Faculty Senate > Minutes Octomber 23, 2002

Original Minutes from Faculty Senate Meeting – October 23, 2002

Return to revised Minutes of 10/23/2002

Attendees: Jun Abrajano, Kurt Anderson, Sharon Anderson-Gold, Tom Apple, Terry Blanchet, Robert Block, Linnda Caporael, Gary Gabriele, Cheryl Geisler, Mark Goldberg, Achille Messac, Bruce Nauman, Jon Newell, President Peter Persans, Provost Bud Peterson, Susan Sanderson, James Stodder, Mary Anne Waltz, Bruce Watson, Roger Wright

President Persans brought the meeting to order at 2:09pm, requesting review and approval of the minutes of the October 9 meeting. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes with a couple minor corrections; motion passed. Persans asked for reports from the standing committees.

Roger Wright, chair of the planning & resource committee, stated a number of committee members attended the recent Performance Planning Retreat, but they have not met yet to discuss reactions to that conference. Several members also participated in the interview process for the Assistant Vice President of Financial Planning and Services. Vice President for Finance, Virginia Gregg, has tentatively been scheduled to present at the next meeting of the P&RC. Essentially, the same report that was presented to the Trustees Finance Committee will be discussed. Consideration will be given as to when a similar presentation will be made to the Faculty Senate, possibly at the November 20 meeting.

The Promotion and Tenure Committee met during the past week and started reviewing cases. Things are on track and on schedule according to Provost Peterson.

Gary Gabriele updated the progress of the Curriculum Committee, which continued to review the proposed new master's program in Human/Computer Interaction. The committee also met with Tom Torello, marketing director, and members of his staff regarding the catalog production process. There was concern over the number of errors encountered last year with the new process, so a review was recommended.

Cheryl Geisler, chair of the election committee reported she is working on the plate of candidates for the upcoming emergency election, and updating the roll of eligible voters. To identify any voting problems, a test ballot will be sent to all faculty members via WebCT in the very near future. Qualifications for voting, as well as questions regarding what should be considered an "active address" for retired faculty members was discussed. With the prolific use of email, from the time when the Constitution was written, the term "address" may need clarification. Geisler will sort out these issues before the next meeting.

Jim Stodder, from the Hartford Department of the Lally School, spoke of concerns regarding the raise in tuition. Rensselaer Hartford has virtually no grants; ninety-nine percent of the students are funded by their companies and most students are full-time working professionals. The impact of a tuition increase is great because programs, like MASS Mutual, are capped at what the company will pay and the student must pay the balance out-of-pocket. From Hartford's perspective, tuition increases mean that many students, who have invested years in the program, will be forced to drop out because they can no longer afford it.

Susan Sanderson (of Lally-Troy) mentioned that Business Week recently addressed certain MBA programs, and she reiterated that value and pricing issues are critical. She stated that there should be some provision for offering partial tuition support for the MBA and MSB to address competitive conditions and that partial tuition support or "discounted tuition" is standard business practice in competing institutions.

Dean of Graduate Education, Tom Apple, explained that nothing has been decided about tuition prices for next year in regard to the Hartford campus. Apple displayed a slide that benchmarked competitor executive MBA tuition. Stodder stated he had this data and though it appeared executive MBA programs are higher; the part-time MBA program is what concerns Hartford. Only three schools (MIT, NYU and Carnegie Mellon) had higher tuition than Hartford for a regular, non-executive MBA.

President Persans asked the Senate to turn their attention to the draft recommendations concerning the Graduate Policy. A motion was made, and seconded to accept the five recommendations stated in the policy. A lengthy discussion followed, where it was decided further revisions to the language of the recommendations was in order. President Persans will email the five recommendations to the senators for further editing and the final format will be distributed at the next meeting for approval. The motion was tabled until the next meeting.

Cheryl Geisler proposed a revision to the Constitution (Section IIA Personnel) regarding particular faculty positions and their eligibility to hold office and/or vote. After discussion, and a straw vote, it was decided the proposed change needed reworking. Geisler will present another revision at a later date.

President Persans asked for new business, and Provost Peterson cited the Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance. The Center, a research entity based at the University of Florida, which ranks the top American Research Universities, publishes this summary. Last year Rensselaer placed 26th to 50th in top private research universities. This year Rensselaer moved up, having seven of nine measures in the top 50; two of the nine measures in the top 25. This is a move into the top 25 of private research universities. Information on criteria and results of the Lombardi study can be found at this web site: http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research2002.html.

President Persans mentioned to Robert Block that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSXC) met and discussed the issue of retiree status on the Faculty Senate. The FSXC asked Block to write a specific proposal to bring before the senate as an agenda item.

Gary Gabriele pointed out the Conference and Career Fair, which will be held Wednesday, October 30, 2002 in the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center. He asked everyone to publicize this fair with their students and colleagues, as this is a great opportunity for students to learn about internships and job opportunities.

President Persans adjourned the meeting at 4:10pm.

July 8, 2004