University Senate

Proposed: September 22, 2000

 

Adopted:

 

MEETING OF APRIL 28, 2000

 

President George Rupp, the chairman, called the Senate to order shortly after 1:15 pm in 301 Uris. Forty-four of 78 senators were present during the meeting.

 

Minutes and agenda: The minutes of the meeting of March 31 and the agenda were adopted as proposed.

 

President's report: The President made the following announcements:

--As of 12/31/99 Columbia had received $350 million in federal research funds, up from about $300 million the year before. With state and city funds, the total exceeds $400 million.

--The Columbia men's tennis team has won the Ivy championship.

--Three younger Columbia faculty received important awards: Ann Bogart, associate professor of theatre in the School of the Arts, and Zoe Strother, assistant professor of art history and archaeology, are Guggenheim Fellows, and Pridrag Jelenkovic, assistant professor of electrical engineering, won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award.

--The College and University Caucus of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is holding its initial meeting on this day in Chicago. Robert Moskovitz, director of business services, is representing Columbia at the meeting.

--The Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing is now appointed. The twelve members include four faculty, four students, and four alumni. The faculty are Hilary Ballon of Art History, Mischa Schwartz of Electrical Engineering, Harvey Goldschmid of the Law School, and Dahlia Remler of Public Health; the students are Dan Goldstein of SIPA, Andrew Holtz of the Medical School, Nadeem Meghji of Engineering, and Lily Parshall of Columbia College; the alumni are Brian Krisberg of Columbia College and the Law School, Robert Diamond of Journalism, Oscar Garfein of the College, P&S, and Business, and Donald Ross of the College and Engineering. Prof. Goldschmid is chair the committee, which will hold its first meeting on May 2. A full listing of Columbia's publicly traded securities has been made available to the Columbia community in the Secretary's Office, 211 Low.

Sen. Joel Banslaben (Stu, SIPA) said students have expressed concern about problems in the coordination of dual degree programs, and he suggested forming a task force to look into these problems. The President said there is no single university office overseeing dual degree programs between schools, and suggested that the Senate Education Committee would be the right group to look into that issue. Sen. Rohit Aggarwala (Stu., Bus.) said the student caucus should participate in such an inquiry since dual degree programs also raise some non-academic issues affecting students. The President said the Executive Committee can take up this question in September.

 

Executive Committee chairman's report: Sen. Paul Duby (Ten., SEAS) said the Executive Committee had met twice since the last Senate meeting. Both meetings were devoted mainly to the question of how the Senate should address the copyright policy recently proposed by a provostial faculty committee. The Resolution to Adopt a New Columbia University Copyright Policy, developed in the Education and Faculty Affairs committees and co-sponsored by the Executive Committee, has been distributed in the Senate packet, and has also received the endorsement of the student caucus. A second resolution, available at the door, to provide for Senate consultation in the implementation of the new policy, resulted from discussions during the last couple of days. It includes provisions for Senate consultation in the appointment of the standing committee and, three years from now, the committee to review the new policy. All members of the Executive Committee were reached during the morning of the present meeting support this resolution. The procedure for the meeting will be to take up the resolution to adopt the new policy first, then the other resolution

 

Sen. Duby mentioned a piece of unfinished business from the February meeting, where the Senate had adopted a new policy on student sexual misconduct. Sen. James Applegate (Ten., A&S) had proposed an alternative definition of sexual misconduct at that meeting, and the President had called on the task force reviewing the sexual misconduct policy to take it up after the February meeting. The task force did deliberate and decided not to change the definition now. Sen. Duby said the definition could be considered again in later reviews of the policy.

 

Sen. Duby said the Senate session now coming to an end has been a productive one for students. Faculty participation has improved somewhat over last year. The Senate has had a busy year and --he hoped to report at the end of the meeting--a successful one.

 

Sen. Duby offered a reminder that a Senate contingent will march and sit together at Commencement, and he invited senators to join.

 

Sen. Duby also announced that Eric Czepyha, a work-study student in Columbia College, is about to graduate after three years of excellent work in the Senate office. Along the way he also earned Phi Beta Kappa honors.

 

Annual reports: The Senate received the following annual committee reports. With the exceptions noted below, there was no additional comment from the chair or discussion:

 

--Budget Review

--Education

--External Relations: Sen. Eugene Litwak (Ten., A&S), the chairman, praised the Investments Office for its rapid implementation of new guidelines in selling real estate Columbia owns. The procedure, developed after Senate discussion in 1998 of the University's controversial sale of property in Orangetown, NY, on the Palisades overlooking the Hudson River, assures consideration of the possible environmental or historical significance of future land sales.

--Faculty Affairs

--Housing Policy

--Libraries: Sen. Fran Pritchett (Ten., A&S), speaking for the committee chairman, Sen. Jeremy Waldron (Ten., Law), said the report was not written yet, but the committee this year does not have urgent problems to report.

--Physical Development: Sen. Peter Marcuse (Ten., SAPP), the chairman, called attention to planning efforts now under way for the area north of 125th Street and west of Broadway. He said the University already has a significant presence there along 125th Street, and is involved in a number of cooperative initiatives that represent a new stage in the reconstruction of Columbia's relations with the community.

 

Sen. Marcuse also reported on Columbia's plans to develop retail space, faculty housing, and a private laboratory school on a site it owns on the east side of Broadway between 109th and 110th streets. The school will offer subsidies for the children of faculty and other officers, and some scholarships for community residents. Sen. Marcuse said this initiative should engage the attention not only of the Physical Development Committee, but also of External Relations, since the school plan raises issues for the surrounding community, and Housing Policy. The main concern of Physical Development, Sen. Marcuse said, is about the site: Has the university considered other Columbia sites for the school, including the lot at Amsterdam between 121st and 122nd streets where the Pharmacy School once stood, or the area north of 125th Street? Sen. Marcuse said plans to develop a school in one of these locations north of campus could be an important part of Columbia's community relations north of 125th Street. He hoped the full Senate will pay active attention to these issues in the fall.

--Commission on the Status of Women

--Structure and Operations

--Student Caucus

 

New business:

 

--Report from External Relations on the founding conference of the Worker

Rights Consortium on April 7: Sen. Litwak presented the report, which had been distributed. He repeated the report's sense of optimism about Columbia's participation in the WRC, adding that it will take some time to evaluate the enterprise.

 

The President said he expected regular updates from both the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the other anti-sweatshop organization that Columbia has joined, and the WRC as they pursue their parallel paths.

 

Sen. Aggarwala mentioned recent news reports that Nike has taken action against two universities that have joined the WRC, canceling a licensing arrangement with Brown and a major sponsorship arrangement with Michigan. He asked whether any of Columbia's licenses have expressed discontent with Columbia's decision to join the WRC and how Columbia would respond if they did.

President Rupp said Columbia's position is the one the Senate adopted at the recommendation of the External Relations Committee in March--that Columbia will be a member of both the FLA and the WRC, and monitor the effectiveness of both. He said Columbia has not heard any complaints from licensees, perhaps because the licensing revenue for clothing bearing the Columbia logo is small.

 

--Tentative reapportionment proposal for tenured faculty (Structure and Operations): Sen. Joan Ferrante (Ten., A&S) summarized the proposal, which was distributed in the packet. It is based on an attempt to count every tenured professor once, and its goal is simply to get an accurate distribution of the present total allotment of 42 tenured seats. It would result in an increase in Health Sciences seats and, for the first time, an allotment of seats to the newly autonomous Nursing and Public Health faculties. The Arts and Sciences delegation would shrink.

 

Sen. Ferrante noted that the College, General Studies, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences no longer have tenured representatives under the proposed scheme. She stressed that the committee will be proposing a way to assure a measure of faculty representation for these schools, without returning to the multiple counting of professors that has skewed past apportionment schemes.

 

The President said it is noteworthy that the Structure and Operations Committee, in which Arts and Sciences faculty are heavily represented, has offered a plan that reduces the number of tenured Arts and Sciences senators.

 

Sen. Letty Moss-Salentijn (Ten., SDOS) said Structure and Operations had recommended a reasonable adjustment of Health Sciences seats.

 

--Resolution to Adopt a New Columbia University Copyright Policy: The President asked Prof. Jane Ginsburg of the Law School, co-chair of the faculty committee that wrote the proposed policy, to introduce it.

 

Prof. Ginsburg thanked Senators Moss-Salentijn, Richard Bulliet (Ten., A&S), and Frank Lichtenberg (Ten., Bus.) for their participation in the committee's work. She said the committee began in early January by articulating principles (now in the preamble) that it then sought to apply throughout the policy. The principles are that academic freedom, including faculty ownership of copyright, is crucial; that, on the other hand, faculty are part of a community, which is asked increasingly to invest in their work, and that a substantial investment entitles the community to participate in the ownership and disposition of the work; and that in cases of a substantial investment by the community in a professor's work, the proceeds should be shared. Two other principles emphasized distinctions between copyright and related issues: use of Columbia's name and conflict of interest.

 

The first draft, published shortly before spring vacation, encountered hundreds of comments offered during a month-long discussion period in town meetings at both campuses, in discussions with deans, law faculty, Arts and Sciences chairs, senators, and others, and by e-mail. This process, requiring restatement of numerous points on which the committee had not successfully said what it meant, was chastening for Prof. Ginsburg. She said she felt like a student in her own first-year Legal Methods class, in which one assignment is to write a statute.

 

In addition to these matters of clarification, the committee made a few substantive revisions after the first draft. The main one was a decision not to require specific disclosure rules for software, but to rely on the same rules governing other works of authorship. The test of justifying the committee's original position repeatedly, in town meetings and its own meetings, showed the position to be unjustifiable. Prof. Ginsburg hoped that the final document, having been tested in these ways, was both clear and sensible.

 

Finally, Prof. Ginsburg called attention to a list of answers to frequently asked questions issues that had been included in the Senate packet. These were questions that were repeatedly asked during the comment period, but were too specific to be addressed in the more general language of the policy document itself. She expected that the list, intended partly as a guide to the standing committee overseeing the policy, will grow as the policy takes effect.

 

The President thanked Prof. Ginsburg for her comments, and thanked the committee for its work.

 

Sen. John Nicholson (Ten., HS) reported on behalf of Thomas Morris, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, that the chairs of the clinical departments at Health Sciences strongly endorsed the proposed policy at a well-attended meeting.

 

Sen. Applegate said the proposed policy was one of the best documents he had ever read by a Columbia committee. His own reservations about the first draft--more matters of clarification than substance--had been completely addressed in the final version.

 

Sen. Gerard Lynch (Ten., Law) said Prof. Ginsburg was too modest about the first draft, since it is always difficult to anticipate all the implications of a document as complex as this one. He also praised the deliberative process with this policy, particularly Prof. Ginsburg's role in it. He said some had been surprised to receive such a substantial, complex document requiring action in such a short time, a situation that was much more responsible than faulty drafting for misunderstandings about the first draft. He said he had rarely seen a group so willing to seek the widest possible consultation, to revisit problems repeatedly till they were solved, or to listen to sometimes vituperative or mistaken critics. He said it was not only a good policy, but the result of a remarkably good process.

 

The President mentioned that the policy provides for review, for adjudication of complex cases, and for changes in the outside world that might require adjustments in the policy.

 

Prof. Steven Ross (Nonsen, Nonten., Journalism), a member of the Faculty Affairs Committee, joined in the praise for the policy, but asked the administration to agree to act quickly on questions the policy may raise--for example, the need for statements assuring publishers that a faculty member can enter into agreements with them. He said such reviews may need to be completed within a week, or no more than a month. A semester would be too long.

 

The President said the request for expeditious administrative reviews--whether the cases are routine or complex--is a reasonable corollary of the administration's own request for rapid action on the new copyright policy. The point is to be as well prepared as possible for the challenges posed by the changes now under way in new media.

 

Sen. Corby Dale (Stu., GSAS/NS) asked whether the standing committee would review cases in which student officers participating in a project might complain that they are not getting their fair share of the proceeds. Prof. Ginsburg said that to the extent a student is covered by the policy, he or she has recourse to the standing committee for adjudication.

 

By voice vote, without dissent, the Senate approved the resolution.

 

--Resolution to Provide for Senate Consultation in the Implementation of the Columbia University Copyright Policy (Executive Committee): Sen. Duby said the resolution provides a way for students and faculty to be involved in implementation of the policy, and the Senate is the right body to provide these members of the committee.

 

Sen. Aggarwala offered an amendment striking the words "from elected student members of the Senate," to assure the greatest possible freedom for both the student caucus and the Provost in finding a suitable student member for the standing committee--for example, a student covered by the policy.

 

By voice vote, without dissent, the Senate approved the resolution.

 

--Resolution Concerning Summer Powers: Without discussion or dissent, the Senate approved the resolution by voice vote.

 

The President adjourned the meeting at 2:10 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Tom Mathewson, Senate staff