Educational Policy Council

Minutes of the Meeting of January 23, 2003

Present: C. Bischoff, R. Bosco, S. Coon, T. Hoff, S.B. Kim, J. Logan, D. McCaffrey, S. Phillips, J. Pomeroy, M. Pryse, M. Range, C. Santiago, S. Stern, E. Wulfert (Chair), R. Farrell (Recorder)

1. Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of 10/23/02 and 12/4/02 were tabled pending corrections. The corrected versions will be sent via e-mail by Professor Wulfert, with requests for approval or further corrections.

2. President's Report:
There is a tuition increase of up to $1400 per full-time undergraduate student being discussed very seriously. While TAP will cover much of this increase for many of our students, clearly more emphasis will need to be put on student loans and the College Work-Study program.

Governor Pataki will present the Executive Budget next week. The budget will propose using retirements and attrition to avoid massive layoffs in some of the state agencies.

Professor Logan asked if there was any clarification of the concern that an increase in tuition might simply be an offset of a corresponding decrease in the SUNY state allocation. The President responded that there had been no clarification on this scenario.

President Hitchcock continued that the tuition increase has so far only been discussed in depth at the undergraduate level, and that the center presidents have indicated their concerns regarding graduate tuition. For example:

· An increase in graduate tuition would be very challenging in that the Centers would have to pay dramatically more tuition waiver dollars for graduate assistants and fellows.

· An increase in out-of state tuition may have very serious consequences if, for example, the University were to recruit a greater number of Presidential and Frederick Douglas Scholars from out-of-state and award them tuition scholarships. Similarly, it would probably increase the difficulty of recruiting any out-of-state students of high academic quality.

Finally, the President reported on efforts to identify reasons for attrition among some of our high-achieving undergraduates, and efforts to retain a higher percentage of these students, as well as efforts to retain our best baccalaureate graduates for a fifth year through the existing BA/MA programs and the new
5th Year Tuition Scholarships.

3. Chair's Report:
The next meeting will concentrate on the "Misconduct Report" drafted by a subcommittee made up of members of EPC, CAFÉ and the Research Council.

3. Old Business:
Provost Santiago reported that he had brought the issue of the proposed change in the scheduling of classes to the Council of Deans, and to the Central Council of the Student Association.

He has asked the Deans to consult with their department chairs.

The membership of Central Council responded positively as individuals, and Dr. Santiago will ask for a more formal response.

Professor Wulfert asked Dr. Santiago to request that the deans ask the chairs for feedback from the chairs and their faculty as quickly as possible so that a bill can be drafted for the Executive Committee and the Senate before the end of this semester. The Provost responded that since this proposal is to take place with the beginning of the 2004 Fall Semester, he will press the deans to act as quickly as possible.

5. New Business:
There was no new business.

6. Report of EPC Representatives to URPAC:
Professor McCaffrey reported that URPAC had held what was really an organizational meeting which President Hitchcock had attended, and asked if the President would explain.

President Hitchcock responded that she had attended the URPAC meeting to review the charge to the membership now that the Executive budget is imminent. Specifically, URPAC is to view the budget through the prism of the strategic goals of the University and the Memorandum of Understanding with SUNY System Administration.

URPAC is charged to make strategic recommendations that will keep the momentum of the University moving, and to do so by looking at the entire university-wide budget.

There will be a series of presentations from each Vice President, with data supplied to the membership ahead of time to allow for thoughtful, deliberative study. Each presentation will present a division's budgetary trends over the past five years, and what a 3-5% cut would mean programmatically to that division. Asked another way, how would a 3-5% budget cut affect a division in terms of the University's six strategic goals?

There then followed a discussion of how best to educate the students that the tuition increase will save the loss of seats in classes.

Ms. Coon asked if the $1400 increase could be graduated over time, and President Hitchcock responded that that may well happen by the time the final state budget is approved.

The discussion then turned to what a report might consist of to EPC from the EPC representatives to URPAC. Specifically, the question arises of how to formulate a report from a body that needs to be confidential.

President Hitchcock reflected on the fact that any recommendation which falls within the academic purview of EPC will eventually come before that body for consideration. She also discussed the fact that prior presidential budget advisory groups , i.e., the Budget Panel, deliberated in complete confidence in order to permit full discussion by the membership of various budget recommendations. Premature disclosure of budget options was felt to be of potential harm to the campus.

Professor Logan stated that his experience with URPAC is very limited, and while there have been a few discussions, there have yet to be and real recommendations or decisions. It is therefore very difficult to project what a report back to URPAC
might or should entail.

Professor Bosco stated that if URPAC is advisory to the President, its recommendations obviously go to the President, and not EPC. He felt strongly that as soon as anything were to come to EPC, it would become public. He stated further that the agreement was that EPC would fulfill its budgetary role by having input into the deliberations of URPAC, in the persons of Professors Logan and McCaffrey. There was never any agreement that anything would come out of URPAC back to EPC.

President Hitchcock agreed that discussions of proposed budget actions, as in the past, should remain within the committee.

Professor Logan recommended that he, David McCaffrey and Carlos Santiago get together and agree about what is to be reported, and make sure that nothing imprudent is reported.

President Hitchcock also discussed her plans to have an all-campus report on the budget situation, probably in early March. URPAC was in full support of this suggestion.

It was also discussed that URPAC does not, as opposed to past practices of the Budget Panel, look at items line by line, but rather is an advisory body that reviews the overall university budget in the context of the strategic plan.

Professor Wulfert stated that she was comfortable with the proposal that Professors Logan and McCaffrey and Provost Santiago determine what to report to EPC.

7. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard J. Farrell