Meeting Minutes #238

Members Present: Akin, Bal, Benaroya, Berthiaume, Bhuyan, Boikess, Castellano, Curchitser, Faga. Figueira, Flahive-DiNardo, Gajic, Gasman, Gliserman, Gonzalez, Hirschfield, Hoover, Linardopoulos, Longo, Margolis, Mathew, McKeever, Mullen, Ozel, Pichugin, Rendsburg, Ryan, Shapses, Szatrowski, Taghon, Thompson, Tsakalakos, Williams, Winters, Womack, Yong, Yu, Zahn

Non-Members Present: Prabhas Moghe (New Brunswick Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs), Carolyn Moehling (Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education), Tom Vosseler ( Executive Director of IT at SAS ) Martha Cotter (Parliamentarian)

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

Chair Ozel called the meeting to order at 1:05 PM on Friday, September 18, 2020 remotely via WebEx.

2. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Approval of the Minutes of the April 24, 2020 Meeting

The minutes were approved.

4. Chair’s Report – Tugrul Ozel

Chair Ozel welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the 2020-21 academic year and presented the following updates:.

  • There are no further updates on inclusion of the Rutgers faculty councils in the University Policy Library. The University Senate University Structure and Governance Committee (USGC) continues to consider its charge (S-1904) to review the proposal to include the faculty councils in the Policy Library. USGC is working on a report and resolution, which are expected to be presented to the full Senate sometime in the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The Senate Appeals Committee concluded its deliberations on the appeal by the NBFC regarding the implementation of Course Atlas. The Appeals Committee upheld the appeal and issued a report, which was sent to then President Barchi at the end of the spring semester.
  • There are a number of new members on the NBFC Executive Committee. New members  Francois Berthiaume, Marybeth Gasman (Vice Chair), Martin Gliserman, and Paul Hirschfield joined continuing members Sanjib Bhuyan (Immediate Past Chair), Bob Boikess, Tugrul Ozel (Chair) and Karen Thompson. Martha Cotter (non-member) has agreed to continue as parliamentarian.
  • Faculty Council members worked hard over the summer.
  • Committee Chairs submitted reports on the committee’s activities during the year and Chair Ozel submitted a detailed annual report to the Chancellor.
  • The NBFC Executive Committee passed the following resolution and forwarded it to Chancellor Molloy:

 The Executive Committee of the New Brunswick Faculty Council calls upon the Rutgers administration to develop and implement a plan, as soon as possible, to assist those students and part-time lecturers in financial need to acquire the access they need for full participation in the remote instruction this fall and perhaps thereafter.

At the end of the Chair’s report, there was a brief discussion of how to respond to the fact that the report of the Senate Appeals Committee on the NBFC appeal, like the reports of previous Senate Appeals Committees, is not posted on the Senate website. The result of this discussion was a suggestion that we should post the report forthwith on the NBFC website. Hearing no objections, Chair Ozel agreed to post the report.

(Note: Since there were a few minutes remaining before the Provost and Vice Provost were scheduled to arrive, it was agreed to hear one committee report before the administrative report. Haym Benarova volunteered to give the Student Affairs Committee report, which is included with the other committee reports later in these minutes.)

5. Administrative Report – Provost Prabhas Moghe and Vice Provost Carolyn Moehling

Provost Moghe began his presentation by giving an update on provost area activities to support faculty excellence and advancement, including:

  • Support for 12 research and innovation projects.
  • Support for 10 social science grants.
  • Funding for 12 Innovation in Education and Teaching pilot grants.
  • Follow-up to the Faculty Survey.
  • Initiatives to address the “Call-to-Action” for dismantling structural inequity and for just futures.
  • Hosting New Faculty Orientation on August 20th and setting up a website to enable new faculty to communicate with one another.
  • Funding 3 Provost’s Awards for Excellence, to be conferred together with Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence on September 24th.

Provost Moghe again urged faculty council members to study the results of the Faculty Survey, if they have not already done so, and to propose, individually or collectively, ways to address the problems reported.

Finally Provost Moghe shared some of his ideas and plans as the about-to-be Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  • He will continue to work to promote faculty excellence and advancement in New Brunswick and throughout the University.
  • He will seek to devise effective ways to incentivize collaborative efforts among units, which are disincentivized by the the RCM budgeting model. He hopes to be the steward of  interunit collaboration.

Provost Moghe then turned the floor over to Vice Provost Moehling, who gave a slide presentation including the following information:

  • The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is responsible for the following:
    • New Brunswick Learning Centers
    • Byrne Seminars
    • Office of Transfers and Non-traditional Students
    • Office of Distinguished Fellowships
    • ROTC Programs
    • Convening the Undergraduate Education Council
  • Of the 12,514 sections being offered in fall 2020, 78.7% are being taught by remote instruction, 7.0% are being taught on line, 2.0% are being taught via approved in-person instruction, and 12.2% are classified as other (thesis, independent study, etc.)  Of the sections being taught by remote instruction, 48.6% were synchronous and 51% were asynchronous.
  • The Provost’s Office is working to help prepare faculty and students for remote instruction by.
    • Working with CTAAR, TLT, and school-based teaching and learning teams to provide resources and professional development opportunities for faculty.
    • Offering an asynchronous course for students entitled “How to Succeed in Online Learning.”
    • Supporting online learning center tutoring and learning center student groups.
  • The Provost supported two fall 2020 undergraduate education initiatives
    • New websites on revised final exam schedule and final exam policies
    • New website with academic integrity resources for faculty.

6.  Presentation on Two-Step Login – Tom Vosseler, Executive Director of IT at SAS.

On behalf of OIT, Tom Vosseler updated NBFC members on plans for implementation of mandatory two-step login on Rutgers Connect. He reported that OIT is tentatively planning to carry out the implementation in three phases:

  • Faculty who currently use two-step login with VPN will go first. If they’re using a computer on the Rutgers network to login to Connect they will not have to go through the two step login process again.  Similarly, if they login to Connect from off campus by first connecting to the VPN and then connecting to Connect, nothing will change.  If they connect to Connect from off campus and aren't connected to the VPN they will be required to go through the two step login process.  If they choose, they can remember their two step login and won't be asked to do it again for 30 days.
  • Faculty who currently use two-step login on Connect will be next. If they’re using a computer on the Rutgers network, they will not have to go through the two step login process again. If they connect to Rutgers Connect from off campus they will be required to go through the two step login process unless they set up a VPN and connect to Rutgers Connect through the VPN.  If they choose, they can remember their two step login and won't be asked to do it again for 30 days.
  • Faculty who do not currently use two-step login at all will be last. They will be required to go through the two-step login process.

Vosseler asked Council members to give OIT their comments on this plan.

7.  Proposed Resolution on Chicago Rules – Haym Benaroya

Benaroya proposed that the NBFC consider passing a resolution asking the University to adopt the Chicago principles on free speech, either as is or with modifications. He noted that the Chicago principles “are considered a gold standard among institutions wishing to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to our fundamental freedom of speech.”

As Benaroya explained in the supporting documents circulated to Council members, the Chicago principles are contained in the Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, a committee charged with “articulating the University’s overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.” The report was published in January 2015. As of July 14, 2020, the principles contained therein have been endorsed by 76 universities.

In the ensuing discussion, a number of members spoke in favor of the proposal and Benarova was asked to draft a report and resolution to be considered at the next NBFC meeting.

8.  Committee Reports

Academic Affairs – Bob Boikess and Marybeth Gasman, Co-chairs

  • Gasman moved the following resolution on behalf of the committee:

In light of the upcoming election in the United States on November 3, 2020, we suggest that faculty consider not scheduling exams or papers on the day after the presidential election nor during the rest of the week.

  • Gary Rendsburg moved that the resolution be amended by replacing “on the day after the presidential election nor during the rest of the week” with “during the week of November 1, 2020.”

            After some discussion, the amendment did not pass.

  • Paul Hirschfield then moved that the resolution be amended to read

In light of the upcoming election in the United States on November 3, 2020, we suggest that faculty consider not holding exams on or requiring papers due on the day after the presidential election nor during the rest of the week.

          This was accepted by the proposer as a friendly amendment.

  • The resolution as amended then passed by majority vote.

Athletic Affairs – Ken McKeever, Chair

  • McKeever reported that the Committee is still trying to put together a report on how athletics benefits the University.
  • Other matters the committee wishes to look into include
    • Possible synergies between athletics and recreation.
    • How athletes are being taken care of with regard to covid-19
    • President Holloway’s views on athletics.

Budget, Planning and Infrastructure – Tom Figueira and Ryan Womack, Co-chairs

  • Figueira reported that the committee continues to discuss the New Brunswick budget in light of the pandemic. They have prepared a list of questions for the Administration on the financial status of the University in the near term and longer term.
  • There was some negative reaction to this approach. Some members objected because the AAUP is filing a law suit to obtain the desired financial information. Others noted that the Committee should only request financial information needed to carry out its charges.  

Faculty and Personnel Affairs – Francois Berthiaume and Karen Thompson, Co-chairs

  • Thompson reported that the Committee discussed three matters:
    • the committee’s draft report from last year on NTT faculty heading departments, centers, etc. or holding positions in which they need to be able to make independent decisions. The committee will revise the draft report and ask that a task force be set up to consider this matter
    • a possible report and resolution on PTL problems caused by the pandemic
    • problems with university software, particularly Cornerstone..

Student Affairs – Haym Benaroya and Emily Greenfield, Co-chairs

  • Benaroya reported that committee members are discussing two matters:
    • They continue to work on a resolution on better ways to provide students with information about the resources available to them.
    • They are considering proposals to respond to serious student mental health issues related to remote learning.

9.  New Business

There was no new business.

10. Old Business

There was no old business.

11. Adjournment

Chair Ozel adjourned the meeting at 3:20 PM


Written and submitted by

Martha Cotter, NBFC parliamentarian and substitute recording secretary