Minutes - April 17, 2017 - 3:05pm


Present: Adair, S.; Andreoletti, C.; Anton, M.; Antonucci, C.; Arena, J.; Baratta, C.; Best, F.; Bigelow, L.; Bishop, J.; Blitz, D.; Boncoddo, R.; Boscarino, N.; Button, C.; Callery, T.; Cistulli, M.; Collins, M.; Criscola, J.; Dhar, P.; Dharavath, N.; Doolittle, W.; Durant, M.; Emeagwali, G.; Emiliani, B.; French, J.; Gamache, J.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Garcia, V.; Ghodsi, R.; Grasso, L.; Gross, S.; He, F.; Horton, M.; Jackson, M.; Jarvis, K.; Kapper, M.; Karpuk, P.; Kelly, D.; Kim, Y.; Koulidobrova, H.; Kullgren, A.; Latour, F.; LoGiudice, S.; Mahony, M. A.; McGuire, M.; Mejia, G.; Menoche, C.; Mongillo, M.; Nelson, W.; Ngazimbi, E.; Oliva, K.; Orange, M.; Paolino, J.; Ratansi, S.; Sadanand, N.; Small, I.; Sohn, Y.; Spear, E.; Strickland, A.; Tellier, A.; Thomas, C.; Thornton, E.; Waterman, R.; Watson, S.; White, C.; Williams, C.; Wizevich, M.; Zering, J.

Ex-Officio: Alfano, M; Fitzgerald, G; Malhas, F.; Sommers, B; Pease, S.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Cohen, S.

Guests: Jerold Duquette (Political Science); Zdzislaw Kremens (Academic Affairs); Beth Merenstein (Curriculum Committee Chair)

1. Minutes

Minutes of April 3, 2017

    • Approved as part of consent agenda

2. Announcements:

a. AAUP President (M. A. Mahony)

    • The Chapter Meeting is on Wednesday, April 18 at 3pm. All AAUP faculty are welcome, and so are SUOAF-AFSCME faculty.
    • CCSU-AAUP President Mahony stated that this is her last official meeting as President. Senator Latour moved that the Senate thank Professor Mahony for her service to CCSU-AAUP (approved).

b. SUOAF-AFSCME President (L. Bigelow)

    • President Bigelow also thanked CCSU-AAUP President Mahony, for collaboration on common issues.
    • President Bigelow spoke at the BOR meeting against the "Students First" plan, on the basis of lack of communication on the part of the BOR.
    • The SUOAF-AFSCME membership meeting is on Tuesday, April 25, 3-4pm, in the Connecticut Room.

c. SGA (J. Effend)

    • No report.

d. FAC to the Board of Regents (S. Adair)

    • The BOR proposed a new draft of a code of conduct, changing from a compliance-based model to a value-based mode. The new draft is worse than the original. The draft has been renamed "code of ethics"; it has no mention of knowledge, creativity, scholarship, but does mention the importance of "demonstrating loyalty to the system". When asked if the material in the "code of ethics" could be put in a letter of reprimand, the BOR said "no". Senator Blitz compared the BOR to the North Korean regime.

e. President of the Senate (S. Cohen)

    • President Cohen announced the membership of the Reassigned Time committee: Stephen Cohen (Senate), Mary Ann Mahony (AAUP), Robert Wolff (UPBC), Nidal Al-Masoud and Jim Mulrooney (SEST), Michael Gendron and Drew Harris (Business), Antonio Garcia-Lozada and Rick Roth (CLASS), Jan Bishop and Nancy Hoffman (SEPS), Joseph Farhat and Eric Leonidas (Graduate Studies).

3. Committee Reports

    a. Elections Committee

    • Senator Latour reminded everyone of the need to nominate faculty members to fill the vacancies on the various senate committees.

    b. Information Technology Committee (C. Williams)

    • Report accepted by the Senate

    c. Board of Regents Teaching Award Committee (J. Farhat)

    • Report accepted by the Senate as part of consent agenda

    d. Board of Regents Research Award Committee (J. Farhat)

    • Report accepted by the Senate as part of consent agenda

    e. Curriculum Committee (B. Merenstein)

    • Senator Blitz asked how many CCSU students have taken advantage of the TAP; Professor Merenstein said that we have not had any yet because the TAP is less than two years old (the first TAP students are still at the community colleges).
    • Senator Blitz asked what happens when departments make changes to courses or programs that are part of TAP; Professor Merenstein said that the TAP pathways are reviewed annually.
    • Proposal to amend the bylaws referred to the Committee on Committees; remainder of the report approved unanimously.

4. New Business

    a. Age-Friendly University Initiative (C. Andreoletti)

    • Senator Andreoletti asked the Senate to endorse the initiative, which we would be the first university in Connecticut to endorse. A press release would announce this endorsement to the world.
    • Senator McGuire asked if students who are senior citizens get a discount when registering for CCSU courses; Senator Zering answered that Connecticut residents 62 or older pay no tuition, only fees. This should be mentioned in the press release.
    • Senator Orange said that, while endorsing this initiative is a good thing, we should make sure that we as an institution are meeting the goals that it sets. Do we have a plan to meet those goals, if they are not already met?
    • Initiative approved unanimously.

    b. Discussion of "Students First" (quasi-committee of the whole)

    • Resolution from Department of Philosophy (for information only for this meeting)
    • President Cohen announced that the BOR has send a request to provide AAUP faculty members for the six implementation committees: Facilities, Financial Aid, Fiscal Affairs, Human Resources, Information Technology, Institutional Research. The committees' work must be done by July 1. The qualifications are: availability to work over the summer, knowledge of the area, respect for other unions, willingness to work with the leadership group, willingness to speak up and raise objections. Senator White said that the use of the word "implementation" suggests that this is a "done deal", and that we are being asked for input about "how" to do this, not "whether" we should do this.
    • Motion: to go into a quasi-committee of the whole, with discussion limited to two minutes per speaker, and no one allowed to speak more than once until everyone who wishes to speak has spoken.
    • Stephen Adair (FAC) said that the Board's approval of a resolution that was not clearly written in advance is unprecedented, especially for such an important decision. This proposal could be even more consequential than the creation of the BOR itself, but was adopted with no deliberation, no specifics, and without asking stakeholders for opinions. The proposal could cause problems for accreditation of institutions, and could cost money (for example, 3 of the 12 community colleges are Hispanic-serving institutions and thus receive federal dollars that they would lose because the 12 community colleges as a whole would not have a high enough percentage of Hispanic students. A FOI request has been made to find out how such an important decision was made outside of public view.
    • CCSU-AAUP President Mahony said that there is no such thing as a "front office/back office" divide in higher education. For example, student workers' work is an integral part of their training. Information Technology, Facilities and Purchasing are certainly not "back office" functions in the eyes of engineers and chemists. She also spoke of the importance of supporting our community college colleagues, some of whom teach part-time at CCSU, and our colleagues from other unions. We are not in this by ourselves.
    • Various senators spoke in favor of the resolution and against the "students first" plan, which really is a "system office first" plan, which would emasculate the institutions that form CSCU; that we should not participate in any implementation committee, as they would be a waste of time; that we should support a motion of no confidence in the BOR and its President; that the plan is a power grab and an attack on the autonomy of our institutions; that the plan would make it more difficult for a future governor to eliminate the BOR; that we need to write to the press, mayors, senators and representatives, especially the legislators on the higher education committee and mayors of cities and towns with an institution that is part of CSCU; that the plan has no details on how savings would be achieved; that even though the plan hurts the community colleges more than it hurts us, we would be next; that we should make a list of ways in which the plan harms us and our students.
    • A motion to rise from the quasi-committee of the whole was approved.
    • A motion to suspend the rules to add a discussion of the Philosophy Department's resolution for possible action was approved.
    • A petition signed by 10 senators requesting an emergency meeting of the Senate on Monday, April 24 at 3:05pm was presented to the President of the Senate, thus invoking Article 2.2.3 of the by-laws of the Senate. Consequently, the Senate will have an emergency meeting at that time.
    • Motion: To postpone discussion of this motion to the emergency meeting of Monday, April 24.
      • Approved

5. Adjournment

    • The meeting adjourned at 4:53pm.