Minutes
119th Meeting of the New Brunswick Faculty Council
March 14, 2004


Members Present: R. Bell, S. Bhuyan, R. Bumby, J. Burton, S. Carroll,   J. Cassel, T. Chase, D. Denhardt, A. Farmer, Z. Gajic, M. Gliserman, J. Haviland-Jones, H. Hirsh, M. Kalelkar, F. Kauffman, J. Krenos, U. Linke, S. Martin-Marquez, J. Matthewson, H. Mokros, D. O’Connor, D. Schilling, C. Sims, B. Smith, A. Walker-Andrews, J. Walkup,   J. Worobey

Members Excused: M. Cotter, J. Miller, D. Minch, C. Nanry, J. Niessen, P.Panayotatos, F. Popper, T. Szatrowski, M. Vodak.

Guests in Attendance:Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joseph Seneca. Director of International Faculty and Student Servoces. Marcy Cohen.    V.Greenhut (Center for Ceramics Research)
   
1. Call to Order
F. Kauffman called the meeting to order at 1: 39 PM in Brower Commons ABC, College Avenue Campus.
 
2. Approval of the Agenda and Acceptance of the Minutes of the February 28, 2003 Meeting
The Agenda and Minutes of the February 28, 2003 were approved.
3. Report of the Chair - Frederick C. Kauffman

Announcements

  • Mass mailing letter to faculty concerning support of students lobbying in Trenton on behalf of university budget   and encouraging faculty was very favorably received by both faculty and students.  Preident McCormick and Vice President Seneca indicated that the students’ rally had a significant impact on State legislators.   F.K. urged council members to continue efforts to speak and write on behalf of the University budget.   The proposed budget cut of 11.9% is the largest in State history and, if enacted, will impact negatively the mission of the University  resulting in serious negative effects on the economic and cultural life of the citizens of New Jersey. 
  • Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, Michael Breton, circulated a letter to all faculty in anticipation of   state budget cuts to programs supported by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology asking that preparations be made to limit staffing and research activities to be carried out in connection with funded projects. 
  • The president’s Advisory Committee on Restructuring consisting of  faculty, staff and students members from various University departments met on March 7, 2003.   The committee was informed that the process of restructuring would necessarily be on a slow track given the current uncertainties over the University budget.   Nevertheless, planning and implementation committees would continue to meet in anticipation of the possibility that restructuring would proceed albeit at a slower pace.   The University Committee for New Brunswick/Piscataway co-chaired by Vice President Seneca and Dean H. Paz would plan to identify areas of strength among faculties at Rutgers and the Medical school that could be targeted for emphasis in the initial stages of establishing a merger between the two institutions.
  • F. Kauffman welcomed Marcy Cohen, Director of the Center for International Faculty and Student Services, to the Council meeting and announced that she would be discussing issues related to the implementation of stringent new Federal Regulations concerning the accommodation of international scholars at the University.   He indicated that the Research Committee being chaired by J. Burton is developing a report and recommendations on implementing the new Federal regulations to the Council at the upcoming April or May meeting.   
  • F.K. announced that the Final Report on the External Review of Support Programs at Rutgers New Brunswick/Piscataway by the committee chaired by Professor Charles C. Schroeder had been made available by V.P. Seneca to the Council.  The report, which evaluates The Learning Resource Centers, Writing Centers, Douglas Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering, Math and Science learning Center, Office of Minority Undergraduate Science Programs, and the EOF and TRIO Programs, will be made available to the Budget and Planning, Academic Regulations and Standards, and the Academic Services committees of the Council. 
  • Arlene Walker-Andrews shared a letter to the Psychology Graduate faculty from members of the department serving on the liaison team, originally recommended by the Council, to the IRB indicating that all graduate students and research faculty in the Psychology Dept. are required to take the Human Subjects Certification test.   It was felt that the test provided a valuable overview of issues in protection of human subjects, which translated into protection of the researcher, department and university.

4. Report of the Director of the Center for International Faculty and Student Services - Marcy Cohen

M. Cohen gave a detailed report on the new Federal requirements imposed on universities by the Student/Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This is a system mandated by Congress and developed by the U.S. Dept. of Justice and Dept of State to collect, maintain, and track certain information regarding international students and scholars (persons with F, M and J non-immigrant status) and their dependents in the U.S.   Currently, there are approximately 2900 people being tracked at Rutgers. Any change in a visitor or dependent’s status must be reported, e.g., changes in dorm rooms, addresses, courses and hours of study, and marital status. These must be reported in real time; however, computer programs & software to do this are still under development and not working effectively. I-20 Forms, needed for a number of different purposes, e.g., application for new or extended visas, work positions and traveling, must now be generated through SEVIS.  Implementation of the program continues to evolve as the INS develops new rules.   Working with SEVIS is far from optimal and has increased the work load of the Center enormously.

Efforts to implement SEVIS include workshops that inform foreign students and educate faculty of the law regarding participation in SEVIS, i.e., requirements and regulations that need to be followed closely by international students in order to stay in status.  A helpful document “An Introduction to SEVIS” describing basic aspects of the program and useful web-sites put together by M. Cohen and her colleagues in the Center was distributed to NBFC members in attendance. Currently, a “Full Course of Studies” is what the school defines as the equivalent of full time progress toward a degree. There are plans to include University policy concerning compliance with SEVIS in the next catalog and there are plans to include relevant information on a University web site under the office of H. Waterman.

Discussion:  
There was general consensus that the new Federal requirements raise significant problems with large costs for the University. A lack of communication existed between the INS and academic communities during the development stages of SEVIS. A consequences of the new requirements will be greater difficulty in obtaining visas for foreign students and attracting them to the University. The AAU has become active in exploring implications of the new regulations and lobbying efforts on behalf of universities are underway in Washington V.P. Seneca commented that the SEVIS has raised significant problems for universities across the country, and that costs of implementing this system far exceed any perceived benefits at the current stage.
 
5. Report of University Vice President for Academic Affairs – J. Seneca

Vice-President Seneca complimented the Council on its efforts to support the students’ recent rally in Trenton, to encourage colleagues on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses to be in touch with Gov. McGreevy and state legislators to rescind proposed budget cuts to the University.
  
V.P.Seneca mentioned that despite budgetary constraints plans for restructuring were going forward and indicated that he and Dean H. Paz of UMDNJ were forming a committee of 20 people from both universities to work together in addressing issues related to proposed restructuring.   He asked H .Hirsh, as the incoming Chair, to represent the NBFC on the committee.   Some initial questions suggested for the committee’s deliberation were: What can be done to make the two universities better if they were to remain separate? What would be required to merge the 2 institutions?  What can be done to enhance collaborative research already underway between the two institutions?  How are certain operational issues for students and faculty, e.g., parking, library, health benefits, best resolved?  He indicated that anything that is working would not be changed and it will be important to identify what is not working and to remedy this first.

V.P. Seneca called the Council’s attention to the statement by Pres. McCormick regarding mutual respect and dignity among members of the university community in discussion of the emerging war in Iraq.   It is appropriate for the university to be a place for dissent and open discussion of different opinions. Open dialog with students on profound issues surrounding current events is appropriate and in line with the mission of the University. 

V.P. Seneca closed his remarks by calling the Council’s attention to two accomplishments  that his office has been proud to foster recently. First are the “Italian Hours”, a series of events reflecting the cultural heritage of Italy sponsored by the Rutgers Italian Studies Committee.  A selection of diverse artistic, culinary, and historic presentations are scheduled at various venues at the University during the upcoming month of April.   The second, is an article and photographs by Professor Richards Lutz of Marine Science at Cook College that appeared in the February, 2003, issue of National Geographic Magazine.  The article reports the work of Lutz and his colleagues describing the unique features of deep hydrovents formed by volcanic eruptions in the depths of the ocean. Future plans include the development of an Imax film featuring work on hydrothermal vents to be premiered at the Liberty Science Center.   The latter project is being completed with support from the National Science Foundation.

6. Discussion of New Charges to the Personnel Policy and Budget and Planning Committees – H. Hirsh

H. Hirsh presented a resolution asking the University Senate to consider how the system of evaluation of deans is working.   After minor amendments of a draft resolution from the Executive Cabinet, the resolution (attached to these minutes) was adopted unanimously by members present.
 
A second topic discussed by H. Hirsh was the uniformity of practices in regard to department chair appointments in their units. There have been several cases where internal votes for department chairs have either not been considered or passed over by deans.   There was a brief discussion of practices of chair appointments followed by departments represented by various members present.   Based on the relatively small sample of faculty present at the meeting, it was felt that it would be useful to have a broader input on this topic from the entire NBFC membership.   It was agreed that a letter addressing the following four points be sent to the membership:

(1) How is the voting for chair conducted in your department? In particular who collects and tallies the vote, the faculty or the dean?

(2) Is the result of the vote communicated to the voting faculty? By whom?

(3) Has the dean overridden a vote in your department?

(4) If yes, did the dean communicate to the faulty the reasons for doing so? In what way? Was the reasoning persuasive?

A copy of the letter sent to NBFC members regarding chair appointments is appended.

7. PFAC, New Issues.  Resolution thanking President R. McCormic -. Arlene Walker-Andrews and M. Gliserman

A. Walker-Andrews announced that the next PFAC meeting would be held before the next Faculty Council meeting on April 11.   There were no new issues to be added to the list to be disussed at the next meeting.
           
M. Gliserman presented a draft of a brief statement of thanks to President McCormick to be communicated to him at the next PFAC meeting.  After a brief discussion of the draft, the following statement was approved unanimously:
Dear President McCormick,
The New Brunswick Faculty Council would like to express our appreciation to you for articulating the values and goals that your administration will strive to maintain. The values and goals--openness, service, devolution of authority, teamwork and clarity--are entirely consistent with our mission both as individual faculty and as a  faculty governing body.  We are encouraged and thankful for the efficient and effective manner you have been addressing, one by one, long standing concerns of the faculty.

8. New Business
D. O’Connor announced that the N.J. Assembly Budget Committee would be meeting on March 19, 2003.

9. Old Business
H. Hirsh raised the question of University Copyright Policy.   V.P.Seneca indicated that he would follow up with the University legal staff and librarian concerning the status of the Policy. 
 
10. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM 
 



Resolution on Evaluation of Administrators
   
Whereas, the system of evaluation of deans by faculty and students has now been in operation for more than a year and a number of deans have been evaluated; and
 
Whereas, the recommendations of the Faculty Council provided the original impetus for the University Senate’s consideration of the issue of evaluation of administrators by faculty and students; and
 
Whereas, the evaluation of administrators recommended by the Faculty Council was considerably broader in scope than the evaluation of deans recommended by the Senate and adopted by the university administration; and
 
Whereas, the, Executive Committee of the University Senate has charged the appropriate committee to assess the level of success of the process and make recommendations
 
Therefore, Be it Resolved that the New Brunswick Faculty Council asks the University Senate to take into consideration the initial NBFC resolution in its deliberations on how the system of evaluations of deans is working and their recommendations for improving the evaluation process.
 
Be It Further Resolved that the Faculty Council recommends that the evaluation of administrators by faculty and students be extended to other administrators including provosts and vice-presidents.
 
Be It Finally Resolved that the Faculty Council recommends that the evaluation of be made available to the evaluating body.



Letter to Faculty Council Members Regarding Chair Appointments
 
Both the New Brunswick Faculty Council and the University Senate are considering charges to review the process by which deans appoint department chairs.   One important motivation for these charges are reports of faculty votes for chair being overridden by the relevant dean on occasion without disclosure of vote results or reason.    We would like to gather examples of situations where this has occurred, so we can better assess how pervasive a problem this is, and the extent to which some schools and faculties may suffer this more than others.   Regardless of whether this has been true in
your department we would like to know what are the usual practices so that the Committees can assess uniformity or lack thereof across the campus. We expect to develop guidelines for university-wide application to be voted on by the senate.  At the last meeting of the Council on 3/14, members in attendance concurred that it would be valuable to obtain views of the complete NBFC membership representing all academic departments on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses. It would be very helpful if you could respond to the following:
 
  (1) How is the voting for chair conducted in your department? In particular who collects and tallies the vote, the faculty or the dean?
 (2) Is the result of the vote communicated to the voting faculty? By whom?
 (3) Has the dean overridden a vote in your department?
 (4) If yes, did the dean communicate to the faulty the reasons for doing so? In what way? Was the reasoning persuasive?
 
Please email Paul Panayotatos, panayot@ece.rutgers.edu, who is chairing the relevant committees considering these charges for both bodies, with a cc to me. We will keep the identity of all respondents confidential.