University at Albany

Office of the Provost

NYSUNY 2020 Proposals: 2012 – 2013

Updated: September 28, 2012

Proposals for the 2012–13 round of the NYSUNY 2020 plan.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) and ancillary documents are available at the links below.  Proposal submissions are due to by December 3, 2012.

Information about the first round (2011-12) application and review process is available here; for the 2012-13 round, a similar application and review process is planned, with some improvements.

Proposal development workshops took place on --

  • Monday, September 10 -- 2:30 pm  to 4:00 pm in LC 12

  • Tuesday, September 11 -- 10:00 am to 11:30 am  in PAC 355 (same material covered in both)

This year’s guidance documents are:

Ground rules and important information for preparing proposals

PDF icon

The Proposal Template

MS Word

The required spreadsheet to detail trends in enrollment, student credits, and externally generated funds, as well as projected outcomes

Microsoft Excel

The required budgeting spreadsheet that details the resources requested

Microsoft Excel

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers to help proposal authors construct their applications (Last Updated: September 28, 2012)

The FAQ will be updated as the semester progresses. Please check back often for updates.

The FAQ is divided into three sections:

Organizational Issues

Q - Can departments or units combine to submit a proposal?
A - Absolutely, and this may be a good means to leverage resources. Please indicate one primary author on the proposal template and, in section A, outline the expectations for research, teaching, and service contributions in each unit, as well as the standards that will be used (and by whom) to evaluate any hires for promotion/continuing appointment. In addition, be sure to submit metrics sheets (e.g., historial and projected enrollments, credits, external funding, etc.) for each participating unit

Q - Can faculty hires be spread out over a multi-year period?
A - Yes.  The budgeting resource Excel file (“Proposal_budget_TEMPLATE_UA2020_Round-2.xlsx”) is the place to formally record this, in addition to your describing the proposed hiring plan in the proposal narrative. 

Q - We have a NYSUNY 2020 proposal that is going to take longer than December 3 to pull together really well.  It is a great proposal and requires a complex interdisciplinary effort.  How best proceed without discouraging faculty, or putting forth a less than fully fleshed-out proposal?
A - Additional rounds for the NYSUNY 2020 proposal process are expected.  We suggest that it is better to continue working on the idea as long as is needed, and submit a finally polished proposal in the next round.

Q - For proposals that are revised and resubmitted from the last round, should we just respond to the critiques, OR, do we need to submit an entirely new submission?
A - Best to submit as a fully fleshed-out stand-alone proposal, as there is turnover among the reviewers, and the proposal is most likely to be reviewed by different reviewers this time around.  This is a great opportunity to take advantage of reviewer feedback to strengthen your proposal.

Q - Can I attach supporting documents and letters of support from key stakeholders?
A - Absolutely. 

Resource-Budget Questions

Q - Should we include faculty start-up costs in the proposal budget?
A - Yes, and provide a rationale or evidence (e.g., recent hiring experience, latest findings from the field, etc.) for whatever values you use.  But do not include search costs, as they are the responsibility of the unit or school/college.

Q - Can requests for support staff be included in the proposal budget?
A - It is best to not include support staff requests in the faculty hire proposals, but rather to note why those support staff are needed, what the costs are and how arrived at, and to note the plans for addressing those needs. Some options for addressing support staff needs might include the department/school/college budget process, internal re-allocation, and the Centrally Allocated Resource (CAR) request process through which deans submit requests to the provost.

Q - Can GA/TA support (stipends and/or tuition scholarships) be included in the proposals?
A - Yes, but they need to be directly tied to the proposal and support its objectives.  And, please note: GA/TA resources are tracked separately in the resource tracking Excel file (“Proposal_budget_TEMPLATE_UA2020_Round-2.xlsx”) in Table 2, which is on the same sheet at Table 1, just scroll down.

Q - Do budget requests need to be in a specific format?
A - Yes.  They need to be entered in the Excel budget request template (“Proposal_budget_TEMPLATE_UA2020_Round-2.xlsx”), and submitted as an attachment. They should also be described in section D.

Q - Can prospective authors look at successful proposals from the last round?
A - You may address requests to see funded proposals from the last round to the contact persons listed at  Please keep in mind that some proposals may contain proprietary or other information that may affect their availability.  In addition,  the metrics and budget resource spreadsheets, as well as the proposal template,  have been modified from last year.


Q - Where do I find the historical enrollment, credits, and externally funded research data for the metrics template?
A - Student credit hours and the headcount of the number of majors within departments are available from the IRPE Departmental Profiles at  Historical information on the number of students by major is available at Departments are invited to work with IRPE to complete the historical portions of this data file.

Contact Patty Zeccollo  of the VPR’s Office for historical externally funded research expenditures.

Q - Do I need to use the provided Excel files for the budget resource and enrollment metrics data or can we copy/paste into the text, or convert to PDF documents?
A - The Excel files are required.  Submit these files along with your proposal.  You may copy/paste parts of them into your narrative, but the files are required, as they are needed for tracking purposes, and to ensure consistency in approach across all proposals.

Q - Do I need to use the Proposal Template MS Word doc (“NY_SUNY_2020_Template_for_Proposals_for_New_Faculty_(Fall2012)_v21.docx”), or can I submit a proposal based on the outline in the Groundrules document (“Groundrules_and_RFP_for_Academic_Affairs_Faculty_Searches_(Fall2012)_v21.pdf”)?
A - We strongly recommend authors use the Proposal Template contained in “NY_SUNY_2020_Template_for_Proposals_for_New_Faculty_(Fall2012)_v21.docx” and rename the file with a short identifier of your choosing.  This will facilitate reading of your proposal by the reviewers.

Q - How might I best use the Delaware benchmark comparison data?
A - There are a number of ways to use these data.  For example, you can use these data to show that your program faculty teach more credits per person than faculty in comparable programs nationally, thus demonstrating an efficient use of university resources.  Or, you might use these data to confirm that your faculty teach fewer credits per person (or make use adjunct faculty or TAs  more or less than others), but the reasons for this are ____, ____, and ____ and your NYSUNY 2020  proposal is structured to address this situation by ……….  As is often the case, data can be interpreted in multiple ways.  It is up to you to make a plausible and reasonable case for your interpretation.

Q - What are examples of quality indicators related to external funding?
A - Prestigious funding organizations, such as NSF, NEA, or NIH, or highly regarded foundations, as well as funding levels.  You might also consider the ‘grant application to award success rate’ of unit faculty, among other dimensions.

Q - What are examples of quality indicators related to instruction or enrollment?
A - Ask yourself, what distinguishes teaching or learning in your discipline?  Student performance on assignments or projects linked to specific learning objectives, national competitions, awards and honors, GRE or GMAT scores for program graduates or applicants, and the number of students in departmental honors programs are a few examples. 

Q - Are there any resources available to help us project enrollment demand for our proposal, or for our discipline?
A - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has a number of resources on occupational forecasting.  For enrollment demand, you may consult with Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Robert Andrea at   In addition you may want to consider recent historical program enrollment trends which are available on UAlbany’s IR Office webpage at and  You may also wish to consider publications of national data for disciplinary demand from national organizations, such as the Council on Graduate Schools which publishes graduate program trend data by field of study, among others.

Q - Why do I need to convert expected student increases to credit hours?
A - Ultimately, the campus needs to know how many credit hours we collectively plan to teach to ensure that enough instructional capacity is made available.

Q - How can I convert expected student increases from our initiative into credits, if needed?
A - A quick rule of thumb is that every full-time undergraduate should ideally be enrolled for 15 credits each semester, so multiply the number of new students you plan to enroll in a prospective program by 15 to approximate a full semester load.  You then divide that by the proportion of credits that will be completed within the proposed program (generally about 1/3 for undergraduate programs), and prorate the new credits to be generated over a four- or two-year period, depending on whether the program will attract native freshman or transfer students.  Do this for both fall and spring semesters.

If the proposal is targeted at seats in particular undergraduate courses rather than the number of majors, simply multiply the projected enrollment by 3 (or whatever the proposed course credit load will be) for each semester the course(s) of interest will be taught.  Here it will be particularly important to differentiate between fall and spring semesters.

The quick rule of thumb for graduate students is that they should be enrolled, on average, for 12 credits per semester for full-time status (or for whatever the standard is for your discipline).  So, multiply new students in the program by 12, and then extend out the credits out over what would be the typical program duration for a full-time student.  And if focused on graduate course enrollments only, rather than students in a new or revamped program, multiply the projected enrollment by whatever the course credit load will be (typically 3 or 4 credits), and enter that result in the columns for the semesters in which the course(s) will be offered.

But remember, for both undergraduate and graduate initiatives, the initiatives should be targeted to “new” students to the program.  And it is preferred that new students be “new to the campus,” not pulled from other existing offerings.

Please contact Bruce Szelest at if you need assistance with these entries.

Q - For projected new credits and new enrollments, do I enter them across all the semesters or just in the semester for which the new students will first enroll?
A - Enter new students served and credits produced only in the first fall and spring semester in which they are to come on line.  Any new enrollments and credits are expected to continue on into the out years, so any numbers in the metrics tables should be those credits and students that are new to the fall and spring semesters in any given year.  What we are after is the marginal increase over the previous period.   By definition, new enrollments and credits created in prior semesters carry forward in the final calculation.

Q - Why don’t I need to project out student headcount in spring semesters?
A - Mainly because student headcounts do not really tell us as precise an enrollment impact over the academic year as we need, as there are full-time versus part-time distinctions at play, credit hour requirements can vary by program or by class, and of course, the specifics of the proposal drive the student credits it is expected to generate.  Another reason is that student “heads” (AKA the overall number of students enrolled in any program of study) are only really counted for state reporting purposes in fall terms. 

Q - Why do I need to project out student credits in spring semesters?
A - Because spring plus fall credits are part of the calculation that determines our campus’s annual average FTE, which is what the campus’s state appropriation is based upon in large part.  Therefore, having a firm estimate of academic year credit hours to be produced provides a much more firm estimate of instructional and budgetary impact. 

Q - Why do I need to include information about international and minority graduate student enrollment, and project them out?
A - Because our strategic plan commits us to “…attract and serve a highly qualified and diverse group of students,” the unit’s standing on these metrics is an important point of context in the review record.

Q - What is the unit of analysis for gauging what proposals will achieve – the new hires or the department as a whole? 
A - The department, or unit, as a whole is the basis for analyzing and tracking all promised outputs.  Therefore, proposals are encouraged to think creatively and beyond what the new hires themselves might produce. 

It need not be the new faculty member who does X or Y.  A department could make a case for hiring a faculty member to do Z, so that current faculty members particularly well positioned to do X or Y could have more of their time devoted to those initiatives.  So, for instance, Scandinavian Studies might decide that it wants to provide more upper-level courses for the increased number of transfer students likely to be interested in that major.  It puts forth a proposal to hire a faculty member whose interests are in the introductory level of teaching, so that some of the existing faculty (currently teaching those courses) can move their teaching to the upper level.  Or, another example:  Botany wants to make best use of the newly emerging successes of its faculty who have been increasingly successful in obtaining external funding.  They make the case for hiring a 3-year term postdoc to participate in that effort and to cover a greater quantity of the larger lecture sections so that the newly successful grant-getting faculty can increase the number of grants they apply for.  Or, another:  Marine Management concludes that if they can move some of their curriculum to a different format or venue, they will be able to accommodate more students, and they make a case for hiring a faculty member with expertise in that format/venue who will not only start that process him/herself but also will help the other faculty move their courses over.  Or……   There are many other kinds of possibilities—think of the unit (department/ college/ school/ collaboration) as the entity that will be showing X in external funding and/or Y in enrollment.  How the unit accomplishes that will certainly be different for each circumstance.

Q - What types of evidence or documentation is needed to justify projected external funding additions?
A - The track record of accomplished researchers in this discipline, either at UAlbany or elsewhere, would work nicely, along with justification or parallels that can be drawn to the unit in question.  The rank and research expertise of those involved, along with any other pertinent factors should also be cited.

Q - For the requested resource table (“Proposal_budget_TEMPLATE_UA2020_Round-2.xlsx”), do I enter the new hires’ salary in each year, or just once? 
A - Just once, in the “recurring” column for the year in which they will start.

Q - For the projected output metrics, do I enter the new funding each and every succeeding year, or just the first year in which it occurs?
A - Just the first year in which it will occur.  It is assumed that any new externally generated funds (research, philanthropic, or otherwise) will continue on into the out years, so only include new dollars expected in the first time period in which it occurs.  For example, if $100,000 in new RF funding is expected in 2014-15 as a result of the new hire, that $100,000 would only be entered in the 2014-15 column, and not thereafter.  But if this new hire is expected to bring in $100,000 in 2014-15, and then an additional $100,000 in 2015-16 on top of the dollars brought in in 2014-15 (which would be expected to continue as well), as his or her research program solidifies, then $100,00 would be entered in the 2014-15 and also in the 2015-16 column.  The remaining columns would contain $0, resulting in $200,000 in total new funding over the coming five-year period.

Have a question that is not addressed above?  Please contact Bruce Szelest, Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Resource Planning at or call 437-4928.