March 7, 2005

Meeting Minutes



Present:          J. Bartow, R Baum, N. Claiborne, R. Geer, K. Hall, F. Hauser, F. Henderson,

T. Hoff, G. Kamberelis, S.B. Kim, J. Langer, K. Lowery, C. MacDonald,

D. McCaffrey, J. Mumpower, G. Paul, S. Stern, J. Wick-Pelletier, E. Wulfert


Guests:           D. Andersen, P. Bloniarz, S. Chaiken, C. Doll, N. Murray



President’s Report:  Presented by President Kermit L. Hall:


President Hall reported that since his arrival to UAlbany he has been spending time meeting students, staff members and Senators.  He and the Senate officers are scheduling a series of sessions involving students and faculty called The Voice of the Student.  He will ask students to speak about what works well and what does not work well within the University at these sessions.  A Voice of the Parents session will be held in Long Island, and he is hoping that faculty and members of the administration will join him for that session also.


  • Enrollment:  The SUNY system as a whole is up 4%, although UAlbany is down about 1200 applications.


  • Student Satisfaction Surveys:  President Hall reported that he met with the Senate Executive Committee and discussed the survey results.  He hopes that giving more attention to undergraduate student issues will bring better results.  Professor McCaffrey noted that the Senate is working on these issues, but assertive leadership from the President is needed in order to help with the issues resulting from the surveys.  President Hall assured the group that he will be very involved along with faculty and Senate members in resolving student issues.  He reported that he has consulted an outside expert in undergraduate issues, Laura Coffin Koch from the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Coffin Koch has dealt with issues similar to that at UAlbany and is scheduled to be here in April.  Some members from UPC have been asked to sit in on meetings with her.  Professor Wulfert noted that since there is a new President on board, this is the moment to work on student satisfaction.  The survey group has asked students to put identifying information on the surveys, so the students can be individually interviewed.  To this point, they have offered their personal information, which is very encouraging.


  • Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Search:  The search is ongoing.  It is hoped that there will be a permanent appointment by next fall.


  • Vice President for Advancement Search:  This search will start this week.  There will be some changes made to the position; for example, communications responsibilities will be moved from the Advancement Office into the Office of Governmental Operations.


  • “Ask the President” – President Hall reported that he is receiving very interesting questions, mostly from students.  Topics include, among others, parking, food, and course availability.


University Facilities Committee (UFC), Frank Hauser, Chair:   The Facilities Committee held its first meeting on February 7, 2005.  Following a brief discussion of the Senate's mandate to the committee, John Giarrusso from the Facilities Department went over the project on facilities assessment outlined on the sheet that has been handed out.  John noted that a facilities assessment had been conducted and projects totaling roughly $860 million were identified as being needed and in some cases critical to the maintenance of the facility.  Not having $860 million, the list was culled to 41 projects that fall into three categories that are to be accomplished over a three-year period (04-07). Each project was briefly described in scope, content, selection decision and status.   As indicated on the handout, State Construction Fund Appropriated projects totaling $79 million that will be performed.  Funds for these projects were raised through proposals to The State Construction Fund.  A Residence Hall capital plan will cost $5.6 million and will be paid from student fees.  Selected Campus-initiated projects will be paid from funds culled from other projects.  Some of the projects were discussed in some detail, especially those dealing with renovations of the lecture centers.  This will likely be further discussed in future meetings. Another project that was discussed in some detail was the planned move of the grounds maintenance shed from across Fuller road to the Indian parking lot beside the Police Department.  The committee was assured that it would not interfere with the aesthetics of the pond and also would not be visible from the road.

Other issues that were briefly discussed, which will likely be addressed in future meetings include ongoing efforts to improve signage, changing the Washington Avenue main entrance to reduce accidents, parking around the new Administration Building (formerly know as the admissions building) and the cutting of trees on the campus. There was also a beneficial exchange in how to get faculty to respond to facilities requests for input to various projects.  There was particular discussion relating to the remodeling of the lecture centers and which ones, as well as campus center activity and partitioning of the old main student dining area in the campus center. 

A second meeting of the committee is planned for March 14.  Dean Paul Leonard will present the
School of Business's Plans to construct a new School of Business Building.  Another topic will be the renovation of Earth Science classrooms ES 241 and ES 245.  John Giarrusso contacted Professor Hauser about this project and he reported that he contacted faculty who teach in those rooms, requesting suggestions for improving those classrooms.

Professor Hauser came away feeling very good about the initial committee meeting and that there is a strong sense of working together to improve the facility.


Resource Analysis and Planning Committee (RAPC), Nancy Claiborne Chair:   Professor Claiborne met with Professor MacDonald to discuss RAPC direction and decided that first, RAPC members need to understand the budget.  They will review past budgets and identify trends.  RAPC has scheduled a meeting with Vice President Lowery so she can answer questions on the budget.


University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC) - (Representatives Tim Hoff and Edelgard Wulfert):   Professor Wulfert reported that URPAC continues to meet with the Deans and Vice Presidents and continues to discuss the potential implications for their units if the University faces further budget reductions.   URPAC met with Vice President for Research Videka to discuss the process in which money flows through research.   Professor Hoff added that Interim Provost Mumpower and Vice President Lowery have been extremely helpful in providing information to URPAC members and he thanked them. 


Update on Analysis of Survey on Student Satisfaction:  Professor Wulfert reported that the survey process has begun and it will be completed in March.  Interviews with students that identified themselves on the survey will begin in April.


Proposed College focused on Information and Computing (CIC):   Guest:  Dean of the School of Information Science and Policy Peter Bloniarz:  Dean Bloniarz explained that the proposed College is similar to efforts at other universities across the country.  Three units at UAlbany (SISP, Computer Science and the interdisciplinary doctoral program on Information Science) will be merged to create a core of teaching and research on information and computing.  After a brief discussion of the proposed new College, it was decided that UPC members will direct further questions to Dean Bloniarz via email and Dean Bloniarz will answer them before the next meeting.  The Council hopes to be ready to vote on a recommendation regarding the proposed College at the next meeting.


Bill No. 0405-11 - No Suspension Of Classes For Religious Holidays -  Professor MacDonald suggested that the bill be delayed for a year in order to do more research on its affect on the external constituents of the University.  A motion was made to delay the bill and continue the status quo for one additional year.  The motion passed unanimously, UPC will report the recommendation to delay the bill to the Senate.


Proposed Honors College within the College of Arts and Sciences – Dean Joan Wick-Pelletier introduced the proposal and there was discussion.  Due to a lack of time, it was decided that UPC members will direct further questions via email to Dean Wick-Pelletier and she will answer them before the next meeting. The Council hopes to be ready to vote on a recommendation regarding the proposed Honors College at the next meeting.



Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh