10-30-2013 Faculty Senate Minutes

Faculty Senate

Meeting Minutes

October 30, 2013

 

Members Present:        

Jose Holguin-Veras, Les Gerhardt, Lois Peters, Isom Herron, Pawel Keblinski, Chip Kilduff, Prabhat Hajela-Provost, Antoinette Maniatty, Jeanne Keefe, Ekaterina Haskins, Murali Chari, Frank Wright, Jeanne M. Keefe, Chang Ryu, Vincent Meunier

Next meeting:    12/11/2013   3:30-5:00 pm  TBD

1) Welcome by the President – Jose Holguin-Veras

2) Approval of the Minutes – September 2013

Changes suggested were under 5. Safety Policy: the second sentence needs to read ‘…all its forms is considered to be a serious offense…’.  Under 8. Action Items: change the sentence to read ‘Provost to submit specific language on Institute Policy to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee’.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Professor Wright, seconded by Professor Keblinski. All in favor. So moved.

3) Review Action Items

  1. Provost to submit specific language on Institute Policy to Faculty Senate Executive Committee by 10/15: the General Council, Charles Carletta, is working on it and will submit to the Provost.  He will then review and distribute it to the Executive Committee.

1. ACTION ITEM:  Provost to submit specific language on Institute Policy to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

  1. Executive committee will identify action items from all committee reports: Professor Keblinksi reported that this has been completed.

  1. Professor Gerhardt will invite the Academic Affairs committee representative of the Student Senate to the next meeting: Professor Gerhardt spoke saying that Chuck Carletta, the Grand Marshal, invited him to speak at the student Senate meeting and he got an idea of the types of issues/concerns the group is looking at.  One concern was that there was a lack of interplay between the faculty and the students other than the classes they attended.  The committee would like to see more faculty interaction with the students.

  1. Professor Peters will publish an email to all faculty informing them of the Faculty Development Plans: the invitation was sent but was sent to all Junior faculty.  They are still working on on-line viewing permissions with regard to publishing the slides on the Provost website.

4) Status Update on Faculty Handbook

Professor Holguin-Veras reported that they have met with the department heads for the following schools: HASS, Management, Science.  They have a meeting scheduled for later today with Architecture.  They need to work out the logistics with the school of Engineering as to how to set up the meetings, by school or department. The committee is making sure that the handbook is in line with the constitution and the values of the institute.  The plan to meet with the Provost by the end of November at the latest to submit the updated handbook.

2. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Kilduff will complete the master document of the handbook and submit to the Executive council for discussion.

5) Status: Faculty Development Initiative

Professor Peters reported that they have four informational sessions planned this year, two each semester.  They had the first one that was focused on Research Grants and invited all junior faculty.  The remaining sessions will be: Demystifying the Tenure Process, Branding your Scholarship, Being Excellent Mentors.  All documents will be posted on the Provost website and be available for viewing by all faculty members. The next session is planned for November. A suggestion was made to use a webinar to conduct the sessions so they are available for others to review who could not attend.  Professor Holguin-Veras asked that even though the subject matter might be geared to a specific subset of faculty, all faculty should be sent the email invitation. He also asked that an email be sent to all faculty letting them know of the initiative and status as well as upcoming sessions. 

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Peters will publish an email to all faculty informing them of the Faculty Development Initiative and include a status.

6) Standing Committee Reports

Curriculum: There was a status submitted by Professor Bequette stating that the committee meets every two weeks.

Promotion and Tenure: Professor Herron reported. Professor Linda McGown has been elected as a Member-at-Large.  He thanked Professor Ryu and dotCIO with their assistance in the voting process.    

Planning and Resources: Professor Ryu stated that the terms of the appointments are needed.  Professor Gerhardt mentioned that he was invited to speak at the upcoming Deans’ Council Performance Plan meeting next week.

Faculty Committee on Honors: Professor Herron reported that the committee submitted 11 recommendations for Honorary degrees and was sent to the president for review.

Professor Holguin-Veras asked Professor Keblinksi to secure a report beforehand from the senate committee chairs who cannot attend this meeting.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Gerhardt will work on terms of appointments for the Planning and Resources committee. 

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Keblinksi will get reports from senate committee chairs before senate meetings.

7) General Faculty Meeting Agenda

Professor Holguin-Veras stated that the intent of the meeting is to provide a status of where we are and the timeline.  He asked Professor Keblinksi to get reports from the standing committees in preparation for the meeting.  We should have an update and a discussion regarding the Faculty handbook. We should also include highlights of the Faculty Development initiative as well.  It was decided by the senators that instead of saying having an item labeled ‘committee updates’ it would be better to add sub bullets and list out areas of interest for faculty – Faculty Development and Retention as well as Graduate Education.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Keblinksi will obtain reports from all standing committees in preparation for the General Faculty Meeting in November. 

8) Old Business

The Provost spoke regarding the Faculty Committee on Honors.  He said we are missing an opportunity if we don’t take advantage of recognizing our talented faculty outside of Rensselaer.  Professor Maniatty noted that her department has a committee on honors and that committee prepares nomination packages for the faculty.  Professor Holguin-Veras suggested the senate take an action item to think of a holistic approach to this problem.  Professor Gerhardt stated that it is a culture, we have too few members of national societies based on the caliber of faculty we have.  Professor Chari said that best practices could be shared by the Mechanical Engineering department and other departments that have gone through this to teach others.  Agrees with Professor Gerhardt that this is a culture issue but sharing information could assist in the process part. Discussion around the fact that both the NAE and NAS distinctions were a larger and specialized process.   

9) New Business

Professor Meunier asked if there was any investigation done regarding why the General Faculty Meeting is not well attended by faculty members.  Discussion was around the fact that the faculty feels disenfranchised.  Some discussion on the fact that the final draft of the faculty handbook will have to be accepted at administration and trustees levels and there may be some pushback.  Professor Manniaty brought up a point that was discussed at an earlier meeting regarding brining in an author that advocates strong faculty governance and it would be a benefit to the faculty if he were invited to speak.

10) Action Items Summary

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Provost to submit specific language on Institute Policy to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Kilduff will complete the master document of the handbook and submit to the Executive council for discussion.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Peters will publish an email to all faculty informing them of the Faculty Development Initiative and include a status.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Gerhardt will work on terms of appointments for the Planning and Resources committee. 

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Keblinksi will get reports from senate committee chairs before senate meetings.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Keblinksi will obtain reports from all standing committees in preparation for the General Faculty Meeting in November.

  1. ACTION ITEM:  The Executive Council will add an item to their agenda to discuss the Committee on Honors and how to promote external honors. 

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Professor Holguin-Veras and Professor Gerhardt will meet with Stan Dunn and discuss implementing action items from Graduate Review Committee report.

Professor Wright motions to adjourn. Seconded by Professor Keblinksi.  All in favor.  So moved.  Adjourned at 9:45am.