APRIL 22, 2004




The meeting was called to order by President Bollinger at 12:14 p.m.


The President reported on some issues of concern.  He said that the Manhattanville project will soon go before Community Board 9.  The project envisions 6-7 million square feet of built space on 18 acres, allowing the university to grow for several decades.  The Renzo Piano-Marilyn Taylor–SOM design concept is magnificent.  There will be strong use of glass, transparency, tiles, woods, rich color, and setbacks providing vistas.  There will be retail opportunities on 125th Street and 12th Avenue, and the project will connect to the waterfront.  Building the entire project will take time.  The phase I plan will cost $700 million to $1 billion, in funds not to be taken from other uses but to come from capital projects budget as well as from fundraising.  The site will include science labs and arts facilities as well as opportunities for other departments and schools.  560 Riverside Drive will get a new entrance on 125th Street.  


There has been wide involvement in the planning, including by a faculty advisory committee, a community advisory committee, a trustee working group, and community leaders and groups.   The university has put the ghost of the 1960s gymnasium behind us.  We acknowledge that incident as part of our history and do not avoid discussing it.  Overall, there is widespread support for the project, provided that Columbia really makes things better for the community.  We will create 900 new jobs, conduct job training, and bring cultural and economic activity to the community.  We are still pursuing some other properties outside Manhattanville as well.


To do all the exciting things we want to do, Columbia must develop new sources of revenue besides tuition.  We are planning a capital campaign to start next fall, aiming to raise about $3 billion over seven years.  It will be an international effort.


The President stated that he had recently established a committee on academic freedom, headed by Prof. Vincent Blasi, to investigate whether there is bias in the classroom and what principles we should observe in dealing with such issues.  President Bollinger stated that in the Prof. DiGenova incident, he had taken the position that statements made outside the classroom should not affect tenure decisions.  That view is intensely contested by those who believe that the university should sanction faculty who damage the university by their statements, and that we should deny the use of university facilities to those who would use them for damaging speech.  The president’s position is that politicization or intimidation in the classroom is not protected by the principle of academic freedom.  He took some decisions on these issues because matters were pressing, but has asked the Blasi committee to recommend policies.


Speaking on the issue of the graduate student union, President Bollinger stated that he believes that graduate students are not employees but academic colleagues, and that third-party intervention will not be as good for the institution as working through issues as colleagues.  We are awaiting the decision on an appeal to the NLRB over the issue of whether graduate students are employees.  The president said that Provost Brinkley and he would like to have a fuller process for engaging the university in character-changing decisions of this kind.


The President concluded by stating that we have made progress in academic excellence through the extraordinary efforts of many in the Arts and Sciences.  If we can get more resources and improve the efficiency of university operations, Columbia has great potential.


Prof. Kessler-Harris asked what the university’s position would be if the NLRB does not support its position.


President Bollinger said that he has not yet decided.


Prof. Litwak asked whether decisions of this sort should be made by, or in consultation with, the faculty.


President Bollinger stated that there is a constant stream of decisions at all levels of the university, and it’s a good question who should be involved in which decisions.  The university’s position on graduate student unionization has emerged out of a historical process.  Provost Brinkley and he would like to draw more people into shaping the university’s future position on this issue, as they have tried to draw people into engagement in the Manhattanville decision.  On the other hand, the university is also too decentralized in many ways, e.g., fundraising.


Prof. Blackmar asked what the university’s decision-making process would be if the NLRB decision went against the university.


President Bollinger responded that we want to further develop a way to engage the university community more broadly in that decision.


A faculty member asked about the search for the Vice President of A&S.


President Bollinger acknowledged the superb work of Allan Brinkley as provost and Ira Katznelson as acting vice president, and asked for a round of applause for Prof. Katznelson.  He stated that a search has been conducted and we will have a person to announce in the next month or two.


Provost Brinkley reported on several points.  He stated that the faculty and administration all agree on the importance of serving the students during the strike.  Every student must receive his or her grades.  There are to be no reprisals against students who strike.


We are making progress in planning the new science building on the northwest corner of the campus, and expect to have a plan by the end of term that will allow the design phase to start. 


Provost Brinkley stated that he wants to join Lee in thanking Ira.  It is a very hard job and he has done it gracefully and intelligently.


ECFAS Chair Carmela Franklin thanked Roxie Smith for taking minutes at the last meeting in the absence of the secretary.  She called for a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting.  It was moved, seconded, and approved.


Prof. Franklin stated that ECFAS has sought to integrate views of the faculty through regular meetings with VP Katznelson, VP Hirsch, and President Bollinger.  We have worked with Ira through the Faculty Budget Group, which has met throughout the academic year.  We are working to restructure the committee that works with UDAR.


She stated that faculty members will soon receive a ballot to elect new members to ECFAS. 


Prof. Franklin introduced Prof. Tory Higgins, to report on the results of a questionnaire that ECFAS distributed to the A&S faculty. 


Professor Higgins reported that the questionnaire was sent out in November 2003 and January 2004.  297 responses were received.  The response rate was 44% for non-tenured and 43% for tenured faculty.  The questionnaire dealt with benefits, policy, and other issues.  ECFAS needs to follow up by meeting with faculty to get a deeper understanding of the findings.  Across the range of topics, about 22% of respondents described themselves as satisfied, 20% were dissatisfied, 33% were neutral, and 25% had no opinion.  Satisfaction was highest for insurance benefits, retirement benefits, partner benefits, and FRAP.  Dissatisfaction was most marked on facilities and support, spaces and compensation — and, as specifics within categories, dental insurance and assigning housing.


Satisfaction varied by subgroups in some interesting ways.  Untenured faculty are much less satisfied than tenured faculty with mentoring and tenure policies.  Among non-tenured faculty, female faculty members are more dissatisfied with tenure promotion policies than males.  Humanities and social science faculty are less satisfied than natural science faculty with institutional support for applying for grants, and for gaining access to funding sources.  The dissatisfaction level with graduate student spaces was also higher in these two divisions; so too, was dissatisfaction with department mentoring for tenure.


The humanities differ from the social and natural sciences in the following ways: more satisfied with support for attending conferences, less satisfied with office space, less satisfied with tenure policies.


Acting Vice President Katznelson made his report.  He paid tribute to the six deans, the faculty, and the remarkable staff of Arts and Sciences for their extraordinary work, as well as to the provost and president for their commitment to excellence.


Prof. Katznelson stated that this has been an unexpectedly difficult budget year due to shortfalls in revenue, increased College financial aid liability, and new auditing rules.  We managed to end in balance and to take initiatives that aim to put the budget on a more sustainable basis.  We did this partly through new initiatives in the School of Continuing Education and the School of General Studies.  We have done much work on how to meet the College commitment to need–blind financial aid.  We aim at significant improvements in faculty compensation and services and at growth in faculty size.


The Office of Institutional Research has developed detailed data on gender issues which are beginning to get response from among faculty.


In closing, Prof. Katznelson thanked everyone for maintaining calm and mutual regard during the current period of sharp disagreement over the unionization issue.


Professor David Helfand reported on behalf of the Committee on Arts and Sciences Fundraising.  UDAR raised $33.9 million for A&S over the last nine months, down 13% over two years ago.  Fundraising is down for financial aid.  Six chairs are likely to be raised this fiscal year.  UDAR has changed; this is not the old UDAR.  The committee thinks this is a good thing.  The rebuilding of UDAR has taken longer than anticipated and is nearing completion.  The appointment of Eric Furda as Director of Alumni Relations and the integration of College and Engineering alumni relations into university alumni relations are good signs.  We are ready to charge forward.


Professor Eric Weinberg reported on behalf of the Faculty Budget Group.  The group has met many times and has expressed its concerns.  In general, it thinks that the assumptions built into the budget are realistic.  But of course there is a wide band of uncertainty in the projections.  Prof. Weinberg described some of the elements that are included and excluded from the A&S budget, and some of the assumptions built into the budget projections.


Under the heading of new business, Professor Grieve moved a vote of thanks to Prof. Franklin for her year as chair of ECFAS.  The motion was seconded and approved, with applause.


A motion to adjourn was offered and adopted at 1:47 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Andrew J. Nathan