Meeting Minutes #237

Members Present:  Benaroya, Berthiaume, Bhuyan, Boikess, Castellano, Figueira, Gould, Hirschfield, Hoover, Longo, McKeever, Morgan, Ozel, Ritter, Sarath, Shapses, Szatrowski, Taghon, Thompson, Womack

Non-Members Present: Christopher Molloy (Chancellor, RU-NB) Prabhas Moghe (New Brunswick Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs), M. Cotter (Parliamentarian), M. Mickelsen (NBFC Recording Secretary)


1. Call to Order - Tugrul Ozel, New Brunswick Faculty Council (NBFC) Chair

Chairperson Ozel called the 237th meeting of the Faculty Council to order at 1:05 PM on Friday, April 24, 2020 remotely via WebEx.

2. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Approval of the Minutes of the February 28, 2020 Meeting

The February 28, 2020 minutes were approved.

4. Chair's Report - Tugrul Ozel

Chairperson Ozel updated the Council on two current matters (link):

  • Update on the resolution on the Inclusion of the Faculty Councils in the RU Policy Library
  • Update on the resolution on Course Atlas Appeal to the University Senate
  • NBFC Statement addressing Concerns surrounding the COVID-19 Response to the sitting and incumbent Presidents
    • the advertised salary cut for top administrators (10% for 4 months) being too small of a gesture
    • $200M deficit should be covered by the $600M in unrestricted reserves
    • Issues around PTL hiring freeze

5. Administration –Christopher Molloy, New Brunswick Chancellor

Chancellor Molloy began by thanking all for the outstanding pivot everyone made during the quick transition to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He continued making the following points:

  • Anticipation of a large budget shortfall and recovery
    • State pulled back $78million from its appropriations
    • Student dining and housing fees were returned
    • Elective procedures were stopped - $50-60 million loss
    • No increase in tuition
  • Faculty to start thinking about a fully-remote fall semester
  • 15% down in students committed for 20-21 and taking more in-state students waitlisted than usual

The Chancellor then took questions to include:

  • The effect on PTLs in light of budget cuts and hiring freeze and letter sent by SVP for Human Resources, Vivian Fernandez
    • Individual deans have unrestricted reserve budgets and can decide to use those to reappoint PTLs where necessary
    • Chancellors can make acceptations to the hiring freeze where deans make a case for the hire
  • The effect on tenured faculty up for promotion that require an increase in salary
    • The freezes do not include tenured faculty promotion
    • Concessions allow for fewer letters of reference (7 to 5) and the requirements for in-class observer-ship has been relaxed
    • An op-in for an extra year in the tenure process, if needed.
  • Contingency for AES and Cooperative Extension programs
    • Same type of hiring freeze and spending cuts on non-grant supported schools/outside activities
    • The effect on state funding is unknown
    • The incoming President is very interested in maintaining the land grant status of Rutgers
    • Looking to protect the AG Experiment Station through this crisis

6. Elections for 20-21 NBFC Executive Committee and At-Large New Brunswick University Senator

Elections will be conducted electronically via Qualtrics by Parliamentarian Martha Cotter at a later date. The 19-20 EC has asked Ozel run for chair again and he has accepted. Ozel asked the council for any other nominations to be made to Cotter along with their campaign statements by Monday, April 27, 2020.

7. Committee Reports

  • Student Affairs – No Report
  • Faculty/Personnel Affairs – Berthiaume
    • Committee plans to put together a report summarizing their findings on NNTs being appointed directors of research centers/other academic centers, which the committee feels is even more important during the pandemic crisis.
  • Budget, Planning, & Infrastructure –Womack and Figueira
    • Committee is considering looking at the NB campus budget through the pandemic.
    • Due to the March meeting being cancelled, the meeting with a representative from the parking department was also cancelled. This issue will be tabled until the university meets in person again.
  • Athletic Affairs - McKeever
    • Anticipated having the report on how athletics can bring the university together as a whole complete by this meeting
    • Other issues such as an update on the athletics budget, status of the upcoming season due to the pandemic, and the future of minor sports
  • Academic Affairs – Boikess
    • Continues to look into grade inflation and the factors that cause it
      • Adjunct faculty being evaluated by students and being used in personnel decisions
      • RCM requires courses to be of a certain size and the smaller classes don’t grade too harshly to keep the classes going.

8. New Business

There was no new business.

9. Old Business

There was no old business.

10. Adjournment

Chairperson Ozel adjourned the meeting at 3:23 PM,


Written and submitted by

Mary Mickelsen, NBFC Recording Secretary