RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SENATE
SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES

January 23, 1998

PRESENT: MEMBERS:  Crew (Chairperson), Mayer, K. Scott (Vice Chairperson) , Shapiro, Sigel, Swalagin (Executive Secretary), Tripolitis (Immediate Past Chairperson), Znayenko

EXCUSED:  Evans

ABSENT:  Rodriguez

ALSO ATTENDING: McLoof (Student Representative to the Board of Governors), Pifer (Equal Opportunity Committee Chair), Ruvolo (Student Affairs Committee Chair), David Scott (University Counsel), Seneca (Administrative Liaison)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, January 23, 1998 at 1:10 p.m. in Room 413 of the Rutgers Student Center, the Chair and Secretary being present.

Chairperson’s Report:  Chairperson Crew began the meeting with comments on the current state of the Senate, and the need to curtail growing inertia and to promote Senate vitality.  He said it is important for the Senate to establish and take charge of its mission to better utilize the vast resources of good will and talent it embodies and to carry out the job it has been entrusted to do.  He asked for the Executive Committee's guidance in what he promised would be his sustained effort to increase Senate effectiveness and efficiency.

Chairperson Crew noted that University Vice President Seneca had graciously agreed, at the Executive Committee’s request, to postpone the Affirmative Action report, which he was prepared to make at this meeting, until the next meeting in order to accommodate the large number of items on today’s agenda. 

At Chairperson Crew’s suggestion, the Executive Committee agreed to move up on the meeting agenda the Equal Opportunity and Student Affairs Committees’ Report on Federally Mandated Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation.

Report of Representative to the Board of Governors:  Chairperson Crew reported on the December 12, 1997 meeting of the Board of Governors, including: approval of an academic promotion with tenure, awarding to the low bidder the construction contract for the Center for Law and Justice on the Newark Campus; and approval of recommendations for 1998 Honorary Degree recipients.

Equal Opportunity and Student Affairs Committees' 10/31/97 Report on Federally Mandated Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation by Rutgers University ROTC Programs: Senator Pifer, chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee, and Senator Ruvolo, chair of the Student Affairs Committee, presented their joint committee report on Federally Mandated Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation by the Rutgers University ROTC Programs.  Executive Committee members commented on: the comprehensive nature of the report, and the obvious effort put into writing and refining it; the general tone of the report; the need to avoid penalizing students for government discrimination; legal aspects and ramifications which could result from implementation of the recommendations contained in the report; continuing Supreme Court activity on the issue of military discrimination against homosexuals; the actual levels of University support for ROTC and its programs; and a general appreciation for the Student Affairs and Equal Opportunity Committees' willingness to tackle the difficult issue of how to effectively oppose the federally imposed discrimination under which ROTC must operate without risking the loss of federal funds to students and the University.

University Vice President Seneca said that the report is profoundly important to the University, and commended the committees for their work on an issue which is a genuine conundrum.  He pointed out that, should the University be deemed by the Department of Defense to have an “anti-ROTC” policy, such finding would be non-negotiable, and Department of Defense sanctions would take effect which could result in enormous losses of federal funding for Rutgers.  He also said that many institutions, including several of which Rutgers is a member, have filed amicus briefs with the courts indicating their opposition to military discrimination against homosexuals.  Chairperson Crew asked if Rutgers would consider filing its own such amicus brief, and Dr. Seneca responded that such filing could indeed be considered.

Senator Pifer stated that the recommendations should serve as a starting point for a high-level committee examination of the issues, as requested in the report.  He agreed that he and the joint Equal Opportunity/Student Affairs Committee would consider editorial changes to the report, as well as changes to those recommendations which could potentially evoke a Department of Defense finding of an anti- ROTC policy at Rutgers.  Senator Ruvolo noted that this report is the result of efforts which span a considerable timeframe, and urged expedient action on it.  The report will be revised and resubmitted to the Executive Committee before its February 27, 1998 meeting.

[University Counsel David Scott and Senator Pifer left the meeting at this time.]

Secretary's Report:  Minutes of the October 31, 1997 Executive Committee meeting were approved.  Minutes of the December 3, 1997 Executive Committee meeting were approved as revised.

The following communications were presented to the Executive Committee, and acted upon as indicated: 

The Secretary informed the Executive Committee of the appointment of four new student Senators to standing committees since the October 31, 1997 meeting.

Administrative Liaison:  University Vice President Seneca presented the administrative report, explaining that President Lawrence was attending to capital campaign duties.  The report included: the signing and ratification of a contract with the faculty union, anticipated implementation of faculty salary increases as a result of that contract, and continued contract negotiations with part-time lecturers; the implementation of the Reinvest in Rutgers program on all three campuses; the expectation of news on the state budget from Governor Whitman’s upcoming State of the State Address; and the “very, very healthy” spring enrollment numbers.

Report of the Committee on University Governance and Role, Composition and Function of the Senate: Senator Tripolitis, chair of the Committee on University Governance and Role, Composition and Function of the Senate, presented her committee’s January 1, 1998 report in response to several pending charges.

On charge S-9706, “Examine and report on University Regulations which define who is eligible for election to the Senate, and make recommendations to reduce ambiguity, vagueness or exclusionary provisions, with particular focus on ways in which to promote Senate involvement among faculty,” the Executive Committee found the report’s conclusion that senatorial eligibility should be further restricted to be unresponsive to the charge, and asked that it be reconsidered by the Governance Committee.

On charge S-9711, “Determine the need of a Senate Appeals Committee,” the Executive Committee accepted the recommendation that the Senate Appeals Committee continue as a standing committee, but that all concerns now addressed by the Student Discipline Code of Conduct should be eliminated from the Appeals Committee function and standing charge.

On charge S-9712, “Consider modifying the Senate electoral procedures to institute a form of preference- voting for chair and vice chair,” the Executive Committee placed on the Senate’s February meeting agenda for consideration a resolution implementing a new voting procedure for Senate chair and vice chair which involves: preparing one slate of candidates for chair and vice chair, including at least one Senator from Newark or Camden, and declaring the candidate receiving the highest number of overall votes chair, and, if that person is from New Brunswick, declaring the highest vote-getter from Camden or Newark vice chair.  If the highest overall vote-getter is from Newark or Camden, that person would become chair, and the candidate receiving the second-highest number of votes would become vice chair.

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Student Chapters 1998 Concept Plan:  The Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the NJPIRG Student Chapters revised 1998 Concept Plan’s educational value, and placed on the February 6 Senate agenda for consideration by the full Senate a resolution approving the Concept Plan on the basis of educational value to President Lawrence.

February 6 Senate Meeting Agenda: Items to be placed on the February 6 Senate meeting agenda in addition to the Campus Reports were discussed.

The committee decided to invite Michael Carroll, the new Director of the University Foundation, and Bruce Neimeyer, the new Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Newark to speak at an upcoming Senate meeting.

Chairperson Crew’s motion to ask President Lawrence if he would address in an Administrative Report the status of the University’s athletics program was seconded and approved.

Old Business:  Vice Chair Scott will contact Senator Simmons in response to his request for a review of Executive Committee and Senate minutes for references to administrative requests for input on Harassment Committee membership.

On continuing calendar issues, the committee will request from the University Vice President for Academic Affairs advice on legal aspects of the academic calendar.

As a follow-up to a suggestion by Senator Boylan, Chairperson Crew asked the Executive Committee if his Senate report at the next Board of Governors meeting should include a request that the Board consider including a time during their regular meetings during which to hear from the University community. On motion and duly seconded, the Executive Committee supported Chairperson Crew’s making that request of the Board of Governors.

New Business:  A discussion of student use of alcohol and party ordinances and policies resulted in charges to both the Student Affairs Committee and Committee on Rutgers University and the Public to examine and report on University and neighborhood issues of student partying and alcohol use, noise and related noise ordinances, related police enforcement activities, and others.

[Note: Subsequently, the University administration contacted the Senate office soliciting suggestions for Senate members to be appointed to a newly formed, high-level, University-wide committee which will address similar issues. Three student Senators will become members of the University-wide committee, including Michael Shapiro, a member of the Executive Committee, who will also serve as Senate/Executive Committee liaison. Chairperson Crew, on behalf of the Executive Committee, cancelled the proposed charge to the Student Affairs Committee and Committee on Rutgers University and the Public.]

Adjournment:  There being no further business before the Executive Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m. by Chairperson Crew.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the Senate

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