Report of the Structure & Operations Committee
Columbia University Senate, 2009-2010

Membership:
Monica Barrera Contreras, Paul Duby, Howard Jacobson, Consuelo Mora-McLaughlin, Daniel Savin, Jennifer Bell, Debra Wolgemuth, Monica Quaintance (chair)

2009-2010 Meetings:
September 25, October 23, November 13, December 4, January 29, March 25

This year the S&O committee of the Senate has pursued several new long-term projects aimed at clarifying the mandates and guiding principles of the Senate toward the goal of a more efficient, unified body. Most of these longer-term issues have been completed; some will require continued effort and follow-up in the summer and fall terms.

Projects and Work:
Physical Development Mandate
A revised mandate of the Physical Development Committee passed this spring, incorporating the additional focus areas of the Task Force on Campus Planning in anticipation of the dissolution of said task force.

Senate Bylaw Clarification and Update
Senate Bylaw section 1(j) was revised this Spring to reflect a more current state of affairs, that minutes are posted on the Senate website rather than in prominent locations on campus.

Revision of Guidelines on Confidentiality
After several drafts and much negotiation with interested parties, S&O will continue to deliberate the state of the confidentiality guidelines this summer, with an eye to clearer language and more explicit delineation of rules in a way that facilitates maximum transparency and communication.

Initiatives for the coming year:
The Commission on the Status of Women Membership
The Commission, upon formation, was intended by the Executive Committee to have a membership of 11. However, the current membership stands at 19 and should be addressed in order to rectify this inconsistency.

Increased Administrative Staff Participation
In order to increase the breadth of perspectives represented in certain key discussions, S&O discussed adding an administrative staff member to select committees beyond what is currently stated in the Senate By-Laws.

Union Theological Seminary Seat Conversion
To more fairly and consistently represent the students of Union Theological Seminary in the Senate, S&O intends to explore converting the UTS student observer to a
Senator. This proposal will be drafted in collaboration with the Student Affairs Caucus.

Alumni Affairs Student Seat Expansion
Given the importance of alumni issues in the lives of current students, in terms of career advice, networking, an eye to future participation, etc., S&O intends to explore the possibility of the addition of a third student seat to the Alumni Affairs committee.

 

Thank you, S&O, for a wonderful two years.

For the committee,
Monica Quaintance, chair