Council on Educational Policy

2003-04 Chair:  Edelgard Wulfert

Friday, May 7, 2004


Present:          M. Carpenter, G. Jicha, S.B. Kim, P. Leonard, J. Logan, D. McCaffrey, J. Mumpower, C. Pearce, M. Pryse, B. Shadrick, S. Stern, E. Wulfert

Guests:           R. Geer, K. Lowery, B. Szelest, Dean Wick-Pelletier

Minutes:         The minutes of April 30, 2004 will be sent to Council Members by email for review and approval.

OurUAlbanyData web site:  Guest speakers:  Vice President Lowery and Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning and Assessment Bruce Szelest.

Vice President Lowery reported that the OurUAlbanyData web site would not be password protected because the resources are not available. 

Assistant Vice President Szelest reviewed the web site with the Council members.  He noted that the department profiles and the research activity, including grant applications and awards at an aggregate level, are available for public access.  VP Lowery indicated that the budget data will need further review with University Counsel before they are made public to determine exactly how much information should be made accessible.

There was a motion to approve the site as presented with the exception of the continued work on the budget data.  All were in favor; the OurUAlbanyData web site was approved.

Indirect Costs:  Vice President Lowery explained that the average indirect cost return to the Campus is approximately 20% and that about one-half goes to the Office of the Vice President for Research for further allocation to departments and schools. 

Professor Wulfert asked for a time line by which the University community would be given access to the indirect cost information, and where on the Web the information would be located.  Assistant Vice President Szelest indicated that the information might be available in 4-6 weeks and suggested that it be posted on the Institutional Research or Office of Sponsored Funds web pages with a link to it from the Senate web page, or within OurUAlbanyData.

There was discussion on conducting a budget analysis and determining exactly how much detail the Council would want to make available.  It was decided that this discussion would be put on the top of the agenda for next year’s UPC.

Ad Hoc University-wide Governance Committee:

Discussion on the status of the creation of an Ad Hoc University-wide Governance Committee began with clarifying the misinterpretation in some email correspondence between EPC members and other members of the University.  Professor Wulfert reviewed that at the last Senate meeting, EPC recommended that an ad hoc committee be formed to look at the implications of changes to the existing governance structure in order to grant the College of NanoScale Science and Engineering (CNSE) greater autonomy in specific functions:  tenure and promotion, graduate curriculum and research. The intent was that the ad hoc committee would work over the summer to examine alternative governance structures as they seem to exist in some of our sister institutions, e.g, Stony Brook, and to look into the possible implications of devolving certain functions not just to CNSE but to all schools and colleges on the campus.  A proposal was made to form a committee of at least six faculty members, one professional, and one student.  At the Senate meeting, the Provost questioned why only six faculty members were suggested, and Professor Wulfert explained that, based on a discussion in EPC, it was felt that  this number worked very well for the by-laws group and that there was concern that it might be more difficult to work in a larger group. However, she emphasized that the number of committee members contained in the proposal brought to the Senate was simply that, a proposal, and the number was open to discussion.  After that, no one at the Senate made a motion to change the proposed number, and therefore the proposal was voted on and approved. Days later, the proposal generated many email exchanges with deans expressing concerns about a perceived lack of fair representation of every college and school.

Dean Wick-Pelletier suggested that there should be a wider process of nominating members across the entire campus and that the deans could make nominations.  Professor Wulfert noted that an email soliciting nominations had gone out to all the deans and faculty across campus soliciting nominations or self-nominations to serve on the ad hoc committee during the summer, and that another email will go out to professionals today.  She emphasized that the deans’ nominations would be respected, that the committee would be appointed and submitted to the Senate for final approval via email. There was extensive discussion on the wording in the proposal regarding the number of members that should constitute the committee.  To allay concerns about equitable representation of all schools and colleges, it was suggested to change the number from “at least six” to “at least nine, to ensure that fair and equitable representation could be possible.”  The council members decided that “at least nine” would suffice. Professor Wulfert agreed to send out an email reflecting the change in wording. She emphasized the importance of having all schools and colleges represented on the ad hoc committee to avoid creating even the appearance of unfairness.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder