Present: Karen Hitchcock, Carlos E. Santiago, Christopher Bischoff, Stephanie Coon, Marijo Dougherty, John Delano, Frank Hauser, Sung Bok Kim, David McCaffrey, John Pipkin, Michael Range, Betty Shadrick, Susan Sherman
The meeting convened at 1:35 p.m.
1. Approval of Earlier Meeting Minutes
The minutes of the meetings of October 12, November 28, and December 14 were circulated to the Council in advance. Discussion of the approval of the October 12 minutes had been postponed at the previous meeting so that Professor Delano and Provost Santiago could clarify a question and answer with respect to the School for the study of nanosciences. Professor Delano suggested that the following sentence described his earlier question: "Professor Delano asked if there was anything in the establishment of the new School for the study of nanosciences that would lead to a structural dependency between commitments for increased funding for the School and changes in the State's budget." He also noted that the following wording, earlier in the October 12 draft minutes, captured the essence of the Provost's answer: "The Provost clarified that it was never intended that the School of Nanosciences and Materials be funded by reallocating funds from existing State funding resources," and that wording should be repeated as the response to the question. Provost Santiago concurred with these suggestions and the question and answer was entered under the Chair's report for October 12. There being no further changes, the Council unanimously approved the revised October 12 minutes.
The Council then unanimously approved the minutes for November 28 and December 14 as circulated.
2. President's Report
President Hitchcock discussed ways in which the academic programs of the University contributed to new needs in domestic preparedness, including its activities in the School of Public Health. One consequence of the concerns regarding domestic preparedness is that the School of Public Health, which has never been funded at the levels expected, may receive additional support. The President also reviewed the status of several proposals related to the budget in the State legislature, including changes in the Tuition Assistance Program and the Educational Opportunities Program, and noted that she would make other comments on budgetary matters later in the meeting under "Report from Representatives to URPAC" (University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee).
Undergraduates have responded very favorably to the new Empire Commons housing complex, already forming a waiting list. The graduate student response has not been quite as favorable; the University is considering ways in which it could enhance the attractiveness of the facilities for graduate students. The proposals for intergenerational housing are still under discussion. There had been concerns voiced in the Legislature regarding the need for a ground lease for the intergenerational housing project; the University is exploring ways to address these issues.
Professor Range asked about the controversy reported in the press in the previous week regarding an alleged case of plagiarism by a faculty member and the University's response to the case. The President indicated that some of the statements in the accounts in the press had been factually incorrect. The President and Provost indicated that action had been taken immediately upon receipt of the allegation, although our University procedures require that such personnel actions remain confidential, and that it was important that there be a general review and understanding of the ways in which such cases should be handled on campus. Professor Hauser indicated that he was troubled by the dangers to due process produced by the way in which the case had been brought to the community's attention. Members of the Council agreed that the procedures for reviews of cases of alleged academic dishonesty, and the relationship between the University's academic misconduct policy and the Senate's Council on Academic Freedom and Ethics, should be examined in the current review of the Faculty By-laws.
3. Chair's Report
Professor McCaffrey indicated that the subgroup working on the follow-up to the Spring 2000 student survey had an organizational meeting in December, was scheduling a meeting for the first week in March, and would be meeting through the semester. The President said that she hoped very much that the group would be able to provide advice on this topic within the semester. Professor McCaffrey also said that the EPC minutes for the Fall semester, and the reports to EPC from the representatives to URPAC, would be posted on the EPC's webpage as soon as possible, hopefully by the first week in March.
4. Report from Representatives to URPAC
Professor McCaffrey distributed the report on the December 20 URPAC meeting from the two EPC representatives (John Logan and David McCaffrey) to the University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committees (URPAC). Provost Santiago suggested certain changes in the wording for the record. That is, he recommended that the phrase "...the main priorities of any reallocation would be faculty lines and the Capital Campaign, with particular attention given to building the faculty to populate the new Life Sciences building" should be changed to the phrase "....to building the faculty in the area of life sciences." Professor McCaffrey concurred with this change. Provost Santiago also recommended that "funded" and "other funded" priorities be used in place of the phrases "Priority 1" and "Priority 2" investments. Professor McCaffrey said that, while the Priority 1 and Priority 2 terms were part of the tables distributed at the meeting, and thus should be retained in the report, the term "Other priorities funded included..." could precede "Proposed Priority 2 (medium) investments in..." to underscore that Priority 2 investments were scheduled for funding. Provost Santiago also corrected one statement in the original URPAC meeting minutes under the section on "Early Retirement," pertaining to the rate at which early retirements were costing the campus, and Professor McCaffrey said that he would obtain the final wording of the change before asking that the report be posted on the EPC webpage.
The President and Provost indicated that they were very concerned about proposals pending with respect to incentives for early retirements, which conceivably could have a major adverse impact on the campus.
Professor McCaffrey noted that he appreciated very much the way in which Provost Santiago was providing information to URPAC in the previous months, and working with the EPC representatives in getting information back to the Council.
5. Old Business
There was no Old Business.
6. New Business
Professor McCaffrey said that, to allow time for Council members to review the material, the two letters of intent distributed for the meeting -- for an MS in Applied Chemistry and a Graduate Certificate in Autism -- would be discussed in detail at the next EPC meeting. Provost Santiago commended Professor Hauser for his work on the preparation of the letter for the MS in Applied Chemistry, noting the special need for and timeliness of the program.
The Council then discussed proposed revisions in the Faculty By-laws pertaining to EPC. A draft of revisions in the By-laws had been circulated prior to the meeting, Professor McCaffrey said that Professors Logan and Range had worked with him on revisions, and that Provost Santiago had commented on elements of the original By-laws.
President Hitchcock noted that she had some recommendations on the draft. For example, she urged that the phrase "The Council shall have the responsibility for the oversight and development of the educational programs of the University and the conduct of its instructional research and service programs" should be modified to say "...for the oversight and development of the educational and instructional programs of the University" wherever it appears in the document to avoid preempting a meaningful role for other councils, such as the Council on Research. For increased clarity, she also recommended that in Section 1.23 the phrase "academic plan" be replaced by "...educational/instructional mission of the institution." She also recommended that the phrase, "The Council shall be consulted on the size and general composition of the student body" (1.25) could be meaningfully linked with the sections on budget review, since enrollment figures so heavily in that area. She also recommended Section (1.31) that "...and implementing" be inserted after the word "preparing". Finally, for clarity, she recommended revising and re-ordering Sections 1.32 and 1.33 to read as follows: "The Council shall review and give its advice on long-term budgetary planning and on the annual budget as it is prepared and implemented. As part of this process, the Council shall seek formal representation on budget advisory bodies established by the President and Provost, and its representatives shall report to the Council in order to facilitate the Council's review and advice. The Council shall report to the Senate on its sense of budgetary trends and their relationship to the educational and instructional program of the University." John Pipkin commented that while the proposed changes being discussed by EPC, by themselves, generally seemed appropriate, the changes should be considered in the context of the broad review of the Faculty By-laws taking place that might lead to a more fundamental reconfiguration of Senate councils. Professor McCaffrey noted that he would provide a working draft of the revision to Senate Chair Edelgard Wulfert to keep her informed of EPC's progress in revising the By-laws, and Marijo Dougherty and John Pipkin indicated that they would help in further revisions of the By-laws as they pertain to EPC. The topic of fundamental revision in the Faculty By-laws is scheduled for discussion at the next Senate Executive Committee meeting on March 4.
Frank Hauser recommended that EPC meet more frequently than the monthly meetings now scheduled given the pending workload. Professor McCaffrey asked if Council members would be agreeable to a meeting on March 15, one week earlier than the March 22 meeting now scheduled, with additional meetings scheduled for the semester. The Council members concurred, and he said that he would contact Madelyn Cicero regarding a rescheduling of the meetings.
The Council adjourned at 2:55.
David P. McCaffrey