Arts and Sciences Senate
November 19, 2007
The meeting was called to order at 3:35 p.m. by President
I. Approval of agenda:
Approval of minutes:
approved with two corrections.
Provost’s Report (E. Kaler):
are a lot of challenges and opportunities at Stony Brook.
quality of the undergraduate body and its diversity are improving.
budget priority is to find ways to enhance graduate student stipends.
academic budget is not as robust as it should be. The new 5-year plan is finalized and it
will be used as a benchmark guide to create budget priorities.
Dr. Davidson asked about the faculty survey on the
first-year experience. Dr. Kaler: there is a
task force devoted to improving the first-year experience for students. The questionnaire is meant to get feedback
from faculty members. Dr. Kuchner responded by adding that she is on the
subcommittee. They are developing
another survey next spring including questions on the grading system for the
102. Dr. Kuchner
believes that the A&S Senate is the body for feedback. Dr. Goodman suggested that departmental
undergraduate directors be approached.
Report on the College
of Arts and Sciences (J. Staros):
last meeting discussed with Provost Kaler the
tabled issue of Sr. Lecturers.
Reviving talks and will move forward with this by end of semester.
Goodman: What about the delay in
hiring? Dean Staros: seven searches were approved so there
was no change.
Davidson: What is happening with
the Departmental discretionary budget?
Dean Staros: Merit roster has been approved. The actual merit raises should be in
December paychecks retroactive from Sept. 1st for regular
Dr. Silverman commented that the FRRP committee worked very
hard to get this Senate to have a separate committee that vets specifically the
promotion of lecturer to Sr. Lecturer.
This is now all in place.
V. Faculty Rights and
Responsibilities Policy Committee Report (H. Silverman):
committee worked with the Dean of Journalism to come up with criteria for
promotion and tenure. The School of Journalism has separate conditions.
a table on cross departmental secondary academic appointments (regular FT
Stony Brook faculty).
guidelines for promotion from Lecturer to Sr. Lecturer.
on the establishment of a Sr. Lecturer promotion review committee (which
was approved by the A&S Senate).
Silverman went on to explain the Guidelines for Cross-departmental
Secondary Academic Appointments for regular FT Stony Brook Faculty (see
issue the committee (and the Senate Graduate Council) have been discussing
is the question of dissertations (whether you are an inside or outside
reader of dissertation). If you
have a joint title appointment you would always be an inside reader.
- Dean Staros commented that affiliate faculty
are voted by secondary appointments.
Goodman questioned the actual title of a joint appointment. Does it include the two or more departments? Dr. Silverman: If you held two appointments in
Sociology and Psychology, for instance, your title would be Professor of
Sociology and Psychology.
was discussion regarding budgetary splits and the words “equally” and
- Dr. Geeta wanted to know why programs were not
included. Dr. Silverman: it should be included. The table should read department or
Dr. Davidson moved to
have the report accepted. All in favor. The
report is accepted.
Report on Southampton (M. Schoonen)
- Southampton has approximately 120 fully matriculated
students. Sixty students in Marine
- Have a
growing MFA program with approximately 40 graduate students. Just received accreditation from the
State Education Department.
four new majors. Waiting to hear
comments back from Albany.
faculty-student center, cafeteria, bookstore, wellness center and student
lounge are in operation.
are 82 resident students. A third
residence hall will come on-line in January 2008.
more faculty members since there will be an increase in student body.
will be approximately 400 new students by next fall 2008.
Walter: Any transfer policy? Dr. Schoonen: Wouldn’t be considered a transfer
because the student is already a Stony Brook student.
Davidson: Is there any public
transportation? Dean Schoonen: Yes,
there we have a Biodiesel bus that goes back and
Silverman: How do you anticipate
sending us a Senator from Southampton? Dr. Schoonen: Would be difficult given the distance? Looking at video conferencing.
Proposed Addition to A&S Constitution: Resolution on Standing Committee Autonomy (C.
- Background: This issue came to our attention this
year. One of the Standing
Committees (Curriculum) had asked us to deal with the situation in which a
standing committee felt pressure, not from the academic
sector, but other sectors as far as deadlines and making decisions. Dr. Davidson read the proposed
(Addition to Arts and Sciences
Senate Constitution, Section C9)
Academic decisions by the Arts
and Sciences Senate’s Standing Committees must be based primarily on sound
academic principles. When reviewing
courses or programs or devising academic policies, the committees should not be
asked to consider or accommodate extra-academic issues. Individuals and programs having proposals
under review should limit their contact with Committees to informational
exchanges. They may request a meeting
with the Chair, Executive Secretary, and/or full Committee, and if invited, may
meet to clarify issues of an academic nature, but attempts to lobby or pressure
the Committee Chair, Executive Secretary, and/or individual committee members,
especially by invoking financial or institutional considerations, are
inappropriate. Should such attempts
occur, members of the Standing Committees shall report them to the Senate
Executive Committee for further action.
Thomas Kerth stated that when he was on the
Curriculum Committee, departments would manage to have one of their
faculty members elected to the Curriculum Committee and have an inside
push and would shout down any objections.
Was unpleasant. Seems the
strategy has changed. People now
simply pressure the committee as a whole (without being on the committee).
Fred Walter feels this proposal should be dropped. It seems if you have a strong chair,
he/she should control what the committee is doing. If the Chair feels pressured, he/she
certainly has the right to talk to the A&S Senate President or the
Goodman agreed with Dr. Walter. It should be up to the chair and in some
cases the Dean.
In defense of the second sentence in the resolution, it doesn’t say
the committee cannot consider or accommodate extra-academic
issues. It says they cannot be
asked to do so. This is a
useful statement of our intention.
Silverman agrees with Dr. Goodman and Dr. Walter.
Valerie Lantz-Gerfoh: What was questioned was the fact that
the Curriculum Committee was asked to meet over the summer
to pass Southampton courses and if they
were going to be paid to do that. The
meetings were held, courses passed and they were not paid. Many Journalism courses as well were put
on fast-track which also put a great amount of pressure on the
Committee. Seems that that the
statement needs to be re-worded to be more explicit.
- Dr. Davidson: It this is going to go into the
constitution, it shouldn’t refer to this particular issue. It should somehow apply to external
pressures put upon all standing committees in general.
Goodman: The constitution defines
the structure of the organization.
It does not define this type of resolution.
Frank Myers: We should find some
way to provide support for the committees.
This resolution is far too detailed. The last sentence is unnecessary. Further action is not even
specified. We may be able to find a
one sentence formula that would say something like “when a Standing
Committee is deliberating, individuals and programs who want to approach
them should ask informational questions only”.
Davidson: Maybe we should take out
the beginning and end sentences.
Walter was curious as to why the Curriculum Committee didn’t feel that
they weren’t getting any support for the Senate. This did happen over the summer, but the
Executive Committee is supposed to be available all summer when issues
Dr. Tomes did email on this issue.
Response was to tell her that he was in a similar situation when
PEP was being considered for accreditation. You had to have the documents ready for
Pep. This happened in May and people
were going on vacation. Dr. McGrath
said that this is a compelling and very important subject. We couldn’t afford to let Pep lose
accreditation. The committee met in
the summer and was paid. Southampton curriculum had to be approved for September
semester. Felt that the Curriculum
Committee should go along with the request, not to pass the courses
without looking at them, but to do the job but make sure you get paid for
the extra term.
Davidson: Will discuss this at next
meeting and will revise the proposed resolution.
- Dr. Kuchner: Might
have an opportunity to change the behavior. That the clarification of work for
governance as appropriate for summer money and how that is going to be
established. Do not think there are
any guidelines about this. There is
no mechanism to negotiate. This
would not be a constitution issue.
Silverman: Most faculty
are on a 10-month salary.
Officially we cannot be expected to work for those two summer
months (that we do not get paid for).
It would be inappropriate to pay members of a committee to work
during the summer to perform their function. You can ask faculty to work on a project
in some way or another and pay them but not as members of governance. We have to make sure those lines are
Davidson: there are two separate
issues here. Summer work for governance and pressure on committees. We will discuss this further at the next
Dr. Davidson had no President’s
VIII. Old Business: No old business.
IX. New Business: No new business.