Council on Educational Policy
2003-04 Chair: Edelgard Wulfert
March 12, 2004

Present: J. Brière, M. Carpenter, F. Hauser, F. Henderson, T. Hoff, G. Jicha, S. B. Kim,
P. Leonard, J. Logan, K. Lowery, D. McCaffrey, J. Mumpower, C. Pearse,
M. Pryse, C. Santiago, E. Wulfert

Guests: R. Farrell, R. Geer

Chair’s Report:

Chair Wulfert informed EPC that the College of Arts and Sciences will re-institute a few courses in German language; a new program (minor or major) will not be reinitiated, but a few language courses will once again be offered.

Regarding the Proposed College of Nanosciences - Framework of Present Discussion:

Presented by Carlos E. Santiago, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, along with Professors Robert Geer and Michael Carpenter of the School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering.

In January, Governor Pataki announced that a process of consultation would begin toward developing a new College of Nanosciences at UAlbany. Clearly, the SUNY Board of Trustees has the authority to create this separate college and clearly they fully support it. The University Council has also voted in support of it. It has been determined that the college will be titled the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will be a part of UAlbany, with specific differences. The college will be presided over by the President of UAlbany, faculty will be faculty of UAlbany, and the President of UAlbany will appoint the faculty. However, the executive officer of CNSE will use the title “Provost”, as did the head of the former Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. The Provost of CNSE will report directly to the President of UAlbany and serve at the pleasure of the President. Research dollars that are generated by faculty of this college will be counted as part of UAlbany dollars. There will be no undergraduate teaching in the school.

There will be a slight difference in terms of budgeting, i.e., CNSE anticipates a line-item budget source that would be outside the campus budget. That is not unusual; the Center for Atmospheric Sciences has the same budget structure. CNSE needs to be an entity that is fairly flexible, can move quickly on any new opportunities that arise, and can leverage significant resources from a variety of sources. There are other models within SUNY that use this example, e.g., the medical school at Stony Brook and several law schools. The 20% match in research dollars will now come to the UAlbany campus. These funds are not designated to any specific unit, regardless of who generates them.

The main difference between this proposed college and existing units on campus is that it proposes to have an autonomous governance process. Specifically, the proposed structure of faculty governance would be totally independent from the governance process on this campus. Issues such as tenure and promotion ultimately would be signed by the President of UAlbany.

Discussion and Questions:

Question: Does this unit have to be structured this way for it to be successful?
Answer: Yes, the structure provides the flexibility the present school needs.

Question: Has the plan evolved or changed in any way since it has been announced?
Answer: Yes, particularly in the areas of research and where the research is credited. The research dollars now will count as part of UAlbany expenditures.

There was discussion about whether or not the faculty of CNSE wish to be part of UAlbany. Professor Geer explained that this new entity had originally been envisioned as separate. There are differences among the CNSE faculty about being separate or not, but most of that faculty do indeed want to be kept under the UAlbany umbrella.

Question: Who is in charge of paying for the facilities?
Answer: UAlbany invested in the facilities when it was UAIM, and CNSE has not come to the University for additional resources. SUNY is going to provide CNSE with resources, and UAlbany has been assured that these will not come out of campus resources.

Question: If it becomes an independent college, does UAlbany get back what has been invested in it?
Answer: That is very doubtful.

Question: Who will be the accrediting body of the new college? Will any such body be responsible for oversight?
Answer: If the college were going to engage in undergraduate studies, it would have to be accredited. However, at the graduate level, there is no accrediting association at present. This is the first college of this type, and an accrediting organization may well emerge at some point in the future. There was an external review board that evaluated the curriculum for the School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering as it was being formed.

There was discussion on safety practices and it was pointed out that standard federal and state safety practices will be followed according to current policies and procedures. Vice President Lowery added that the environmental and safety practices at the college will be higher than at any other school on campus.

Question: Will there be any interaction of joint committees at some level? For example, will recommendations for tenure and promotion within the college go to review at CPCA?
Answer: Provost Santiago stated that promotion and tenure cases will go directly to the President, but that the President can seek input from faculty or governance as he/she sees fit. Professor Geer responded that there is hope that there can be input from other units, and that the CNSE faculty envision interaction on some level. The CNSE faculty see a benefit in being part of UAlbany faculty, and there may well be an inter-governance role based on consultation and advisement. Certainly, if a matter has to do with topics that affect other units in the University, those matters will go to the appropriate party. Again, there will be a formal link to UAlbany, but the CNSE faculty are indeed considering a completely separate governance system.


Provost Santiago suggested forming a joint committee made up of CNSE faculty and Senate representatives that could discuss governance issues. Chair Wulfert asked the members to notify her by email if they are interested in participating in such a committee.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder