University Senate Proposed: October 27, 2000
Adopted: October 27, 2000
MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 22, 2000
President George Rupp, the chairman, called the Senate to order shortly after 1:15 p.m. in 301 Uris. Fifty-one of 78 senators were present during the meeting.
Minutes and agenda: The minutes of April 28, 2000, and the agenda were adopted as proposed.
President’s report: The President made the following announcements:
--The last budget year included, on the income side, record research dollars, fund raising, and patent income, as well as the smallest undergraduate tuition increase in more than 20 years (3.7 percent). Expenses for the central administration grew more slowly than for the schools; the overall increase was 4 percent.
--During the summer there was progress on major renovations of Butler Library, Jerome Greene Hall in the Law School, Avery, and Uris, and of classrooms and labs.
--The Broadway Residence Hall has opened, and there have also been renovations in McBain, River, Carman, Woodbridge, Wien, and Hogan halls.
--To help address the serious current shortage of faculty housing, Columbia has bought 44 Morningside Drive from St. Luke’s Hospital; its 28 apartments will be ready next fall.
--Ferris Booth Commons, a place to eat on the second floor of Lerner, is now open.
--Groundbreaking will take place soon for a new Social Work building, across 113th Street from the school’s longtime home, McVickar Hall. Columbia is also trying to expedite the regulatory process to begin construction of a new building on Broadway just below 110th Street to house faculty and include a K-8 school. The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, a facility of some 8,500 square feet, will be set up in the basement of International Affairs by next fall.
--The Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, chaired by law professor Harvey Goldschmid, is now at work. A staff person, Ivan Gonzalez of the Provost’s office, has been hired to work just with the committee. Some open meetings are planned for October.
--Fathom.com, an internet consortium led by Columbia, is planned to project an identity for Columbia as a provider of high-end knowledge and culture. To Columbia’s original partners¾the London School of Economics, Cambridge University Press, the British Library, the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History¾four have been added: the University of Chicago, RAND, the American Film Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. One key goal is to make sure there is ample content. Current plans are for launching the site by the end of 2000; there is now a test site with about 8,000 users. Columbia has structured its investment so that it owns the content that it pays to develop, and will license it to Fathom; similarly, Columbia will retain ownership of portions of the technology platform that it pays for. These arrangements will be important, as Columbia ventures further into on-line education in the years ahead.
--Columbia schools have strong new classes of students, who seem to get better every year by standard measures. There are also numerous new faculty; in Arts and Sciences, there are 30 new assistant professors, 3 new associate professors, and 8 new full professors. The net increase is 8, after accounting for retirements, deaths, and other departures, a profile similar to that of most other Columbia schools. New officers in key administrative positions include Scott Norum, who has succeeded Jon Rosenhein as Vice President for Budget and Financial Planning, and Michael Cleare, who has succeeded Jack Granowitz as director of Columbia Innovation Enterprise. This office handles the licensing of Columbia patents, which has brought the University record revenues in recent years. Finally, the President mentioned José Cabranes and Richard Witten, the two new University Trustees.
Sen. Alex Oberweger (Stu., Bus.) asked for comment on a recent New York Times article about Columbia’s interest in land along the Hudson below 72nd Street. The President said comments in the article about Columbia schools that might move to this site are completely speculative. There have been no discussions about moving any particular school to any new location. But Columbia has to consider the utility of any land that becomes available nearby, since it is committed to staying in Manhattan and needs more space, and has begun discussions about the 10-acre site known as Riverside South.
Nominations to committees: Sen. Paul Duby (Ten., SEAS), chairman of the Executive Committee, presented the Standing Committee Roster that was distributed in the packet, and added the names of two presidential nominees for the Housing Policy Committee: Sens. Adam Weinstein (Stu., GS) and Matthew Bagger (Nonten., A&S). Sen. Rohit Aggarwala (Stu., GSAS/SS), chairman of the student caucus, asked to cancel the following student assignments on the Standing Committee Roster, which had not been approved by the caucus: Sens. Weinstein to External Relations and Eneida Boniche (Stu., Law) to Physical Development, and Sens. Boniche and Charles Tseng (Stu., HS) to Structure and Operations. He also asked to add Sen. John Strumbos (Stu., CC) to the Commission on the Status of Women.
With these changes, the Senate approved the Standing Committee Roster.
--Executive Committee nominee: The Senate unanimously elected Sen. Brian London (Stu., SEAS), the nominee of the student caucus, to the Executive Committee.
Report of the Executive Committee chairman: Sen. Duby welcomed new senators, and said he would be happy to answer questions after the meeting.
He said one important activity of the Senate is its interaction with University Trustees. Late in the fall semester, a subcommittee of the Executive Committee typically submits nominees to fill one Trustee seat to a counterpart subcommittee of Trustees. Early in the spring, the two groups meet and work together to choose the “Senate-consulted” Trustee for the coming year. This was the process that led to the selection of Jose Cabranes for this year. For the October meeting, senators will receive a letter from Prof. Duby and President Rupp soliciting nominations for next year’s Senate-consulted Trustee. The members of the Senate Executive Commitee nominating panel are Sens. Duby, Aggarwala, Richard Bulliet (Ten., A&S), Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS), and Pamela Flood (Nonten., HS).
Another link with the Trustees is attendance at their meetings. A number of senators attend Trustee committee meetings, and Sen. Duby said he would invite these representatives to say something about these meetings during the Senate year. He and Sen. Aggarwala are also attending plenary Trustee meetings as observers. An abstract of the minutes of plenary Trustee meetings is available to senators through the Senate Office. A main topic at the last board meeting, in June, was the progress of Fathom.com.
The Trustees approved the new copyright policy in June; soon, in consultation with the Executive Committee, the Provost will set up the standing committee to oversee the policy, which will include a couple of senators.
Sen. Duby was pleased to report that the Executive Committee did not have to use its summer powers, though the Honors and Prizes Committee did approve the installation of some plaques.
Sen. Duby met with Prof. Goldschmid of the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing in August. They agreed that Prof. Goldschmid would present a progress report on the committee’s work to the Senate in December, and perhaps another report in April.
--Update from Sen. Emily Lloyd (Executive Vice President for Administration) on the implementation of the new sexual misconduct policy:
Sen. Lloyd said the administration has hired Charlene Allen, who has the appropriate experience and is a lawyer as well, to be the coordinator for the new policy. She was the unanimous choice of the search committee. She is set to begin on October 16, 2000, and will have her office in 703 Lerner Hall. An interim coordinator, J. J. Haywood, is on duty now. Printed materials and a website are available. All Columbia schools except Law have confirmed their participation in the policy, along with Teachers College and Barnard College. The revised policy has been published in FACETS and will be in all school bulletins by their next printing.
During Orientation there were 13 presentations that included the policy, and printed information is going to all students and relevant administrators by the end of September. The Advisory Committee on Campus Security has appointed the oversight subcommittees called for in the Senate resolutions that established the new policy last February. The necessary appointments and training are being carried out to enact the new judicial procedures by mid-October. Sen. Lloyd concluded that implementation efforts are going well.
Sen. London asked about the search for hearing panelists. With Senate consent, Ms. Haywood replied, saying that deans have appointed the administrators who will serve on panels, and students in the schools are now appointing student members.
The President praised the implementation efforts made so far, and said he thought Columbia was fortunate to have found such a qualified applicant for the coordinator position, which he expected to be difficult to fill.
--Update from External Relations on sweatshop issues:
Committee chairman Eugene Litwak (Ten., A&S) gave a brief progress report on the work of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), the two sweatshop-monitoring organizations Columbia has joined in the last two years. Alan Stone, Vice President for Public Affairs and a member of External Relations, told the committee that the FLA’s main current goal is to launch a monitoring effort in a pilot program in four countries¾Taiwan, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This required the identification of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct the actual monitoring. These groups had to be trained in local and international labor standards, as well as the Columbia University code of conduct. The training program, begun in 1999, is mostly complete in the three Central American countries, whereas the Taiwan program will take till December. The next step is to determine the factories where the monitoring will take place. The committee agreed that the FLA is on track in carrying out this initiative, and deserves continued support from the University.
The recent agenda of the WRC, which was founded only last spring, has been to get itself organized. Robert Moskovitz, Columbia’s executive director of business services and a frequent guest of the committee, told External Relations that the 57 colleges and universities that now belong to the WRC form one of its three main groups (the other two are students and international labor experts). All three groups are enthusiastic about Congressman George Miller, whom they chose to lead the governing board. The universities, meeting in a separate caucus, divided into three categories: those with more than $1 million in annual licensing revenue for apparel bearing their name or logo, those receiving between $100,000 and $1 million, and those with less than $100,000. They decided that each category should be represented on the governing board. Mr. Moskovitz was enthusiastic about the spirit of cooperation at these meetings. The External Relations Committee decided that the WRC has carried out its (more preliminary) objectives since last spring, and also deserves continued support.
There being no further discussion, the chairman adjourned the meeting at 1:50 p.m.