Sharyn O’Halloran (Ten., SIPA; Executive Committee chair): Okay. We’re going to get going. I guess the president should be arriving shortly, and we have a bunch of administrative -- are we going to be approving the committees and so forth at this time? All right. So we’re going to adjourn. Not adjourn. We’re going to begin. We could just adjourn. You know I do really like quick, efficient meetings, so we can just call it done. But let’s just start.
First of all, I’d like to welcome everyone to the 2012-2013 Senate. This should be a very good group. We’re excited. We’ve got very active committees, a very active agenda, and I want to thank everyone who is here and participating, already active in our committee meetings, and so far with very good attendance. So thank you very much.
We’re going to skip the president’s report, and we’ll go right back to it when he comes. The first thing is, there have been nominations for the standing committees, and three new students have been elected to the Executive Committee. They are Anjelica Kelly, Eduardo Santana, and Richard Sun. They need to be elected. So moved. All right. Yes. Second. Okay. All in favor. [Ayes]
O’Halloran: All right. Do you want to go through the committees? The other thing is, we’d like to welcome our new senators. The other thing is, we just elected the Executive Committee, but we’d like to welcome new senators. Tom’s going to read your name out, and if you could just wave or stand, that would be great.
Tom Mathewson, Senate secretary: Yes, we have a bunch of new and returning senators. I’ll just thank you returning senators now, and I’ll read the names: Damani Aaron, Business; Jessica Angelson, Nursing; Emerald Carter, Union Theological Seminary observer; Justin Carter, General Studies; Venkatesh Hariharan, SEAS graduate student; Gunel Hasanova, student in Social Work; Victor Kagan, from Dental Medicine; Kalliope Kyriakides from Barnard; Moneek Madra, GSAS natural sciences; Akshay Shah, SEAS undergraduate; Richard Sun, Columbia College student; Zahrah Taufique, P&S student; Foad Torshizi, GSAS Humanities; Tabisa Walwema from Law; Kathleen Dreyer, officer of the libraries; André Gabriel, professional research officer. Are you here, André? And Andrew Williams is a postdoc research officer. Welcome to all of you.]
[Accidentally omitted from the list of new senators was Matthew Chou, Columbia College]
O’Halloran: Did you want to do the committees now? Just the list?
Howard Jacobson, Parliamentarian: Did we do the agenda?
O’Halloran: Yes. We’re going to move now to the agenda.
Jacobson: We need to adopt the agenda. We need a motion and a second. Any objections? Okay. It passes unanimously. We need to adopt the minutes. We need a motion. Second? Any objection? Done. Okay.
[Interruption of the recording, which resumes after the start of the president’s remarks]
President Lee Bollinger: ….—historic dimension for the university. It’s actually a historic dimension for all universities in the United States. There’s no university, I believe, at this point in time, that has raised more money than that, or at least in the very, very top group. At the end of the year, the last calendar year, remember capital campaign pledges count as well as money actually given, just money given in the year -- again, we were in the top five. Right around $500 million came into the university last year. That placed us at least third, and that’s really a very great improvement over a number of years.
Manhattanville continues apace. Of course, this is a long-term thing that will stretch out over decades. But we should be seeing the Mind Brain Behavior rise out of the ground very shortly. We will also have some wonderful announcements with respect to that sometime in the next month.
School of the Arts building -- the Lenfest Center for the Arts is also proceeding apace, and the Commons Building, which is what we call the building that will be available for university meetings and conferences and seminars.
[Interruption of the recording, including the president’s transition to the subject of Columbia global initiatives]
I think there has been a lot of discussion -- not a lot of discussion but a lot of coverage, and discussion, about these. Just to say, very briefly, we now have eight global centers up and running. They are for each region. The European region is in Paris, led by Paul Le Clerc, who just left as the president of the New York City Public Library -- a very, very successful run -- and the Istanbul center is up and run by Ipec Sem, a major journalist from Turkey. She worked on CNN Turkey, also from a very distinguished family. Her father served as foreign minister in the late ’90s. In Nairobi, with Belay, who’s their former minister of agriculture in Ethiopia. He’s running that center. Safwan Masri is heading, still, the Amman center, but Safwan has taken over from Ken Prewitt, as the vice president in charge of all the global centers, developing them. Nirupam Bajpai runs the Mumbai center. Nirupam is a fellow in the Earth Institute, but also very, very close to Manmohan Singh and other political leaders in India. Joan Kaufman has taken on the Beijing center. We’ve got Tom Trebat in Rio, Karen Poniachik in Santiago. These are great people, for each of these centers.
We had a conference here at Columbia last week with the global scholars. These are students who had gone out with faculty from the Weatherhead Institute, and also from the European institute, with Vicky de Grazia and then faculty, again, from Weatherhead. These are students who were part of pilot programs. Just to give an example, in the case of the Weatherhead program, students studied city planning, urban planning, especially poverty and extreme poverty in Beijing, Shanghai, and Mumbai. For six weeks they studied with faculty, visiting places within the city, listening to city planners, listening to NGOs, listening to people who live in this environment, and talked about what a really amazing learning experience it was for them. We also have a fifth-year pilot that is beginning, led by three faculty. That will –
[Interruption of the recording, including the start of the president’s discussion of the Fisher case now before the Supreme Court, and a question from Philip Stephenson (Stu., Journalism) about alternative metrics for achieving diversity in college admissions. The recording resumes in the middle of the president’s response]
... –to socioeconomic status, or other things. A lot of scholarship has been done on this, and basically it shows what I just said. That has a lot to do with the demographics of populations. Most people at the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum are white; therefore, you don’t get a diverse student body racially and ethnically. Then people say, sometimes, “Don’t worry. We can handle this in ways that -- we’ll know, by looking at zip codes or high schools, we’ll know whether an applicant is African-American, or Hispanic, or Native American, and in that way we will be able -- even if the application doesn’t say.”
The problem with that is this. If the Supreme Court of the United States says it is unconstitutional to consider race or ethnicity in admissions, then the only right and proper result is for every institution to follow that, and not to consider it, and certainly not to do it in a way that uses surrogates. That’s because we believe in the fundamental rule of law, and we believe in the Constitution as the profound statement of what the society lives for. If the Supreme Court interprets it that way, that’s what the Constitution, then, says, and we have to follow it. If we do not, we would then be subject, I am positive, within a number of years, to lawsuits that would subpoena our admissions officer, ask them, “You knew, did you not, this person, this high school was predominantly African-American? And didn’t you take it into account? Look at the email that you sent here.” A court would then hold, as it properly should, that the university had violated the basic law of the country, and that would be a tragedy for everybody.
So there are Plan Bs and Cs, but they’re not anything close to what we have or want and believed in; therefore, we really have to do everything we can to try to keep this principle. Jim, do you want to say anything?
James Valentini (Admin., Columbia College Dean): I’ll stand so you can hear me. I don’t think there are any effective proxies, largely because in the College we already try to achieve diversity in every conceivable dimension. So we want a distribution of students on the basis of educational attainment of the students, and we do have priorities, for example, for getting first-generation college students, for geographic diversity, for economic diversity. Since we’re already doing all those things, it would be hard, actually, just operationally -- of course, [unclear] [laughter] because the dean and the president will also be sued. [Unclear]
Since operationally, since we’re already doing all these things to establish diversity in the Columbia College student body, by every conceivable measure of diversity, there’s not a lot we can do, additionally or differently, to achieve that outcome. Functionally, I don’t think there would be a way of doing that.
Tabisa Walwema (Stu., Law) [Unclear]
Bollinger: Well, you are now witness to a very special conversation, that this very fine law student and I are having about legal principles. You’re raising the question of standing of the plaintiff to even bring this, and that is a clear problem in the case, which means that it’s possible that a majority of the court might say, “You know, affirmative action is something that’s a debatable question under the Constitution, but we can’t take it up in this case, because the plaintiff doesn’t have standing.” That is a possible outcome. If that were to happen, we would go on in life. But you’re right. The standing issue is a serious issue in the case.
Ronald Breslow (Ten., A&S/NS): One question you talked about earlier. We’re doing something very different in other countries, than almost everybody else is. I’m just curious whether there is a middle position. Are there some places where you can imagine putting a second campus?
Bollinger: Yes. The point is, we’re doing something that’s really very different from a lot of other universities. And is there a middle position between branch campuses and what we’re calling global centers? The answer is yes, of course. We also have a group -- I’ve asked John to take up, John Coatsworth, to take up online education issues, because that’s now become a big deal, as we know. And we’ve got Sree, from the Journalism School, looking at this, and, of course, we’ve got the Senate, also, looking both to globalization and hopefully, online. It’s possible that in Mumbai the government might say (they are saying), “We really need the help of foreign institutions to help us with the education of our population. Would you consider [unclear] -- online, with using our center as a hybrid model, like our School of Continuing Education.” So that’s possible. It’s also possible our School of Continuing Education could do it directly. We are in this area already, of online education, so we might do something like that. Or we could have small seminars. Yes. We might. We’ve got to keep our minds open to this. We start out -- I mean, it seemed to me, and it seemed, I think, to all the people we’ve worked with over the past several years, that the right way to proceed is how can we help our faculty and our students learn more about the world, in order to be able to do what we do better, teach and do our research.
And, as you know, just to fill that out for those who don’t -- Yale is setting up, with the government of Singapore, and the National University of Singapore, an undergraduate liberal arts college in Singapore, funded by the government. NYU has notably set up a liberal arts college in Abu Dhabi, funded by the emir of Abu Dhabi. They are also setting up an undergraduate program in Shanghai. Again, the standard arguments against this are that quality control of branch campuses is very, very hard. I visited the places that a lot of universities have set up -- Cornell Medical School, Georgetown Foreign Policy School, Northwestern Journalism School -- in so-called Education City in Qatar, in Doha. In all candor, I think there are real issues of quality control in these outposts, but for me the main argument is, I’m not sure it does that much for the home campus. I’m not sure it does that much for our faculty and our students. And if you think (as I do) that our problem is we have to know more about China -- if you’re doing work on information flows around the world, what’s needed for the world to function effectively, you’ve got to go to these places, talk to people, build relationships, learn about it -- you can’t just do that by being here in New York. So we’ve got to facilitate that.
My personal view is that every student who comes here should have been to China by the time they graduate, and should have been to India, even if it’s only for a short period of time. Their lives are going to require a sense of the texture of these societies, that begins, meaningfully, in many ways, for many people, with actually being there. Sam?
Samuel Silverstein (Ten., P&S): Would you clarify what the leaders of these centers -- what is their responsibility?
Bollinger: Their responsibility is to do what I said; to help us; to help faculty and students work on projects that will --
Silverstein: Are they full-time?
Bollinger: They’re full-time.
Silverstein: And do they create programs? Or do they only create programs together with someone?
Bollinger: They will help you. So let’s say, Sam, you decide you really would like to learn about science and education, and you want to develop that knowledge globally. So you say to the center in Mumbai, “Put me in touch with the Minister of Education people; put me in touch with --” and they will do that for you. They will arrange for you to give lectures. They will arrange for you -- and maybe they’ll say, “There’s a local institution here that has people you might want to work with,” so they will help organize that. With the students who came through in the global scholars, they set up the people, the experts on city planning, the experts on -- they brought in the NGOs, they formed the classes, they formed the -- if you’re a school. So the School of Social Work says, “We really want to help build a social work program in X country,” which they actually have, in Jordan, they will facilitate that. They will also propose things. So the government of Chile may say, “We really need some help on our legal structures, with respect to our natural resources.” I’m just making this up. So Karen might call and say, “Could you put together a team of people who might come down to Chile and work with us on this? And, by the way, that’s also of interest to the people in China.”
Thanks very much.
O’Halloran: Okay. Well, thank you. So we elected the new student senators to the Executive Committee, and I guess we’ll do the standing rosters next week. Is that what you had proposed? We can do that next week. Okay. There are a couple of ongoing initiatives that the Senate is currently working on. There’s a Global Initiatives Task Force, the Online Learning Task Force, and these are obviously working with the administration very closely. On the Global Initiatives Task Force we actually gave a presentation to the trustees, which was very effective, and I think it was a good way for us to bring our efforts into the thinking of the trustees. There’s a subcommittee that’s working on that, as well as bringing Safwan into that discussion. I think that’s going to be a very healthy -- we’ve seen lots of people looking at global initiatives across the institution -- CPC and so forth. So bringing all of that thinking under one rubric, and with a strategy, or how we want to go forward, I think will be very helpful, especially as we’re beginning this process.
The online learning, obviously, is something we have also been working on since spring. We gave a presentation to the deans’ council, with various groups that have been working on this. In addition, we met two days ago with Daphne Koeller from Coursera and we had a very nice, university-wide representation of people who were interested in engaging in this medium, and how they can enhance our current pedagogy. So I thought it was a very constructive conversation, and it shows a lot of enthusiasm of people to work within this.
Also, one of the things we are thinking about -- and dovetails nicely with President Bollinger’s own conceptualization, is bundling of both the online learning and the globalization. We feel that this is going to be very effective for both of these endeavors, and will allow them to be supporting and reinforcing. So we really want to explore that. We think that’s a big deal, not only because it effectively uses the technology and the centers, but it also brings in an incremental revenue base, and can broaden our audience in a way that we simply cannot do in a residential environment, and also maintaining quality control, which is also very important.
In addition, there was a fringe benefit that has been ongoing. The provost was probably going to say a few things about that, mostly with regard to retirement. That conversation is crystallizing, and what I understand is that they will be implementing the final revisions shortly, that will take effect at the end of this year. There is also a broader retirement report that will be forthcoming, that looks at all aspects of retirement, not only as we build for our own retirement but quality of life issues around retirees, housing, the way to engage the university in an ongoing manner, and so forth. So I think that will be a very interesting and fruitful report to come forward.
Having said that, just to follow up from two resolutions that we passed last year, both the resolution engaging course evaluations, and that’s proceeding at the school levels. Many of the schools are having conversations, not only about making the quantitative data available -- which many already do, but also how one can proceed with making some qualitative information available to students about both the content and the quality of the instruction. Right now that’s at a school level, but that will be ongoing in discussion.
Then, in addition, we are executing on our franking privileges -- that is, our email lists, and that it will first start with the student categories, so students have access to correspond with their own constituencies, and we’ll be working on exactly how we’re going to be implementing those procedures. But I just want everybody to know that we are, indeed, getting the listservs together, getting the groupings together, and giving senators a much more clear and direct way to communicate with their constituencies, both about what we’re doing and also some of the ideas and suggestions that others may have.
You had a question?
Aly Jiwani (Stu., SIPA) [Unclear]
O’Halloran: Right. The way I will do that is transmit it to the provost, and have the provost give it at the deans’ council. I think that would be the most effective way to do that. But I do believe that they are fully aware of it; but, clearly reminding them of that would be helpful.
Bollinger: Great. So now we have committee reports? Is that right? Campus planning, or not?
O’Halloran: Do you want to give the report? ROTC, the smoking --
Breslow: You all have the actual report itself. I thought rather than go through that, I would just point to some things which I think are really very gratifying, and indicate that the Senate is not simply an ineffective debating society, right? That we actually get things done.
Now it turns out that there are a number of places where our committee came with recommendations, to the trustees or to administrators, and then afterwards those recommendations turned out to be enacted. But this is related to the usual post hoc, ergo propter hoc problem, right? You all know this. After this, therefore because of this. You can’t prove that. It may well be that there were great ideas sort of floating around, and we just added a little bit of weight to it, and we can’t prove we didn’t. But let me just go through some of the things that we thought really made a difference, and it’s why we feel pretty good about how our year went.
First of all, it turned out that a lot of the students were concerned that we did not have a decent graduate student center, and all the competing universities that we take seriously have, in fact, such a thing. We actually came out in favor of pushing this, and we voted for the creation of such a center; and, in fact, the center is now being created, and I think it’s fair to say that there were a lot of people pushing it, but we were one of them. So that was not so bad.
Then we repeatedly talked to people about the Northwest Corner Building. First of all, there were construction problems -- which I think have all been straightened out. We talked a lot to people in the building itself, and made sure that things are all right there. But, in addition, they all complained that there was no seriously good administrative structure. In most buildings, there is a department which either has the whole building or has a share of it, and they have the normal administrative structure to deal with their situation. It’s not true there. It’s not true there. It’s not that we’ve divided that up into three or four departments, and each one is under some other department. But they have, in fact, now, created, I think, really quite a good administrative structure, and that was important because it was not totally clear how decisions would be made, and other things of that sort, which really were important there.
So we, in fact, made this case, and, in fact, it has since been adopted. Another point we made quite strongly was that, in looking around the campus, it’s obvious that Pupin is a major scandal; that it’s a place where a very distinguished physics department did wonderful work, but that was some time ago already, and the building has not changed significantly since that time. We said that we really think that it has to get started, and the way you start renovating a science building is to start at the top, cut the services off there, and put new services in. If you start at the bottom, you’ll cut the services off, and then nobody can function. So that’s exactly what you have to do, and that has been started now. So now -- of course, we pushed it, but I should say that Bill Zajc and Frits Paerels -- the chair of physics and also the chair of astronomy, both of whom occupy that building -- they, of course, were very strongly pushing for it, and they’re quite happy that now things are getting going; and that, as fundraising proceeds, presumably they’ll march down the rest of the building and handle that.
All right. One of the things that was really of concern to us was that at the medical school there was a new medical student education building going to be put up. A number of people pointed out that at the medical school there are not only M.D. students, but there are also Ph.D. students galore, and that we said we really thought it should be called the Medical and -- let’s see. I forget what we called it -- Medical and, I guess, other -- did we give a name to it? I forget. Does anybody remember? Graduate. Thank you very much. Medical and Graduate Center. Yes, I have everything down here except how it actually turned out.
Yes. So the point is, as soon as we pointed it out to them, they said, “Well, of course, we’ll do that.” So they did that. So sometimes we just have to remind people that there are things that need to be paid attention to.
The one that I thought was the most interesting was, for two years now we’ve been pointing to the trustees, because we see them on a regular basis. We do things with the trustees. We look at the documents that they have, we comment on them, and sometimes make suggestions about what to do, and we do that every time. But in addition to that, we usually say something to them about some other thing that’s on our mind or whatever. For quite a while now we’ve been concerned about the condition of the 168th Street station for the #1 subway train -- which is, in fact, the place where a huge number of faculty, and students, and visitors, and patients, and all kinds of people, arrive at Columbia, and it really looks like something out of, oh, out of a horror, a horror show somewhere. It really is a terrible thing. So what we said was that, of course, we’re not going to fund all that, but MTA should be induced to do that, and Columbia and the hospital should agree to put in some money toward it, especially to handle the special labeling that we need, and all that, which would be our responsibility.
Well, as I understand it -- and I keep checking to make sure this is real -- the MTA has voted to spend $32 million in that station, and Columbia and the hospital have agreed to put in one each. One million. [Laughter] We tried for the first one, but it didn’t work. But $1 million each. So that’s pretty good, and apparently it’s real. So that makes us feel pretty good, because that really is an awful thing. So we’re going to try to find other situations where we think a little pressure might make some difference in the appearance of the place, besides all the other functioning.
But anyway, the rest of the report is all there, and you can see how we did it. We saw an awful lot of really very good people, and we were very happy that everybody was willing to come and talk to us. It really was a very pleasant operation, and we felt good about it because we didn’t find anybody who said, “What you guys want to do is not a good idea.” We often found, “Well, we’re not sure how we can do it,” but then, somehow, things did get done. So that’s very good.
Jessica Angelson (Stu., Nursing): Where can I read more about the 168th Street station plans?
Breslow: I don’t know that. Lee may know that -- what’s happening with the MTA business?
Bollinger: Let’s write to Joe Ienuso and we’ll get that.
Breslow: Yes. Joe Ienuso is the person who comes to us about most things having to do with construction and things of that sort. One problem we had with that station was that we can’t make it wheelchair-friendly at the 168th Street station, without an enormously expensive construction. On the other hand, the MTA has figured out ways to do renovations that don’t require a complete conversion of the whole thing to wheelchair. We’d love to have it wheelchair-friendly, but it’s not clear where the money’s coming from. But at least make it acceptable, so that when people arrive there, and they see “Columbia University,” they don’t say, “What happened to them? They must have gone out of business.” So anyhow. That’s what we did.
Jeffrey Kysar (Ten., SEAS): You looked at -- talked to them about the 125th Street station, on the #1 line? It’s awfully noisy there [unclear].
Breslow: Yes. The 125th Street station is intimately tied in with Manhattanville, and we have spent a lot of time worrying about Manhattanville. Much more needs to be done, of course, but I think that is related to Manhattanville. It’s related to many things, but it’s certainly related to Manhattanville. It’s the obvious place where one goes to get to Manhattanville, and I think there are plans to do something with it. I don’t know about the noise, but there are certainly plans to fix it up so it’s a more respectable-looking place, and maybe other things. But that’s all part of a much bigger picture, as Lee said. Manhattanville is going to go on for a long time, before it’s all put together. But we have to watch it, and make sure that no mistakes are made. The few mistakes -- there weren’t many -- but there were some real mistakes in the Northwest Corner Building. We want to make sure that kind of stuff doesn’t happen again. So we are in touch with all the people involved in the planning. We’re in touch with the dean of the Business School, about what his plans are. We raised the issue with him about whether it would be attractive for the faculty to have the thing down there, rather than up here on the campus, and I think he had a pretty good answer to that. He’s thought about it carefully and has talked to people. So we do raise questions: “Is there a problem with your plan?” and then we try to see what the answer is.
Bollinger: Thank you very much. So we go now to smoking policy.
O’Halloran: That we’re going to skip, because he’s running. Dan, can we just go super quick? And if you need more time, we can put you on the agenda next time.
Daniel Savin (Research Officers): I’m Daniel Savin and I’m the chair of the Research Officers Committee. You have our report. I want to mention a couple of things. There was a salary equity study that was completed in 2010, which found major salary disparities based on gender, race, and ethnicity. That study took four years. That was released to the deans and also to us, and they were asked to make changes. We’ve been following this with various university administrators, and so far there are no clear changes, no clear metric has been presented to us of what has changed. We’re looking forward to a report that’s going to be put together by Stephen Rittenberg. Sorry for the voice problem. Hopefully, that report will come out this academic year. The rest of the stuff -- I would like to talk about postdoc research fellows. (I don’t function well under pressure. I apologize.)
Postdoc fellows have no health benefits provided by the university. The fellows are the cream of their crop. They bring to the university over $13 million a year in research funds, but the university doesn’t -- the water’s not a problem. It’s a neurological issue I have.
A senator: [Unclear]
Savin: I wish. I wish. So the postdoc fellows bring $13 million a year to the university, but the university doesn’t compensate them for this award that they’ve been getting. They don’t get health benefits, usually. These are the cream of the crop, and we really want to encourage them to come to Columbia University. We don’t want to discourage them. So I strongly urge the administration to create a mechanism by which these postdoctoral research fellows can be given health benefits by the university. The rest of it is in the report, and I apologize for the difficulties, and thank you for your attention.
Bollinger: No problem. Thank you very much.
O’Halloran: Smoking. Okay. So Francis Lee, who is co-chairing the campus plan -- everything is campus planning around. But this is smoking policy, providing us a report. Now just to put this in context -- this report is a review of the current policy, which is a twenty-foot ban, and it requires that if you’re going to smoke, you have to be twenty feet away from any buildings. Now in the part of the resolution that we passed two years ago, there was a provision that required us to, within two years, to do a review of that policy. This is exactly what they are working on right now. They were very diligent. There was a good representation of folks, including student input, and we’re very thankful to everyone who did provide that work. They went over the summer and did, as you will see, an enormous amount of due diligence on the effectiveness of the current policy.
So I want to thank Francis Lee and Elaine Larson for their work on this. Francis is going to provide us with a summary of their findings.
Francis Y. Lee: Good afternoon. This is going to be very quick, I promise. I’m Francis Lee. I’m an orthopedic surgeon at P&S, and Dr. Larson is professor of nursing. We are reporting our two-year evaluation of our current smoking policy.
Under the direction of Dr. Sharyn O’Halloran, who is the chair of the Executive Committee, we formed a task force for the assessment of the current smoking policy. Task force members consist of both smokers and nonsmokers, both from Morningside campus and also Lamont Earth Observatory. Personally, I don’t smoke, but I can stand in front of a smoker without a problem. So I really take a very neutral position about smoking policy.
So let’s review the brief summary of a current smoking policy. Prior to the year 2008, the smoking policy was no indoor smoking. In 2008, there was a task force consisting of fifteen students and professors, and they proposed a fifty-foot no-smoking policy. After two years of deliberation, in 2010, a twenty-foot smoking rule was adopted. In addition, it was decided to reassess the twenty-foot smoking policy in two years, which is 2012.
Our charge is just to assess the current smoking policy, and we are not in a position of either promoting or altering the current smoking policy. We met three times, face to face, and we exchanged numerous emails. Also, we did a field survey, and we also reviewed the smoking policies of other universities. So let’s share what we discovered or observed.
This is our Columbia University map, as you know, and this is our Low Library. I did a field survey in June 2012, just one day. This is the northern part of the campus, and I only found seven receptacles. Most of them, actually, were twenty feet away from the building, and believe it or not, actually, a lot of smokers are compliant. They really disposed of cigarette butts in the receptacles, with which I was really impressed. But, at the same time, there were numerous cigarette butts within twenty feet of the building, and in many different places, more than thirty. Also, Dr. Larson, on a rainy day, in June 2012, she did a survey on the south side of the campus, and there are about thirteen or fourteen receptacles on the south side of the campus. Numbers in the yellow indicate cigarette butts either on the street or on the bench, or within twenty feet of the building.
Here are some examples. There are lots of cigarette butts near the bench, or near the entrance. Same. This is the receptacle in front of the School of Journalism, and this is way within twenty feet, as well.
What about the signage? Columbia has a lot of signage regarding no smoking, but lots of signs are either too small, or sometimes it’s stuck on the window, or sometimes it’s really hidden behind a bench. I don’t think smokers really get this message at all.
Now let’s go to New York State, which is Lamont campus. This is a map of Lamont campus. This is actually a very large campus, and the red dots indicate cigarette receptacles. Look at these pictures. These are actually all against the wall. This means -- actually, there is no policy implemented in Earth Observatory. Do you want me to read some more? Sure. She has a similar health issues, she has now the flu.
So anyway, then we intensely reviewed smoking policies in other schools, both in New York City and our peer institutions, so-called Ivy League. There are more than 1,200 smoke-free campuses in this country, including New York University, which is our peer institution downtown. This table illustrates current policy in Ivy Leagues and if I just go over Harvard, in Boston -- smoking is prohibited indoors, and within twenty-five feet of the building everywhere, in medical school, business school, and the Kennedy School. In other campuses, a twenty-five-foot policy is well maintained.
So our charge is probably up to here, but after working for three or four months, we would like to suggest some recommendations. Our first recommendation is, we need to enhance the signage. As you know, it’s not really well-advertised. And the second -- I think it’s timely to do some kind of campaign before we even discuss whether it’s a twenty-foot or fifty-foot rule, we need a multimedia information campaign, including news media, emails, signage, etc. Third, we only have about twenty-five receptacles on this campus. I don’t think that’s really enough number, and we may have to increase the number of receptacles outside the twenty-foot boundaries. Fourth, we may need some kind of a gentle reminder or reinforcement, while just walking away, and this could be done, probably, by the building manager, or a security officer, or volunteers. This may require more discussion. Lastly, we have to assess current policy on a continuous basis, probably every six months or yearly, so that we can really improve the environment of our campus. Thank you so much. [Applause]
O’Halloran: Okay. Thank you very much. Are there any questions at this time, regarding the policy or the review? They did very diligent work. Yes.
Venkatesh Hariharan (SEAS/Grad): If the 20-foot rule is problematic, would it make sense to extend the rule to a 50-foot restriction?
Lee: We do not really keep the current twenty-foot rule. I don’t think there’s really any point to extending the distance. It’s not just a matter of distance, it’s really the cultural behavior of our smokers on this campus.
O’Halloran: Okay. Yes?
James Neal (Admin.): I noted the survey -- a study was conducted over the summer. And I would argue that that is not really reflective of the level and intensity of smoking [unclear] that occurs during the academic year.
Lee: I 100% agree. This field survey was done in June, when undergrad students were away for vacation. So I expect to see more cigarette butts, probably, this time.
O’Halloran: Okay. So, if anything, it would be an underestimation.
Neal: A gross underestimation.
O’Halloran: Nonetheless. Okay. Yes.
Mark Cohen (NT, Bus.): Last year I introduced a motion requesting that External Relations consider the smoke-free ban.
Cohen: Where does that stand now?
O’Halloran: The committee had felt that it was important to follow the second-year review of this. They have now reported back to the committee what their findings are. It’s now up with the committee (you had requested them to consider that) whether they’re going to consider that, with the other alternatives -- keep the twenty, keep the fifty, or a smoke-free ban. But we felt that it was actually very important first to do the due diligence work, to understand how and in what ways this current policy was working or not. Yes. Soulaymane.
Soulaymane Kachani (NT, SEAS): It doesn’t seem likely that the policy would be [unclear], so [unclear]. What can be done?
O’Halloran: Right. So Michael McNeil, from Health Services, was on the committee, and he was representing Scott Wright and so forth. But, clearly, a talk with Joe Ienuso and the physical plant folks is probably in order, and that is one of the recommendations that they had suggested. Michael is here? Hi, Michael. Did you want to speak to the enforcement and compliance issue?
Michael McNeil: Briefly, for those who are unaware, when the policy was changed, following the Senate vote, the information was shared with all of the schools at Morningside for dissemination throughout the schools. It’s our understanding that in some schools that was sent out in a broad way, and in others, it may not have been. The other piece that has come up regularly is around enforcement, and there are two pieces that regularly get stated around this. One, that the responsibility for the enforcement of this policy lies with every member of the Columbia community (there isn’t a designated office), just like all other Columbia policies. The other is voluntary compliance, which, as is noted, is actually clearly good most of the time.
O’Halloran: Okay. So that’s where we stand right now. Yes?
Breslow: Yes. I’m curious -- we learned that the medical school has a no-smoking policy. How well is that working? Is there enforcement on that? And how is it done?
Lee: Yes. I work at the uptown campus. If somebody is smoking in front of the building, and the security comes by, he gives a gentle reminder: “You are not supposed to smoke here.”
O’Halloran: Okay. Yes. Sam?
Silverstein: Two things. Number one, at the NIH they have a campus-wide ban on smoking. The security guards there are authorized to stop and write a summons for people who repeatedly disregard the ban. But what do we know about these cessation programs, but what does that mean [unclear]?
Lee: We are very fortunate to have a wonderful cessation program, and, actually, Michael can give us some numbers.
McNeil: The cessation program for students -- we’ve seen about 1,200 visits to the cessation program since it was provided four years ago. We do provide a no-cost program, including no-cost nicotine replacement options [unclear]. It is very robust, and it does follow the best guidelines that are currently in use.
Silverstein: Leaving the signage, and all the other enforcement mechanisms in each of the schools, strikes me as a chaotic way of proceeding. The signage around here is somewhat uniform, and [unclear] no-smoking [unclear] smoke-free zones.
McNeil: A uniform signage was developed and approved [unclear], provided to each of the students, at the school level, that would be [unclear]. Some buildings did, and it was moved. But a uniform sign that included information on cessation was provided to all the schools at one time.
Silverstein: Could we get some information about which ones didn’t?
Lee: I’m not sure, but there is some issue of preserving the appearance of the building, etc. The color should be very specific signs, and the contents. But this is beyond my ability, I think. I can’t really make any comments.
O’Halloran: But I think the main point is that signage and communication have not been as strong as anybody would want around this issue. I think Mike would agree with that. That really is something that, whatever policy we move to, we need to at least begin in enforcing our current policy. I think that’s the strongest recommendation that comes out of the committee. I think we should take that to heart. Michael, we can figure out what’s the next steps just in that. Any other questions?
All right. So that’s where we are right now. I just wanted to give you that update. And once again, I thank you very much, and the committee very much, for their hard work.
Our last discussion is on the ROTC, and Jeff, you’ll be providing that for us. This is an update from when we passed the ROTC. There’s a provost’s commission -- right? -- on ROTC and its implementation and its dealings, and you chair this. Okay. Great.
Jeffrey Kysar: Yes. Thank you very much, Sharyn. It’s a pleasure to be here today. I’m Jeff Kysar, in mechanical engineering.
So as Sharyn said, the Senate recommended that the Navy ROTC be reestablished. This was about eighteen months ago, sixteen or eighteen months ago, and President Bollinger then went ahead and signed an agreement with the Secretary of the Navy, and the academic staff in the provost’s office at SUNY Maritime, to re-establish the Navy ROTC program here at Columbia University.
So we have had, over the last two or three decades, a number of students who have participated in the ROTC programs, but they’ve been doing it on an informal basis, from the perspective of Columbia University. They’ve been going to -- the Army ROTC students have been going to Fordham University, and the Air Force ROTC students have been going to Manhattan College. We don’t have precise numbers on them because they have been doing this informally, from Columbia’s perspective -- clearly formally from the Army and Air Force’s perspective -- but we think the number is on the order of three or four at any one time, within the university.
So we’ve had many students over the years who wanted to pursue careers in the military, and now, with the reestablishment of the agreement, for NROTC, they can now do it formally, on campus.
So the agreement that President Bollinger’s signed with the Navy covers several aspects of NROTC, and I’d like to go through those very briefly. One is simply to cover student eligibility. Another is the administration of the NROTC here on campus. Another is the facilities at Columbia University, for the NROTC. The NROTC requires that its students take a number of courses, so the question is if the courses will serve as credit-bearing courses for Columbia students, or if it will only be for the NROTC students; how the grades will be handled for those classes, as well as resources that the Navy provides to the students.
The agreement was a comprehensive agreement, but it left many of the details to be filled in by the academic people here at Columbia, and at the Navy ROTC. The agreement is a public agreement. It’s been on the provost’s website now I think since mid-summer. I don’t know precisely when it went online. If you want one sooner, I brought two or three extra copies, and I’d be happy to give you one today. But since there were many details that needed to be filled in, Provost Coatsworth formed an advisory committee to advise the provost’s office in how to integrate the ROTC program into the educational life of our university, and to support those students who decide to take advantage of it. So that was the charge of the committee.
The committee consists of Elizabeth Blackmar, of the history department; Leora Brovman, who is the assistant dean for undergraduate student affairs in SEAS; Thomas DiPrete, in sociology; Patricia Grieve, professor of humanities; Ken Jackson, in history; Curtis Rogers, who is the dean of enrollment management at General Studies; and Kathryn Yatrakis, the dean of academic affairs, at the College. I’d especially like to thank Eduardo Santana, who’s an undergraduate student who served on the committee, as well as Mi Wang. I think Mi may be here today, as well, but she’s a graduate student serving on the committee, and we’ve really appreciated getting their perspective on NROTC, as well as feedback from the students. And it’s been a privilege for me to chair the committee.
In addition, we’ve been working very closely with Provost Stephen Rittenberg and Raquel Muñoz, in Stephen’s office. In addition, there is Amber Griffiths, who has been named the manager of military and veteran affairs. She deals very closely with the almost 500 or so military veterans who are enrolled in General Studies here at Columbia University. Amber has agreed to take on some of the managerial role in the NROTC, as well.
So in terms of student eligibility -- in essence, all undergraduates in Columbia College, the School of Engineering, and General Studies, are eligible to apply. The Navy ROTC, itself, has perhaps citizenship or permanent residency eligibility requirements as well. I’m not sure what those are. But the Navy also -- the Navy consists of the Navy and the Marine Corps. So a student who enters the NROTC program can choose to work toward commissioning as an officer in the Navy or toward commissioning as an officer in the Marine Corps. In terms of students entering into the program, there are really two tracks. One is for the students to enter into the NROTC program as civilian normal undergraduates. So a common method would be as a high school senior, when the students are applying for colleges, that they will also apply for a Navy ROTC scholarship. It’s a national competition. It’s actually considered to be a prestigious scholarship. Once they’ve received that, that pays for full tuition, books, and, I believe, supplies while they’re here. If a student comes to Columbia University and in the freshman or sophomore year decides that he or she would like to pursue a military career in the Navy, they’re able to join the program and apply for a scholarship, and the scholarship would perhaps be for two or three years; or, they could go clear through the program without a scholarship if they choose, and pursue commissioning in that way.
Now in addition, for enlisted people who are already in the Navy or in the Marines, there is a path for them to go into the NROTC, as well. For example, there is one program for the Navy called Student to Admiral in the 21st Century. In essence, an enlisted sailor in the Navy can apply for that program through the Navy, and if they’re accepted then they can apply to Columbia University. If they’re accepted, they can come here for a two-, or three-, or four-year program or course of study, depending upon the precise thing that they apply to. The Marine Corps has the same thing. In the Marine Corps it’s called the Marine Enlisted Commissioning and Education Program.
So I’m pleased to say that we have four students on campus now who are participating in the NROTC. One student is a freshman in the College, and this student is participating with a scholarship. We also have three students in General Studies who are currently serving in either the Navy or the Marines, as enlisted sailors and soldiers, and they’re here for a certain period of time to get their degree. We have two of them in the STA-21 program (Seaman to Admiral program). Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that they’re going to make admiral (laughter), but at least they have the shot. Then we have one student in the “MSEP” [phonetic] [????] program, pursuing a commission in the Marine Corps.
I’ve met with all of them. They’re all very impressive young men and women, and they take their responsibilities seriously. They’re required, as a part of their program, to take the NROTC courses, which are currently offered at SUNY-Maritime. So the Navy ROTC is back on campus, but almost all of the activities will take place at SUNY-Maritime. It’s in the Bronx. If you’ve ever driven across the Throgs Neck Bridge, their facility is immediately under the Throgs Neck Bridge.
So they’re required to take, depending upon the program, again, up to eight courses, and go on up to three different summer cruises in which they literally go out onto a ship, and live and work on a seagoing vessel. In return, as I say, they receive tuition, academic fees, books and uniform. Their room and board is not covered. In addition, they receive a monthly subsistence allowance. I think it’s on the order of a few hundred dollars a month. I was concerned about that; then I thought, “Well, that’s more or less the subsistence allowance I allow myself, as well.” So the students are eligible for financial aid, in addition to this. Any scholarship they receive from the Navy is simply counted as meeting the need of their family. So students can receive scholarship financial aid in addition to this.
Now they, of course, do have commitments to the Navy when they’re finished. Depending upon how many years they received financial aid, they serve a certain amount of time on active duty and a certain amount of time in the reserves, but it seems to be on the order of four years plus four years; so, four years active duty, plus four years in the reserves.
The classes are taught and taken at SUNY-Maritime. There are also training activities, physical training. The time commitment is between twelve hours and fifteen hours a week. The agreement explicitly says that the students are required to pay for their own transportation there and back. There is a semi-convenient bus that takes about two hours in each direction, but the university is providing transportation for all the students. So there is a car that the university is renting, and taking the students there and back as needed. And depending upon the traffic, it takes something like twenty minutes or thirty minutes in each direction.
Now NROTC administration. It’s a military outfit. Their main offices are at SUNY-Maritime. There is a commanding officer and an executive officer. The commanding officer is Navy Captain Matthew Loughlin. The executive officer is Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Wynn, of the Marines. There is also Major Xavier Garcia of the Marines; Lieutenant Andrea Benvenuto, of the Navy; Lieutenant Keith Beerman, of the Navy; Lieutenant Gerald Rollo of the Navy. We have Lieutenant Brendan McGuire, of the Navy. I guess Brendan is the Naval aviator, right? Plus there are likely some new students, or some new administrators at the SUNY-Maritime that I haven’t met yet.
In terms of their affiliation with Columbia University, each of them has received an administrative appointment at Columbia University. Captain Loughlin has the administrative appointment of Director of Naval ROTC.; Lt. Col. Wynn, Associate Director of Naval ROTC; and the rest of the staff have administrative titles of Officer of NROTC. These appointments are part-time appointments at zero salary, from Columbia University’s perspective, because they’re being paid their normal salary through the Navy and the Marines.
Now the agreement stipulates that the Navy ROTC staff will have many of the privileges and benefits of people of their administrative rank here at the university. That means that they’re entitled to apply for parking, Dodge Center exercise facility; perhaps even the Faculty House; visit the library; get a Columbia email address; etc.
Facilities here at the university -- that’s really been the bottleneck up to this point. You can imagine -- you don’t have to imagine how tight space is here at the university. We had three criteria in mind in looking for space for the NROTC. One, it needed to be on the main campus; it needed to be in a student affairs or an academic building, so that it was readily available; and it also needed to be in a building regularly trafficked by our undergraduate students. There was no such available space on campus that Provost Rittenberg could find, and he can work wonders. So what we did was we found space on the first floor of Lerner Hall, and we made an office out of existing space that was previously taken up by vending machines.
So the Navy ROTC has now moved into their new office space. There are regular office hours.
O’Halloran: Did you take out the vending machines?
Kysar: The vending machines are out. Yes. [Laughter] I think. Is that right, Brendan?
O’Halloran: It could be a perk of the job. You never know.
Kysar: Yes. So they’ve moved in. It came in under budget and before schedule, so, hopefully, every other project at the university will do that, as well.
NROTC courses. This is something that the committee has spent a lot of time on, as well. There are eight courses. The general topic of the courses -- one is, there is some just on introduction to military life; some on military history; some on leadership; and some courses that are technical courses related to ship systems and things like that. These courses, right now, are all taught by Naval and Marine officers, who, as a part of their military career, are stationed at SUNY-Maritime for two or three years at a time. The agreement stipulates that we, the faculty, will review these courses critically, but it does not stipulate that we have to accept them for credit, or treat them as credit for Columbia University.
We’re currently going through that review process, and this review process, according to the agreement, is an iterative thing in the sense that we, the faculty, evaluate a course, and we give feedback. If it’s not sufficiently rigorous or quantitative, we give feedback, and then the Navy can decide whether or not they want to pursue, making the changes necessary for us to consider it to be for academic credit here.
I won’t go into any details other than to say that one of the courses has been approved at a departmental level, and it did go through a rigorous back-and-forth, iterative effort several times. It’s currently being, then, put on the agenda for a committee on instruction, meeting at one of the schools. Some of the classes were considered, and essentially the feedback came that, well, there’s really nothing the Navy could do to make this course eligible for Columbia credit. So that was the end of that. So, of the eight courses, we don’t know if any of them will ultimately be considered for Columbia credit. However, I guess -- I have a note here that there will be one class -- physical education, the PE class. It’s standard that if a student is involved in some other activity that requires a lot of physical exertion, that, as an undergraduate, that activity will serve as one point of their two points of PE credit, and we’ve already made arrangements for that.
Okay. Now on the transcript, the agreement also talked about the transcript. Provost Rittenberg has made arrangements for all the students who are participating in ROTC -- not only in the Navy ROTC but also the Air Force and the Army ROTC -- that there will be two sections on the transcript. There will be one section for the ROTC courses, and there will be another section for normal Columbia courses. The grades will be kept on both of those. Any of the courses that are approved for Columbia credit will be listed twice, one time in the ROTC section, the other time in the normal Columbia section. The agreement does stipulate that any courses that are approved for credit here, that the grades for those courses will be counted as normal Columbia courses, in terms of calculating GPA.
A few other items. The website is almost up and running. We’ve been looking extensively at the website, to make sure that it has the most current information relevant to students who are interested in applying to the program as well as in the program, both from the perspective of the Navy as well as the Columbia University. We’ve made tentative contact with the Air Force ROTC program at Manhattan College, and also the Army one at Fordham, as well. There will be a formal welcome for the NROTC sometime in the early spring, so we want to do that right, and to kick things off well from a ceremonial perspective. Also, Brendan McGuire was kind enough to spend part of his Friday afternoon here. We should consider the Navy ROTC people to be regular and routine and normal parts of the Columbia community. So I encourage you, if you have departmental seminars or something, that one may be able, if you’re interested in gaining their perspectives and their expertise, I encourage you to contact them. It’s soon going to be up on the website, all of their contact information. In the interim, you can contact me or Provost Rittenberg’s office. But we want to make them feel at home.
In some ways they’re already contributing to the university community here. In one of the engineering departments we teach an introductory course to engineering, and one of the things we touch on there is introduction to aeronautics and aerospace. So one of the lieutenants from the ROTC program is going to come in and speak. He’s actually a helicopter pilot, and he’ll have some fascinating stories to tell about flying rescue missions about a year and half ago, in Japan, after the horrible earthquake and tsunami came through. Actually, the Navy captain and the Navy lieutenant -- the lieutenant landed his helicopter on the captain’s ship, but they didn’t know each other then.
So they’re already contributing to the academic community. Also, one of the students who’s already enlisted in the Navy happens to be an expert welder, which he picked up as part of his training in the Navy, and he’s interacting with some of the student groups in engineering, who are building a race car every year, that requires that the racecar be welded up.
So we’re trying to integrate the students as much as possible, as well as the staff as much as possible. So I hope everyone welcomes the ROTC back to campus.
O’Halloran: Okay. Well, thank you very much. [Applause] I know it’s late on a rainy Friday afternoon. Are there any questions? If not, I know Jeff will make himself available. But I want to thank you so much for all your hard work, and I want to welcome our new colleagues to campus.
Okay. Thank you very much. We’re adjourned.
[End of Meeting]