University Faculty Senate –160th Winter Plenary Meeting
                                    January 26-28, 2012—Cornell University  
Submitted by Georges E. Fouron
Stony Brook Senators in attendance: Ed Feldman, Georges Fouron, Kane Gillespie, Bill Godfrey, and Norman Goodman.
Theme of the Meeting: Effective Resource Alignment through Shared Services
The meeting’s main goal was to further scrutinize the concept of “shared services,” both among and within the various campuses, to assess the ways in which the University is seeking to develop strategies “to improve efficiency, generate cost savings, build capacity, and increase resources available to the core academic and student service missions with respect to administrative functions, procurement opportunities, and the alignment of academic program offerings,” and the need for more clarity and transparency in the decision making and application processes of this concept and initiative.
Highlights

  1. The President’s Report—Kenneth P. O’Brien
  2. “Disruptors in Higher Education”—Carey Hatch, Associate Provost for Academic technology & Information Services
  3. SUNY Finance Budget Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial  Officer
  4. Provost’s Office Report—Elizabeth Bringsjord, Vice Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Planning
  5. Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  6. Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President
  7. SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kaitlyn Beachner, President
  8. Resolutions;
  9. Of Note;
  10. The President’s Report

In his report, the president addressed the following points:

  1. The upcoming STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Conference in Albany, which will deal with the importance of technology in the 21st century;
  2. System Transfer: efforts that are afoot to establish a seamless transition for students between CUNY and SUNY;
  3. Shared Governance: the intricacies regarding the implementation of an affective and transparent shared governance on the various campuses, the role of administrators and faculty in the process, the need for balance among the various stakeholders, and the importance of transparency in the process;
  4. “Systemness”: issues related to a performance-based budget to increase efficiency and productivity so that we may have “bigger bangs for the bucks”;
  5. Student Mobility: the need to assure that students who receive AA and AAS degree are able to transfer to the four year colleges in the system smoothly;
  6. Double Presidency: for the moment, the concept of shared campus presidency is off the table;
  7. “Disruptors in Higher Education”—Carey Hatch, Associate Provost for Academic technology & Information Services

Mr. Hatch presented a very informative presentation dealing with the transformation of the university through the influence of the latest technological innovations.  Among the most salient points that stood out in his presentation were: online teaching and learning, the “Do it Yourself University,” free online textbooks for students, the Itunes University, the increasing role Apple is set to play in the transformation of the Academy;

  1. SUNY Finance Budget Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial  Officer

In his report, Mr. Hutz informed us that

  1. The 2012-13 general fund support is essentially flat from the 2011-12 one, meaning that there will not be any cut for the new fiscal academic year;
  2. There will be a slight increase in general fund support for state-operated campuses;
  3. State support for the university hospitals has been maintained at the 2011-12 level ($60 million);
  4. Adequate appropriation level to recognize the $300 resident undergraduate tuition increase has also been recommended;
  5. Mid-year increase for ATTAIN and EOP has been continued;
  6. The system plans to save $100million or 5% percent of the budgets through shared services and by shifting administrative cost savings to instruction;
  7. Savings will come from the following areas
  8. Strategic Sourcing through working with the State of New York (DOB/OGS) and Accenture consulting group to use the system’s combined buying power to drive savings;
  9. IT Transformation, a complete transformation of how the system uses and manages IT to drive savings and increase the overall service levels provided to the students and the various campuses;
  10. Transaction Processing, through the creation of Regional/Central Administrative Centers to improve transaction based processes at a reduced cost for payroll, benefits, accounts payable, travel, and other basic administrative functions;
  11. Campus Alliance Network by creating campus partner networks to achieve savings, efficiencies, and improves services;
  12. Provost’s Office Report—Elizabeth Bringsjord, Vice Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Planning

In her report, Ms. Bringsjord addressed the following points: degree planning and audit, strategic enrollment planning, program review, and Middle State Accreditation;

  1. Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

Upon her arrival at the plenary meeting, the chancellor first met with the various sector representatives to respond to their concerns regarding,

  1. Shared services, which she strongly supports;
  2. The lack of administrative transparency on the various campuses, which she promised to address;
  3. K-12 collaboration, which she supports, although the necessary resources are not available now to make it effective;
  4. Shared services’ effects on accreditation, which she is concerned about;
  5. The budget, her goal is to achieve the $100 million target savings in the next five years through the strategy expounded by Brian Hurtzley in his presentation;
  6. Shared governance, although the UFS president had told us that this issue was off the table, she stated that as far as she was concerned that issue is still effective if campuses want to engage into doing it on a voluntary basis;
  7. The secrecy issue, the lack of transparency, and campus representation in presidential searches, an issue with which she is concerned.  Her preference would be to have the most effective campus participation in such an important endeavor.  However, we need to understand, she warned us, that it is of utmost importance to balance this endeavor with the candidates’ right to privacy.  She elaborated in her own situation when the press leaked the information when she was selected to lead SUNY, preventing her from notifying her then employer herself of her career move;
  8. General education, transfer, and the SUNY-CUNY Compound;

In her own presentation, she highlighted the points she had made in her “State of the University Address,” namely

  1. The SUNY Strategic plan, reaffirming that SUNY is New York’s  greatest asset;
  2. Systemness, reaffirming that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that “a culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness”;
  3. The “Iron Triangle”: cost, productivity, and access and completion;
  4. Controlling cost + Increasing productivity = positive results;
  5. The initiative to transfer 5% of administrative spending to academic and student services to the tune of $100 million in five years;
  6. Issues dealing with student remediation that are costing the campuses $70 million;
  7. The seamless transfer for all students who hold AA and AAS degrees by 2013;
  8. The imperative to initiate SUNY Online, which is a necessity;
  9. Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President

In her presentation, she raised a number of concerns that dealt with

  1. The growing perception, both at the federal and state levels, that the main function of the Community Colleges is to prepare their students for manufacturing jobs;
  2. Her concern that intellectual property rights are not extended to the community colleges;
  3. Her concern regarding curricular issues in the general education programs;
  4. The operational issues regarding transfer;
  5. The program deactivation processes
  6. SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kaitlyn Beachner, President

In her report, she

  1. Called on the state to match whatever contribution students make toward the services they receive as resources are being shared by more than one campus;
  2. Stated that the student assembly does not support the concept of shared presidency;
  3. Is making a concerted effort to encourage more students to participate in the governance of their campuses;
  4. Conveyed the concern regarding the eligibility of graduate students for TAP allocations;
  5. Resolutions

The following two resolutions were adopted by the University Faculty Senate:

  • A resolution supporting the Board of Trustees’ January 25, 2012 motion entitled “Equitable Financial and Educational Access to Higher Education for New York’s Undocumented Immigrants,” also known as the “Dream Act”;
  • A resolution urging the CUNY administration to withhold the implementation of any curriculum that has not been recommended by the appropriate university or college faculty governance committee or body because to do otherwise risks institutional censure by national organizations, accreditation by Middle States and disrepute for the university;
  • Of note
  • There is a call for presentations for “CIT 2012, THE POWER OF CONNECTIONS,” a conference that will be hosted by Stony Brook University between May 29 and June 1, 2012 dealing with the following themes:
  • Connecting: Building Communities & Bridging Campuses
  • Innovative Instruction: Supporting Academic Excellence & Students Success
  • Education Pipeline: From Development through continuing Education
  • Mobile: Anytime, Anywhere, Any Tool
  • Open everything
  •  DISCOVERY, AN UNDERGRADUATE SHOWCASE, an undergraduate student research symposium sponsored by the SUNY University Faculty Senate and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges that will be held in the Legislative Office Building, Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY on February 29, 2012.