Arts and Sciences Senate
Minutes – February 18, 2008

I.  Approval of Tentative Agenda:  approved

II.  Approval of minutes from November 19, 2007 – approved

III.  Proposed Revision of minutes from October 22, 2007; item VI.  PTC Report.  Motion to change date from April 21, 2006 to February 26, 2007.  Motion approved.

IV.  Report of CAS Dean (J. Staros)
Recommendations of NYS Commission on Higher Ed:

  • The NYS Commission on Higher Education was established by an Executive Order of Gov. Eliot Spitzer in May 2007.  Dean Staros highlighted some of the recommendations.
  • Plan to establish a $3 billion research fund to support research.  In the past the GRI was used to fund capitalization of equipment and programs.  This disappeared during the Pataki administration. 
  • NYS Compact for Higher Education.  This involves a set of recommendations for which the SUNY campuses would contribute funding through economies.  One of the parts of the compact would be to put in a very reasonable escalator in tuition with the guarantee that when a student matriculates that student is guaranteed a flat tuition rate for four-years.  Another part of compact is that in return for new funding, the campuses would pick up new funding by economies.  This is relevant to this year’s budget.  For most of NYS there are going to be budget cuts in most agencies because of the shortfall in revenue
  • In the Executive budget there is a proposed 1½% increase for SUNY.  However, because of the new contract and other obligations, it is anticipated that the expenses in SUNY will rise by 4%.  This means that the other 2½% will have to come from the campuses.
  • Item #6 on Commission recommendations:  “Provide meaningful regulatory relief for SUNY and CUNY, by removing restrictions that impede campuses’ ability to adapt quickly and promote quality.”  Norman Goodman clarified Item #6: the actual statement from the Governor is to remove pre-audits and to rely mostly on post-audits.  In other words, if you buy something you don’t have to go through three levels of approval.  Same thing for program reviews.  The proposal is for SUNY and the State Education Department to jointly review at the same time any new or modified program submissions.
  • There is a State-wide committee (through the Faculty Senate in which Norman Goodman is a member) to address articulation and transfer throughout SUNY and CUNY.
  • Program of capital reinvestment is welcomed since our buildings are in need of critical maintenance.

Classroom Space:

  • There is a regulatory matter that will affect us all.  Due to renovations at Southampton, it because clear that the codes that were being used to regulate the capacity of rooms was different than what is on SB campus. 
  • For rooms with removable furniture, the code that SUNY uses is that you need 16 square feet of space per occupant.  A 320 sq. ft. room could hold 20 people including the instructor.  At Southampton they started requiring 20 sq. ft. per occupant and Stony Brook pushed back and said SUNY only required 16 sq. ft.  Fire code requires 20 sq. ft.  SUNY Central was queried and they said that the fire code trumps our old rules. 
  • If enrollment stays the same next year as this year, 250 sections would be affected and there would be students unable to enroll for lack of space.

V.  Discussion of Revisions to the Constitution and By-Laws (R. Ben-Zvi):

  • This will be the first reading of proposed changes
  • Most changes are updates/maintenance and consistency e.g., missing colons, brackets, italics, acronyms, etc.
  • There are constitutional amendments that have been passed by the A&S Senate in the last four years that need to be included.
  • K. Gillespie asked why Southampton is not included.  There is the issue of the Curriculum Committee working on Southampton courses (Norman Goodman:  the Curriculum Committee should keep working on Southampton courses—this is all ad hoc until a decision is made).  Ruth Ben-Zvi explained that there are questions about Southampton’s affiliation with CAS.  A committee has been set up to address this with members from the University Senate, A&S Senate, Administration, and the HSC.  They are looking into the governance issues.  This work is being done very quickly in a short time.  
  • In B. 1. (1):  Last sentence should read “The Division of Libraries and the School of Journalism shall also elect one senator each.”
  • There was a motion to remove B. b. 2.:  All Arts and Sciences Senators shall also serve as the A&SSC, representatives to the University Senate.  All in favor:  passed.
  • Motion to eliminate “representing departments and programs” from B. b. 4 and also move numbers up making 3. into 2. and 4 into 3.  All in favor:  passed.
  • C. 2. f. Senior Lecturer Promotion Review Committee was included as a decision by the A&S Senate.  The wording is exactly as accepted by the A&S Senate and was voted into existence but not put into the constitution at the April 2007 meeting.
  • Dean Staros brought up a matter regarding (C. 2. f.) the Senior Lecturer Promotion Review Committee to Dr. Davidson.  There is a serious problem with this committee.  The A&S Executive Committee wishes to meet with Dean Staros next week to discuss possible options in place of this committee.  Apparently Human Resources and the Provost’s Office will not move to create the position of Sr. Lecturer with a standing committee such as this because it resembles the A&S Promotion and Tenure Committee. 
  • There was a motion to include “non-tenured” in the first sentence of C. 2. f. to read “Senior Lecturer Promotion Review Committee (SLPRC) shall review all cases of non-tenured promotion …..”
  • Dr. Davidson would like to continue this discussion after the A&S Executive Committee meets with the Dean and then come back with recommendations at the second reading.
  • Discussion on C. 2. f. being part of the constitution.  Dr. Kerber pointed out that it is not a part of the constitution because it did not go through the constitutional process of inserting the SLPRC.
  • A motion was made to remove C. 2. f. from the constitution:  16 for and 1 against.  Motion passed.
  • In 3. b. 4. take out the second word appointed in “….the Registrar’s Office appointed as a non-voting member.”
  • Change wording in 3. b. 8 to:  The Secretary of the Committee appointed as a non-voting member by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in consultation with the Committee and the Deans of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Journalism.

Motion to accept the changes in first reading of Constitution and By-Laws:  All in favor.  Motion passed.

VI.  President’s Report (Cynthia Davidson)

  • The Proposed Resolution read at the last meeting on Academic decisions by the Arts and Sciences Standing Committees….should be tabled indefinitely.

VII.  Old Business:  no old business.

VIII.  New Business:  no new business

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Submitted by:

Laurie Theobalt