October 4, 2017
November 8, 2017
January 10, 2018
February 14, 2018
March 14, 2018
April 18, 2018
May 16, 2018
June 6, 2018
Resolutions, motions, and initiatives
The following was discussed by the Faculty Senate in the 2017–2018 academic year.
The Senate approved the following resolution from the Executive Committee on June 6, 2018:
Whereas, Dr. Edward F.X. Hughes has served four consecutive years in the Senate presidential leadership, and
Whereas, during that time he has contributed mightily to the development of the Senate as an effective organization dedicated to shared governance on behalf of academic values and faculty interests, and
Whereas, he has always done so with a rare combination of persistence, generosity, and graciousness, and
Whereas, this service goes beyond the normal three-year term in presidential leadership and well beyond expectations for academic citizenship,
Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate confers on Dr. Hughes the honorary title of Past-Perfect President, and
Be it further resolved that this body expresses its profound appreciation for his contribution to the Senate and the University.
The Senate approved the following resolution from the Research Affairs Committee on June 6, 2018:
Whereas, The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern University provides five years/ 19 quarters of support to its doctoral-level graduate students, and
Whereas, In STEM fields, one year of that funding is derived from TGS monies. Funding for the remaining four-plus years of support are provided through the faculty advisors’ grants and research funds, at a cost of $65,926.40 (includes stipend, tuition and overhead) per student annually.
Whereas, The single year of university-supported funding makes it difficult to recruit outstanding faculty and graduate students when Northwestern’s peer institutions are offering two, or more years of university-supported funding for STEM graduate students
Whereas, recruiting outstanding faculty, junior faculty, and graduate students is integral to achieving the University’s stated goal of reaching $1 billion in research funding, and
Whereas, providing improved support for outstanding faculty and graduate students advances the University’s commitment to academic excellence,
Resolved, That the Northwestern University Faculty Senate strongly encourages the Provost’s Office and subsequently, TGS to increase the amount of university-funded support by one year to STEM faculty in order to support the graduate students in their field for a full two years. This change does not increase the stipend to the students on an annual basis.
Note: This proposed change has no impact on students’ funding packages, it merely shifts the allocation of some resources from the individual faculty advisor to The Graduate School.
A motion to implement the Faculty Fitness Panel proposal was passed by the Senate on June 6, 2018.
The following resolution to amend the Faculty Senate Bylaws was approved on June 6, 2018:
Resolved, That the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate be amended as follows:
Current Bylaws –
Article I, Section 7: The Faculty Committee on Cause provides an initial evaluation of appeals by faculty members in cases where the administration has imposed a minor sanction or is pursuing suspension or termination for Cause. Each fall, the Faculty Senate's Executive Committee will nominate seven Faculty Senate members to serve on the Committee on Cause. Two of the nominees must be non-tenure eligible faculty members. The President of the Faculty Senate will send the names of the seven nominees to the Faculty Senate's membership. The Faculty Senate will then consider those names and, by majority vote, approve the seven members of the Committee on Cause or propose other candidates to serve on the Committee on Cause.
A modification of the text would be as follows:
Article I: Functions
Section 7: The Faculty Committee on Cause reviews appeals in connection with faculty termination and suspension proceedings and faculty disciplinary proceedings. Each fall, the Faculty Senate's Executive Committee will nominate seven Faculty Senate members to serve on the Committee on Cause. At least two of the nominees must be non-tenure eligible faculty members. The President of the Faculty Senate will send the names of the nominees to the Faculty Senate's membership. The Faculty Senate will then consider those names and, by majority vote, approve the members of the Committee on Cause or propose other candidates to serve on the Committee on Cause.
- Provide backup childcare through care.com
- Make childcare subsidies portable
- Explore options for on-campus childcare
- Offer benefits per child, not per family
The Student Affairs Committee presented the following resolution concerning undergraduate student costs on May 16, 2018, which were approved by the Senate:
Whereas student course costs have increased significantly over the past several decades, and
Whereas textbooks, software, laboratory materials, and other educational resources continue to be essential means for optimizing student learning, and
Whereas faculty do not have control over pricing these materials, and
Whereas students cannot avoid some costs and should not have to make course selection decisions or compromise course learning due to economic hardship,
Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate supports attempts to reduce or subsidize undergraduate student course-material costs without compromising student learning, and
Be it further resolved that this body calls upon faculty to assist cost control, including better coordination with the library to provide reserves of updated versions of course materials and software.
The following resolution to amend the Faculty Senate Bylaws was approved on May 16, 2018:Resolved, That the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate be amended as follows:
Article III, Section 4: Strike out “after consultation with the immediate past and present members of the Standing Committees”
Article III The Executive Committee:
Section 4: The Executive Committee constitutes the leadership of the Faculty Senate. Nominees for the chairs of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees will be recommended to the Faculty Senate by the President, Immediate Past President, and President Elect of the Faculty Senate after consultation with the immediate past and present members of the Standing Committees for a confirmation vote by the Faculty Senate at its first meeting in the Fall Quarter. Nominees must be members of the Faculty Senate at the time of their nomination. Faculty Senate Standing Committee chairs will serve a one-year term that is renewable.
"Student teaching evaluations (CTECs) are used throughout the Northwestern community by undergraduate and graduate students weighing their choices; by faculty in order to assess and improve their performance; by department chairs, program directors, and deans in the course of annual faculty review and curricular matters; and by faculty committees and members of the administration in promotion and tenure deliberations. There is substantial variation across academic units in design and administration of the CTECs, as well as a wide range in faculty satisfaction with the instrument. In order to ensure that CTECs optimally serve the several purposes of course evaluation, the Senate proposes that the University should review the CTECs and suggest revisions for improvement. This process should involve stakeholders across the university, including the Senate, and take into account current research on implicit biases in teaching evaluations. The review should also consider best practices in administering the questionnaire, and revised CTECs should aim to offer a reliable and fair source of feedback on pedagogy and professionalism. Specifically, we propose that, where appropriate, the questions be reformulated to better reflect learning objectives and student experience."
Article IV, Section 2: Strike out “five business days before the regularly scheduled meetings” and insert “forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled call to order of regularly scheduled meetings.”
A modification of the text would be as follows:
Article IV Meetings:
Section 2: The agenda (order of business) for the meetings must be conveyed to the Faculty Senate forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled call to order of regularly scheduled meetings. The agenda (order of business) for special meetings must be sent to the Faculty Senate at least one day in advance of the meetings. The agenda (order of business) will include names of non-Senators who are permitted to address the Senate. Other non-Senators wishing to address the Senate must receive the approval of a majority of Senators present in order to do so.
A motion to confirm the following members of the Committee on Cause was adopted on October 4, 2017:
Senator Mark Segraves (Chair); Senator Celia O’Brien; Senator Lilah Shapiro; Senator Paul Hirsch; Senator Barbara Newman; Senator Hao Zhang; Senator Robert Wallace.
A motion to confirm the following standing committee chairs was adopted on October 4, 2017:
Senator Bobby Calder, Budget & Planning Committee; Senator Mark Segraves, Committee on Cause; Senator Claudia Swan, Educational Affairs Committee; Senator Lois Hedman, Faculty Handbook Committee; Senator Jennifer Cole, Faculty Rights & Responsibilities Committee; Senator Allan Horwich, Governance Committee; Senator Elsa Alvaro, Non-Tenure Eligible Committee; Senator Thomas Meade, Research Affairs Committee; Senator Robert Gordon, Salary & Benefits Committee; Senator Martin Block, Secure Faculty Survey Committee; Senator Joshua Hauser, Social Responsibility Committee; Senator Karen Springen, Student Affairs Committee.