Faculty Senate Meeting
Present: Bob Degeneff, J. Keith Nelson, Chjan Lim, Mary Anne Waltz, Jeff Durgee, Rena Bizios, Ning Xiang, Roger Wright, Bill St. John, Tamar Gordon, Joel Plawsky, Cheryl Geisler, Bruce Nauman, Achille Messac, Debbie Kaminski, Bob Block, William Pearlman, Christoph Steinbruchel, Sandy Sternstein, Patricia Search, Ron Eglash
Absent: Shekhar Garde
Guests: Badrinath Roysam, E. J. Woodhouse, Jim Napolitano, Prabhat Hajela, Peter Persans, Rich Radke, Bob Parsons, Morris A. Washington, Lester Gerhardt, Henry Scarton, Frank Luk, Paul Hohenberg, Larry Kagan, John Harrington, Pulickel Ajayan, Margaret Cheney, Roger Grice, Don Steiner, Martin Glicksman, Dan Berg, Joe Hamburg, Wayne Gray, Mark Goldberg, Ted Krueger, Steven Van Dessel, Dave Musser, Daniele Cherniak, Ken Warriner, Lee Odell, Nicholas Young, Jeanne Keefe, Randolph Franklin, Pamela Theroux
IP Committee Report – Badri Roysam
A motion was made to approve the Honors Committee representatives. Since a quorum was present, the vote was held. John Brunski, Susan Sanderson and Frank Luk were unanimously approved to the committee for a 3-year term.
There were 9 cases that were deliberated on in the fall semester. This spring, 16 cases were deliberated; 3 external hire cases with tenure, 10 cases of associate professor with tenure, all internal except one external hire, one case for tenure and two were promotions to professor. There are meetings with the Provost and Deans of all of the schools planned which will be the last formal meeting of the spring semester. The committee will be in place through the summer until the new committee begins their term in the fall.
Christoph served as Chair of the Curriculum Committee for
two years. He stated that when items
were brought from the committee, they had been debated thoroughly and no quick
judgments were made. Tasks for the year
included approving the PhD program in the
Debbie Kaminski, Secretary of the Senate asked what the status of the core objectives is. Christoph said a special meeting had been held and a new set of core outcomes was drafted. It will be revisited by the new committee in the fall and forwarded to the Faculty Senate for review.
Achille Messac, Faculty Senate Vice President asked in light of other things occurring regarding communication, to what extent was the committee free to do what they wanted. Christoph replied that the Curriculum Committee set their own agenda.
Henry noted that he has been on the committee for 6 years, 5 years as chair. In spring 2004, an amendment was made to the Constitution making the Honors Committee a standing committee. He suggests the chair of the Honors Committee be a voting member of the Faculty Senate. The major functions of the committee are to work through the Provost’s Office to decide the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award (Georges Belfort, 2005), the Early Career Award (Nikhil Koratkar, 2005) and the Jerome Fischbach Faculty Travel Grant (Sharon Anderson-Gold, 2005). The applications are filtered through the Provost’s office and the Honors Committee makes a selection and provides one name to the Provost for approval by the President and the Board of Trustees. The committee also makes recommendations to the President’s office for commencement speakers as well as provides a list to the President for honorary doctorate degrees.
The Faculty Senate Intellectual Property (IP) Committee was formed not long after the President constituted the IP Task Force. The Faculty Senate IP Committee provides input to the task force. They have solicited input from colleagues and have made two presentations to the IP Task Force. The Task Force has been receptive to the Committee’s suggestions and feedback.
There are 9 suggested principles for IP Policy implementation.
Many of these principles have been received well by the IP Task Force. Complete report.
It was noted that administrators have not been asked to leave. Sandy Sternstein asked the record to show that he is abstaining from the vote. Motion: Move that the Faculty Senate issue the Provost a vote of no confidence.
Bruce Nauman stated that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee felt there were enough procedural uncertainties that it deemed a second vote of the Faculty Senate necessary. Achille Messac added there may have been a quorum issue as well as the Faculty Senate Constitution requiring that matters of great importance to the faculty be brought to the faculty as a whole. He feels the motion is a serious matter of great importance and suggests the Faculty Senate bring it to the general faculty for a vote. Cheryl Geisler, Chair of the Faculty said the issue for the revote is that the Constitution requires that all formal action of the Faculty Senate be taken at open meetings. Since there were no minutes at the meeting, faculty were not able to understand the discussions of a no confidence vote. Although the meeting was open to faculty, administrators were excused and no minutes were recorded.
Chjan Lim, Science Senator asked what legal power or consequence can follow such a vote from the Faculty Senate. He thinks a vote at the level of the full faculty has some weight as opposed to just a Faculty Senate vote. Achille Messac responded that there is no legal consequence. Mark Goldberg, Computer Science Professor, recalls the process with President Pipes and a vote taken only after many meetings, discussions and general faculty meetings. He does not feel there has been enough discussion on the Provost vote of no confidence. Frances Bronet, Architecture Professor, agreed and feels it is a matter of grave concern affecting the lives of many people on campus. Les Rubenfeld, Director, CIPCE, thinks the Faculty Senate cannot have a significant vote since they don’t have input and consideration from the general faculty.
Cheryl Geisler made a parliamentary procedure clarification by stating any parliamentary action can be taken at this point; vote on it, table it or withdraw it. Achille strongly recommended that if a vote is taken, the motion be defeated to allow a discussion to be held by the general faculty. In answer to a question, Achille stated the Provost was invited to the meeting as a faculty member, but that he was not invited specifically to make a statement about the motion.
Debbie Kaminski, Secretary of the Senate, believes that taking a vote now, prior to a full discussion, is premature. She thinks the Provost has worked with the Senate and has done a great deal to promote faculty.
Although nothing has been done about the reprimand Bruce Nauman received, an Institute lawyer sent the Faculty Senate lawyer a letter telling him to not represent both Bruce and the Faculty Senate. Bob Degeneff, Governance Committee member, stated that the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to form the governance committee. Once the governance survey was issued, the results were destroyed and Bruce had nothing to do with the issuing of the survey.
Tom Apple recalled that the Provost received high marks on the satisfaction survey. He thinks if the vote of no confidence is specifically about the reprimand, it should be stated as such. Bob Degeneff said the three issues are the reprimand, the way in which the survey results were handled and that during an internal, informational meeting between the governance committee, the Faculty Senate and the Administration, the Administration had outside legal counsel present while explicitly requiring that the Faculty Senate’s counsel not attend the meeting.
Sandy Sternstein, Senator-at-large said it is unfortunate that the surveys were destroyed. He thinks they could have been impounded pending a resolution. He agrees that the survey was confrontational, but it was an open inquiry of faculty opinion. He has received many emails asking about the issues. He feels the most reprehensible issue is the letter of reprimand to the Senate President for his conducting of Faculty Senate business. It is not an issue of whether one likes or dislikes Bruce Nauman or the Provost, rather a vote about principles and someone taking responsibility for their actions.
Achille Messac agreed that the impetus was what the Provost did in terms of the reprimand. He has told him personally that he disagrees with the action. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee issued a letter to the Provost asking him to remove the reprimand from Bruce’s file. Although the Provost has been here for almost 5 years, Achille’s opinion is that he made a mistake, but questions that being a valid reason for a no confidence vote.
Debbie Kaminski made the following motion: I move that we table the motion in view of the general faculty wanting to be involved in the discussion and feel it is premature to vote now.
Vote: 15 in favor, 0 oppositions, 4 abstentions. Motion passed.
Bruce passed the gavel to Achille Messac signifying him as the new Faculty Senate President. A gift was presented to the Chair of the Faculty, Cheryl Geisler, thanking her for her three years of work on the Faculty Senate. Plaques were distributed to retiring senators and committee chairs in appreciation of their efforts. The new Senate members were also announced.