University Senate

Proposed: February 23, 1996

Adopted: February 23, 1996


The meeting was called to order by the chairman, George Rupp, at 1:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the Schapiro Engineering Building. There were 39 of 84 voting members present, and no observers from affiliated institutions.

1. Adoption of the Agenda (Exb. 1) - Added as Old Business were items A, Resolution to Establish a Ph.D. Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; B, Resolution to Approve a Statutory Certificate in Conservation Biology, and C, Resolution to App rove a Statutory Certificate in Environmental Policy; and as 5D, Report of the Elections Commission. The agenda was then adopted as amended.

2. Adoption of the Minutes (Exb. 2) - The minutes of the December meeting were adopted as proposed.

3. Report of the President - Highlights of President Rupp's report included the following information:

-- News is mixed on state and federal programs that help fund university research, financial aid, and hospitals. For example, in the area of research (where deep cuts have been averted this year), the future is overcast by the fact that a balanced fede ral budget by the year 2002 will entail a 30% cut in constant dollars.

-- The increasing number of applications to the College indicates that the outside perception of undergraduate life here is improving.

-- St. Luke's Hospital chose to reaffirm its partnership with Columbia and indicated it would prefer to merge with Columbia Presbyterian rather than New York or Beth Israel Hospitals. In response to a question, the President said there would be no harmf ul side-effects from a merger on the prospects for further relationships to other teaching hospitals in the City.

-- Provost Jonathan Cole was planning a number of forums in the next two months to gather opinion on the proposal to expand and enhance the College.

4. Report of the Executive Committee Chairman - Senator Karl Kroeber (Ten., GS) noted that general Senate discussion of plans for the College had been deferred until next month at the Provost's request to allow him to begin consultations with group s most locally affected.

He added that a sparse Senate agenda often lent the false impression that committees were not being active and productive. For that reason two committees, rather than a member of the administration, had been asked today to report on the implementation o f measures that originated with them.

Senator Kroeber had asked Physical Development to report soon on its view of the 5-year capital plan, which had recently been presented to it by Vice President Larry Kilduff.

A request from the alumni senators for their own seat on the Executive Committee was under consideration.

5. Committee Reports

A. Faculty Affairs - On behalf of Faculty Affairs, Senator Kenneth Goldstein (Ten., Journ.) read a statement saying that off-track teaching appointments, full-time positions outside the tenure system, are "fundamentally contrary to the collegial continui ty of the University, since they undermine the long-term mutuality of commitment between professor and university manifested by the terms of regular professorial appointments." Therefore, off-track appointments in any school or division should be (1) lim ited in number, (2) subject to periodic review by the Senate, (3) created only for very specific and defined teaching categories, and (4) created only on the basis of substantial documentation of need. Meanwhile, the Committee was working on a detailed s tudy of the legitimate need for these irregular appointments, particularly in the professional schools.

Faculty Affairs had also interviewed several administrators after being asked to assess revisions proposed by the University to the intellectual property policy, which Faculty Affairs authored in 1984. Faculty Affairs promised immediate support for the all the changes necessitated by evolving federal law but requested much lengthier review of proposed changes that seemed to affect the faculty's traditional sole ownership of copyrighted (not patented) intellectual property created directly or indirectly under University auspices.

B. Student Affairs - New this semester, according to Senator Camilla Taylor (Stu., Law), a member of Student Affairs, is a policy crafted by the administration in response to Senate action last year deploring outside recruiters, whether corporate or gove rnmental, that practice forms of discrimination in hiring that violate Columbia's own policy. The new policy instructs the office of career services to provide only minimal, passive cooperation to offending recruiters. She called the new policy a positi ve step in the right direction.

C. Commission on the Status of Women - Amy Heinrich, (Nonsenator, Lib. Stf.), the chair, recalled that the Commission had long been concerned with issues of salary equity at Columbia and had sponsored several resolutions on the subject. She noted the re cent receipt of a statistical study by the Provost's office of the salaries of faculty members and librarians. The study found no evidence of systematic gender discrimination within those groups, although findings in one single school did lead to salary increases for four women. Time had not yet allowed the Commission to do any analysis of the report. The Commission is still interested in finding a way of insuring prompt annual analyses of salary data, and in expanding the study to include administrati ve and research staffs. The report (Exb. 4) was to be circulated to all senators.

D. Elections Commission - Bryan Friedman (Nonsenator, Stu., CC), the chair, reported a recent decision in which the commission decided to allow one faculty member from uptown to hold her Senate seat an extra year to enable the dean's office henceforth to hold all 8 faculty elections at the same time. There was no objection, but some uncertainty, which the parliamentarian was asked to look into and resolve.

6. Old Business

A. Resolution to Establish a Ph.D. Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Exb. 5) - The library funding snag that had delayed approval of this Ph.D. and its two companion certificate programs last December had since been resolved, according to Educ ation chair Senator Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS). She moved items A, B, and C together. They were seconded and passed unanimously by voice vote.

B. Resolution to Approve a Statutory Certificate in Conservation Biology (Exb. 6) - See above.

C. Resolution to Approve a Statutory Certificate in Environmental Policy (Exb. 7) - See above.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps