October 18, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 12:28 p.m. in Room 121 Armitage Hall, Dr. Andrew Lees, President, presiding.

  1. Minutes from meeting date April 27, 2011 approved. Voice vote.
  2. Cati Coe, on behalf of the APC Committee, recommended two courses for approval: Geography and the World (50:790:284) offered by Political Science and History of the French Language (50:420:403) offered by Foreign Languages. A question was raised on the estimated number of students taking the History of the French Language course and the amount of French required. It was reported that the course will have approximately 15 students and that a minimal background in French would be needed. Courses approved. Voice vote.
  3. Introduction of Dean Kriste Lindenmeyer to the Senate. Dean Lindenmeyer commented on the potential for change in the general education curriculum and reminded the Senate that faculty control the curriculum and, therefore, input from the faculty is essential for any changes to take place. She thanked the Senate for working on general education requirements.
  4. Andy Shankman raised the issue of the George Norcross South Jersey universities merger proposal as a topic for discussion among the Senate and with Dean Lindenmeyer. His primary concerns for the faculty if a merger were to happen with Rowan have to do with the dissolution of departments, loss of tenure, and status for faculty. Dean Lindenmeyer remarked that the Governor’s task force made only one mention of the potential for a merger between Rutgers?Camden and Rowan University in the last line of its report. The rumors in the media have shifted to talk of a “super research university” in South Jersey merging Rutgers Camden, Rowan, Cooper Medical School, and UMDNJ in southern New Jersey. She remarked that not only is there no plan on the table, but there is no universal support for this type of proposal. Additionally, she stated that because there is no plan on the table, there is no way to tell if it would be a good or bad thing for RU?C. So far, this is nothing more than talk. The Dean offered her own opinion on the situation by reiterating what Chancellor Pritchett said to the media: Universities are very big places and they have very idiosyncratic approaches to education and administration. I’m not opposed to that discussion; however, at present, the campus is focused on getting more resources and feels very positively towards its connection to Rutgers. The administration will advocate to keep the Rutgers name if anything is to come of this; they will not, however, create a situation where this will be considered a disaster if things move forward. Rather, they will lobby in any way possible to ensure this campus receives more resources and autonomy. Dean Lindenmeyer remarked that if the administration approaches this issue strategically and in a positive way, RU?C will benefit. Chancellor Pritchett will be holding open meetings with the faculty and staff of Arts & Sciences. Discussion concerning the logistics and cost of this type of merger hasn’t taken place, and there is a strong possibility that all of the potential problems will derail the merger, particularly in relation to the prohibitive costs and the loss of access to the Rutgers NB library. As to the positive side of a merger like this for RU?C, there was discussion of campus autonomy, increased income from tuition revenue, perhaps a new science building, additional emphasis on research, and the potential for accessibility to new grants. At this time there is no clear outcome, so it is important to open lines of communication. Dean Lindenmeyer encouraged use of the Arts & Sciences blog for this purpose. The suggestion was made to begin to put monetary figures on the merger to dissuade the politicians from moving forward. Joe Schiavo made a motion for Andy Lees to write a letter on behalf of the Senate to the BOG and others that expressed a strong desire of the faculty at RU?C to remain part of the Rutgers system. Motion Approved. Voice Vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:19 p.m.

Submitted by
Joseph C. Schiavo, Secretary
Faculty Senate (AY 2011?12)

Members Present: A. Lees, L. Bernstein, J. Schiavo, N. Yakoby, A. Samokhvalov, R. Stevens, J. Smith, C. Fitter, W. Fitzgerald, C. Singley, M. Amdur, G. Verbrugghe, J. Still, J. Gerver, H. Jacobowitz, B. Piccoli, C. Jarrett, A. McLeon, K. August, B. Whitlow, M. Chevrier, C. Coe, J. Maya Mazelis, W. Glasker, J.L. Hippolyte

Members Absent: K. Lee, D. Lun (Excused), A. Espiritu (Excused), C. Cosentino?Dougherty, C. Giaudrone, S. O’Malley, G. Caputo, K. Hohing