University Senate Executive Committee Meeting

September 27, 2004



Present:          M. Bethea, S. Chaiken, R. Collier, D. Dewar, V. Idone, W. Lanford, A. Lyons,

C. MacDonald, L-A. McNutt, G. Moore, J. Mumpower, M. Pryse, R.M. Range,

J. Ryan, M. Sherman, G. Singh, L. Snyder, D. Wagner


Guest:             R. Farrell


Minutes:         The Minutes of April 26, 2004 were approved. 



President’s Report – Presented by Interim President John R. Ryan:


Campus Construction:  President Ryan reported that campus construction is ongoing, and that a number of classrooms and several large lecture centers have been completely remodeled. While he is very pleased with what has been completed to date, President Ryan probably will recommend to his successor that the University, like many other large campuses, contract out for construction services in the future so that more work can be accomplished in a shorter period of time. 


Enrollment:  Although the freshman class is slightly smaller than planned, the class is made up of over 38% of what the State University of New York identifies as “Group 1”, i.e., those from the highest academic ranking, and this was the University’s goal.  The graduate admission applications and enrollment are both down.  The exact numbers are not yet compiled, but enrollment is clearly below the University’s planned goal.  The reason may be partly due to the difficulties faced by international students as they attempt to attain their student visas under the new American security regulations.


Faculty Hiring:  The University lost some outstanding faculty this year to retirements or moves to new challenges at other fine schools.  However, the new faculty hired this year come with superb credentials and great enthusiasm, and the normal cycle of university life goes on.


Operating Budget:  There has been a modest increase in the operating budget of about two million dollars, but there is a continuing structural deficit in the University’s annual operating budget that needs to be addressed.  There probably will have to be some budget reductions this year, and President Ryan has requested each school, college and division to identify areas where reductions might be possible.


Capital Budget:  The University has received the first part of the Capital Budget, which is about $78 million.  The second portion of the capital budget, funded at $80 million was allocated for items that were not identified as the University’s highest priorities, and Governor Pataki then vetoed even these.  Both the Senate and the Assembly will be meeting soon with the Governor to re-negotiate some additions to this year’s capital budget, and President Ryan has been working hard to attain some of UAlbany’s lost funding in that round of negotiations.  We seek through these efforts to ensure that UAlbany’s capital budget is brought into parity with those of the other three University centers.


Bold Vision Campaign:  President Ryan announced that Vesna Gjaja has been appointed Interim Vice President for Advancement.  The President met with Alumni who had concerns regarding the Princeton review report recently issued, and he assured them that the information in the report was terribly misleading.


New Initiatives:  President Ryan announced three new University initiatives:


1.  Mission Review II:  President Ryan reported that he asked Chancellor King and Provost Salins for an extension.  They agreed and the University has been given the time to do a full exploration.  He noted that the document will not become a fixed document until a new President is on board and he encouraged Executive Committee members to review and discuss the document.


2.  Harriman Campus:  The Harriman Campus project is an enormous opportunity for this University and it is clear that the University will be able to get most of the space it needs on the Harriman Campus.  The Harriman Campus Committee (which includes Interim President Ryan), made up of individuals appointed by Governor Pataki, has been meeting since last May.  There is a new master plan being developed by a consultant; this is a 10 to 12 year project.  President Ryan indicated that the Committee will receive a presentation on the project sometime in the future. 


Professor MacDonald suggested that UPC should be involved in the Harriman Campus project.  President Ryan agreed, but indicated that it is too early for that now, i.e., it is being studied by appointed, vs. elected groups.



Chair’s Report - Presented by Professor Carolyn MacDonald: 


October 4, 2004 Senate Meeting Agenda:  Professor MacDonald distributed the draft agenda for the first Senate meeting of the year and explained that for time-saving purposes, Council Chairs will no longer present individual routine reports at Executive Committee meetings.  If there are issues that the Executive Committee should be made aware of, they will be discussed.  The point of this change is that the Senate Executive Committee will be more proactive.


Senate Parliamentarian:  The new Senate Charter gives the Senate Executive Committee the power to appoint a Parliamentarian.  A motion was made to appoint Robert Gibson to the Parliamentarian position; the motion was seconded and was approved unanimously.


Presidential Search:  Since the Senate Charter and Faculty Bylaws state that the Senate will have the opportunity to interview the candidates. Professor MacDonald reported that the University Council had proposed that the Executive Committee meet with the candidates rather than the entire University Senate, which could attend a meeting which would be open to the entire university community.  Members of the executive committee suggested that it would be preferable for the senate to host such a meeting, with preference to senators for the first few minutes of the meeting. 


Ad  hoc University-wide Governance Committee Report presented by James Acker, Chair: 


Professor Acker reported that the Committee is requesting an extension to complete its charge to November 1, 2004 and distributed a motion in support of that request.  President Ryan requested time to review the motion. 


Professor Range referred to the April 20, 2004 minutes of the Board of Trustees which discussed the resolution granting the new College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) a separate governance structure, specifically noting that the resolution mentions in two places that the faculty of the School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering should be working with the University at Albany faculty governance to coordinate governance matters.  He then referred to the memorandum of President Ryan dated April 28, 2004, wherein President Ryan refers to an autonomous college/governance structure, and leaves out working together with University at Albany faculty.  Professor Range indicated that this leads to confusion and that there are some differences.  For example, the resolution passed by the Board of Trustees is not as rigid or strong in describing the autonomy of the new College and he asked President Ryan to clarify.


President Ryan explained that there is not a dramatic difference in the wording.  CNSE faculty would like to continue to be part of some of the governance committees.  President Ryan is waiting for the ad hoc University-wide Governance Committee and the Senate to come to their conclusions on reviewing the document and the governance structure.   Interim Provost Jeryl Mumpower explained that President Ryan was charged to consult with legal counsel, and he offered a brief consultation period to seek Senate advice prior to responding to CNSE on its Bylaws.   Professor Messner, Chair of the Governance Council reported that the Governance Council met last week to discuss the CNSE Bylaws, and indicated that, while there is no intent to be obstructive, the Council would like to make sure things are compatible and will distribute a report shortly to the Senate. 


Committee Discussion on the Draft Mission Review Document:


Interim Provost Mumpower indicated that UPC will review the entire document.  The document is intended as a planning document.  He noted that the document is available to all faculty members and deans for review and he will be engaging in discussions with each unit as well.  Vice President Doellefeld has been charged with taking the document to the students too.  The intent of President Ryan is that all members of the University have an opportunity to review and comment on the document.  The draft document primarily comes out of the Provost’s Office, with input from administrative people (VP’s and deans).  Interim Provost Mumpower reported that a presentation has been given to the deans and he will request one for the Senate or any Council that would want one.


Professor Pryse, Chair of UPC, reported that UPC members will read the document carefully in preparation for discussion at its next meeting.



Discussion on the Middle States Assessment: 


Interim Provost Mumpower reported that the University is mid-way between the Middle States Assessment and in year five the University is required to provide a report.  Problems identified in the Assessment will have to be addressed and a Committee has been organized, Chaired by Dr. Bruce Szelest of the Office of Academic Affairs, to discuss the procedure in which the University will use to respond to the report. 



Discussion on URPAC:


Interim Provost Mumpower reported that URPAC will be reconvened and serve the same functions as it did last year. 



The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder