Minutes of the 145th New Brunswick Faculty Council Meeting
April 21, 2006


Members Present: R. Bell, J. Bliss, R. Boikess, R. Bumby, T. Chase, M. Cotter, H. Fisher, D. Fishman, P. Gillett, M. Gliserman, M. Gordon, S. Harrington, M. Henninger, G. Herzog, H. Hirsh, B. Holcomb, J. Kokini, R. Kubey, R. Lake, P. Leath, G. Mainelis, H. McGary, G. McGhee, D. Minch, D. O'Connor, M. Page, O. Palmon, J. Rubin, S. Rubenstein, K. Rynn, D. Schilling, K. Scott, J. Shapiro, A. St. John, S. Takacs, M.L. Wagner, D. Wilder, R. Wilson

Non-Members Present: S. Director, S. Lawrence, M. McKay, R. Marya, K. Swalagin (Secretary), T. Swedberg, K. Thompson


1.    Call to Order

Council Chairperson Paul Leath called the 145th meeting of the New Brunswick Faculty Council (NBFC) to order at 1:15 p.m. in the Busch Dining Hall, Room A/B, Busch Campus, welcoming all present to the meeting. He said that the next, and last, meeting of the 2005-2006 NBFC would be on Friday, May 12.

2.    Approval of the Agenda, and Acceptance of the Minutes of the March 31, 2006 Meeting

The day’s agenda was approved.  The Minutes of the March 31, 2006 NBFC meeting were approved.  
[http://senate.rutgers.edu/nbfcminutes033106.html]

3.    Report of the Chair - Paul Leath

Chairperson Leath’s report included comments on the following:

4.    Report/Update on Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick Interim Core Curriculum Committee

Susan Lawrence, FAS Liaison to the Committee on Interim Core Curriculum, reported, and responded to questions, on the structure, formation, plans and activities of the Committee on Interim Core Curriculum. A proposal had been posted online at http://fas.rutgers.edu/sas/ICCReport.shtml, and had been distributed in hardcopy at the meeting.

5.    Sample Ballot for 2006-2007 NBFC Officers Election, and Nominations from the Floor

Chairperson Leath presented the slate of nominees for next year's NBFC officers election, and called for additional nominations from the floor. For Executive Cabinet member, Daniel O'Connor nominated Robert Kubey, who accepted the nomination. Also for Executive Cabinet member, Martin Gliserman nominated Rudolph Bell, but Bell declined because he will not be a Council member next year.

6.    Summary of Rutgers' Strategic Plan for Information Technology

Michael McKay, Vice President for Information Technology, and Steven Director, Information Technology Strategic Planning Committee Co-chair, summarized, and responded to questions on, Rutgers' Strategic Plan for Information Technology. The plan is online at http://oit.rutgers.edu/strategicgoals.html.

7.    Report on Costs to Academic Departments for Telecommunications - Budget and Planning, and Physical Plant Committee

Robert Wilson, chair of the Council's Budget and Planning, and Physical Plant Committee, moved on behalf of his committee a Report on Costs to Academic Departments for Telecommunications. The committee had been charged as follows: “Examine the large costs to academic departments for telecommunications and copying and suggest ways that these costs to departments could be reduced.” Following brief discussion, the Council adopted unanimously the report and the following motion contained therein:

"The IT Strategic Plan contains the recommendation 'Charges for IT services should reflect actual costs and not include surcharges to fund other university initiatives, since this distorts the economics of IT decision making.'

"The New Brunswick Faculty Council endorses this recommendation and believes that this policy would empower departments and other units of the University to adjust their telecommunications service appropriately and to benefit from any resulting economies."

8.    Draft Proposed Bylaws Revisions - Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee

Kathleen Scott, chair of the Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee, presented Draft Bylaws Revisions which had been proposed by her committee, and which she characterized as the "non-controversial issues" related to the bylaws. She said that, in order to be officially incorporated into the Council's bylaws, any proposed changes would need to be approved by ballot, which should go out with the election ballot by e-mail. She reminded the Council that including the NBFC in University Regulations (in which it does not currently appear) could only be done by the Board of Governors, and that the NBFC's role in the new academic structure in New Brunswick would be part of the implementation discussions and process. Scott added that the NBFC's standing rules would be discussed at a subsequent meeting.

Aspects of the bylaws discussed included: addition of part-time lecturers/annual appointees to the membership, changing the name of the Executive Cabinet to "Executive Committee," changing titles of vice presidents, outgoing NBFC chair automatically becomes a member of the PFAC for three years, changing the quorum requirement from majority of members to one-third of members, and electing all members of the Executive Committee from the general (at-large) membership of the NBFC rather than some from the committee chairs and some at-large.

A revised committee structure was also discussed.

Haym Hirsh suggested that the incoming NBFC chair be made a member of the PFAC. Paul Leath suggested that the NBFC calendar be taken out of the bylaws and put into the standing rules.

The proposed revisions bylaws were accepted unanimously by the Council, as amended. Once revised, voting will be conducted by e-mail ballot to determine if the Council has adopted the new bylaws.

9.   Report/Update on Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick Interim Core Curriculum Committee (Continued)

Gretchen Chapman, chair of the Committee on the Interim Core Curriculum, reported and responded to questions, on the structure, formation, plans and activities of the Committee on Interim Core Curriculum. She invited feedback from the NBFC. A proposal had been posted online at http://fas.rutgers.edu/sas/ICCReport.shtml, and had been distributed in hardcopy at the meeting.

10.    Proposal to Change the Way in which Grades are Reported on Undergraduate Transcripts

The NBFC considered a proposal to change the way in which grades are reported on undergraduate transcripts, which had been submitted by Gregory Herzog, Joseph Potenza, and Michael Gordon. The proposal did not come with the endorsement of any NBFC standing committee. It had been posted online at http://senate.rutgers.edu/nbfcarstcontranscripts042106.pdf. Gregory Herzog presented and summarized the proposal, which included the following statement:

"We propose to offer each student the option of adding to his/her transcript the average grade and enrollment for each course taken. We ask that the New Brunswick Faculty Council pass a resolution to this effect and forward it to the University Senate. Classes with small enrollments might be excluded (fewer than 15 students)."

Herzog read a statement from Gary Rendsburg (who could not attend the meeting) opposing the proposal. Herzog accepted as friendly a motion from Peter Gillett to change the proposal to suggest reporting the median grade instead of the mean grade. Gillett also moved deleting the student option of omitting such reporting from individual transcripts. That motion was adopted unanimously. A motion to exclude classes of ten or fewer students was adopted.

Rudolph Bell questioned presence of quorum before the amended proposal could be voted upon by the Council. It was determined that no quorum was present.

11.    Adjournment

Conducting further business being impossible in the absence of a quorum, the meeting adjourned at 4:08 p.m.


Kenneth Swalagin
Executive Secretary