University Senate                                                                     

Proposed: November 13, 2009

Adopted:

 

MEETING OF OCTOBER 23, 2009

Executive Committee chair Sharyn O’Halloran (Ten., SIPA), called the Senate to order shortly after 1:15 pm in 107 Jerome Greene Hall. She was standing in for President Lee Bollinger, who was out of town.  Fifty-four of 89 senators were present during the meeting.

Minutes and agenda. The agenda and the minutes of September 25 were adopted as proposed.

Executive Committee chair’s report.  Sen. O’Halloran began with a subject that was a regular item in the president’s report—the university’s current financial condition.  With the usual caveats, such as the required time lag in the valuation of private equities, Sen. O’Halloran said that the endowment declined by about 16 percent in Fiscal Year 2009.  That was actually a fairly good performance compared to most of Columbia’s top-line peers, who lost between 23 percent and 30 percent.  In addition, she said, a five-to-seven-year rolling average of the university’s overall performance would show Columbia among the top three peer institutions.  This longer span is the period since Columbia professionalized its endowment management. 

Sen. O’Halloran said Senate representatives had completed a productive round of October meetings with the Trustees.  Concerns senators had raised earlier about having sufficient access to Trustee meetings were seriously addressed, and every effort was made to assure that Senate representatives were involved in discussions, and to treat the relationship between the Senate and the Board as a healthy partnership that could be further developed.

Referring to a question raised at the previous plenary about the role of the Senate in making policy, Sen. O’Halloran said the Executive Committee had also considered this question on October 14.  She said sections 22-25 of the University Statutes state that the Senate’s role is to make policies that affect more than one school, or that have university-wide application, especially if they do not touch on budgetary issues.  The president may choose to bring Senate acts to the Trustees, who can within a span of two of their regular meetings review and overturn That happens very rarely, Sen. O’Halloran said, but it was important to clarify the questions raised at the previous Senate meeting.  She said the critical passage of the Statutes is section 25.

Sen. O’Halloran mentioned some current Senate projects, including a plan to merge the Physical Development Committee and the Task Force on Campus Planning. She called on a few senators to report briefly on their work. 

Arts and Sciences faculty elections. Sen. James Applegate (Ten., A&S/NS) said A&S elections were under way.  He said all of his colleagues should have received an email from A&S VP Nicholas Dirks encouraging them to participate.  Sen. Applegate thanked VP Dirks. He added his personal view that universities are about what happens in classrooms and libraries and laboratories, and students and faculty and research officers who have a unique perspective on these core activities need to have their voices heard. He said the Senate is an important vehicle for this effort.  

Budget Review update. Budget Review chair Sen. Soulaymane Kachani (NT, SEAS) said his committee was seeking a better understanding of four important topics this year: undergraduate tuition and financial aid, the workings of the fringe pool, budgetary constraints related to Manhattanville, and institutional real estate.  He had already had several useful discussions with Executive Vice President for Finance Anne Sullivan and A&S Chief Operating Officer Scott Norum about the fact that Columbia charges more for tuition and tuition-plus- room-and-board than all of its peers.  Over the last couple of years Columbia had become even more expensive than its competitors on these two measures.  But the crucial number for Columbia—tuition-minus-financial-aid—ranked somewhere in the middle of the Ivy pack.

Sen. Kachani said discussions would continue, with these administrators and others, including undergraduate admissions officers, and would consider numbers for graduate schools. The committee would focus on the fact that that having two levers to play with—tuition and financial aid—might make it possible to change the perception of the outside world about how expensive Columbia is, by raising tuition somewhat less while continuing to meet budgetary obligations.  He said there are several scenarios for handling this problem.  Budget Review would report to the Senate on this issue by the end of the academic year.

Structure and Operations update.  S&O chair Monica Quaintance (Stu., CC) said her committee had produced new draft Senate confidentiality guidelines, which were being circulated to all the committees.  She asked for feedback by November 13, when S&O would meet next and prepare a final version for the Senate in December.

Sen. O’Halloran called for a timeline that works for all committees, including some that might have trouble meeting Sen. Quaintance’s deadline.

Sen. Ronald Bayer (Ten., PH) asked for an idea of what the new guidelines would say, particularly on the balance between transparency and confidentiality, or secrecy. 

Senate parliamentarian Howard Jacobson, Deputy General Counsel and a member of S&O, replied that Sen. Daniel Savin (Research Officers) had initiated the project of revising the confidentiality guidelines, which date back to the 1970s.  He said the current guidelines were anachronistic, both in tone and in some of the concepts.  They say, for example, that every committee will have two sets of minutes—one for public release after every meeting, and one to remain confidential.  He was not aware in his Senate experience of any committee that had ever followed this approach, which seemed to him impractical.  The new draft was an attempt to keep the sense of actual practices.  For example, plenary meetings are open, with publicly available minutes.  At the same time, proceedings of committee meetings should not be public, to enable people to speak their mind freely without having their remarks reported.  Mr. Jacobson added that committee chairs sometimes, as at the present plenary, report publicly for their committees. 

Mr. Jacobson said the other idea in the new document is that committee minutes and other documents should be kept confidential for 50 years.  The main exception would be for a scholar who can make a case for seeing confidential committee information as part of a research project. 

Mr. Jacobson said the other guidelines in the new document parallel the spirit of the university archive policy about documents that shouldn’t be released to the public.  He hoped all senators could provide feedback by the time of the next Structure and Operations meeting.

Sen. O’Halloran asked each committee to compare the new draft with the old document, and judge the guidelines as they apply to their own work

CUMC Caucus. Sen. Samuel Silverstein (Ten., P&S) spoke about initial efforts to organize senators based at the Medical Center into a caucus. He said the initiative grew out of a statement by President Bollinger in the Executive Committee that there are two major governance bodies in the University: the Senate and the Council of Deans.  He saw an opportunity to coordinate these two kinds of governance by bringing the two dozen CUMC senators—including faculty, students, research officers and staff—together with the deans of the four schools at CUMC.

Sen. Silverstein said the caucus was assembling to discuss “trans-health sciences” issues. It had not yet achieved a quorum at its initial meetings.  It had met just before the present meeting, and would meet again soon. 

Sen. Silverstein asked whether senators are routinely invited to meetings of other governance units within their schools—faculty meetings, councils, and so on. 

Sen. O’Halloran said she did not have the answer yet, but would be asking both the General Counsel and Senate staff two main questions:  Are there representatives of the Senate at the councils of the various schools? Are such arrangements by statute, or practice? Or is it something to establish new practices for?  And second, what is the role of the deans within the Senate?  Do they sit ex officio?  She said these questions bear on the question of the relationship between the Council of Deans and the Senate.

Discussion.  Sen. Dionisios Vasilatos (Stu., Bus.) said the financial crisis had restricted the availability of financial aid to international students, with a possible medium-term impact on admissions, and a longer-term impact on the Columbia brand as an international and diverse institution.  He asked for an update on this issue.

Sen. O’Halloran said she had not heard an update, but summarized the president’s statement from the previous plenary, that the university would guarantee loans to students who were already here with financial aid or who had been admitted with a promise of financial aid.
She expected this question to arise in the next budget cycle, in two ways: in connection with a decision about the University’s level of continuing financial aid, and in connection with the impact of loan guarantees on the University’s debt capacity. She said discussions about budget parameters for the coming year take place in November.  The key person to ask about this process was EVP for Finance Anne Sullivan.

Sen. Robert Pollack (Ten., A&S/NS), referring to the new confidentiality guidelines, said he thought the Senate should not align itself along the fault lines of which campus or constituency one comes from.  He said the Senate’s role is to discuss policies that have been formed and made public, but also policies in formation.

Sen. Pollack said that when he was a dean, a central administrator once told him that at Columbia there are those who are asked, those who are told, and those who decide.  Sen. Pollack said it was clear the Senate does not decide, but it could either be asked or told.  He said it was essential in considering the question of confidentiality for the Senate to understand, as a matter of reasonableness and decency, that if senators are to be asked, they must see confidential material.  If they’re to be told, they don’t have to see anything confidential, but at that point they should not be presumed to be in a consultation.  It was his sense that senators should concern themselves with the issue of confidentiality if and only if the central administration is serious about asking senators as opposed to telling them. He said he would appreciate some confirmation from the administration to the Senate as a whole—not just to subgroups in Arts and Sciences or CUMC—that the consultation process is one in which senators are asked and not merely told.

Sen. O’Halloran said these were fair statements. She approached Trustee meetings in the same spirit, which she thought the Trustees also embraced.  But the question was, What types of practices and understandings can be established on these issues?  She thought it would be helpful for Faculty Affairs to take up this question.

Sen. Pollack said the test of consultation arrangements for Faculty Affairs this year would be its initiative to study University retirement and medical policy.

Student caucus chair Andreas Svedin (Stu., GSAS/NS) said the student caucus had also been discussing confidentiality issues, and was prepared to discuss them further with faculty.

Responding to Sen. Pollack, Mr. Jacobson that when Structure and Operations undertook to revise the confidentiality guidelines, the idea was that confidential information would be shared with committees and conceivably even the full Senate under certain circumstances. While he was not in a position to speak to Sen. Pollack’s larger point, he did not want to convey the spirit of the new document.     

Sen. Pollack took Mr. Jacobson’s point. He said his concern was to make sure the Senate is not co-opted into appearing to be consulting when in fact it is being told.  He said the concern was based on a long experience of how unpleasant that feels when it happens.  For there to be genuine consultation, he said, all senators, regardless of their position at the University, must be serious about keeping confidence. 

Sen. Applegate asked why the guidelines were being revised: Were they outdated, or were there problems with the way the Senate was functioning now?  Was there too much confidentiality, or too little, or was it just about right?

Mr. Jacobson said the portion of the guidelines about confidentiality of most committee deliberations was consistent with past and present practice, and the committee was trying to remove anachronistic provisions, such as the requirement of two sets of committee minutes.  A second portion was a new archival policy for Senate materials.  He did not think there had been a precipitating event for this initiative, other than the thought that there ought to such a policy. 

Sen. O’Halloran said that as the role of the Senate had become more consultative, with more involvement in detailed conversations at earlier stages of deliberations than previously, the importance of confidentiality became clearer.

Sen. Rajat Roy (Stu., SEAS) noted with approval the idea in the new guidelines that confidential Senate documents from a particular committee should be available to future members of that committee.  He added that one of the weaknesses of the Senate is communication.  For example, he could not look through committee files to understand the deliberations that led to the plenary discussion of Manhattanville, a restriction that he said hindered the functioning of the Senate. Sen. Rajat asked how far the Senate was straying from its original mission in blocking the dissemination of important information.  He said the Senate was created to promote and maintain transparency, and he saw an inherent danger in refusing to provide transparency for the people the Senate represents.

On the question of saying things in committees that one may later regret, Sen. Rajat said that whenever senators speak in a committee meeting, they are representing their constituency, so theoretically at least, they should never be saying something that is against the interests of their constituency, or that they would regret.  He said it might make sense to redact names in some cases, but he thought the fifty-year limit was too long. 

Sen. Quaintance said comments like Sen. Roy’s were exactly what Structure and Operations had been soliciting—but with the idea that they would be considered in a less public venue, such as the November 13 S&O meeting.  She said Sen. Roy was welcome to attend that meeting.

Sen. Andrew Springer (Stu., Journalism) asked if the present meeting was confidential.  If not, he would prefer to air his concerns in public.

Sen. Quaintance said the Structure and Operations meeting on November 13 to discuss the new confidentiality guidelines would be confidential.

Mr. Jacobson said there was an apparent misunderstanding. From the founding of the Senate in 1969, the prevailing view had been that its committee deliberations were not supposed to be public. Committee release information about its activities in reports, annually or more frequently.
In the case of Manhattanville, he said, the Campus Planning Task Force gave numerous presentations at plenaries.  Mr. Jacobson said the new document in no way strays from the idea that plenary sessions are public, transparent, open.  He said this situation was more pronounced than before because of the public availability of Senate documents on the web.  

Reports.

Physical Development annual report for 2008-09.  Committee chairman Ron Prywes (Ten. A&S/NS) gave some highlights of the report, which had already been distributed.

He said the committee studies how space and buildings are developed in the university, with particular attention to the role of academic planning in that process.

He said the two current building projects closest to his heart as a biologist were the Northwest Corner building and the Mind, Brain and Behavior building.  The NW Corner, sometimes called the Interdisciplinary Science Building, was due to be finished in the fall of 2010.  According to EVP David Hirsh, it would house about 18 faculty from chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering—roughly 8 from within the University and 10 to be hired from outside.  Sen. Prywes expected the new building to strengthen science greatly at Columbia.

Sen. Prywes said Mind, Brain, and Behavior, the first Manhattanville project, would be a much bigger venture.  There had been a very large donation to fund it.  Physical Development had met the previous spring with Prof. Thomas Jessell, who would direct the MBB building.  Prof. Jessell envisioned up to 75 faculty in MBB, with about 50 of them moving from other campuses, mainly the Medical Center.  At its October meeting, the Trustees Physical Assets Committee approved the first steps for MBB, which were abatement and demolition.  So the project was under way but the end was a long way off, perhaps 5-7 years.

Sen. Prywes listed other completed projects, such as the new facilities for University Development in McVickar Hall, the renovated Faculty House, and Knox Hall, where Columbia had newly renovated space under a long-term lease from Union Theological Seminary.  The Departments of Sociology and Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures had moved there, along with regional centers for the study of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.  Still another project was the new field house for intercollegiate athletics at Baker Field. 

Sen. Prywes mentioned some of the Physical Development Committee’s current projects. One was a plan to merge with the Task Force on Campus Planning, since the two committees were doing similar work.  Structure and Operations was now working on the wording of a mandate for the new group, and would bring the results to the Senate for a vote. 

One major concern for Physical Development was the question of how the actual operations and faculty for the new buildings would be funded. Was the University ready to add 10 new faculty to the NW Corner building?  The same question applied, on a much larger scale, to the MBB building.  Could the University really expand by 30-40 faculty, and where would the funding come from?  Sen. Prywes said he was concerned personally about the space vacated by the 8 faculty moving to the NW Corner from within the University.  Could the University really hire faculty to fill that space? 

These financial concerns had prompted Physical Development to join forces with the Budget Review Committee to think about how Manhattanville would progress apart from MBB.  If the funding were to fail to come together, the Manhattanville project could languish, and fail to become a campus.  Manhattanville was planned as a 30-year project, but the hope had been to complete a substantial portion of it in the first 10 years.

Sen. Pollack asked why, if the opening of the Northwest Corner freed up space in Fairchild and elsewhere, the Libraries closed the biology and other science libraries and merged the collections in just one place. 

Sen. Prywes said there would be a new, consolidated science library in the Northwest Corner building, much better than the small libraries serving each science department.  Sen. Prywes added that his own department wasn’t so eager to retain the department library or so upset that it was moving.  Sen. Prywes left it to Sen. James Neal (Admin.), the University Librarian, to explain why the Libraries closed the departmental libraries more quickly than they had previously planned.

Sen. Neal said that from the day of his arrival on campus in September 2001, one of the messages he heard was the need to free up space in the various science buildings to provide for more faculty laboratories.  He waited for an effective way to do that, and developed a plan to move the libraries that had been identified, in consultation with the faculty, for centralization in the new science library as the building progressed.  The need to close the departmental libraries sooner resulted from the requirement last spring of a ten percent reduction (about $3.5 million) in the operating budget of the Libraries. After the spring semester ended, the Libraries were able, in consultation with the departments affected, to build a suite of services and collections that was satisfying the needs of faculty and students prior to the opening of the new library next year.. 

Sen. Pollack said it was a good early warning system—a canary in the coal mine—to worry about expanding one’s operation at a time when one’s budget is being cut back.  . 

Sen. Vasilatos asked whether the reallocation of library space would result in a net gain or loss of study space for students, specifically “loud” study space.  He said the Business School library was already constantly overcrowded, especially during peak hours. 

Sen. Neal said the Libraries, over the previous year, had added about 1000 new seats in all of the various library locations. He anticipated more than 300 new seats in the NW Corner library, more than in all of the four departmental libraries that had been closed. The Libraries were also working with the dean of Engineering School to expand seating in the engineering library, and had also added about 30 seats in the math library over the summer to relieve some of the pressure from the closing of the departmental science libraries.  There had also been an increase of several hundred seats in the Lehman social sciences library—both quiet and group study space. 

Sen. Silverstein said the Libraries Committee, which he chaired, had asked for an accounting of study space at its next meeting.  He reminded senators that the committee had in recent years done everything it could to increase study space everywhere on the campus, including during exams.  Sen. Silverstein urged space-deprived students to contact the Libraries committee.  He added that study space was not just a library problem, but a University-wide problem.  He said it was also difficult to predict needs.  In five years webcasting among groups studying at three different universities might be standard practice in some courses. 

Sen. Neal added that the Libraries had extended the hours at many libraries during the present academic year, and increased the number of floors in Butler Library that are open 24 hours.

Sen. Silverstein said the term “interdisciplinary science” applies at least as well to the MBB building as to the NW Corner building.  He said it was important to name these facilities in a way that helps the public understand their relationship to the academic mission of the University. To raise the money such facilities require, there must to be a real focus on its intellectual purpose.  Otherwise the university was not using its brain power to advance the project.

Sen. Silverstein also said that no university can relocate 50 or more CUMC faculty, including two Nobelists and several members of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences without an enormous impact on its intellectual and social operations.  He said such an enterprise would require an enormous planning effort.  How could Columbia now begin to address this task, which he said would require much more than a five-year planning effort?

Sen. Prywes said he was not qualified to answer Sen. Silverstein’s question, but said the Medical Center must be planning the uses of the space that neuroscientists would vacate to move to the MBB building.  He added that the scientists were not traveling that far, or leaving the University. So he doubted that the rift, or the loss, would be as huge or as dire as Sen. Silverstein thought.  Such transitions were also a great opportunity for CUMC to develop new ideas, new faculty, and new fields—in short, to get better.  Exactly how to do that was a problem still to be solved. He assumed the Medical Center was thinking about these problems now.

Sen. Lisa Hogarty (Admin.) Chief Operating Officer for CUMC, said she was responsible for planning the move of those 50 faculty members.  This effort had been under way for two years, working with Prof. Jessel and EVP for Facilities Joseph Ienuso on who will go and how to backfill that space.  She said Dean Lee Goldman, leading the effort, had done a spectacular job of recruiting new department chairs, so she was confident that the vacated space would be used in the best possible way.  She said this was a big initiative and CUMC was fully engaged in it.

Sen. Silverstein said this venture had been incorrectly seen as a CUMC problem, when it was a university-wide problem. 

Sen. Hogarty asked why Sen. Silverstein spoke of a problem.  She preferred to call a chance to add space on this scale as an opportunity.

Sen. Silverstein said this was more than a matter of moving people from one site to another.  It was a reallocation of brain power, graduate students, and facilities—an enormous change, encompassing in the name Mind, Brain, and Behavior the entire university.  This was not a minor or geographic problem, but a huge intellectual problem in which the whole university must be engaged.

Sen. Hogarty listed some of the challenges the Medical Center was grappling with:  How do you set up your departmental ledgers?  Who gets the money from indirect cost recoveries?  The answers were very complicated, and that was why CUMC had already invested two years and would continue to invest. She added that these important discussions were also going on at the University level.

Sen. O’Halloran said several Senate committee had prepared reports on Manhattanville, which were now being vetted, and would be distributed both to the deans and to the Council of Deans.  She said this would be a useful place for the Senate to join the planning discussions, with contributions on specific issues.  She suggested deferring this conversation, which the Senate would take up later.  She thanked Sen. Hogarty for her input.

Sen. Svedin understood the mandate of the new merged committee on physical planning to involve not just what buildings to build, but what to put in the buildings.  Sen. O’Halloran said the name of the new committee would still be Physical Development, but it would take on both the physical and the academic components of long-term planning.

Sen. Svedin, the student caucus chair, said the Morningside campus had for a long time had problems with space, including student space.  The student caucus would be working on what to do with the large quantity of space now opening up.

Sen. Prywes responded to Sen. Silverstein’s question about the blurring of the vision of the two science buildings.  He said the focus of the MBB building was neuroscience, whereas the NW Corner would concentrate on a variety of aspects of physics and chemistry. EVP for Research David Hirsh and Arts and Sciences AVP for Science Initiatives Ann McDermott had gone through different proposals and sought some themes.  One was imaging; another was nanotechnology.  The results was a more general array of problems in the sciences.  But he agreed with Sen. Silverstein that as the completion of the building neared, a more distinct idea of its purpose needed to be articulated.

H1N1 readiness.  Sen. Svedin said a pandemic preparation group had been working of campus for several years, producing a proposal in 2006.  He introduced Samuel Seward, M.D., assistant vice president and medical director of Health Services at Columbia and Kathleen Crowley, Associate Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety. Scott Wright, a vice president for student and administrative services whose responsibilities include health services, also came to the front of the room.

Dr. Seward thanked the Senate for the opportunity to talk about preparations not just for the present pandemic, but for pandemics in general, as part of a broader goal of assuring that the university can respond to a variety of kinds of emergencies. 

He identified two hallmarks of the preparations achieved over the past couple of years   One was successful collaboration among the Medical Center, Lamont-Doherty, Morningside, and affiliated institutions, benefiting from the extraordinary expertise available in these communities.
The other hallmark was the successful engagement of large public health agencies in the planning effort, including the NYC Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. 

Dr. Seward said the swine flu pandemic was real.  Cases of influenza-like illness had been identified on all of Columbia’s campuses among the student populations and to a lesser degree among faculty and staff.  He said these cases were not occurring at an alarming rate, and the severity of the illness for almost everybody was distinctly mild.  Speaking as a physician in practice for 20 years, he said the H1N1 strain was clearly the major active strain at the moment, and it was truly mild, with most people getting well within three to five days and returning to their classes and research.

The first thinking in planning efforts has been about student communities, in a two-tiered approach.  The first priority was to make sure that the ill students were supported and safe.   He said Student Services, under Scott Wright, had done a great job of making sure that undergraduates who get sick have what they need in their dorm rooms, including food.

The next step was to make sure that the University really could function normally, and that the current pandemic would have as little impact as possible.  The key part of this effort was the communication strategies put into place starting in the spring to make sure that people really knew how to take care of themselves and others during the pandemic.

As for the H1N1 vaccine, Dr. Seward said people had been hearing that it was becoming available, that someone they knew had already gotten the vaccine.  Dr. Seward’s wife, a pediatrician, had already gotten the vaccine.  Every effort had been made with the New York City Department of Health to assure Columbia’s place in the queue to get vaccine. The University had asked for a lot of it.  Only limited amounts had been provided so far to the city and the nation at large, and there was still no date set for the availability of vaccine.  He stressed that at that time the University would be able to get it.  The first groups to receive it would be people known to be at increased risk, such as undergraduate students (because of their age) and pregnant women. 

Sen. Jerald Boak (Admin. Staff) asked what Dr. Seward meant by increased risk—was it risk of transmission? Of mortality?

Dr. Seward said H1N1 seemed to be at least as transmissible as seasonal flu.  But he said he meant increased risk of more severe disease, hospitalization, and, in very rare cases, mortality.  He mentioned the 19-year-old Cornell student who had died of complications of H1N1.  He said it was surprising to everyone that someone like that lost his life to flu, 

Sen. Boak asked how, with a limited supply of vaccine, the University would triage different groups.  Dr. Seward said some students would be in a risk group, but some faculty and staff might be in risk groups also, such as those who are pregnant or have chronic lung conditions. 

Sen. Tao Tan (Stu., Bus.) said Business School students waited for two hours on a recent afternoon at a recent vaccination fair on lines stretching out the door of Uris Hall. He said that as a former Columbia undergraduate, he knew that Health Services were based in John Jay Hall, and he learned that he could still go there, make an appointment, and get his vaccination.  Was there a concerted effort to communicate that there were other ways to get flu shots besides waiting on long lines?

Dr. Seward said Health Services was conducting “vaccine fairs,” about 30 percent more of them this year than in the past, and had ordered 50 percent more vaccine than in the past.  He regretted the length of the lines, but added that Health Services had devoted a lot of people to try to make sure the fairs run efficiently (about 10 per fair).  He said he was always interested in new ideas for communicating with students.  The main way to arrange shots other than the fairs was the Health Services website, but there was also individual communication by letter with students known to be at higher risk.  And certainly John Jay was also available, by phone or online.
In answer to a question, Dr. Seward said information about vaccination fairs was available
on the Health Services website, as well as the Preparedness website.

Kathleen Crowley said a list of vaccination fairs was available on the Preparedness web page that had been distributed for the present meeting. She said students at the Medical Center go to Student Health, but she was confident that, as a health care facility, CUMC had effectively reached at least 80 percent of the student population. For faculty and staff there, Work Force Health and Safety was open weekdays between 8 and 5, and on Saturdays between 8 and 4.  And there was a flu fair in the Milstein building on the primary or secondary floor every weekday. 

Ms. Crowley reminded senators that people could do something immediately about the seasonal flu, which she said kills 40,000 Americans annually.  She said this vaccine was available, though supplies were limited because of the commitment to manufacturing the H1N1 vaccine.

Sen. Silverstein praised the Preparedness page.  He said one gap was the availability of vaccine for faculty and staff at both Morningside and at CUMC on nights and weekends. He suggested having some instruction about this.

Ms. Crowley took this point, adding that vaccine is available 24/7 for clinical faculty at the Medical Center because there are “flu champions” around the clock in all hospital buildings.  She said all three guests at the present meeting were prepared to come to any forum.  She mentioned the University’s support of self-isolation for students, faculty or staff.  Every week, she said, some employee calls to ask how to “manage up” and prevail on his or her boss to go home. 

Sen. Silverstein said having a number to call is crucial, including on nights and weekends.

Sen. O’Halloran thanked the guests.  She said the Senate would also keep track of another issue now being addressed across the University, a proposed ban on all smoking at the Morningside campus, indoors and out.  She adjourned the meeting shortly after 2:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Mathewson, Senate staff