volume 40, number 3
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

Minutes

Representative Senate Meeting

Wednesday, November 18, 2009—Minutes

 

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by President Turner at 1:50 PM.

2. President Turner's Report:

President Turner discussed the motion presented by the FSSC to amend the bylaws for the purpose of changing the quorum requirements.  Following the University Senate meeting next month, there will be a special Representative Senate meeting for the purpose of having a full discussion of this motion.


3. Vice President LaFollette's Report:

LaFollette announced the results of the recent special election to fill empty positions on the Personnel and Sabbatical committees.  He thanked those who ran for those positions, and pointed out that the number of people voting was distressingly small.

                  Personnel Committee:                      Jane D. Evans (TYL)
                  Personnel Committee:                      Stephen Willier (BCMD)
                  University Sabbatical Committee:  Joseph Picone (ENGR)


4. President Hart's Visit:

President Hart gave a detailed report about the Medical School's financial health.  Among other things, she announced that the Medical School plans to increase its class size by 30 students and that Temple has entered into a joint plan with St. Lukes in the Lehigh Valley to run a 1 + 3 year education    program.


Jane Evans (Tyler) asked about the balance between research and teaching at the Medical School.  The President answered that the indirect expense recovery is an urgent part of Temple's income.  We are trying to take advantage of newly available peer review stimulus money.


Charles Jungreis (Med) commented on the importance of collaborative research between the Main Campus and the Medical School. 

5. Provost Lisa Listens:

The Provost reported on the activities of the Dysfunctional Rules Committee - a committee which is attempting to identify and correct rules that make little sense.  They have been soliciting input through TUPortal for several months, and are busy analyzing the comments they have received.


The scheduling matrix is being reviewed.  Graduate courses will be taken off the matrix.

 

She has added $25,000.00 to RPPC's seed money grants, and Richard Englert's staff is now providing support to RPPC.

 

The search is underway for the new VP for Research and Graduate Education. 


Finally, she thanked the Faculty Senate and its committees for the useful work they have done.  She listed several initiatives that have grown out  recommendations from Senate committees including the Community Based Learning Network and the  ACCORD Center.


Questions:

 

Scott Gratson (SCT) noted that there is no committee charged with GLBT concerns.  Does Temple have a commitment to diversity with respect to the GLBT community?


Answer: Yes

 

Karen Turner (SCT) announced that the officers of the Senate have been meeting monthly with the Provost.  These meetings have been very useful and several important ideas have already come forth from them.


Old Business:  None


New Business:
  None

 

Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 PM.


Submitted by Paul LaFollette, Acting Secretary  

 

Special Representative Faculty Senate Meeting

Thursday, December 10, 2009—Minutes

 

Call to Order: 

The meeting was called to order by President Turner at 3:14 P.M.

 

President’s Report: Karen M. Turner

President Turner explained that the purpose of this meeting was to discuss an amendment related to the issue of a quorum. However, before turning to the amendment, itself, she provided some background. To accomplish this, she presented a power point presentation which went over the problems related to the quorum issue from April 16, 2009 – November 17, 2009. 

 

After the overview, Karen Turner turned to the senate bylaws and the discussion of the quorum.  In particular, she spoke of the wide range of business conducted by the senate and the fact that electronic voting is now part of the bylaws.

 

Michael Jackson (STHM) put forth the motion that there should be the following amendment to the bylaws, Article, V, Meetings, Section 6. 

 

A quorum of the University Faculty senate shall consist of 40 eligible members.  A quorum of the Representative Faculty Senate shall consist of 25 eligible members.  It shall be assumed, upon the call to order, that a quorum is present: the minutes shall be read.  If, after reading and before approval of the minutes, any member shall suggest the absence of a quorum, the presiding officer shall determine whether a quorum be present.  If no quorum be present, the presiding officer of the meeting shall determine either to wait for the appearance of a quorum or to adjourn to another date.  In the event a quorum cannot be obtained, at the presiding officer's discretion, the meeting may continue informally for purposes of debate or discussion, but no formal action may be taken.  A member may at any time after the approval of the minutes suggest the absence of as quorum, but the presiding officer may rule said suggestion out of order if, in the presiding officer's opinion, a quorum is present.

 

A discussion followed the motion.  There were six positive comments and two negative comments regarding the motion.  Some positive comments were:

 

  • A long-time Temple faculty member had never heard of a quorum call until last year.  He said that all kinds of business had been conducted, including curriculum change, with this size of a group. He felt that this amendment was long overdue and it removed the threat of shutting down of the faculty senate;
  • A steering committee representative believed that the actual figures of who attended the senate from the last three years were compelling because she could see how low the numbers were.  (The actual figures were put up on the screen so that everyone could see the attendance record of the past three years. Karen Turner clarified the numbers by saying that until today there was no break out of the ex officio members.  Now the 30 ex officio members were visible.)
  • Another steering committee representative said that Robert’s Rules of Order that set the quorum number as the minimum number expected to attend a meeting in order for the body to conduct its business.  He also said there was protection against a small group making decisions because of the safeguard that two meetings had to be held in succession before a vote could be taken as well as past practice. He also said that electronic balloting was also a safeguard.
  • Yet another steering committee member spoke of the discretion faculty had to determine what kind of ballot would be used. This, he pointed out, is a small group but the steering committee in the last ten years has never co-opted the senate.
  • A representative clarified the fact that the faculty senate steering committee can call for a vote and that any senator can call for a written ballot;
  • A Steering Committee member put forth the points that Robert’s Rules of Order made it clear that the number should not be too high for a group to do business and that even the Canadian Parliament and the House of Commons only asked for 6% of its members to be present to make a quorum and our 3% or so was not all that different.

 

 Some negative comments included:

 

  • A representative was concerned about the tyranny of the minority of a small group;
  • Another representative did not like the motion and felt that the numbers of 25 faculty out of 150 senators and 40 out of the university faculty senate were too few.  He felt the numbers were too extreme.

 

In addition to the comments from the senators, President Turner made the point that there are other safeguards that make it hard for a small group to dominate.  In particular, she said that the meetings are recorded and the minutes are available on line.

 

Orin Chein (CST) called for a vote on the motion.  This was passed.  Mark Rahdert (LAW) followed up by asking for a paper ballot.  The paper ballots were collected and counted.  The motion passed; 33 for the motion and 8 against it.

 

Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 3:43 P.M.

 

Submitted by Joan Poliner Shapiro, Secretary