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A&S Senate
Tentative Agenda
October 17, 2016



3:30-3:35         President’s Report.  Approve agenda and minutes

3:35-4:00         A&S Dean’s Report:  Film and Creative Writing

4:00-4:20         Cynthia Davidson (FRRPC):  Systemizing Teaching Observations

4:20-4:30         Darren Chase:  Open Access



A&S Senate
September 19, 2016

I.  Approval of tentative agenda:  approved.

II.  Approval of minutes from April 18, 2016:  approved.

III.  President’s Report (M. Schedel)

  • We need a Vice President.  This is my last term.  I have one person who is willing to run.  Please let Laurie know by the end of this week if you are willing to run.  We will be voting by email.  Somebody was asking me if it is in the By-Laws about internet voting because their committee wants to implement internet voting.  We are going to work on the language for the By-laws. 
  • The other position that we need to fill is the floating Senate member on the A&S Executive Committee.  This person has to be available at 3:30 on Mondays.  We meet one week before the Senate meeting.  Minimal commitment but it is important to have a member of the senate. 

IV.  CAS Deans Report (S. Kopp)

  • Virginia Valian comes to campus on Wednesday.  She will be giving a gender equality lecture on September 21s titled:  Still too Slow:  The Advancement of Women.  She will also be giving a series of workshops for faculty and graduate students. 
  • We are looking to twenty-eight new faculty this year.  We had sixteen tenured and tenure-track faculty join the college plus twelve new lecturer positions solidified over the course of this last year.
  • It’s been two years since this group has helped me craft an advancement award for lecturers in the college.  At the beginning of this last year we put out a call for nominations to the title of Senior Lecturer.  Over the summer a faculty committee named the first class of thirteen Senior Lecturers.
  • Twenty-eight faculty were promoted this year including six to the title of SUNY Distinguished Professors including the Emerson String Quartet.
  • Another set of events is something that Howie Schneider started is a series of panels by faculty on the issues being brought up in the Presidential debate as well as student debates.  We will be having five panel discussions and debates from September-November.  Encourage your students to attend.
  • Budget:  CAS had a $6 Mil operating deficit in 2014.  We had spent all of our indirect costs return money in advance of that year for the next year and a half.  This last academic year, 15/16, we managed to get that operating deficit down to $4.8 Mil.  For this year, 16/17, we are projecting a deficit of about $3.5 and that’s not because we are just cutting expenses but we are trying to grow revenues at the same time.   Responsibility for revenue enhancement (or faculty attrition) lies with each department.  It’s going to be an aggressive year for hiring for us.  Twenty-one searches is a significant number.   A couple of these positions are special, being fueled by donor.   There is an Endowed Chair in History and Endowed Chair in the Humanities.   All of this has been contingent on revenues. 
  • Strategic Plan:  When I first came to Stony Brook we did a lot of focus groups and small meetings about what are the values of this place and what are the things that faculty and students find especially important and a lot of that work went into a document that was written by a faculty committee.  We needed more concrete goals.  The document was re-written with input from department or town hall meetings.  We have a mission statement and goals.  Department Chairs did a lot of work over the summer.  The next step is to write implementation plans for each objective – what it is, what it costs, who are the stakeholders and plan a realistic timeline.

H. Nekvasil:   One of your priorities is to increase our research standing but this seems at odds with your wanting to see more teaching in the summer and winter sessions which are prime research times for faculty.  When are we going to have time for research?
S. Kopp:   I would like to believe that I am getting more time to do research by getting more faculty in so that we have more people able to do research.   Departments are getting more creative.
N. Goodman:  I don’t see a clear process for establishing priorities. What is the process by which we as a college determine what the priorities are in terms of what we say our goals and objectives are?
S. Kopp:  We prioritize by virtue of creating a list of twenty objectives and saying that’s too long  and then shortening it down and then the chairs help me with that and even amongst those those saying that this one is more important than that one.  We did priorities certain projects for the coming years.  The Senate was involved at every point. 

V.  Report from the Senior VP for Finance and Administration (R. Megna)

  • I’ve been here for seven months and one of the things I notices was that we don’t really have a budget process.  We need a process to set priorities.  We are working on putting a process together. 
  • We are in an environment where we assumed that SUNY 2020 would go on forever.  We need a budget process that is open and transparent.  Transparency means not only knowing what you are going to get but showing people how you are going to spend it.
  • Facilities:  Labs need to be rehabbed.  There was a mercury spill the other night.  It brings up a lot of questions about space and how it’s getting used or not used.  As far as I know, the equipment that was being moved wasn’t being used and hadn’t been used for a long time.  Mercury spilled and it needed a significant amount of clean up. 

N. Goodman:  How do you take high level strategic planning issues 30,000 foot kind of priorities of the President and the Provost and turn those into realistic or pragmatic ways to actually contruct a budget?  R.  Megna:  That’s got to be part of how you develop the process because I agree you cannot budget just on just lofty statements about like we’re going to improve four year graduation rates.   Of course that is a strategic goal that the President wants to achieve.  How do you take that and turn it into realistic decisions you are making about your budgets that help you achieve that goal.  There is going to be a lot of sub pieces to do that and a lot of practical things you are going to have to do to achieve that without having an effect on budget.  N.  Goodman:  Your statement about transparency is very welcoming.
F. Walter:  I have been here for 28 years and it seems that in all of this time (talking about facilities) we tend to but bandaids on things.  About ten years ago we had a five-year plan master plan for campus.  How do we plan when we can’t count on state money.  
R. Megna:  Capital at state universities anywhere is the State University system is such a good news/bad news story.  Most public universities, the state is not paying for capital in the same way that they do here which is a good thing.  The bad thing is if they decide not to fund it for a few years, we don’t get any.  The state had two big very big SUNY capital programs.  In the 90’s and early 2000’s which amounted to $10 Bil. plus in capital and Stony Brook got a big chunk of that money.  An enormous amount was invested in critical maintenance.  We were averaging  $60-70 Mil. a year in critical maintenance money that was going into fixing  labs, buildings,  pipes, etc.  We spend all of our money.  We have around $26-27 Mil a year.  We clearly can’t keep up with the level of depreciation we have on our assets.  We have to think of other sources of revenue we can use.  We set aside a small amount this year for lab reconstruction.  
C. Haddad:  How does this tie into enrollment? 
 R. Megna:  If you have all these goals about what you want to accomplish, how does it tie into enrollment and how many students you are trying to teach, what does it cost to teach an additional student.  I’m still learning.  Have to put data in a more organized fashion.  Institutional Research is taking a lot of that raw data now and trying to put together in a way so that we can intelligently answer that question.
???:  Regarding transparency, at what point is it possible not to have to send everything up the chain of command?  I was wondering if there are ways of simplifying transparency on both sides so that I’m not having to evaluate all of your budget decisions and you don’t necessarily need to evaluate all of mine.
R. Megna: Of course that would never work if we had to do all of that.
???:  I spend several hours this summer going back and forth with the finance ?? because I spent less on a hotel then she thought I should have and so I had to find the receipts to prove that I was actually there.
R. Megna:  That is a procurement issue which is a nightmare for all of us.  That is a problem of can we make it easier for the people that have to travel.  The state has rules that the people in procurement have to follow.  Need more communication.
S. Kopp:  Bob did have a helpful meeting with several Deans and the Provost around this particular procurement email that Meg referred to (MEG:  what was the email about?) and I sent out a clarification of what I learned from that meeting to the Chairs and I hope that information was sent around.  It spells out what we can do for reimbursement of travel expenses and event related expenses.
A. Samuel:  I believe that you are genuinely interested in avoiding these kinds of problems.  Given that you have the privilege of being on the top of the administrative pile, to what extent can you get other administrators to understand that we actually don't work for them -- that their role is to facilitate our research and teaching missions.
R. Megna:  They know that.  They are constantly berated for following the rules.  When they step outside of their comfort place it puts them in a difficult position.

V.  Discussion of the proposed Department of Film and Creative Writing

M. Schedel:  This is a very preliminary document.  This is the first meeting we are discussing this.  The next meeting, Bob Reeves who has been pushing for this to happen, will be here. 

S. Kopp:  The topic is the Southampton Creative Writing and Film and in the coming months I would like to craft a proposal that we are all content with.  This is a thing that exists.  It’s like sustainability in the sense that it’s inherited by the campus because of our acquisition of the Southampton campus.  They been very successful in creating an MFA in creative writing.  It also has an MFA in Film Production and there is a minor in creative writing.  There is the annual Writer’s Conference down in Southampton and there is a young adult writers project school children in middle schools.  There is also an audio podcast program.  It is like sustainability in that it reports to the Provost’s Office.   How can we situate an academic program inside an academic college which seems to me the logical thing to do.  The College of Arts and Sciences is a natural home.  It is partially funded already and then add substantial revenues it brings in because the external facing programs bring in either tuition or fee based revenues.  There are obvious intellectual intersections with other academic units within the College.  Cleary with departments of English, the program in Writing and Rhetoric, Theatre and ??? Cultural Studies -- all those areas are not the same as but certainly related to and how do we best situate this thing as a separate academic unit so that is doesn’t overlap.  How do we best situate it?  A starting proposal would be that it would be a separate department.  Then we have to carefully craft what is the mission of that unit versus the missions of other units in the college.  Will be holding a set of open meetings over the course of the next month for faculty and staff who are interested.  
N. Goodman:  What happens to the MFA in Film is primarily held in Manhattan?  S. Kopp:  That is correct. The lease is up in February 2017.  The University is exploring other space.  There are a couple of state office buildings that might be available to us.
N. Goodman:  What is Plan B?
S. Kopp:  Plan B for this program would be to have to find a way to, on an individual program basis rent space, and that would make the program much more expensive for students who want to use it and then we have to assess market value all over again.
S. Marsh:  Is it a film ??? class or production?  How many faculty?  S. Kopp:  Inaugural film class.  29 in the fall and 31 in the spring.
S. Marsh?  Is it a Film Program or is it Film Production MFA?  How many faculty and how many students are there currently?  What exists now?  
S. Kopp:  Steve is asking for a little more detail on the scope of the film program.  The inaugural class of the film MFA program started last fall.  There are 10 or 15 students in the program.  They admitted a bigger class for this fall.  
N. Goodman:  29 people in the fall and 31 in the spring.
S. Kopp:  Faculty in the film program are largely visiting artists.  
C. Marshik:  Two points about the process and my concerns.  The University Senate guidelines are really clear on the need to carve out relationships to existing academic units in a proposal and this proposal doesn’t even acknowledge that there are existing academic units with significant overlaps.  I think that’s going to be a serious discussion.  The second point is that I think it would be very helpful to be clear on how that program right now is funded and how it would be funded when it comes to this campus. 
S. Kopp:  The proposal does not spell out overlaps.  It needs to do that.  It’s not a proposal yet.  
???:  The MFA program, for example,  whatever overlaps there may be, they are operating in two separate campuses.
 S. Kopp:  The MFA’s are happening, not on this campus, but either at Southampton or Manhattan.  I don’t mean to say that these things are going to physically move to this campus.  There is a lot of value at having the MFA in Creative Writing in Southampton and the MFA in Film in the City.
S. Kopp:   I want to get back to the second point that Celia raised which is the cost aspect of this.  I myself am getting up to speed on what is the current allocation available to the program, what are the current revenues available to the program and what is the philanthropic support to sustain the program.  
C. Marshik:  Even if this program does not cost us money to run on campus revenue, if they’ve got their own revenue, if you have one arts and humanities unit in the college that is self-supporting and everybody else is part of the college budget process, that is immediately going to be an issue when we talk about how many art seats can we offer in different departments, how many humanities seats can we offer in different departments.  It would put them on a very different basis in terms of their ability to offer classes and our ability to offer classes.  
S. Kopp:  It does have a different tuition revenue sharing because it get credit for things in the ??? semester that the other departments don’t.  It’s certainly my job to do both two things – one to balance budgets but also balance the intellectual distribution of how we deliver our credits.
S. Lee:  Film is interdisciplinary.  Thinking about film from Stony Brook’s perspective is a historical gesture.
S. Kopp:  There is an intellectual connection between the film program and other media courses.
N. Sampson:  I'd like to follow up on Celia's Marshik's points about differences between revenue neutral and expense neutral.   Back in the day there were a lot of hidden costs in Southampton that didn’t roll out directly in the gray book.  There were facilities costs and staffing costs being funded centrally to do work at Southampton.  It's really important that these costs not get transferred to CAS and that we don't end up paying for facilities out there. Has this been addressed? If not, it should.
S. Kopp:  I have not seen facilities costs roll over into anything that has been presented to me.
J. Bono:  Who spearheaded this?
S. Kopp:  This goes a long way back.  The Provost said I want you to know I am trying not to be in charge of academic programs.  That belongs in colleges and he told me about the Sustainability Program.  He also said we need to deal with the Creative Writing Program.  
M. Schedel:  A document will be prepared on what the program/department will be.

Meeting Adjourned.

Submitted by: 

Laurie Cullen, Secretary