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University Faculty Senate –170th Spring Plenary Meeting

April 23-25, 2015—SUNY Plattsburgh

Submitted by Georges E. Fouron

Stony Brook Senators in attendance: Ed Feldman and Georges Fouron.
Theme of the Meeting: None
Highlights

  • President Election
  • The President’s Report—Peter Knuepfer
  • Seamless Transfer and Degree Works Updates—Dan Knox, Director of Student mobility
  • Report on Intellectual Property—Heather Hage, Senior Director
  • Innovation and partnerships-SUNY RF Elize Pusio, Assistant General Counsel SUNY
  • Research at the Comprehensive and technological Campuses: What Can we Do?—Dr. Richard Burke, President Fellow RF
  • Budget Report—Eillen McLoughlin
  • Provost’s office Report—Alex Cartwright, Provost
  • Sector Reports—Alex Cartwright (representing the Chancellor)
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report—Kevin Rea, President
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report—Tina Good, President
  • CUNY University Faculty Senate—Terry Martell, Chair
  • United University Professions—Fred Kowal
  • Open SUNY Report—Ken O’Brien
  • Committee Reports
  • Resolutions
  • President Knuepfer, who ran unopposed for a second term, was elected by acclamation.
  • The President’s Report

In his report, the president addressed various points. Namely

  • His lobbying activities on behalf of SUNY;
  • The 2015-2016 budget
    • Funding for the hospitals has remained at last year’s level;
    • Increased funding for EOP/AIM ($4.4 M extra);
    • Allocation of some funds for salary increase to alleviate the campuses’ burdens, albeit short for what was expected;
    • The establishment of investment and performance fund $18M);
    • Student Loan Forgiveness Program;
    • His efforts and initiatives to have the Board of Regents and SUNY to adopt a clear and comprehensive plan regarding the proposed “Experiential Learning” initiative as a requirement for graduation;
    • The Chancellor’s’ initiative to begin a Presidential Review process of 10 campus presidents to assess and adjust their salaries—Stony Brook is one of the targeted campuses;
  • Seamless Transfer and Degree Works Updates
    • Students have demonstrated a growing interest in the program and SUNY has established a flawless system to assist the students when they apply for course transfers;
  • Report on Intellectual Property
    • Concern sector: patents. Books and other journal publications are not part of this issue;
    • The old system was very ambiguous and failed to address many new concerns that have emerged with the advancement of technology;
    • By October 2015, SUNY will issue new and more comprehensive guidelines;
  • Research at the Comprehensive and technological Campuses: What Can We Do?
    • To encourage research in those areas the SUNY system in encouraging partnership among campuses;
  • The Provost’s Office Report

The main points of his presentation were:

    • After 7 months only on the job, he is still acclimating himself to it;
    • Students should be able to transfer seamlessly at least 60 credits of course work toward the bachelor’s degree;
    • Up to 30 credits of Gen Ed courses in ten subject areas;
    • No need to repeat courses with the same content;
    • Ability to transfer to at least one SUNY 4-year campus;
  • Sector Reports

Salient points:

    • The Comprehensive Colleges stated that
      • “Systemness” is not working for them;
      • The October deadline for securing a share of the $18 Million allocated to “Performance-based Funding” too competitive;
      • The Presidential Review initiative’s timing is too tight;
    • The University Centers
      • Expressed their support for the renewal of NYSUNY 20/20;
      • Asked SUNY to address issues related to open Access Publications and its cost;
      • Asked the state to assess the coast effectiveness of the STARTUPNY initiative since only 76 jobs have been created so far;
      • Expressed their concern regarding the attrition of tenure track lines across the system;
  • SUNY Student Assembly Report: The students expressed their concern regarding
      • SUNY 20/20, which is slotted to expire soon;
      • The quality and effectiveness of academic advisement;
      • The high interest rates student are now paying for their student loans when loan interests, in general, have remained very low for other purposes;
      • The increment of sexual and domestic violence incidents on campus;
      • Specific rules of conducts for students, faculty, and professionals on campus regarding sexual improprieties;
      • How students factor in the Shared governance initiative;
      • TAP for graduate and part-time students;
  • Faculty Council of Community Colleges Report

Dr. Tina Good spoke about

      • Student mobility;
      • Seamless and smooth transition from the community colleges and the four year campuses;
      • Student aid issues and TAP
      • The need to incorporate the students’ voices in the debates that address university-wide issues and concerns;
  • CUNY University Faculty Senate
    • The issue discussed had to do with Pathway, which is the parallel of “Seamless Transfer”;
    • Specifically, the speaker explained how CUNY was able to succeed in its opposition to the initiative;
  • United University Professions
    • The president of UUP emphasized the need to organize a united front among the various parties that have a vested interest in SUNY;
  • Open SUNY Report
    • The need to bring the campuses’ perspective to SUNY Central;
    • Concerns with On-line courses’ quality and academic honesty;
  • Committee Reports
    • Governance: Academic Freedom concerns;
    • Operations:
      • White paper on budget transparency;
      • Mergers and Acquisitions and New Business model for the university;
    • Diversity:
      • Intent to organize a diversity survey across the system;
      • The need to disaggregate the diversity numbers provided by the campuses as many of them are counting their foreign students as fulfilling their diversity mandates;
      • Initiatives regarding the “Ban the Box” movement—the goal is to have the campuses refrain from asking prospective students to reveal information regarding their felony convictions, if they have them;
      • Concerns regarding racial profiling on campus and campus policing;
  • Resolutions:
    • Support for graduate research for SUNY undergraduate students who wish to attend graduate school—Passed
    • Resolution on Open Access Publication—Passed
    • Statement on shared governance of curriculum and pedagogy—Passed
    • Renewal of SUNY 20/20—Passed
    • Petition to the US Congress, asking for full funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic sciences—Passed
    • Presidential Evaluation—Passed
    • Family and Medical Leave Evaluation—Referred to the Executive Committee for further fine-tuning and clarification;
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