Faculty Senate Communications Vol 3 No. 1 (October 2015)

John Tichy, Vice President | Antoinette Maniatty, President | Chris Bystroff, Chair of Faculty Amir Hirsa, Recording Secretary | Atsushi Akera, Secretary | Lois Peters, Secretary of Faculty 


Faculty Senate Communications

v3,n1 - October 2015


To the Rensselaer Faculty and Community,

On behalf of the Faculty Senate, we send this communication to keep you apprised as to the activities and schedule of the Faculty Senate. We take very seriously the obligation of the Faculty to advise the Administration of the Institute in all matters relating to the principal missions of the Institute. We have several important issues before us currently that we are working on, and your input is needed.

  · A REVISED FACULTY HANDBOOK has been completed after three years of effort by many people and will be circulated to the Faculty soon for comments. We will be holding an open meeting of the Faculty to discuss the revised Faculty Handbook later this semester. After that, the Faculty Senate will vote on whether or not to approve the revised version.

  · THE SUMMER ARCH INITIATIVE, which was recently announced to the campus community, involves a major change to our curriculum. As such, it is essential that Faculty are consulted and are able to impact the implementation. The Faculty Senate is actively seeking Faculty opinion regarding the initiative and the implementation process and advising the Provost based on that input.

  · PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, such as Rensselaer, are facing a changing landscape that presents many challenges. Rensselaer must reduce its cost structures and find ways to enhance revenues. To be successful, Faculty must be involved in seeking and evaluating possible solutions as well as in the implementation stage. Indeed, the Faculty of Rensselaer is comprised of a remarkable set of individuals with diverse expertise and tremendous skills in problem-solving. We seek to bring those collective talents to bear on the challenges facing Rensselaer to come up with solutions that will work and that we will be a part of.

There are some important upcoming meetings that we would like you to participate in:

  · The General Faculty meeting will be on Wednesday, October 28, 4-6pm in the EMPAC Theater. President Jackson will address the Faculty at this meeting.

  · The remaining Faculty Senate meetings for this semester will be on

     o Wednesday, November 11, 8:15-9:45am in Sage 5711

     o Tuesday, December 8, 4-5:30pm in the Library Fischbach Room.

The complete schedule for the academic year as well as agendas and minutes of meetings, list of members, and other Senate information may be found on the Senate website at: http://facultysenate.rpi.edu/

There are a few other important items. There has been a change in the leadership since the Spring elections. David Isaacson, who was elected Chair of the Faculty, stepped down at the end of the summer because of a family issue. We are very grateful for his service throughout the summer providing his unique insight. Chris Bystroff, who was serving as a Senator representing the School of Science, was appointed to the vacant position by the Faculty Senate at the first meeting of the Academic Year, on September 9, per the Faculty Senate Constitution. This leaves the School of Science Senate position vacant. We are currently seeking candidates for this position. The Senate is nearly finished establishing a process for TAs to receive evaluations using Digital Measures, which will help when they apply for faculty positions. Finally, the Senate has put in place a process to write biographies and eulogies to remember the contributions of colleagues after they leave Rensselaer.


Antoinette Maniatty
on behalf of the Faculty Senate