University at Albany - State University of New York

2004-05 University Senate

Minutes of February 7, 2005



Present:          J.P. Abraham, J. Acker, J. Bartow, J. Berkowitz, T. Bessette, R. Bromley,

S. Chaiken, R. Collier, R. Craig, D. Dai, H. Dieter Meyer, S. Faerman,

L. Franklin, S. Friedman, R. Gibson, J. Hanifan, C. Hartman, F. Hauser, A. Hildreth, E. Hoscoy, R. Hoyt, M. Jerison, S.B. Kim, W. Lanford, R. Lawson,

C. Lawson, A. Lyons, C. MacDonald, S. Maloney,  J. Marler, D. McCaffrey,

L. McNutt, C. Merbler, S. Messner, G. Moore, J. Mumpower, J. Murphy,

O. Pelosi, M. Pryse, L. Raffalovich, R. M. Range, J. Razzano, H. Scheck,

L. Schell, M. Sherman, D. Shub, L. Snyder, B. Spanier, J. Stromer-Galley,

S. Turner, J. Uppal, L. Videka, D. Wagner, J. Wessman, J. Wick-Pelletier,

E. Wulfert, R. Yagelski, A. Zonder


Guests:           J. Carson, W. Hedberg, J. Neely, B. Szelest



Minutes:         The minutes of December 6, 2004 were approved with amendments.


President’s Report – Presented by Interim Provost Jeryl Mumpower:


Provost Search:   The search for the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs has begun.


Budget:  Dr. Mumpower distributed the document containing the Summary of the 2005/06 Executive Budget.  He briefly spoke about the proposed $500.00 across-the-board tuition increase, the suggested 50% reduction to the EOP, and the proposed deferral of half of each TAP award until successful completion of the degree program


Enrollment:  The campus has taken substantial steps to recover enrollment numbers; it is expected that there will be some recovery, although numbers are still short.


Chair’s Report - presented by Professor Carolyn MacDonald: 


·        President Hall is committed to being available to the university community, he will have a temporary office on Campus in the New Library until the new entry building is complete, and there is now a button on the home page of the University web site called “Ask the President” for questions directed to him.

·        Professor MacDonald urged all to go back to their constituents and discuss governance issues surrounding the Faculty Forum scheduled for March 2nd

·        SUNY Board of Trustee Stephanie Gross has offered to meet with Professor MacDonald about UAlbany.



Council Reports: 


Council on Academic Assessment (CAA), Professor Malcolm Sherman, Chair:  

           Subcommittees of the Council on Academic Assessment have received and reviewed self-studies from the Departments of Political Science, Economics and Theatre.  Reports of external reviewers were reviewed for the two departments (Political Science and Economics) for which they had been completed.

            The Council on Academic Assessment has been discussing a number of issues relating to its responsibilities after it has received and evaluated department’s self and outside assessments. Does the CAA merely receive reports or at least sometimes express disagreement with conclusions?        Are these public documents that anyone can access?

            At its meeting of February 4, the CAA agreed that in the future, departments would be asked to submit full data on the distribution of all grades (A, B, C, D, E, W, S, U) given to undergraduates in the previous two years grouped not by individual courses, but rather according to course level (100, 200 300 or 400). Assessment should be part of a continuous process for improving teaching and learning. In support of this principle, the (current draft of the) Council’s Statement of Procedures recommends that Departments, after they have carried out their first assessment, be asked to file brief annual reports of their assessment activities.

                        The Council extends congratulations to Barbara Wilkinson upon her appointment as Director of Assessment. (She had previously been serving as interim director.)


Council on Research (COR), Professor Vincent Idone, Chair:  COR voted to accept the FRAP – A Review Committee’s recommendation to fund 13 FRAP-A applicants and to accept additions by the IRB Policy Review Committee to recommendations made and adopted by Council in May, 2004 regarding the establishment of a permanent IRB Policy Review Committee, and to dissolve the ad hoc IRB Policy Review Committee. 

            COR voted to approve a one-year provisional center status for the Center for Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, and to approve permanent center status for the Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics and will send those items on to UPC.

            Council continued the discussion on IT Commons (ITC); salient points from the discussion included:  The concern is how to support this new initiative, yet make sure that it is complementary to, and not competitive with, many disciplinary programs.  The decision making base may need to be broadened – it appears that the current decision focus rests primarily with the Dean of Information Science and Policy and his advisory committee (e.g. the substantial number of IT Commons hires over the next few years).  The possible IT Commons hires necessarily entail considerable resources, research and departmental implications. Although the assertion is that this enterprise is entirely voluntary, it may not be completely benign in actual implementation, despite the best of intentions.  Aspects of accountability, overall oversight of the program, and quality controls are issues that should be considered. Given the fact that the University has made the decision to pursue this initiative, the concern is to ensure that the ITC develops in a manner that both benefits the overall IT infrastructure on the campus while simultaneously allowing the foundational disciplines to thrive. 


Graduate Academic Council (GAC), Professor Louise-Anne McNutt, Chair:  GAC will introduce two bills today, the Proposal to Revise the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in School Leadership and the Name Change for the Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology.  The Council is also working on draft proposal for an Ombudsperson’s Office that will be brought forward soon.


Governance Council (GOV), Professor Steven Messner, Chair:  In accordance with the charge in the resolution passed at the Dec. 6, 2004 Senate meeting, the Governance Council has begun the process of identifying any inconsistencies between the Senate Charter and the Faculty Bylaws and the MOU pertaining to promotion and continuing appointment at CNSE.  The Council has solicited input from the University faculty regarding any such inconsistencies through a Senate broadcast and will consider this input at a future meeting.  Any proposed amendments to the Charter will be submitted to the Senate in time for consideration at the March 14, 2005 meeting.  The Council is also working with the Executive Committee of the Senate to develop a mechanism to solicit input from the faculty concerning more general issues surrounding autonomy in governance structures.


Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments (CPCA), Professor Diane Dewar, Chair:  No report.


Council on Libraries, Information Systems and Computing (LISC), Professor David Wagner, Chair:   A search committee has been formed to hire a new dean of libraries, and Professor Wagner will serve on that committee as a representative from LISC


Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC), Professor Seth Chaiken, Chair:  The UAC has met 1/26 and 2/2 this year.  A number of academic program proposals have been passed; they are with Dick Collier for technical correction and forwarding to the Senate.  A new Art History major program proposal (which will require State Ed. approval) was referred to our Curriculum and Honors Committee.  Information about the Early (admission) Assurance Agreement into Albany Meds Physician Assistant program was received and discussed.  The UAC confirmed that such agreements will be documented and publicized to current and prospective students in the Undergraduate Bulletin, Special Opportunities section under Academic Advisement, and by the Pre-Health Advisors.  The UAC recommends no other action.

            The major current interest of the UAC is to solicit wide faculty comment on the draft proposed policy on academic advisement and the accompanying report from our Task Force, and to foster and continue discussion, communication, assistance, continuation and review of its work.  Responses are requested and needed by 2/14 to inform UAC discussions and Senate proposals, which may entail great changes in the philosophy and practice of Undergraduate Advisement in some units.  A reference to this material has been included in the recent Senate omnibus emailing, and an emailing to chairs and program directors has been requested.


University Life Council (ULC), Professor Gwen Moore, Chair: 

  • ULC met last month and discussed smoking rules on the podium.  An experiment will be initiated, telling people where they CAN smoke, rather than where they cannot smoke.
  • The ad hoc benefits committee is looking into family leave. 
  • The issue of suspending classes for religious holidays this year was discussed and the Council will vote on a bill to bring to the Senate next month.  One bill being discussed is to have no class suspensions for religious holidays at all, but to allow students to take that time off and not be penalized.  The other bill would be to extend the policy that is in effect this year, which is to recognize the Jewish high holy days and the two holy days of Islam, as well as Good Friday and Easter and travel time after Easter.  One bill will be to extend what we have now; one will be to do away with them all.  The Council’s bill will go to UPC first, then to the Senate.
  • The University Counseling Center and EAP are happy to announce the beginning of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on campus, every Thursday night beginning February 10, at 7 p.m. in Earth Science 139.


University Planning and Policy Council (UPC), Professor David McCaffrey, Chair:   

UPC has been discussing student satisfaction surveys, the 4 credit standards report of 1996 and the proposed College of Information and Computing; these discussions are ongoing.  The Council supported the GAC Proposal to Revise the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in School Leadership at its meeting today.


Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR), Professor Lawrence Snyder, Chair:  CAFFECoR met Thursday, February 4th to work on a "Policy for Recognition of Faculty and Staff Organizations.”  Chair Lawrence Snyder reported that Senate Bill 0304-24, "Campus Distribution Policy for Newspapers and other News Periodicals" is about to emerge from the office of Dr. Hedberg.   Senate Bill 0303-25 "Campus Policy on Freedom of Expression" is still being worked on there.   Committee members were alerted that SUNY Trustee Candace de Russy is requesting that the SUNY Board of Trustees endorse the "Academic Bill of Rights.”


Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), Professor R. Michael Range, Chair:  CERS has completed the University at Albany Policy and Procedures on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship and will speak about it under New Business today.  


University Resources & Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC):  Professor Andi Lyons:

URPAC continues to meet with deans and vice presidents to discuss the potential implications for their units if the University faces further budget reductions.


New Business: 


Election of Senators:  A ballot was distributed nominating Senators as follows:


·        David McCaffrey, Public Administration - Elected as Chair by the University Planning and Policy Council and nominated as a Senator with a one year term in order to chair the council.

·        Bonnie Spanier, Women’s Studies - Nominated to UPC membership in the stead of the outgoing Senator she is replacing.

·        Olimpia Pelosi, LLC - Nominated to COR membership in the stead of the outgoing Senator she is replacing. 


A voice vote was taken at the meeting; all were in favor.


Senate Bill No. 0405-08:  (GAC) Proposal to Revise the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in School Leadership Professor McNutt introduced the bill on behalf of GAC.  The bill passed unanimously.


Senate Bill No. 0405-09:   (GAC) Name Change for the Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology - Professor McNutt introduced the bill on behalf of GAC.  The bill passed unanimously.


Senate Bill No. 0405-02:  (CERS) University at Albany Policy and Procedures on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship Professor Range introduced the bill on behalf of CERS.  There were three friendly amendments accepted during discussion:


  1. Item III D – Confidentiality:  The sentence in line 12 ending with "in this policy." should be completed as follows: " this policy or SUNY policies.". 
  2. Item IV:  in the second paragraph the phrase “within fourteen calendar days” replace “without delay” to be clear on the time limit at that stage.
  3. Item IV:  in the third paragraph, the word “fraud” will be defined as “fiscal fraud” to clarify the definition.


The bill passed unanimously.



Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder