Original Minutes from Faculty Senate Meeting - February 20, 2002

Return to revised Minutes of 2-20-2002

Attendees: Kurt Anderson, Bud Baeslack, Curt Breneman, President Linda Caporael, Ken Connor, Donald Drew, Joe Ecker, David Isaacson, John Mitchell, Jon Newell, Ralph Noble, Provost Bud Peterson, Mark Rea, Susan Sanderson, Trina Sego, Don Steiner, Many Anne Waltz, Bruce Watson

President Caporael brought the meeting to order at 2:05. With minor corrections, the minutes of the 2/6/02 meeting were formally accepted. Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, Don Drew, reported the files for spring semester cases are due to the Provost next Friday, (March 1, 2002.) The next meeting of the committee is Monday, March 4. Curt Breneman of the Planning and Resources Committee, stated they are questioning the idea of a "bonus" plan with respect to faculty salary lines, because some faculty believe that increments to the base pay would be preferable for retirement compensation. It was suggested this issue be discussed with Human Resources. Susan Sanderson, Chair of the Hartford Committee reported they had their first full meeting and would have a substantive report to provide to the Senate in the near future regarding status of clinical faculty at the Hartford and Troy campuses. Ken Connor, reported on the search process by the IT Constellation Committee (http://www.rpi.edu/Contacts/Constellations/it/) (presentation attached).

President Caporael announced the next Faculty Senate meeting will be Tuesday, March 5, 2002, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Heffner Alumni House, to accommodate President Jackson's attendance, and to give faculty an opportunity to address the President on graduate tuition, as well as other issues.

Provost Peterson then presented an update on the graduate tuition issue. In sum, he said that the Institute has the lowest tuition for graduation education; students receive low levels of support; the cost passed on to the government and private sponsors is too low; graduate programs can be better managed; we are alone in charging students by the credit hour; students take significantly longer to complete their degrees here; revenue for degree completion is too low; student status (full-time or part-time, institute-supported, individually-supported, contract-supported, and on degree completion.) is too often unclear. Numerical details were provided on student status (full, part-time, degree completion) with regard to credit hours taken per semester and fees paid. Degree completion time requirements were set at 7 years for PhD and 2.5 years for Masters. Only full-time students will receive financial support from the Institute in the way of stipends or tuition. No support can be provided to part-time students as TA's or as RA's from research contracts. Full time students are defined as 12 credit hours, minimum, per semester or 9 credit hours, minimum, per semester if a TA. Minimum stipend for students is $12k/year. Cost-sharing on contracts will be provided by the Institute; details are being developed. Exemptions will be made for some special cohort programs in Architecture and Management.

The Provost added that the Institute is also trying to promote research activities with graduate students. Art Sanderson, VP for Research, is looking at infrastructure and support facilities. The Institute implemented tuition cost sharing, tripled the amount of cost-sharing that is available on research contracts, has a seed funding program, has a research revitalization program, is examining status of core facilities, and trying to improve technician support within the different Schools. A Biotech building is being built, which is a 100% research facility, and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center will have a strong research function in terms of visualization imaging, performing arts electronic media, and those types of things. So, he said, graduate tuition policies are only one part of the picture.

Concerns from faculty regarding the economic model and the constraints it will place upon some schools and centers prompted the Provost to explain that the institution does understand the problems. They are analyzing how other institutions handle these issues, and he commented that there would be things done in the Lally School that will make the offers that are put out to students much more attractive, and will position them to attract much higher quality students.

President Caporael thanked the Provost for rearranging his schedule to attend and present, and the meeting was adjourned at 4pm.

July 29, 2004