University Faculty Senate –166th Winter Plenary Meeting

                                    January 23-25, 2014—SUNY Albany
                                   
Submitted by Georges E. Fouron

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

Theme of the Meeting: no overarching theme.

Highlights

  • The President’s Report—Peter Knuepfer
  • Executive Committee Report and Introduction Resolutions—Edward Feldman, Vice president/Secretary
  • Nominations Committee meeting for candidates to the post of Secretary
  • Report from Nominations Committee—Edward Feldman, chair
  • Sector Sections
  • SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall
  • Diversity Matters—Noelle Chaddock Paley, SUNY Cortland and Phillip Ortiz, Empire College
  • SUNY Networks of Excellence—Timothy Killeen, president SUNY Research Foundation
  • SUNY Budget Report—Robert Haelen, Interim CFO
  • The Provost Report—Elizabeth Bringsjord, Interim Provost
  • Sector Reports and Discussions with Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • Presentation by Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges—Tina Good, President
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Terry Price, President
  • CUNY University Faculty Senate—Terry Martell, Chair.
  • UUP Report—Jamie Dangler, Vice-President for Academic Affairs
  • SUNY Works (Statewide internship and Co-op Initiative)—William Ziegler, Binghamton University
  • Committee Reports
      • Diversity Committee—Noelle Chaddock Paley
      • Ethics Committee—Carlie Phipps
      • Governance Committee—Shelley Mozlin
      •   Graduate and Research committee—Rebecca Marinoff
      • Operations Committee—Ed Warzala
      • Programs and Awards Committee—Dennis Showers
      • Student Life Committee—Kelly Donaghy
      • Undergraduate Committee—Barbara Brabetz
  • Resolutions
  • The President’s Report

In his report, the president addressed the following points

    • Open SUNY.
      • He stated that while this initiative offers faculty an opportunity to “leverage on-line education in better ways,” he warned them to remain vigilant regarding the ways in which the curriculum may be forced upon them through what he referred to as “canned curriculum.”
      • He addressed issues related to the quality of the on-line courses.
    • Seamless transfer
      • He stated that actually, 1100 faculty are involved in reviews and evaluations of the transfer paths that had been originally developed in 38 majors. These faculty members are using the SUNY Learning Commons as a communication mechanism to determine what changes may be needed to the existing paths. It is his hope that these initiatives will spur further collaboration across the system and will encourage discourse across disciplines.
    • Start Up NY
      • The president stated that he is concerned about the lack of consideration regarding SUNY’s academic mission in the public discourse regarding this initiative.
      • He is pushing to have the various CGL become involved in the development or, at least, in the review of the campus plans. The following are the areas of concern:
        • The selection process and qualification of businesses to operate on campus.
        • The alignment of the University’s academic and research and the objectives of these businesses.
    • Teacher Education
      • On behalf of UFS, he has made it clear to the Board of Trustees that “neither the process nor the content of the BoT’s resolution on admissions standards for teacher education programs are acceptable to the Faculty Senate,” although he is convinced that it is a fait accompli.
      • The second area of concern is the implications of the edTPA initiative on students and on demands for changes to our curriculum.
      • Although UUP has been more engaged in that issue than UFS, he wants UFS to become more engaged in that topic as well in close collaboration with the Union.
    • LICH and SUNY Downstate
He stated his concern regarding the impact these two issues can have upon the SUNY System as a whole because the potential liabilities can be devastating for the University.

    • Governor’s Initiatives
      • The governor, in his State of the State address, made several announcements regarding several SUNY-based initiatives. Most prominent among them is the call to establish a SUNY College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity, without providing any details on its funding and operative modalities.
      • The governor also made known his intention to offer full scholarship to SUNY to students who graduate in the top 10% of their class and who intend to major in a STEM field and who agree to work for at least five years in the state. Again, the governor provided no details on the implementation of such a proposal.
      • The governor also requested a new round of NY SUNY 2020 funding, but tied explicitly to the STRAT-UP NY initiatives.
      • What is somewhat troubling to the UFS president is that the governor introduced the BoT’s Chairman, Carl McCall, as former governor and not as Chair of the BoT, he did not mention anything related to the SUNY hospitals, and failed to even mention SUNY by name in his speech.
    • State of the University
      • The Chancellor delivered her fourth state of the University address on January 14. However, besides the official launching of Open SUNY, she did not announce a laundry list of initiatives as she had previously done. She did emphasize, however, some of the ongoing initiatives, such as SUNY Works and the RF Networks of Excellence.
    • Board of Trustees
      • In addition to being consumed with LICH-related issues, the BoT has approved requests regarding a change of degree authorization so that SUNY Delhi can move forward to offer an online MS degree in nursing education.
      • The Academic Affairs Committee of the Board has received a very detailed and insightful report from the Provost’s staff on graduate education at SUNY.
    • Additional activities
Regarding his pledge to visit all of SUNY campuses to talk with faculty governance groups about SUNY-wide initiatives and to learn about their concerns, President Knuepfer stated that so far he had visited half of the campuses and plans to visit the remaining half in the coming weeks.
    • The UFS president had a joint meeting with the Executive committees of SUNY EFS, the Faculty Council of Community Colleges (FCCC), and CUNY UFS on January 10 in New York City.
    • During that meeting, they learned about each group’s particular problems and issues, the initiatives they are taking to address them.
    • That encounter led to very fruitful discussions regarding the role of the faculty in governing the curriculum.
    • These three leader are moving toward issuing a joint statement on faculty control of the curriculum, which will be presented to the rank and file for endorsement.
    • President Knuepfer launched an invitation to the body to attend the First Annual SUNY Voices Conference on Shared Governance entitled “Shared Governance for Institutions of Higher Education in the 21st Century: Beyond Stereotypes,” which will take place in Albany on April 23-24.
    • UUP and UFS will meet in March to coordinate their actions and initiatives.
  • Executive Committee Report and Introduction Resolutions—Edward Feldman, Vice President/Secretary
  • Ed Feldman, VP/Secretary, introduced the following resolutions:
    • Resolutions on Seamless Transfer Path.
    • Governance Committee at Alfred.
    • The recognition of faculty of distinguished ranks.
    • Nomination of the new VP/Secretary.
    • Ed held a meeting with those senators who are serving their second term to invite them to either run for the position or to encourage other qualified senators to do so.
    • As a result, 5 (five) qualified senators declared their interest to run. However, to avoid discouraging more potential candidates the names of those interested to run were not revealed.
  • Sector Sections
  • Start-Up NY
  • Concerned about the impacts companies that take advantage of the START-UP NY initiative may have upon the academic mission of the various campuses, members of the University Centers expressed their apprehensions vis-à-vis their ability to block the acceptance of those enterprises that may not be in line with their campus’ academic goals.
      • They were also worried and concerned about the appeal process when faculty oppose their presence on campus.
      • They were also concerned about the lack of consultation between the administration and the campus communities, the selection of space, time, and common mission when these industries invest in these campuses.
    • Some expressed their apprehension regarding the separation between Albany University and the Nano Tech unit.
    • Issues regarding the Research Foundation and Graduate Education were broached.
    • Issues related to the Research Matrix and SUNY Refresh were also addressed.

  • SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall

  • In his presentation, Chairman McCall explained to the audience the mission of the BoT and the way it functions. He presented them as follows:
  • To oversee the University.
  • To establish policies.
  • To play an advocacy role.
  • In addition, the Board promotes
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • It works through its various committees
  • In addition, he called upon the UFS to lobby newly elected New York City Mayor De Blasio
  • To close LICH, which is hemorrhaging money
  • To support the charter schools
  • Chairman McCall also sang the praise of shared governance.
  • During the questions and answer he
  • Bemoaned the underrepresentation of certain groups in the teaching profession.
  • Emphasized the needs for higher standards in teaching.
  • Declared his support for the Common Core initiatives.
  • Declared his commitment to promoting high standards in higher education and to improve its image.
  • Accused De Blasio of taxing the other campuses to pay for and save LICH—he called De Blasio initiative to keep LICH open the “De Blasio Tax.”
  • He also denounced De Blasio’s initiative to tax the wealthy to provide general pre-school education in New York City.

  • Diversity Matters—Noelle Chaddock Paley, SUNY Cortland and Phillip Ortiz, Empire College
  • The presenters’ charge was to answer the question: What makes diversity count? In presenting their response, they argue that diversity
  • Addresses the concerns of the non-mainstream populations.
  • Promotes cross-cultural competence in both students and faculty.
  • Facilitates interactional diversity.
  • Promotes effective teaching.
  • Engenders effectiveness in university service.
  • However, they cautioned, it should not be
  • A top-down mandate.
  • A tool that administration utilizes to promote its own agenda.
  • Established as an initiative to compete with the existing diversity initiatives, but to complement them.
  • The panel offered the following suggestions:
  • All campuses should establish a diversity unit in their governance body.
  • They should have a comprehensive and well-staffed office of Diversity.
  • They should all have a comprehensive “Campus Diversity Plan.”
  • They should all map and assess diversity outcomes on their campuses.

  • SUNY Networks of Excellence—Timothy Killeen, President SUNY Research Foundation
  • President Killeen announced Governor Cuomo’s initiative to implement the first of four (4) SUNY Networks of Excellence to promote and support increased research collaborations between SUNY and industry partners to spur commercialization activities. Called the “SUNY 4E,” this initiative will focus on changes in energy, the environment, economics, and education. This new initiative is part of STRAT-UP NY, incubators “Hot Spot,” the New York State Capital Fund, and the NYS Innovation Network. The goals of these initiatives are to promote, nurture, and support entrepreneurship, spur economic development in the state, in addition to offering researchers the opportunity to bring their ideas to market through public-private partnership.
  • Although this initiative targets most especially the STEM areas, he is mindful that the Arts, Humanities, and the Social Sciences should also be made part of that equation.

  • SUNY Budget Report—Robert Haelen, Interim CFO
  • The 2014-15 allocates $4.2 B to the operation of the sixty-four (64) campuses and System Administration.
  • No additional state tax support was provided for collective bargaining costs, or any initiatives requested in the 2014-15 SUNY Budget Request.
  • Cornell Extension program lost the $300K that the state legislature had appropriated to it.
  • The Rational Tuition Plan of NY-SUNY 2020 received $95.0 M.
  • Funding was reduced by $2,209.6 as a result of legislative action. The areas affected are as follows:
  • $994.2 K from the Advance Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN).
  • $632.4 from Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
  • $333.0K from the Marine Lab at Stony Brook.
  • $250.0K form Cornell Veterinary College.
  • Operating summary
  • The 2014-15 executive Budget recommends state tax support totaling $468.7M distributed as follows:
  • $448.6M for Base operating Aid/Funded Full-Time Equivalent (FTE).
  • $3.0M for the NY Job Linkage Funding
  • And additional $300K in the Department of Labor’s budget related to the Job Linkage initiative.
  • $11.6 M for Rental Aid.
  • $1.9 M for Contract Courses.
  • $1.7 M for Higher Needs programs.
  • $1.0M for Child Care, reduced by $653K from 2013-14 enacted budget levels due to removal of legislative addition.
  • $940.0K for Support for Low Enrollment Colleges.
  • Funding for the Graduate, Achievement, and placement (GAP) Program ($1.7M) provided in the 2013-14 enacted Budget was removed, and no funding was made available for the FIT Chargeback ($7.8M was requested), or the requested $3.0 requested for the Job Linkage Fund.
  • The Provost Report—Elizabeth Bringsjord, Interim Provost

The interim Provost made the following announcement:

  • Seamless Transfer
  • A group of 1,153 faculty members are participating in Seamless transfer.
  • A 100% of the campuses are participating in the customized version of the “audit tools degree works.”
  • Degree Works provides campuses important analytical information on student transfer.
  • OPEN SUNY
  • Has dramatically expanded access to higher education to many students.
  • Has raised the completion rate of students significantly.
  • Prepares students for success in their lives and careers and contributes to the economic success of New York and the Country.
  • Teacher preparation
  • The SUNY Teacher and Leadership Education Network is going well.

  • Sector Reports and Discussions with Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • The Hospital Sector
  • Representatives of the Upstate Medical Center inquired as to when the search for the president will start.
  • Soon was the response.
  • Does the University plan to privatize the University hospitals?
  • Although not answered directly, it seemed that it is possible because
    • Of the difficulty in turning them around.
    • Of their high level of liabilities.
    • They are a drain on the system.
    • The BoT is considering that possibility.
    • Everything is on the table.
  • The Tech Sector
  • They inquired about the list of the names of those faculty members who participate in seamless transfer.
  • They inquired about the online MA at Delhi
  • They inquired about the quality Open SUNY online education.
  • The University Centers
  • They expressed their concerns regarding Start-UP NY.
  • They refuted the theory that purports to support that if campus government interferes with the initiative before a decision is made, it will interfere with the implementation of the initiative.
  • They expressed their concerned regarding the neglect that the Arts, Sciences, and the Humanities may suffer regarding the craze shown vis-à-vis the STEM areas.
  • The Chancellor gave her full support to the integration of the Arts, Humanities, and the Social Sciences in the STEM initiatives.
  • She wants faculty involvement and participation in Open SUNY and Seamless Transfer.
  • The GCL
  • She wants and expects their participation in Shared Governance.
  • Comprehensive Colleges
  • She supports the initiative that requires candidate in the various teacher education program to have a 3.0 for admission.
  • She supports more innovation in the teacher preparation programs.
  • Specialized Colleges
  • She supports the initiative to merge IT with Nano Tech.
  • She discussed Alfred’s situation.
  • Contrary to her previous appearances at the UFS, this time, she did not make a formal presentation. Rather, she presented video excerpts of her “State of the University” speech and invited interested parties to go on line to see it.
  • During that presentation, she emphasized “The Power of SUNY.”

  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges—Tina Good, President
  • She mentioned her commitment to lower the number of students who are attending remedial programs.
  • She is actively lobbying the legislators to have the $½m cut in child care restored.
  • She spoke about the need to increase the quality of the teacher education programs.
  • She spoke about the initiative to promote shared governance.
  • She communicated to the audience the importance of the seamless transfer initiative.

  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Terry Price, President
  • At their last plenary meeting, the Student Assembly passed the following resolutions:
  • Textbook affordability.
  • They support FCCC’s initiative to regain the $1/2M in child care the community colleges had lost.
  • Protection for whistle blowers who report students’ excessive drinking, drugs use, etc.
  • Blood donor equality so that LGBT people can donate blood without facing discrimination.
  • Advocacy agenda
      • In-state tuition for vets.
      • Increasing base aid for students.

  • CUNY University Faculty Senate—Terry Martell, Chair
  • He spoke about the successful outcome of the lawsuit regarding the Pathways initiative.

  • UUP Report—Jamie Dangler, Vice-President for Academic Affairs
  • She spoke about the need for UUP and UFS to work together on a number of important issues that affect us all and in similar fashion.
      • Budget, funding level, EOP cut, Open SUNY.
      • Hospitals:
        • Privation is a real threat;
        • The medical school-hospital compact needs to be strengthened.
        • The refusal of the state to fund the negotiated raises agreed upon in the last contract.
        • The defunding of our institutions.
  • The exploration of the possibility of creating an endowment for the University in the face the loss of state support.
  • Issues related to teacher education.

  • SUNY Works (Statewide internship and Co-op Initiative)—William Ziegler, Binghamton University
  • This a SUNY initiative to connect students to real life learning through internship. Stony Brook is a member of the compact.


  • Committee Reports
  • Diversity Committee—Noelle Chaddock Paley
      • The need to promote diversity in the curriculum
  • Ethics Committee—Carlie Phipps
      • Anti-rape on campus program.
  • Governance Committee—Shelley Mozlin
      • Start-Up NY
      • Presidential review on shared governance
  • Graduate and Research Committee—Rebecca Marinoff
      • Sustainability in the curriculum
  • Operations Committee—Ed Warzala
      • Violence on campus policy
  • Programs and Awards Committee—Dennis Showers
      • Conversations in the discipline program.
  • Student Life Committee—Kelly Donaghy
      • Veterans
      • Textbook cost
      • Bullying and rape on campus
      • Whistle blowers
  • Undergraduate Committee—Barbara Brabetz
      • Admissions standards
      • Open SUNY
  • Resolutions
  • Seamless Transfer Paths—passed
  • Participation of Alfred and Cornell University in the Process of Recognizing SUNY Faculty for Distinguished Achievement—passed
  • The Status of the New York State College of Ceramics—passed