General Faculty Meeting
Present: Cheng Hsu, Roger Grice, Pat Search, Tamar Gordon, Ron Gutmann, Gary Saulnier, Peter Persans, George Nagy, Rich Radke, Shep Salon, Bob Degeneff, Jeanne Keefe, Bill Siegman, Henry Scarton, Sandy Sternstein, M. E. Glicksman, Christoph Steinbruchel, Debbie Kaminski, Jim Napolitano, Bruce Nauman, Wilfredó Colon, Achille Messac, G.P. Peterson
President of the Faculty Senate, Achille Messac, reported that all data from the survey has been destroyed. There are files available with results information on the Faculty Senate office computer, but this data does not contain any personal information linking results to any faculty member.
Since the comments received covered a broad spectrum, President Messac thought it would be useful to present some of the comments. At this time, several comments were projected onto the screen for people to view. President Messac will send a link for the survey results for faculty to review.
During a discussion on whether or not to distribute the survey comments, Professor Henry Scarton suggested that the comments not be distributed for fear they would become public and damage RPI. Professor Wilfredó Colon does not see the significance of distributing the comments to anyone other than the administration.
Senator Sandy Sternstein stated that he was surprised that the number of faculty who responded to the survey this year was about the same as last year. Due to the events that occurred last year and the dialogue from the General Faculty Meeting a year ago, he had expected a higher response rate. He believes there to be a great deal of apathy. Additionally, he thought the comments presented at the meeting were very illuminating. Professor Peter Persans is inclined to think that the majority of people who did not vote did not have strong opinions. Those without strong opinions are in the middle and may be apathetic, but they do not know how to contribute and voice their opinion. Professor Colon agrees about the apathy and he thinks some people do not want to take the time to complete the survey if the results will not make a difference. Professor Christoph Steinbruchel cautioned those present not to surmise why people did not vote.
President Messac reported that most of the comments were from full professors and that many assistant professors were concerned about anonymity. When asked if he felt the secrecy of the process was an issue, Professor Messac responded that he did not receive many comments regarding secrecy.
Professor John Wen asked what the Faculty Senate’s next step will be now that the results of the survey are available and whether the Faculty Senate will meet with the Administration and report to the faculty. He also asked whether President Messac thought the Administration will meet to see how they feel about the survey and the results.
Professor Henry Scarton suggested that the time to complete the survey was not sufficient. President Messac responded that there were other parties involved in order to prepare the survey, distribute the survey and capture the results, which affected the deadline for responding.
Jeanne Keefe, Library Senator, believes that the administration needs to be aware of the results. President Messac stated that the survey results will be sent to the affected administrators immediately. Professor Steinbruchel asked what information will be distributed to the faculty. President Messac stated that the survey data will be sent to the faculty.
The complete report is available.