Report of the Structures & Operations Committee
Columbia University Senate: 2008-2009


Debra Wolgemuth (Tenured, P&S)
Paul Duby  (Tenured, SEAS)
Jennifer Bell (Nontenured, P&S) (non-Senator)
Monica Quaintance  (Student, Columbia College)
Paige Lampkin (Student, General Studies)
Howard Jacobson (Administration) (non-Senator)
Raluca Marian (Administrative Staff)
Daniel Savin (Officer of Research)

2008-2009 Meetings: Jan 23, Mar 6, April 23

This year the S&O committee of the Senate has pursued the continuation of many ongoing projects geared toward participation in the Senate in the vein of improving attendance, representation, and clarification of existing statutes. Upon the completion of several short-term projects S&O intends to turn towards longer-term goals in the coming year.

Projects and Work:
Review of Chairmanship of Committees
A resolution to limit the number of chairmanships to two per person passed this spring.

Orientation for New Senators
In partnership with the Senate office, an official annual orientation of new senators began this fall and continues on an ongoing basis. Senate orientation packets are available to returning senators upon request.

Continuing and Enhancing Acknowledgement of Senate Service
Senate service continues to be formally recognized yearly by a letter to individuals in service to the Senate, with option for copies to be sent to additional recipients as denoted by the Senator concerned. Exemplary service letters as requested by individual committee chairs are another mechanism by which S&O may enhance Senate enthusiasm.

Revision of Guidelines on Confidentiality of Committee Minutes
S&O has been investigating the current state of the confidentiality guidelines for committee minutes with an eye to clearer language and more explicit delineation of rules.

Initiatives for the coming year:
Formalizing Encouragement of Participation of Underrepresented Constituencies
S&O, in conjunction with the Elections Commission, has been discussing mechanisms by which to encourage participation of traditionally reticent schools in both hosting Senate elections and sending regular representatives.

Strategic Planning for Regular Rolling Review of Senate Committees
S&O intends to outline a process to initiate a regular review of Senate committees, commissions, and taskforces, not dissimilar to the review conducted in the early 1990s, to address ways in which committees can more efficiently achieve their objectives.

For the committee,
Monica Quaintance, chair