CAPRA Meeting, February 4, 2011


Denise Snow, Gene Katz, Darren Chase, Norm Goodman, Melanie Bonnette, Bill Godfrey, Jackie Collier, Paul Bingham, Benjamin Hayashi

Budget Discussion
CAPRA will meet with the Provost in two weeks to discuss the way in which the administration is planning to deal with the current budget situation.  Mark Maculaitus  will meet with the Committee on March 4th  to discuss the state of the budget at that time, when more specific information will be available..

Norm Goodman provided an overview of Governor’s budget:  SBU will sustain a $12-14 million cut, which is in addition to the $10 million cut from last year that is still to be managed.   The entire direct support of New York State’s to the three state hospitals will be eliminated, which means a cut of $55 million for the Stony Brook Hospital. In addition, there is an estimated reduction of $10 million in Medicaid payments There has been some speculation that if that if there is no substantial restoration of these funds, Upstate and Downstate Hospitals will have to close their doors in about six months.  Governor Cuomo’s budget also proposes reducing the spending authority for  use of “pass through funds for the L.I. Veterans Home by $4.7 million and an estimated reduction in Medicaid payments of $4 million, as well as a 10% cut in Bundy funds to the private colleges and universities—equal to the percent reduction in SUNY.  The only good news is that Governor Cuomo has proposed easing a number of the cumbersome and costly regulatory restrictions that will allow SUNY to operate more efficiently and thus save some money.  Also, he proposed easing the establishments of “public-private partnerships” that would also allow campuses to generate funds—especially the University Centers, which have strong research faculty and programs—and has not cut TAP funds.

Given the actions in response to last year’s budget cuts that preserved the academic budget as much as possible, it is not expected that that can be continued to meet the current budget crisis.  Consequently, we can expect cuts in the academic sector, in particular, of adjuncts, and the possibility of combining, restructuring, and/or eliminating academic programs.  Also, given the current financial crisis in New York State (a $10 billion + budget gap), it is deemed unlikely that the Legislature will provide any significant restoration.

Governor Cuomo specifically ruled out an increase in tuition, presumably, it is reported, because he believes that it would violate his “no new tax” pledge.  However, the SUNY Student Assembly have come out in favor of a modest, predictable tuition increase as had been proposed in the PHEEIA proposal last year.

We may need to plan a call to action and will address this after meeting with Provost.

Subcommittee Reports

Flow of Funds
No report

There apparently is a proposal to turn Southampton into an “Arts Campus.”  The subcommittee should meet with Provost Kaler or his designee to discuss this proposal and its implications both for the Southampton and the Stony Brook campuses.

MA/MS Programs
Committee has had difficulty in obtaining student evaluation of programs. In general, this information is not collected by the Alumni Office, although it is collected at the UG level.

What strategies can we use to obtain grad evaluations? It was suggested that we contact students using their e-mail addresses based on information in the Alumni Office. However, apparently, the Alumni Office may not have the current e-mail addresses for most graduates.  Since some departments keep track of their graduate students, it may be possible to use these departments to contact their graduates.

Ben Hayashi volunteered to join this subcommittee.

Strategic Planning
The subcommittee met with Yacov Shamash, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  CEAS is engaged in significant entrepreneurial planning, especially in the area of bio-engineering, and is working to bring more private companies into CEWIT.

The School of Journalism is building up its online courses, and seeking to secure additional grant funds as its major grant is winding down.

The subcommittee was asked to meet with each of the deans, if necessary, to elicit from them the details of the plans that have resulted from the strategic planning process.

School of Business
The School appears to be financially stable at present.  The subcommittee believes that the dean, Manny London, will complete his strategic plan this month, and will ask him for a copy for its review at that time.

Other business

Norm urged the subcommittee chairs to expedite their work, and to focus on “deliverables,” so that CAPRA would have a detailed report with concrete recommendations, where possible, for action by the University Senate before the end of the academic year.