CAPRA MEETING, NOVEMBER 7, 2008

MINUTES

Attending:  Paul Bingham, Kevin Brady, Alan Calder, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman, Luigi Longobardi, Daria Semegen, Larry Wittie

The meeting began at 2:35 P.M.

Budget update

The Democrats are now charge of both houses of the Legislature and the governorship, but that is probably not good for SUNY since they traditionally favor New York City over upstate New York and Long Island.

Governor Paterson called for a special session of the Legislature on November 18th to try to deal with an estimated $1.5 billion budget for this fiscal year. It is uncertain what the level of any proposed budget cuts might be and whether and how they will affect SUNY. There was some suggestions of a tuition increase for the next academic year, but how much is still uncertain. If it is on the order of about $720, a figure that has been mentioned, the most vulnerable students would be able to have their TAP raised to cover all but $70.00 of it. There was a mention of a possible tuition increase in spring. Also it was noted that each 1% increase in tuition will bring in $1.1 million in revenue.

There is talk in SUNY of an effort to change SUNY’s status as a State Agency, which subjects it to the same across-the-board budget cuts as agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Corrections Department. Norm noted that this is a long term issue and that people at several levels of SUNY are working on it.

At present, there are no plans for retrenchments. The Governor indicated that there is an expected $12.5 billion shortfall for next year and a $47 billion shortfall over the next 4 years.

SUNY has indicated that $71 million of the $96 million cut approved by the Legislature for this year will have to be absorbed by the individual campuses; under the usual formula for distributing budgets (and cuts) to the campus, Stony Brook’s share of this $71 million cut would be $9.5 million.  The actual allocation of this cut to the campuses has not yet been made so there are no concrete plans yet on how this cut will be dealt with at Stony Brook.

There are several notable events that will take place regarding the budget situation.  On November 19th, the Undergraduate Student Government has scheduled a rally from 1 to 2 P.M. on the SAC Plaza.  UUP will be holding a Town Hall budget meeting at noon on November 20th and the Campus Budget Advisory Committee is considering scheduling a Town Hall Meeting on the budget during Campus Lifetime on December 10th, , when more information will be available.

Paul Bingham. brought up issue of need to play hardball with government on these budget problems. Norm reported that SUNY has been quiet publicly since it found out that when an unnamed state agency complained about its budget cuts it was cut proportionally higher than other state agencies. However, Norm indicated while SUNY and campus officials may be inhibited from speaking out against the budget cuts, students and their parents are not, and they may well be an effective group to get SUNY’s message across the decision makers.

It is clear that whatever the cuts this campus makes, they should not mindlessly be applied equally across the board. That position seem to resonate with members of the Campus Budget Advisory Committee since, at its meeting last week, the members of the group “all nodded in vigorous agreement to Norm Goodman’s comment that as an institution, we need to figure out how we will suffer but still maintain our core academic mission and preserve our safe and caring campus environment for all.”

Stony Brook Learning Space Policies and Procedures

After some discussion about this policy that Graham Glynn discussed with the committee at its last meeting, the group approved sending it to the Executive Committee for approval and submission to the University Senate though some additional issues were discussed.

Daria Semegen raised the issue of the need to get appropriate software for scheduling rooms. At present, there is no user-friendly computer access for faculty to know whether any particular room has been reserved or is available for use, or to make a reservation for it. Paul reported that such a computer program currently exist in the Medical School.  It is important, also, to know who is making the choice of necessary software since it currently doesn’t seem to be adequate.  Daria also made the point that the people administering these room assignments need to solicit periodic “grassroots feedback” to truly understand the needs of instructors using these rooms. Norm indicated that he would make these points in his submission of the committee’s recommendation to the Executive Committee. 

West Campus Space Survey

There was a substantial discussion of Brent Lindquist’s presentation at the last committee meeting on the details and use of this survey.

The committee was clear that the Provost’s Office needs to develop a formal and transparent policy for the allocation of relevant campus space. And though CAPRA has no interest in micromanaging the decisions on space allocation, it should be consulted in the formulation of this policy and be able to review decisions based on this policy before they are made final.

Larry Wittie brought up the point that in order for CAPRA to play a useful consultative role, it is important that it has access to the raw data of the West Campus Space Survey as well as the methodology of the survey (e.g., how lab space and soft money are accounted for). Consequently, Norm will ask Brent to make the raw data available, whether collected by his office or by Barbara Chernow’s office.

Subcommittees

Bill Godfrey provided the committee with a written report on Southampton at the meeting.  Norm mentioned that the issue of governance at Southampton, which related to faculty hiring and promotion decisions as well as to curriculum matters, has not been duly considered by governance.  The subcommittee was urged to follow up on these matters.

Norm asked that each member select a subcommittee to join.  The membership of subcommittees (after this meeting and subsequent communications) is as follow:

Southampton:  Bill Godfrey, chair, Susan Lieberthal, Luigi Longobardi
M.A. Programs: Irene Solomon, chair, Melanie Bonnette, Alan Calder, Joan Kuchner, Daria Semegen
 
Flow of funds among offices: Larry Wittie, chair, Kane Gillespie
College of Business: Paul Bingham, chair, Kevin Brady, Alan Tucker, Jane Yahil

The charge of each subcommittee is evident in its activities last year and is detailed in the 2007-2008 Annual Report of CAPRA to the University Senate Executive Committee.  Norm will resend that report to all committee members

New Business
  
Alan Calder will write a memo to the University Senate’s Research Committee concerning the use of IDC funds. He will be specific about difficulties encountered in attempting to
secure matching funds for a big proposal earlier, and ask that policy concerning IDC be made public and that the committee confirm that any policy that exists is being followed.

The meeting ended at 4:00 P.M.