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University Faculty Senate –161st Spring Plenary Meeting
April 19-21, 2012—SUNY Geneseo

Submitted by Georges E. Fouron
Stony Brook Senators in attendance: Ed Feldman, Georges Fouron, Daniel Kane Gillespi, and Norman Goodman
The President’s Report—Kenneth P. O’Brien

  • The Provost’s Office Report—David Lavallee, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • SUNY Finance Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial Officer
  • Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kaitlyn Beachner, President
  • CUNY University Faculty Senate Report—Sandi Cooper
  • Resolutions
  • The President’s Report

In his report, the president addressed the following points:

  • The news is relatively good, with a continuation of state funding at last year’s level;
  • Two areas received an increase: the compensation for the community colleges was raised $150/FTE and the three SUNY hospitals will receive approximately $30milllion more than they received last year
  • The Governor has provided $30million, to be matched by SUNY, for three $20 million development grants to the comprehensive colleges;
  • Long-term multi-year planning is becoming possible with the degree of fiscal stability that is being established

Chancellor’s Agenda

  • The “Power of SUNY” initiative is being promoted by the chancellor;
  • SUNY is moving from planning to doing to effectuate the goals outlined in the “power of SUNY”;

Student Mobility

  • For almost forty years, the “seamless transfer” of AA/AS has been in the making;
  • Since 1998, the new SUNY GER has served as a basic template for much of the coursework that students on any and all SUNY campuses would undertake in the first two years;
  • Five years ago, the Joint Committee on Transfer and Articulation created two appeal processes for the transfer of academic credits, one that could be initiated by a student, and the other by a campus;
  • Few students and even fewer campuses have used these processes;
  • Three years ago, the Provost initiated a complex process that again relied on organized system-wide faculty committees (30) charged with identifying four to six foundational courses in their disciplines;
  • Despite all these initiatives, the system does not work smoothly;
  • In the end, we are a long way from approving a blanket transfer of “all SUNY AA/AS degrees”;
  • We are also a long way from having a fool-proof system that meets the promise of “seamless transfer” in every instance for every student;

General Education

  • In her State of the University address, the chancellor committed the system to the “complete transfer of a SUNY AA or AS degree to satisfy gen-ed requirements at a SUNY four-year institution”;
  • The Faculty Council of Community colleges (FCCC) urged that we move immediately to a “full evaluation” of the SUNY general education program, arguing that it should be subject to periodic review;
  • The University faculty Senate (UFS) has demurred for the following reasons:
    • The lack of information regarding the changes campuses may or may have put into place in the past two years since the SUNY GER initiative was revised by the Board of Trustees;
    • A concern that any process, unless very carefully drawn and limited, could result in new, different gen-ed requirements emanating from System Administration;
  • Currently, the UFS has agreed to jointly support the Provost’s Office collection and evaluation of information needed to better understand the current state of SUNY GER across the system and its impact on student mobility;
  • The FCCC has asked the UFS to participate in a meeting next fall that will examine the best ways of evaluating general education;

SUNY’s Charter Schools and the Educational Pipeline

  • SUNY has authorized more charter schools than any other agency in New York;
  • The SUNY charter schools outperform other public schools in their respective areas and the Institute is considered a national leader among authorized agencies;
  • The UFS does not consider itself well informed enough about the charter school movement to have an opinion about it, it consider this initiative to be terra incognita;
  • The Provost’s Office Report— David Lavallee, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

He indicated that he is focusing his attention and efforts on the following points;

  • Student mobility;
  • Capacity to respond to students’ needs;
  • Strategic enrollment agency:
    • Employment after graduation;
    • Post secondary education;
  • Campus facility master plan:
    • Perspectives of each campus;
  • On-line Learning:
    • On-line learning v. on-line education—Empire State College;
    • The courses that are not offered on some campuses, yet are needed by the transfer students can be offered on line;
    • Encouraging more on-line degree programs;
    • On-line collaboration between two or more colleges to offer these degrees;
    • Completion of beyond graduation
    • Alignment of courses;
    • Tally of courses offered on line by the various campuses
  • Remediation
    • Evaluate the different ways students are being assessed;
    • Establishing the best way to assist students who need remediation;
  • Announcements:
    • The result of the faculty survey will be published soon;
    • The librarians have met with him and they have warmly embraced the “shared services” initiatives;
    • When saving and storing documents, analog is more stable than digital. The rate of deterioration for analog is one percent in 50 years, the rate for digital is just five years;
    • Due to the increasing cost of storing and retrieving materials for student use,—$40 per year per student—it it may be necessary in the near future to charge students a new tech fee for these purpose;
  • SUNY Finance Report—Brian Hutzley, Vice-Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial Officer

2012-13 Enacted Budget Overview

  • The 2012-13 budget is a flat one with small increases for certain collective bargaining costs;
  • University-wide program realignment recognized;
  • Base aid increase for the Community Colleges of $150 per FTE to a total of $22.1millio;
  • $653 restoration for child care;
  • Joint SUNY/CUNY study on costs and charge backs to be submitted by September 1, 2012;
  • $27.8 million support for the three SUNY hospitals—that sum will be distributed evenly among them;
  • $2million in grants in the Department of Health’s budget to support the hospitals;
  • $550million in critical maintenance for the educational facilities—the 5th of five installments;
  • No additional capital funding for 2012-13;
  • No additional bonds financed for 2012-13;
  • $45million in pay as you go appropriation;
  • Alternative solutions for lack of capital appropriation for residence halls are being explored;
  • Realignment to support SUNY priorities such as EOP & EOC;
  • Performance based funding:
    • SUNY was selected to become a member of Lumina Foundation;
  • Administrative cost savings initiative:
    • SUNY will shift 5% of annual administrative spending to services that directly benefit students over the next three years;
    • This initiative will generate $100million to bolster student support services;
    • Each campus will be asked to provide plans on how they plan to invest the savings they generate;
    • The plans will be reviewed by system administration for its approval;
    • The plans are expected to cover the following areas:
      • Strategic Sourcing;
      • IT transformation;
      • Transaction processing;
      • Campus alliance networks and administrative alliances;
  • Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

The Chancellor did not present a formal report. Rather, she led a question-answer discussion with the audience. Those are the points she addressed

  • Shared services at the highest level;
    • Campuses must redirect administrative resources into the academic sector;
  • IT consolidation: better networking within and among campuses for better and more efficient functioning;
  • Extract the most resources from the federal government. Actually, the University reports to the federal government in 14 areas and this is not an easy task to achieve;
  • How to secure funding from the state legislature;
  • Hospitals:
    • She will put together a group to look into their survival. The group will involve the department of Budget, the Department of Health, the Governor’s office, in addition to the parties concerned;
    • Non-paying, Medicare, and Medicaid patients;
    • High-risk patients
    • Competition from other hospitals—St George university in the Caribbean is paying hospitals up to $50,000 to take their graduates;
  • Campuses will have to show evidence that campus governance participate in the decision making process;
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President

She reported that

  • At Nassau Community College, the faculty passed a vote of no confidence to the president;
  • FCCC supports the resolution to repeal “Pathways,” CUNY transfer initiative;
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kaitlyn Beachner, President

She reported that the SUNY Student Assembly passed the following two important resolutions

  • Support for the Dream Act;
  • More support for campus mental and health services;
  • CUNY University Faculty Senate Report—Sandi Cooper

She also stated that

  • Pathways presents a threat to General Education;
  • The faculty supports its repeal
  • The faculty demand more consultation and more openness for an effective shared governance;
  • Resolutions:
  • Resolution to amend eligibility criteria the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by removing the word “clinical” from eligibility limitations;


  • Resolution to amend the criteria for Distinguished Librarian eligibility regarding length of service;


  • Resolution to amend criteria for distinguished Librarian eligibility to increase the eligibility of community college librarians;


  • Resolution to establish a new Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Shared Governance. The appropriate committee has drafted a Shared Governance Award description similar to the descriptions of existing Chancellor’s Awards;


  • Proposed resolution to establish a new Chancellor’s Early Career Award;

Returned to committee for fine tuning

  • OF NOTE:

Ed Feldman, Stony Brook Senator from the East Campus, was elected UFS’s Vice President/Secretary—CONGRATULATIONS ED

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