University at Albany - State University of New York

2004-05 University Senate

Minutes of October 4, 2004

Present:     J.P. Abraham, J. Acker, J. Bartow, J. Berkowitz, T. Bessette, M. Bethea,
  E. Briere, R. Bromley, S. Chaiken, N. Chiuchiolo, N. Claiborne, R. Collier,
  R. Craig, D. Dai, D. Dewar, J. Doellefeld, R. Dressler, S. Faerman, B. Fessler,

L. Franklin, S. Friedman, R. Gibson, J. Hanifan, C. Hartman, F. Hauser,

  A. Hildreth, E. Hoscoy, R. Hoyt, V. Idone, M. Jerison, B. Joseph, G. Kamberelis,
  S.B. Kim, W. Lanford, C. Lawson, R. Lawson, K. Lowery, A. Lyons,
  C. MacDonald, S. Maloney, J. Marler, G. Marschke, T. Maxwell, L-A. McNutt,
  C. Merbler, S. Messner, J. Mumpower, J. Murphy, G. Paul, L. Raffalovich,
  R. M. Range, J. Razzano, J. Rudolph, H. Scheck, D. Shub, G. Singh, L. Snyder,
  J. Stromer-Galley, S. Turner, L. Videka, J. Wessman, J. Wick-Pelletier,
  O. Williams, S. Wood, E. Wulfert, R. Yagelski, A. Zonder

Guests:           H. Bakhru, C. Bouchard, R. Farrell, S. Mahan, C. Martin, J. Neely, M. Sherman

                        D. Wagner

Minutes:         The minutes of May 3, 2004 were approved.

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

Operating Budget:  There has been an increase in the operating budget of about 2.9 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 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.

Enrollment:  Although the freshman class is slightly smaller than planned, the class is made up of over 40% 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.

Mission Review:   Interim Provost Mumpower reported that the Mission Review II process leads to a five-year strategic plan for the campus, negotiated with SUNY.  It can be referred to as the President’s Performance Program and is a statement of where the campus now stands and what it will become in the next five years.  There is a draft version of the self-study portion of Mission Review II available on the web.  The document that will result from this is provisional, since we have an Interim President and any MOU reached will be revisited when the new President arrives.  There are meetings set for faculty, students, and administrators to meet and comment on it. 

Interim Provost Mumpower strongly encouraged all to make time for the Mission Review during this semester.   The deadline for the Senate to review and comment on the Mission Review document was intended to be by the end of October, if possible.

Middle States Assessment:  The Middle States Assessment is a periodic review due June 2005.  The newly created advisory committee hopes to have a draft document out by November 2004 that will be shared with the President, Cabinet, Deans, and the Senate. 

Harriman Campus Project:   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. 

Classroom Renovations:  Interim Provost Mumpower reported that classroom renovations are ongoing and will continue.

New Faculty:  Interim Provost Mumpower reported that this Campus had an excellent faculty recruitment season.  There have been 31 faculty hired, each with superb credentials. 

Bold Vision Campaign:  Vesna Gjaja has been appointed Interim Vice President for Advancement. 

SUNY-wide Senate Report presented by Professor William Lanford:

Professor Lanford gave a succinct summary of the State University Faculty Senate Planning Conference, held September 8-10, 2004, and provided a complete written summary to the Senate membership and attending guests.

Chair’s Report – Presented by Professor Carolyn MacDonald:

Council Reports:

Governance Council (GOV), Professor Steven Messner, Chair:  The Council approved assignments of members (other than student representatives) to the two standing committees over the summer:  the Committee on Assessment of Governance and Consultation, and the Committee on Liaison and Elections.  The Committee on Liaison and Elections was charged with providing Interim President Ryan with a list of ten names of faculty for consideration for appointment to the Advisory Committee on Campus Security to comply with State Education Law.   Eleven volunteers were identified, and the list of these eleven names was submitted on July 30, 2004.

The Council declared Professor William Lanford’s Senate seat vacant when he was appointed SUNY-wide Senator and recommend Tom Bessette to his place as he was next in line in the vote.

The Council held an emergency meeting on September 21, 2004 to respond to President Ryan’s request for review and comments on the proposed Bylaws and Charter of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).  In view of time constraints, the Council decided to focus on any inconsistencies between the CNSE Bylaws/Charter and other University policies and regulations.  A meeting of the Council to finalize a report occurred October 1, and the report was circulated to the Senate today in a separate document.  Professor Messner thanked Interim President Ryan for the opportunity to review the CNSE Bylaws and Charter.

One Senator asked if the CNSE Bylaws has been accepted.  Professor Messner explained that it is in the process of approval; President Ryan asked for review and comment from the Senate prior to making a decision.

Professor Hassaram Bakhru of the CNSE (representing Professor Robert Geer) thanked the Governance Committee for the efforts for which it has put forth in this matter.  He reported that the CNSE faculty welcome the recommendation of the University Senate and look forward to assigning a group of representatives to work diligently with the University Senate-designated representatives to address the issues identified in the report.  He further reported that CNSE faculty feel that this is a very positive move and are pleased with the recommendation. 

A motion was made and seconded to accept the recommendation of the Governance Council:

In the spirit of the Resolution of the Board of Trustees, we recommend that representatives from CNSE and the Governance Council of the University Senate work together to address the issues identified in this report “…to coordinate UAlbany-wide faculty governance matters.”  We hope that sufficient time can be granted to complete this complex and important endeavor.

In response to a question it was clarified that the committee would be created by the Governance Council, not the Senate at large.  There was a question about the status of the Ad hoc University-wide Governance Committee.  Professor Acker, as Chair reported that the Committee anticipates releasing its report in four weeks.  The Committee has been working at a very general level and has not undertaken to review the specific bylaws or governance on this campus.  The Committee members believe its general work will be helpful for those making more specific recommendations.  Professor Acker noted that the task has been very large, if there were more time, the Committee would invite many people with whom to confer, and after that process it would have time to go into more detail.  Several people in attendance commended the work of Governance Council, referring to the document it presented on the review of the Bylaws and Charter of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and voiced support of the motion.

The question was moved.  The vote on the motion was unanimous in favor with one abstention.

University Planning and Policy Council (UPC), Professor Marjorie Pryse, Chair – Report presented by Professor MacDonald:   UPC met for a short organizational meeting on Monday, September 27 but is still working on the creation of its Charter-mandated subcommittees, University Facilities Committee and the Resource Analysis and Planning Committee.  UPC agreed to read Mission Review II closely for its next meeting and expects Mission Review to occupy most of the agenda. UPC is pleased to join Vice President Lowery and Assistant Vice President Szelest in announcing the availability of the OurUAlbany data bank through the MyUAlbany portal. “The UAlbany Data Bank is an integrated data retrieval mechanism sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the University Senate to provide the budgeting, research, and enrollment-related information needed to manage the University at Albany in the challenging times ahead. These data are provided for the use of the University at Albany community in the spirit of promoting data-driven discussions to shape University policy and management.”  UPC has submitted a Charter change to add the Dean’s Council Representative as an Ex Officio member.  The Charter change will be voted on in three weeks.

Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC), Professor Seth Chaiken, Chair:   The Task Force on Advisement was convened last July and has met most weeks since.  It is expected that some recommendations will be passed at UAC and possibly presented to the Senate Executive Committee after another couple of meetings.  The UAC expects to meet almost every week for one hour.  UAC’s assignments of councilors to committees are done and the completion of the committees, including the Gen. Ed. committee and assessment subcommittee is in progress.  In the process, it was observed that the charter committee membership rules require a minimum of seven teaching faculty in the UAC if no councilor serves on more than one committee, but the charter only allows 6-8 teaching faculty councilors.  Hence, UAC will propose a bill to amend the charter to increase the size of the UAC and thus make more flexible the choice of general education assessment subcommittee chair.

The Council discussed a proposed revision of the History honors major following the action of last year's UAC session which included a request for proposed catalog copy.  The proposed catalog copy should be supplied with new or revised program proposals.  Richard Collier is now working with the department to include procedural and academic clarification in the catalog copy since supplied. 

In its last two meetings, Dean of Undergraduate Students Sue Faerman has lead the discussions of the undergraduate academic issues in the draft Mission Review.  UAC will have Sheila Mahan, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, report on admissions and continue discussion of the Mission Review.

Graduate Academic Council (GAC), Professor Louise-Anne McNutt, Chair:  GAC has met once this semester, organized all its committees and will be discussing electronic dissertations and the creation of an Ombudsperson’s Office for students.

Council on Research (COR), Professor Vincent Idone, Chair:  COR met September 22nd for the first time this semester. The new Misconduct Policy document was discussed and the Council members identified suggested revisions to be summarized within the next few days.  Work began on reformulation of the various subcommittees.  A priority for this term was identified regarding the assessment or evaluation of centers and institutes across the campus.  Presently, various faculty are being approached to serve on a subcommittee that will address this specific task       

Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments (CPCA), Professor Diane Dewar, Chair:  CPCA met for a short organizational meeting on Wednesday, September 29 to discuss the charge and operating procedures of the Council, and to review the administrative procedures for the preparation of recommendations for promotion and continuing appointment at the University.  The Council developed its meeting schedule for the remainder of the semester. 

Council on Libraries, Information Systems and Computing (LISC), Professor David Wagner, Chair:   Professor Wagner reported that LISC will meet for the first time tomorrow.  One item the Council will discuss is the resolution associated with Elsevier, Inc.  Some large, wealthy, and prestigious institutions have resisted this separately; UAlbany created a resolution with Dean Butler last spring to group with other SUNY schools, and unfortunately several SUNY schools were not able join in as their systems are too small.  The net result is that there was not enough strength within SUNY to battle Elsevier and UAlbany had to accept the Elsevier contract as it is. 

The second item on the LISC agenda is regarding the political mailings recently distributed over the UAlbany email system, which may have violated University Senate approved policy regarding mass mailings.  The Information Technology Usage Policy Committee has been charged with reviewing the situation to determine whether there was a violation.  The mass mailing occurred from another system, not from the internal office system.  It seems that someone simply obtained the University directory and keyboarded as many email addresses they could.  CIO Christine Haile is conducting an internal investigation into the matter as well.

University Life Council (ULC), Professor Gwen Moore, Chair:   ULC held its first meeting on September 28 to organize the Council and its three committees and also to discuss issues that might come before ULC this academic year.  Council members approved the membership lists for the Committee on Athletics, Committee on Health, Safety and Well-Being and the Residential Life committees.  The committees will meet and elect chairs within the next few weeks.  Two ad hoc committees were also established:  one investigating the question of what criteria should be used in granting recognition of religious holidays, if any.  The other ad hoc committee will consider campus policies on benefits for emeritus faculty and policies on family leave and stopping the tenure clock for faculty members.  ULC was asked to revisit the entire issue of considering criteria for suspending classes for Muslim holy days.  Other issues that might come to ULC this year are: the increase in visitor parking fees, student health insurance, and the suspension of classes for a few hours on Fountain Day.  

Council on Academic Assessment (CAA), Professor Malcolm Sherman, Chair:  CAA has not yet met this semester.

Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR), Professor Lawrence Snyder, Chair:    Professor Snyder reported that the first meeting of the Committee will take place tomorrow.  The Committee will work with Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, William Hedberg on the implementation of two bills passed at last year’s Senate:  Campus Distribution Policy for Newspapers and Other News Periodicals, and the Campus Policy on Freedom of Expression. 

Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), Professor R. Michael Range, Chair:  Professor Range reported that there have been no cases of misconduct brought to CERS yet this year.  However, CERS met over the summer to finalize the draft of the new misconduct policy which has been circulated by email to Senate members.  CERS would like to conduct a question and answer session on the policy at the next Senate meeting, and conduct a vote at the following meeting.

Ad hoc University-wide Governance Committee, Professor James Acker, Chair:  Professor Acker reported that the ad hoc Committee on Faculty Governance requests an extension of its work beyond October 1, so that it may conclude its business in as diligent and complete a manner as possible, pursuant to its stated charge.  The Committee asks for an extension to, at the latest, November 1, for submission of its preliminary draft of the final report to the University Senate.  The Committee members feel it is more advantageous to present for public consumption a draft of the report in its entirety and the Committee members are concerned that the draft of the final ad hoc Committee report, and the deliberations reflected therein be viewed as objectively as possible by the entire faculty body of the University.   This will allow it to serve as a springboard for subsequent debate and dialogue around future models of faculty governance within the University.

The Committee recognizes that the Senate is interested in guidance and feedback.  Yet, the seriousness and completeness with which ad hoc Committee members have engaged governance issues within each of the areas of research, curriculum, and promotion/tenure over these past few months preclude finishing this work in a rushed or incomplete manner.  Therefore, the Committee asks the Senate for consideration in this regard.

Election of Senators nominated by Councils:   As a result of a paper ballot held at this meeting, the following have been elected Senators with a one year term in order to Chair a Council: 

Malcolm Sherman, Mathematics – Chair of the Council on Academic Assessment

David Wagner, Sociology – Chair of the Libraries, Information Systems and Computing Council

Gwen Moore, Sociology – Chair of the University Life Council

Demonstration of OurUAlbany Data:  Dr. Bruce Szelest provided a presentation and question/answer session of the OurUAlbany Data web site, which provides departmental, research grant and budget information.

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder