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Arts and Sciences Senate
Minutes – February 16, 2009

I. Agenda: Approved

II. Approval of Minutes from November 24, 2008

III. Report from the College of Arts and Sciences (J. Staros)

  • The budget is still very unclear and these statements are not solid
  • The Provostial area received an 8% cut while the administration received a 15% cut. The college of arts and sciences will absorb about half of the 8% cut. 
  • This means a 20% reduction in TA allocations or approximately 36 lines will be lost.
  • The mid year financial situation is slightly in the black but this is because some of the cuts have been delayed
  • Most likely the hiring freeze will remain in effect in practice and staff will not be rehired.
  • The College still has no budget target.
  • One of the best ways to pressure Albany is to insist that 100% of the tuition increase be returned to the campuses rather than simply 10 or 20%.

IVa.  Report of the University Libraries (C. Filstrup)

  • Budget: 50% Personnel and 50% Collections. 
  • The budget for collections remains intact while the budget for personnel suffers from many of the problems facing the college.
  • The budget for obtaining books needed for classes is intact.
  • The role of the library in the internet age is changing very rapidly
  • There needs to be a shift from "Pride in Ownership" vs. "Pride in Access" meaning that a good research library should strive to provide online access to materials rather than owning all materials.
  • Electronic Journals (especially) in the sciences are paid for by subscription to an Aggregator. The traditional responsibility the research library for preservation is eroding.
  • Online Science Journals has been profitable to the publishing industry and the costs have increased. This increase in the cost of supporting the sciences has hampered the growth in the print collection essential to the humanities.

IVb. Report of the Writing Program (E. Hammond) 

  • The Writing Program is changing their model on how to teach. Currently students take two courses during their freshman year Writing 101 and Writing 102. The Writing Program has implemented two elective courses Writing 301 and 302 aimed at junior year students.  Writing 301 is aimed at teaching writing in business, sciences, and health sciences while Writing 302 is aimed at teaching critical writing.  The Writing Program hopes to shift from two courses in the freshman year to one course in the freshman year and one course in the junior year. Writing 301 and 302 are a test of this model
  • The new model could catch transfer students
  • The program has implemented a special section of Writing 101 to help address the needs of ESL students.
  • The program is implementing a 200 level course on grammar.

V. President's Report (R. Ben-Zvi)

  • The issues associated with Bio 203 at Southampton have been resolved. The issue was that the faculty members on the main campus felt that the professor teaching this course at Southampton was not necessarily qualified to teach this course at the same level as it is taught on the main campus. The issue was resolved by assigning the instructor at Southampton the role of recitation instructor. Students in Bio 203 on the Main Campus and Southampton will take the same exams.
  • The School of Journalism voted to affiliate itself with the College of Arts and Sciences and  now has a new senator
  • The Linguistics department now has new senators.
  • An amendment clarifying procedures to incorporate new units into the College of Arts and Sciences was introduced to the University Senate. An electronic vote will come shortly after technical issues are worked out.
  • This senate meeting took place on Presidents day. Perhaps the senate should be more mindful of this holiday in the future.