Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

February 21, 2007

2:00 p.m. Ė 4:00 p.m.

Fischbach Room, Folsom Library


Attendees: Henry Scarton, Larry Kagan, Mike Fortun, Achille Messac, Jim Napolitano, Christoph Steinbruchel, Patricia Search, Paul Hohenberg, Roger Grice, Bruce Nauman, J. Keith Nelson, Tamar Gordon, Ning Xiang Jeanne Keefe, Randolph Franklin

Absent: Jacob Fish, Malik Magdon-Ismail, Julie Stenken, Satish Nambisan, Lou Gingerella, Peter Persans

Guests: Robert Palazzo, Carlos A. Varela, Linda Schadler, Bram van Heuveln,


Approval of Minutes from the 1/24/07 and 2/7/07 Faculty Senate Meetings

Minutes were approved with minor changes:

Approved 14, Opposed 0, and Abstentions 0


Promotion & Tenure Committee Report

Professor Linda Schadler, Chair, P & T Committee


Professor Linda Schadler, Chair, P & T Committee reported that the committee has been revising the Guide to Promotion and Tenure at Rensselaer.Professor Schadler reported on these changes saying that this guide is more detailed than Handbook. This document does not include policy and its purpose is to be utilized as suggestion and guidance for faculty.


Because this document is still in draft form it is not included in these minutes.If anyone is interested in seeing the document or making suggestions you may obtain a draft from Professor Schadler.When the document is approved and finalized it will be distributed throughout Rensselaer, it will also be posted on the Faculty Senate website.


Item A2: Provostís Report by Robert E. Palazzo, Acting Provost


Budget report:Rensselaerís 2008 budget is draft form and needs to be approved by the Board of Trustees.


In terms of the Library Budget increases includes $180,000 that the President restored to the budget this year. It also includes $110,000 from accrued library endowment (interest only not principal) which should cover the costs of annual inflationary pressures.An additional $100,000 has been appropriated by the President for new library materials.

The President requested that John Kolb and the Provost work to develop a Library Advisory Committee that will be established soon.There will be a request for representation from the Faculty Senate for this committee.The charge of this committee is to review, consult, and advise on library plans, strategies, practices on library resources, policies, integration, programs needs for the Rensselaer community and so on.


Middle States Report: Bob reported that he has been working with Jim Nondorf, Vice President for Enrollment to establish an Undergraduate Admissions Committee to engage faculty and department heads in the undergraduate admissions process.


Communications Committee:The President has approved the members of this committee which includes three of the most prominent FS members to serve regarding communications for Rensselaer.


A series of recommendations were made regarding the graduate education program.The President has approved this committee which includes four of the recommendations that came through Faculty Senate.Additionally, the President has asked for a review of the indirect cost structure throughout Rensselaer.She has approved membership of committee including a FS representative.


Initial membership for these committees has been approved.The Provost has requested a June 30, 2007 report date for these committee functions.


Acting Provost Palazzo continued by saying that he has been trying to establish communication platforms throughout Rensselaer.He has been holding monthly meetings with department heads.Associate Deans and Deans are also welcome to attend.He continued to say that these meetings have been going very well.


Acting Provost Palazzo shared that he has also been meeting with the women faculty on campus to develop and clarify an agenda. Additionally soon he will establish a committee for the diversity and minorities community.


He will establish three avenues of direct communication hope that this will foster opportunities to communicate issues and develop agenda items.


Professors Cheryl Geisler and Deb Kaminski are working together on a grant regarding advancing women after initial tenure.The Provostís office has allocated resources for a celebratory event to bring three or four leaders to campus in late March or early April.This event will involve regional institutions and campus community and will offer breakout sessions for discussion and bring attention to this issue.


Item B: Discussion RE: further Action on the Definition of Faculty


There was a discussion regarding the definition of faculty, this is a continuation of a discussion from the previous two Faculty Senate meetings.


It was determined that a report detailing handbook revisions was submitted to the previous Provost in spring 2006, but has not been approved.The Acting Provost Robert Palazzo agreed to find the document and update the Faculty Senate on the status of these changes.


At this time, Larry Kagan and Mike Fortun are two-thirds of a committee to look at the faculty handbook more generally.


Any Other Business:no other business.


Meeting adjourned at 3:26 p.m.