University Senate                                                                    Proposed: September 26, 2003







In the absence of the chairman, President Lee Bollinger, Executive Committee chairman Paul Duby called the meeting to order shortly after 1:15 pm in Davis Auditorium in the Schapiro Engineering Building. There were 53 of 97 senators present during the meeting.


Adoption of the agenda: Sen. Duby said there would be no president’s report, since the president was away.


Sen. Mary Byrne (NT, Nursing) asked to add the proposed Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to the agenda for discussion. Sen. Duby said he would address the DrNP in his report as Executive Committee chairman.


Adoption of the minutes: The minutes of March 28, 2003 were adopted as proposed.


Report of the Executive Committee chairman:  A main discussion topic at the last Executive Committee meeting, on April 18, was what the committee understood to be a new proposal for a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Sen. Duby said Vice Dean Thomas Morris of Health Sciences had called him the day before the meeting and asked to present the revised proposal. Sen. Duby had agreed to a brief presentation.


Since there was no opportunity to read the new proposal before Dean Morris distributed copies at the meeting, the Executive Committee was unable to discuss it. In his presentation, Dean Morris indicated some revisions that seemed to some committee members to strengthen the proposal.  But the committee also wanted to consult the Education Committee, particularly the subcommittee that had reviewed the DrNP proposal earlier.


The Executive Committee therefore decided unanimously not to put the DrNP on the Senate agenda for the present meeting, but asked Education to review the new proposal over the summer, with a view to bringing it to the Senate in September. Sen. Duby said the Executive Committee had considered the problem of a further delay for the DrNP, since it will not be on the Trustees’ agenda in June. He said there remain two Trustee meetings in 2003, in October and December, enough time to get the necessary New York State approvals before the Nursing School’s proposed starting date of Fall 2004.


Sen. Suzanne Bakken (Ten., Nursing) said that the DrNP proposal submitted to the Executive Committee on April 18 was a slightly revised version of one that the committee had received in January 2003. The changes, which Sen. Bakken had made herself, were in response to suggestions about the entry requirements for the program and about the need for a faculty board.

Sen. Bakken said she had understood that the barrier to adoption of the DrNP program was the need to assess it against a set of standards for clinical doctorates. Health Sciences Dean Fischbach appointed two Health Sciences committees: one to make the standards, the other to measure the DrNP against them. The committees completed these tasks, and Dean Fischbach wrote to the Senate Executive Committee asking to add the DrNP proposal to the Senate agenda for a vote. This request was denied, to the frustration of the Nursing School. Sen. Bakken said deliberations over this proposal have now taken two years, and an additional delay matters, not only because it may further delay enactment of the program, but because the DrNP represents the intellectual capital of more than a decade of preparation by the Nursing faculty, an initiative to which a number of other nursing schools have signed on. It now turns out that the Columbia Nursing School will not be the first one to offer a clinical nursing doctorate. Sen. Bakken appealed for understanding of the School’s frustration and disappointment.


Sen. Byrne also registered the dismay and disappointment of the Nursing School faculty. She said she and Sen. Bakken were the first senators to represent the Nursing faculty constituency in the Senate. In two years of vigorous participation in the work of the Education Committee, she had seen due diligence with new program proposals in general, but excessive scrutiny of the DrNP proposal. She said the Faculty Council of the medical faculty had approved the DrNP in 2000 and again in 2001, when an external review of the proposal was received by Deans Fischbach and Morris. A year later, a subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee reviewed that review at length, with particular interest in possible negative reactions to the proposal. Despite this scrutiny, the Education finally voted 14-1 to approve the proposal for Senate action early in the fall of 2002. There was then extensive discussion of the proposal at two plenary Senate meetings in November 2002, and then, in the spring semester, the two reviews that Sen. Bakken had described.


Because of the lack of action even after the prolonged scrutiny the DrNP has received, and because of the potential theft of the intellectual property represented by the decade of research that underlies the DrNP proposal, Sen. Byrne said the Nursing faculty is much aggrieved. She concluded by asking for the earliest possible vote, based on a full documentation of Senate deliberations about the DrNP, preferably before Commencement. She appealed to senators more experienced in Senate procedure than herself to help think of an appropriate way to bring proposal to a quick vote.


Resuming his report on the April 18 Executive Committee meeting, Sen. Duby said that a report on the work of the new Senate Task Force on Campus Planning was on the agenda for the present meeting. But since the primary planning consultant and the president were not present, an additional informal Senate meeting, including both of them, had been scheduled for May 2.


Sen. Duby said another item approved for the Senate agenda by the Executive Committee, the resolution to turn Housing Policy into a standing Senate committee, might not be acted on at the present meeting. The measure, which would amend the Senate by-laws, required a three-fifths majority of all incumbent senators, or 58 senators, and only 53 were now present.


Sen. Duby said the Executive Committee had also considered a resolution to extend full senators’ speaking privileges to student observers from Teachers College and Union Theological Seminary. Structure and Operations, which had brought the resolution, had not reached closure on the larger question of full voting rights in the Senate for TC and UTS student representatives, which will require further review of the various agreements between Columbia and its affiliated institutions. The committee was prepared to act on speaking privileges now, but student caucus members at the Executive Committee had expressed a preference for taking up the two issues together.


Sen. Duby thanked senators, as well as the Senate staff, for a productive year, consisting of the kind of deliberations the Senate is supposed to conduct. To applause, he gave special thanks to Sen. Roosevelt Montas (Stu., GSAS/Hum.), whose Senate service was coming to an end, for exemplary work as chairman of the student caucus.


--Resolutions honoring Provost Jonathan Cole and Vice President for Arts and Sciences David Cohen: To applause, Sen. Duby then read resolutions of thanks to Provost Cole and VP Cohen, who were stepping down from their administrative positions at the end of the year. Sen. Cohen thanked the Senate for its resolution. Provost Cole was not present.


Sen. Luciano Rebay (Ten., A&S/Hum.) dissented from what he called the implicit unanimity of the applause for the resolution honoring Provost Cole. He objected specifically to the last “whereas” clause, on Provost Cole’s letters to the Senate, saying the first of those letters, in 1990, had not accounted adequately for the sale of the Casa Italiana to the Italian government, which was completed that year.


Sen. Duby said Sen. Rebay was free to dissent, but added that he would rule a speech on this topic out of order.


Sen. Rebay concluded by abstaining from the resolution honoring Provost Cole.


Sen. Michael Castleman (Stu., SEAS) noted that the present meeting was the second in a row that President Bollinger had missed. He said that President Rupp, whose relations with the Senate had been complicated, only missed one or two meetings in nine years. He thought two consecutive absences in President Bollinger’s first year was unacceptable.


Sen. Duby concluded his report with an invitation to all senators to join the Senate delegation at Commencement ceremonies at the end of the year.


New business:

--Resolution Concerning Summer Powers: Sen. Duby said that on the advice of Howard Jacobson, the Senate parliamentarian, he had moved this resolution from the end of the agenda, when a quorum might be gone, to be the first item of new business. The Senate adopted the resolution without dissent.


--Report from the Senate Campus Planning Task Force: Sen. Sharyn O’Halloran (Ten., A&S/Soc. Sci), co-chair of the task force, said the group held its first meeting on April 15, a discussion that included Marilyn Taylor, chairman of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, one of the two primary consulting firms involved in the current planning effort.  Sen. O’Halloran said the meeting had been a good exchange of ideas about the planning process, which is now proceeding on a general, conceptual level. She said the present meeting is part of this continuing dialogue.


Sen. O’Halloran said the task force raised concerns about the transparency of the planning process, and its own role in it. It also raised questions about the need for expansion, and about the consequences for Columbia’s sense of community.


Sen. O’Halloran added that at a meeting just before the present one, members of the faculty caucuses had expressed concern about the budgetary consequences of a major campus expansion: Is this the best investment of Columbia’s resources? Have all other options been exhausted?  Does Columbia have to grow?


Sen. O’Halloran said the answer to the last question seems to be a resounding yes. But what is the best way to proceed? She said Vice Presidents Emily Lloyd and Mark Burstein would provide a brief inventory of Columbia’s current holdings, outline its growth projections, and report on where the planning process is now.


Sen. O’Halloran said some planners will come to a meeting next Friday (May 2), which the president can attend. There will be an opportunity for more substantive discussion then. She said the present report is more a review of what the internal team is thinking.


--Report from Emily Lloyd and Mark Burstein: Mr. Burstein, Vice President for

Facilities Management, referred to poster-sized aerial photographs showing Columbia’s main sites as five outposts along the lower Hudson River—Nevis Labs, Lamont-Doherty, Baker Field, Health Sciences, and Morningside. He provided a brief inventory: Columbia owns 300 acres and has 17 million built square feet, most of them at Health Sciences and Morningside. More than half of its 300 acres are at Lamont, and are undevelopable. For the last 20 years, the University has grown at an average rate of a million square feet every five years, and only about a million square feet of space remain available on Morningside, and another million at Health Sciences. It is this acute space shortage, VP Burstein said, that has prompted the present planning effort.


Emily Lloyd, Executive Vice President for Government and Community Relations, said the primary consultants Columbia hired in February—the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, led by Marilyn Taylor—comprise an excellent team both for planning and design.


She summarized early thinking—before the arrival of the consultants--about acquiring a major new space for development. The sense was that a remote site, in New Jersey, Westchester, or elsewhere, would leave the Columbia school or constituency assigned to go there too isolated. Administrators decided instead to look nearby, on the West Side of Manhattan along the “Broadway spine.” VP Lloyd said two leading candidates emerged. One is Riverside South, between 59th and 61st streets, between West End Avenue and the river. It has the advantage of being a single parcel, VP Lloyd said, but community groups and Donald Trump, the main developer associated with the site, have a long history of conflict, which Columbia might inherit.


The other candidate is the area VP Lloyd called Manhattanville West, between Broadway and the river and between 125th and 133rd streets. Among its advantages are its location, near Morningside and between Morningside and Health Sciences, and its role in a study by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which wants to make a riverfront park, develop commercial space along 12th Avenue, and increase the concentration of jobs between 12th Avenue and Broadway.


In the fall, VP Lloyd said, the city will consider changing the zoning of this area from manufacturing to something more like the mixed uses allowed in Morningside Heights. Columbia, as the largest single property owner in the area, has offered to do the urban design study required for the rezoning.


VP Lloyd said Columbia has been talking about building a new School of the Arts in Manhattanville West for a few years now, and the school is now seriously weighing a decision to move up there. The university has a stake in the whole area, and would like to see a mix of residential, commercial, and academic uses. One of the consultants’ first tasks, to be done by the fall, is to develop some preliminary ideas to meet these needs.


VP Lloyd said three main advisory groups are involved in the planning effort: a faculty group convened by the president to discuss future academic needs, the Senate campus planning task force, and an external advisory committee drawn from Community Boards 7, 9, 10 (in Central Harlem), and 12 (in Washington Heights). There will be a series of town hall meetings this spring at local community boards.


Discussion: Sen. Eugene Litwak mentioned a point made at the faculty caucus meeting about the institutions next door to Columbia, including the Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, and Jewish Theological Seminary. He asked if Columbia had considered offering to buy their campuses, to relocate them and build new buildings for them at Riverside South or Manhattanville. Columbia could then have contiguous space to renovate for its own needs.


VP Lloyd said this is an intriguing idea, which Columbia has actually broached with some of its institutional neighbors, and it is worth exploring further. So far, however, none of the neighbors are interested. They are attached to their present locations. Another problem is that Columbia would rather build new facilities in new space than have to overhaul old space. Because of these obstacles, the idea is not cost-effective.

VP Burstein added that none of the buildings of neighboring institutions is configured for scientific research, which is one of Columbia’s main needs. The cost of converting these facilities is comparable to the cost of building new ones.


Sen. Richard Bulliet (Ten., A&S/Social Sciences) reported a sense in the faculty caucuses’ discussion that Manhattanville, under the best circumstances, is an unattractive place, with poor air quality, a bus barn, low-lying land, an elevated subway overhead, and a highway nearby. He said that all decisions to expand require trade-offs, but it seems as if anyone “sent down the hill” is going to feel punished, unless there’s a truly extraordinary design to the new development. Sen. Bulliet also expressed the concern that the planning of new space at Columbia in the past has sometimes given short shrift to the quality of the buildings. Sen. Bulliet said he would like some assurance that what Columbia builds there is going to be really first class.


VP Lloyd replied that the dean of the School of the Arts is truly excited about the opportunity to move to Manhattanville. She added that the layout of the area offers considerable freedom for design, because the surrounding architecture provides few constraints. But the basic answer is that the concern for first-class work is what motivated the University to choose Renzo Piano to prepare the urban design plan. She expected Mr. Piano to start Columbia off on the right foot.


Sen. Bulliet said he didn’t know the work of Renzo Piano, and asked for a chance to see what buildings look like. VP Burstein said he had brought some books to the April 15 Task Force meeting, and would bring more information to the May 2 Senate meeting.


Sen. Hilary Rosenstein (Stu., CC) asked if an energy audit had been carried out for Columbia’s current holdings. She wondered how questions of environmental sustainability and efficiency will figure in the planning process.


VP Burstein said his office has thought a lot about this issue, for current as well as new facilities. At the recommendation of the Renzo Piano firm, Columbia has hired Klaus Bode, another consultant who has done excellent work on environmental questions.


Sen. Paul Duby thanked Vice Presidents Lloyd and Burstein for their report.


--Report from the Commission on the Status of Women: Commission co-chair Kim Kastens offered  an interim report, updating findings the group had presented to the Senate in 2001 on attrition and graduation rates of female students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


In the earlier report, the Commission had only had snapshot data from the fall of 2000.

They showed that the attrition rate (the fraction of students who had not graduated and were no longer registered) was always higher for women. But with one-time, snapshot data, it was impossible to measure progress or to ask why conditions are as they are. Now, with more years of data, it is possible to see in more detail that attrition rates for women are higher, and that female graduation rates are lower. The crunch in attrition comes right at the beginning, in graduate students’ first year. Attrition rates are parallel, but milder, for male students.


The more recent data show that attrition rates are dropping for both men and women over time. Dr. Kastens suggested several possible explanations for this trend: the graduate student experience is improving, and students can now get their degrees more efficiently; another possibility is that students are getting through the first years better, but could still be dropping out later; still another is that a different group of students, less likely to drop out, is now more heavily represented in the graduate student population.


However, Dr. Kastens said, the data collected so far do not show a corresponding increase in graduation rates.


In displays comparing men to women, Dr. Kastens pointed out that the difference in attrition rates between men and women was also declining over time, but the difference in graduation rates was not.


Dr. Kastens showed other data comparing men and women in different divisions of the Graduate School. The graduation rate in the natural sciences has been consistently higher for both sexes than in the humanities and social sciences—despite the reputation of the natural sciences as an uncongenial environment for women.


The stronger graduation rates in the natural sciences offer a possible explanation for the overall decline in attrition rates, since the proportion of students in the natural sciences has risen over the course of the 1990s, the period under study. A preliminary study of this question, however, shows that the drop in attrition rates began before the rise in the proportion of natural sciences students.


Dr. Kastens summarized her findings: attrition rates, in the range of 40-45 percent, remain disturbingly high for both men and women, but they are coming down. The difference between the male and female attrition rates is also shrinking. But there is no evidence yet of correspondingly higher graduation rates for both sexes, or of a dwindling difference in graduation rates for men and women.


Sen. Duby thanked Dr. Kastens for her report. She said the Commission would present a written report on these findings in the fall.


--Report from the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing: Prof. Merit Janow, ACSRI chair, reviewed the history of the group, which was created in 2000 to advise the Trustees. She said the group has had a productive year, with six meetings in the fall, including consultations with various experts, public hearings to learn the views of the Columbia community, and active use of its web site.


Prof. Janow said the committee continues to focus on shareholder proposals, retaining the broad categories established last year.  This year the committee has so far reviewed over 70 proposals. The proportion of resolutions on human rights, the environment, and labor issues has declined, with a huge increase in the fraction of corporate governance resolutions, stemming from recent abuses and corporate scandals, and adjustments introduced by Sarbanes-Oxley and NYSE rules to respond to those problems. In this universe, the committee has tried to steer clear of most technical topics, such as options pricing schemes, and to tackle broad issues like board independence and executive compensation.


By the end of the year, Prof. Janow said, the committee hopes to continue the trend of annual increases in shareholder proposals reviewed, finishing with more than 100. She said the group has benefited from excellent communication with Trustee subcommittee responsible for making final decisions about investments. As in prior years, Prof. Janow said, there has been a high degree of agreement, and the Trustees seem to find the committee’s recommendations mostly sensible.


Prof. Janow said the committee is becoming more efficient at treating similar cases similarly, even as it tries to recognize peculiarities of individual cases. The group is developing some operational guidelines to inform its approaches, and to ensure a degree of consistency in outcomes. 


The committee will continue to think about ethical screening devices for types of investments, expanded dialogue with others engaged in the same enterprise, and ways to receive more input through the web site. The committee will soon produce an interim annual report, and an annual report in the fall.


Sen. Duby thanked Prof. Janow for her report.


--Resolutions from Education: Sen. Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS), chair of Education, presented the following four degree proposals, which the Senate passed with minimal discussion:


Joint Master of Public Administration, SIPA and London School of Economics


Joint Master of International Affairs and Diplome, SIPA and “Sciences Po” (Paris)


M.S. in Advanced Education Orthodontics (SDOS)


Dual Master of International Affairs/Master of Social Work, SIPA & Social Work


--Report from the student caucus: Sen. Montas said student senators had conducted vigorous, even fractious debate among themselves about the implications of the notorious remarks by Prof. Nicholas DeGenova at a faculty teach-in on the Iraq war on March 26. Some members were highly offended by Prof. De Genova’s comments, especially the military veterans in the group. Others stressed the primacy of the principle of freedom of expression. A common statement was impossible to achieve. Members of the caucus also thought the president’s public intervention raised important questions, which they hoped faculty would address. Sen. Montas said it was disappointing that the president could not be present to comment on these issues, and to moderate the present discussion. Some students were also troubled by the president’s remark defending his decision not to not to take action against Prof. De Genova’s that the controversial statements were not made in the classroom. Sen. Montas asked: What if they had been made in the classroom? What are the implications of the president’s public comment on the political expression of a faculty member?


The student caucus also expressed concern about the quality of public discourse at Columbia, and the possible use of free speech to alienate or threaten members of our community. In response the caucus has circulated a survey to student groups that asks three questions:

  1. Does your organization feel that its freedom of speech has been threatened?
  2. Do you think others have abused their freedom of speech and how?
  3. Does your organization consider the impact of its discourse on the wider CU community?


Sen. Montas said the student caucus may report in the fall on the responses to its survey.


In response to a question, Sen. O’Halloran, co-chair of the faculty caucuses, said faculty senators groups had also discussed freedom of speech at their meeting earlier in the day. They had agreed informally that the De Genova episode was handled appropriately, but it is hard to know where to draw the line. They preferred a case-by-case approach.


Sen. O’Halloran mentioned another point about the faculty caucus discussion of campus planning that she had not made in her earlier report. There was grave concern about the costs of setting up a new campus, and about whether Manhattanville, with its pros and cons, is the right place to do this. She hoped that these concerns would be considered seriously, and that a Manhattanville campus is not already a foregone conclusion.


Sen. Jonathan Manes (Stu., CC), referring to the De Genova episode, said an important part of the principle of free speech is the ability to discuss the views that Prof. De Genova is said to have expressed. The chances for such a discussion have been hampered by the fact that the transcript and videotape of Prof. De Genova’s remarks have not been made  available. Sen. Manes requested the release of the tapes and transcripts.


Jeff Sult, student observer from Teachers College, said he had attended all six hours of the teach-in. He saw three video cameras there. He said Prof. Eric Foner, the moderator for the event, had said a videotape would be available online, but had referred inquiries to Robert Kasdin, Senior Executive Vice President. Mr. Sult said that if Columbia authorized the event, the tape should be Columbia property. Then it could be shown in a common space like Roone Arledge Auditorium, and people could judge for themselves.


Mr. Sult regretted that President Bollinger was not at the meeting. He commended the president’s courage in condemning the content of Prof. De Genova’s remarks.


Mr. Sult raised one more question for the president: if students don’t register for Prof. De Genova’s classes in the fall, and his classes are cancelled, would the administration then consider dismissing Prof. De Genova?


Sen. Duby said he thought it was a good suggestion to make the tapes of the teach-in available. He added that he would be interested to see the results of a student survey, and was sure the president would be part of any ensuing discussion of the free-speech issues.


Annual committee reports: The following reports were on the agenda:


--Budget Review: Sen. William Blaner (Ten., HS), chair of the committee, summarized the committee’s written report, which had been distributed.


--Education: To the committee’s report, which had been distributed, Sen. Moss-Salentijn added one comment, on the problems with bioanthropology that Sen. Ralph Holloway (Ten., A&S/Soc. Sci.) had raised earlier. She said Education Committee members had met with VP David Cohen. The committee was not happy with the University’s apparent decision that bioanthropology is no longer a viable field of graduate study here. She said the committee received assurances that undergraduate instruction in bioanthropology will continue, though perhaps not in the way the committee would prefer. But the committee cannot do more than register its concern—and Sen. Holloway’s profound discontent--about the decisions that have been made.


Sen. Byrne, a member of Education for two years, commended the committee’s work, and that her disappointment over the delays that have beset the DrNP proposal is not directed at the Education Committee. She expressed the view that the revised DrNP proposal should not be referred back to Education, but to the Executive Committee.


--External Relations: Eugene Litwak, the chairman, said the committee had not yet completed its written report, but, like Budget Review, had met with Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin, and discussed the question of who in the University decides how discretionary funds are spent. External Relations expressed its concern that huge sums were spent on ventures like and the Biosphere with minimal faculty consultation—sums that are now widely agreed to have been misspent. 


He said the committee’s discussion with VP Kasdin had been cordial and friendly, but the problem was institutional: how can large expenditures on academic affairs be decided without the regular input of academics? On this issue, he said, the committee got little response from VP Kasdin.


Sen. Blaner said Budget Review had held a similar discussion with VP Kasdin that morning, with the same concerns. He said it was important to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt. Sen. Litwak agreed, but said there have to be institutional safeguards to assure a structural role for faculty in major spending decisions.


--Housing Policy: No report yet.

--Libraries: No discussion.


--Physical Development: No report.


--Commission on the Status of Women: Dr. Kastens added a few comments to the annual report, which had been distributed at the door. She said the commission had had an active year, including meetings with President Bollinger, VP Kasdin and Associate Provost for Affirmative Action Susan Rieger. The group had also hosted a well-attended luncheon on March 10, with talks about the experience of women at Columbia. The group had extended its earlier research on the “academic pipeline” at Columbia, as senators had heard earlier in the meeting. The commission is also working with administrators to institutionalize the collection of quantitative data on women at Columbia. The group had unsuccessfully sought updates of reports on salary and promotional equity from committees that Senate resolutions proposed by the commission had brought into being within the past decade. Those committees have been inactive for a couple of years. Finally, the commission has launched a qualitative research study focusing on the experience of female graduate students in the natural sciences.


--Structure and Operations: Sen. Bulliet, the committee chair, had left, but Howard Jacobson, Senate parliamentarian and a member of the committee, added a comment to the written report, which had been distributed. He said the committee had devoted extensive discussion to the proposal to grant full voting rights to student representatives from Union Theological Seminary and Teachers College who are now observers. It will continue to work on the proposal in the fall, focusing on the affiliation agreements linking Columbia to UTS and TC. He added that that many Columbia schools have only one student senator, and it would be anomalous to allow both observers from TC to become voting senators.


--Ad Hoc Researchers’ Committee: Sen. Barry Allen (Research, HS), chair of the committee, said the report, which had been distributed, would be the last from the ad hoc committee. In the fall a new Research Officers Committee, created by the Senate resolution of November 1, 2002, will begin its work. The same resolution also sought changes in the University Statutes—approved by the Trustees on March 1, 2003--allowing four additional researchers seats in the Senate. During the summer researchers will encourage constituents to run for those seats. In the fall the new committee will take up an issue that was set aside in developing the Senate resolution of November 1, 2002—expanding researchers’ representation on standing Senate committees. With an expanded delegation of six senators, Sen. Allen said, this project makes more sense.


There being no further business, Sen. Duby adjourned the meeting at around 3:30 pm.


                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,



                                                                                    Tom Mathewson, Senate staff