Present: N. Claiborne, R. Farrell (Staff), F. Hauser, F. Henderson,
T. Hoff, S. B. Kim,
P. Leonard, J. Logan, D. McCaffrey, J. Mumpower, C. Pearce, J. Pomeroy,
M. Pryse, C. Santiago, E. Wulfert
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of February 27, 2004 and March 12, 2004 were approved.
Provost’s Report: Presented by Carlos E. Santiago, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE): Dr. Santiago referred to the EPC meeting of March 12, 2004 where he proposed that EPC convene a small group of representatives from EPC and representatives from the School of Nanosciences and NanoEngineering (SNN) for the purpose of discussing questions raised by EPC concerning the new College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and governance issues. He noted that he recommended to Chair Wulfert to report that proposal to the full Senate body at the Senate meeting of March 15, 2004. After that Senate meeting, he was advised that Senate Resolution 0203-04R - College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Integrated University Governance was passed by the Senate, and that that resolution made the Senate’s position very clear. Dr. Santiago found it disappointing to see that a resolution was adopted before EPC’s subcommittee had a chance to discuss the relevant issues; he thought it preempted a consultation and recommendation, and feels it was a violation of the spirit of shared governance. Because of the resolution, Dr. Santiago thought it questionable whether faculty from SNN would volunteer for the newly proposed committee. He suggested that EPC members work on their own to discuss EPC’s point of view and provide him with any information they would like him to transmit to Interim President Ryan. Interim President Ryan asked Dr. Santiago for his recommendation on the College by next week. Dr. Santiago welcomed any input that EPC might like to provide, and he asked EPC to make that advice and counsel directly to Interim President Ryan if they do not wish to go through him.
There was discussion on whether or not the Board of Trustees’ Bylaws allow for a body to create their own governance structure, and Dr. Santiago suggested that is something the committee could investigate. Dr. Santiago excused himself from the meeting at this point in time.
Chair Wulfert reported that she emailed Dean Kaloyeros twice, asking that he nominate four faculty representatives from SNN to participate in the joint EPC/Nano committee, but he has not yet responded. For Council members who were not present at the Senate meeting on Monday, March 15, the reason for the Senate resolution was explained. In response to the Provost’s announcement on 3-12-04 to EPC that the proposed new college would have its own independent internal and external governance structure and would in important issues such as curriculum or tenure and promotion process not be subject to the University’s senate governance structure like all other schools and colleges, some faculty were in the process of drafting a resolution. As several senior members of governance were very concerned about a possible exacerbation of conflict in case a negative sounding resolution would be presented, the decision was made to draft a positive resolution that would support the new college. The resolution began with emphasizing the importance of Nanosciences on the UAlbany Campus to show that the Senate had moved beyond earlier negative discussions. At the same time, the resolution also emphasized the Senate’s desire to keep a unified governance structure for all its colleges and schools. The intended purpose of the resolution was to accept the new college as a fact and to support its existence, as this would set aside negativity, while at the same time also affirming a unified governance structure because fragmentation is definitely not viewed in the best interest of the campus as a whole. There was lengthy discussion on the effect of the resolution. One Council member felt the intended effect was not obtained and passing the resolution led to increased negative reactions on part of the SNN faculty. In contrast, other faculty felt that the resolution was supportive of the developments at SNN and that putting a negative spin on the resolution was an inaccurate interpretation.
Discussion then returned to the creation of a joint committee to comply with the Provost’s request for input into his recommendation about the new College to Interim President Ryan. Since SNN had not responded to EPC’s request to designate faculty, it was suggested that the Chair of EPC try to reach out to SNN one more time. After deliberations on how best to welcome SNN representatives to contribute to the process of discussion, it was proposed that EPC would nominate 4 representatives to a joint committee, propose an agenda, set a meeting time and ask SNN to join them. The following motion was passed unanimously:
EPC reiterates its desire to work together with faculty from the School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering to discuss the possible governance structure for the university in the event that a separate college is established. EPC wishes to establish a joint committee composed of 4 representatives each from EPC and the School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering. EPC is charging this committee to compare and contrast different governance structures in light of their perceived advantages and disadvantages and to report back to the Council.
Professor McCaffrey inquired if the Senate Chair had had any direct conversation with Interim President Ryan about the proposed independent governance structure of the new college. Senate Chair Pryse indicated that she had not yet met with Interim President Ryan on this major issue. Council members considered it important that she, along with the Chair of EPC, should attempt to make an appointment with him, and that this meeting should occur as soon as possible, given the short time frame the Provost had provided for EPC to give input into his recommendation to the Interim President. The following motion was made and approved unanimously:
To have the Senate Chair and the EPC Chair reach out to Interim President Ryan and Provost Santiago to engage in constructive discussion about issues related to the proposed college.
It was discussed and decided that a request to the Interim President for the meeting referred to in the motion would take place informally.
For the record, Professor Pryse, as Chair of the Senate, reported that, following the approval of the Senate resolution on 3-15-04, she had a long conversation with Professor Robert Geer of SNN. Professor Geer expressed the negative sentiments of the SNN faculty and their perceptions of ill-treatment by faculty governance. Prof. Pryse stated she forwarded the resolution to Dean Kaloyeros and offered that she and Professor Wulfert schedule a visit with SNN faculty to listen to their views and engage in an open conversation about their perceptions of Senate. She stated that Dean Kaloyeros appreciated the offer, although at that time he did not know how his faculty interpreted the resolution or how they would respond to such a suggestion.
Chair Wulfert and Senate Chair Pryse will schedule a meeting with Interim President Ryan in an effort to seek guidance, since with the currently available information on the proposed college it would be difficult if not impossible for the Council to make a meaningful recommendation to the Provost. Professors Wulfert and Pryse will then report back to EPC.
Chair Wulfert will contact Dean Kaloyeros with information about the first committee meeting, as discussed.
Meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.