April 17, 1998

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


ABSENT: Rodriguez

ALSO ATTENDING: Janes (Nominating Committee Chair), Kantenwein (SCILS MCIS Graduate Student), Rabinowitz (Academic Calendar and Commencement Committee Chair), Seneca (Administrative Liaison)

The regular meeting of the University Senate Executive Committee was held on Friday, April 17, 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 reported that a luncheon reception, sponsored by the Alumni Federation, is being planned for the September 25, 1998 Senate meeting. Chairperson Crew also introduced Paula Kantenwein, a graduate student in the Master of Communication and Information Studies program at SCILS, who was part of a group working with Secretary Swalagin to examine, report on, and make recommendations for improving the communication processes of the Senate.

Secretary's Report:  Minutes of the February 27, 1998 Executive Committee meeting were approved. The following communications were presented to the Executive Committee, and acted upon as indicated:

Administrative Report:  University Vice President Seneca presented the administrative report, explaining that President Lawrence was attending a meeting with Donald DiFrancesco, NJ State Senate president, and a development stop with a significant donor. Senator Seneca distributed a list of legislators and their addresses, as well as several template letters which he asked be distributed to the Senate to encourage a letter-writing campaign supporting Rutgers budgetary issues in preparation for upcoming state budget hearings. Secretary Swalagin will e-mail the list and letters to the Senate.

Senator Seneca also reported that: the Middle States accreditation review was completed, but that the final report was not yet available, and thanked all involved in the process for their efforts; Open Admissions Day was scheduled for April 18 in New Brunswick, April 21 in Camden, and June in Newark, and that a large turnout was expected; applications are up three to four percent, and admit-comings are up significantly. Chairperson Crew asked if admissions are up at other universities. Senator Seneca responded he believes Rutgers admissions are up compared to other New Jersey institutions, are probably comparable nationally, and that the Outstanding Scholars Recruitment Program is working well to attract the best and brightest students.

Senator Seneca announced an open hearing on tuition and fees to be held by the Educational Planning and Policy Committee of the Board of Governors in New Brunswick on April 24. He said the computer fee (currently $100 for a full-time student per academic year; proposed increase to $200 over two years) and college residence fee would be discussed. The meeting provides an opportunity for students and faculty to express their views to the Board of Governors. He added that President Lawrence is also seeking increased state support for Rutgers’ computing infrastructure needs.

Senate Revitalization Committee:  Membership for the proposed ad hoc Senate Revitalization Committee was discussed. The initial membership list proposed by the Executive Committee at the February 27 meeting was reviewed, and an undergraduate member was added. Secretary Swalagin was asked to contact the following proposed members to determine their willingness to serve on the Revitalization Committee:

The Executive Committee agreed with Secretary Swalagin’s suggestion that a charge or mission statement should be formulated for the Revitalization Committee before potential members were contacted. Secretary Swalagin will draft the charge and circulate it to the Executive Committee for review at the June 5 meeting.

Report of the Academic Calendar and Commencement Committee:  Senator Rabinowitz, Academic Calendar and Commencement Committee chair, presented the proposed 1999-2000 Academic Calendar, which incorporates a two-day reading period in the spring. He noted that the two-day reading period, in connection with the commencement date, adds five extra days for students to be on campus, and that housing and dining costs alone would be approximately $230,000 for those five days. He said the Calendar Committee felt those costs should be passed on to the students if the calendar is approved. Senator Rabinowitz said that starting classes on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would have presented an administrative problem with transfer students and paperwork at the beginning of the year, and that starting the following week would stress the Rutgers/NJIT joint programs. He cautioned that considerations for the 2000-2001 calendar would include a Friday, September 1 start date, the last day of finals falling on Memorial Day, and reading-day conflicts with Thanksgiving. Senator Rabinowitz will not chair the Calendar Committee next year, but gave Chairperson Crew a list of suggested membership which would make an effective committee, as follows:

A motion to place the proposed 1999-2000 Academic Calendar on the May 1, 1998 Regular Senate meeting agenda was seconded and approved.

Equal Opportunity Committee Resolution on Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits:  A resolution urging the University to “take immediate steps to provide health and related benefits to bona fide same-sex domestic partners” submitted by Equal Opportunity Committee Chair Pifer was discussed and placed on the May 1 Senate agenda. Senator Seneca noted that the resolution is a timely one which may also have implications for proposed fringe-benefits funding changes. A resolution on the same subject which had come directly from Senator Bailey without committee consideration was referred to the Equal Opportunity Committee.

Report of the Committee on University Governance and Role, Composition and Function of the Senate (Continued: Proposed Suggestions for Promoting Senate Involvement Among Faculty):  The Executive Committee continued discussion of elements of the February 13, 1998 Committee on University Governance and Role, Composition and Function of the Senate report which suggested ways to promote Senate involvement among faculty. Senator Tripolitis, chair of the Governance Committee, moved that reports at Senate meetings be limited to five minutes each, that annual campus reports be limited to ten minutes each, and that speakers on all issues be limited to two minutes each, in order to facilitate the Governance Committee’s recommendation that “The Executive Committee should make the Senate meetings tighter and more relevant by limiting the time of the campus reports, Boards of Governors and Trustees, and liaison reports.” The motion was seconded and approved. Time for administrative and State of the University reports shall not be limited.

The Executive Committee also approved a recommendation that Newark and Camden Campus Reports be presented in the fall, as has been the Senate’s custom. Recognizing the meeting-shortening benefit of presenting at least one of the Campus Reports separately, the Executive Committee agreed that the New Brunswick Campus Report may be presented in the spring if that schedule is acceptable to University Vice President Seneca, who presents the New Brunswick Campus Report.

Report of the 1998-99 Senate Nominating Committee:  Senator Janes, chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the preliminary list of nominees for 1998-99 Senate officer and board representative positions. Nomination and election procedures and policies were discussed, including the Senate-tabled motion to change the election procedure to better accommodate the requirement that either the Senate chairperson or vice chairperson be from Newark or Camden. No action could be taken on that recommendation since it has not been taken off the table by the Senate, therefore it was agreed that the existing election procedure would be used at the upcoming election. The proposed slate of candidates was approved for distribution to the Senate.

Old Business: On the issue of board representative and liaison presence at Executive Committee meetings, the committee decided that board representatives and liaisons would be invited to all regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings, and that additional meetings of Executive Committee members only would be scheduled as needed. The Executive Committee members will also try to convene a procedural meeting early next academic year, possibly in August. Secretary Swalagin was instructed to draft for Executive Committee approval correspondence to board representatives and liaisons outlining their individual roles and responsibilities.

Adjournment:  There being no further business before the Executive Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m. by Chairperson Crew.

Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary of the Senate