PRESENT: Atherton, Barlow, A. Benander, Berlin Ray, W. Bowen, Boyle, Dean, Dobda, Doerder, Dougherty, Duffy, Ekelman, Forte, Gao, Gelman, George, Gorla, Govea, Hanniford, Hansman, Heinrich, Hoffman, Humer, Jeffres, S. Kaufman, L. Keller, Kuo, LaGrange, Lehfeldt, Loovis, Mason, McCahon, McClain, Mills, Nelson, Nuru-Holm, Poznanski, Rom, Sadlek, M. Saunders, Schwartz, Slane, M. Smith, Sparks, Spicer, Tumeo, Visocky-O'Grady, Weyman, Ziolek.
ABSENT: C. Alexander, Bauer, Dillard, Droney, Falk, M. Kaufman, Lopresti, Margolius, Martins, McLoughlin, Mearns, Mooney, Moore , O'Neill, L. Patterson, L. E. Reed, Rosentraub, Sawicki, Scherer, Shah, Spiker, Steinberg, Thornton, J. Webb.
ALSO PRESENT: Fontes.
Acting Senate President, Mieko Smith called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M.
Dr. Mieko Smith thanked everyone for all the support they gave her during the summer while she was the Acting President of Senate after Dr. Vijay Konangi departed. This is her last official duty as the Acting President since she is not seeking office and she said that she would like to take this opportunity to express her deep appreciation for the assistance Ms. Violet Lunder has provided.
Dr. Smith noted that first, Dr. Joseph Fontes will give a Eulogy for Dr. Mal who suddenly passed away on August 16, 2005 .
Professor Joseph Fontes delivered the Eulogy for the late Professor Tarun K. Mal. His remarks follow.
“It is with sorrow at the loss, but with joy in considering his life, that I am here to speak about our colleague and friend Dr. Tarun Kumar Mal. Though we cannot take consolation that Tarun lived a long life, we can take some small comfort that he lived a good life, and a very full life. Tarun was an outstanding teacher, scientist, colleague and friend. However, the roles he was most proud of, and for which I am certain he would trade all others, were father of his daughter Tatini and husband of Sanchita. Tarun Mal left a peerless legacy, in his scholarship, in the way he shaped the programs in our department, in the many students he trained, and in the profound human relationships he had.
“Tarun was born in West Bengal India , near Calcutta . He earned his bachelor's degree with honors in Botany from the University of Calcutta , where he continued on to earn a Master's of Science degree in Marine Biology. In 1996 he completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor, Canada. After a two year post-doctoral fellowship at Villanova University , which included extensive teaching experience, he came to CSU as an assistant professor in 1999. He earned tenure with promotion to Associate Professor early in 2003.
“There is a tendency towards hagiography during a eulogy, but with Tarun, I am not afraid that I will overstate his qualities. In fact, I know I will leave out a great deal that was important to Tarun and that made him who he was, and so I ask your pardon beforehand. What comes to mind most immediately when thinking about Tarun, is his tremendous personal warmth. Tarun had simple kindness and decency, and aren't those rare qualities? Next, one thinks of the explosive energy that hung about him, the forward momentum of his life and his work. He was a man who loved to laugh, at himself and with others, and who loved to sing, just for the joy of it. He was quick to smile and quick to give the best parts of himself, not just to family and close friends, but with all who came into contact with him. He has comforted many, including me, at times of difficulty, with his tenderness and his hopeful smile.
“At Tarun's memorial service, which was filled to overflowing with his many, many friends and colleagues, there was a wonderful procession of people who spoke about Tarun's life. The portrait that emerged was of a man whose generosity apparently had no limit, and who put the concerns and needs of others before himself. His giving supported efforts to improve the schools and education in his hometown in India as well as in his adopted hometown, Cleveland . He gave to causes in defense of the environment, and to support cultural activities. He gave personally: time, guidance, favor, love, to his many, many friends. If one measure of a person is how much he has given in the service of others, Tarun's life was a stunning success.
“Professionally, he was instrumental in forming and operating the degree programs in environmental science. It is impossible to imagine the program existing without him. He infused it with his love of science, his commitment to saving the environment, and with his unique joy for life and learning. His gifts as a teacher were tremendous. He was a valuable and popular instructor. His dry wit and sense of humor made accessible his very serious and uncompromising commitment to the scientific enterprise and to the health of our planet. His success and effectiveness as a mentor to students, in the classroom, in the field and in the laboratory, was well known and admired. Students flocked to his laboratory to learn, and he never seemed to run out of space for them. These students he has trained, their lives and intellect shaped by him, are one of the best parts of his earthly legacy. His impact will be felt for many years to come, in the works of these students.
“Tarun was a central figure in the department's faculty. He inhabited the role of professor completely. He was involved in curriculum development, in teaching, in service and of course, research. His mind was constantly working, his interests were broad. He had voracious curiosity and a nimble intellect, and even the mundane aspects of his work held his interest. He was happy to share those mundane aspects of his research with you, at length. It is remarkable that he was preparing or had submitted grants in collaboration with biologists that ranged from Metro-parks environmental scientists to biomedical researchers. He published extensively with over 30 publications in high quality journals, and was much admired in his field. He was working on several projects, from invasive species studies, to assessing biodiversity of the Cleveland Metro-parks, to phytoremediation. He was just starting a year-long sabbatical, making significant personal financial sacrifice, for the work that he loved so deeply. However, his research was not simply done to satisfy his curiosity or his vanity, but was an extension of his love and respect of the natural world. His findings were not meant to sit quietly in journals on library shelves; he brought them out into the world and lived his commitment to the health of the planet. His knowledge and understanding of the environment were his gentle weapons to make this world better, and protect it for his and all of our children. He loved the natural world, for its beauty and complexity, and wanted to preserve it.
“He was rare among us, in that he was tremendously serious about his work, but did not conflate that with his ego, never taking himself too seriously. He loved to tease and to be teased, and was quick to laugh at himself. Given his very strong beliefs about the environment made him a most excellent target, and sometimes I could not help myself. I remember when he hung a poster on the wall outside his lab that had photographs of non-native invasive plant species. We both stood in front of it admiring it. I pointed to a picture of his arch-nemesis, the purple loose-strife plant and told him that I just bought several of these plants at a nursery and put them in my backyard. The look on his face, hurt and betrayal was priceless. But the joke backfired on me, because when I told him I was kidding, he didn't believe me. I had to assure him, over and over, that I was just teasing, that I had absolutely no purple plants of any kind in my garden, and had no plans to purchase any, ever. That was the seriousness of Tarun – when something he loved and believed in was challenged, he would not back down. Most of the university and college administration can attest to Tarun's tenacity, when it came to arguing for the needs of research. One must understand, however, that his drive was never about the greater glory of Tarun; it was his sincere belief that his science was part of his almost custodial duty to planet Earth and that was why he pushed so hard!
“Though Tarun followed the immigrant's path, taking citizenship in Canada and permanent residency in the U.S. , he held dearly his cultural heritage. He was an officer in the Bengali Cultural Society, and was very involved in its operations. He was proud of his culture, and eager to share its rich blessings. His greatest joy in life, without questions, was his family. His wife Sanchita and daughter Tatini were his heart and soul. He reminded me more than once, when some trivial problem was upsetting me, to remember that what truly is important is one's family. Such a sentiment may sound trite, but when delivered by Tarun, it was authentic and heart-felt. His pride in Tatini, his love and devotion to her, were immeasurable. He loved his work, true, but that love was sonly a shadow of the feelings he held for him family. I think Tarun would say his family was, by far, the greatest accomplishment of his life.
“On his webpage, Tarun had posted a number of striking photographs he had taken in the field, and these beautiful pictures are a treasured insight into how he saw the world. He titled each picture, and the list of titles when read, create a poem, perhaps inadvertently. Let me share those words with you:
When water touches the feet of North Chagrin Reservation and the sun bathes the forest
When the lotus leaves smile with the colors of nature
When the river flows without a destination
When problems set us back
Clouds come and clouds go; we are so lucky, lo and lo
The problems go away when the sun peeks through the canopy and
At the end of the day, the birds return to their nests
“We have lost a special professor and colleague, and, more painfully, we have lost a wonderful, loving friend. The world has lost a protector. A family has lost a husband and father. But, simply put, his life was a triumph. The world was and is a better place for Tarun Mal. He cannot be replaced, and there will always be an absence in the lives he has touched. But what he has left the world will continue to grow and flourish, and I only hope that we can come close to what would have been, had this tragedy not occurred. God-speed Tarun.”
Acting Senate President Mieko Smith asked everyone to observe a moment of silence in memory of Professor Tarun Mal.
Dr. Mieko Smith stated that she hopes that everyone will do whatever they can to help the Nation's recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Smith noted that there are many new Faculty Senate members this year and asked everyone to go around and introduce themselves so that the new people know the continuing members. The introductions took place.
Acceptance of the Agenda for September 14, 2005 was moved, seconded, and approved.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the May 4, 2005 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Dr. Mieko Smith announced that the Nominating Committee was composed of Professors Rodger Govea, Chair, Peter Poznanski and Kenneth Sparks.
Dr. Rodger Govea reported that the Nominating Committee has carried out its functions according to the Faculty Senate Bylaws but has fallen a little bit short of what the Bylaws actually prescribe. The Bylaws state that two candidates should be produced per office. There was a relative lack of available candidates. The Committee was able to produce only one candidate for each of the offices of President, Vice President and Secretary. It is not an unprecedented situation for the Nominating Committee to face so the Committee submits the following three names for the Faculty Senate offices: Professor Sheldon Gelman (Law) for Faculty Senate President, Professor Teresa LaGrange (Sociology) for Faculty Senate Vice President and Professor Jennifer Visocky-O'Grady (Art) for Faculty Senate Secretary. No petition of candidates has been received. At this point, Dr. Govea turned back to Dr. Mieko Smith with the suggestion that these three officers be elected by acclamation of the Senate.
Dr. Mieko Smith thanked Dr. Rodger Govea for chairing the Nominating Committee. She stated that Dr. Govea worked with Professor Ken Sparks and Professor Peter Poznanski as the Nominating Committee members. She thanked them very much for their hard work.
Dr. Mieko Smith then asked Senate members to vote on the three candidates if there were no objections. She noted that Professor Sheldon Gelman has been nominated for President of the Senate for a one-year term, Professor Teresa LaGrange has been nominated for a two-year term as Vice President of the Senate, and Professor Jennifer Visocky-O'Grady has been nominated for Faculty Senate Secretary for a one-year term.
Dr. Smith asked for a motion to approve Professor Sheldon Gelman as Faculty Senate President, Professor Teresa LaGrange as Faculty Senate Vice President, and Professor Jennifer Visocky-O'Grady as Senate Secretary by acclamation. It was moved, seconded and the Senate approved the elections by acclamation of Professor Sheldon Gelman as Senate President for a one-year term, Professor Teresa LaGrange as Senate Vice President for a two-year term, and Professor Jennifer Visocky-O'Grady as Senate Secretary for a one-year term.
President Michael Schwartz welcomed everyone back. He noted that he was going to say something about Professor Mal but after Professor Fontes' Eulogy, there isn't much left to say except that we will miss Professor Mal.
President Schwartz stated that there is quite a lot going on this year and there are many good signs. Our enrollment is up by a couple of hundred Freshmen students and we are slightly up in transfer students, but we need to improve there and we think that we know how. Overall enrollment probably is just about flat with a year ago but probably after de-registration for failure to pay, we will be off, he was just guessing, probably one to three percent but it is hard to know. Our enrollment looks about the same as our sister institutions around the State. Some of the private institutions in the region are down so something is going on. In the meantime, about 20% of the new freshmen are living in Viking Hall and that's half the hall which is good news because that is a lot of freshmen in one place. He noted that this has never happened before as far as we know. That is a good thing.
President Schwartz commented that another good thing is the fact that the students are wearing CSU clothing and that wasn't true four years ago when he arrived here. They are wearing our T-shirts and some of them are even new. It is a very good sign – it is a sign that people are starting to have more pride in the place.
President Schwartz stated that the plaza is open. A faculty member had said to him that she was wrong about the plaza. She said that while it was being built she was telling people that we were throwing money down a rat hole and that was wrong. She said that the plaza is really terrific and she also said that she had been wrong once before. But, the fact of the matter is that it is open and it is getting a lot of use. It is even being called “The Quad” by some and he is really happy to see it especially in use the way it has been.
President Schwartz reported that the Recreation Center is a little ahead of schedule and is on budget and the same is true for the Fenn Tower renovation. Construction on the new garage that is going to go up next to the Recreation Center will begin soon. The demolition work is just about done. We will open bids shortly for the renovation of Parker Hannifin Hall which is the old Howe Mansion for construction of the Administrative Center . The planning study is under way for the College of Education and Human Services building. He added that we are doing okay, aside from not being able to use Euclid Avenue .
President Michael Schwartz commented that people are starting to have great confidence in CSU. A signal of public support, last year we raised $16.6 million in private funding for this institution. That has not been happening either. It puts a little bit of pressure on Vice President Spiker, but he can handle it. It is a great record.
President Schwartz noted that we begin next month with the Moses Cleaveland Black-Tie Scholarship ball which is just about sold out. He stated that these are all good signals. Last year we received seven more Fulbright awards. One student received a Fulbright award. Two of our students won U.S. Presidential Management Fellow Awards. Thousands of students from institutions like Johns Hopkins and Harvard apply for these awards every year. They cull that monster group down to 640. Two of our students were awarded these prestigious fellowships. One student is going to serve the year in National Institutes of Health and the other student will serve in the Oceans and Atmosphere Administration and Commerce. He noted that it was reported in today's newspaper that the College of Law student newspaper called The Gavel , of all law school newspapers, won the award for the best student newspaper in the nation. This is a university with growth in stature every month it's open. It gets better and better all of the time. We have a great deal to be proud of and a great deal yet to be done.
President Schwartz reported that we have enrolled eight students who were displaced by hurricane Katrina. We were contacted by twenty students altogether but we enrolled eight students. One of the students who was displaced is an international student from Africa who came from Southern University and we found a way to get him housed and get him some clothing and all kinds of appliances for the place where is he is living. The President stated that this student needs a stove and we will find a stove for him.
President Schwartz commented that the department of Black Studies has been collecting clothing. The Athletics department has been collecting clothing and other things as well. The Cleveland State Pagans student organization has been doing the “Operation Spare Change” campaign that you probably passed when you came to the meeting today. They have raised 4,970 meals. That is 15 meals per dollar so they raised about $400. Their goal is 10,000 meals by Friday so if you have an extra dollar you might drop it on your way out today. That money is going to the America 's Second Harvest and they chose that organization because 98% of the money that they raise goes to the victims of Katrina. And they are also collecting toiletries for evacuees who are coming to Cleveland . Other student organizations and fraternities are doing the same thing. A list of all of this will be posted on the Web Site and a comprehensive list should be available by the end of the week. It will be kept updated. There is enormous outpouring of concern and generosity all over the place.
President Michael Schwartz reported that we have finished one year now of our budget model but it needs work. We will keep plugging away at that. The President noted that he will only comment on the budget to the extent that the one thing we need to keep our eye on as faculty and staff is that the budget model can, and, in fact, does encourage the colleges and the departments to take in their own laundry a lot which is to say, pull in credit hours. His concern is that the students' interests are not always best served and that no matter what else happens here, the students' best interests must be at the top of our list of concerns, otherwise, he doesn't know why we are here. So we will have to find a way to make that every bit as important as conserving the credit hours in the home departments and colleges, etc. It is all about the students folks, it is all about what is in their best interests.
President Schwartz went on to say that we are going to have a whole year this year of more conversation all over the place about general education. In this weeks Cauldron, the editor in chief of the newspaper, for whatever reason, took the general education out to the wood shed saying that we are tough kids and we can handle anything life can throw at us. You might, but the best weapon you will have in this world is a good education and we need to think that through very, very carefully. Our program has to be very good and serve the students well in the long term or we better think about what we're doing. So, we have lots of work to do.
Finally, President Schwartz stated that the year is shaping up to be a pretty good one and our enrollment will come back to us. But, it will not come back as it should if we don't get some help from the Ohio General Assembly. His only best guess is that public higher education has begun to price students out of the possibilities of social mobility in society. That probably frightens him more than anything else. Promises to harden the class structure, limit the opportunity and mobility, concentrate power, and make people angry, if the General Assembly continues to balance the budget on the back of higher education, from his point of view, it is probably social dynamite. This is not a society that can afford it in the first place and that can support it in the second place. We need some help. These students are working hard and many of them are working too much trying to do too much. You see them and you know them better than he [President Schwartz] does and you know that they are falling asleep in the classes. You know that if they are getting there, they are getting there late and they have to leave early and whatever it is, it is not because they are rude, it is because they are overwhelmed by obligation and this place probably sees more of that than many other institutions in the State. We are going to have to take up the cause for them in ways that are better managed than in the past. This is no longer just a matter for the institutions, lobbyists, and the president to be down in Columbus to holler about it. This is now a matter for the citizen professors to take up as a very substantial concern. This is not self interest. This is interest on behalf of the students and the long-term best interests of the society in general. President Schwartz stated, “So, I'm glad students are wearing our T-shirts. I just want more of them getting our diplomas. That is the goal.”
Responding to the open Q&A session, Professor Eileen Berlin Ray wondered why the President's picnic was held on East 18 th Street and not in “The Quad.” President Schwartz responded that the picnic was moved last year because “The Quad” was under construction and people seemed to like it and the City gave us no grief over closing East 18 th Street . Also, it let an awful lot of people going down Euclid Avenue have a look at this place so we thought we would continue. But, if there are other suggestions…. Professor Berlin Ray continued stating that she heard from a lot of students that they didn't even know the picnic was going on. They would have been able to stop for food on their way to classes through “The Quad” so for them, having the picnic on East 18 th Street wasn't a really good idea. It might be worth doing some assessment and seeing… President Schwartz replied that we want more people to come to this event and we fed 3,000 people that day.
Professor Berlin Ray stated that she wanted to thank whoever was responsible for the Baker's Union parking lot. It significantly improved her life. President Schwartz noted that the person to thank is Vice President Jack Boyle. President Schwartz reported that Jack Boyle wants to have a naming contest for that building. Certain names for that building were just not acceptable. It will not be Jimmy Hoffa Hall, it will not be Jackie Presser…
Professor Larry Keller announced that the University Strategic Planning Committee, which has been meeting all summer and is meeting about every two weeks, will hold a session to which all of the Faculty Senators will be invited and that is scheduled for Tuesday, November 29, 2005 in the afternoon. They will have sandwiches at a lunch at Noon and from 12:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. there will be a substantive session. At the end of the process the following August, the Strategic Planning Committee will report back to the Faculty Senate as well as to the administration. There will be more information about the details later. He just wanted to get that on everyone's calendar for November 29 th in the afternoon.
At this point, Dr. Mieko Smith asked the newly elected officers to come up to the podium for the “Passing of the Gavel.” Everyone applauded.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:40 P.M.
Faculty Senate Secretary
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