Faculty Senate Communications Vol 1 No 4 (December 2012)


v1, n4 – December 2012


Isom Herron, President | José Holguín–Veras, Vice President | Les Gerhardt, Chair of Faculty | Pawel Keblinski, Recording Secretary | Chip Kilduff, Secretary | Atsushi Akera, Secretary of Faculty                                                       

13 December 2012

To the Rensselaer Faculty and Rensselaer Community,

We want to greet you warmly at the end of an extremely eventful semester and wish you the very best in the holiday season!

Our work in teaching, research and service as faculty members has continued unabated and still we met for the important deliberations asked of us. Each of the Senate’s standing committees and the several ad hoc committees worked effectively on their assigned tasks. At the same time, the advent of the refreshing of the Rensselaer Plan was another component of our responsibilities in the Faculty Senate. Along with other portfolios and constituencies we met with President Jackson and members of her cabinet. Also, we had meetings with Provost Hajela, including observing the unfolding of his performance plan. Further general faculty involvement is welcomed. This is reflected in the following statement made by Prof. Lester Gerhard, Chair of the Rensselaer Faculty, during our annual Fall General Faculty meeting. You will also find the full Faculty Senate Roster at the end of this communication. Please feel free to reach out to any of the Senators to convey your thoughts as we work to complete the projects that we began this fall.


Isom Herron

Faculty Senate President



NOVEMBER 13, 2012

DCC 337

Opening remarks made by Dr. Lester Gerhardt

Chair of the Faculty


“As Chair of the Faculty, and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, it is my honor to welcome you, my colleague faculty, to the fall 2012 General Faculty meeting.

“The very first meeting called by the newly constituted Faculty Senate was appropriately the General Faculty meeting held on March 28, 2012. Since then, a lot has transpired and it is a real pleasure to report that the Senate is alive and well, vibrant and continuing to grow in responsibility and impact.

“I’ll first briefly review some actions and accomplishments to add some substance to these broad comments, and then ask others in the Senate to perhaps add some details as they may wish. With the main purpose of this meeting being to hear from the faculty, we will then turn to the special topic of the Refresh of the Rensselaer Plan and process, and then open the floor for faculty discussion on it specifically. Following that, we will open the floor for general discussion and Q & A. As before, Minutes of this meeting will be posted on the Faculty Senate Website (http://facultysenate.rpi.edu)

“I have grouped my summary of actions and accomplishments into Organizational Aspects, Infrastructure Support, Faculty Senate/Administration Cooperation, Comments at Last Meeting and Resulting Actions, and Going Forward.

Organizational Aspects

  • Re-creating and populating the Standing Committees
    • Curriculum (Wayne Bequette-Chair)
    • Promotion and Tenure (Mark Shepard-Chair)
      • P&T fall cases being processed as normal
    • Planning and Resources (David Duquette-Chair)
    • Faculty Committee on Honors  (Joyce McLaughlin-Chair)
      • Early Career Award:                                                Peter Tessier
      • Fishbach Travel Award:                                          John Tichy
      • Outstanding Teaching Fellowship:                         Thomas Sharkey
      • Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award:                       Nadarajah Narendran
  • Creating Special Ad Hoc Committees
    • Faculty Development and Retention (Jose Holguin-Veras-Chair)
    • Oct. 30 Panel on P&T (Linda Schadler, Larry Kagan, John Tichy, Heidi Newberg, Ricardo Dobry, Jose Holgin-Veras), First of Many
    • Review of Graduate Programs (Antoinette Maniatty-Chair)
    • UG Curriculum and Teaching Methodology (Lester Gerhardt-Chair)
  • Monthly meetings of the Faculty Senate, and of the Executive Committee Held
  • Semester Meetings of the General Faculty Held

Infrastructure Support

  • Newly hired support staff-Pat McGraw (x2989) started Oct. 30; Many thanks to Jennifer-Marie Jillson Brock for all her help in this capacity.
  • Budget established
  • Website formed; up and running as of September 21. http://facultysenate.rpi.edu
    • Links directly from rpinfo.rpi.edu (under Faculty & Staff)

Senate/Administration Cooperation

  • Isom and Les appointed to the Reassessment Leadership Committee (REALCOM 2.0)-Refresh of the Rensselaer Plan; Participation in the Information Sessions, etc.
  • Invited to Deans’ Presentations of Performance Plans (Isom/Les)
  • EC Members actively participated in Provost Search
  • Regular meetings between the Provost and EC
  • Selected meetings with Deans and other senior Administrators
  • Faculty Appointments to the Review Board and the Academic Board
  • Football Game Invitation from the President to the EC
  • Meeting with the President set for November 26

Comments from the Last Meeting, and Resulting Actions

  • Schedule Regular Meetings-See above/Done
  • Establish Closer Ties to Admin-See above/A fine start
  • Enhance Faculty Development-Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Development and Diversity Formed and Active
  • Involvement in Provost Search-EC Interviews/Done
  • Evaluate Quality of Education-Graduate Focus-Ad Hoc Committee on Graduate Education Formed and Active
  • Need Budget-Established
  • Need More Faculty Participation in Governance/Re-invigorate Faculty-Has Begun; Needs Improvement Over Time
  • Evaluate Impact of Rapidly Changing Landscape in Higher Education-Ad Hoc Committee on Curriculum and Teaching Methodology Established

Going Forward

  • Review and Revision of the Faculty Handbook
  • Create Faculty Senate Award
  • Review of Faculty/Student/Resource Distribution
  • Tracking of Interdisciplinary Students and Activities with CIO Assistance
  • Develop Strong Student Interactions
  • Promote and Develop Larger and Broader Faculty Involvement

“In closing, in this short but productive and effective formative period, we have observed a positive change in the campus culture, an air of openness, and a greatly enhanced cooperative relationship between the newly constituted Faculty Senate and Administration. We need to focus on creating a strong integration with the student body, but most of all to develop stronger and broader participation of the Rensselaer faculty. The last item will take some time to rebuild, but we remain optimistic and enthusiastic and look forward to the day when the Faculty Senate is a major force on campus, and a recognized and instrumental key part of the Rensselaer Community and Family.

“As a reminder, the spring 2013 General Faculty Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday April 9, 2013.

“Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a most Happy Thanksgiving, and an especially Healthy and Happy New Year.”

Prof. Lester Gerhardt

Chair of the Faculty


Faculty Senate (AY 2012-2013)

Please feel free to contact any of the Senators and Senate committee members with your thoughts and ideas.

The Officers of the Faculty Senate

  • Chair of Faculty                                 Les Gerhardt
  • President                                            Isom Herron
  • Vice President                                    Jose Holguin-Veras
  • Secretary of Faculty                           Atsushi Akera
  • Secretary of Senate                            Chip Kilduff
  • Recording Secretary of Senate           Paul (Pawel) Keblinski

Members of the Faculty Senate

  • Engineering                                       George Belfort
                                                              Antoinette Maniatty
  • School of Science                              Vincent Meunier
                                                              Chang Ryu
  • HASS                                                  Michael Century
                                                              Igor Vamos
  • Architecture                                       David Bell
  • Management                                      Lois Peters
  • Lecturers & Professors of Practice
    • Troy                                               Frank Wright
    • Hartford                                         Tom Triscari, Robert Albright (shared position)
  • Librarians/Archivists                           Jeanne Keefe
  • Retirees                                               Robert Parsons
  • Provost or designee

Chairs of Standing Committees

  • Curriculum                                         Wayne Bequette
                                                              George Plopper, co-chairs
  • Promotion & Tenure                           Mark Shephard, chair
  • Planning & Resources                        David Duquette, chair
  • Faculty Committee on Honors           Joyce McLaughlin, chair

Chair of Ad Hoc Committees

  • Faculty Development & Retention                 Jose Holguin-Veras, chair
  • Review of Graduate Programs                       Antoinette Maniatty, chair
  • UG Curriculum & Teaching Methodology      Lester Gerhardt, chair

You may find individual email addresses at the Rensselaer directory: http://rpinfo.rpi.edu/directories.html