General Faculty Meeting



Present: Dan Berg, Debbie Kaminski, Nikhil Koratkar, Peter Persans, Mike Fortun, Nancy Campbell, David Gautschi, John Harrington, Pamela Theroux, Lester Gerhardt, Patricia Search, Christoph Steinbruchel, Sandy Sternstein, David Hess, Eddie Ade Knowles, David Haviland, Mark Steiner, Alan Nadel, Roger Grice, Henry Scarton, Theresa Bourgeois, William Randolph Franklin, Jeff Durgee, Paul Hohenberg, Fran Scott, Jeanne Keefe, Bob Degeneff, J. Keith Nelson, Shep Salon, Kegang Wang, James Lu, Virginia Gregg, Prabhat Hajela, Russ Giambelluca, Charles Carletta, Sam Wait, John Kolb, G.P. Bud Peterson, Achille Messac, Alan Cramb, Jim Napolitano, Heinrich Medicus



        Report from Achille Messac Ė Faculty Senate President

        Q&A-- Discussions and Questions are welcome

        Report from Shirley Ann Jackson, President of the Institute

        Q&A-- Discussions and Questions are welcome


Report from Achille Messac Ė Faculty Senate President

Professor Messacís Speech


Alan Nadel stated that in his report to President Messac, he did not state or imply that there were issues between the Honors Committee and the Administration, or that communication was unsatisfactory. President Messac also stated that, in the interest of complete accuracy, he will include Professor Nadelís report in its entirety as part of President Messacís own report.


Report from Shirley Ann Jackson, President of the Institute

Dr. Jacksonís Speech

Dr. Jackson's presentation



Heinrich Medicus Ė Of the $650 million in gifts, how much of this is in the bank?

President Jackson - I donít know the total, but $44 million came in as cash.There are many commitments paid out over several years.In a capital campaign, they are structured in two ways: one gives to the endowment and it can be an unrestricted or for faculty chairs or scholarship, the other is expendable gifts.Expendable gifts are money that is wished to be raised, but it does not go into the endowment. The gifts come to Rensselaer in multiple forms: a check, forward commitments paid over 5- or 10-year periods, gifts from wills.Some gifts are software or equipment.If they support the purposes of the campaign, it gets counted towards the goal.Not all of the $650 million is structured to be an endowment and some of it is forward giving.There are rules for campaign accounting and Rensselaer follows those rules.Most of the money will come in long after most of us are gone.


Paul Hohenberg- there was a slide [in your presentation] mentioning shared responsibility. Can you speak to that?

President Jackson- Weíve had some rough times.We need to spend more time getting to know each other as individuals.Things that affect personnel or strategic items cannot be discussed in an open forum all the time.Once some decisions are made and affirmed by the Board of Trustees, we need to move on.Professor Messac said there are mechanisms, but not necessarily effective.But if people choose not to use them or communicate among themselves, it makes things very difficult.At any given time, in a position like this, youíll make hundreds of decisions, some will turn out to be great, some good, some less than good and some will be viewed as bad.You canít second-guess yourself every day or youíll never move forward.In some cases, until viewed in retrospect, it canít be determined if they were good or not.I make a lot of decisions and it is never to hurt Rensselaer or faculty.All I can do is make the best judgment and move on.Right now, my bosses, the trustees, are very happy with what theyíve seen.They are looking at the sum total of the decisions.Not everyone agrees every day.In the end, there is a decision.Iím here to support people.Our job is to support the university, but not everyone will agree.Iíve had physical threats, even here.I wonít run away and Iíll finish what I started.To get the next best job you have to do the best job at the one youíre in.


Henry Scarton- There are journals being cut due to the library budget.You mentioned something about the library.Can you elaborate?

President Jackson- We have to look at usage and what the faculty are doing.

John Kolb, Chief Information Officer- One of the things weíve done over the past decade is to move from being predominately print-based to predominately electronic.We used to have 3000 print subscriptions, but today have 3800 electronic and 100 print-based.We made that transition before many other libraries and it was considered novel.Now that publishers are catching up, they are increasing the price on electronic copies.We are reviewing it and I will review it with the President and the Provost.


Henry Scarton- I think the budget has been stagnant and should go up a little.

President Jackson- Iím not making the decision about which journal to keep or not.


J. Keith Nelson- "Could I revisit a previous question [by Paul Hohenberg]? You said that things do not get to a crisis before we have a chance to address them.It sounds from the report of the Faculty Senate President as though the relations between the administration and the faculty are reaching a crisis. What is the administration doing to rectify the situation?"

President Jackson-I donít see the relationship as being in crisis.Is everyone happy, no. The satisfaction survey responses were not pleasant, the no confidence vote in the provost was not pleasant, but I will not create hatred.I will move on and try to be as communicative as I can and continue to address problems.All we can do is keep talking.We are taking the steps by having a communications consultant come in.


William Randolph Franklin- I spent an hour talking to the consultant.I was disappointed that the findings will be confidential.

President Jackson-They are not completed.It will be up to the Chairman to release the report since he requested the consultant.If he wants to share it, it will be shared in some form.It will be up to him whether the whole report gets released.


Thank you.