A JOINT STATEMENT
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
UNIVERSITY FACULTY SENATE & UNITED UNIVERSITY PROFESSIONS

We are the representatives of the faculty and professional staff of the State University of New York and we speak today with a single voice -- representing the University Faculty Senate and United University Professions--in expressing no confidence in the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

We address this Resolution to the Governor and to the Legislature and to the People of the State.

We also address this resolution to the State University of New York community - faculty and
professional staff, students, administrators, and alumni.

We do so because we believe that State University of New York - the people's University - is at a crossroads in its history, and that the Legislature and the Governor must exercise together their stewardship for State University of New York.

As faculty and professional staff, we affirm our commitment to the Mission of the University:

To provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population, in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational post secondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary.  These services and activities shall be offered through a geographically distributed comprehensive system of diverse campuses which shall have differentiated and designated missions designed to provide a comprehensive program of higher education, to meet the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students and to address local,
regional and state needs and goals.  (Mission Statement, Chapter 552, Laws of 1985).

We note also that the policies of the Board of Trustees state that:

The University faculty shall be responsible for the conduct of the University's instruction, research and service programs.  (Article VI, Sect. 3).

The faculty of each college shall have the obligation to participate significantly in the initiation, development, and implementation of the educational program.  (Article X, Sect. 4).

The Senate shall be the official agency through which the University Faculty engages in the
governance of the University.  The Senate shall be concerned with effective educational policies and other professional matters within the University.  (Article VII, Title A).

We note further that United University Professions is the recognized collective bargaining agent for the faculty and professional staff with respect to salaries, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.  (Article 1, 1995-1999 Agreement between the State of New York and United University Professions).

The University Faculty Senate has always worked to foster and maintain a cooperative relationship among faculty and professional staff with the Board of Trustees and System Administration staff in order to strengthen the teaching-learning process and the overall quality of the State University of New York.  This cooperative spirit was demonstrated repeatedly by such initiatives as Mission Review, Distance Learning Panel, and the Final Report of the Joint Task Force on General Education.

It is our solemn responsibility, our professional obligation, and our moral duty to speak for the University when we believe its integrity, its governance, its reputation, and its ability to serve its students, and the people of New York is impaired by the actions of the Board of Trustees.  Never before have we so spoken and we do so now only from the deep conviction that the University is in a time of great jeopardy.

We believe that the Board of Trustees is not fulfilling its stewardship of the State University of New York.  On numerous occasions the Board of Trustees has been neither collegial nor collaborative.  Its action are imperiling the university.  We lay before the Governor, Legislature, and the public the following particulars:

The Board of Trustees has failed in its responsibilities by:

Allowing ideological views to dictate the academic direction of the University;

Diminishing the University as a comprehensive system of diverse campuses;

Failing to advocate for strong financial support of the University;

Seeking to significantly disrupt the public mission of high quality health care delivery to the people of the State of New York by attempting to remove State University of New York's teaching hospitals from the University;

Failing to conduct fair and open searches for the most senior administrative positions in the University and disregarding affirmative action guidelines.

Violating its own policies (Article 10, Section 4; Article 7, Title, A) by imposing a mandated general education policy for all campuses without the direct involvement of legitimate faculty representatives, chief academic officers, or presidents.

Disregarding well established practices of consultation, communication,  and open
discussion within the University community and with the Board of Trustees, and excluding the legitimate representatives of the faculty and professional staff.

We the University Faculty Senate and the United University Professions consider these actions of the Board of Trustees to be harmful to the functioning of State University of New York as a quality system of public higher education, and damaging to its reputation and standing in the academic community.
 
We believe this Board of Trustees has also disregarded the public's support for public higher education in the State of New York.

In light of these actions, and in the most solemn and urgent terms, we declare that we have no confidence in this Board of Trustees.  We call for the immediate appointment of a new Board of Trustees that will properly carry out the statutory mission of the State University of New York.  We call upon the Governor and the Legislature to restore support for the State University of New York.

 

Adopted By:

Campus/Chapter:__SUNY Stony Brook________Date:__April 5, 1999_____