CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—September 23, 2002

VAC 105  3:00 PM

Members Present:

Abadiano, Altieri, Austad, Benfield, Best, Beirn, Blatz, Blitz, Brann, Carter-Lowery, Casella, Conway, Crundwell, Dowty, Gallagher, Gotchev, Halkin, Halloramn,  Hedlund, Hensley, Hicks, Kim, Kaplan, Knox, Lapuerta, Lemaire, Martin, Martin-Troy, Murphy, Nadeau, O’Connell, Petkova, Resetarits, Sadanand, Sarisley, Seider, Sevitch, Taylor, Terezakis, Wolff,

 

Ex Officio Members: Provost Bartelt, V.P. McCallum, Snr V.P Demos, Deans Whitford, Pease, Kremens, Lemma.

 

Guests:

Dr Richard Judd President CCSU.

Dr Ali Antar Physics & Earth Sciences

Dr Norton Mezvinsky History

Frank Resnick

 

 

President Best opened meeting at 3.02

 

I Elections

Sen. Braverman conducted the following elections:

 

President Faculty Senate:

Nominations from the floor. Dr Felton Best

 

Motion to Close Nominations. Martin-Troy/Terezakis

President Best elected

 

Vice-President Faculty Senate:

Nominations from the floor. Dr Helen Abadiano

 

Motion to Close Nominations. Martin-Troy/Terezakis

Vice-President Abadiano elected

 

Secretary Faculty Senate:

Nominations from the floor. Dr Richard Benfield

 

Very speedy motion to close nominations. Martin-Troy/Terezakis

Secretary Benfield elected

Senate Elections Committee:

Nominations from the Floor

·         Sharon Braverman

·         Sylvia Halkin

·         Phil Halloran

·         Mike Terezakis

·         Paul Altieri

Committee on Committee’s

·         Guy Crundwell

·         Robert Wolff

·         Vivian Martin

Constitution and By Laws

·         David Blitz

·         Brian O’Connell

Motion: that nominations be closed and that the secretary cast the one vote: Martin-Troy/Wolff

CARRIED

 

Senate noted the need for replacements for the Grants Advisory Committee from Technology and Budget and Planning. Dean Kremens will notify Senate of the former and Sen. Braverman will review past elections to obtain the alternate/runner up to serve as a replacement for the latter.

 

II Approval of Minutes of 05/06/02

Motion to Approve: Wolfe/Carey

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

III Introductions

President Best welcomed to new members and requested they introduce themselves.

All are warmly welcomed and old members look forward to their participation and input.

 

IV President Judd: Annual address

 

Dr Judd in his annual address to the faculty covered nine issues he saw as having great importance at this time:

a.       Admissions: We now have 7069 full-time undergraduate students…. up 200 since last year. This increase is almost certainly a function of an adverse economy and the resultant students coming back to higher education to get new and upgraded skills. The magnitude of this increase was unexpected. As we all know forecasting entrants is by no means an exact science and while we welcome the students it has placed burdens on parking and classroom space in particular. To meet this challenge he approved 64 new faculty hires and created 200 or so spaces in the former construction lot behind Elihu Burritt library. Realignment in Kaiser lot may also add spaces. An additional challenge has been the need to cut back on Part timers as a result of budget problems (see (e) below) and union agreements.

b.       He took this opportunity to thank all in Copernicus Hall for their understanding and forbearance under trying and difficult circumstances. The options were to demolish or renovate and the former was ruled out owing to cost ($ 300 million!) and the uncertainty of when new construction would occur. Thus the ongoing problem of classes/offices/spaces and labs. An undesirable situation but best in the long term

c.       A new Daycare facility is now under renovation (planned finish 30-40 days) by Essex House. There will be a drop off facility (unlike Memorial Hall where the facility is currently temporarily housed). Messrs Bachoo and Moran are to be thanked and commended for their work on this long-standing problem.

d.       On 8 th October @ 1.30 p.m. the governor will re-dedicate the student Center. There still exists problems with flooring and accessories necessitating some additional work but to all intents and purposes the center is finished. It is a fine facility.

e.       Budget. We are struggling with rescission. There are no new budget figures available but our budget is not in good shape. The existing $500 million state deficit is an existing (past) deficit…it does not take into account an ongoing deficit the state is running and so the financial situation is grave. Accordingly more cuts might be anticipated. To meet this, legislative lobbying is required to obtain appropriate funding. Note also capital budgets might also be expected to be cut. This will affect our bonding situation by delaying the process and hence pushing back our total bonded program that was needed to complete our program. Finally in any bonded program (a three year process hence length of the process makes us always vulnerable) we must be aware of the governments total bond allotment and hope we fit under that figure.

f.        Dr Ken Fuller, A math faculty Alum kindly and generously left CCSU $ 500,000 in his estate as a donation to the University. We are all sincerely grateful.

g.       Greg Schaffer, a Technology Alum (1983) and now at Johns Hopkins University has kindly donated $100,000 to CCSU.

h.       Dr Judd noted we have moved from a Tier 4 school to a Tier 3 school in the latest US News and World Report rankings, and while we all have reservations about the process governing placement and the emphasis students place on such ranking it does demonstrate we are moving in the right direction.

i.         Issues of Academic Freedom. This summer a Middle East summer school was problematic and its conduct and content affected many. As a basis for his reaction, the 1940 statement guided the president on Academic Freedom and his resultant stand was to protect faculty in what they decide to be the right course. Calls for “balance”, "censorship" cancellation of the program, etc., he stressed amounted to an interference with our academic prerogatives. He apprised the faculty of the program of this position. Ultimately, it is the faculty that must decide issues of balance and substance. He will listen to arguments, will review programs upon their conclusion (as he has instructed on this one), will improve where he can but will not imbue any program with what he wants and will stand by and on that principal.

However he is always open and responsive to other views, whatever they may be. To that end he will attempt and is actively attempting to solicit other views and provide an open forum. He will demand intellectual honesty but will not act as judge.

 

V Announcements

 

a.       AAUP Report. Sen. Austad

 

(i)                  Noted that pressure is being exerted on the state employees for givebacks on their health benefits. Whereas SEBAC has negotiated that our benefits will stay the same until 2017, it seems that some want them to give back part of this benefit. We need to stand strong and lobby actively to prevent this.

(ii)                The 21 st annual lobbying training session (Flyer available at AAUP offices) is scheduled for October 10, 2001. Encourage all to attend, particularly in light of Dr Judd’s request for input into the legislative process.

(iii)               October 2 is the date of the welcome back luncheon

(iv)              Larry Glenn has left AAUP Connecticut for national office. David Walsh is his replacement

(v)                On October 29, the dinner with the BOT is scheduled (the one where AAUP has been invited for more direct discussion) Feedback needed on what needs to be discussed?

 

b.       Future distribution of agendas/minutes Sen. Altieri

 

Sen. Altieri indicated that faculty would not longer have access to the “all academic departments” and “ all administrative departments” distribution lists. The faculty Senate will experiment with a list serve distribution to all faculty Senate members and interested persons this semester. The minutes and agenda will still be accessible on the web but agendas etc will be sent only to senators and ex officio members and interested parties. Sen. Altieri also assured the members that the ability to reply to the list serve or not receive extraneous messages would also be accommodated.

 

VI. Senate Committee Reports

 

a.       Curriculum Committee. Chris Pudlinski

 

Introduced himself to all senators. Curriculum Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month. Minutes will be on the Curriculum Committee web site and integrated with the new senate list-serve.

 

VII. Unfinished Business

 

a. The ad hoc committee on Academic Integrity - "reauthorization" Dr Moran.

 

The senate adopted the new academic honesty policy last year. However, Dr Moran is the lead faculty member on a Strategic Initiative Grant for implementing the new policy ($13,300). The group is planning several initiatives in the next month, including faculty orientation with a challenging, interesting interactive presentation for departments where faculty can explore some of the issues regarding academic integrity.

The ad hoc committee on Academic Integrity will need to be "reauthorized" for this academic year. Sen. Moran would like to remain its chair and the committee would welcome new members who are interesting in assisting in the implementation of the new policy.

 

Sen. Crundwell: Why not make this a permanent committee?

Sen. Moran: At this point the group is investigating process and there is no finality to its work.

Sen. Wolff. There is confusion at present over faculty obligations toward the new policy, in particular where this impacts grade appeals and the uncertainty over the timetable to address these issues

Sen. Moran: There is a guidebook coming our before the end of the month to clarify such issues

Sen. Crundwell: Does it cover interpretations?

Sen. Halloran: When this material comes before senate can we not just have a Thumbs “up or down” vote?

President Best: Faculty senate should vote on all aspects before it.

Sen. Moran: Her major concern was addressing the issue of misconduct to remove the wide divergence of interpretation. It needs consistency in recording and the grant-funded training using such techniques, as role-playing should be very useful.

Sen. Wolff. His concern is process not content:

Motion: to reauthorize the Ad Hoc committee on academic dishonesty.

Blitz/Austad

Carried Unanimously

 

VIII. New Business

 

President Best indicated he had received communication from Dr Judd’s office requesting the following exceptions to DEC and Graduate Studies Committees.

 

a.       Exceptions to Graduate Studies Committee. Extension of service

 

(i)                  Dr Dimmick – Department of Physics/Earth Sciences

(ii)                Professor Broadus-Garcia –Art

 

b.       Exceptions to DEC Committee. Appointment of outside member (Dr. Austad)

 

(i) Criminology and Criminal Justice Chair. Steven Cox

 

Motion to approve exceptions to graduate studies and DEC committees.

Wolff/Crundwell

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

IX. Other Business

 

NOTICE OF MOTION. Sen. Blitz introduced the following for consideration at the next faculty senate meeting indicating it was presented as a notice of motion to foster debate prior to discussion and consideration at the next meeting:

"The Senate views with concern interference with the academic freedom of the faculty involved in the Middle East Institute held at CCSU during the summer.

 

Academic freedom fosters an environment where all faculty, students, and administrators respect the dignity of others, defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and acknowledge the right to express different opinions.

 

Senate notes that academic freedom involves the principle that faculty determine the content of their courses based upon their scholarship and expertise. This may involve consultation with other faculty, students, and administrators.

 

However, the principle precludes interference by groups outside the University who claim to determine what is fair or unfair, according to their political or religious preferences. On the other hand, this principle does not preclude participation by such groups at public forums and other public venues sponsored by the university.

 

The Senate further commends CCSU President Richard L. Judd for dealing professionally in defense of academic freedom concerning the charges against the Middle East Institute."

 

Sen. Austad indicated that the AAUP had also addressed this issue and wished to read the following into the record:

 

“On November 5, 2001, the CCSU Faculty Senate passed the following in support of academic freedom of expression:

 

“Whilst the events of September 11th, 2001, and subsequent incidents of biological terrorism, have undermined peoples’ sense of security in some ways, we reaffirm the right, indeed the duty, of those in our profession to engage freely and critically in discussions without fear of intimidation or sanction for espousing views supporting or contrary to that held by officials in the government or university administrative offices. We wish to express our abiding solidarity with colleagues across the nation who have been persecuted for expressing views critical of the U.S. government in its war against global terrorism. We hereby renew our determination to exercise our fundamental rights to freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly”.

 

There is a need at this time to revisit and strengthen and expand this resolution

As AAUP Chapter President, I have a special responsibility to bring this issue to the forefront.

for we as faculty have a responsibility, an obligation to defend academic freedom, and to promote understanding of academic freedom and its importance to the functioning of a free society.

 

Background and Rationale:

 

This past summer, some of our own CCSU faculty were subjected to adverse conditions for practicing their academic freedom

 

In August, CCSU Faculty members presented a week-long workshop on the Middle East for middle and high school teachers. CCSU faculty who are scholars in areas relevant to understanding the Middle East determined the content and nature of the course.

 

Individuals largely from outside the university community waged a lobbying campaign to assert their will and influence over members of the CCSU faculty and adminsitration, demanding that the CCSU Professors involved in teaching the Middle East Institute present what the lobbyists believed was a “balanced” view. They made the accusation that the program was biased and therefore should be canceled.

 

Many faculty and administrators received a barrage of E-mails and phone calls disparaging the workshop and impugning the scholarship and credibility of the facilitators.

 

Some faculty and administrators were asked, through personal meetings to cancel the institute or at the very least, to add speakers representing the government of Israel and that the sesssions be videotaped to be scrutinized later for bias.

 

A few individuals from the outside lobbying campaign attended the workshop and to some extent, disrupted the teaching.

 

Our administration defended academic freedom, upholding the AAUP principle that it is the voice of faculty that determines the content of the curriculum.

 

President Judd was a steadfast proponent of the principles of academic freedom, and we must thank him and the other members of the administrators for their courage and principled actions.

 

Unfortunately, faculty (and we believe administrators as well but we will let them speak for themselves) were shaken by the barrage of innuendoes and slanderous accusations leveled against them.

 

The intensity of the campaign waged against them impaired faculty ability to exercise their academic freedom by these demands for external oversight of our teaching.

 

Given the importance of academic freedom to the functioning of the University,

 

given the controversy generated by outside pressure on the Middle East Institute this past summer,

 

given the demands made and terrible pressures put upon the faculty and administrators associated with the institute

 

CCSU faculty should address this and any future assault on academic freedom quickly and without qualification.

 

We should fashion a resolution to strengthen our commitment to preserving academic freedom:

 

I propose that this resolution be placed on next meeting’s agenda for a vote after having been circulated amongst members of our faculty community, and that faculty visitors who wish to come and discuss the issue of academic freedom and the issue of “balance” be welcomed at the meeting.

 

I am not proposing a specific resolution at this time, because at the same time some faculty were working on creating a resolution, the philosophy dept. has also voted a similar resolution.

 

Thus, I defer to the Dept.of Philosphy to put forth a resolution consistent with the beliefs just espoused.”

 

Sen. Sevitch rose on a POINT OF ORDER:

He suggested that the proposed resolution was out of order insomuch as Academic Freedom is covered under 4.2 of the AAUP contract and covers all four CSU campuses. Furthermore the issue was never what a faculty member could or could not say but the composition of the institute. Particularly all four speakers were previously known as being critical of Israeli policy and on that issue their presentations were accurate. To reiterate the faculty senate is not entitled to pass such a resolution as the contract governs this matter and does so for all four campuses.

Discussion on the point of order:

Sen. Blitz: Senate can pass any resolution it wants

Pres Best: At this point it is just a notice of motion upcoming

Sen. Sevitch: In repeating the Point of Order stressed it could NOT be considered by senate as 4.2 states clearly it is a contractual issue and a contractual issue alone. This is especially relevant when a University President can unilaterally veto, without any reason, any bill passed by the Senate, or ignore any Senate resolution.

Sen. Sevitch: Indicated he was comfortable with debate on the issue but not passage of a resolution, which would be out of order. As is required, he requested a ruling on his point of order by the President given the lack of an appointed parliamentarian.

Sen. Moran: As the former and long-time parliamentarian she indicated the point of order should be rejected given the senate’s long history of passage of Academic Freedom resolutions and also as a issue which the faculty senate have often addressed.

President Best: Indicated that on the basis of the advice that the senate’s has a long history of passage of Academic Freedom resolutions he ruled that the Point of Order is a nullity.

 

X Adjournment

 

Motion to adjourn

Wolff/Hensley

CARRIED

 

The Senate adjourned at 4.07 p.m