University at Albany - State University of New York

2004-05 University Senate

Minutes of March 14, 2005


Present:            J.P. Abraham, J. Acker, J. Bartow, J. Berkowitz, D. Bernnard, T. Bessette,

R. Bromley, S. Chaiken, R. Collier, R. Craig, D. Dai, S. Faerman, L. Franklin,

S. Friedman, R. Geer. R. Gibson, K. Hall, J. Hanifan, C. Hartman, F. Hauser,

R. Hoyt, V. Idone, M. Jerison, G. Kamberelis, S.B. Kim, W. Lanford,

C. Mac Donald, S. Maloney,  J. Marler, T. Maxwell,  D. McCaffrey,

L. McNutt, S. Messner, G. Moore, J. Mumpower, J. Murphy, O. Pelosi,

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

L. Schell, L. Snyder, B. Spanier, J. Stromer-Galley, J. Uppal, L. Videka,

J. Wessman,  O. Williams S. Wood, E. Wulfert, R. Yagelski


Guests:            W. Hedberg, S. Mahan, J. Neely, B. Szelest


Minutes:            The corrections to the December 6, 2004 minutes were approved.

                        The February 7, 2005 minutes were approved as amended.


President’s Report – Presented by President Kermit L. Hall: 










Chair’s Report:




Council on Academic Assessment (CAA), Professor Malcolm Sherman, Chair:  Professor Lanford reported that the Council has been reviewing Italian and Slavic studies and will review Chemistry and Anthropology.  In addition, the Council members are refining how they should be working on the process, i.e., where will the reports ultimately reside.  The assessment documents will be filed in CETL to be available for review by anyone.  External reviews will be reported to the Senate.  Finally, one issue the Council is working on is how to make assessment an annual operation.  


Council on Research (COR), Professor Vincent Idone, Chair:  No report.  


Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments (CPCA), Professor Diane Dewar, Chair:  CPCA is continuing to meet weekly; it has 27 more cases to review.


Graduate Academic Council (GAC), Professor Louise-Anne McNutt, Chair:   GAC will introduce four bills under new business today. 


Governance Council (GOV), Professor Steven Messner, Chair:  The Governance Council will introduce a bill for amendments to the Senate Charter under new business.  Council members continue to work on issues with governance practices with the CNSE graduate curriculum.  There were approximately 270 responses to the faculty survey and the Committee on Assessment of Governance and Consultation will review and report the results.


Council on Libraries, Information Systems and Computing (LISC), Professor David Wagner, Chair:  No report.


Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC), Professor Seth Chaiken, Chair: 

listing as a regular listed major a current faculty initiated interdisciplinary major that has been conducted for the past ten years or so. 


University Life Council (ULC), Professor Gwen Moore, Chair:   ULC will be reviewing the student survey reports on health, safety, athletics and residential life.  Introducing the bill for religious holy days has been postponed.


University Planning and Policy Council (UPC), Professor David McCaffrey:  UPC voted to recommend that the current calendar for religious holy days be extended for one more year.  The Council began discussing the proposed College of Computing and Information and the proposed Honors College within CAS.  The Council will meet twice before the next Senate meeting to continue discussing both proposals.  The Center on Genomics will be discussed.  Professor Wulfert is working on the student satisfaction survey and hopes to complete it soon. 


A motion was made on behalf of UPC, that UPC recommends that the policy on Religious Holidays (including Muslim Holy Days) be extended for one additional year to allow for time to discuss it with external constituencies.


Discussion on the motion:  Professor MacDonald explained that time is needed to discuss any action that the University might take that would have an effect on the community,  to enable the University to be informed of what the community feels, and to make sure the community understands that any action is based on an attitude of inclusion and respect..  The external community includes potential students, media, donors, family, etc.  In response to a question about the Muslim holidays, it was explained that it is not known what percentage of students that are affected by this bill, as students do not self-identify. The motion was approved; the suspension of classes in recognition of Muslim Holidays will be extended for one year, through the 05-06 academic year.


Discussion:  On May 3, 2004, the Senate approved a motion to accept the suspension of classes in recognition of Muslim Holidays for the 2004-05 academic year, while Senate Bill Number 0304-28 was sent back to ULC.  No change in the calendar policy concerning suspension of classes on religious holidays was approved on that day.  Consistent with the May 3, 2004, motion, the 05-06 academic calendar (as posted on the UA website), does not include suspension of any classes in recognition of Muslim Holidays.  The approved one-year extension therefore requires appropriate changes in the 05-06 academic year calendar, and does not apply to the 06-07 academic year.   For purposes of formulating a preliminary calendar for the 06-07 academic year, the policy governing the calendar prior to the 2004-05 academic year remains in force, unless the Senate passes legislation requiring an alternative calendar.



Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR), Professor Lawrence Snyder, Chair:   Professor Snyder reported that the committee will draft statement on the Academic Bill of Rights.


Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), Professor R. Michael Range, Chair:   No report.


New Business:


Senate Bill No.  0405-10: Charter change from Governance Council:   The bill was introduced by Professor Messner.  It was suggested that technical language be added to the cover sheet of the bill, including “#2) that this be forwarded to the President for approval, and #3) That this change take affect immediately upon approval of the President.  The amendments were accepted.  The bill passed unanimously.


Senate Bill No.  0405-12:  Art History Major (UAC):  The bill was introduced by Professor Chaiken.  The bill passed unanimously.


Senate Bill No.  0405-13:  Ombudsperson Office (GAC):  The bill was introduced by Professor Louise-Anne McNutt.  It was suggested that technical language be added to the cover sheet of the bill, including “that it is approved and recommend by GAC” and “that this be forwarded to the President for approval and effective September 2005.”   The amendments were accepted.   Professor McNutt explained that the bill was purposely designed so that the Ombudsperson will not directly report to GAC; it is set up in a way which would make possible the addition of a similar function for undergraduate students in the future.  President Hall suggested amending the reporting line of the Ombudsperson from reporting to the President, to reporting to the Chief Academic Officer of the University, which is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  That amendment was accepted by GAC.   Prof. Wulfert suggested that a more distributed approach using multiple faculty, as had been done in the past with sexual harassment advisors, might be better.  Others noted that creating the Ombudsperson office might be regarded as implying that the current system is dysfunctional or as exonerating departments from the responsibility towards their own students. After extended discussion, the bill passed.


Senate Bill No.  0405-14:  Proposal to Establish an Inter-institutional Dual-degree Program with Albany Medical College, MD/MPH (GAC):  The bill was introduced by Professor Louise-Anne McNutt.  Professor Lanford asked how much in resources is this program going to cost in the first year and in year one to five.   Professor McNutt replied that the only resource implication for UAlbany is the online summer courses.  For the academic year, it would not be a huge number of students; the only additional resources are summer courses.  The bill passed unanimously.

Senate Bill No.  0405-15:  Proposal to amend University Graduate Policy Pertaining to the

Certificate of Advanced Study (GAC):   The bill was introduced by Professor Louise-Anne

McNutt.  The bill passed unanimously.


Senate Bill No.  0405-16:  Proposal to Amend University Graduate Policy Pertaining to

Master's Degree Transfer Credit (GAC):   The bill was introduced by Professor Louise-Anne

McNutt.  The bill passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh