EDUCTIONAL POLICY COUNCIL
December 14, 2001


Present: V. Aceto, J. Bartow, A. Bentley, C. Bischoff, S. Coon, J. Delano, C. D'Elia, F. Hauser, R. Highfield, S. B. Kim, J. Logan, M. Masson, D. McCaffrey, J. Pipkin, M. Range, B. Shadrick, S. Sherman

Guests: W. Hedberg, E. Wulfert

Chair McCaffrey called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m.

1. Approval of Minutes
Chair McCaffrey stated that the approval of the October 12 EPC Minutes had been postponed at the November 9, 2001 meeting so that a question that Professor Delano asked and a response that Provost Santiago had provided could be clarified. The exchange had not been included in the draft minutes. It was agreed among Professors Delano and McCaffrey and Provost Santiago that the question would be raised at this meeting for inclusion in the minutes.

When asked why the exchange had been left out of the draft October 12 minutes, Dr. Hedberg, speaking for the Provost, stated that the Provost had not fully understood the question and did not feel that the recorded response reflected his response. Professor Delano said that he simply was interested in getting the correct information in the minutes for the year, and thus would raise the question at the current meeting. It was moved to table the approval of the November 9 minutes until the Provost could be in attendance to clarify the question and answer as originally raised. The motion was seconded.

Professor Delano suggested that EPC members are interested in getting clarity on the issue, and that he did not see the value in delaying this. Other Council members suggested that the exchange should be included in the minutes in which it originally occurred. The vote on postponing the approval of the October 12 EPC Minutes was 8 in favor, 2 against and 0 abstentions. The motion to postpone was approved.

Members then turned to approval of the November 9 EPC Minutes. On page 2 of the draft November 9 minutes, the top paragraph, the full sentence should read: "He noted that some of the possible sources of data discussed were a web-based survey that could be done, and that there might be an analysis of teaching evaluations and a focus group." There being no further corrections, the November 9, 2001, EPC Minutes were approved as amended.

Members discussed EPC's role with respect to the University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC). One member felt that the President and the Provost were more receptive to EPC reviewing the budgetary process than had previously been thought. Vice President D'Elia noted that the main concern was the importance of communication.

2. President's Report
There was no report.

3. Chair's Report
Chair McCaffrey reported on the meeting that took place on November 28 with the President and the Provost concerning EPC's role in URPAC. He will write up his notes for that meeting summarizing the sense of the meeting. He will distribute it to the EPC members. Professor Logan stated that he considered the November 28 session a regular meeting and thus that there should be Minutes. Chair McCaffrey will write up his notes as Minutes.

Chair McCaffrey circulated the Retention Task Force and Student Survey. He also distributed two reports that the subcommittee focusing on the question of academic culture will review.

4. Old Business
a. Discussion of EPC's Relationship to URPAC and the Budgetary Process. Chair McCaffrey noted that he had sent an e-mail to EPC members summarizing the URPAC meeting held on December 5. There were two key issues from that meeting: 1) the extent of current and future budgetary constraints and 2) the reduction in funds taken by units across campus, some of which was used to cover shortfalls, principally in utility costs, and some of which was used for strategic reinvestment. Vice President D'Elia explained that his unit received a 5 percent cut in its budget. The cut was used partly as a reallocation partly and reinvestment to the University. The University is facing tight budgets in the future and we are not going to do a uniform reduction; the reduction will be proportionate over the units. It was noted that departments would have to have flexibility to meet these goals.

The status of the incentive-based budget was discussed. Dean Highfield stated that there are a number of factors being considered in the design of such a budget, and it was still under development. The design on the table has two pieces: 1) funds coming to the University and how they are earned and 2) funds that are targeted for particular uses and thus are not available for wider use. The goal is to try to institute such a budgeting system by July 1, said Dr. Hedberg.

There are six strategic goals that the University has, said Vice President D'Elia. Departments must show that they meet the six goals, and they will be in good shape. The increase in enrollment is important.

Chair McCaffrey noted that at the Executive Committee meeting, the Provost stated that the Mission Review document is the document that best summarizes the strategic focus of the University.

Professor Kim noted that there seemed to be very few funds available for Honors programs, despite their importance. Chair McCaffrey noted that Professor Kim was referring to a recent call for proposals sent to departments for certain honors initiatives, but in fact there was also a larger pool of Mission Review funds used for honors programs, much of which was supporting additional honors sections of courses this year in six departments. There are also funds for graduate stipends in the Mission Review funds. Dr. Hedberg said that SUNY system administration included these funds in their budget. He asked the EPC members to review the Mission Review Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It is quite detailed and explicit. It is thought of as the performance program for the President and the University. The MOU speaks in programmatic terms. It identifies general areas were the University anticipates significant investments for the future. It was noted that the President made a point of saying that URPAC would not look at departments, but give this responsibility to the Deans. Dr. Hedberg noted that the Provost's Office would work with the Deans and the Deans would work with the department chairs.

EPC members discussed the academic side of the incentive-based budget. It was hoped that EPC could obtain information on the other units, like the library. This will make the University a more competitive organization.

The next URPAC meeting is scheduled for December 20, reported Chair McCaffrey. At the November 28 meeting, President Hitchcock offered to place a second representative from EPC on URPAC. Chair McCaffrey had circulated to EPC a call for nominations of a second representative, and John Logan had been the overwhelmingly favored choice. Professor Logan stated that governance must communicate with the faculty what is going on with respect to URPAC, and that the EPC should play a key role in such communication. A second representative should be only part of an overall strategic plan. Professor Logan noted that URPAC did not meet very often, and there may be a question about its effectiveness. As an EPC member, he did not know what URPAC did, and EPC needed to do more to raise campus awareness of URPAC's activities. Part of this may be due to the short-term nature of some EPC appointments, in that URPAC members serve for three years while EPC members serve for one year.

Some memory of EPC is important, said Professor Hauser, and longer-term appointments are required to make this an effective Council. He felt that we need more representation on URPAC. He also felt that EPC members should serve for three years rather than one or two years. Professor Sherman suggested a fixed rotation for Council memberships. There are holdovers but she did not know if holdovers are formalized for other Councils. Chair McCaffrey stated that there could be a separate report on URPAC at the Senate meetings. It would be reasonable for the Senate to pose questions to its representatives to URPAC as well as to the President. The By-Laws should be changed to reflect this. It was noted that the same policy exists with other Councils.

There can be more continuity on EPC, said Chair McCaffrey. In terms of communication, it would be good to have another voice from EPC on URPAC. Members agreed that another voice would be good. They also agreed that a URPAC report should be a permanent item on the Senate agenda.

Senate Chair Wulfert reported that at the last Executive Committee meeting there was a discussion of Councils reviewing their charges. She will ask the Council chairs to have discussions in their meetings by the end of the semester. She also noted that Chair McCaffrey wrote a report at the end of last year and it is on the Senate web page. She will ask the Council chairs for an Interim Report for the current academic year. It was suggested that the Senate could utilize UA Today and the University Update to keep faculty informed on Senate matters. It was noted that the Update has a broad audience and information should be reviewed first. There is a need for the Senate to be more proactive and to get information out to the faculty on what is happening. The Chair should appoint a subcommittee to review EPC's charges and what EPC should consider as options and the structure we should be considering. It was moved and seconded that Chair McCaffrey establish a subcommittee. The motion passed.

It was moved and seconded that Professor Logan serve as the second EPC members on URPAC, with Professor Logan serving on URPAC and EPC for a three-year term. Professor Logan agreed to do this if EPC is willing to work on the entire process of the EPC relationship with URPAC and its role in governance more generally. The vote was unanimous in favor of Professor Logan's appointment.

Professor Aceto asked if there should be a Senate member on the Dean's Council and other administrative committees. Chair McCaffrey will discuss this at the Executive Committee Meeting. Vice President D'Elia noted that dialogue with the Deans is important. He wants to make sure that the Deans are aware of EPC's opinions. Professor Aceto said that it might be useful to have a voice other than from the schools/colleges.

Ms. Coon asked for information on what has been done. She also asked that EPC members submit information for a special commemorative wall to be built at the Legislature. The School of Social Welfare is sending her information on students who have gone beyond what is required. This wall will show the accomplishments of the University community.

5. New Business
There was no New Business.

6. Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
 
 

Madelyn R. Cicero
Secretary