University Senate                                                                                                          Page 1 of  3


University at Albany

State University of New York


2005-2006 University Senate Executive Committee

Monday, September 26, 2005


Present:          J. P. Abraham, R. Collier, S. Herbst, V. Idone, W. Lanford, A. Lyons,

C. MacDonald, S. Messner, J. Mumpower, E. Redkey, M. Rodriquez, J. Savitt,

M. Sherman, D. Shub, L. Snyder, D. Wagner, R. Zitomer



Minutes:         The minutes of August 29, 2005 were approved.  An amendment to the Senate Council Summaries for CAA was requested and approved, changing the date of the scheduled meeting from 9/22/05 to 9/26/05.  


Order of Business:  Chair S. Messner proposed that the agenda be slightly altered to allow an address by Laurel Allen, to be presented first.


  • Address by Laurel Allen:  Director, Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action:  Laurel Allen presented a report that Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity working together, with “Compact Planning” can be used in assessment, and directing us to do many things better.  Director Allen, asked that everyone familiarize themselves with the Affirmative Action plan and also encouraged participation in Search Committee’s.  Statistics from a snapshot of October 31, 2004 where shown.  Director Allen said if diversity in Higher Education isn’t improved we could have a crisis situation.  We can do many things now to improve things now and in the future, including working with units and departments to achieve goals.  There was discussion about the objective ability of the statistics, including surveys taken from part time employees.  Exit interviews where brought up, as well as the importance of age, and the tapering pool of employees.  Prof. Messner reported that there hasn’t been an effort made yet to delve into other departments and units.  The concentration now is on different ethnicities essentially, fix the fundamentals.  Provost Herbst reported that the search committee’s will increase the pool of minority candidates and concluded that even with small pools, it is possible to find the diversity your looking for. 



Presidents Report:  Presented by Provost Susan Herbst:


  • Compact Planning:  Provost Herbst reported that “Compact Planning” is not going to solve all of our problems; it can make arguments about future investments.  Self studies at unit level and departmental level should be considered.  Make plans, focus on planning, and talk more with committees.


  • New committee Selective Investment Committee:  The Selective Investment Committee will included 12 people, including 1 staff 1 student and possibly a distinguished faculty. 


  • Rockefeller College Dean position: will be vacant this winter.  A search committee will be hiring an “Executive Recruiter”, to facilitate the search. 


  • Search for VP for Research: The search for a Vice President for Research continues.


  • Including Students on Search Committee’s: The topic about including students both graduate and undergraduate on Search committees was raised.  Provost Herbst reported that VPR will be seeking a graduate student for the committee.  However there is no search committee at this time for the Dean of Honors College.  The discussion included questions on how we should attempt to formalize recruitments of students of color.  Provost Herbst indicated that there are slots on the committees saved which could include slots for transfer, slow start students with faculty recommendations which may fulfill possible recruiting goals.  Continued discussion on a possible proposed legislation to create a National Search Implementer of Faculty.  Policy of the Faculty governing board could have an impact.  


Chair’s Report:  presented by Chair Steven Messner:


  • UPC likely to have Journalism Major when Advisement Policy Bill is presented.


  • Brown Bag lunch with President Hall will be held during the upcoming Yom Kippur class break.  October 13 from 12:00--1:00 PM.


  • Candace Merbler would like to remind everyone that she is collecting donations for JayneVanDenburgh.



Review of Senate Agenda for 10/10/2005:  agenda items from Councils and Committees:



  • Senate Council Summaries:  Prof. Messner acknowledged the submission of the reports where all timely, and thanked everyone for their help.  Everyone agreed that it is a good policy, and should be proposed to the Senate as well. 


  • Religious holidays:  There will be a meeting tomorrow with UPC, however, UPC would like Administration to propose a calendar.  Provost Hersbt, after talking to legal counsel, has changed position on this issue.  The University can only suspend classes if doing it for secular reasons, celebrations of diversity are unconstitutional.  Currently there is no bill.  If no bill goes forward the calendar can possibly still be updated.   There are some gray areas about what is allowed, administration must show it would be inconvenient to assure comfortable safety levels of students.  The calendar has been adopted for 06-07.  Therefore, a new bill would be for 07-08.  Maintaining community confidence is an important issue to consider when discussing the calendar.  A discussion about requiring students to self identify there beliefs, and needs, could have an effect on this decision.  Also to be considered are Alumni relations.  The question is put forth to ULC as to whether they want to put forth a bill.  President Hall would like to have a recommendation made.  UPC should meet and vote on whether they want to bring it to the senate.  Provost Herbst said it will still be brought to the Senate.  There are many Senators that would be interested in this discussion.  Prof. Messner would like to hear the Administrations recommendations and justifications for them.  UPC will report back and or take a ULC pole to see if they want a bill on the agenda.




New Business:


Compact Planning Liaisons:  There is a timeline for compact planning, and it has emerged suggestions that we have liaisons from senate to senior administration involved in compact planning.  The purpose is to provide a channel of communications. To alert persons about needed approvals.  Also, keep senate informed.  There is no precedent to get the board established.  Discussion ensued, and it was suggested to proceed as needed on each planning event.  There should be a case by case evaluation of the needs for Senate’s involvement.  But the people that are going to be the most helpful and knowledgeable with a plan should be the starting point.  Senate Executive Committee members should fill roles for lines of communication.  Encourage the Deans to take advantage of the resources of the Executive Committee.  Identify presumed expertise of Executive committee, and proceed as needed on each planning event.


Council Activity Requiring Consultations or Coordination:  Nothing currently requires consultations. 


Adjournment:  The next meeting will be held November 7th, 2005 in the Standish Board Room.



For the September 26, 2005, Senate Executive Committee Meeting


Council on Academic Assessment (CAA), Malcolm Sherman, Chair

            The Council on Academic Assessments is scheduled to meet on September 26, 2005.  Scheduled agenda items include a proposal (developed over the summer) to assess not just degree programs, but also courses and sequences that students may take to fulfill a requirement of their minor, a general education requirement, or as an elective.  The Council will divide itself into two committees, one that reviews mainly quantitatively oriented departments and one that reviews mainly qualitatively oriented departments.  The schedule of impending reviews will be announced and future meetings scheduled.  The Council (as a result of two resignations from faculty who are on leave) now has the minimum required number of faculty.  The possibility of recruiting new members will be discussed.


Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR), Lawrence Snyder, Chair

CAFFECoR met on September 15th.  We have begun an exploration of our procedures to deal with student grievances on matters other than grades.  We will be inviting student leaders and faculty to join us in discussing these matters.


Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), Richard Zitomer, Chair

            No report.


Council on Research (COR), Vincent Idone, Chair

            COR has not met yet (first meeting scheduled on October 19), but nearly all the subcommittees, standing and otherwise, are fully designated, this having been done with careful attention to appropriately broad representation.  The Chair also met with VP Videka to go over relevant agenda items for this year from her perspective, and will also send out material prior to the first meeting to solicit input from the COR members as well as to provide background suitable to foster effective discussion at the meetings.


Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments (CPCA), David Shub, Chair

            CPCA will have its first meeting on October 7th.


Graduate Academic Council (GAC), Monica Rodriguez, Chair

            The first full meeting of the GAC has been scheduled for September 29, 2005.  At this meeting we expect to elect Chairpersons for the Council Committees.  In addition, two new program proposals will be discussed, namely, a dual degree program of MSW/MPH and a Combined BA Judaic Studies / MBA.


Governance Council (GOV), Diane Dewar, Chair

            The Council met on Friday, 9/16/05, to review the draft Bylaws and Charter of the CNSE.  Robert Geer of CNSE was present to present the documents as well as to answer any questions.  Although we will be proposing a few minor changes to the documents, the documents overall are consistent with the Faculty Bylaws and Senate Charter.  An oral report of our comments will be presented to the Senate in October.






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            The Council also formed its Committee on Liaisons and Elections, and Committee on Assessment of Governance.  Current business of the Liaisons and Elections committee includes filling UAS slots and adding more CAS members to UPC, as well as offering a forum concerning military recruitment on campus.  Business for the Committee on Assessment of Governance includes the development of handbooks as per the Charter of the Governance committee.


Council on Libraries, Information Systems and Computing (LISC), David Wagner, Chair

            LISC held its first meeting of the year on Thursday, 22 September 2005.  New members were provided an orientation to the Council and its committees.  The new Dean and Director of Libraries, Frank D’Andraia, was introduced to the Council.  Although no business was transacted at the meeting, we did discuss some of the issues that will be matters of concern to the Council during this academic year.  These issues included extensions and clarifications of the recently approved e-mail policy, the University’s level of involvement in activities designed to increase open access to journal publications and other periodic materials, and the prospects for developing one or more institutional repositories at the University.   


Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC), Philippe Abraham, Chair

            All of the Undergraduate Academic Council subcommittees have been configured and will begin to meet shortly to consider a number of issues that have been brought to the UAC.

            The Undergraduate Academic Council is currently discussing the following items:

I)          campus-wide honors program proposal

II)        advisement policy proposal

III)       SSW standards proposal

IV)       Revisiting our S/U policy

            The first two items fall under the category of “Council Activity Requiring Consultation or Coordination” because consideration by UPC will also be necessary, it seems possible that either or both of the honors and advisement discussions may result in a recommendation for change in the Senate charter (for example, the composition of an honors committee within UAC or advisement committee within UAC or ULC) and thus would also require approval from the Executive Committee and review and passage from the Governance Council before being submitted to the Senate for a vote.

            In addition to the journalism proposal, we may have additional items to bring to the Senate’s October meeting depending on how quickly our discussions progress.


University Life Council (ULC), Joan N. Savitt, Chair

            ULC heard a presentation from John Reilly about the legalities of making or not making calendar changes.  Basically, no changes to the calendar can be made on solely religious grounds, since that would be advancing a particular religion, but the university can make adjustments in anticipation of otherwise serious administrative disruptions.  That is, since we are obligated under education law to provide make-ups and other accommodations to those who request time off to make a religious observance, and since we can predict that a large percentage of students and faculty will ask for such accommodation on major Jewish holidays, we can make an administrative decision to reschedule those classes in the first place.  Using this logic, we cannot readily claim that there is a similar need to accommodate far smaller populations.  We can also see that the law already allows for students who wish to observe their holidays to observe them, even if the university is already in



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session.  What was not clear was if there was precedent for adjustments to the calendar in recognition of the fact that certain religious group members might be placing themselves at risk if they self-identified, which would be necessary if the university did not already rearrange the calendar to accommodate them. 

            ULC was firm in its belief that we should not restudy the issue since both positions--suspend for no one, and suspend in recognition of the needs of many for accommodations to their religious observances--have been expressed in the legislation that was drafted last year by ULC and the EPC. 

            Additionally, ULC briefly discussed the issue of textbook pricing, and   questions about CDTA service defects and possible over-counting of passengers were raised. 

            ULC established its standing committees and ad hoc committees, which will meet as needed.  ULC plans to meet as a whole on a monthly basis, and has scheduled its fall sessions for Mondays that do not conflict with the Senate or Executive Council meetings.


University Planning and Policy Council (UPC), Carolyn MacDonald, Chair

            UPC met on September 6, 2005, to select a regular meeting time (8:15am on Tuesdays), organize committees, and select a representative for the university parking committee and the Albany High School program.  It was reported that substantial progress had been made over the summer by the advisement and honors committees and by the group working on the student satisfaction surveys, and that more information would be forthcoming soon.  UPC will meet on 9/27 to discuss advisement, a proposed journalism major, and whether action is required on religious holidays.


SUNY-wide Senate, Richard Collier, Reporter

            No report.  The next meeting is scheduled for October 27-29 in Saratoga.