Present: J. Acker, M. Amid, D. Armstrong, C. Bischoff, D. Brooks, P. Bloniarz, D. Brooks, S. Chaiken, H. Charalambous, R. Collier, D. Dewar, P. Duchesi, B. Dudek, S. Faerman, S. Friedman, R. Gibson, F. Hauser, J. Horney, H. Horton, R. Hoyt, R. Irving, T. Jones, S. B. Kim, C. Lawson, S. Levine, S. Lubensky, A. Lyons, C. MacDonald, D. McCaffrey, C. Pearce, J. Pipkin, M. Pryse, M. Range, R. Karl Rethemeyer, C. Santiago, J. Savitt, H. Scheck, L. Schell, K. Smith, G. Spitze, J. Uppal, E. Wulfert, R. Farrell (Recorder)
1. Approval of Minutes:
The February 10, 2003 Senate minutes were approved unanimously, as amended.
2. President's Report:
The President's report focussed primarily on the projected University budget in the climate of the very challenging fiscal situation in the State of New York. The proposed $1200 undergraduate tuition increase does not appear to be holding, and clearly it would be imprudent not to prepare fiscal models based on projected tuition figures lower than a $1200 increase. In such models, each $100 tuition decrement results in a loss of $1.5 million annually to the University at Albany's operating budget.
Additionally, the University must attempt to plan around what has become a yearly unknown, i.e., the timing of the passing of the New York State budget. A genuine concern this year is whether the state budget will be passed in time to institute any tuition increase for the Fall Semester, or whether it will be passed so late that an increase in tuition will have to be delayed until the Spring of 2004, thus aggravating further an already critical financial situation.
The University at Albany community must work together to plan for alternative fiscal scenarios. The University Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee (URPAC), comprised primarily of senior faculty, has been meeting all semester, and will meet with each of the vice presidents in mid-April to hear budget reduction plans for the next two years. Any budget cuts will, of course, be made in accordance with the University's Strategic Plan, and the President and the Provost will keep the University community apprised of the continuing fiscal situation.
President Hitchcock reported further that the admissions picture for next fall continues to look strong. The admitted pool is the strongest it has been in years, but the key to success will be the manner in which admitted students are treated when they visit the campus. Specifically, the critical factor in producing a high yield rate from a pool of academically strong admittees seems to be how the potential students perceive they are treated when they visit a campus. All faculty are requested to continue to make the greatest effort possible whenever admitted students visit their departments, to assist in recruiting the finest students at all levels of study.
Finally, the President asked the senators' advice about holding a gathering on the Academic Podium in support of, and out of concern for, those members of the University family who may be involved in the hostilities in Iraq, or whose family members or close friends may be so involved. [The Senate members expressed their support of such a gathering.]
3. Faculty Senate Report:
Mr. Collier reported that ballots for the election to the SUNY-wide Senate were available at the door.
4. Chair's Report:
Professor Pipkin reported that the final faculty forum on Senate by-laws was held on the Rockefeller Campus, with excellent questions and discussion resulting.
Further, there may be a need for one additional Senate meeting, to be held
on the afternoon of Easter Monday (April 21). If this is the case, it will be
e-mail and the Senate web-page.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections, although a body of the faculty and not the Senate, is now geared up and working, and Professor Ted Turner has been kind enough to take on the role of convenor.
Finally, Professor Pipkin announced that Ms. Jayne VanDenburgh has been hired
as secretary to the Senate, to begin her position tomorrow, Tuesday, March 18.
Ms. VanDenburgh has worked for the University in the past, and we are delighted
to have her staffing the Senate Office. She will be introduced to the Senate
members at the next meeting.
5. Council Reports:
a. CAFÉ: Professor Armstrong reported that CAFE met to review the "Recommendations and Policy Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship", and that those members present endorsed the document, and it was non-opposed by those members contacted by email.
b. CPCA: Professor Spitze reported that CPCA continues to meet.
c. EPC: Professor Wulfert reported that EPC met to review the "Recommendations and Policy Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship", and that the Council endorsed the document.
d. GAC: Professor MacDonald reported that the Council met two times since the last Senate meeting to discuss the new track in the M.S. in Educational Psychology program, the BA/MA in Public Policy, and the proposed changes in the Policy on Faculty Eligibility to Teach Graduate Courses.
e. LISC: Professor Duchessi reported that LISC continues to meet.
f. RES: Professor Dudek reported that the Research Council has reviewed the "Recommendations and Policy Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship", and that the Council endorses the document.
g. UAC: Dr. Savitt reported that UAC has been discussing several alternative dates for assigning of "W" ("Withdrawn without academic penalty") for undergraduate courses that are dropped voluntarily by undergraduate students.
h. ULC: Professor Pipkin reported for Professor Smith that ULC continues to meet.
6. Old Business:
There was no old business
7. New Business
Senate Bill 0203-04 - Recommendations and Policy Framework on
Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship.
The bill came to the Senate moved by the Council on Research, and was seconded by Professor Horton. It was presented by Professors Christopher D'Elia, Bruce Dudek, John Logan Michael Range and Edelgard Wulfert of the ad hoc Committee.
The entire document supporting this bill had been e-mailed and mailed previously to each senator, and is attached to these minutes. A Power Point presentation of an abbreviated form of this document was given during the meeting, and a copy of that presentation is attached to these minutes.
Questions, responses and comments resulting from the presentation were as follow:
Concerning the Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS), questions were raised as to whether the structure should become a committee or council of the Senate, whether there should be term limits for the members, and if direct nominations from the faculty will be possible. It was agreed that these were all matters to be determined by the By-laws Committee of the Senate.
A concern was voiced that the document did not outline specific procedures for CERS. However, the members of the ad hoc Committee responded that the document is meant to establish a framework of principles that will dovetail with the procedures in the existing campus, state, federal and agency guidelines, not all of which are even in agreement with each other. This framework document is to guide the Vice President for Research in consultation with representative faculty, in making decisions in individual cases.
A further concern was raised that there was no provision in the document for the Vice President for Research simply to accept an admission of academic misconduct. However, this was by design, and it was the strong recommendation of the ad hoc Committee that a simple admission of misconduct might very well not provide the Vice President for Research or the President with enough information to make a proper determination.
The final concern raised was with the concept of "restoring someone's reputation" should an allegation prove to be unfounded. This is a terribly knotty question, and endemic to any allegation in which, by definition, the outcome is uncertain. Clearly, it speaks to the need for absolute confidentiality in these cases and reinforces the need for the provision in the document that the Office of the Vice President for Research is to provide training to the members of CERS in the adjudication of such allegations.
Professor Hauser called the question, and the bill was passed by unanimous vote.
It was then noted that there is a statute of limitations on matters of academic misconduct in the UUP contract.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 PM.
Hayward D. Horton