At the March 24, 2015 meeting of the N/C-Faculty Senators Council, the Council approved the following resolution:
Preamble: We are given to understand from both the university administration and from faculty representatives at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai that no member of NYU visiting NYUAD or NYUSH, or resident therein, has to date been subject to any restrictions on academic freedom. We also recognize the rights of sovereign states to independently conduct their immigration and entry policies.
Whereas, the practice of arbitrarily denying visas and/or imposing travel restrictions may be imposed by countries, including the United States;
Whereas, it is understood that the denial of visas or implementation of travel restrictions may not be morally equivalent in all cases, and genuine security concerns may make it difficult for governments to publicly explain their actions;
Be it resolved, that the NYU Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Contract Faculty Senators Council strongly condemns any restrictions on visas or travel by any foreign or domestic entity as a means to curtail academic freedom.
Resolution regarding Academic Freedom (March 24, 2015)
As requested by the University Senate Financial Affairs Committee, our Council submits the following comments on the 2015-16 budget.
Given the previous Finance Committee discussions and concerns relating to University revenue, expenses, endowment, Annual Merit Increase (AMI) and resources, we would like to preface our comments around the following guiding principle:
As full-time non-tenure track/contract faculty (FTNTT/CF) under various contract terms and status, we feel that any AMI and productivity issues and measurements should be directly correlated to sound and competitive guidelines that sustain and expand the excellence of the education, practice, and scholarly and/or artistic work of this global network University in all of its colleges and schools.
- Annual Merit Increase
We recommend a formula for AMI directly related to Inflation and Cost of Living in addition to the quality of work performance. Additionally, our concern for compression issues is apparent in a number of schools, and we recommend the University budget accommodate and adjust base compensation levels to ensure equity within the colleges and schools in respect to FTNTT/CF assignments.
- Professional Development and Support
As FTNTT/CF, staying current in our disciplines related to teaching, practice, and scholarly and/or artistic work is a priority, particularly with a changing global student body. Along with base compensation, we recommend an appropriate budget within each college or school for supporting professional development. This should include a specific dollar budget for professional development, including, but not limited to, conferences, necessary resources such as space allocation and equipment, and release time for teaching, practice, and scholarly and/or artistic work.
- Additional Sources of Revenue and Efficiencies
Our council endorses the further pursuit of a wider solicitation of ideas from faculty university-wide related to additional sources of revenue and efficiencies. We plan to request similar input from our N/C-FSC colleagues, which we will forward to your committee once it is received.
As a newly formed council, one of our tasks has been to gather historical data as well as current data to assess and determine any positions on strategic issues presented before the Senate. With that in mind we polled our N/C-FSC Senators and Alternate Senators on the issues within their colleges and schools related to the budget. These survey results are presented in the PDF of recommendation.
Recommendations for the 2015-16 University Budget (March 2, 2015)
In the process of adding the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track/Contract Faculty Senators Council to the University Senate, concern was raised that the Senate would be too large at 127 members as the maximum should be 120 members. Quite simply, this assumption is untested.
- How many senators are needed to carry out your functions?
- We have 27 elected Senators with one vacancy, and 36 elected Alternate Senators with nine open seats to be filled. We have placed representatives on all of the University Senate, university, and Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council (T-FSC) committees that offered have our council representation. However, our true need is yet to be determined, as we have not yet fully developed our Full-Time Nontenure Track/Contract Faculty Senators Council (N/C-FSC) committee structure. We currently have a Steering Committee and five (5) ad hoc committees. The N/C-FSC has successfully filled 84 positions with Senators/Alternate Senators on the 28 aforementioned committees at the various levels. Given that additional N/C-FSC committees are likely to be needed with more slots to be filled, the need for our council’s representation far exceeds the size of our elected members, including both Senators and Alternate Senators.
- Would a reduction hinder your ability to carry out your functions?
- Given our current size and the need for representation on numerous committees as stated above, in addition to an expected increase once our N/C-FSC committee structure is developed, a reduction would likely hinder our council’s ability to carry out its work effectively and efficiently.
- How are your representatives chosen?
- The seven (7) Steering Committee members, including a Chair and Vice-Chair, were elected following nominations and elections at our second N/C-FSC meeting following the initial formation of our new council. The Steering Committee solicits and makes nominations and appointments for the aforementioned committees, as needed. The full council is then informed of all appointments at the subsequent N/C-FSC meeting.
- How do Alternates function in the Council?
- Alternate Senators are welcome to attend and participate in discussions at all meetings of the full N/C-FSC. They participate in consensus votes, and cast formal votes only if an Alternate Senator is in attendance in place of a designated Senator. Alternate Senators having full voting privileges on committees upon which they have membership.
- Do Alternate senators have specified roles?
- Yes, Alternate Senators may serve on the various university, University Senate, T-FSC, and N/C-FSC committees.
- Possible mechanisms to reduce our Council?
- As a new University Senate council in existence for only five months, it is premature for us to respond to this question until we have had an opportunity to fully develop our own governance structure.
- Please comment
- We strongly recommend that questions regarding the size and structure of the University Senate be addressed after we have had at least two years working with the existing new structure. Given the steady increases in faculty and students over the past decade or more, increased representation from these constituencies seems reasonable and necessary. The N/C-FSC has been working collaboratively with the T-FSC to find ways to streamline our common work and processes when it is feasible to do so.
Response to SCOG regarding Council Input to Senate Self-Evaluation (February 12, 2015)
The N/C-FSC is supportive of the health realignment plan, and respectfully requests that you consider the inclusion of the following recommendations to enhance this proposal:
- Economies of Scale: It is recommended that more specific language be added to the proposal where feasible regarding budgets; sharing research grants and indirect costs; and the restructuring of positions in the existing Institute for Global Public Health and the Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing.
- Joint Faculty of Health (FoH) Committees: It is requested that specific language be added regarding the inclusion of clinical faculty (full-time non-tenure track/contract faculty) on FoH joint committees, e.g., Appointments Promotion & Tenure, Dean’s Search.
- Governance: The current proposal states that “each of the three colleges would be at the school/college level in the NYU lexicon” and that, “The three colleges will each have their own dean who will be a member of ULT [University Leadership Team] and participate in the Dean’s Council, together with a Dean of the Faculty of Health. Once the concept is formalized and approved by the University Board of Trustees, these changes will be written into the University bylaws.” We also recommend the addition of explicit language stating that faculty, students, and deans from each of the three colleges will have their own University Senate representation subject to the approval of the University Board of Trustees.
- Faculty of Health Workload: With interschool, interdisciplinary, and interprofessional collaborations, there will likely be challenges in faculty workload recognition. It is recommended that a process be created that routinizes the documentation and recognition of these collaborations and achievements for faculty advancement and promotion.
- Leveraging the Assets of the Global Network University (GNU): It is recommended that more specific language be included in the proposal that clarifies how the assets of the GNU will be leveraged by the new FoH model.
Recommendation regarding Health Realignment Plan (February 12, 2015)
At the November 20, 2014 meeting the Council approved the following resolution:
IT IS RESOLVED: That as elected representatives of our respective schools within New York University, we are committed to the principles of shared governance, strong communication, and our responsibility to bring a credible voice to the discussions and decisions surrounding policies, procedures, and issues of our university. According to the University Bylaws, our council’s responsibilities include:
• Considering any matters of educational and administrative policy
• Functioning as the Faculty Personnel Committee of the Senate with respect to the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track/Contract Faculty
In support of our responsibilities to the University and our constituents we agree that while communication processes may be different as appropriate within each school, a consistency of deliverable content is prudent. Therefore, we have adopted the following guidelines for all communication.
1. Maintaining a public website as the official resource for all approved documents
Our council website is open to the public and is the official site for information related to our work, including all council approved documents, such as official statements on current issues, reports, and meeting minutes. Approved council meeting minutes will include topics discussed, issues raised, and actions taken as well as related attachments.
2. Encouraging regular, timely communication by representatives within their respective schools
Council members are encouraged to engage in regular and timely communication with their constituents within their respective schools, and to be transparent about the topics and issues being discussed at our council meetings.
3. Ensuring confidentiality where appropriate
Unless otherwise explicitly stated, the presumption is that draft documents are considered confidential to our council and should not be distributed until they have been approved.* The discussion of topics contained in draft documents is not confidential.
*Rationale: Our council has been given the authority and accountability to consider educational, administrative, and personnel matters within the relevant context and background information needed to make an informed decision. Distribution of draft documents without this context and background may lead to confusion and miscommunication.
Resolution regarding Communication Guidelines (November 20, 2014)