University Senate Proposed: September 18, 1998
MINUTES OF APRIL 24, 1998
The chairman, President George Rupp, called the Senate to order at 1:20 pm in 301 Uris. Forty-eight of 81 senators were present during the meeting.
Minutes and agenda: The agenda was adopted, with the addition of an item proposed by Sen. Charles Calomiris (Ten., Bus.), a discussion of the Law School's apparent exemption from the requirement of University-wide review for all Columbia tenure candidates. The president said the Bylaws allow senators to raise new issues like this one under new business, for referral to the appropriate Senate committee.
The minutes of the meeting of March 27 were adopted as proposed.
President's report: The President made the following points:
--Layoff notices had recently gone out to 272 Harlem Hospital workers, employees of the Health and Hospitals Corp., which was responding to a declining patient population. Adequate care could probably be maintained despite the cuts, but the University would have to monitor this difficult situation closely, since Harlem Hospital doctors are Columbia faculty members.
--The New York State budget, recently approved, included modest increases in the maximum Tuition Assistance Program grant, and in support for HEOP funding, Bundy Aid, and the Columbia dental clinic uptown. Optimistic talk in Washington of massive increases in aid for research should be treated with caution.
--Fundraising drives for Columbia Community Services and the Health Sciences Neighborhood Fund had reached new highs.
--A balanced University budget would be ready for the Trustees' approval in June, including significant new resources for both the operating and capital budgets of the Libraries, an issue which had concerned the Senate throughout the year. A University Record article detailing these budgetary appropriations had been distributed at the door.
--Overall, the University was making solid headway on the major challenges it faces, in admissions, faculty recruitment, and investments in infrastructure.
Executive Committee chairman's report: Chairman Paul Duby (Ten., SEAS) summarized the business of the April 17 Executive Committee meeting. He thanked a subcommittee that had prepared the resolution for the present meeting calling for a review of the University's policy on student sexual assault. The committee had also discussed a possible revision to the External Relations resolution on Columbia's financial relations with foreign governments, the Faculty Affairs resolution defining the Tenure Review Advisory Committee, and the response of the Education Committee to a recent review of the Center on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASA).
Sen. Duby thanked the Senate staff for its efforts during the year, pointing out that the workload was higher than usual, with new committees on sexual misconduct and enlargement and enhancement, and a survey on health benefits.
On April 17 the Executive Committee had also discussed the question of the Senate's role in resource allocation, with some uncertainty about whether the Senate had ever adopted a resolution on this subject. The staff had not been able to find such a resolution in the files, and Sen. Duby did not remember one. He did recall past Executive Committee discussion of the need for proponents of new initiatives to give some idea of the costs. Such an estimate need not imply a judgment among competing budgetary priorities, just a broad sense that the initiative deserves Senate support. The Senate's role, he said, is not to prepare the University budget, but to review it after it is complete.
A conference marking the 30th anniversary of the 1968 student rebellion would take place on May 2, with panels on pedagogy and research, university governance, and community relations.
Since the beginning of the academic year the Executive Committee had requested the regular, once-a-semester meetings with a Trustee subcommittee that a 1987 agreement between the Senate and the Trustees had called for. At the first of these meetings, which had been scheduled for earlier on the day of the present meeting, senators had hoped to meet with three Trustees, but it turned out that two of them were not available. As a result some faculty members of the Executive Committee subcommittee declined to attend the meeting. Sen. Duby said that he and Sen. Josh Ratner (Stu., CC) did attend a very useful meeting with Trustee chairman Stephen Friedman and President Rupp, which he hoped would lead to better planning and more occasions for interaction between senators and Trustees in the future.
With the permission of the Senate, Tom Mathewson of the Senate staff provided additional details about the governance panel planned as part of the May 2 conference.
--Resolution to Mandate the Formulation of University Policy Guidelines Regarding Any Acceptance of Funds from Foreign Governments or Sale to Foreign Governments of Campus Buildings and/or Real Property Earmarked as Educational Facilities. External Relations chairman Sen. Eugene Litwak (Ten., GSAS/SS) moved the resolution, reminding the Senate that the sale of the Casa Italiana to the Italian government and the establishment of the Italian Academy on that site had raised issues about potential infringement on traditional academic prerogatives. These issues had been debated at length at the previous Senate meeting, with a concluding agreement to provide guidelines. Since then the committee and the Provost had worked together on the wording of a revised proposal.
Howard Jacobson, the parliamentarian, offered an addition to the resolution's second "whereas" clause, a phrase identifying the role of the Italian Academy's board of guarantors. Sen. Eugene Litwak accepted the amendment, but called for using the actual language of the contract between the University and the Italian government, so that the "whereas" clause would read as follows (new matter in italics): "Whereas, the arrangement with the Italian government also empowers its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to appoint six of the twelve members of the Academy's Board of Guarantors, a body created to guide and advise the University;"
There was no further discussion. The Senate adopted the resolution unanimously.
--Resolution to Extend the Term of the Alternative Procedure for Hearing Cases of Sexual Misconduct Involving Students, and to Further Study the Provisions of the Alternative Procedure (Executive Committee). Sen. Duby, as Executive Committee chair, introduced the resolution, which called for an eleven-member task force to study the policy, relying for guidelines on the report of the Executive Committee subcommittee. Sen. Duby stressed the training of gatekeepers, time frames, mediation, and the role of advisors in the hearing process as issues requiring the attention of the task force. A further resolved clause, spelling out publicity measures for the policy, underscored the importance of making everyone in the Columbia community aware of it.
With the permission of the Senate, a non-senator asked why two years were needed to review the present policy. Sen. Duby said a longer schedule, with a reporting date of November 1999, would give the Senate adequate opportunity to discuss and act on the task force report. The present policy would remain in effect in the interim.
There was no further discussion. The Senate approved the resolution unanimously.
--An Act to Establish the Tenure Review Advisory Committee and Define Its Responsibilities (Faculty Affairs). Sen. Eben Moglen (Ten., Law), chairman of Faculty Affairs, summarized the history of the resolution. It had been vigorously discussed in the Senate, in March, and outside it, in a public hearing on April 21, in face-to-face conversation, and by e-mail. A week before the present meeting, on April 17, Sen. Moglen had chaired a joint meeting of the tenured and nontenured Senate faculty caucuses, which appeared to reach broad, if not unanimous, agreement on a substitute resolution that would be presented to the Senate shortly. It represented the outcome of a process of consultation, discussion, argument, and compromise, which he said the legislative process, at its best, embodies. He expressed appreciation to all participants.
The compromise legislation had been distributed at the door for the present meeting, though Sen. Moglen had expected it to be sent out earlier, in the Senate packet. In addition to the substitute, two other proposals had enjoyed broad support in the caucus meeting. These would be introduced as amendments to the substitute resolution. The first called for the Provost to disclose the names of TRAC members publicly. The second called for the TRAC to report summary statistical information on the ad hoc process to deans and the Senate. It was understood that such information must not reveal the membership of any particular ad hoc.
Sen. Moglen said he had been told that Sen. Jonathan Cole, the Provost, agreed with each component of the substitute resolution and its two latest amendments. He asked Sen. Cole if that understanding was correct. The Provost replied that most of these measures were in fact already University policy, so in that sense he had no serious objection to them; but he did object to incorporating them as statutory amendments.
--Procedural discussion of substitute resolution. At Sen. Moglen's request, Sen. Joan Ferrante (Ten., GS) then moved the substitute resolution, and he seconded it. He then asked for someone to move the first of the amendments, but the President interrupted to say that Sen. Moglen was encroaching on his prerogative as chair to determine the order of motions. The President asked for discussion of the procedural motion to replace the earlier Faculty Affairs resolution with the proposed substitute.
Sen. Edward Mullen (Ten., SW), noting that the proponent of the substitute resolution was listed as the Faculty Affairs Committee, said he was a committee member, but had never seen the substitute. He asked for clarification on this point. Sen. Moglen explained that the resolution was the business of Faculty Affairs, but that the substitute was presented by an individual senator.
Sen. Ferrante noted that several members of Faculty Affairs had attended the caucus meeting where the substitute was developed, and said it was her impression, as a non-member of Faculty Affairs, that it was understood informally as a friendly amendment to the earlier Faculty Affairs resolution. Sen. Moglen said he did not think the substitute was contrary to the will of Faculty Affairs, but he agreed with Sen. Mullen that it was proposed after the committee's last meeting.
Sen. Mullen then made a second point, arguing that it was ill-advised to undertake as serious an action as changing the University Statutes if most senators hadn't even seen the substitute before the present meeting. Here Sen. Brett Busby (Stu., Law) objected that Sen. Mullen's comment amounted to debate, and was therefore out of order. The President said that the procedure with substitute motions was clear: any senator is allowed to offer a substitute for a resolution on the floor. Sen. Mullen said he would make his comments later.
Sen. William Menke said the Senate could do whatever it wants, whether or not Faculty Affairs approved. He said the new motion was better than the original, and the Senate should therefore substitute it.
Sen. Cole asked if a quorum was present. The staff member said 41 senators were needed for a quorum, and 48 senators were present.
The Senate then voted unanimously to substitute Sen. Ferrante's resolution for the earlier Faculty Affairs resolution.
--Amendments to the substitute:
--Public information: Sen. Anne Prescott (Fac., Barn.) then offered to amend provision c. of the substitute resolution, about publicity, by adding the following sentence at the end: "He shall also make the membership of the TRAC public information."
Sen. Ratner asked what "public information" means. Sen. Moglen referred to the remarks of Prof. Nicholas Turro, a member of TRAC, at the public hearing that Faculty Affairs had held on April 21. Prof. Turro had said he had no objection to publication of the names of the members of TRAC in course bulletins each year. Sen. Moglen said a reasonable goal was to assure that all tenured and nontenured faculty can conveniently find out the membership of TRAC.
Sen. James Applegate (Ten., GSAS/NS) elaborated on a remark he had made at the public hearing--that the ad hoc system seemed to operate with too much official secrecy and not enough actual secrecy. Under such conditions, he said, the ad hoc process becomes a fertile breeding ground for rumors. Certainly some information about ad hocs
--the membership of a particular ad hoc committee, the ad hoc vote in a particular case--should remain confidential. But other information, including TRAC membership, should be disseminated widely, if only to combat a perception frequently expressed in the last two years of discussion of tenure issues--that secret committees are inevitably biased.
Sen. Prescott said the purpose of the amendment was to assure that at the very least the membership of TRAC is not confidential. The President said it was not confidential now. Sen. Moglen said that in his nine years of involvement with faculty relations issues in the Senate, he had never heard a TRAC member's name disclosed by a University official until the present year. The Provost said that he had never been asked for that information, and that in fact the membership of TRAC had never been confidential. Sen. Prescott replied that her amendment would then simply conform with practice.
The President questioned the need to publish a wide range of nonconfidential information in University directories. He said a number of important groups--the executive committee of the Arts and Sciences faculty, for example--are not publicly listed. Sen. Applegate said the phone book was mentioned only as one way to make the information easily available.
Sen. Moglen asked if Sen. Prescott would accept the word "non-confidential" in place of "public" as a friendly amendment to her amendment. She agreed. The Senate then voted unanimously to add her amendment, as revised, to the substitute resolution.
--Summary statistics: Sen. Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS) offered another amendment to the substitute, a new paragraph, d, to read as follows: "The TRAC shall annually report summary statistical information on the ad hoc process to the Deans and Executive Committees of the affected faculties, as well as to the University Senate."
The President asked the Provost if the annual summaries, unlike all the other measures in the substitute resolution, would be a departure from current practice. The Provost said he had given summary statistical information in four public forums during the current year, so this provision would not be a departure. Sen. Menke said he had attended one of those forums and had found the Provost's presentation extremely helpful. He said an annual report of this kind would be very useful.
Mr. Jacobson, the parliamentarian, asked what st atistical information on the ad hoc process was envisioned in the amendment. Sen. Moglen said the faculty caucuses were interested, for example, in how many tenured faculty members had not served on any ad hoc committee in the last 10 years, how many have served frequently, what proportion of overall ad hoc membership is drawn from the Arts and Sciences faculty, and from other faculties, and what proportion of ad hocs contain members from outside the University. He said the purpose of the amendment, as he understood it, was to assure the continuation of a reporting process that senators were delighted to see inaugurated this year.
Sen. Cole noted that the amendment assigned the reporting responsibility to the TRAC, but the Provost is the leader of TRAC. Did the amendment mean that the Provost would report, on behalf of TRAC? This change was accepted as a friendly amendment.
Sen. Wayne Svoboda (Nonten., Journ.) said that junior faculty members like himself also found the Provost's public presentations particularly valuable.
The Senate then voted unanimously to add Sen. Salentijn's amendment to the substitute resolution. There being no further amendments, the President said the Senate could now proceed to a discussion of the substance of the substitute.
--Substantive discussion: Sen. Cole began by saying that the substitute resolution was a vast improvement over the earlier version because it sought to codify the current practices of TRAC, which former and present participants agree have been successful. This was an apparently innocent piece of legislation, although it did include some variations from current practice. But Sen. Cole said there was no need for the legislation, precisely because the system was working well. In an ordered society, he said, the aim should not be to codify everything, particularly behavior that doesn't seem to need it. Many important groups receive no mention in the statutes, including the President's cabinet, the Council of Deans, the University Planning and Budget Committee, the Housing Priorities Committee, the Space Policy Committee, standing committees in the Arts and Sciences, the Faculty Council of the medical school, the committees on instruction of all the schools, even most of the Senate's standing committees. Clearly, he said, codification is not essential to the functioning of these committees.
Why was it problematic to codify the practices of the TRAC? Sen. Cole said one reason was that codification would make future changes impossible without Senate approval. This was not a bad idea in principle, but the tenure process has always been the responsibility of the tenured faculty, not the nontenured faculty, or alumni, staff, or students, or any other groups represented in the Senate. Just as faculty, quite properly, have no voice in the appointment of student committees, the Senate, a somewhat representative body for the entire Columbia community, should not be involved in making tenure policy. The substitute resolution would therefore undermine the prerogatives of Columbia's tenured faculty. He said this was a difficult message to convey, particularly to students. He added that defining tenure in the Statutes was too fundamental an enterprise to proceed without careful discussion in a variety of constituent bodies. The substitute resolution had not received that kind of attention. It might get the right kind of attention if it were referred back for further discussion. But because it was up for action now, he urged senators to reject it.
Sen. Calomiris asked for an example of how the substitute resolution might inhibit the Provost's flexibility in managing the TRAC. Sen. Cole said that a decision to reduce the number of TRAC member from at seven or more to five or six would require Senate approval. Then there might be an impetus to change other aspects of TRAC's statutory definition, perhaps along the lines of the earlier version of the Faculty Affairs resolution. The substitute, therefore, was nothing less than the camel's nose under the tent.
Sen. Calomiris said he had been persuaded by the argument that past provosts had not had anything like the TRAC as it functions now, and that a future provost might do away with it, if there were no statutory protection in place.
Sen. Cole said it was extremely unlikely, particularly given the evolution of the TRAC in recent years and its apparent effectiveness, that a future provost would try to avoid consulting widely with faculty about the composition of tenure review committees. He said it was always possible to adopt laws to ban worst-case scenarios, but it things are working well, why not wait for signs of trouble before resorting to legislation?
Sen. Ferrante disputed Sen. Cole's contention that it was not appropriate for the Senate to vote on tenure issues. She noted that the Senate votes on degree program proposals that have recommended by the Education Committee, even though it is a faculty prerogative to establish degrees. Similarly, in the present case, the Senate is dealing with another faculty prerogative--tenure policy--by voting on legislation recommended by the Senate committee responsible for addressing tenure issues.
Sen. Applegate said he had previously supported the substitute resolution, but was now urging fellow senators to vote against it. He said the University Statutes describe tenure review only in broad terms, delegating the actual management of the process to the Provost. Sen. Applegate considered this a wise choice. He said it would make sense to publicize certain aspects of the process more broadly, but the Senate should not micromanage it. He said he was not sure about the governance issue of whether, in principle, the Senate should be voting on tenure issues, but as a practical matter he believed the Senate should not be trying to do a job the Provost was already doing well.
The President agreed with Sen. Applegate that the Statutes focus on generic issues, not on matters of detail, and that the substitute resolution was therefore anomalous.
Sen. Robert Jervis (Ten., GSAS/SS) also agreed on this point. He saw no principled reason for focusing in detail on the TRAC, as opposed to some other, more essential part of the tenure process, such as ad hoc committees. He said there was room for broad discussion of what should be written down in the Statutes about tenure procedures, of who should have what responsibilities, of what works and what doesn't, but that enterprise would not be well served by this particular resolution.
Recognized for a point of information, Sen. Moglen read at some length from Section 71e of the Code of Academic Freedom, "Formal Consideration for Tenure," apparently to show that the Statutes address some aspects of tenure review in great detail. The President objected that this particular topic required a high level of detail, but represented an entirely different level of consideration from the definition of a committee like TRAC.
Sen. Prescott, addressing Sen. Applegate's last remarks, said the resolution would in no way encroach upon the effort to provide tenure reviews of high quality. In addition, she said the Faculty Affairs Committee's obligation to investigate and report on faculty members' tenure grievances clearly qualified it to address tenure issues; in 1996 the committee had also reviewed and approved a School of the Arts proposal to overhaul its faculty appointments. She concluded that tenure was qualitatively distinct from other important University issues because it produces such anxiety, and any measure that could provide reassurance would be valuable, particularly to junior faculty.
Sen. Ralph Holloway (Ten., GSAS/SS) said he failed to see how the substitute amounted to micromanagement. In response, Sen. Jervis asked for evidence of comparably detailed descriptions of ad hocs in the Statutes. He said he thought the TRAC was a silly place to start the work of institutionalizing or changing tenure procedures.
Sen. Litwak said it was necessary to start somewhere. He acknowledged that the substitute resolution, like any legislation designed to prevent abuses, was a restraint on the Provost's flexibility. He said the Provost had done a major service in developing and refining a TRAC which had functioned only informally under his predecessor and which hadn't even existed under his predecessor. A new provost could come in and disband the TRAC, despite Sen. Cole's confidence to the contrary. Sen. Litwak mentioned the recent decision to disband a major Arts and Sciences faculty committee. If the TRAC was sufficiently important to senators, he said, they should put it in the Statutes.
In contrast to a view that he attributed to Sen. Applegate--that responsibility for tenure decisions belongs mainly with the Provost and the President and the Trustees--Sen. Litwak offered the view that ultimate responsibility for tenure belongs with the faculty. In universities, he said, there must be a delicate balance of power over tenure policy. Asking why an attempt to codify the workings of TRAC should provoke such enormous resistance, he said the underlying reason might be that the resolution was a symbolic statement of the faculty's right to participate in making tenure policy.
Sen. Calomiris said faculty appropriately play important roles both within schools or departments, in nominating tenure candidates, and in ad hoc committees, which make final recommendations. But he was disturbed by a possible implication of Sen. Litwak's remarks--that the entire faculty should be involved in decision making at any level of detail about tenure. Sen. Litwak said he did not intend that implication.
Sen. Applegate said the likelihood of a future provost abolishing crucial advisory committees like the TRAC was minimal--such an act would be suicidal. He added that a statutory provision designed to protect against such a remote, hypothetical possibility did not meet the test of a sound proposal.
Sen. Alexander Marx (Stu., CC) considered two of Sen. Cole's objections to the substitute resolution. The objection that the Senate was unfit to make tenure policy had already been addressed by Sen. Prescott and others, he said. He also disagreed with the argument that the statutory amendment would tie the provost's hands in making changes in TRAC practices, partly because it really allowed the provost a good deal of leeway, and partly because any further changes to the statutory language--say, a change in the number of members of TRAC--would likely receive perfunctory Senate approval, like other resolutions. He asked if the Provost had any other objections to the substitute.
Sen. Cole repeated two points he had made earlier. One was that the resolution addressed potential problems, not actual ones. There had been substantial testimony that the system was working well. Would it make sense to amend the U.S. Constitution to protect against hypothetical future problems? He said there was no need for symbolic acknowledgment of faculty rights in this case, since current ad hoc practice already embodied a crucial faculty role in tenure decisions. He agreed with Sen. Jervis's comment that other aspects of the tenure process were more deserving of codification than the TRAC. He suspected that the apparently innocent intention of establishing the status quo with the present resolution would lead to further attempts to codify a whole array of tenure procedures.
On the fitness of the Senate to vote on tenure issues, Sen. Cole said it was not enough that the Faculty Affairs Committee hears tenure grievances, and he stressed that only the tenured members of that committee can take part in those deliberations. He said it was not a slight to the Senate to say it does not have jurisdiction over tenure issues.
Sen. Busby said he did not share the Provost's discomfort with statutory amendments, arguing that a legislative process clearly requiring Trustee concurrence would be more accountable than a resolution passed on its own by the Senate, with the problems in Senate composition that the Provost had identified.
Sen. Busby also agreed with Sen. Litwak that effective customs and procedures should be codified, not left alone. He said a better analogue to the present situation than the U.S. Constitution might be the international system of laws, where an accretion of successful custom and tradition is commonly codified in treaties.
Sen. Menke said there was something wrong with the tenure process: it was losing ground intellectually every year, both nationally and locally. As evidence, he mentioned the proliferation of law suits by unsuccessful tenure candidates. He said that anything the Senate could do to bolster the perception of the fairness and deliberateness of the tenure process was important, and the present resolution served that purpose.
Sen. Moglen said that, contrary to the Provost's earlier statement, standing committees of the Senate are defined in various sections of the Statutes. He hoped that the jurisdiction of the Faculty Affairs Committee in faculty grievances, by being entrenched in chapter 7 of the Statutes, would be safe at some future moment when it might become inconvenient. He said the committee was always making somebody angry when it investigated colleagues' grievances against powerful figures in the University; if this function of Faculty Affairs were not in the Statutes, the committee would be gone.
Sen. Moglen also sought to correct what he called a misimpression that the Statutes are a pristine form of minimal regulation that the present resolution would be disfiguring. As a legal historian, he knew that any system of law reflects not so much rigorous intellectual presuppositions as history. He cited the devotion of a chapter of the Statutes to the Legislative Drafting Fund, which was attributable to Prof. Frank Grad, a longtime senator and Senate parliamentarian, and director of the Legislative Drafting Fund.
If the Senate were to adopt the present resolution, Sen. Moglen said, it would be adding a definition to a chapter that already defines ad hoc committees, the Provost's role, departmental votes, scheduling, etc.
Sen. Moglen also corrected the Provost's statement that nontenured members of Faculty Affairs are excluded from committee deliberations about tenure grievances. In fact, he said, they do participate in such deliberations, but not in discussions about certain kinds of confidential information relevant to tenure grievances, which the Provost agreed to share with tenured members of the committee in November 1996. This agreement was memorialized in an amendment to the Statutes passed by the Senate on November 22, 1996, and approved by the Trustees in June 1997.
To the question, Why does Faculty Affairs want to do this? Sen. Moglen answered that committee members are the only people, besides the Provost and perhaps a few aides, who are aware of most of what can be said to have gone wrong with the tenure process. He agreed with the Provost that the overwhelming majority of tenure reviews are conducted well. But this awareness of complaints disposed the committee to want to assure the continuation of successful practices and to change unsuccessful ones.
Sen. Moglen agreed with the Provost that the present resolution was not the best place to start with the tenure system. His preference, and perhaps the Provost's as well, was to make much larger, more controversial changes. Sen. Moglen urged passage of the resolution, not as the best possible measure, but one whose content was acceptable to all.
--Voting: Sen. Ferrante moved the question. Sen. Cole asked again if there was a quorum. The staff member said 41 senators were needed for quorum and 44 were present. The Senate then voted unanimously to end debate.
Sen. Cole asked for a recorded vote. The parliamentarian explained that a decision to record the vote, with signed paper ballots, required the support of one third of those present and voting. The request for a record vote was defeated by a vote of 26-10; 12 votes in favor were needed to make a third of those present.
Sen. Cole asked if there were abstentions. Sen. Jervis said that if the total number of votes was 36, with no abstentions, and the quorum was 41, then there was no quorum. The President explained that the request for a record vote simply required the support of a third of those voting.
The Senate then voted to approve the substitute resolution, with 22 in favor, 17 opposed, and three abstentions.
The President said the resolution would now go to the Trustees, who would need to consider it at two meetings.
--Sen. Calomiris said he did not understand why the Law School, along among Columbia faculties, is exempt from the requirement of University-wide ad hoc review for tenure appointments. A second problem was that Law School faculty currently participate in ad hoc reviews of other faculty. This, said Sen. Calomiris, was a skewed conception of University citizenship, and he suggested that the Provost could simply change the policy. But he asked Faculty Affairs to take up the question and, if necessary, to draft appropriate amendments. Sen. Moglen, chairman of Faculty Affairs, said he would put this question on the agenda for the committee's first meeting in the fall.
Resolution Concerning Summer Powers: The Senate approved the resolution unanimously.
--Budget Review. Received, without discussion.
--Education: Sen. Salentijn, the chair, reported on the committee's handling of a problem in the 1998-99 academic calendar. Because of the lateness of Labor Day in the calendar for the fall, only one study day had been scheduled before finals in December. Student groups had approached the committee to request a second study day. The least disruptive way to accomplish this was to move the exam period one day later, to end on Christmas Eve, a day the Registrar assured the committee would not actually be needed for exams. The committee had approved the change.
The President said the e-mail message received by senators that morning from members of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws about the review of the Center on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse contained one completely untrue statement-- that CASA pays Columbia to use its name.
Sen. Jervis expressed concern that the Education Committee's one-page report on CASA for the present meeting had not addressed any of the criticisms that had been directed at CASA in earlier discussions, particularly that it was an advocacy group whose studies were not based on scientific analysis and were not peer reviewed.
Sen. Salentijn said Education Committee reviews normally confine themselves to the question of whether an academic program has made progress toward fulfilling its founding mission. The quality of the center's work was evaluated by an ad hoc committee appointed by Vice President Dean Pardes at Health Sciences, who were better qualified to make such judgments than the Education Committee normally is. The Education Committee did find that the center was amply funded from a variety of sources, a level of support that would not be available if peer review of the center's research were not taking place. The center's reports were of good quality, Sen. Salentijn said, and many Columbia people feel the center is a valuable addition to the University. As for criticisms of the center's research, she said, the burden of proof rests upon the critics.
After discussion, it was agreed that Sen. Jervis would read the report of Vice President Pardes's subcommittee. Other senators were also welcome to review relevant documents.
--Ad Hoc Committee on Enlargement and Enhancement: Not available. Sen. Ratner, the chair, said the committee was still seeking consensus, and would report once it had found it. The report would summarize committee discussion, and review the first two years of E&E in the light of the January 1996 proposal that launched the initiative.
--External Relations: Received, without discussion.
--Faculty Affairs: Received, without discussion.
--Housing Policy: Sen. Calomiris, the chairman, said the committee did meet once, approving guideline rent increases in University-owned apartments for next year. The increases would vary by type of housing, but would average less than 2.5 percent, below the average pay increase for Columbia employees.
Sen. Moglen noted that the New York City Rent Stabilization Guidelines Board recently released its operating expense index for the coming year, anticipating an increase of 0.1 percent in operating costs. He asked what proportion of Columbia's 2.5 percent increase would be used for operating expenses. Sen. Calomiris said the committee would be submitting a written annual report and might be able to address that question there.
Sen. Busby, a member of the committee, expressed dissatisfaction that it had only met once all year, at a time that conflicted with an Executive Committee meeting he had to attend. Another problem was that after the Executive Committee had merged the Senate Housing Policy Committee with the President's Ad Hoc Committee on Housing back in November, the Senate committee had not been informed of the times of the remaining meetings, except for the last meeting, scheduled in May.
--Libraries: In the absence of chairman Sen. William Harris, (Ten., GSAS/SS), Sen. Paula Loscocco (Fac., Barnard) spoke briefly about the committee's report, which had been distributed by e-mail and at the door. She said the committee's task this year had been to keep library issues at the forefront of University planning, through discussion of the Frye report and the various responses to it. She expressed the committee's gratitude for the response of the President and the Provost, in the work of the Provost's faculty advisory committee, the Libraries' Action Plan, and the substantial new appropriations for the Libraries outlined in the new issue of the Record.
The President said the Provost was scheduled to report at the present meeting on the current state of planning for the Libraries. In view of the lateness of the hour, the Provost suggested postponing his report till September. There was no objection.
The President said he was working with Sen. Harris to arrange a discussion between some members of the Libraries Committee and the Trustees Committee on Educational Policy in early June.
Sen. Marx asked if the new budgetary commitment to the Libraries constituted full or partial funding of the Action Plan. The Provost said it did not represent 100 percent of the items in the Action Plan, but it included some items not in the Action Plan, and it moved some items from capital to operating budgets.
--Physical Development: Received, without discussion.
--Commission on the Status of Women: Received, without discussion.
--Structure and Operations: Received, without discussion.
--Student Affairs: No report.
The President adjourned the meeting shortly after 3:30 pm.
Tom Mathewson, Senate Staff