2004-05 Chair:  Marjorie Pryse


November 1, 2004

Meeting Minutes



Present:          J. Bartow, R Baum, N. Claiborne, F. Hauser, F. Henderson, T. Hoff,

G. Kamberelis, S.B. Kim, J. Langer, C. MacDonald, D. McCaffrey,

J. Mumpower, K. Murray, G. Paul, M. Pryse, S. Stern, E. Wulfert


Guest:             R. Farrell



Chair’s Report – presented by Professor Marjorie Pryse: 


Senate Bill Number 0405-01:   Additional Membership on Councils and Committees, proposing that the elected representative of the Council of Deans become an ex officio member of UPC, was passed at Senate.  Dean Wick-Pelletier will be the Deans’ Council Representative to UPC.


UPC Committee Reports:


University Facilities Committee (UFC), Frank Hauser, Chair:  No report.


Resource Analysis and Planning Committee (RAPC), Nancy Claiborne Chair:   RAPC met twice for the purpose of responding to the Mission Review II document.  Due to the importance of the document and the breadth of its analysis, committee members felt that they could better respond to the Interim President and the Interim Provost by identifying three to four priority items that the university might be able to achieve in the next five years.  Once UPC has further discussion regarding the priorities, RAPC will meet if necessary to develop language to send forward.


Mission Review II (MRII) Discussion:


Professor Pryse distributed Student Satisfaction Survey results for the past ten years along with the 1992 University at Albany Mission Statement for UPC members to consult while reviewing the MR II document.  She noted that the 1992 Mission Statement language seemed to remedy the problems UPC identified in the MR II draft, particularly the balanced commitment in the University’s mission among the liberal arts and sciences and the professional schools; and how to create, through narrative, the impression of a “well-orchestrated whole.”


Professor McCaffrey reported that in the RAPC review of MR II, the members found it difficult to identify clearly three or four priorities in the document.  He indicated that the responses to the 2002-03 survey are very unsettling, and he hopes that the MR II document will address issues that did not fare well in the surveys.


Professor MacDonald distributed a document identifying a few priority areas and including key text suggestions for the beginning of the MR II document.


Funding to the core programs was discussed, specifically, that the charts show a pattern of below the mean ratings that appear to address the quality of instruction.  Professor Hauser mentioned that there was a report distributed by the Task Force on the Quality of Undergraduate Academic Life and Student Retention in 1998 that studied issues of retention and recommended improvements.  He noted that there were very useful recommendations in that report that could be incorporated into the MR II.  Interim Provost Mumpower indicated that some of the language in the honors initiative stemmed from that document.  Professor MacDonald pointed out that a number of issues which require governance discussion are discussed in the document also.  The document will be distributed to all UPC members for review after this meeting.


There was discussion on the student satisfaction survey results with regard to how much time the faculty spends with students.  The results were not very favorable.  Some members agreed that it is difficult to spend a lot of time with individual students when teaching groups of 100 at a time.  Interim Provost Mumpower said that the surveys are conducted every few years and in general, there is a higher level of satisfaction now than ten years ago. 


Professor Wulfert raised questions about an “armchair approach” to the solution of problems, such as constituting a previous task force on student retention and hiring external consultants. She stated that if this campus wants to find out why the students are so dissatisfied, it should conduct a study with a stratified random sample of students, pay them for participating, and find out in carefully constructed interviews what the sources of dissatisfaction might be. It was moved that UPC authorize Professor Wulfert to design a study.  Professor Wulfert agreed to bring a more concrete proposal to the next Council meeting and the issue will be moved then.


It was also suggested that the MR II should address bringing residential life into podium or academic life, linking one to the other. 


Graduate Certificate in Public Health Genetics Proposal:


Professor Hoff introduced the certificate program proposal.  The certificate is a twelve credit, four course certificate that will be available for a wide variety of people, i.e., health care professionals, doctors, lawyers, media, etc.  The resources are already committed.  The proposal will go to GAC this week.  It was moved that the proposal be approved.  The proposal was seconded and approved unanimously.



Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder