Faculty Senate Minutes

9/26/00

 

Original Minutes of 9/26/00

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

 

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

 

Agenda

Distribution of Minutes

Report on Ad Hoc Committees

New Senator

R. Athanasiou, Medical Director

Senate Review of Administrators

Discussion on American Association of Universities

New Business

Adjournment

 

Distribution of Minutes

President Prabhat Hajela called the meeting to order and distributed Minutes from the August and September meetings for review in hope to approve them at the next Faculty Senate Meeting.

 

Report on Ad Hoc committees

It was announced that formation of the ad hoc committee members is almost complete. Currently, there is no feedback.  President Hajela asked how the planning process is progressing and if any more help or information is needed from the Senate.  Curt Breneman, Chair of the Planning and Resources Committee, stated that no additional support is needed at this point, but possibly after the next meeting.  The planning process is still in the primary stages.

 

Prabhat asked what the sense if from the faculty prospective regarding this process.  Kurt Anderson, Senator, stated that the Faculty has doubts that the administration will listen to their concerns and interest.  Curt Breneman added that the basic input he has received from faculty so far is reluctance.   They are asking “Is this really going to happen in the way that people say it is?” This reluctance comes from past experiences where planning processes were not seen as moving forward and then on the other hand there will be concern that it will move forward too quickly and with large research allocations impending, Faculty will be wondering whether it will help or hurt.

 

Robert Parson, Secretary of the Faculty, stated that he senses that there are many avenues of communication for faculty to voice their input. He hopes they will take advance to get their information in.

 

M. Hanna, Chair of the Faculty, stated that the Department of Science is forming four (4) additional committees that will look less at departmental and more over reaching.

a.                    Research

b.                   Curriculum

c.                    Infrastructure

d.                   Diversity & Community

This will provide more input into the process.

 

Prabhat asked what the faculty initial sense is as to whether this exercise is worthwhile or if there are any concerns that have been identified?   It appears to him that there is a strong push to try and get focus area inline with IT & BT to a large extent.  His concern is that while that is a good thing, he questions whether the board academic enterprise is somehow being left out.

 

New Senator

 The next item is the election of a new senator to fill the position vacated by Amy Van Epps.  Larry Kammerer has been nominated to fill this position. (Unanimous)

 

R. Athanasiou, Medical Director

R. Athanasiou, Medical Director made a presentation on TB related health concerns.  Free testing will begin on Oct 23th and will run for two weeks.  Please inform your graduate students about being tested.  Please inform them that the medication is free, and there is no risk to their visa/immigration status. 

 

Senate Review of Administrators

Bob Parsons, Secretary of the Faculty reports that the committee will put together a draft of the process and then present it to the senate for further discussion.  The committee needs one more person.

 

Prabhat Hajela explained that the review process right now is made up of two parts:

1.        Institution level- where Deans of all school are reviewed every five (5) years. This process is now in place but does not invite faculty senate input.

 

Provost Peterson has issued a memo that outlines the review process for deans. It forms a committee that then has a process where by a committee is established (committee is not made up of administrators, it is made up of faculty.)  They do an elevation process, write a report and make a recommendation.  This process does not specifically talk about a committee of faculty senate, but it talks about a committee that is charged with the responsibility of soliciting input from the faculty and other administrators. The Provost said that he will send Prabhat Hajela a copy of the memo describing the process.

 

Bob Parson stated that he thinks the process should be reviewed before moving forward so that the review processes are not duplicated.  Prabhat stated that the Faculty Senate needs to decide if this is a worthwhile cause that the Senate should get involved with. He feels that commenting on how the chairs are doing is a very useful exercise because it allows immediately and direct input to the chair. Kurt Anderson agreed that it is worthwhile and that he would also like to see a more formal layout of what the procedure should be.  Prabhat said that all issues addressed here (example: how often should review take place, what is the purpose of the review) should be looked into and a discussed with senators as to either move forward or to drop this procedure all together.  He requested one volunteer to assist in this process.  Kurt Anderson volunteered.

 

Discussion on American Association of Universities

Faculty Chair, Mike Hanna, stated that the Faculty Senate should look into joining the AAU.  He suggested that it will take a while to do and that he hopes the Institution will really be changing in a few years, and at that time the Faculty Senate can make a decision as to join or not.  Curt Breneman made a motion for the Faculty Senate to look into the AAU.  Motion passed.  Prabhat stated that a committee will be formed to look into the AAU membership.

 

New Business

Prabhat stated that based on discussion in the Executive Committee, that the Faculty Senate needs to get a better sense of where the Senate is headed in terms of graduate student tuition and study of the mechanism by which graduate student tuition maybe made more competitive.  Provost Peterson stated that at this point there is recognition that Graduate Student tuition is a very important issue that needs to be looked into.  Especially as Rensselaer aspires to increase the level of graduate, level of research and the number of graduate students in which the Rensselaer Plan wants to double the number of Ph D's.  He stated that Dr Jackson and he have had a number of discussions about this and are looking into a lot of different things with regards to graduate tuition. At this point it makes no sense in going into detail.  They 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 institute will encounter in terms of making some adjustments.

 

Curt Breneman asked who is responsible for deciding on Graduate tuition?  Provost Peterson said that he believes it is a joint responsibility including the Chair, the Provost Office, and Art Sanderson, Vice President of Research.  Prabhat asked if there are any changes to be made, when will they be made.  Provost Peterson responded that he thinks they’d be made soon rather than later.  He added that Dr. Jackson would like to move forward rather quickly and that he would like to move forward very quickly.

 

Curt Breneman stated that the Faculty Senate would like to be informed as soon as possible so that what kinds of trade off necessary can be determined as well as what will be given up and how much will be given up.  Provost Peterson stated that if one tries to use graduate tuition as an incentive into research, the issue comes to you, where do we try to reduce tuition on TA or external funded and supported graduate students.  We are now examining the financial ramifications, of some of the proposals that have been proposed in the past.      

 

Adjournment

Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.