Bollinger called the meeting to
The President gave an update on
some of the foundations being laid for the institution to improve over the next
ten years.This starts with space.The components are some properties uptown,
and in the Morningside area the northwest corner building, the north side of
the Cathedral Close (where we have obtained an option), and
is now ready for us, rented from Union Theological Seminary.If all this comes together, we could almost
double our space over a few decades.The
mayor supports putting the Manhattanville project through the ULUR [Uniform
Land Use Review] process, creating a master plan for the whole 18 acres.We now own about 55% of the space, the city
owns about 20%, and we are negotiating with the other property owners.The total buildable space is 6 million sq.
ft.We are in close discussions with the
community over a community benefits package.There is bound to be controversy, but it is possible that the ULUR
process may conclude in a year to a year and a half.If that were to be unsuccessful, we could
still build on the properties we own.
for the northwest corner building is continuing.We are working with a lab planning expert and
are near to hiring an architect.
campaign is developing.We have $25 to
$30 million in commitments from trustees for College financial aid.We have a new gift of $12 million from GerryLenfest
for awards to A&S faculty.Total gifts
as of the end of March were 27% higher than through the same period last
year.Gifts to A&S were up 17% over
builds excitement over what can happen in a time of growth.This raises the question of what kind of intellectual
growth we want.Our A&S departments
are one quarter to one third smaller than they should be.Space and resources are inadequate to allow the
requisite level of growth for now.The
growth of the College would be good for the growth of the university.
foundation of space and financial resources takes about five years from now to
begin concretely to affect our conditions of work.Manhattanville would begin construction at
the earliest in two years and have some space to move into three years after
that.The cathedral close project will
take longer, the northwest corner building we hope can happen a little sooner.
The President called for a motion
to approve the minutes of the last meeting.This motion was moved, seconded, and approved.
ProfessorWalterFrisch thanked the members of
ECFAS for their hard work.JohnMorgan
will be chair next year.ProfessorFrisch
pointed out how hard Nick Dirks has worked on behalf of the A&S faculty
this year.He has worked closely with
ECFAS.ECFAS’s role has evolved.The issues of academic freedom and governance
took up a lot of our time.This has been
constructive.We drafted the academic
freedom statement, helped form the new grievance procedures and appoint the
grievance committee.We worked closely
with Lee and Alan.Faculty governance works well and is growing
stronger, including such bodies as ARC and the Faculty Budget Group.
introduced the proposed amendments to the faculty’s bylaws and stated that ECFAS
hopes the faculty will vote on the amendments at its meeting next October.
members of ECFAS are going off and need to be replaced.A slate of nominees will soon be
thanked ProfessorFrisch and ECFAS for working productively
on a complex set of agendas.
This has been an unusually
tumultuous year, with an unusual degree of press attention.We have felt vulnerable to outside scrutiny
that often challenges our academic freedom.The outside world often misunderstands the university’s practices.The convening of an ad hoc committee was
unusual, and to make its report public was even more unusual.But we did so because the charges had become
public and we needed a public document to make clear that these issues are part
of faculty governance.
We must reaffirm
the principles of academic freedom, faculty governance, and faculty evaluation
President Dirks has therefore worked
closely with ECFAS to frame the statement on academic freedom.He expressed his thanks to the members of the
ad hoc committee for their service to the principle of academic
grievance procedures have been inadequate.They tilted too much to informality and to resolution of issues through
dialogue.This is how it should be, but
weneed enhanced clarity and formality at a new
upper level of grievance procedures.Thus we have created a standing committee with clear guidelines and easy
access.The process is faculty driven
and faculty managed and is loyal to the principle of faculty governance.The grievance committee will not deal with
faculty review, whichgoes on in existing
The ad hoc
committee also recommended control over the ill effects of unauthorized auditors.
questioned whether establishing an outside faculty advisory committee to advise
the MEALAC chair was bowing to outside pressure.In fact this was completely unrelated to the
controversy, but grew out of processes set in place by Acting Vice President Ira
Katznelson the year before to assist MEALAC to realize the recommendations of its
ARC review and help it deploy new resources.Such practices are not uncommon to help departments grow.
confronting an increasingly competitive marketplace in all fields, but Columbia remains
attractive because of its institutional features and location.It has been an active year for recruitment
and retention.ARC completed reviews of
Reid Hall and Political Science and has other reviews under way.
But we are
confronting difficult budgetary times due to the College financial aid crisis, rising
space renovation costs, and other reasons.We are working with the President and Provost
and others to come up with a financial plan.We are committed to rectifying our salary lag.We are working hard on capital campaign
gift is an important illustration of support for A&S – it consists of ten faculty
awards per year, each lasting three years, carrying supplementary salary.
been working closely with JeanHoward on issues of faculty diversity
and are near to launching a plan for the coming year.Other efforts are underway to consider globalization
stated that the task forces on tenure review policies and on the ColumbiaSchool are near completion of their
work.Their reports will be made
public.The Tenure Review Committee will
recommend some measures to improve the speed and efficiency of the ad hoc
process.The School Committee has recommendations
on admission policy and other subjects.
spent a lot of time this year talking about students, and this was
important.The ad hoc committee report
reaffirmed that students have rights, e.g., to be treated courteously in the
classroom, and that there should be ways for student complaints to be reviewed.
Will the purview of the new grievance
procedures include classroom bias?The
provost stated that his view is that we do not believe that issues of classroom
bias are appropriately to be resolved in the grievance committee.The committee should refer such issues of
classroom bias to departments and other faculty governance mechanisms.
bias would only come to the attention of any procedure if it were egregiously distorting
the mission of the university.If it
does come up, it should be resolved by the faculty.
We have not
yet paid enough attention to protecting the faculty.We have become aware of a lot of influences
affecting how secure faculty feel in the classroom.We learned from the ad hoc committee report
of ways outsiders have tried to disrupt teaching, and of hate mail and death
threats.We have to be ready to protect
faculty – from physical danger of course, but also to teach.Faculty members themselves must know they
have a right to exclude people from the classroom who don’t belong there, and they
should be able to get help if they need it.
faculty feel insecure as a result of what happened this year and fear a rash of
complaints against faculty.We’ll work
as hard to defend the right of faculty to teach freely without fear of
intimidation as to protect the rights of students to learn without
introduced the revised academic freedom statement which ECFAS, the vice president,
the provost,and the president all
support.We would like to see it adopted
as an A&S statement and eventually as a university statement.
ProfessorDarcyKelley stated that the document
has a glaring omission.It covers the responsibilities
of faculty and the rights of students, but says too little about the
responsibilities of students and the rights of faculty.Students have a responsibility for civility of
discourse in the classroom.Students
have a responsibility to academic integrity, to present only their own work as
their own.Students have a
responsibility to learn.
pointed out that the sentence that begins “The University will protect…” does
allude to this.Plagiarism is covered in
said that we do not have a university wide policy on academic integrity.It is the keystone of a university’s
credibility.More broadly, students must
exercise a sense of responsibility to the learning process.
stated that a concise document cannot cover everything.This document speaks of “an obligation to
meet scholarly standards.”
suggested adding the phrase “on the part of the students.”
ProfessorDanKleinman stated that ECFAS discussed what
to say about students and we decided to focus this statement on rights and
obligations of faculty.It is not
intended to cover students.
said that, in that case, the document should say so.
said that students and faculty are mentioned equally in many parts.
ProfessorNormaGraham stated that she agrees with
ProfessorKelley.Students do not understand their responsibility to speak civilly.Scholarly standards are not just footnotes
but the whole integrity of the knowledge base.We have seen a lot of cheating.It is very disappointing.Students need to be taught why we view knowledge as sacred.
ProfessorRosalindMorris stated that she is
gratified to see a strong statement on academic freedom.Regulations on plagiarism deal with academic
integrity.Her concern is with the fourth
paragraph in second section: why is abusive or discriminatory behavior
mentioned here?That is already
outlawed.It does not need to be conflated
with the issue of academic freedom.
ProfessorLewisCole said that he is concerned
with apassivity in the document.It says that the university “grants” a right,
when we possess this right as citizens.The
university’s role is to protect and expand this right.And this gives the university a
responsibility, which is not developed here.The professors we remember are not the ones who are accurate but the
ones who are passionate in regard to their understanding of their subjects.
also does not take note of the context, wherein our academic freedom is being
attacked and needs to be protected.
ProfessorMahmoodMamdani said that he appreciates the
strong defense of the academic freedom in the document.Two issues merit further attention.The first is the question of faculty
harassment in the classroom, that is, the need for protection of faculty from
student harassment and the need to specify standards of student civility.The second is the question of classroom
bias.What does this mean?ProfessorMamdani
said that he understands the language of
the academic freedom statement, which says that faculty have freedom of
expression constrained only by scholarly standards.Is classroom bias another term for
balance?If so, it is an attack on
said that if ProfessorMamdani had interpreted his
statement to mean that we should set up classroom bias as an issue we should
address, he misunderstood him.The
provost was trying to say that he does not know what bias is.All he was trying to say is that, when
students complain about what they call bias, it is important for the available
procedures to be able to sort out which of a huge range of possible things they
said that his point is not that it is difficult to define classroom bias.It is that he does not think there is any
such thing.The classroom is a place
where you put forward a point of view.
Provost Brinkley said that he does not agree that
there is no such thing as unacceptable bias in the classroom.Sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior
are forms of bias.There will be
complaints about classroom bias and we need to separate those that should be
addressed [in grievance procedures] and those that need to be addressed by
faculty and departments.
ProfessorPeterIsenberger said that he endorses
what ProfessorKelley said.The teaching of values is a key part of the
academic process.The last paragraph avoids
the real issue, which is outside pressure.The document sidesteps it by saying we have rights except when the trustees
decide we do not.The real issue comes
up when the university is entangled with society and is a big business.The question needs more serious thought.
ProfessorMarkMazower said that it is a good document
but not the end of the matter.Outside groups
have a clear idea of classroom bias and, if we are not clear, they are.He asked the Provost what further ideas he
has for protecting faculty.
Provost Brinkley stated that even his remarks on
the subject seem to have alarmed some of the faculty.We have reaffirmed right of faculty to teach
as they wish using standards of accuracy and civility and, if there are
concerns, they must be addressed within faculty processes, not by the administration
or by grievance procedures.Supervision
of quality of teaching lies within the faculty.The provost stated further that he agrees that the notion of classroom
bias will be an instrument for some to try to monitor and control what is
taught.But he does not think there is
any way to define classroom bias.If it
is to be addressed at all, it needs to be addressed by departments and
faculty.But he cannot say that there is
no circumstance under which bias might affect classroom teaching.
Bollinger added that the
touchstone is scholarly standards, or professional standards of scholarship.That standard is implemented by faculty
through university procedures.It is
difficult to define scholarly standards in detail just as it is impossible to
describe the standards for tenure.The
standards for tenure are very general, e.g., scholarship of the highest excellence.But what does this mean?One book?Two books?Truly original
ideas?Efforts to specify further
collapse of their own weight.The same
is true of defining what we aim for in the classroom.We have all had the experience of reviewing
scholarly work in various contexts and trying to evaluate the work for
excellence.If someone refuses to talk
about a set of ideas relevant to a subject because he finds them politically
unacceptable, that is unacceptable.The
role of the university is to make sure the faculty have the opportunity to
implement these standards.
This works best when it is
informal.It has been made more formal
and has the risk of inviting grievances that are inappropriate.If that happens, the grievance procedures
should refuse to deal with them and should channel such matters into
We hope for
things to settle down so we get back the freedom to raise ideas that some find unacceptable.We have to show that this is a campus that
The Senate has
passed a resolution proposing to establish a university-wide grievance
procedure.The president stated that he
has told the Senate that he would insist on bringing this to the trustees for
approval.A&S needs to know about this.
ProfessorJeanCohen said that she does not think we
should talk about bias.Discriminatory behavior
of course is not tolerated.But the
issue is so called intellectual bias.What is the opposite of this?Impartiality,
comprehensiveness, balance, silence? – none is possible.It is a myth.If you come into my class, you’ll get my views.Let’s get the word bias off the table.
pointed out that this statement says nothing about balance or bias.Second, concerning the role of the trustees, what
the statement says is just a fact; however, the statement speaks of deference
[of the trustees to faculty governance].Third, the issue of academic integrity of students belongs in another
asked for a sense of the meeting as to whether the statement is acceptable in
its current form.
The show of hands indicated divided
Provost Brinkley said that he feared that the
discussion of bias had clouded the issue.He said that he is not trying to put the issue of bias on the
table.Rather, it is on the table
because it is the principal charge against us, and we have to be prepared to
respond.He agrees that the concept is
seldom really relevant, except for almost unimaginable discriminatory
behavior.But what do we say when a
student comes and says he is disturbed by bias?We have to say that these issues are dealt with by faculty
processes.The word bias can be used to
describe almost anything, and some of those things may be things we want to do
ProfessorPaulAnderer stated that we should not
vote.But the fact that Vice President Dirks gave
a ringing affirmation of faculty self governance is much appreciated.Space expansion will not rescue us from this
crisis.We need to know that senior
leadership understands the difficulty and is willing to rush to our aid and