September 3, 2008

Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting - September 3, 2008

Founder’s Room, Lovett Hall


I. Announcements

II. Update from the Committee on the Rice Undergraduate Program (CRUP)

Robin Forman, Dean of Undergraduates

III. Upcoming Capital Campaign

Darrow Zeidenstein, Vice President for Resource Development

IV. Setting the Year’s Agenda

A. Projects ongoing from last year

1. Athletics Admissions (Dale Sawyer)

2. Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (Gautami Shah)

3. Faculty Priorities and the Admissions Process (Meredith Skura, Ben Kamins)

B. New issues currently being resolved

1. Davidson Athletic Report

2. New approach to sabbatical leave-taking

3. Updating of Faculty Handbook

4. Articulation of a Senate policy with regard to voting practice

5. Report to the Senate on faculty compensation

C. Issues percolating on the horizon

1. Plagiarism and cheating at Rice: Is there a problem?

2. Scheduling of extracurricular activities during finals week

3. Improving communication between the Senate and key University Committees

D. New issues that would likely require formation of working groups

1. Review of Rice’s policy on Amorous Relations (Rebekah Drezek)

2. Review of the Senate’s statement on Type II minors

3. Research Repository at Rice (Moshe Vardi)

4. Supporting, Developing, and Evaluating Teaching at Rice
(Jim Young, Randy Stevenson, Susan McIntosh)

5. Review of the Honor Council System (Evan Siemann, Ed Cox)

E. Issues proposed from the floor

V. Adjourn

Senators present: Randy Batsell, John Casbarian, Ed Cox, Michael Deem, Sarah Ellenzweig, Michael Emerson, Deborah Harter (Speaker), John Hempel, Matthias Henze, Ben Kamins, Tom Killian, Phil Kortum, David Leebron (ex officio), Caroline Quenemoen, Matteo Pasquali, Rob Raphael, Dale Sawyer, Gautami Shah, Evan Siemann, Meredith Skura, Michael Stern, Randy Stevenson, Duane Windsor (Deputy Speaker), JimYoung.

Senators absent: Steven Cox, Christian Emden, Eugene Levy (ex officio), Peter Mieszkowski, James Weston.

I. Announcements

A. Deborah Harter (Speaker) welcomed the new Senators Sarah Ellenzweig, Michael Emerson, and Caroline Quenemoen, and also welcomed the new Deputy Speaker, Duane Windsor. Harter encouraged all Senators to attend each Senate meeting and to send a non-voting proxy if the Senator cannot attend.

B. Harter recognized several individuals for their service to the Senate during 2007-2008: former Deputy Speaker Mike Stern, Rebekah Drezek, Evan Siemann, Carl Caldwell, Moshe Vardi, and Don Morrison, as well as the entire Executive Committee.

C. The academic calendar for 2010-2011 was approved by the Senate as is required each fall for the calendar to be used two years in the future.

D. The individuals nominated for the 2008-2009 Executive Committee slate were announced: Deborah Harter (Speaker), Duane Windsor (Deputy Speaker), John Casbarian, Ben Kamins, Rob Raphael, Dale Sawyer, Gautami Shah, Meredith Skura, Randy Stevenson, and Jim Young. No alternate slate was nominated, and the Senate approved the Executive Committee slate as proposed.

II. Update from the Committee on the Rice Undergraduate Program

(Robin Forman, Dean of Undergraduates)

Robin Forman, Dean of Undergraduates, explained the three-step process that was begun almost two years ago to review the Rice Undergraduate Program:

· Articulation of goals for the Rice Undergraduate Program was completed in April 2007 by a committee chaired by Chandler Davidson. A report was submitted to the Senate at that time.

· During the past year, two groups have divided the task of assessing the achievement of these stated goals: a committee chaired by Professor Ric Stoll, and John Cornwell and his staff from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. This stage will be completed no later than December 2008.

· The final stage is to form a committee this fall which will recommend curricular reforms to better achieve the stated goals. This committee should finish its task in approximately 1.5 years.

III. Upcoming Capital Campaign

(Darrow Zeidenstein, Vice President for Resource Development)

Darrow Zeidenstein, Vice President for Resource Development, presented information on the upcoming Centennial Campaign. The official launch dates for the campaign are November 6-7, 2008, along with launches later in November in San Francisco and New York City. Zeidenstein stated the campaign has a fundraising goal of $1 billion which will come from many sources and will be used in several ways. It will be used in three ways in particular: scholarship ($400 million), research ($310 million), and outreach ($290 million). Please use this link to view the complete presentation: Centennial Campaign.

IV. Setting the Year’s Agenda

A. Projects ongoing from last year: Harter reminded the Senate of the three working groups that will continue their work from the previous year:

1. Athletic Admissions—Dale Sawyer stated that he will present to the Senate in its October meeting information regarding athletic admissions at Rice, and he said the report from this working group will be presented in January.

2. Non-Tenure-Track Faculty—Gautami Shah will present information from this working group to the Senate in October.

3. Faculty Priorities and the Admissions Process—Meredith Skura and Ben Kamins co-chair this group; its purpose is to ensure faculty input in the admissions process.

B. New issues currently being resolved

1. Davidson Athletic Report—Harter informed the Senate that an expurgated version of the Athletics at Rice Report compiled by the committee chaired by Chandler Davidson exists in the Fondren Library, while an un-expurgated version exists in the WoodsonResearch Center within the library. The unexpurgated version needs to be made available in Fondren.

2. New approach to sabbatical leave-taking—Harter stated that Eugene Levy is working on a new, more-flexible sabbatical policy.

3. Updating of Faculty Handbook—Harter said that several faculty, including Susan McIntosh, have indicated that the Faculty Handbook is in need of updating. The provost’s office has assumed responsibility for this task and will present changes to the Senate at a later date.

4. Articulation of a Senate policy with regard to voting practice—Harter has asked Randy Stevenson to prepare a policy on voting practice; it will be reviewed by the Executive Committee, and then brought to the Senate.

5. Report to the Senate on faculty compensation—Harter said that a report was compiled every two years in the past which compared faculty salaries among the departments, between men and women faculty, associate and assistant professors, etcetera. However, Harter stated, this information has not been reported for the past few years, and many would like to revive this tradition. Harter and Windsor have met with the president and provost who are agreeable to having a committee prepare such a report on faculty compensation.

C. Issues percolating on the horizon

1. Plagiarism and cheating at Rice: Is there a problem? Harter said she met with Robin Forman (Dean of Undergraduates) who suggested that his office and the office of Paula Sanders (Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) compile information on plagiarism/cheating and present the data to the Senate.

2. Scheduling and extracurricular activities during finals week—Duane Windsor chaired a committee a couple of years ago which drafted a policy on this issue, but last year John Hutchinson offered a revised policy. Windsor will meet with the original committee and present its findings to the Executive Committee; then to the Senate.

3. Improving communication between the Senate and key University Committees—Hartersaid she’d like every committee to report to the Senate in writing at the end of the year the work it has accomplished, and in general, she would like to improve communication between all university committees and the Senate. Harter also stated that the Executive committee is working on formulating guidelines that will help direct individuals and departments across the campus how best to proceed when there are new curricular programs to be made public.

D. New issues that would likely require formation of working groups

1. Review of Rice’s policy on Amorous Relations—Rebekah Drezek said that Rice’s Amorous Relations policy, which is separate from the Sexual Harassment policy, is outdated and does not match that of Rice’s peer institutions. A copy of the current Rice policy from the Faculty Handbook and the policy currently in use in the University of California system were provided to the Senators. Drezek stated that although there may be instances of positive consequences from relationships between a faculty member and a student (graduate or undergraduate), negative consequences are far more frequent, and these affect women far more frequently than men. Drezek suggested a small working group be formed with the purpose of bringing Rice’s Amorous Relations policy up to date. After some discussion, the Senate approved the formation of a working group, with three Senators volunteering to serve at this time: Rebekah Drezek, Matteo Pasquali, and Rob Raphael. The working group will write new policy language and present it to the Senate for discussion. Randy Stevenson asked that the group meet with Rice’s legal staff before bringing the new policy to the Senate.

2. Review of Senate’s statement on Type II minors—Harter explained that Susan McIntosh had come to the Senate for clarification of Type II minors. Stevenson stated that he had been on the committee which drafted the original language for Type II minors, which are considered neither an interdisciplinary nor a departmental minor, and he agreed that clarification is needed. It was determined that instead of calling on the old committee, a new committee should be formed to determine if centers should be allowed to bring forth minors, and if so, to rewrite the language for such minors. David Tenney (Registrar) added that no policy exists at Rice for the procedure to bring about a major, and it was decided that this new working group should address both issues.

3. Research Repository at Rice—Harter stated that this issue was brought to the Senate by Moshe Vardi last year who suggested that a working group be formed to decide how best to form a research repository at Rice. Windsor suggested that the University administration explore the infrastructure needed for such a repository before a working group is formed, and President Leebron agreed.

4. Supporting, Developing, and Evaluating Teaching—Harter said that Susan McIntosh, Randy Stevenson, and Jim Young had all expressed concerns with issues regarding teaching at Rice, including providing support for the use of technology in teaching, the evaluation of teaching, and teaching awards. David Leebron encouraged a review of how teaching awards are determined, and he strongly recommended that peer review, in addition to student review, be used as a tool in the evaluation of teaching at Rice. Jim Young agreed to chair a working group that will include Ed Cox, Susan McIntosh, Rob Raphael, Gautami Shah, and Randy Stevenson. All agreed that coordination with the Teaching Committee would be beneficial.

5. Review of the Honor Council System—Evan Siemann stated that there are things about the Honor Council System that he feels are not working well. One example, he said, is that many violations are not even sent to the Honor Council, but are instead handled informally by faculty, in part due to the Honor Council’s long response time. Harter said that a group of students from the Honor Council met with the Faculty Senate a couple of years ago, and they said they were so overworked that they felt the system was almost broken. Siemannproposed a working group that would review the procedures of the Honor Council, and he agreed to chair the group. Harter encouraged the group to bring in Rice students for their views on this issue. Leebron agreed with this suggestion and stated that he thought a consensus could be reached between the students on the Honor Council and the faculty. Ed Cox, John Hempel, Tom Killian, and Duane Windsor agreed to join Seimann on this working group.

E. Issues proposed from the floor

Randy Batsell asked if the administration could offer an alternative for University contributions to the faculty retirement fund, in addition to TIAA-CREF. After a short discussion, it was determined that instead of forming a working group to investigate this issue, Leebron and Harter would meet to discuss a time when a senior administrator could address the Senate to explain the options.

V. After a brief recap by Harter, the meeting was adjourned at 1:55 p.m.