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UFC Talking Points          UFC Minutes                 Senate Agenda               Senate Meeting Synopsis

UFC Talking Points for Oct 31 Agenda-Setting Meeting

  1. Carbon Neutrality Presentation (Oct 16)  Here is the Chronicle article and here is the actual report.
  2. Senate meetings and religious holidays.
  3. Post-docs, lecturers (all ranks), and researchers (all ranks) are represented through the Employee Assembly. Does this make sense to align postdocs with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly? (There are 500+ postdocs). Does it make sense to align lecturers and researchers with the University Faculty? (There are 1100 of these.)
  4. Do we need an ad hoc committee to look into various campus security issues?
  5. How to discuss the Housing Master Plan with Ryan Lombardi
  6. How to discuss the Provost’s plan for addressing Capital Need
  7. A new classroom utilization policy.
  8. How to discuss the Radical Collaboration initiative.

UFC Oct 31 Meeting Minutes

The UFC will sponsor a resolution that concerns Senate-meeting scheduling and religious holidays.

We had an “advance heads up” discussion about the possibility of realigning assembly membership. Are there advantages to moving the 500+ postdoc group from the Employee Assembly to the Graduate and Professional student assembly? Are there advantages to moving the 1000+ lecturer/researcher group from the Employee Assembly to some kind of Senate-based representation that aligns with the University Faculty? (University Faculty = the tenured and tenure track faculty). There are enough positives associated with such a realignment that we will continue to promote informal discussion of the issue among the players. There may well be a structured conversation of everything in the Spring.

The idea of having an ad hoc committee looking into campus security was discussed. Consensus was that the this is not the right time to initiate such an activity. A better course of action is for the Student Life office to keep stabbing-related concerns and policy changes front and center while the investigation continues.

We will have a senate meeting presentation and discussion of the 2035 carbon neutrality plan. There will be risks, sacrifices and hard choices and we need to understand the faculty view. Based on the consensus patterns that may emerge, we may assemble a sense-of-the-Senate resolution for the December meeting.

We will have a presentation of a new proposal that concerns the use of instructional space. The premise is that there is a major underutilization of our instructional space and that failure to do something about it will damage  the academic mission. The faculty must pay attention to this because various features of the new policy will have a direct impact on our classroom life, e.g., when courses are offered, how classrooms are assigned to courses, etc.

The Provost will visit and lead a discussion that connects our capital needs, the master housing plan, the Radical Collaboration initiative, and fundraising. With respect to Radical Collaborations, it must be the case that the work of the seven task forces be highly visible  to the full faculty so as not to foster the development of a demoralizing have/have-not culture among the academic units.

Nov 9  [Tentative] Senate Meeting Agenda – 120 Physical Sciences Building – 3:30-5:00PM

1.. [5 minutes] Consent Items

Research Professor, College of Engineering

2. [5 minutes] DoF Matters and Resolution on Senate Meeting Dates and Religious Holidays (DoF)

Religious Holiday Statement

Religious Holidays 2016-17

The Resolution

3. [10 minutes] ILR statement on President Rawlings Statement on Graduate Student Unionization (Risa Lieberwitz)

4. [15  minutes] The 2035 Carbon Neutrality Report (Professor Bob Howarth)


Chronicle Article

The full report and related materials.

5. [40 minutes] Addressing Student Housing While Advancing Academic Initiatives  (Provost Mike Kotlikoff)


Radical Collaborations

Master Housing Plan

6. [15 minutes] Instructional Space Scheduling  (Vice Provost Becky Stoltzfus, Mary Lynne Cummings)


The Proposed Policy

EPC Space Discussion from 2013

Nov 9 Senate Meeting Synopsis

The College of Engineering’s Research Professor Title was approved.

A resolution was passed that requires the Senate meeting dates not to conflict with major religious holidays.

The DoF emphasized that we need an added level of  patience and respect while there is so much election-related angst on campus.

Professor Risa Lieberwitz presented a statement that challenged the administration’s view on Grad Student Unionization. The statement, supported by a large group of ILR faculty and staff, maintains that unionization would not have an adverse effect on grad-level academics. Dean of the graduate school Barbara Knuth in turn challenged some of the research behind that conclusion.

Professors Bob Howarth and Todd Cowen outlined a plan for campus-wide carbon neutrality by 2035. The faculty need to understand the costs involved and should figure out how to graduate students who are literate about climate change.

Provost Mike Kotlikoff discussed current challenges associated with campus housing and how we can solve the problems in a way that permits us to move forward with academic initiatives. Part of the picture involves increasing the size of the freshman class by about 250 students. The faculty have to be fully engaged in figuring out how (for example) to handle the swell that will occur in the gateway courses. The solution will require an increase in the size of the faculty.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Becky Stoltzfus and Mary-Lynn Commings presented a plan that would help  optimizes the use of our classroom space. One part of the plan involves offering more classes outside of prime time, i.e., 10-2. The Associate Deans will approve the plan in the near future so now is the time for faculty to submit their views.

Last Updated: August 9, 2017 at 8:48 am


  1. 1. On the Provost’s plan to increase undergraduate enrollment:

    I find it controversial (somewhat creative) to increase the enrollment to resolve the housing shortage. As the Provost has analyzed, this will cause issues in ranking (I do care a lot about ranking) and the transition (more shortage during transition). If we need the tuition return to fund the dorms, how about considering new Master of Science students? This will not impact ranking or housing shortage, although I do hope that we can look into the housing issue for new graduate students as well in the long run. If the reason to increase undergraduate enrollment is new department or new interest, then we should plan from that point of view alone.

    2. On the carbon neutrality:

    As we are talking about carbon neutrality in 2035 instead of carbon reduction, what is the true neutrality goal? Should we increase green space or consider technology for CO2 recycling or lysing?

    3. On student unionization:

    I hope to hear ILR’s faculty response to Dean Knuth’s question on the insufficient sampling of reunionization, instead of just the difference between public and private.

    Edwin Kan
    ECE, Cornell

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