University Senate                                                                                  Proposed: April 25, 2003                                        

 

                                                                                                            Adopted:

 

 

MINUTES OF MARCH 28, 2003

 

Executive Committee chairman Paul Duby, standing in for President Lee Bollinger, called the Senate to order shortly after 1:15 pm in the Davis Auditorium in the Schapiro Engineering Building. There were 40 of 97 senators present during the meeting.

 

Minutes and agenda: The minutes of March 7 and the agenda were adopted as proposed.

 

Executive Committee chairman’s report: Aside from the present agenda, Sen. Duby said the Executive Committee on March 24 had discussed a proposal from Faculty Affairs for a procedure to address unresolved disagreements between the Senate and senior administrators. The idea was to discuss such issues in the Executive Committee and, in cases where a satisfactory settlement was not possible, to pass them on to the Trustees. Sen. Duby reported an informal Executive Committee consensus that it could discuss these issues, and report on them to the Trustees, but there was no support for the idea that either the Executive Committee or the Trustees might adjudicate such disputes. Sen. Duby said the Executive Committee would discuss this issue again, but he reminded senators that in the meantime they can always address a complaint in writing to the president and ask him to pass it on to the Trustees for their information. Sen. Duby reminded senators that a past Senate request for more contact with Trustees was partly approved. He said he might be reporting again on this issue.

 

Sen. Duby noted that the Senate Record column about the March 7 meeting, like the previous column, was published without changes or comment. Additional coverage of the March 10 luncheon of the Commission on the Status of Women will also be published.

 

Sen. Duby reminded senators that the last Senate meeting of the year, on April 25, will include a presentation from the campus planning team, including the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore Owens & Merrill. At the same meeting, Sen. Duby said a new Senate task force on campus planning will introduce itself.

 

            --Interaction with Trustees: Sen. Duby reminded senators that the abstract of the minutes of the last Trustees meeting, on March 1, was available in the Senate office. The newly elected Trustee, William Campbell ‘62, had been designated a Senate-consulted Trustee; a nominating subcommittee of the Senate Executive Committee did discuss Mr. Campbell with a Trustee nominating subcommittee at a meeting a year ago.

 

Caucus reports:

--Students: Sen. Tamar Simon (Stu., CC) reported on a series of panels about Columbia graduate schools that the student caucus has organized. She said that when she came to Columbia, she noticed a serious division, or lack of communication, between graduate and undergraduate programs. The Senate student caucus, with representatives from all Columbia schools, seemed like the right group to try to bridge this gulf. One caucus attempt was a social event staged as part of President Bollinger’s inauguration celebration last October. The graduate panels, an educational initiative involving all schools, all deans, all student senators, many student groups, and alumni, have just begun, with successful presentations from the Business School and the School of the Arts.

 

Old business:

            --Report on the Commission on the Status of Women luncheon on March 10: Sen. Mary Clare Lennon (NT, Public Health), a member of the Commission, said 85 people, including faculty of all ranks, senior administrators, and graduate students, responded to the invitation to the luncheon, which was sponsored by the Provost.

 

The gathering included several presentations. One, by Prof. Rosalind Rosenberg of the Barnard history department, recounted some of the mixed history of women at this university. Columbia led its peers in the production of female Ph.D.s, but Columbia College was the last in the Ivy League to admit women. 

 

Prof. Barbara Black, a former dean of the Law School, outlined the sea change that has occurred there since 1952, when she entered the school as one of a handful of female students. The change is measurable not only in numbers of female students and professors, but in the culture of the place, including new curricula and attitudes that women have brought.

 

A third presentation, by Commission co-chair Kim Kastens, Doherty Senior Research Scientist at Lamont, summarized the study on the “academic pipeline” that the group presented to the Senate in November 2001. Sen. Susan Sturm (Ten., Law), the other co-chair, moderated the talks, and presented Anne Ochsendorf, one of her students, who reported briefly on a follow-up study to the pipeline report that she is conducting on one of its findings—the higher attrition rates for Columbia’s female graduate students.

 

Sen. Lennon said the Commission hoped that other departments and schools might use the pipeline report as a resource in studies of their own.

 

New business:

            --Report from Faculty Affairs on a request for Professors of Practice in the School of Social Work: Faculty Affairs Committee chairman Eugene Litwak (Ten., A&S/Social Sciences) said his committee had approved the request from Social Work for Professors of Practice in accordance with guidelines on special, off-ladder appointments that the Senate adopted in 1994.

The guidelines set a ceiling on the numbers of professors of practice allowed in a school of 10 percent of the total number of tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Social Work, with about 40 such faculty members, was entitled to four professors of practice. The committee also satisfied itself that no present full-time faculty members have special, off-ladder appointments.

 

            --Resolution to Change the Name of the Department of Mining, Mineral, and Metallurgical Engineering to the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (Education): Sen. Herve Varenne (Fac., TC), standing in for Education Committee chair Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS), presented the resolution.

 

Sen. Duby, a member of the department in question, offered some historical background. He said the founding mandate of Kings College in 1754 called for instruction in “the arts of numbers, and measuring, of surveying and navigation, the knowledge of meteors, stones, mines , and minerals,” all for the “comfort, the convenience, and the elegance of life.” A bit more than a century later, in 1864, the School of Mines was founded, as part of Columbia College. Around 1900, the School of Mines became a department of the School of Engineering, assuming the name it has retained till now.  A century later, Sen. Duby, it is appropriate to change the name again to bring it more into line with current Columbia initiatives in earth sciences, including its present focus on sustainable development and the preservation of the environment.

 

Sen. Mary Byrne (NT, Nursing) raised an issue that had come up in the Education Committee--the question of the compatibility of the proposed name change with the terms of a bequest from Henry Krumb that has sustained the department over the years. There has been some controversy over whether this and other changes in the department violate the Krumb will. Sen. Byrne said the committee was persuaded by the opinion of administrators that the change is compatible with the will, but she asked for Sen. Duby’s comment.

 

Sen. Duby said that Henry Krumb, a scholarship student in the Engineering School at the turn of the 20th century, who became a successful engineer and eventually a Columbia Trustee, left a fortune to Columbia, which, in constant dollars, is one of the largest gifts the university has ever received. He wrote an extensive will, laying out detailed conditions for the use of his gift. One of these called for maintaining an academic program in mining and metallurgy in perpetuity, and said that if such a program were discontinued, part of his donation should be redirected to Sloan-Kettering and Lenox Hill hospitals. The University Counsel has determined that the Engineering School should continue to offer a degree in mining, though few students pursue this subject now. Sen. Duby said such a program is entirely consistent with the present focus on earth and environmental engineering.

 

Sen. Duby mentioned one other provision of the Krumb will—that the University Trustees should place great weight on the opinion of the faculty of the department in considering changes in its program. He affirmed that the department faculty was unanimous in supporting the proposed name change. This is crucial evidence that Columbia is following the wishes of Henry Krumb in enacting this change, focusing not just on mining in a narrow sense, but on related questions of the sustainable uses of earth resources.

 

Sen. Jerald Boak (Stu., Arts) questioned the wisdom of changing an historic Columbia name, simply because it seems for the moment to be out of date. Sen. Duby said that in accordance with the University Statutes, the name “Henry Krumb School of Mines” will remain part of the designation of the department, under its new name.

 

By voice vote, the Senate unanimously approved the resolution.

 

Sen. Duby adjourned the meeting at about 1:50 pm.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                                                                Tom Mathewson, Senate Staff