University Senate Meeting
February 1, 2016
I. Approval of Agenda
II. Approval of December 7, 2015 minutes
III. Discussion with President Stanley (S. Stanley)
IV. Discussion with the Provost (D. Assanis)
V. Plenary Session Report
VI. New Business
VII. Old Business
December 7, 2015
I. Approval of tentative agenda: approved.
II. Approval of minutes from November 2, 2015: approved with corrections from J. Sanders: A student died, not passed away. He also asked to include “I did not see President Stanley at either funeral just across the Island on the South Shore. It’s not far away”.
III. Senate President’s Report (E. Feldman)
- One of my Goals for this year was improving communication. I want to thank those who communicated with me about ways we could improve communication. The next is to have a one or two page on summary of the actions of each senate meeting. I have spoken with USG about having this summary printed in Statesman and being able to post this on the University Website. M. Schedel and D. Pappas volunteered to write this summary.
- Feldman expressed deep sadness about the San Bernardino shootings. I’ve spent a career trying to understand human behavior and I don’t understand this. If you are not already signed up with SB Alert please sign up today for your own safety should there be an active situation at Stony Brook.
- You got a broadcast email from the President about initiatives to improve the diversity on campus. The President’s Office is taking the lead in this but I pledged to the President that the University Senate will be support his initiative concerning action plans to improve the diversity of the faculty, professional staff and students on campus but more of the subtle examples of how we can improve in our culture of diversity.
IV. Election of Senate President (F. Walter)
- It’s important to have a strong leader of the University Senate. The Executive Committee is charged with presenting a slate of candidates for the office of President of the University Senate and is pleased to re-nominate Dr. Feldman. No other nominations from the floor were submitted, so he is running unopposed.
- F. Walter passed out paper ballots.
V. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)
- Congratulated Provost Assanis on his new post as the next President of the University of Delaware. He will be leaving Stony Brook in July. Stanley expressed his personal appreciation for everything Dennis has done for Stony Brook University for more than four years. He has done an outstanding job as Provost and is a tireless worker. We are in the process of vetting search firms for a new Provost. We want a diverse pool and would like to hire a new provost before Dennis leaves.
- Robert Megna has been appointed as the Senior VP for Finance and Administration and will be starting on January 19th. Thanked Matt Whelan for being Interim VP for Facilities.
- On November 21st we kicked off our capital campaign for Stony Brook University. Congratulations to Dexter Bailey and his team who put it together. We announced that we have a $600M campaign have already raised $426M.
- He announced that he has started visiting each academic department which he also did when he first arrived at Stony Brook. These meetings have been very productive. Common themes are that people are concerned about finances, graduate student stipends and critical maintenance. Talked a lot about diversity at the faculty and staff level. Welcome your input and ideas in terms of actions, things we can do to improve the campus climate and make it more accepting for everyone.
- J. Sanders: It was very good to see you out with the students at Black Lives Matter. Nicholas Scibetta is doing a wonderful job bringing the communications of the university into the 21st century. In light of a front page article of the NY Times yesterday about the University of Tennessee and other universities that are getting kickbacks and other financial incentives by the people who have contracts to do catering or provide food services on campus, is there anything you want to tell us that is not in the frequently asked questions of the Faculty Student Association? About the new dining partnership? S. Stanley: The FSA contract went through a very extensive process – a procurement essentially. One that is well documented and I think is quite clear. Students were actively engaged in this contract since students are the prime recipients and pay for the food services. I know of nothing that was untoward in that contract - nothing that would make me be concerned. I have heard concerns about the quality of what is being provided. We have intensive contact with Sodexo about the quality of what they are providing.
- J. Sanders: At the last meeting, I asked about Cullen Roncal, a Chemistry and Molecular Engineering major, who died in a car accident. There was a wake and funeral just across the Island and I noticed you were not there. I’d like to know if there is a procedure concerning your attendance at funeral services for students. My students and I have called the parents of every student who has died at this university over the past 3 ½ years. “In short to answer your question about Dr. Stanley’s involvement was no, Dr. Stanley did not send any condolences to us. Nor did he attend out daughter’s funeral. Having said that, I’d like to share that the Office of the Dean of Students, especially Dr. Timothy Ecklund, was wonderful.” Could you explain? S. Stanley: First of all, I am deeply concerned to hear that you are contacting parents of deceased students of Stony Brook University. I think the death of a child is an intensely personal thing. It causes tremendous suffering. I can’t imagine myself because I’ve never had to undergo what it is like to lose a child and to be called by someone representing themselves as part of the University.
J. Sanders: I call people all the time.
S. Stanley: I’m appalled that you are doing this.
J. Sanders: I’m appalled that you aren’t going to funerals.
S. Stanley: I think you are missing the point. What we do in this situation is the right thing to do which is to respect the wishes of the family to make sure we are doing what the family wants during this difficult time. Many families don’t want any engagement from the University. In some cases, Dr. Ecklund may have known the student. I feel these losses as I think everyone on the campus does. The priority is to respect the wishes of the families and will continue to do this. I say it again to everyone here that I find it intrusive, invasive and completely inappropriate for you to be contacting people who have lost their child, to call them to ask them a question about whether the President of the University attended the service. I think it is completely inappropriate and I condemn it and I want everyone to know that I condemn it.
J. Sanders: I’m glad that is how you feel. The President of the United States writes a handwritten letter to help family grieve. Why don’t you?
S. Stanley: Again, we respect families and their wishes. That is our goal and that is what we will continue to do and I would ask you to do the same thing and respect the families at a time of their loss and not re-open these terrible wounds for a completely unnecessary purpose.
VI. Election of Senate President (F. Walter): Results: F. Walter: Dr. Edward Feldman has won re-election as President of the Senate for the next two years. E. Feldman: Thank you for your vote of confidence. This is a much busier and comprehensive job than I ever envisioned. I am honored that you would like me to help lead this group for another two years.
VII. Discussion with the Provost (D. Assanis)
- Congratulated Dr. Feldman on being re-elected.
- Thanked President Stanley and the Senate.
- Starting January 25th Jun Liu will be the new Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Dean of International Academic Programs and Service. He is an outstanding scholar in the field of linguistics. Dr. Jun Liu is Associate Professor for International Initiatives, Chief International Officer, Director of the Confucius Institute and a Professor of Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University. Thanked the members of the search committee.
- Responsibilities previously held by Dr. Richard Reeder (Interim Deputy Provost) and Dr. Axel Drees (Vice Provost for Budget and Planning) have been reassigned to Dr. Stella Tsirka (Deputy Provost and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Mary Remmler (Associate Vice President for Academic Budget and Financial Planning).
- A total of 15 Faculty and Staff have been honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. Six new Full Professors who have been inducted into Distinguished Professorships. Fourteen students honored with SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Two faculty members became honorary Professors.
VIII. UUP Report (C. Gizzi)
- The individual professional development awards announcement went out this week. Application deadline is February 10, 2016. Awards up to $1,000.
- Negotiation survey is online. She encouraged members to suggestions to the negotiations team.
IX. Alumni Engagement (M. Colson)
- We’ve had great progress over the years since my arrival 3 ½ years ago.
- We have developed stability, continuity and programming with our Alumni base by weaving them into the fabric of Stony Brook.
- Staggering growth in engagement. Alumni want to connect with faculty and students. They want professional and career opportunities and lifelong learning. We have delivered that aggressively.
- We have over 6,000 alumni volunteers. Greatest interest is in the admissions and the career development component.
- Alumni Career Services: 223.2% increase from last year (total alumni engaged).
- In 2015 the Alumni Association awarded $30,000 in student scholarships and awards.
- Great growth in social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin and Instagram).
- What’s next? Stay focused on what works. 52% of alumni are also participants in the Annual Fund.
- How can you participate? Tell us when you are giving a public talk and we can invite alumni to attend. Ask for alumni experts from out Alumni Speakers Circuit. Share time to meet with alumni during your travels in our “Great Minds” program. This is a flexible and casual way to meet.
- M. Schedel suggested a google form to sign up.
X. Club Red: E. Feldman: Last Club Red was last Friday at the Simons Center. The committee is working on the spring calendar. We do not yet have a venue for the spring.
XI. Active Shooter Film and Discussion (E. Olson)
- A video on Active Shooters and how to prepare and react was shown. Video is available on the website.
- We do not advocate fighting an active shooter. Use a common sense approach.
- Average response time is 12 minutes. University Police have much quicker response time. SWAT takes 15 minutes.
- Our officers are trained like outside police.
- We have a campus siren and a voice capable fire alarm in case of emergencies.
- If there is active shooter leave all your belongings. When law enforcement arrives, keep your hands visible, fingers separated.
- Phone number for University Police is 333 or 911.
- University Police have the same standards as off campus police.
P. Bingham: There was a piece on 60 minutes last night on state drug enforcement officials that are flipping students, forcing them to act as confidential informants against other students creating and accelerating web of entrapment for petty drug offenses. I presume we are not engaged in any such thing here. E. Olson: It does not occur here. I am available to do this presentation in any of your departments or classes.
X. Old Business: no old business.
XI. New Business: no new business.
Meeting Adjourned at 5:03pm