Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes from the January 27, 2003

Present: R. Collier, P. Duchessi, H. Horton, R. Hoyt, C. MacDonald, J. Pipkin, M. Pryse, C. Santiago, K. Smith, G. Spitze, T. Turner, E. Wulfert.

Chair Pipkin called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.

1. Approval of the Minutes.
The minutes were unanimously approved.

2. President's Report (presented by Provost Santiago)

The Budget- -There was a meeting approximately two weeks ago via conference call between the SUNY Chancellor and all of the SUNY Presidents to discuss the budget. The budget next year will be flat with a tuition increase expected at about $1400 per year. In 2004 further declines in state funding are expected, and tax increases are unlikely. There will probably be major agency cuts in 2003-04. TAP may be adjusted. It is difficult to predict today if tuition costs will offset the expected cuts. Even so, it still leaves the University with a $10 million deficit due to unfunded salary increases, the mid-year budget correction, COLA increases, retirement incentive increases, etc.

If the University funds everything, the net result will be a 6% budget cut. Of course, there's always the possibility that the situation might improve. Also, the $1400 tuition increase helps. Still, there is the possibility of a delay in the payment of TAP. It's estimated that 60% of the students under TAP will be able to handle the tuition increase. It is hoped that graduate tuition will not increase. Changes in graduate as well as out-of-state tuition have yet to be determined.

On a positive note, our tuition remains competitive with other states in the Northeast. We expect to continue to be so because the $1400 increase only covers inflation since the last increase several years ago.

URPAC: There was a recent meeting at which the President reviewed URPAC's charge with the membership, i.e. that URPAC is to review the entire University-wide budget in terms of the six strategic goals of the University and its Memorandum of Understanding with SUNY Administration, and to recommend budget strategies to the President. The complete budget information of the University will be presented to the membership via the University vice presidents. While the deliberations and recommendations of URPAC must be done in confidence, the President is prepared to call a general meeting, or series of meetings if necessary, of the entire University, as more specific information becomes known about the upcoming budget.

Enrollment- -Enrollment looks strong although applications are down. The admissions rate is up due to an increase in student quality. There were 13,994 freshman applications with 4,294 admitted. Comparable figures for last year were 14,445 and 4188. Average SAT scores for Fall 2003 is 1116 compared to 1113 in 2002 and 1096 in 2001. GPAs are up as well with the average for Fall 2003 is 87.3 compared to 86.5 and 87 in 2002 and 2001 respectively. Presidential Scholar applications are up to 815 from 738 last year. They, like freshmen in general, have higher average SATs (1344 vs. 1337) and GPAs (95.0 vs. 94.8) than last year's cohort. Out of state applications are up by 2.9% with applications from 41 U.S. States and territories beyond New York. International freshman applications are up by 10%. On the graduate side Ph.D. applications are up and M.A. applications are down. We would like to reverse that because the M.A.s are self-financed while we finance the Ph.D.s.

Retention- -A small group accompanied Provost Santiago to the University of Pennsylvania to attend a retention workshop, including the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The University is concerned about maintaining our student numbers while increasing the quality. Of the students that we lose annually, approximately 1/3 have GPAs of 3.0 or better. Accordingly, the University's retention efforts focus on higher-end students. A proposal for a pilot program has been developed based upon the reputation of our graduate programs. We are offering the top students (hereafter, group 1 students) with a graduation option if they are admissible. This offer is in the form of a 5th year of (graduate) tuition paid for by the University. The financial implications are still being analyzed. It is hoped that the cost of the program will be offset by increased revenues via retention. Hopefully, this program will make us more competitive. Stony Brook has a similar program. Private schools entice some of our best students to leave after a couple of years. It should be noted that group 1 students have GPAs of 90 and above and SATs above 1200. The plan is to increase this number. Currently, 29% of freshmen are group 1 students. It is important to note that we retain 80-85% of all students.

Faculty Issues- -The demographics of the faculty are changing. The faculty population is aging rapidly. Approximately 18% are over 65. A significant number is over 70. This is only another pressing concern in the context of the present budget situation. Finally, there will be a faculty forum on Tuesday January 28th in Milne 200.

3. University-wide Senate Report

SUNY Faculty Report- -The issue of graduate tuition was raised. Concern was expressed about the deterrence of graduate students given the state of departmental budgets and grants (at the four university centers). In response, the chancellor proposed changes to the tuition policy. Dubbed, a rational fiscal policy, the plan is to eventually establish a stabilization fund. The fiscal policy was approved without dissent. It was noted that without a tuition increase, a retrenchment of 4000 lines in the SUNY system will result.

A new award was announced- -Excellence in Teaching Service.

The chancellor introduced a proposal on academic misconduct. He wants cases of academic misconduct handled immediately. Further, he wants to know about the incident within 5 days. In addition, he wants to be informed of how the case was resolved if the party was found guilty. This proposal was a direct result of the controversy surrounding the plagiarism case here at SUNY-Albany.

4. Chair's Report

The chair notes that the web site is terribly out of date. He asks that council chairs send their reports, agendas, membership revisions, and approved minutes directly to David Drotar (drotar@albany.edu) for posting.

The chair indicated that he plans to e-mail the Howell memo (originating at the last Senate meeting) to the Senate membership as its author requested. The memo will also be posted to the Senate LISTSERV because such discussions should take place there rather than by direct e-mails to the membership.

5. Council Reports

ULC- -No report.

EPC- -EPC met last week. The meeting was very constructive. There was concern about the role of EPC in the context of the budget and the issues that are being addressed by URPAC. Based upon a discussion with the President, it was decided that discretion is necessary to maintain confidentiality. One concern is to avoid duplication of effort by URPAC and EPC.

GAC- -Nothing to report.

UAC- -Nothing to report.

Bylaws Group- -A presentation was made to the Deans' Council. It is expected that a presentation will be made to students in the near future.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Hayward D. Horton
Secretary of the University Senate