University Senate Executive Committee Meeting

February 23, 2004



Present:          D. Armstrong, H. Charalambous, R. Collier, A. Lyons, C. MacDonald,

J. Mumpower (for C. Santiago), J. Pipkin, M. Pryse, J. Savitt, G. Spitze,

L. Videka, D. Wagner, E. Wulfert


Student Senators Present:  F. Cornet, D. Farr


Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of January 26, 2004 and February 2, 2004 were approved.

Provost’s Report:  Presented by Interim Vice President for Research Jeryl Mumpower.

Dr. Mumpower announced that the candidate for the position of Interim President, John R. Ryan, would go before the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 for appointment confirmation.

Spring 2004 Enrollment:  Spring enrollment was slightly behind projections at the graduate and at the non-matriculated level for both graduates and undergraduates.  These shortfalls appear to be the result of a combination of the effects of the tuition increase, and programmatic changes in education and library science where students accelerated completion of degrees by December to meet “old” certification requirements.

Fall 2004 Admissions:  Applications for admissions are down slightly (less than 1%) from last year.  But the quality of the application pool is up, meaning that we are receiving more applications from qualified applicants and fewer from unqualified applicants.  In fact, applications from “Group 1” students are up by 1%.   (We theorize that this decline in applications from the lower end of the spectrum is positive evidence that the word of our increasing selectivity is getting out to high schools.  And since we do not receive application fee revenue, the only real impact is a modest decline in workload and other University resources involved in the processing of an application.)

Fall 2004 Freshmen Profile: 

§         Applicants:  Average SAT and GPA is 1106 and 87.0 (compared to 1107 and 87.3 last year).

§         Admits:  Average SAT and GPA is 1203 and 91.8 (compared to 1204 and 91.6 last year) with exactly the same number of admits.

§         Deposits:  Average SAT and GPA is 1193 and 91.6 (compared to 1183 and 91.1) with about 100 deposits in, compared to 156 last year.

§         Presidential Scholars:  Average SAT and GPA of admits is 1343 and 95.1 (compared to 1344 and 95 last year).  Almost exactly the same number of Presidential Scholars admitted, 786 compared to 815 and 15 deposited compared to 20 last year.


Graduate Admissions:  Applications for graduate admissions are lagging behind last year at about 21% due to a workload backlog from January.  Like many graduate programs, UAlbany is seeing a fairly sizeable decline in international applications.  Doctoral applications (which are up to date) show a 33% decline from international students, about 250 applications (accompanied by a 45% increase in domestic applications, about 140) Master’s applications are still being processed, a comparison is not possible at this time.

Budget:  There is a targeted six million-dollar increase in next year’s state budget for the entire SUNY system.  At this time, it looks like there will be no tuition increase.  A budget for building renovations and new buildings continues to be discussed in the Legislature.


University Faculty Senate Report:  Presented by Senator Collier.    No new business to report.

Chair’s Report:

§         Senate:

§          Chief Advancement Officer John Wolff will present at the next Senate meeting.

§          There are two meetings scheduled for March to accommodate end-of-the-year Senate business and elections.  The calendar was arranged in August and was based upon President Karen Hitchcock’s schedule.

§         Presidential Search Committee - positive responses were received to the February 9, 2004, ballot for two non-CAS faculty representatives to the committee.

§         CERS – Professor Dudek is to convene a meeting of CERS.


Council Reports:


CPCA – Professor Glenna Spitze, Chair:  no report.

ULC – Professor Gwendolyn Moore, Chair.  Professor Moore was unable to attend, and Professor David Wagner reported for ULC.  At the most recent ULC meeting, three students, speaking on behalf of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) presented a proposal to suspend classes for the Muslim religious holidays of Eid al-Ffitr and Eid al-Adha.  They noted that currently, students who wish to observe holy days must receive permission from the Dean of Undergraduate Students.  With an increasing number of Muslims at the University (estimated by MSA at 800-1000 students and faculty), the MSA requests that the University recognize these important holidays so Muslim faculty and students can observe them without missing classes, exams or assignments.  Official recognition in the academic calendar of these Holidays would also further tolerance on campus.  An extended discussion of positive and negative effects of suspending classes for these two days followed the presentation.  ULC has appointed a committee to investigate further the desirability and feasibility of this proposal further.


EPC – Professor Edelgard Wulfert, Chair:  no report.


GAC – Professor Hara Charalambous, Chair. 


§         GAC is discussing whether or not it has the authority to approve new courses. 

§         GAC is going ahead with the electronic thesis dissertation, which may come out as a bill. 

§         GAC will be discussing the discontinuance of the DA program in Humanistic Studies.

UAC – Professor Joan Savitt, Chair. 


§         UAC has endorsed the learning and outcomes of the new General Education Program.  These will appear on the GEN ED website. 

§         UAC is discussing the consideration of two new majors and is presenting four bills at the upcoming meeting.  The bills being presented are:

§         Revisions of the Undergraduate English Major

§         Revision of “Oral Discourse” General Education Criteria

§         ROTC and Applied Elective Credit

§         Revision of Undergraduate Admissions Policies

§         UAC expects to bring forward two majors that were developed from former teacher certification tracks in Social Studies and Earth Science, but which no longer exist at the undergraduate level.

§         UAC approved the Interdisciplinary Minor in Organizational Studies.


RES – Professor Lynn Videka, Chair.  RES is involved in several projects:

§         Reviewing Nanotechnology research

§         Review of the FRAP program

§         Making recommendations to the Excellence in Research Awards

§         The Researcher’s Liaison Subcommittee (of which John Welch is Chair) has recommended a more developmental orientation in positioning our campus to compete for research dollars.


LISC – Professor David Wagner, Chair. 

§         LISC is working on resolutions regarding the Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, which controls the subscriptions to many reference journals.  A Connecticut resolution encouraged faculty, staff and students to reduce their support to journals/publishers by not using such journals, although not a boycott.  Dean Butler has been working on this issue and a report is forthcoming. 

§         LISC is working on the resolution on Open Standards in Computing from Buffalo.  The default option for all computers throughout the University will be Open Source, although a resolution has not yet been developed.


CAFE - Professor Donna Armstrong, Chair. 


§         CAFE has been learning more about the Patriot Act through a series of presentations including the overview of the Patriot Act, surveillance, and the impact on international students. 

§         There is a bill in draft form on freedom of expression on campus - CAFE is trying to address speech and assembly in this bill, and association in another bill.


Bylaws Group:  Professor Carolyn MacDonald. 

§         ULC is reviewing its council charge revision in the new Bylaws and a representative from the Bylaws group will attend an ULC meeting.

§         University Council:  Professor MacDonald requested the University Council submit the Community Rights and Responsibilities document to the Senate in the next cycle (three years from now) before it is adopted; they did agree to that request.


 Governance Committee – Professors Carolyn MacDonald and Andi Lyons.


§         The solicitation for nominations for next year’s Senate has been mailed out. 

§         Professor Lyons introduced a bill proposing administrative support for the University Senate, recommending that the Senate Chair receive a one course per semester release while serving as Chair.  A bill will be ready for the next Senate meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.



Respectfully Submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder