University Senate Meeting
February 9, 2015
I. Approval of Agenda
II. Approval of December 1, 2014 Minutes
III. Update on Facilities (B. Chernow)
IV. Report of the President of the Senate (E. Feldman)
V. Discussion with President Samuel Stanley (M. Whelan)
VI. Report on the Budget (E. Crosson)
VII. Discussion with Provost Dennis Assanis
VIII. Report from the Undergraduate Council (A. Tucker)
X. SUNY Faculty Senate Winter Plenary Report (F. Walter)
XI. Report from UUP (A. Shertzer)
XII. New Business
XIII. Old Business
December 1, 2014
I. Approval of agenda: approved.
II. Approval of minutes from November 3, 2014: approved with corrections made to IV. Third bullet. Jonathan Sanders raised the question about whether the minutes accurately reflect the discussion. He pointed out that the question he raised at the last Senate meeting was about payment for a lecture by Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein. He states that he did not ask about the Provost or Professor Lecture series. Also omitted was the figure $300,000 which is Mr. Bernstein’s reported salary. President Feldman asked that Professor Sander forward any corrections to the minutes. He went on to describe the current procedure in developing the minutes for senate meetings. An audiotape is made. The Senate Secretary tries to summarize to the best of her abilities. The University Senate Secretary/Treasurer and the Senate President review the minutes and will try to improve the accuracy of the minutes. There was a discussion about suggestions for improvement. One suggestion would be to do them verbatim, but concern was expressed that such verbatim minutes would be lengthy and burdensome to the Senate. Fred Walter suggested we get the minutes out a week after the meeting so they can be adequately reviewed by Senators.
Laura Valente would like to add “and that best practices, even for positions that don't require ARC representation, would be to have open searches with faculty/staff input” to V. Third bullet.
III. Emergency Notification (B. Chernow)
- Emergency Notification will alert you of inclement weather, traffic or something more serious.
- Currently, only about 25% of faculty and 50% of professional staff have signed up which is a concern. There have been only about 1 emergency notification communication per month for the past 3 years
- To sign up for emergency notifications go to the solar system. Go to emergency notifications and sign up.
- You can include up to three voicemail phones and mobile phones messages. You can also receive text messages.
- SB Guardian will significantly enhance the safety of all students, faculty and staff on campus. Features include a Panic Call Mode and a Precautionary Time Mode.
IV. Discussion with President Samuel Stanley
- Brookhaven Science Associates has won the contract to manage BNL. The lab is a major focus for research in a number of areas for Stony Brook faculty who are the number one user of the Lab. The Lab attracts approximately 4,500 visitors every year. It adds prestige to the University. The application took 1 ½ years of planning. Brings in $650M in Federal funding every year to this region.
- Professor Sanders asked whether Mr. Bernstein received any additional pay to his $300,000 fee, salary, or honorarium. President Stanley: The Presidential Lecture Series boosts our visibility to the world. Carl Bernstein is a Visiting Presidential Professor. He and Bob Woodward did not receive additional pay. However, if they did they would have gotten paid by the Stony Brook Foundation (not tax payer’s money but money that has been donated to the Stony Brook Foundation). The mission of the Stony Brook foundation is to support the University. Professor Sanders: Dan Rather spoke for free. Part of the lesson for students is what happens to Journalists in the second part of their careers. It is important to know money is being transferred from Stony Brook’s budget for other purposes.
- Professor Sanders: We’ve spent a lot of time this semester trying to get our students to enroll in the online sexual harassment discrimination issues. Important because of what is going on in the University of Virginia. You are in a difficult position. You are a manager, a protector of a public institution. You are also surrounded by people pursuing the truth and we are trying to teach people this. It seems to undermine the lesson we are trying to teach our students about sexual harassment when we continually hear under the cloak of resigning for personal reasons that people are leaving various administrative positions without being made clear why.
President Stanley: There are many reasons people leave their jobs. We do not comment on personnel matters. We have had a Campus Climate survey in place for over five years. It is something we care deeply about.
V. Discussion with Provost Assanis
- Effective November 24th, Dr. Wendy Tang has agreed to serve as Associate Provost for Online Education. Dr. Tang has been Director of a project offering online courses in Electrical Engineering since 2006.
- Dr. Heidi Hutner has been appointed Director of the Sustainability Studies Program.
- The Office of the Provost has created the 2015 Summer Online Teaching Initiative in order to provide more flexible and accessible instruction for students. A University-wide committee will review applications and award stipends of $1,500 for each course conversion.
- A student brought up the fact that there are exams being scheduled during the last week of the semester and no exams being held during the final examination period. In reviewing University policy this is in violation of University policy. Is this something we can address? Provost Assanis thanked the student for bringing this to his attention.
VI. Discussion with Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky
- Frances Brisbane has retired after 41 years of service (21 as Dean of the School of Social Welfare). She has agreed to fill a post as Vice President for Faculty, Staff and Student Diversity.
- Beginning the search for a new Dean of the School of Social Welfare.
- School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has been approved by SUNY Central. Next will be national accreditation.
- Search is underway for a new Dean of the School of Dental Medicine.
- LICH – SUNY Central in response to the bad decisions made as far as LICH has decided that governance was inadequate in oversight of university hospitals in the SUNY system. There is now a new ad-hoc committee to address this inadequacy.
VII. Report from the Administrative Review Committee (R. Kelly)
- This committee is the chief body for reviewing administrators.
- Typically met once a week.
- In 13/14, the Committee worked on the analysis of the 2013 survey and publication of a 100 page report summarizing the results.
- Prepared and administered the spring 2014 mini survey. The mini survey had approximately 30 questions. There were 802 (400 faculty and 402 staff) responses. The mini survey was developed as a follow-up of the 2013 survey. There was a comment option for each question. The faculty are perceived as very diverse. Senate effectiveness: knowledge very limited. Not effective in delivering messages and receiving feedback.
- Historic participation in Senior academic searches.
- Plan on administering a full survey in the Spring 2015.
- Dr. Walter brought up the fact that faculty on sabbatical cannot take the survey.
J. Sanders: would be useful if the minutes from the Committees were on the web.
VII. UUP Report (A. Shertzer and C. Gizzi)
- Individual development awards are starting. Will be sending out information within the next three weeks. Deadline for applications is February 18.
- UUP has two different scholarships, one for graduate and one for undergraduate. Need a 3.75 average.
- Explain what stays in the senate meetings and what does not? President Feldman stated that senators should be free to express their opinions openly during Senate meetings without fear of retribution.
- UUP holiday meetings: December 3rd breakfast.