University Senate Executive Committee Meeting

January 24, 2005



Present:          R. Collier, D. Dewar, V. Idone, W. Lanford, A. Lyons, C. MacDonald,

L. McNutt, S. Messner, G. Moore, J. Mumpower, R.M. Range, M. Sherman,

L. Snyder, D. Wagner


Minutes:         The minutes of November 29, 2005 were approved.


Ongoing Business:


·     Mission Review II: – Interim Provost Mumpower reported that numerous comments on the Mission Review II document were received from Senate Councils and Committees, they have been addressed and have been extremely helpful.  The Provost’s Office has forwarded the document to President Hall.  (The comments from the meeting of Senate Council and Committee chairs are attached.)


·     Patriot Act Responses:  Professor Snyder reported that, on behalf of CAFFECoR, he directed questions on confidentiality issues of the Patriot Act to Chief Information Officer Christine Haile, who responded that she would consult with University Counsel and respond as quickly as possible.


·     Issues of Autonomy in Governance:  Distinguished Teaching Professor Messner reported that the Governance Council has begun the process of identifying any inconsistencies between the Senate Charter, the Faculty Bylaws and the MOU pertaining to promotion and continuing appointment at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).   The Governance Council met to address a way to do solicit faculty input.  In accordance with the MOU, the Council will submit any inconsistencies to the Senate in writing by the March meeting.   Dr. Messner asked for suggestions and, after discussion, it was agreed that it would be best to follow a two-track approach:  (1) solicit input immediately concerning the specific matter of inconsistencies surrounding the MOU to be able to comply with the deadline in the resolution, and (2) develop mechanisms to address more general issues during the course of the spring semester.  The latter will likely involve a faculty survey and discussion at a faculty forum.  Dr. Messner suggested that the Governance Council should coordinate with the ad hoc Governance Committee on the survey and forum.  It was decided that the Senate Chair will distribute an email broadcast asking for feedback.  A survey will be distributed in February and a forum will be held in early March.

Provost’s Report – presented by Interim Provost Jeryl Mumpower:


Interim Provost Mumpower reported the following:

·        President Hall will be on Campus as of February 2, 2005.

·        Professor Marjorie Pryse has been named Interim Dean of Graduate Studies.  She was offered the position after an extensive internal search and will continue to teach while fulfilling the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies position half-time.

·        The 2005-06 Executive Budget summary will be discussed at Senate.  Interim Provost Mumpower distributed a Budget Summary Report and highlighted that it calls for a $500.00 “across-the-board” tuition increase, that the EOP program is proposed to be reduced by 50%, and there is a proposal to defer one-half of TAP awards for first-time students until successful completion of their degree programs. 

·        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, Senate Chair:


·        Provost Search:  Professor MacDonald reported that President Hall asked for nominations for the position of Chair of the Provost Search Committee.  He will consult with both Dr. MacDonald and Dr. Messner before the search committee membership is chosen. 

·        Presidential biweekly lunches:  President Hall had informal biweekly lunches with individual Senate and Executive Committee members in Utah and he would like to continue that tradition here at UAlbany.  Professor MacDonald will work with the President’s Office to begin scheduling the lunch meetings.


Council Reports:


Council on Academic Assessment (CAA), Professor Malcolm Sherman, Chair:  No report.


Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments (CPCA), Professor Diane Dewar, Chair:  CPCA continues to meet weekly on its many tenure and/or promotion cases this semester.


Graduate Academic Council (GAC), Professor Louise-Anne McNutt, Chair:

·        GAC has been working on developing a proposal for an ombudsperson’s office. 

·        GAC has received many incomplete applications for certificate programs.  Therefore, instructions for completing the forms will be posted on the Graduate Office web site and copies will be mailed to Deans and Department Chairs.

·        GAC is working on making services/activities in Graduate Studies very apparent and accessible to students and faculty. 

·        GAC expects to introduce the Proposal for the name change for the Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology and the Proposal to Revise the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in School Leadership as Senate Bills at the next Senate meeting.


Governance Council (GOV), Distinguished Teaching Professor Steven Messner, Chair:   The joint working group with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will continue to meet; it is now discussing curriculum issues.  The Council will also have an active role in the faculty input solicitation and forum as discussed in ongoing business earlier.


Council on Libraries, Information Systems and Computing (LISC), Professor David Wagner, Chair:  LISC is considering the issues of supporting open source and open access software, rather than only supporting brand-name products such as Microsoft.  The Council is also discussing the issues of cost and demand for widespread wireless access and the problems of unauthorized wireless routers.


Council on Research (COR), Professor Vincent Idone, Chair: 

COR voted to fund 13 FRAP-A applicants.  It also acted 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 in favor of a one-year provisional center status for the Center for Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, and permanent center status for the Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics; these will be brought  to UPC and the full senate.

COR continued the discussion on IT Commons (ITC) including 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.  Tenure and promotion issues remain a possible problem.  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. 


Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC), Professor Seth Chaiken, Chair (report submitted in writing):  The UAC has met on 1/26 and 2/2 of this year.  A number of academic program proposals have been passed; they are being forwarding to the Senate after technical correction.  A new Art History major program proposal was referred to the Curriculum and Honors Committee.  Information about the Early Admissions Assurance Agreement into Albany Med.’s 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 the advisement Task Force.  Responses are requested and needed by February 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 emailing, and an emailing to chairs and program directors has been requested.


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

Lee McElroy of Athletics spoke to ULC about the Athletics Master Plan; he reported that UAlbany is behind other universities.  There is a 200 million-dollar plan to build a new stadium, renovate the hockey fields, artificial turf and athletic facilities.   These plans will need to be brought to UPC.  ULC is working on the class suspension for religious holy days.  ULC hopes to have a bill for Senate in March.  The smoking policy on campus is being revisited, possibly with letting people know where to smoke, rather than where not to smoke.


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


University Planning and Policy Council (UPC), Professor David McCaffrey, Chair – reported by Professor Carolyn MacDonald:   UPC is continuing to discuss the 1996  4-Credit Standard (4x4) report and the 1998 task force report to increase student satisfaction.  It is moving forward with a reanalysis of the student satisfaction surveys.  It will consider the certificate program from the School of Education and the proposed formation of the College of Computing and Information.


Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), Professor R. Michael Range, Chair:  CERS will have the University at Albany Policy and Procedures on Misconduct

in Research and Scholarship document to be voted on at the next Senate meeting.



Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder



Recommendations from the Senate officers, Council Chairs, SUNY-wide Senators and Student Representatives to the Senate Executive Committee on the Mission Review II “Final” Document from meetings of 12/28/2004 and 1/06/2005


1. The document has numerous typographical errors, which we have not addressed.


2.  Page 5: Third full paragraph: “IT Commons, a University-wide program, is based on memoranda of understanding between” should be replaced with “IT Commons is based on cooperation between”

Rationale:  The memoranda have not been shared with or approved by faculty governance.  It is a concern of governance and a principle of academic freedom that disciplinary decisions should not be driven solely by administrative initiatives.  Specific proposals remain to be considered by the faculty.


3.  Page 5: Fourth full paragraph: “Together with future development” should be replaced with “Together with planned development”

Rationale:  Specific proposals remain to be considered by the faculty.


4. Page 8: It is recommended that the reference to the “Princeton Review” be removed in view of the methodological flaws in the survey while maintaining a more positive statement of continued effort to enhance the undergraduate experience, including the specific issues, e.g. faculty accessibility.  This could be used as a platform to address the need for increased number of faculty to reduce class size.


5. Page 9: Goal 2 should end at “disciplines.”  [“through initiatives to make new faculty hires a substantial portion of which will support research, undergraduate teaching, and the General Education program” should be deleted].

Rationale:  As phrased it does not reflect the point of the Senate resolution which was that the “substantial portion” should be in the areas that have been eroded, and leads to the question of what that portion who are not supporting research and teaching intend to do.


6.  Page 9: Goal 3 should read “or slightly above” .

Rationale: Elsewhere in the document it is stated that very large increases in enrollment are not intended.  It is noted that according to the table later in the document this should probably read “then striving” rather than “while striving” since the numbers increase first, followed by increased selectivity.


7.  Page 9: Goal 4.  Insert “.” after “admissions”, and rephrase the following phrase to “Pursue the adoption of the planned Honors College within the College of Arts and Sciences, and enhance the honors opportunities currently in development in other undergraduate programs, to attract and retain more Group I and other outstanding students and improve their academic experience.”

Rationale: The “through” in the current phraseology implies that the only motive for the honors college is recruitment.  There should be some mention of enhanced experience and retention.  The “other outstanding” refers to the reality that good students are not always identified by the SUNY numerics.


8.  Page 9: Goal 6: Insert “teaching”. 

Rationale: As phrased, the goal does not reflect  the Senate resolution to reflect that external funding, in the broader sense (as well as perhaps in the federal grant sense) should be applied to the teaching as well as the research mission.


9.  Page 9: Goal 7: Change to “Continue to develop the private overall fund-raising capabilities of the University.” 

Rationale: The specific goals of the “Bold.Vision” campaign may be unrealistic and the priorities did not arise from consultation with faculty governance.


10. Page 9: Goal 9: Change “Expand” to “Continue to review expansion of” and “in order to” to “for example to”. 

Rationale: It is premature to commit to expansion and specific uses before formal consultation with the Senate.


11.  Page 9: Senate resolution goal number 3 has been omitted, “Ensure the realization of improvements in teaching, learning and research infrastructure by providing sufficient staffing to support campus initiatives requiring IT, library and faculty development, such as on-line learning course objectives.”


12. Pages 11 and 15: There is concern about the lack of documentation of the potential costs, in both dollars and selectivity, of the additional numbers of students.  This enrollment increase has significant implications and the details should be discussed with the University community as a whole.


13.  Page 13:  What is the expected resource implication, particularly with respect to self-pay master students, to the “graduate tuition scholarship” program? 


14. Page 17:  In the discussion following the table, the Senate resolution that a “substantial fraction” of new hires be used to redress recent erosion is not included.


15.  Page 17.  The reference to the increase in IT lines to 25-35, which the Senate recommended deleting, remains. 


16. Page 17.  It is recommended in reference to interdisciplinary hires, that caution is used in replacing typical disciplinary retirements with interdisciplinary new hires without balancing the needs within the existing disciplinary strengths of the units.


17.  Page 18.  It is not clear why there are 632 faculty on page 17 for 2003 and 588 faculty on page 18.  The number of part time faculty is much larger than the difference and is not mentioned.


18.  Page 18.  The recommendations of Senate resolution C2 are omitted: Retention of accomplished faculty is a priority, as well.  We recognize the importance of developing the intellectual environment of the university to this end.  Concerted efforts are made to retain faculty, including investments in the physical environment--offices teaching spaces, research laboratories--and services, equipment assets and networks to enhance the University's research and teaching infrastructure.  The campus also strives to be competitive in responding with counter-offers to faculty who are being recruited to other current or aspirational peer institutions while attempting to avoid developing systemic inequities.  Nevertheless, in 2004, the University lost three distinguished faculty to other institutions.

Rationale: The intellectual environment is part of what makes this university distinct, so noting its impact on faculty retention and the need to expend funds to improve it is worthwhile.  The reference to avoidance of systemic inequities is important given the conclusions of the provost’s salary committee of the impact of unbalanced raises on gender differences in salary.


19.  Page 19:  FRAP, journal support, etc. should perhaps be moved here from page 22.


20.  Page 20:  The 7% increase in research funding might appear high to a reader and should be justified in terms of actual dollars of increase of recent nanoscience funding.


21. Page 20: It should be made clear that the second set of bullets refers to newly founded centers, which should include the Prevention Research Center for Chronic Illness and the Center for Public Health Preparedness, both funded by the CDC in the School of Public Health.


22.  Page 22: Because some programs and researchers are disproportionately highly funded, there is no direct correlation between the rate of increase of funding and the rate of increase of funded investigators.  Therefore the rate of increase of 7% in funded investigators should be separately justified based on current rates of increase.


23.  Page 22:  There should be a reference to the difficulties inherent in creating and enforcing tenure and promotion policy with an increase in interdisciplinary hires.


24.  Page 23: Delete the last sentence (beginning “such function…”) from the first paragraph under faculty role in campus decision-making. 

Rationale: There is no evidence for the assumption of more active participation relative to the newly created more “representative” model of the University Senate.


25.  Page 23.: None of us recall having seen a HERI survey or any results from it.


26.  Page 24: The list of departments with national ranking from page 28 should be moved up to here.

Rationale: This avoids the feeling of disconnect which arises when they are introduced after repeated mention of a smaller list.


27.  Page 25 and 29: Some proposed programs are missing, for example globalization and medical physics.


28.  Page 25 paragraphs 3-4, page 29, paragraph 4, page 55: Reduce the IT commons emphasis, characterizing the program as more developmental given the resource constraints and lack of formal governance consultation.  Emphasize that the program should complement, not compete with existing academic areas.

Rationale:  This emphasis has not been formally discussed by faculty governance.


29.  Page 27, paragraph 2.  “A General Education Committee is charged with … ensuring adequate complete the requirements in a timely way” should be deleted or modified. 

Rationale: While the adequacy of individual courses is somewhat within the scope of the committee, it cannot control the adequacy of the supply of courses.


30.  Page 30.  “Together with a major capital initiative to build a new School of Business building” should be replaced with, “The School of Business has begun planning and governance consultation towards a capital initiative to…”

Rationale:  Again, the development of a new building requires faculty governance consultation.


31. Page 31.  It should be explained that the drop from 222 to 63 students taking the ATS-W is due to the cancellation of the undergraduate education program.  Since the average on the LAST test for 2002-3 is less than the state average, the reader is left wondering how it could rank “among the highest relative to other NYS institutions.”  Perhaps the table should be deleted.


32.  Page 33. Benchmarks of graduate program quality:  Since grade averages and membership in professional societies are easily manipulated by the program under review, it is recommended that they be dropped.  It is not clear that faculty to student ratio is a good measure, since that would be high for a program which produces only the occasional doctorate.  A statement of the effect of low graduate stipends on the yield rate should be included if this is to be retained as a benchmark.  These measures could be replaced with numbers of students supported on external fellowships, and numbers of other student awards.


33.  Page 34: Some departments are more than $5k below national norms for RA stipends.


34.  Page 41: Has the IGSP certificate has been approved by GAC and by state ed? (We assume so, but didn’t recall when).


35.  Page 43: What is the homeland security initiative?  Should this read the “proposed” or “planned” initiative?  The certificate should say “pursuant to governance and state education approval”.


36.  Page 45: Given that there has been no increase in retention since 1996 and there are no additional resources for the sorts of programs which require one-on-one attention and small classes, what are the planned mechanisms to increase the retention rate to 90%?  Are there potential consequences of overstating this? The need for more money to accomplish this should be explicit.


37. Page 46: There is some ambiguity in the discussion of 4 year graduation rates for rising juniors as to whether that was 4 years total or 4 years after becoming a junior.  There are insufficient specific mechanisms to justify an increase in graduation rate to 70% without an increase in resources.  The need for more money to accomplish this should be explicit.


38. Page 47 and page 50: No mention is made of master degree program assessments and student outcomes.  Masters students are a significant fraction of the graduate student population.


39.  Page 48: There should be some mention of the implication of the new general education structure on transfer students and their graduation rates.


40.  Page 48-51: As a demonstration of the on-going University-wide commitment to matters relating to "Student Support/Student Life" it should be noted that the University Senate affirmed the Charter revision of the University Life Council, with its three standing committees "Health, Safety and Well-being," "Athletics," and "Residential Life."


41.  Page 48: Insert some reference to GSO in this section.  The Graduate Student Organization sponsors 30 groups catering to the educational social and cultural needs of the 5000 graduate students.


42. Page 50: While a paragraph is devoted to the Career Development Center and student satisfaction surveys, no mention is made of the curtailing of the services of that center. The 2002 hiring rates of Albany graduates (35% upon graduation, 80% within six months) are mentioned with no indication whether these are superior, "on par" (the phrase used for law admission), or a serious problem.


43. Page 51: It would be desirable to indicate an intention to provide the feedback to governance.


44.  Page 52: middle of page: change “course content” to “course material”.  We like to believe that the actual presence of the lecturer contributes to course content, but not 24/7.


45. Page 54: More emphasis should be placed on the need for additional staff, including clerical and help desk staff, for IT initiatives.


46.  Page 55: “The University envisions development of” an IT building still implies some governance consultation has occurred. 


47.  Page 55: Some mention should be made of the potential for placement of a performing arts center or stadium on the Harriman campus, both of which have been discussed.


48.  Page 55: second bullet: What master planning process?


49.  Page 56: There should be mention of the facilities committee of the University Planning and Policy Council (and an actual tie should be planned between it and facilities planning and with the space committee).


50.  Page 57: Before the list of priorities, “Top priorities for the current proposed multi-year capital plan continue to be:” should be “Priorities, to be discussed with the University Planning and Policy Council, are expected to include:”


51.  Page 58: Mention (and use) should be made of ties between UAS and the University Life Council Residential Life Committee.


52.  Page 59: With respect to the energy plan, mention should be made of coordination with UPC and ULC.


53.  Page 60: The faculty bylaws were changed to increase the participation of both the administration and the faculty in shared governance and consultation, not to “bring governance structure and practices into line with those of similar research universities.”


54.  Page 60: Mention should be made of an intention to share the MOU with faculty governance.


55. Page 62: “reallocate funds between objects” should be “objectives”


56.  Page 63: the “faculty advisory group” at the top of the page should be “the Resource Allocation Committee of the University Planning and Policy Council”.


57.  Page 63: Does DIFR stand for discretionary IFR?  Spell this out.


58.  Page 65:  Change “key areas of need” to “key areas of interest” to more accurately reflect the process, which did not involve formal faculty input into defining “areas of need”. 


59. Page 66:  There should be a stronger tie between these priorities and those discussed earlier, e.g. on page 55.


60. Page 69:  The community relations section could contain some mention of student volunteerism, and the probable role of UAlbany in post-tsunami redevelopment.


61.  Appendix C should be condensed into a table or two.  If some numbers of “national awards and honors” are roughly counted from the data, no one can be too offended.