November 6, 2006
I. Approval of tentative agenda – approved
II. Approval of Minutes from October 9, 2006 – approved with corrections to the Library Report.
III. President’s Report (S. Kenny): (written report after minutes)
President Kenny discussed the actions of the Department of Health and the Newspaper articles about the Hospital.
IV. Provost’s Report (R. McGrath): (written report after minutes)
Announced the Consortium on Integrative Environmental Research Initiative (see Provost’s report). The Siemens Science Competition in Math, Science and Technology announced the regional finalists. Of the 89 regional finalists, 34 were mentored by Stony Brook, Faculty. Dr. Miriam Rafailovich mentored 28 of those students. The 21st annual Student/faculty/staff retreat was held this past weekend which Jerry Stein organized. This year the retreat focused on transfer students. Fred Preston started the retreat back in 1985.
V. Turkana Basin Institute (J. Fleagle):
The Turkana Basin Institute is a proposal for Stony Brook in conjunction with Richard, Meave and Louise Leakey to create an international research institute to facilitate and support research and education in paleontology, archaeology and geology in the Turkana Basin of East Africa. The Institute will have its academic home base at Stony Brook. This will be done through a creation of a series of field stations for research and training in Eastern Africa though the development of an academic center for research, education and fund raising at Stony Brook and will also involve other institutions as well. The National Geographic Society, in conjunction with Stony Brook, will develop an internet portal for the Turkana Basin Institute.
The Turkana Basin Institute will be an independent unit within the University. It will supplement current faculty research and training of undergraduates, graduates and postdocs. Globalization is also very important. Most educational institutions are making immersion in a foreign culture an essential part of undergraduate training. The Turkana Basin Institute will facilitate and provide numerous opportunities for Stony Brook undergraduates to experience African cultures. We are hoping to establish faculty exchange programs with African Universities.
Through major fundraising (with the help of Richard Leakey), we have secured 1.5 million dollars for phase I of the development of the Institute. An endowment of approximately 20-30 million will be required to have the Institute fully endowed and self-sustaining. There is every reason to believe that this can be achieved within ten years.
VI. Campus Climate Report (A. Jordan, C. Law and C. Peabody)
A. Jordan: A copy of the Draft Report and Action Plan of the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate is available at: www.stonybrook.edu/sb/climate.shtml. We would like to encourage you to engage in the next phase of this project. This by all means is not the finished product. We arrived at this point as a result of the 2004 study done by Carolyn Peabody on the climate of the campus. President Kenny commissioned a Task Force that included approximately 75 faculty, staff, and students on campus working on 5 different subcommittees. We did review about 12 different reports from 1997. We wanted to respect previous work done by the University. We fashioned the subcommittees on what jumped out at us from those reports.
We have kept communication open throughout this process. We have engaged people all along the way, not just committee members but the Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, etc. to get input into this project. We wanted to 1) put together something that made sense; 2) have things that are doable; and 3) that we get some advice and wisdom from the people who would eventually help us. Everything thus far has been productive and very positive.
C. Peabody: Encouraged everyone to take a look at the draft report. This week we will be pounding the pavement to let the community know that this is out there. We are holding several town hall meetings on both sides of the campus, including Tech Park. Everyone has a voice in this process. You will notice that this report has a series of recommendations on employment issues. This is a great concern for many individuals in terms of their own status as an employee, as a faculty member, increased diversity on campus, etc. Please pay particular attention to these issues as it relates to the whole community.
C. Law: Wanted to emphasize that this report is about climate—we all know what it is like to come to work everyday. You have good days and bad days.
Looking at studies and reports that were referred to earlier, we found that all too many people on campus experience bad days. The Campus Climate Task Force has been working hard to try to develop recommendations in the 5 different areas that are going to increase the number of good days. It is really important that as you begin to read the report that you encourage everyone to do the same. This is not just for administrators. This is about the entire campus and it is about changing organizational culture. We are trying to move the culture to one that essentially affirms that this is an incredible University.
A. Jordan: You will find in the report a technique we call a mapping process. The mapping process is where we encourage on-going institutionalization of the action items contained in the Task Force report.
VII. Report on SUNY Faculty Senate Plenary Meeting in Buffalo (T. Smalling):
Highlights of the Plenary Session: A bill was signed by Governor Pataki placing the President of the Faculty Senate on the SUNY Board of Trustees as a non-voting member. Chancellor Ryan spoke briefly on expansion of SUNY’s globalization efforts currently in China and other countries such as India. He would like to see expansion of the international curriculum programs. Dr. Ryan spoke about faculty leadership initiatives, the smoke-free ban and approving the budget for next year. He continues to push for a rational tuition plan.
Everyone is cautiously optimistic about the budget, especially since we have a new Governor. They usually cut back on the budget for the first two years of their term. The Governor can appoint the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. There are two positions opening up next year. John Cremins and Candace de Russy.
The Student Assembly President spoke and the students are overwhelmingly opposed to a campus-wide smoking ban and the most vocal students came from Stony Brook. They are, however, in favor of smoke-free dorms (85% of the dorms are now smoke-free).
Three resolutions were passed:
1. Resolution on Enhancing SUNY Access to Electronic Databases; 2. Resolution on Orienting and Mentoring New Campus Presidents; and 3. Resolution in Support of the Addition of the FCCC President to the SUNY Board of Trustees.
VIII. Senate President’s Report (B. Lane):
The standing committees are doing well. They have an advisory roll with regard to the administration. This interaction can be very useful. The Executive committee has met with some of the Chairs in the past couple of weeks and they have good projects that they are working on. We want to publicize this by putting the topics they are covering and their decisions in an ongoing way so you can see what they are accomplishing. Not all of the committees are active. The Research Committee doesn’t actually function. If you are interested in being a member and are interested in the problems of managing research, interacting with administration on research, getting more research money, etc., please let the Senate Office know. This is one of the biggest research institutions in the country and it is kind of a joke that its faculty senate doesn’t have an active and prosperous committee dedicated to research.
Another idea that we are discussing: everyone knows that smoking is unhealthy for the person who smokes and bad for the people around them. You really have to help people quit. It is not that easy to stop smoking. There are organizations such as the American Cancers Society and the Lung Associations which have developed good teaching techniques on how to quit smoking. We thought it would be a good idea if the Senate adopted a program of education on how to quit smoking. It would be good to have the resources available for the campus community. We are just proposing this and would like to get some ideas.
J. Kuchner: Donna in the EAP Office has a lot of valuable resources to help people.
P. Lombardo: Most of us believe that nicotine is a drug and that a just say no program without a preventative program and a patient education program side-by-side is a useless exercise into driving smoker into stairwells.
B. Lane: I would like to make a motion to approve the Plan for Strengthened Campus Based Assessment of General Education for 2006-2009 that Manny London discussed at October 9th Senate meeting.
N. Goodman: I move to accept the report.
B. Lane: All in favor?
Motion passed without dissension.
Meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.