University-wide Policy on Academic Integrity for Students
In 2009, the Provost charged the FSC Executive Committee with the task of reporting on best practices in assessment in higher education. The recommendations of the Task Force on Best Practices in Student Performance Assessment, chaired by Professor Carol Shoshkes Reiss, former Vice Chair of the FSC Executive Committee, were submitted to the University-wide Assessment Council. The Assessment Council, assembled by Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Jane Tylus, and comprised of faculty and administrators from across the University, formulated the policy on Academic Integrity for Students at NYU over the course of this past academic year in consultation with deans, General Counsel, and others.
The Academic Integrity for Students at NYU Policy is a general statement of NYU’s standards regarding academic integrity and is applicable to all students at all NYU schools. The individual school policies further address issues in academic integrity and school-based processes.
At the May FSC meeting, the Council approved a resolution presented by the Governance Committee regarding shared governance. The Governance Committee outlined 5 basic features of shared governance: Representation, Information, Consultation, Reasoned Justifications, and Communication. The resolution also outlined an implementation process for revising the Faculty Handbook to incorporate the text of the Resolutions on Shared Governance.
The Provost responded in June indicating the intention of the administration to work with the FSC on these issues and concerns and establish mutually agreeable guidelines and operating principles.
FSC Motions and Voting Procedure
At the May FSC meeting, a resolution was approved to require the text of all substantive motions to be considered at a regular meeting of the Faculty Senators Council be submitted and distributed prior to the meeting. This allows items of business which require votes to receive the fullest consideration by all members of FSC.
The FSC sent two resolutions in February regarding the proposed changes in retiree medical benefits, specifically the Premium Reimbursement Account (PRA). This is a change from a defined benefit to a defined contribution. Retirees covered by the new plan will have a medical premium reimbursement account that is funded by NYU on an annual basis.
The first resolution expressed concern regarding faculty consultation and the second resolution requested more time to examine other cost-saving options.
The Executive Committee and Benefits Committee met with members of the administration and Office of Human Resources to gain a better understanding of these changes and the process.
EVP Alfano clarified the opportunities for input into the discussion on retiree health by faculty on UBAT and HRPAT. He also stated they will look into the suggestion of creating University based insurance counselors to assist retirees with making choices. In addition Katie Casey, the Senior Vice President for Administration & Human Resources, agreed to meet with the FSC and the health benefits expert to answer questions.
In June, the Provost sent an announcement for current NYU employees about changes to retiree medical benefits.
“Change of Responsibilities” Letters at the School of Medicine
The FSC sent a resolution concerning the “Change of Responsibilities” letters at the School of Medicine (SOM) in November. The resolution stated that the current practice of the NYU School of Medicine to request that certain faculty members sign agreements limiting their tenure rights is in violation of the Handbook.
In December, the FSC received a response from Provost McLaughlin stating that the letters did not contain modifications of the rules regarding tenure and did not affect university tenure regulations.
In February, the President of the SOM Faculty Council sent a letter to President Sexton and Provost McLaughlin urging the leadership of NYU to disregard the resolution passed by the FSC and urging the FSC to rescind the resolution and reconsider it once the SOM Faculty Council has made a determination on the matter and to consult with the SOM FC in deliberations on future matters that specifically affect the Medical Center faculty.
The FSC sent a response to this letter in March stating the FSC is a University-wide body and the Faculty Personnel Committee of the Senate and, as such, may consider any matters of educational and administrative policy. Committees within Schools do not have the standing to override FSC Resolutions.
Faculty Senators’ Access to NYU School Faculty Email Distribution Lists
In February, the FSC sent a resolution to the Office of the Provost regarding faculty senators’ access to NYU School faculty email distribution lists.
Some school senators currently have access to send emails to their school’s faculty members but others, including Faculty of Arts and Science senators, do not have access.
Provost McLaughlin responded in a memo and stated he will advise the deans to grant access.
Recommendations on Faculty Compensation, 2011-2012
The Finance and Policy Planning Committee sent their recommendations to the administration on matters pertaining to faculty compensation for the Academic Year 2011-2012 in December.
The FSC recommended an increase of 5.79% in this year’s faculty salary pool.
In April, President Sexton sent a memo regarding the Academic Year 2011-2012 and the University Budget.
New Age Limit on Tuition Remission
In September, the FSC sent a resolution regarding the new age limit on tuition remission.
A notice sent by the Benefits Office in July stated that effective June 1, 2010, a child must meet the following qualification in order to be deemed a dependent child for purposes of tuition benefits:
“A dependent child must be age 23 or younger as of the end of the calendar year to be eligible for TR in that year, aligning eligibility with the IRS definition of a dependent child. If a child will be 24 by the end of the calendar year, he or she is not eligible for TR in that year.”
The Benefits Committee and FSC felt there was an absence of an opportunity for the faculty to discuss, and it resulted in a sudden imposition of an unanticipated financial burden on affected faculty members.
14 students were immediately affected in the fall of 2010. After conversations with EVP Alfano and Provost McLaughlin, 13 of the 14 students' tuitions were "reversed out" and repaid. One student received a scholarship. This reversal of policy will be for one year only.
FSC Faculty Survey
The final report of the findings of the FSC survey was sent in November. The survey was sent to all NYU faculty and retired faculty, except for faculty from the School of Medicine, in the spring of 2010. The purpose of the survey was to determine the faculty’s experience and level of satisfaction with such matters as benefits, housing, tenure, faculty governance, etc. and to elicit their ideas, recommendations, and priorities about issues of concern to all faculty.
Representation of NYU Abu Dhabi, Poly, and non-tenure track (NTTF) faculty
At the March FSC meeting, one guest from NYU Abu Dhabi, Shamoon Zamir, and two guests from NYU Poly, John Iacono and Avi Ulman, attended. They discussed current issues and governance structures at their schools.
Following the May FSC meeting, the Personnel and Affirmative Action Committee (PAAC) presented a recommendation regarding the representation in the FSC for NYU Poly faculty, and NYUAD faculty. They recommended representation for NYUAD faculty once they have completed setting up their faculty governance and are in a position to elect a representative and representation for NYU Poly faculty once NYU Poly has officially become a school of NYU.
After receiving statistics in early May on the number, location by school and department and growth over the last ten years of NTTF faculty, PAAC and the FSC will review these numbers and discuss representation at the early September retreat and hopes to present the FSC's recommendation regarding NTTF faculty representation during the fall semester.