Minutes
118th Meeting of the New Brunswick Faculty Council
February 28, 2003



Members Present: R. Bell, L. Bethel, S. Bhuyan, R. Boikess, R. Bumby, S. Carroll, J. Cassel, T. Chase, C. Chinn, M.Cotter, S. Gifford, D. Gimenez, M. Gliserman, H. Hirsh, F. Hossain, M. Kalelkar, F. Kauffman, A. Kirkman, J. Kokini, J. Krenos, U. Linke, S. Martin-Marquez, K. McKeever, J. Miklojcik, H. Mokros, C. Nanry, J. Niessen, D. O’Connor, P. Panayotatos, R. Reid, D. Schilling, K. Scott, M. Siewierski, C. Sims, B. Smith, T. Szatrowski, J. Walkup, C. Weibel, J. Worobey

Members Excused: J. Burton, D. Minch, F. Popper, K. St. Martin

Also in Attendance: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joseph Seneca
 
 
1. Call to Order
F. Kauffman called the meeting to order at 1: 40 PM in Brower Commons ABC, College Avenue Campus.
2. Approval of the Agenda and Acceptance of the Minutes of the January 31, 2003 Meeting
The agenda and the minutes of the January 31, 2003, meeting were approved.
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3. Report of the Chair - Frederick C. Kauffman

Announcements

  • Draft minutes of the previous NBFC minutes had been put up on the Council website two days before the current meeting and there would be an attempt to follow this practice in the future.
  • Students on the New Brunswick campus were planning a rally in Trenton on March 6, 2003, to voice their concerns over the damaging effects that the proposed budget cuts for fiscal 2004 would have on academic programs at the University, and urge the Governor and state legislators to rescind the proposed cuts. An item on the current meeting’s agenda is to consider a letter drafted by the Executive Cabinet asking all New Brunswick/Piscataway faculty to support the planned rally and personally contact key officials in state government along lines suggested by President McCormick.
  • A committee chaired by Professor David Mechanic has been formed to conduct a national search for an Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Budget. The first meeting of this committee was held on 2/24/03.
  • A Presidential Advisory Committee consisting of faculty, academic administrators and students drawn from the New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark and Camden campuses has been formed to advise on issues related to recommendations of restructuring made in the report of the Commission oon Health Science Education and Training. The first meeting of this committee is scheduled for March 7, 2003.

  • The system-wide Library Advisory Committee convened on March 7, 2003, for its second meeting. M. Gaunt introduced Grace Agnew, who is a new associate university librarian responsible for developing new digital infrastructure for the second phase of the Library’s strategic plan. A major element of the next phase will be the development of smoothly linked electronic indices that can be readily searched by members of the university community. G. Agnew also plans to collaborate with faculty in establishing teaching modules to assist students in becoming competent with new information technology. A current module developed between faculty in the business school and a librarian presented, as a model was a six-week course directed at developing a business plan. Developing such teaching modules in relation to other disciplines was discussed in relation to meeting the new accreditation requirement of demonstrating literacy in modern information technology in undergraduate students.
H.Hirsh responded to a question concerning the status of the University Copyright Policy. He indicated that this was still in the offices of the University lawyers undergoing review of the Q/A section of the policy to be posted on the Library’s wesite. V.P Seneca indicated that he would inquire concerning the delay in review of the policy.
4. Report of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs - Joseph Seneca

Vice-President Seneca remarked that the entire academy across the country faces fiscal challenges common to Rutgers. He thanked the Council for their efforts in building the case for the University during these bleak times. He indicated that members of the university community should be part of the “clutter and cacophony” that surrounds discussion of budgetary issues in Trenton. He indicated that Pres. McCormick is deeply involved in the process of budget advocacy.
 

Announcements

  • Mason Welch Gross Lecture by Dr.Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, would be given on March 11, 2003, at 5PM. The topic of Dr. Gegorian’s lecture is “Education in the Age of Specialized Knowledge”. 
  • Prof. Ahmad Safari, a professor in the Dept. of Ceramics and Materials Engineering, has been appointed to Donald H. Jacobs Chair in applied physics.
  • Approved at the last B.O.G. meeting was: the Center for Advanced Energy Systems, and a new Ph.D. graduate program in BioMaPs (Biology, Mathematics and Physics), under the direction of Prof. R. Levy. 
VP Seneca closed his remarks by indicating that he plans to step down from his office on July 1, 2003. He will continue, as co-chair of the NewBrunswick/Piscatawy University Committee, to work with his counterpart in RWJ Medical School, Hal Paz, on issues related to restructuring,
Questions and Answers
Question of whether VP Seneca had an opportunity to speak with officers of other state research universities comparing proposed budget cuts for R.U. with cuts they were expecting. J.S. indicated that R.U. cuts were on the high end, e.g., Michigan was expecting a cut of 1.5% and Illinois a cut of 2%. J.S indicated that resolving NJ's budgetary crisis in the absence of discussion of increased state taxes such as a progressive income tax would be very difficult. 
A discussion of the key issue of sustaining quality of education vs. quantity followed. R. Boikess asked if is possible to consider ways of streamlining activities without compromising quality, e.g., reducing the number of hours required for graduation? And what, if any, savings could be achieved in doing this?
5. Interim Report of the Teaching Committee - Martin Gliserman

M. Gliserman indicated that the Teaching Committee is planning to organize an undergraduate teaching conference for the fall, 2003 semester, and asked for suggestions concerning themes that might be emphasized at this year's conference.  Some topics addressed at previous conferences included the curriculum, feedback on technology, small-room classes vs. large room.  Members of the Council agreed unanimously that it was a good idea to invite President Mccormick to be the keynote speaker at this conference.  Theme suggestions by members present included:

  • Focus on what students expect to get from attending Rutgers 
  • Instructional support for undergraduate education (e.g. V.P Undergraduate. Ed.) 
  • Responsibilities of P/T, F/T, TA in teaching 
  • Should/can teaching loads be increased 
  • Integrity – Cheating & plagiarism 
  • The role of undergraduate education in a public research university 
  • Role of teamwork: in education vs. individual responsibilities 
  • Marge Edward’s article in Harper’s “Challenge of Teaching in a Consumer Culture” 
  • Role of faculty in advising students 
  • Enhancing University Industry Partnerships – Resources
6. Report of the PFAC - Paul Panayotatos

PNP indicated that the next PFAC meeting was scheduled on 4/11/2003.  Some issues not dealing with restructuring and budget crises include:

  • Initiate program(s) of study abroad, are there any plans? 
  • University committees on undergraduate education 
  • Ways to streamline educational offerings, can money is saved without compromising quality? 
  • Alternate funding for athletics 
  • What does it mean to have a Rutgers degree in graduate and undergraduate education? 
  • Governance, Re-evaluation of deans. 
  • Legislative role of faculty at different colleges 
  • Lack of faculty input on faculty support programs. 
  • Progress on anti-harassment policy.
M. Gliserman agreed to draft a statement, to be communicated by the PFAC, expressing the Council’s appreciation of the value President R. McCormick places in shared governance with the faculty in restructuring his new administration.
7. New Business 

Two actions were proposed in connection with developing arguments in support of state funding for the University. First, send a mass mailing letter to all New Brunswick/Piscataway faculties encouraging them to write individually to key state officials on behalf of rescinding proposed fiscal ’04 budget cuts. Additionally, faculty will beasked to be considerate of students who plan to rally the governor and state legislators in Trenton on Thursday, March 6, 2003. It was agreed to send the following letter:


Dear Colleagues,
The ability to maintain the quality and momentum of academic programs on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses is seriously threatened by cuts in the state budget proposed by the Governor. As members of the New Brunswick Faculty Council, your elected body of faculty departmental and faculty unit representatives, we urge you to consider undertaking the following two actions in connection with the proposed cuts currently under consideration by the State Legislature. 

First, we urge you to respond individually in writing to your state legislators, particularly members of the two appropriation committees and the Governor, along lines proposed in President McCormick's letter to the University community and the suggested website, http://www.rutgers.edu/statebudgetcuts/. In that regard, we suggest that you use your personal stationery and/or your home e-mail address.

In addition, we ask that you encourage others to do the same. (For e-mail communications please consult the linked contacts provided in the website above. For US mail communication please see  http://www.ece.rutgers.edu/~panayot/NJLegislatorsListTable4.html or use the attached table for mail merge)  Secondly, we encourage you to be sensitive to and supportive of students on our campus who plan to lobby state legislators to rescind University budget cuts on Thursday, March 6, in Trenton. We feel that all efforts to alert state legislators to the devastating effect of the proposed budget cuts are worthy of our support and ask that you be considerate of students who may miss scheduled classes on the day of their rally. Some of our colleagues have indicated that they will offer their time to schedule make up classes for students who attend the rally. 

Thank you for considering these actions,

Sincerely,

The New Brunswick Faculty Council

Secondly, it was agreed to endorse a resolution in support of the University budget drafted by the Executive Committee to be made available to key officials in government, the university administration and public. Upon minor modifications of the draft, the following resolution was passed unanimously:
The Rutgers University Senate has passed a "Report and Resolution in Opposition to Proposed and Continued Budget Cuts, and in Support of Excellence in Higher Education in New Jersey." The New Brunswick Faculty Council joins with our Senate colleagues and endorses their resolution. We also offer the following.

New Jersey's public research university, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, requires the support of New Jersey citizens in order to maintain excellence in its educational and research programs and in its service to the State. Yet, the proposed New Jersey budget would underfund Rutgers and further undermine its traditional pattern of support. In 2000, the State budget share dedicated for support of Rutgers was 1.4% (down from approximately 2% of the state budget share over the period 1991-2000).  The proposed budget is a 21.8% smaller share of the budget then in 2000.  These cuts in funding would be instituted even as Rutgers returns over $2 billion annually to the State’s economy. The proposed cuts in funding will jeopardize not only Rutgers programs but also New Jersey’s future economic health, which depends in large part on its higher education community.

Although funding proposed for Rutgers University is being decreased, the college-age population in the state is increasing.Within the next five years New Jersey will need to accommodate at least 22,000 additional qualified students. Rutgers, as the largest public university, anticipates a 20% increase in the number of qualified applicants. The combination of decreased funding with the need to increase enrollment will curtail the ability of many students to obtain a college education as tuition will need to increase in order to partially counter the shortfall in state funding. In addition, forcing students to assume more debt deters economic growth as graduates spend their future paying off loans and postponing business investments and purchasing homes.

The current budget proposal jeopardizes the ability of Rutgers to provide adequate classroom space, to hire and retain excellent full-time faculty, and to offer the programs required by a growing and vibrant study body. New Jersey lacks a higher education capital facilities funding mechanism, such as those in place in other areas of the country. For example, North Carolina allows for the creation and maintenance of facilities through bond referenda that are consistently supported by its citizens. The triple pressures of increasing enrollment, an aging infrastructure at the University, and decreasing state support for higher education places undue strains on Rutgers’ operating budget, and will erode the ability of the state to ensure its citizens an affordable education at an outstanding public research university. Likewise, current fiscal policy limits Rutgers’ ability to attract and retain the best students in the state who should comprise its future leaders.

Therefore, Be It Resolved that New Jersey address capacity issues by offering its citizens a higher education capital facilities bond referendum for building and improving college and university buildings; and

Be It Further Resolved that New Jersey insure that financial aid for students be available at levels appropriate to need and that such aid be appropriately increased as tuition and fees increase; and

Be It Finally Resolved that New Jersey restore funding to Rutgers at appropriate levels to provide students with access to an outstanding public research university in which all our citizens can take pride.

 
8. Old Business: None
 
9. Adjournment: 3:30 PM