University Faculty Senate –162nd Fall Plenary Meeting

                                    October 25-27, 2012—SUNY Oswego
                                   
Submitted by Georges E. Fouron

Stony Brook Senators in attendance: Norman Goodman, Ed Feldman, and Arthur Shertzer, and Georges Fouron.

Theme of the Meeting: Resource Allocation Tool (RAT)

The meeting’s main goal was to look into the Resource Allocation Tool (RAT) model utilized by SUNY Central to dispense resources to the various campuses. One among the main concerns of the senators was to make sure that as resources are distributed to the various campuses, the small ones are not shortchanged by the allocations the university centers receive.
Highlights

  • The Executive Committee Report
  • The President’s Report—Kenneth P. O’Brien
  • SUNY Retirees Service Corp Update—Ram Chugh, Executive Director
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kevin Rea, President
  • The Provost’s Office Report—David Lavallee, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • SUNY Finance Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial  Officer
  • Sector Reports with Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • Various committee reports

   

  • The President’s Report

In his report, the president addressed various points. Namely

  • The 2012 budget and beyond. In his report, he mentioned “that there is stable funding, at least in terms of tuition, which will keep rising at modest, predictable rates.” However, there are areas of concern. Among them
    • In using a new tool, RAT, for the allocation of resources to the various campuses, some campuses may be affected dramatically, with at least two campuses losing up to 20% of their current allocation, if the current model were to be fully implemented;
    • The numbers have not been set in stone, nor has the implementation process;
    • The timing and sequence of RAT will be crucial for all the campuses;
    • Consistent adequate funding for our hospitals remains a challenge, especially for Upstate and Downstate that serve populations with large percentage of patients without private insurance;
    • Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements continued to be reduced, while the cost structures of the hospitals exceed those of the other hospitals in the region;
    • A $75million of bridge funding for the next two years was secured from SUNY, (NOT the state);
    • Consulting contracts have been negotiated for a thorough review of the hospitals’ mission and range of services;
    • At Downstate, a substantial number of hospital employees, approximately a thousand, have either lost employment or have received notice, as per contract, that their positions could well be eliminated next year;
  • Shared Services.
    • The summer reports were submitted from the six campuses paired into administrative alliances, namely Canton—Potsdam; Morrisville—SUNY IT; and Delhi—Cobleskill;
    • SUNY issued its first report on the savings that had already been identified.  According to the Chancellor, $6 million had been saved in the first year of the program, out of that amount, $2.5 million came from three administrative alliances; 
    • To date, there has been no change in the administrative structures of the three paired alliances;
    • Canton has an interim president, Potsdam’s president remains in place, Dr. Wolf Yeigh continues to serve as president of SUNY IT as well as officer-in-charge of Morrisville College, as does Dr. Candace Vancko, the president of Delhi and officer-in-charge of Cobleskill;
    • Mr. O’Brien’s  expectation is that they will share a common trajectory toward a blended administrative model, with a president for each campus coupled with a shared administration;
    • The former president of the University Faculty Senate, Dr. Ed Warzala, has joined the Shared Service Steering Committee, which gives faculty and professional yet another voice at the table when crucial issues concerning the University are being discussed;
  • Systemness.
    • It comprises a wide variety of initiatives, namely, SUNY Works, (which encompasses service learning, internships, entrepreneurial initiatives, and co-ops), student mobility, shared governance, and the continuing movement to integrate the elements in the “Power of SUNY” throughout the system;
    • A review of General Education, spearheaded by the FCCC, is being addressed;
  • Board of Trustees
    • The board has re-created two committees, a Charter School Committee and a Community College committee;
    • At its last meeting, the board passed a number of resolutions that covered its normal business, including the appointment of a number of our colleagues to the Distinguished ranks and the approval of several new academic programs;
    • Former Chancellor Clifton Wharton was appointed Chancellor Emeritus;
    • It has requested from the University of Buffalo a thorough assessment of the UB Shale Institute, the selection of its director, the publication of its first report, and the involvement of the natural gas companies in the formation of the institute;
  • SUNY Retirees Service Corp
    • Dr. Ram Chugh gave an update of the organization’s activities and encouraged retirees to join the association;
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report
    • Dr. Tina Good spoke about student mobility and the need for the university to create a seamless and smooth transition from the community colleges and the four year campuses;

She also spoke about

    • Remediation;
    • Common core;
    • The transfer of high school classes for university credits;
    • Academic freedom;
    • Shared governance
    • Funding for the community colleges: 1/3 state, 1/3 county, and 1/3 tuition. However, the country and the state have not met their mandate;
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report. Mr. Rea addressed
    • The need to provide safety on the campuses;
    • Full restoration of the budget of the medical centers;
    • TAP for graduate and part-time students;
  • The Provost’s Office Report— David Lavallee, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

He addressed the Student Mobility initiative. The main points of his presentation were:

    • Nationally, students are increasingly mobile;
    • Transfer patterns are increasingly complex;
    • These trends are expected to continue and accelerate;

As far as SUNY is concerned:

    • Transfer is everyone’s business
    • Students should be able to transfer seamlessly at least 60 credits of course work toward the bachelor’s degree;
    • Up to 30 credits of Gen Ed courses in ten subject areas;
    • No need to repeat courses with the same content;
    • Ability to transfer to at least one SUNY 4-year campus;
  • SUNY Finance Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial  Officer (Interim)

He gave a comprehensive overview of the “Resource Allocation” initiative given that the university need to

  • Optimize its limited resources;
  • Be responsive to strategic goals
  • Acknowledge campus differences
  • Be sensitive to each campus and campus retention of tuition;
  • Be rational and data driven;
  • Be predictable and useful for longer term planning;

He spoke about

  • Why a new allocation tool?
  • How is this tool (RAT) different?
    • The need to establish an intelligent tool for allocating funding to assure that is SUNY is nimble and able to adapt and excel in the face of a changing educational and fiscal environment;
    • It works hand in hand with rational tuition and maintain efforts to provide an opportunity for predictability and planning;

  • Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

The Chancellor did not present a formal report.  Rather, she led a question-answer discussion with the audience.  Those are the points she addressed

  • The university will look into the emergence of new forms of publishing on line for full credit toward tenure and promotion;
  • The issue of academic integrity in public and private enterprises;
  • Means to reinstate funds for graduate programs;
  • Partnership with the Research Foundation;
  • Scrutiny to make it more transparent;
  • Presidents’ responsibility to consult with faculty for high administrative appointments and shared governance;
  • Presidents’ responsibility to consult with faculty for high administrative appointments and shared governance;
  • Task force working on shared governance will be established soon
  • Review of SUNY as a system to assess how decisions are made;
  • Since Downstate is critically important, therefore she will do her best to keep it open;
  • No campus should share presidents, each should have its own president;
    • Write to the various campus presidents to alert them of the need to be more open, less secretive, and more transparent in the application of their responsibilities;
    • The inevitability of entering into partnership with the business sector;

  • Committee Reports

    • The Student Life Committee Report
      • Thefeasibility of presenting a conference on incorporating social networking in teaching;
      • The need for creating a Traditions IV;
      • The feasibility of creating part-time on-campus jobs for students;
      • The need to prepare a survey on veterans currently enrolled and on recruiting returning veterans to academia
      • The need to issue a statement on bullying/hazing
      • The need to survey the international students regarding on-campus activities, academic readiness, social life, etc;
  • The Governance Committee
  • Two resolutions of a proposed review of UFS bylaws: one to expand the executive committee and the other to clarify when quorum is obtained during special electronic meetings;
  • Support for CGLs
  • A review of the governance handbook;
  • The need to explore the use of Commons to develop a university-wide faculty caucus
  • The Graduate and Research Committee
  • It will organize 5 new and continuing projects this year: A Sustainability workshop; Boosting the Power of SUNY: Attracting the Best Graduate Students; Boosting the Power of SUNY: A Celebration of Graduate Research; Sustainability in Education;
  • Will present a report on existing guidelines and/or formulation of provisions for integrity and transparency in research at SUNY/RF;
  • Operations Committee
  • Will present a report on shared services
  • Will study the implications of RAT;
  • Will conduct a study on the impact of budget cuts on library acquisitions, access to library resources, and library operations;
  • Committee on Ethics and Institutional Integrity
  • Will conduct a survey of ethics academic activities on all campuses;
  • Was enthusiastic about pursuing policy as a methodology to implement ethical positions;
  • Undergraduate Committee
  • Held a poster presentation in Albany entitled: “Discovery: An Undergraduate Showcase”;
  • Revised the “guide for the Evaluation of Undergraduate Academic Programs”;
  • Plans to address: Undergraduate Research Initiatives, general education and transfer, Open SUNY, the new research allocation model;
  • Shared services;
  • Committee on Diversity and cultural Competence
  • It plans to do or address the following this coming academic year:
    • Conversations in the disciplines;
    • How to make diversity count in employee development and review;
    • Information collection and dissemination;
    • Joint projects with student assembly;
    • Program closures;
    • Supporting companies that do not engage in bias;
    • Ensuring that TAP-gap does not lead to systematic discrimination;
    • Seamless transfer across SUNY;
    • Diversifying SUNY leadership;
    • Faculty diversity program—development workshops;

Program and Award Committee

  • It plan to
    • Present a resolution to amend Distinguished Librarian eligibility criteria regarding length of service;
    • Present a resolution to amend eligibility criteria for Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching to enable the nomination of clinical faculty;
    • Work with FCCC to amend criteria for Distinguished Librarian Award to allow the nomination of librarians form the community colleges;
  • Resolutions:
  • Resolution for support of Downstate Medical Center—Passed unanimously
  • Resolution on the need for transitional funding with new Resource Allocation Tool—Passed unanimously
  • Resolution on collar (Floor) in budget Allocation Model—Passed
  • Resolution on the Necessity for campus president--Passed