DECEMBER 10, 2008

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 12:20 p.m. in room 121 Armitage Hall, Dr. William Saidel, Vice-President, presiding in Senate President Dr. Andrew Lees’ absence.

  1. 1. Dr. Joseph Schiavo, Chair of the Scholastic Standing Committee, presented a Repeat Option Proposal similar to that of other colleges and universities which provide more flexibility for students who would like to repeat a course they failed. Our current policy allows students to repeat only those courses that have already been designated with “R. In addition, at present students may only repeat courses during their first two terms, and only the very next time the course is offered. The new policy would allow students who received a grade of D or F in a course to use the repeat option up to four times at any time during the course of their degree program. Exercise of this repeat course option would, however, be subject to these restrictions:
    1. The option will apply only to courses taken at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
    2. The option may be exercised only once for each course.
    3. Students opting to repeat must indicate their intent by prefixing the symbol R to the credit value of the course at the time of registration.

      Several questions were raised in reference to this proposal:

      1. What would this mean in reference to senior level courses?
      2. How would this affect clinical courses (e.g., nursing) where rules in the profession require that students who receive a failing grade must be dropped from the program?
      3. How would the grades be counted in a student’s GPA?
      4. If enacted, would this policy be retroactive?
      5. Because students repeating a course would start at an advantage, the policy might be unfair to other students.
      6. Wouldn’t it be more useful to add something about the policy being “subject to departmental considerations”?
      7. Would this new policy contribute to grade inflation?

      Dr. Schiavo agreed to raise these issues with the Scholastic Standing Committee and report back to the Faculty Senate at the February 2009 meeting.
  2. Minutes from the September 24, 2008 meeting were APPROVED, VOICE VOTE.
  3. Minutes from the November 12, 2008 meeting were APPROVED, VOICE VOTE.
  4. Dean Nancy Gulick distributed a list of Candidates for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Sciences diplomas dated January 2009, adding one additional name (Scott Anderson) to graduates in Criminal Justice. Pending completion of all their Fall semester courses, the candidates were APPROVED, VOICE VOTE.
  5. Dr. Daniel Bubb, Chair of the Academic Policy & Courses of Study Committee, proposed revising an already-existing Physics course, “Electronics” (50:750:307) on building and diagnosing simple circuits, in order to attract other science majors and increase students’ “hands-on” practice. This course was APPROVED, VOICE VOTE.
  6. Associate Provost Mary Beth Daisey introduced our new registrar, Camilo Garcia, indicating that Mr. Garcia has over 20 years’ experience. At Rutgers just 3 weeks thus far, Mr. Garcia thanked the Faculty Senate for the warm reception and expressed his desire to get to know the faculty and meet with department and program chairs.
  7. Captain Laura Kull of the Rutgers Camden Police Department reported to the Faculty Senate about campus security. She indicated that 270 cameras and television monitors are being installed in public areas on and around campus to both record and alert. In addition, a Public Address system will be placed atop Fine Arts so that the police have a telephone-based means through which to broadcast messages in case the other forms of emergency notifications (e.g., text-messaging, emailing, and posting alerts on the web) do not suffice to keep everyone informed. These new cameras will enable the police to view all public areas (which do not include classrooms and restrooms). They can also distinguish license plates on the Ben Franklin Bridge, as well as view the north end of the tunnel. Although all the cameras cannot be monitored at every moment, they will be very useful for investigative purposes and during crimes. In the wake of three recent robberies, security on campus has been tightened. Security officers have been deployed on the periphery of campus, i.e., on Cooper, Third, Fifth, and Pearl Streets. Moreover, all but one of the gates in lot 7 have been closed in order to encourage students to use Cooper Street, another area where cameras are being installed. Captain Kull noted a marked increase in requests for escort service. She also cautioned the Senate about leaving GPS systems within view; these are a very popular item among thieves. Concern was expressed about intruders in campus buildings, e.g., in Fine Arts, which has students working at all hours and has to deal with people who have no business simply wandering in. When it was suggested that our locks be changed and identification swipe cards, such as the ones used in the dormitories, be distributed, Captain Kull pointed out that only one New Jersey institution of higher learning, Caldwell College, has changed its locks and that this cost $2-3 million. To implement something similar at Rutgers in Camden would cost around $3 million. As for a swipe card security system, it would require staffing by at least seven workers, and would also be prohibitively expensive. It was suggested that “good old-fashioned signs” reading “Police emergency: Call 856-225-6009” should be placed throughout the campus so that students and others do not call 911, only to have their call routed from the state police to the city police to the campus police. Security is on campus from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. seven days a week. Coverage can be extended when warranted; security is deployed and redeployed according to student population on campus. Captain Kull can be reached by phone at 225-6009 or her email address:
  8. There was no other new business.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Meeting ended at 1:04 p.m.

Saidel, Bernstein, Evans, Vallone, Kortsarz, Smith, Ledoux, Habib, G. Sill, Demaray, Laguna, Cosentino-Dougherty, Shankman, VanderVen, Verbrugghe, J. Sill, Karel, Li, Burrell, Vardanyan, Dunn, Kehl, Roseman, Cosminsky, Caputo, Goertzel, Hippolyte, Gurfunkiel

Burke, Espiritu, Thierry, Turner, Copeland, Vogt

Lees, Chao, Herrera

Submitted by:
Laurie Bernstein, Secretary
Faculty Senate (2008-2009)