University Senate

Proposed: December 15, 1995

Adopted: ___________________


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 50 of 84 voting members present, and 1 observer from affiliated institutions.

1. Adoption of the Agenda (Exb. 1) - The agenda was adopted as proposed.

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

3. Report of the President - President Rupp had found much enthusiasm for the University during a recent 10-day trip to Asia. He observed that, despite the Western perception, a number of Asian countries actually appear to be somewhat demoralized for varying economic or political reasons.

Lamont Doherty, after a year and a half of involvement with Biosphere 2 in Arizona, was recently awarded managerial control of that unique environmental research project, in which $150-200 million has already been invested.

The current capital campaign met its target early. A new campaign would be announced shortly.

The worst threatened cuts in federal research and student aid were averted, thanks in part to some Republicans who broke ranks to support education. A measure to place heavy restrictions on lobbying by non-profit organizations was also avoided.

In response to a question from Senator Arthur Graham (Alum.), the President explained the substance and timing of his response to a guest column in the Spectator by the head of the Black Students Organization that expressed anti-Semitic views. In October , when the column ran, the University had only issued a statement opposing those views, thinking that the ensuing campus debate would correct the situation as usual. After the national media picked up the story, however, the President felt obliged to pro tect Columbia's long-term interests with a letter aimed at correcting the perception that the campus was in complete turmoil over the issue.

In response to a question from Senator Camilla Taylor (Stu., Law), the Provost and President both affirmed that Columbia had never adopted a hate speech code as such but only sought to define and condemn types of behavior.

4.Report of the Executive Committee Chairman - Senator Karl Kroeber (Ten., GS) reported that his Committee had discussed further the idea of enhancing the mandate of the External Relations Committee by including public affairs and community relatio ns within its jurisdiction.

Provost Cole had agreed, instead of appointing his own separate committees, to ask Faculty Affairs to do the comprehensive review of "off-track" instructional appointments he had planned this year, as well as to make recommendations on certain retirement issues, such as a minimal retirement package.

Also discussed were changes to the intellectual property policy being proposed by the University, which are now under review in Faculty Affairs. The changes are partly to conform with federal legislation and partly to broaden the definition of intellectu al property and incorporate new developments like the taking of equity in licensee companies.

No Senate representatives to Trustee committees were prepared to report, but Senator Kroeber said he would call on them again next month after the early December round of Trustee meetings.

5. New Business

A. Resolution to Revise Standards for Non-Degree Documents (Exb. 3) - The resolution, which formally sets standard requirements for the two types of non-diploma documents the University awards to students for completing course work in a defined area of s pecialization, was moved by Senator Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS) and seconded.

The weightier document, the statutory certificate, would require at least 20 points if pursued along with a related master's degree as is common in the School of International Affairs, or 24 points if pursued alone as clinical or professional certificatio n. Current examples range from a certificate in psychoanalysis to Middle East studies.

The statement of attendance, the lesser credential, may be earned by students who finish at least 12 points or 100 hours of specialized course work. Current examples include a recognized writing program and seminars in technical areas of business or teac hing.

Senator Moss-Salentijn pointed out that in an era of desktop publishing, schools should be aware that they are not free to produce and award official-looking certificates for programs not recognized by the University under these two categories. Ultimatel y the regulations are intended to preserve the value of the real Columbia diploma.

A typo was corrected to say that existing certificates should be dropped if no longer active and (rather than or) do not meet the new requirements.

The resolution was then passed unanimously by voice vote.

B. Discussion of Provost's Annual Letter to the Senate (Exb. 4) - Provost Cole elaborated on topics as requested: litigation against the University is increasing at great expense in money and time, but no cases have been lost in court; the emphasis on i mproving services and quality of life for undergraduates will continue, but not at the expense of graduate students; and the review of the libraries scheduled this year will be conducted on the model of an academic review of a department or school.

Senator Fran Pritchett (Ten., SIPA) requested that the holiday lights on College Walk be left up longer.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps