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University Senate Meeting
February 1, 2010
3:30 p.m.

I. Approval of Tentative Agenda: approved.

II. Approval of Minutes from December 7, 2009: approved

III. Senate President’s Report (M. Schwartz)

  • SUNY Conversation taking place on Feb. 4th, 2010. Theme is energy. There will be an open forum at 8:30 a.m. in the SAC Auditorium. This is your chance to address your concerns.
  • Hotel project: a lot of issues have been raised. Nothing tangible has developed. Apparently the way the Seqra Law is written, it contains a clause that says no Seqra investigation is necessary if ground lease is granted by legislative act. However the University has initiated its own environmental impact investigation. Do not know if there will be community hearings.
  • Provost Kaler is in Korea continuing Songdo negotiations.

V. SUNY Plenary Session (B. Godfrey)

  • Plenary Session held in Cobleskill.
  • The Chancellor, Acting Provost and Chief Operation Officer are very supportive of shared Governance. They plan to consult more with faculty.
  • The Senators unanimously supported the PHEEIA Act. They felt it would be extremely beneficial to SUNY.

VI. Provost’s Report (B. Lindquist)

  • PHEEIA: Governor’s proposed NYS Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. Authorizes the boards of trustees for SUNY and CUNY to implement a responsible and rational incremental tuition policy. Abe Lackman will speak about this in length today.
  • Proposed Budget cut to SUNY is $137 M. SBU will get a $30 M cut with $10 M assigned to the Provost. The Provost is working with Deans to determine assignment of cuts.
  • Update on Songdo: SUNY Central and SBU in discussions to use the Songdo facility to establish gateway programs. Working with Departments of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Teach and Society to begin offering programs in fall of 2011 (possible intensive English courses). The DEC will be organized in a manner similar to SB Southampton – central theme will be globalization.

VII. President’s Report (A. Lackman, SBU Rep in Albany)

  • Three years ago Governor Spitzer created the Rollins Commission. The Commission consisted primarily of the Presidents of SUNY, CUNY and a handful of private non-profit universities in NY. The focus was basically to say that SUNY, being the youngest public university in the US (which had made great strides), was starting to hit a wall in terms of going further. The commission came out with a host of recommendations put were not put forth for legislation in wake of Governor Spitzer’s resignation. The Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed the act. The Rollins Commission reform recommendations came before what is now known as the great recession of 2008. There were a set of recommendations in terms of flexibility and giving the SUNY system and CUNY system the ability to set its own tuition. Chancellor Zimpher got the unanimous support of all the presidents to endorse PHEEIA. There was a sense of urgency in this with the budget cuts.
  • Stony Brook Recognition: Top 1% of world universities, Top 50 public schools in US News and World Report, and SB and UB only two public universities in NYS to be members of AAU.
  • Nearly 25,000 students. Among the most diversified and economically disadvantaged student body in the AAU and SUNY.
  • Poised to go where we want to go – top 10 public universities.
  • Budget, faculty/staff deficit, revenue limits, lack of flexibility and over-regulation are holding us back. Only 23% of the budget comes from the State. Consequences of faculty deficit: Class size and class availability. Total of 704 class sections cut for 9/10. Research and Development lags.
  • PHEEIA Components:
    1. Procurement and Operations Efficiencies: Eliminate Duplicative State Comptroller/Attorney General pre-approval of SUNY, CUNY and Constr. Fund contracts. Broadens SUNY access to the Office of General Services centralized contracts for goods and services.
    2. Land use, public/private partnerships and construction fund: Authorizes SUNY to enter joint ventures and public/private partnerships. Land leases to include minority and women’s business enterprises, prevailing wage, union worker rights protection, reverter clauses and project labor agreements. Authorizes SUNY Board to accept gifts of real property.
    3. Tuition Policy and Financing: SUNY Board must adopt a tuition policy that is fair, equitable, predictable and responsible. Allow for differential tuition by campus and/or program. Invests all tuition, fees, and other self-generated revenues in SUNY campuses, students and faculty.
  • Close the TAP Gap – hold our most economically disadvantaged students harmless and increase access.
  • PHEEIA will create jobs and build foundations for tomorrow’s economy and strengthen higher education while saving millions of taxpayer’s dollars.
  • SBU PHEEIA ten-year projections: 400 new faculty, 600 new staff and 3,000 new students.

VIII. UUP Concerns (K. Southerton)

  • The SUNY mission is key. If some of the Governor’s proposal comes to fruition, we risk the status of becoming less of a public institution. The question would be how would we be different from a private institution? If indeed students take on the greatest burden of the tuition then they are responsible for keeping this institution afloat with less state support.
  • Every year when the Governor’s budget comes out, the UUP prevails upon the legislators to restore funding. Often times they do. If the legislator no longer has oversight, to whom do we ask for extra funding? State support has decreased year after year.
  • There are some components of PHEEIA that the UUP is in favor of. One is the pheeia would authorize the State University Construction Fund to use alternative techniques and methods to increase construction bond requirements. UUP is also in support of the authorization that the university purchase goods without the pre-audit approval of the Comptroller.
  • There are some concerns on the leasing of property. There is very little oversight.
  • Urging people to get more information and find out the details before jumping in to support this proposal

IX. Old Business: no old business.

X. New Business: no new business.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Submitted by:

Laurie Theobalt

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