From the Senate...

The University Senate meeting on Jan. 26 featured committee progress reports on the implementation of past Senate resolutions regarding outside recruiters on campus and salary equity.

The Faculty Affairs Committee also reported some progress trying to balance the need for non-traditional "off-track" teaching positions with the traditional values of tenure.

Finally, three new programs centering on ecology were approved after last month's postponement due to an uncertainty in funding.

New this semester, according to a report from Student Affairs, is a policy crafted by the administration in response to Senate action last year reproaching outside recruiters, whether corporate or governmental, that practice forms of discrimination in hiring, in violation of Columbia's policy.

The new policy instructs the office of career services to provide only minimal, passive cooperation to offending recruiters.

The Commission on the Status of Women, which has been long concerned with issues of salary equity at Columbia and has sponsored several resolutions on the subject, noted the recent receipt of a statistical study by the Provost's office on the salaries of faculty members and librarians.

The study found no evidence of systematic gender discrimination within those groups, although findings in one school did lead to salary increases for four women. The Commission is interested in finding a way of insuring prompt annual analyses of salary data, and in expanding the study to include administrative and research staffs.

The Faculty Affairs Committee issued a statement saying that off-track teaching appointments, those outside the tenure system, are "fundamentally contrary to the collegial continuity of the University, since they undermine the long-term mutuality of commitment between professor and university manifested by the terms of regular professorial appointments."

Therefore, off-track appointments in any school or division should be (1) limited in number, (2) subject to periodic review by the Senate, (3) created only for very specific and defined teaching categories, and (4) created only on the basis of substantial documentation of need.

Faculty Affairs had also interviewed several administrators after being asked to assess revisions proposed by the University to the intellectual property policy, which Faculty Affairs authored in 1984.

Faculty Affairs promised immediate support for the all the changes necessitated by evolving federal law but requested much lengthier review of proposed changes that affect the faculty's traditional sole ownership of copyrighted (not patented) inventions.

The three new programs passed were a Ph.D. program in ecology and evolutionary biology, and companion statutory certificates in conservation biology and environmental policy.

The next meeting of the Senate, which will include general discussion of the plan to expand College enrollment, will be held on Feb. 23 at 1:15 P.M. in the auditorium of the Schapiro Engineering Building.

Non-senators who wish to attend as observers must obtain tickets by presenting a valid C.U.I.D. at the Senate office, 406 Low, or at 3-411 P & S, by 11:00 A.M. on the day of the meeting.


Columbia University Record -- February 9, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 16