EDUCATIONAL POLICY COUNCIL
March 15, 2002


Present: J. Bartow, C. Bischoff, S. Coon, J. Delano, M. Dougherty, F. Hauser, K. Hitchcock, S. B. Kim, J. Logan, M. Masson, D. McCaffrey, J. Pipkin, M. Range, C. Santiago, S. Sherman

Guests: R. Gibson, E. Wulfert

Professor McCaffrey called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m.

1. Approval of Minutes
On page 2, the third paragraph, the first sentence should read: "Professor Range asked about the controversy reported in the press that week " It was noted that clarification of personnel actions remain confidential. There being no further corrections, the EPC Minutes of February 22, 2002, were approved as amended.

2. President's Report
President Hitchcock noted that she welcomed Professor Logan's conversation proposed for today on procedures for investigating cases of alleged academic misconduct.

President Hitchcock reported that there is no further news on the budget, although there is a push to include negotiated salary increases in the budget. There may be an announcement about the Harriman Campus in the near future. It will talk about a partnership with OGS and ESC, and will address a planning process.

Professor Sherman asked if the Fort Orange Village project would be on the Harriman campus. President Hitchcock stated that there is no plan to use the Harriman campus in that way. The Harriman campus will be used as a research and technology park. Land has been identified as a possible site for the Fort Orange Village. Developers will complete the project, with an affiliation with the University, similar to an arrangement at Purdue and Penn State.

The President reported on the plan for the new Administration building. There also is New York State Senate support for the renovation of Husted, with the project being 80 percent State funded and 20 percent campus funded. The other campus building projects are progressing.

The President reported on her visits around the country with alumni.

President Hitchcock reported that the University is looking for a location on Western Avenue for a building that will be a gathering place for emeritus faculty and, possibly, future senior residents of Fort Orange Village.

3. Chair's Report
Professor McCaffrey stated that he would post EPC Minutes on the web site within the next week.

At the last meeting, there was a request for additional meetings to cover the pending business. An EPC meeting will be scheduled for Friday, April 5.

4. Report from Representatives to URPAC
Professor McCaffrey noted that the reports from the EPC representatives to the University Resources, Goals, and Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC) would be posted on the EPC website. There had not been an URPAC meeting since the last EPC meeting, reported Professor McCaffrey, but such a meeting was scheduled tentatively for April 25. Provost Santiago stated that the specific timing of URPAC meetings was contingent on the arrival of information from the Budget Office.

5. Old Business
a. Letter of Intent for MS in Applied Chemistry. Professor Hauser noted that this creates an opportunity for students, which includes enrollment in graduate chemistry courses. Students will take courses that already exist, and the program will not require additional funds.

Mr. Bartow explained that after EPC reviews and approves a Letter of Intent, it is transmitted to System Administration. After System Administration review, the Letter comes back to campus and then, in this case, goes to the Graduate Academic Council (GAC) for review.

Professor Kim asked if there is another program like this in the SUNY system. Buffalo had one like this, said Professor Hauser. There was speculation that RPI might create a similar program, although at present there is no local educational institution that has a program like the one proposed.

It was moved and seconded to approve the Letter of Intent for MS in Applied Chemistry.

This is a non-thesis program with the same number of hours for the requirements. There is a workstudy component and the students are expected to work in the laboratories. The supervisor will be required to submit a written document on how the student has worked.

There being no further questions, the Letter of Intent was approved unanimously.

b. Letter of Intent for Graduate Certificate Program in Autism. There was a motion to move the Letter of Intent. The motion was seconded.

Senate Chair Wulfert noted that this program is from the Psychology Department, not from the School of Education as one might infer from parts of the proposal. Professor Range stated that this seems to be a valuable program. It is well documented, but the technical aspects are not well written. He requested a breakdown of the cost requirements. Where will the internal reallocation come from?

There are a number of questions regarding the proposed certificate, said Professor Hauser. He suggested postponing discussion of the Letter of Intent until the questions have been answered. Provost Santiago suggested that a representative be invited to answer questions. It is his understanding that this Letter of Intent comes from Interim Dean Durand.

Professor Hauser moved that discussion of this Letter of Intent be postponed, and that a representative of the proposed program be present at the next EPC meeting. The motion was seconded.

Issues for clarification included:

It was noted that parents could take some courses on a non-degree basis. There should be an admissions requirement if parents want a graduate certificate. Members asked if the School of Education was consulted. It was noted that there could be a connection with School of Social Welfare on this program. Stony Brook established a Center for Autism. Could there be collaboration with that University since this is a distance-learning program? Albany may also be competing with Stony Brook.

Three courses are a brief experience. Would three courses provide sufficient benefit to warrant the certificate? What is the level of professional competency targeted by the certificate, and can a three-course program leads to attainment of that level?

The motion to postpone discussion until the next meeting was approved.

c. Discussion of EPC Charges. Professor McCaffrey noted that this discussion would be held at the April 5 meeting. The document distributed earlier reflects the comments made at the last EPC meeting. Senate Chair Wulfert noted that the change in By-Laws is continuing. The changes can be presented at the May Senate meeting. Professor Pipkin stated that the changes in EPC could wait until broader changes, including those affecting other councils, are made; if the Senate's framework changes, then EPC also may change. Nevertheless, Professor Pipkin would like to see EPC changes discussed at the April 5 meeting. Professor McCaffrey stated that there would be a discussion document available at the April 5 meeting.

6. New Business
a. Academic Calendars. Mr. Gibson reported that the 2003-04 Academic Calendar has been submitted to other offices for input. He noted that EPC suggestions were included in this calendar. He asked if this calendar provides the needed time to teach classes. He noted that there are sets of guidelines that are followed. There is to be a break before mid-semester and time off for Passover/Easter.

Professor Range suggested beginning classes on the Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to achieve the recommended minimum 27 Tuesday/Thursday classes. There are the same issues for starting the day after Labor Day. Students and staff are here for Labor Day, said Mr. Gibson. It is a larger group than those on campus for orientation in January. Classes are typically held on Columbus and Veteran's Day. Spring Break for public schools is usually President's Week.

Professor McCaffrey asked that members submit additional questions to Mr. Gibson, and that EPC will revisit the academic calendar issue at the April 5 meeting.

b. Progress Report from Subgroup on Spring 2000 Student Survey. Professor McCaffrey asked the member to review the document distributed at the meeting and send comments to him. This will be discussed at the April 5 meeting.

c. Procedures for Investigating Cases of Alleged Academic Misconduct. Prompted by recent events, said Professor Logan, Albany must think about procedures for handling future cases of alleged academic misconduct. He was unaware specifically of the nature of formal procedures for investigating suspected academic misconduct, but the procedures, as he understood them, did not seem to involve an extensive role for faculty members. The faculty and administration have a joint stake in the upholding of the University's standards of academic integrity. He discussed the procedures of the University of California at Berkeley that include an active faculty involvement while recognizing the need for confidentiality in key parts of the process. There are similarities to Albany's process, in that the Vice President recommends any disciplinary action to the Chancellor (similar to Albany's President), with the Chancellor having final word on what the action should be. A committee including faculty conducts a hearing during the process, and during the year provides a summary report to the Faculty Senate without identifying individuals involved. The committee's report provides information to the community on the types of cases that have occurred and discloses the types of responses. He was surprised that Albany did not have faculty participation.

President Hitchcock noted that, in 1989, the Senate approved a policy that has been used at Albany. Indeed, Federal procedures indicate that faculty can be involved at the inquiry and investigation level, and Albany used Federal guidelines because the Senate never approved guidelines specific to the Albany campus. She gave her full support to the general line of Professor Logan's recommendation on the need for better articulation of local procedures for dealing with such cases. She noted that committees' members interview many people, and usually are comprised of those who know the discipline (frequently as external reviewers). The difference between the Berkeley and Albany procedures came into play when facts are found in the case and then reported to the President. The committee recommends a sanction to the President, the President said. Berkeley's committee is similar to Albany's CPCA, said Professor Logan, because it may affect tenure.

Professor Range agreed that the procedures should be reviewed. A number of questions are unresolved. While confidentiality is a very important consideration during the inquiry/investigation stages of the proceedings, once a case has been settled, he did not see any reason why confidentiality should continue. The incident was reported to the Administration in January 2001. Provost Santiago reported that many of the alleged facts reported in the press have been incorrect in terms of timing and substance.

This should be a discussion of the changes in the procedures, said Professor McCaffrey. President Hitchcock suggested reviewing the policy and the three elements of the procedure from Berkeley.

Professor Kim said that there is a serious concern that things are not going well at Albany. President Hitchcock emphasized that having faculty involved in the process is currently allowed and is a very good feature of the policy. Regarding the specifics of procedures to be adopted, there may be some different opinions, but there is agreement on the need for improvement in the process, Senate Chair Wulfert said. She proposed studying the Berkeley procedures. Albany's procedures should be reviewed and revised as necessary. She suggested gathering members from RES, EPC and CAFE to work on the procedures and to expand them. The procedures should be tailored to Albany's needs. Professor Wulfert agreed with the idea of a standing committee. Albany should use the recent case as a catalyst to move forward to create procedures to improve on what we have. The committee will report to the faculty on what is currently happening.

Professor Logan moved that EPC recommend that the Senate Executive Committee constitute a committee of representatives from RES, EPC and CAFE to work on procedures to investigate alleged cases of misconduct in scholarship and research and to encourage the Chair of the Senate to report back to the Senate. The motion was seconded. It was suggested to include representatives from CPCA and the Vice President for Research. Albany's policy refers back to standing disciplinary procedures at the sanction stage. Professor Wulfert also suggested that other groups might need to be involved in discussions.

The question was called. The motion as amended was unanimously approved.

Professor Pipkin stated that in the future there is a need to revisit the broader issue of academic misconduct in general, going beyond activities in research and scholarship to include, for example, dealings with students. Albany's document should move toward the level of comprehensiveness of the Berkeley document.

Professor Logan reviewed CAFE's charges and said that that Council is charged with looking at misconduct as related to students. CAFE's charges are ambiguous in dealing with faculty. This was discussed at the last Senate Executive Committee meeting, reported Senate Chair Wulfert. CAFE is working on its charges specifically.

7. Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
 

Madelyn R. Cicero
Secretary