Bulletin No. 5
October 28th 2002
Fall Senate Meeting Listing
Senate Small Grant Awarded
Minutes of the Research Council, 18 Sept 2002
Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, 3 Oct 2002
Minutes of the All College Meeting, 8 Oct 2002
Minutes of the College Senate Meeting, 8 Oct 2002
Report from University Senate Plenary Meeting
Fall 2002 College Senate Meeting Schedule:
Fall elections will be conducted electronically using e-mail and a voting link set up by CIT. A list of candidates for the College Personnel Committee and for the Committee on Nominations will be sent to each member of the teaching faculty. Included with those lists will be instructions for voting. We anticipate elections will be held around the middle of November.
Senate Small Grant Awarded:
Congratulations to Cynthia Klima, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages on her Senate Small Grant Award for her projects entitled "Jewish Prague" and "Paul Leppin".
Minutes of the Research Council
Sept. 18, 2002
Members Present: Ganie DeHart, Doug Baldwin, David Johnson, David Meisel, Doug Harke, Anne Eisenberg, Paul Pacheco, Liz Hall, Ming-Mei Chang, Nader Asgary, Anne-Marie Reynolds, Roxanne Johnston. Members Absent: Lynette Bosch, Karla Cunningham
Ganie DeHart called the meeting to order at 3:35 PM. Ganie DeHart welcomed everyone to the 2002-03 Research Council, especially new member Paul Pacheco from Anthropology. Members of the Council introduced themselves.
The Council elected a vice-chair for the 2002-03 year. There was one nomination from last Spring, Nader Asgary. Ganie DeHart called for additional nominations; there were none. Nader Asgary was elected unanimously. Ganie DeHart summarized deadlines and meeting schedules for the coming year:
Sept. 20: Research Travel Grants, Undergraduate Research and Travel Grants, Research Development Awards, Incentive Grants, College Senate Small Grants due. All subcommittees will have work to do with these proposals. Ganie DeHart mentioned that starting this semester there will be two submission dates for undergraduate grants: This semester, one for research or travel (for Fall 2002) and one for research (for Spring 2003); starting next semester one earlier in the semester for travel (for the current semester) and one later for research (for the next semester).
Oct. 16: Research Council meeting with Provost, 3:30 PM.
Oct. 17: Student research grants due. Work for the student research subcommittee.
Nov. 1: Dean Johnston student assistantship proposals due.The full Council will meet Nov. 13 at 4:00 PM to discuss these.
Jan. 3: Summer fellowship applications due. The full Council will meet over intersession (traditionally in the last week, but no date has been set yet) to discuss these.
Jan 23: Incentive, Research Development, and Senate Small Grant applications due. The research subcommittee will discuss these.
Jan. 31: Travel grant applications due. The travel subcommittee will meet to discuss these.
Feb. 7: Undergraduate travel grant applications due. The student subcommittee will meet to discuss these.
Feb. 14: Undergraduate Summer Fellowship applications due. The full Council will meet around the third week in February to discuss these. Ganie DeHart asked all Council members to encourage proposals for Undergraduate Student Summer Fellowships, as there was a dearth last year.
Feb. 28: Hurrell-McNaron Travel Grant applications due.
Mar. 21: Undergraduate Research grant applications for Fall 2003 projects due. The student subcommittee will discuss these.
Apr. 4: Geneseo Foundation Student Assistantship applications due. The full Council will meet to discuss these.
May 16: Travel grant applications due. The travel subcommittee will meet to discuss these.
May 16: Senate Small Grant and Incentive Grant applications due. The research subcommittee will meet to discuss these.
Council members formed subcommittees, as follows:
Travel: David Johnson, Nader Asgary, Liz Hall, Lynette Bosch
Student Research: Doug Baldwin, Paul Pacheco, Anne-Marie Reynolds, Karla Cunningham
Research: Anne Eisenberg, David Meisel, Ganie DeHart, Ming-Mei Chang
Student members of the student research subcommittee have yet to be arranged.
Doug Harke summarized the Council's membership. Membership represents all areas of the College (natural sciences, math and CS, professional schools, etc.), with specific members generally drawn from departments that generate lots of grants. The College constitution requires half the Council members to be project directors or former project directors. Doug Harke reported on successes in sponsored research for the past year: External grant proposals and expenditures were very good, both have been rising since the mid-1990's. Doug Harke compared Geneseo's sponsored research record to Fredonia's, a generally similar SUNY institution. Fredonia generated $2.5 million in grant costs compared to $700 thousand for Geneseo, but most of Fredonia's were related to large non-research projects. Fredonia had only $214 thousand in research costs compared to $592 thousand for Geneseo. Geneseo is unique in the extent to which it uses sponsored research to benefit faculty and students.
Nader Asgary asked how Geneseo ranks among all SUNY institutions in terms of grant money. Doug Harke answered that we are near the bottom for 4-year schools. Buf. State is the leader with about $30 million per year; most grant money comes from the university centers, the System-wide figure is about $300 - $400 million per year.
Ming-Mei Chang asked how Geneseo compares to Brockport. Doug Harke answered that Brockport generates $3 - $4 million per year, mostly in public service grants.
Doug Harke pointed out that in considering how we do re research support we must also remember infrastructure activities, such as the Institutional Review Board, Radiation Safety committee, Animal Welfare committee. We may soon also face issues related to biohazard safety (e.g., recombinant DNA research) and federal "safe lab" certification and training.
Ganie DeHart asked if there were issues related to Doug Harke's report that the Council should work on this year. Doug Harke answered that he hopes to increase research participation in some areas of the College. He also described plans to consolidate student research presentations presently done in a November College-wide poster session and Spring Humanities and Science Symposia into a single Spring "scholars day", which would include social sciences and arts as well as the groups that already have presentations. Anne Eisenberg said that the sociology honor society has a Spring paper session that could be included in "scholars day".
Nader Asgary asked about the reward structures for research, and whether we should follow up a letter about same that the Council sent to the provost two years ago. Doug Harke said that the President's Task Force on Faculty Roles and Rewards was the proper body to address that issue.
Nader Asgary asked if we could look at how sponsored research is changing in other 4-year SUNY colleges, compare their sponsored research offices to ours, see if we can improve efficiency. Doug Harke said that the College hopes to hire a part-time grant writer. In the meantime, Tom Greenfield can assist with some writing.
Ganie DeHart suggested that the Council could try to identify barriers to funding, pointing out that encouragement for funded research varies greatly between departments. She also asked about the College's ability to reward unfunded research. She suggested that problems related to unfilled faculty lines can distract faculty from research. She asked all Council members to think about questions to ask during our meeting with the provost.
Nader Asgary pointed out that grants can include money for grant writers, who may then be available part-time to people outside the supported group. Paul Pacheco pointed out that our discussion dovetails very nicely with discussions underway in the President's Task Force on Faculty Roles and Rewards. It is unclear where "scholarship" fits into the current stated reward structure. Students are what tie scholarship and other activities together.
Roxanne Johnston mentioned that providing support for scholarship is a top priority for the Geneseo Foundation. She distributed a report on Foundation sponsored 2001-2002 faculty and student grants selected by the various subcommittees of the Research Council. She pointed out that support for scholarship can also come from alumni. She asked for suggestions of students who could speak eloquently to the Foundation board of directors about what research support means to them, as the board very much enjoys hearing such accounts. Several names were offered.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.
The next meeting will be October 16, at 3:30 PM in the President's Conference Room.
Minutes submitted by Doug Baldwin.
Executive Committee Meeting
President’s Conference Room, Erwin
3 October 2002
Present: T. Bazzett (Chair), C. Dahl, B. Dixon, G. Drake, C. Freeman, E. Gillin, W. Gohlman, R. Hartman, J. Lieberman, J. Lovett, M. Lynch, M. Schmidt
Chair Bazzett opened the meeting at 12.50PM.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting on 10 Sept 2002 (Bulletin 3, pp. 15-19) were approved without corrections.
Chair Bazzett commended D. Aagesen, Chair of the Nominations Committee, for his work under a short deadline. Aagesen’s appeal for nominations had generated a good response so far—24 for Faculty Personnel, for instance, and six for Nominations Committee. Bazzett said there would be an open call for nominations at the All-College Meeting next Tuesday. Past Chair Lovett asked whether Aagesen himself would be running; he would not be, Bazzett replied. Aagesen had requested corrections from the Executive Committee. Lovett said that she normally used people’s full names. (e.g., David, not Dave).
University Senator W. Gohlman asked about the relationship between early retirements and the College Budget. Dahl agreed that the early retirement program would be of some value in balancing this year’s budget and preparing for a difficult year in 2003-04. In some cases, we would hold faculty and staff lines vacant. In other cases where a position is essential to the immediate operations of a unit, we plan to use cash reserves to pay for the early retirement costs in order to be able to conduct a search and fill the vacancy.
1. The Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation has been discussing the first item in its charge. To facilitate their discussion, members are reading Ernest Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered and are discussing its meaning. They will then look at materials from the national conversation on the evaluation of teaching. The Task Force knows it must identify standards before creating a program to help people meet those standards.
Bazzett asked what constituted a high-demand specialty. Dahl offered the examples of Special Education and Reading. Dixon explained that fewer PhDs were being produced in certain areas than were needed to staff faculty positions around the country.
Bazzett also inquired about the distribution of vacancies. Dixon said there were five open positions in Education; several professors there now were public school educators on one-year lectureships. There were also open positions in Art, Business, Psychology, English, Communications, Foreign Languages, Geography History, and possibly Geological Sciences.
Moreover, there were fewer tenure-track openings in School of Education than we used to have—and Dixon emphasized that having real-live public school practitioners benefited the School of Education. We were doing a better job of retention, too. In the past several years, the College had lost no tenure-track faculty to research institutions—every one left for a family reason. We had tried very hard to get people who wanted to teach in an undergraduate environment.
Vice Chair’s Report
C. Freeman believed that the electronic voting demonstration at the last Senate meeting had gone well. The graphical display showed clearly which side in the practice vote had won, but the exact numbers for each vote would require counting from an on-screen window. That process should take about a minute; eventually, new software will make the process automatic.
J. Bushnell thought that one could destroy secrecy of by looking at the bar code on a neighbor’s device. Bazzett pointed out that one could also peek at a written ballot, too. Freeman said that, while counting, he could turn off the large screen in the hall so that no one could see any numbers.
Past Chair’s Report
J. Lovett reported a small problem on the Governance Committee. She had more Faculty than needed, but not enough Departments. When she had sent out email to the Professional List, she had given them until 4 October. At this point, the only professional staff member she had for the Committee was K. Anne from CIT. Lovett had also learned that she could not “borrow” B. Howard for the Faculty, since Howard was currently working in the Dean’s Office. Bazzett added that Meg Stolee wanted to be on the Committee. Lovett said that if she received any more nominations, she would forward them to Bazzett.
M. Schmidt said she had requested $50 from the Senate Fund for a memorial gift honoring John Herlihy, Professor Emeritus of Education. She was also concerned about junk email coming in to the Faculty-L listserve, and she wondered if CIT could prevent it.
University Faculty Senator’s Report
W. Gohlman announced that the University Faculty Senate would meet in two weeks at SUNY Purchase, and he and Chair Bazzett would attend. They expected to hear from the Chancellor and learn about the SUNY Budget.
Dahl reminded the Executive Committee that Geneseo would host the University Faculty Senate at the end of January.
Central Council Report
President Dahl cordially invited the Executive Committee for refreshments on his front porch before the parade began on Saturday morning.
Faculty Affairs Committee
R. Hartman asked for a few clarifications from the Executive Committee.
1. What was to be the relationship between the Task Force Faculty Task Force on Roles, Rewards and Faculty Affairs Committee? Should the two hold a dialogue once in a while? Dahl thought that would be a good idea at an appropriate point. But right now the task force is getting its bearings in the national conversation on faculty roles and rewards (by considering Boyer and other major contributions to the field) and seeking to establish a framework for further discussion. The Task Force will be providing a report at the end of each semester, so once it becomes useful to discuss what is coming out of the committee, some joint meetings could be called.
Dahl went on to explain that part of the point of the Task Force, philosophically speaking, was to make sure we do things right. A few years ago we looked at SOFI design in Faculty Affairs Committee and then brought in a consultant from a UUP grant to discuss evaluation of teaching. We saw that we could not talk about evaluation in isolation or merely in terms of SOFIs, but needed to consider a whole range of issues including professional development.
Dixon remembered raising similar concerns before the Faculty Affairs Committee recommended a Task Force. The Task force’s final charge has turned out to be even more comprehensive than the original recommendation of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Dixon also thought it was most appropriate for the Task Force to make public reports, not simply reports to the Faculty Affairs Committee.
Dixon said she had never found anything in the Constitution for a Standing SOFI Committee. Dahl replied that Faculty Affairs Committee is just charged with reviewing SOFIs every three years. Dixon called this a practice rather than a written Constitutional directive.
Dahl recalled that Lima’s Committee had examined the SOFI design, saw issues beyond the SOFIs themselves there, and saw the need to take care of those other issues first. The Faculty Affairs Committee had already been given an extension before Lima’s Committee continued the work, but the Committee realized that there was a need to deal with Faculty Roles and Rewards. Bushnell noted that the Constitution charged Faculty Affairs with general policy on faculty and promotion and tenure. The triennial SOFI review came from a resolution connected to a particular SOFI. Dixon wondered about the statistical validity of changing the instrument every three years. Lovett remembered that Senate had once wanted to have a review more often than, say, ten years, and Bushnell added that the Senate had wanted a review less often than one year. Dahl recalled 1997’s long discussion of the meaning of standard deviation. Dixon felt a review of SOFI design should not happen more often than once in six years since a tenure cycle lasted six years.
So, Hartman concluded, it would not be fruitful to discuss SOFIs right now, and Dahl confirmed this. Dixon suggested that the Task Force would need to look at lots of things that other institutions do, and Faculty Affairs Committee could help with this research. Gohlman said this would go with the fifth item on the charge.
Graduate Affairs Report
Chair Bazzett reported for D. Metz, who had said that his Committee would have the second reading for one of its course proposals at the upcoming Senate meeting.
Policy Committee Report
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Report
J. Bushnell said her Committee had met on Tuesday and approved a minor revision in a minor program, plus minor revisions in other courses. Bushnell will bring these to the Senate meeting.
Bazzett appreciated the concise proposals from UCC for the Bulletin. He noted that Meg Stolee had suggested adding the Departments affected by the proposal on the form so that people reading the Bulletin could figure out which ones might affect them. The proposals were housed at the Dean’s Office, and Faculty members could request to see them.
Student Affairs Committee Report
M. Lynch said that Student Affairs had held its first meeting last week. Four issues were on the agenda for this year:
Chair Bazzett gave an update on departmental representation in Senate. Among College Departments, only English and History were overrepresented, and this by virtue of currently unfilled faculty positions. The consensus of the Committee was not to take Senators away from Departments; instead, with an expanded Faculty, the Foreign Languages Department will have an additional Senator (R. McEwen).
Bazzett shared a slate of candidates for the Faculty Personnel Committee and Nominations Committee. He praised the work of Nominations Committee Chair D. Aagesen. The candidates are as follows:
Ken Asher (Professor, English)
Doug Baldwin (Associate Professor, Computer Science)
Rose-Marie Chierici (Associate Professor, Anthropology)
Celia Easton (Associate Professor, English)
Dave Geiger (Professor, Chemistry)
Bill Gohlman (Associate Professor, History)
Ron Herzman (Distinguished Teaching Professor, English)
Sonja Landes (Associate Librarian, College Libraries)
Chris Leary (Professor, Mathematics)
Jan Lovett (Associate Professor, Biology)
Alan Lutkus(Associate Professor, English)
Paul Maclean (Associate Librarian, College Libraries)
Tom MacPherson (Associate Professor, Art)
Duane McPherson (Associate Professor, Biology)
Dave Meisel (Distinguished Professor, Physics)
Darrell Norris (Professor, Geography)
Robert O’Donnell (Professor, Biology)
Michael Oberg (Associate Professor, History)
Jeff Over (Professor, Geological Sciences)
Nick Paternostro (Associate Librarian, College Libraries)
Paul Schacht (Associate Professor, English)
Walter Soffer (Professor, Philosophy)
Dan Strang (Professor, Business)
Gary Towsley (Distinguished Teaching Professor, Mathematics)
Ken Deutsch (Political Science)
Rachel Hall (English)
Alan Lutkus (English)
Michael Rozalski (Education)
Elias Savellos (Philosophy)
Melissa Sutherland (Mathematics)
Chair Bazzett adjourned the meeting at 1.55PM.
Graham N Drake
College Senate Secretary
8 October 2002
Present: C. Annala; S. Bailey; T. Bazzett; J. Bearden; R. Bonfiglio; T. Book; S. Brainard; T. Buggie-Hunt; J. Bushnell; M. Chang; J. Cope; C. Cunningham; C. Dahl; G. Dingeldein; B. Dixon; G. Drake; A. Eisenberg; W. Freed; C. Geiger; R. Gifford; E. Gillin; W. Gohlman; G. Gouvernet; D. Granger; L. Hall; R. Hartman; A. Herman; D. Johnson; J. Kirkwood; C. Klima; A. Kline; M. Lima; M. Lynch; K. Mapes; D. McPherson; D. Metz; N. Paternostro; E. Pogozelski; R. Pretzer; S. Salmon; P. Schacht; M. Schmidt; A. Stanley; M. Stolee; M. Sutherland; C. Tang; J. Tang; G. Towsley; B. Welker; C. Woidat; T. Zollo; J. Zook; A. Conklin; J. Colosi; M. Fratto; J. Garvey; A. Hassid; J. Lieberman; K. O’Neill; N. Passer; J. Principe; J. Remy; J. Rice; J. Sergio; C. Whalen; J. Winkler; P. Wong; L. Zoller.
Guests: S. Flynn; S. Frisch; E. Spicka; A. Redisz; , S. Regina, L. Wrubel.
Chair Bazzett called the meeting to order at 4.05PM.
Adoption of the Agenda
Chair Bazzett thanked Nominations Committee Chair D. Aagesen for his work. He presented the list of candidates for Personnel Committee and the Committee on Nominations (Bulletin 4, p. 26). Senators should notify Aagesen or Bazzett for any corrections.
A. Eisenberg (Sociology) representing the Nominations Committee accepted one additional nomination from the floor, adding Jasmine Tang (Lecturer, Foreign Languages) to the slate of candidates for the Nominations Committee election.
Bazzett adjourned the All-College Meeting at 4.07PM.
2. Information on this year’s Budget and the prognosis for next year’s went out today to Departmental mailboxes and to the Student Association.
The Provost invited Faculty to look for articles from their disciplines which intersected with the concerns of the Task Force. Articles may be sent to D. Geiger, D. Gordon or the Provost herself through hard copy, email, or web link. By the beginning of next semester, the Provost hoped we would have some sort of website featuring that would include these materials.
Vice Chair’s Report
M. Schmidt said she had requested $50 from the Senate Fund for a memorial gift honoring John Herlihy, Professor Emeritus of Education. Senators should inform Schmidt about any needs for sympathy cards or memorials.
University Senator’s Report
W. Gohlman said that he and Bazzett would attend the University Senate Meeting at SUNY Purchase next weekend. Bazzett would be meeting with Campus Governance, while Gohlman will meet with Senators from four-year colleges.
Central Council Report
J. Lieberman reported that the Student Association was continuing to work on the free airport shuttle bus. Students are now able to reserve their seats for fall break. The Saturday morning bus seemed to be already full, so the Student Association might add another bus on demand.
Voter registration packets were recently distributed to off-campus students. The packets included registration forms, absentee ballot applications, and information regarding the Student Association.
Homecoming was last week. On behalf of Central Council and the Student Association, Lieberman commended the Activities Commission for putting together a fun-filled schedule of events. Congratulations on a successful week.
Reports Of The Standing Committees Of The Senate
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
J. Bushnell moved the following for her Committee:
1. First Reading on the Revision of a Minor Program:
Asian Study Minor: Add ANTH 301 to possible electives (Bulletin 4, p. 32)
The motion passed unanimously.
2. First Readings of Course Revisions:
COMN 368 (Bulletin 4, p. 32)
ENGL 222 (Bulletin 4, p. 32)
MATH 213 (Bulletin 4, p.32)
Each of these First Readings passed unanimously.
Bushnell announced that UCC should reserve the Tuesday following Fall Break for a meeting.
Graduate Affairs Committee Report
D. Metz moved the Second Reading for a new course, CDSC 436: Communicative Disorders Research (Bulletin 3, pp. 22-23). The motion passed unanimously.
Student Affairs Committee Report
M. Lynch reported that his Committee had held its first meeting recently. The Committee plans to discuss four issues this year thus far: sexual assault, student alcohol abuse, parking issues, and the CAS meal plan.
Faculty Affairs Committee Report
R. Hartman announced that her Committee would meet at 4PM on 22 October in Milne 208.
There was no old business.
There was no new business.
The Senate adjourned at 4.25PM.
Graham N Drake
College Senate Secretary
Report from the Plenary Meeting fall 2002 for the University Faculty Senate
President's report. The Senate is currently working on three primary initiatives
1. SUNY student and faculty art exhibition series
2. Faculty development including (primarily) the use of a web site to assist faculty by allowing discipline-based postings for exchange of information among related faculty on different campuses. Also, a national data base system is being purchased that will help match SUNY faculty to potential funding sources for their work. In a real effort to get the web site in order, a grad assistant was hired to assume the workload that was becoming overwhelming for the Senate volunteers who have worked on the site to this point. Site address is currently - http://ufs2.no-ip.org/. Stay tuned.
3. Faculty driven course credit transfer system within the SUNY system and for institutions outside of SUNY.
Report from SUNY Trustee Randall Daniels. Trustee Daniels gave a very bleak, yet realistic, report regarding the state of the State economy… no money for initiatives or improvements. At the same time, he reported a number of glowing statistics regarding SUNY: 1. Highest enrollment in over ten years. 2. Funding is rising. 3. Research money is rising. 4. SAT scores are the highest in history. 5. Minority enrollment is at an all time high. 6. Tuition has been held steady. 7. Philanthropy is rising and 8. Technology transfers are on the rise.
So where's the money? It seems, that although SUNY has been on a high note over the past few years, the State economy has not. September 11th was mentioned by Trustee Daniels (and others) who noted losses to the State were in the billions of dollars. This puts SUNY in the position of being a very efficient component of a struggling system. There are, in other words, very limited resources for rewarding faculty. Trustee Daniels did make several other statements in "his opinion".
1. We have to work harder to increase minority representation in our system, and especially to increase international student enrollment
2. SUNY faculty are embarrassingly underpaid. He is an advocate for increased compensation for the work done by faculty (in a system that has no money for such compensation).
3. He believes the board was correct in principle when outlining general education curriculum requirements, but acknowledges the means to this end were not necessarily the most appropriate. In addition, he noted that the board will advocate for resources needed to ensure effective integration of new general education curriculum requirements.
Addressing Trustee Daniels, two Senators pointed out the State's very poor marks (nationally) in public support for our college system (we rank 50th in the nation) and in accessibility (we received an "F" grade in a national ranking). Trustee Daniels responded by noting that ranking 50th in aid to higher education did not recognize the State's commitment to primary and secondary level education where many of the resources have been directed recently. However, he also noted that he will push for more funding for higher education in the future. As for our "F" grade in accessibility, he noted that tuition has been held steady in recent years. It was also noted by one Senator that the "F" grade received was for the State of New York, and not SUNY specifically. This is significant when considering that 40% of New York students attend private colleges (with high tuition) compared to much lower percentages of students in private college at states that may have received higher grades for accessibility (i.e. Texas, where only 10% attend private colleges). When asked if the board had made any decisions on raising tuition, Trustee Daniels responded that no decisions have been made.
Report from the meeting of Campus Governance Leaders. A dozen concerns were raised at this meeting. The two most relevant were:
1. Collection of SUNY campus by-laws for system-wide assessment: By-laws from all SUNY campuses are being compiled in an effort to look for consistency and effective governance for all campuses. This is not an effort to impose restrictions on individual campus governance committees, but rather, to look for best-practice policies developed on some campuses that may be shared with other campuses.
2. Replacement of the Provost’s Advisory Council on General Education (PACGE) with an Advisory Committee on General Education (ACGE): In reviewing curriculum for general education requirements, the University Provost had previously formed a committee (PACGE) to assess appropriateness of courses. Courses deemed "unacceptable" or "border- line" by the Provost were then to be assessed by this committee. The Senate objected to PACGE largely because it lacked faculty members and was composed of members appointed by the Provost. The feeling of the Senate was that, in principle, it makes little sense to have an advisory committee formed to objectively (and critically) review decisions made by the person who has appointed that committee. It was also felt that it makes even less sense to have that committee composed of non-faculty members to review faculty-submitted curriculum proposals. The following resolution was unanimously approved by the campus governance leaders at the meeting and proposed to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
Whereas curriculum is primarily the responsibility of the teaching faculty, and
Whereas, while Central Administration may set policy guidelines for General Education graduation requirements, it is inappropriate for them to review the content of individual courses relative to those guidelines,
Resolved that if a centralized General Education review process (such as the proposed Advisory Committee on General Education) is implemented, this process must include a system-wide committee composed of at least 75% current teaching faculty who are selected by the University Faculty Senate and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges.
Report from Chancellor Robert King. Chancellor King was very positive in his view of SUNY. His report started by noting economic growth and growth of the reputation of SUNY were terrific. In particular, research funding is up 18% from last year and up 50% from 1998. But like Trustee Daniels, Chancellor King noted that we are an effective part of a floundering economy. In rather cold economic terms, he noted that one reality of the September 11th attack was a loss of 100,000 jobs, among which were some of the most lucrative from the standpoint of collecting State tax revenue. He noted that many jobs had relocated in surrounding states, but also felt that jobs would return to NY in the near future. The future of the NY economy is dim. To quote the Chancellor, in terms of continuing to fund State run operations, "Something yucky is coming at us." But he was very reassuring in noting that whatever problems come to the surface, they will be rectified and we will continue with business as usual.
The Chancellor then heard reports from several committees (sharing of concerns) to which he responded. As one Senator put it, "Our concerns can be summed up in three words 'money', 'budget', and 'funding'". The general theme of the sharing of concerns was that funding is very tight, that there is a general dissatisfaction with faculty salaries and student stipends and that to be a competitive college system, SUNY needs more money. The Chancellor's response to each of these concerns was similar. In general, we are working as best we can in a system that has very limited resources. We hope the economy improves, and when it does, SUNY will be compensated appropriately.
Report of the Budget Committee. The budget committee reported that tuition did increase for several professional programs, but there has been no general tuition increase for SUNY. The budget committee also outlined its plan for a Rational Fiscal Policy summarized below. A complete report will be made public at the Geneseo meeting in January 2003.
Key features of Plan for Rational Fiscal Policy
1. Establish stability and predictability in funding sources.
2. Establish consistency in funding sources
3. Adjust for growth including inflation, enrollment, new programs, new technology,
4. Be effective and efficient in managing funds
5. Have flexibility in managing funds
6. Ensure affordability and accessibility for students
7. Ensure truth in budgeting
8. Diversify sources of funding
Findings of the Budget Committee
1. The economy that provides our funding is unstable and unpredictable
2. Consistency of funding may be affected by competing demands from other state priorities
3. There is a general lack of State and public support for higher education (a national trend)
4. Part of the problem (#3) is the (correct) perception that higher education has other funding sources (e.g.. alumni).
5. SUNY is inherently a heterogeneous entity, making a sense of unity in voicing concerns difficult.
6. There is a strong (competing) private higher education system in NY state (225 colleges).
Conclusions of the Budget Committee
1. State direct tax support has decreased over the years, it is variable, and does not keep pace with growth of SUNY.
2. Tuition has been stable, but has been used to fund increasing operating costs, creating a funding imbalance.
3. Campuses are relying increasingly on student fees to cover operating costs
4. Campuses are intensifying efforts to secure and increase money through other resources (research, alumni, etc.).
Consequences of the Currently Unstable System
1. Uncertainty is adversely affecting long-term and short-term planning
2. Uncertainty has made it difficult to undertake new academic initiatives to keep competitive
Goals of the Budget Committee
1. To increase State support
2. To decrease instability in State funding (using a formal recommendation)
3. Allow tuition increases annually using a well accepted price index
4. To increase TAP awards
5. To increase diversity of funding sources
6. To insure effective and efficient utilization of resources
System Administration Report. Donald Stevens reported on three primary initiatives of system administration.
1. New vision -faculty initiative task force (recognition and awards) has been formed and will give a full formal report later this fall.
2. Assessment - 44 campuses completed assessment plans and reviews on time (more-or-less).
3. General Education - About 24 General Education plans have now been approved. This is less than hoped, but it's movement in the right direction. Only a half dozen or so campuses are "not off the ground" on these plans. Don noted that this has been a painful process for administration and would like faculty to "move on". He also noted that the administration was now in general agreement with the Senate and campus governance leaders that if a curriculum proposal is deemed inappropriate, based on the system established "guidelines and guiding principles", that faculty (not administrators) should evaluate and make a final decision on whether or not to accept the course. When asked if there were criteria for what would raise a "red flag" on a course (i.e. deem it inappropriate based on system established guidelines and guiding principles), Don replied "no".
Summary: These are the highlights (lowlights) of the Plenary meeting. My personal observations have led to mixed feelings. While I believe Trustee Daniels is truly an advocate for SUNY, I was troubled by at least one comment whereby he noted that he felt that the board had "done the right thing" in imposing general education curriculum requirements. This comment alone was not troubling, but the follow-up comment where he noted "… and we will advocate for the resources you need for these requirements". I am concerned that he (like other board members) does not understand that those "resources" should be available when imposing requirements, rather than something that is advocated for after the fact.
I had a very similar sense when listening to Chancellor King, in his response to an eloquently worded question regarding imposed general education requirements and assessment requirements. It was pointed out to the Chancellor that the administration had imposed upon us additional duties without additional resources. The irony (as was pointed out to the Chancellor) is that the administration's efforts to "improve" education have manifested in burdens on faculty that require additional time and energy that will ultimately reduce teaching efforts (the term "committee creep" was appropriately used to describe this loss of time). The end result is that the administration's requirements to "improve education standards" are ultimately, significantly reducing the effectiveness of faculty. The paradox seemed so obvious in the Senator's statement that I expected a profound response. The Chancellors response was… "This is just part of what we are going to have to do." I was struck by the lack of a thoughtful response to the Senator's statement.
More Info Available: If anyone is interested, I will gladly share brief written reports from the following committees:
2. Graduate and Research
College Senate Chair