University Life Council
Minutes of Meeting
Arts and Sciences Room 357
Sumedha Tagare, Julia
Filippone, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Karen Brown,
Meeting commenced at
Ad hoc Benefits Committee –
The Benefits Committee met in early April to review remaining items for the year. The committee received approval by Senate Chair Carolyn MacDonald to send out a mass email to all faculty requesting feedback regarding faculty leave benefits and subsequently reviewed those emails at the last meeting.
Forty-five responses were received and Lisa Thompson plans to compile a full report. The Committee is also planning a meeting with Associate Vice President Steve Beditz, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Bill Hedberg, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, to obtain feedback from the administration regarding leave benefits.
The Committee hopes to reconvene in the Fall to continue the work. Karen Brown recommended taking this information and partnering up with women’s groups to discuss the issues and try to obtain support in case the issue gets heated. Jennifer Stromer-Galley agreed that was a good idea.
Athletics Committee –
Athletics Committee has an April 21st meeting planned and will be discussing the SUNY Student Opinion Survey.
Residential Life Committee –
Robert Yageleski indicated that the committee has been dormant. It is the desire of the Committee to have its role redefined and clarify issues that should be reviewed and addressed.
Ad hoc Religious Holidays Committee –
Nothing to report at this time
Graduate Student Organization –
Sumedha Tagare is interested in having the grievance process explained during departmental orientations. Currently the Graduate Academic Committee has proposed an ombudsman and is currently going through the approval process.
GSO has requested that the organization’s brochure be included in both the department orientations and in the actual application sent to prospective graduate students.
Martin Hildebrand asked if the GSO could send the information directly to graduate students or if the departments should be responsible for distributing the brochure. S. Tagare answered that the departments should probably be responsible given they will know how many students are in the program. J. Murphy also inquired about how graduate student orientation works and S. Tagare responded that it’s done by departments.
Council members briefly discussed some of the benefits the GSO offers including offering grant money for students and money for organizations. Members suggested other ways to get the brochures and information to students including distribution in welcome packets or sending it out with the letter of acceptance to the program.
Members recommended additional changes to the brochure including putting the website and address in a prominent spot and rewording the section regarding how the fees are structured.
S. Tagare inquired about the possibility of having specially marked University identification cards for graduate students. S. Tagare is concerned about students who use the GSO facilities and being able to know who is a graduate student. Karen Brown recommended setting up the equipment, such as the photocopying machine, with a password or having a swipe card system so that only graduate students can use it. There was also discussion about students who are Bachelor and Master degree candidates and how they would be classified in the system and thereby marked on their identification cards. It was determined that if you pay a GSO fee, you should have the privilege to use the GSO services.
Julia Filippone said she would look into the technicalities to have a graduate identifier placed on student identification cards.
Resolution Pedestrian Safety –
The Pedestrian Safety Resolution was passed last May and addressed issues such as crosswalks, snow removal and lighting but these items are not being addressed. It was proposed that resolution be brought back to the Senate but there were concerns regarding who it would go to and in what order it should be reviewed.
Members suggested that perhaps the report needs better circulation and issues may also include the ideas that were proposed and funding available to address the concerns. The report is available on the Senate webpage.
Karen Brown suggested that ULC prioritize the issues and concerns, given the large size of the report, to help move things forward. It was pointed out that snow removal was efficient this past year.
Joanne Razzano will meet with Glen Cyphers and Lindsay Childs to obtain a copy of the report and discuss prioritization.
Additional areas of concern also include the Fuller Road
area, particularly given that students/staff walk to Stuyvesant Plaza;
disability access which
Religious Holidays Materials –
Karen Brown suggested that the material be archived.
Senate Charter –
The issue regarding a possible revision to the ULC Senate Charter to include emeritus faculty on ULC was discussed. In addition to revising the Charter to include emeritus faculty, Bill Reese would also like there to be a resolution to encourage providing space on campus to accommodate emerti.
Members discussed that there must be a change made to the charter and not simply a resolution.
When a change is recommended to the Charter, it must be presented for public comment for 30 days. A bill could be introduced and be voted on in the Fall.
ULC could pass something to include emeritus faculty keeping in mind that there is the issue regarding the Committee having to increase its membership numbers.
Addressing the issue of space, Bill Reese provided information from other schools where there are faculty clubs and/or an emeritus center. B. Reese expressed interest in setting up a center near food services.
Members asked if there was an organized group of UAlbany emeriti and Bill Reese said there was (referred to as the “Emeritus Organization”) and lunches are arranged as often as possible but the lack of a central meeting place makes this difficult.
B. Reese distributed and discussed media articles about
emeritus centers at SUNY Buffalo (The
Voice, May-June 2002) and
Members agreed that the emeriti should ask for the physical space, have specifics in mind and that it made sense to have space on campus for this organization. To be approved for space, a resolution would go to would be the Senate, then to the President and then to the committee that allocates space.
It was suggested that the ULC should vote on supporting a resolution for allocating physical space.
B. Reese presented a resolution for granting facility space to emeriti:
Be it therefore resolved that the Emeritus Organization required a physical location on campus to do its work and that those empowered to grant University space be encouraged to work with the Emeritus Organization to achieve this end.
Resolution was unanimously supported by all ULC members present.
Council Memberships for 2005-2006 –
A new council will be constituted in May and council members
will elect a chairperson. Chair
Members who headed committees need to submit end-of-year
Meeting was adjourned at