Educational Policy Council
Minutes of the Meeting of March 20, 2003

Present: C. Bischoff, P. Bloniarz, B. Bosco, N. Claiborne, S. Coon, J. Doellefeld, F. Hauser, S.B. Kim, J. Logan, D. McCaffrey, J. McNamara, S. Phillips, C.               Pearce, J. Pomeroy, M. Pryse, M. Range, C. Santiago, B. Shadrick, S. Stern, E. Wulfert (Chair), R. Farrell (Recorder)

1. Approval of Minutes: The Minutes of February 20, 2003 were approved as amended.

2. President's Report: Provost Carlos E. Santiago gave the President's Report.

Dr. Santiago stressed that UAlbany still faces very serious budget issues for next year and that, even with the proposed $1200 increase in undergraduate tuition, the University will still face a 6% budget cut over the next two academic years. Additionally, any diminution in the proposed tuition hike could increase the necessary budget cuts to as high as 10% over the next two years. In spite of this situation, a limited number of new faculty hires are still being approved, in accordance with the Strategic Plan of the University. The Provost continues to meet with the University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC) weekly, and URPAC itself will interview the vice presidents and several deans in the next weeks to discuss their budget reduction plans.

At the same time, the Provost was able to announce confirmation from Senator Schumer's office of a $1.5 million allocation from the Department of Justice, to be shared with the New York State Police, for the new joint graduate program in forensics.

Finally, Dr. Santiago explained that, ever since the attacks of 9/11, an emergency preparedness plan has been in effect at the University. Further, as the situation in Iraq moved toward war, increases in security measures were discussed and implemented at the University, as deemed necessary. Now that the war in Iraq has begun, there is concern for the safety of students from the Middle-East, and for the emotional well-being of other students who may have family or close friends directly involved in the conflict. Students who believe themselves to be threatened should be referred immediately to the University Police Department. At the same time, faculty are asked to be sensitive to the fact that there may other students in real emotional need, and to know that the resources of the Counseling Center and the Affirmative Action Office are available to these students.

3. Chair's Report:

Professor Wulfert reported that the "Recommended Policy Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship" has been approved unanimously in the Senate. The feedback from the Council members was both relevant and important, and was most helpful in creating the presentation to the Senate.

4. Report from EPC Representatives to URPAC:

Professor Logan stated that, as the Provost had reported earlier, the budget reductions now being considered are more serious than first suggested, and the real implications would probably not be known until later in this semester.

Professor Wulfert asked if a breakdown of the University's budget could be made accessible on the UAlbany web site. Dr. Santiago replied that it is public information and agreed that, excluding any confidential information, there could be some data published on the University's web-site, including budget, personnel, and research summaries. The possibility of a historical context being accessible was also discussed, showing the fluctuation of the number of faculty members versus students over certain periods of time. The matter will be referred to Finance and Business for implementation.

5. Old Business:

Professor Wulfert brought up for discussion the proposition from a previous meeting regarding the development of a faculty forum concerning the impact on, and the contributions to UAlbany from research centers, as well as their relationships to the University as a whole. Professor Wulfert voiced the concern that no clear objectives for such a faculty forum seem to have been voiced by EPC. She asked for possible themes and/or strategies to help ensure a productive exchange of information. She asked further whether such a forum should include just SEMATECH, as originally suggested, or additional units such as the School of Public Health, the Center for Genomics, or ASRC, i.e., joint academic ventures and centers that share a research structure with the University at Albany. A very full discussion followed.

The Provost pointed out that SEMATECH, when compared to other UAlbany science and social science research centers, differs only in scope; the principle of contract research remains constant. He suggested there are commonalties and investments in the Council for Research and the centers, and EPC may well want to include the Chair of the Council for Research in any discussions leading to a faculty forum.

Professor Logan responded that a major theme should be how to make SEMATECH work effectively for the University. He reminded the Council that, unlike the structure of the University of Texas, SEMATECH is intended to be integrated within UAlbany, and it is thus important to know how this integration will occur.

Professor Logan emphasized further that a single public meeting will be a step on the way, and that a systematic plan toward this trend would be more effective than having events, occur by default. Finally, he suggested discussion with the faculty on the specifics of SEMATECH, e.g., how many people will it bring to the University? How any classes will be taught? How will the University most benefit most from this integration?

After a lengthy discussion among Council members, Chair Wulfert asked if a few members of the Council would meet to generate specific objectives, looking at both pros and cons, clear ideas, objectives, and underlying concerns that they would want to see addressed. Upon the entire Council's review, a forum will be planned to present issues and provide answers in the hope to create a constructive event.

Professor Logan suggested that, rather than a motion asking for volunteers for a new committee, EPC ask Chair Wulfert to appoint a committee to prepare for the University Senate discussions about how best to integrate SEMATECH with the rest of the University, and that the Council ask the Senate to include participation of interested parties such as the Council on Research and the School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering and other research centers.

Professor Kim seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.

The review and approval of the 2004-05 academic calendar. A thorough discussion of the proposed 2004-2005 academic calendar took place, after which the calendar was approved by unanimous vote.

The proposal from Registrar Robert Gibson and Professor Ray Bromley, suggesting a change of start time in the morning and the addition of Monday-Wednesday classes, was discussed, and all previous answers asked by Council members were answered. Specifically, it was clarified that any academic unit could continue to offer M-W-F classes if it so wished, and that the primary result of this proposal would be to open up unused classrooms for classes on late afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays. The proposal was passed unanimously, and Mr. Gibson offered to draft a bill to be forwarded to the University Senate, after any modifications and approval by the Council at its meeting of April 24.

Professor Logan then inquired if there would be a conflict with credit hours and time slots were the University ever to go to the "4 by 4" class schedule. The Registrar replied that such a change would require a complete rescheduling of room, but that he did not foresee an insurmountable problem.

6. New Business:

· Approval of joint majors in Human Biology, East Asian and Japanese Studies. It was agreed upon that all three subjects have been taught for a significant amount of time and there is significant interest in making them majors.

· Human Biology: Curriculum has already been confirmed at UBC, with a provision that EPC approves it.

Chair Wulfert asked for a motion to approve Human Biology major.

The Committee members discussed funds - or lack thereof - to support such a proposal at this time. Further, it was felt that the forms were not accurately completed and that possibly someone from the Department should speak to the Committee justifying the proposal.

Chair Wulfert asked for a motion to table the matter, which was approved unanimously.

· East Asian Studies and Japanese Studies: Both the proposals and the curricula are straightforward, and the discussions were brief. Both passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh