressed here (example: how often should review take place, what is the purpose of the review) should be looked into and discussed in the senate so that we can make a decision to either move forward or to drop this process altogether.Is there a volunteer to assist in this process?K. Anderson volunteered.

Fifth item on the agenda is a discussion on American Association of Universities. (Hajela presentation - see attached)


M. Hanna: The faculty Senate should look into joining the AAU.It will take us some time to study what is required and what needs to be done. A decision to move forward can be taken at that later time.


C. Breneman:I move that the faculty Senate look into Rensselaer vying for the AAU. Motion seconded and passed unanimously.


P. Hajela:I will form a committee to look into the issue.


New Business:


P Hajela: The executive committee felt the need for a discussion to get a better sense of where we are headed in terms of graduate student tuition, and to study the mechanism by which graduate student tuition may be made more competitive.


B. Peterson:At this point there is recognition that Graduate Student tuition is a very important issue that we need to look into, especially as we aspire to increase the level of research and the number of graduate students.Dr Jackson and I have had a number of discussions about this and are looking into a lot of different things with regard to graduate tuition.We have found past recommendations and are now in the process of analyzing these recommendations.This is a very lengthy process due to the financial impact the institution will encounter in terms of making some adjustments.


G. Breneman:Who is responsible for deciding the issue of Graduate tuition?


B. Peterson:I believe it is a joint responsibility - the provost office and Art Sanderson, vice president of research.


P Hajela: If any changes are to be made in this regard, when are they likely to take effect?


B. Peterson:I think sooner rather then later.Dr. Jackson would like to move forward rather quickly.

I would like to move forward very quickly.


C. Breneman:We would like to be informed as soon as possible so that we will be able to determine what kinds of trade-offs will be required.What will we be giving up and at what amount?


B. Peterson:If you try to use graduate tuition as an incentive to research, the issue becomes, where do we try to reduce tuition?We are now examining the financial ramifications of some of the proposals that have been proposed in the past.


Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.