CAPRA Meeting, November 12, 2010

Attending: Paul Bingham, Jackie Collier, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman, Benjamin Hayashi, Gene Katz, Joan Kuchner

First, some bad news.
Provost Kaler is likely leaving soon to become president of U Minnesota. Good for the Golden Gophers, but probably not for us.

Also, SBU has a mid-year budget cut to deal with another $3,286,600 in base funding. This is a result of another $23, 250,000 allocated to SUNY in Governor Paterson’s budget that was supposed to be eliminated via union “give backs.”  Those “give backs” never materialized.

Reports from CAPRA subcommittees

No new information.  The subcommittee will wait until the current lease on 301 Park Avenue South expires on December 31, 2010 and then resume its assessment of the academic advantages and financial viability of this enterprise.

Strategic Planning
The subcommittee met with Dean Squires of the College of Arts and Sciences, but didn’t get much insight into strategic planning because of the demands of short-terms tactics for managing current budget cuts, primarily focusing on ways to preserve the academic programs and avoid faculty and staff layoffs.  The subcommittee will be meeting Dec. 8 with Dean Shamash of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  There was discussion about whether this subcommittee should try to ‘get out front’ on strategic planning, particularly in eliciting the administration’s thinking of the likely impacts of different actions like across-the-board cuts versus targeted cuts/eliminating programs (as is in the University at Albany) versus combining departments/programs.  A possible first step for this kind of analysis by the subcommittee would be to gather some essential data comparing enrollments to resources, and to meet with as many department chairs as possible to get their thoughts and assessment of the various options.

The subcommittee is planning to work with Alumni Relations and Career Development offices to develop surveys for students and alumni of these new or newly expanded programs to lay the basis of a cost/benefit analysis from the students’ perspective.  Also, the subcommittee will be working on ways to assess cost/benefit to departments and existing programs (especially Ph.D. programs).  It is not yet clear whether these analyses will have to be very discipline-specific or whether some common evaluation metrics will emerge.

No new details; the transfer of programs announced last spring is still in court.

College of Business
It is not clear how Kaler’s likely departure will affect their strategic planning process. The College of Business is planning to grow to 400 MBA students in a couple of years. Questions arose about how the lack of accreditation affects these students’ job prospects, and whether the College is still doing its own career tracking for its graduates. 

Flow of Funds
No report.

Report of the Coordinating Council Meeting of November 8, 2010
Libraries are still in transition, under the guidance of an interim dean, who is under budgetary pressure from many sides, not least of which is the price gouging of journal publishers.  There was a suggestion that the most effective way that is likely to stop this price gouging would be for a number of major universities and/or university systems to use their combined leverage with the publishers to insist on a more appropriate pricing system.  There was also mention of a movement afoot in academia to increase online publications of faculty and to use these online publications in promotion and tenure decisions, effectively weakening the bargaining position that publishers now have.

There was some controversy of reputed bias of the previous survey of administrators that found strong dissatisfaction with a particular administrator. Consequently, the Administrative Review Committee is in the process of preparing a new survey to address that concern.

The apparent lack of transparency in student fee assessments and expenditures is being investigated by the Student Life Committee. It was suggested that the CAPRA Flow of Funds subcommittee may be able to help them with the budget information that is currently has or is in the process of obtaining.

The Advancement and Alumni relations offices are in limbo and desperately need permanent, effective leadership. A resolution to that effect will be drafted to encourage the administration to resolve these issues. 

New Business
Dean Kaushansky will meet with CAPRA March 18.