University Senate Meeting
March 2, 2015
I. Approval of Agenda
II. Approval of February 9, 2015 minutes
III. Report of the President of the Senate (E. Feldman)
IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)
V. Discussion with the Provost (D. Assanis)
VI. Discussion with the Sr. Vice President for HSC and Dean, SOM (K. Kaushansky)
VII. Academic Calendar (Rabbi Topek)
VIII. Report from the Vice President for Research (D. Conover)
X. Report from UUP (A. Shertzer/C. Gizzi)
XI. New Business
XII. Old Business
February 9, 2015
I. Approval of tentative agenda: approved.
II. Approval of minutes from December 2, 2014: approved. Several Senators noted the improvement of the minutes and that they more clearly reflected the discussions from the Senate meeting
III. Facilities update (B. Chernow)
- Before her report, Dr. Feldman presented Barbara Chernow with a Friend of the Senate Awardthanking her “for her dedication to the ideals of Shared Governance and her exemplary service to Stony Brook University”. She received a standing ovation for her service.
- The presentation of this award was followed by her report. The SBU Energy Master plan is being developed in consultation with New York Power Authority.
- Among SBU energy saving projects is the current Honeywell Energy Project which includes lighting and occupancy sensors, HVAC controls and pumps and variable frequency drives. Overall energy savings (May 2014-2017) is projected to be $1.4M. Other projects include demand management, building weatherization and lighting.
- SBU has been named in Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Honor Roll.
- The 7Bus which enhances mass transit and further reduces our carbon footprint offers rides between the campus and NYC seven days a week. .
- Working with the Town of Brookhaven for state money for safer pedestrian walkways in the community adjacent to the university.
- The Clery Act reported crimes are down for the eighth straight year.
- Dr. Sanders commented on the fact that the sidewalks in front of the 7 Eleven and other stores near the SB LIRR train station are often not shoveled and are dangerous for students. .
- The number of cameras on campus has been increased to deter crime. In 2015, 1,859 doors now have Lenel card access systems.
- The speed limit on Nichols Rd has been decrease to enhance the safety from our students. As a result, 150 tickets have been issues for speeding which is a 297% increase over the last year.
- There has been a decrease in the number of cases and lost work days for work related injuries and illnesses.
- Construction has begun on Phase I of the new Residence and Dining Hall. It will create 302 additional beds and a new 60,000 sq. ft. dining area.
IV. Senate President’s Report (E. Feldman)
- He reported that he was reluctant to cancel the senate meeting last week, but safety as a result of the snow was an issue.
- His goals for his presidency include communication between the Senate and administrators and enhancing the communication between the Senate and the Standing Committees.
- A senator’s job was threatened after a Senate meeting in the fall after comments that the Senator made. This will be discussed in more detail at the March meeting with President Stanley.
V. President’s Report (M. Whelan)
- New appointments: Dr. David Conover named Vice President for Research, Nicholas Scibetta named Vice President for Communications and Dr. Mary Truhlar named Dean of the School of Dental Medicine.
- Dr. Laura Krug has won the first Stony Brook University Discovery Prize.
- Soledad O’Brien will be at the Staller Center on February 16th on her Black in America Tour 2015.
- N. Goodman asked about a tobacco free campus. M. Whelan will be responsible for developing and implementing a policy for the campus in the next year. He plans to assemble focus groups. Dr. Aller asked about the security breach with Athem Insurance which is the parent company for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Empire.
VI. Report on the Budget (E. Crosson)
- The Governor’s Executive Budget for 2015-16 was released early.
- Carl Heastie is the new Speaker of the Assembly, the first African American Speaker. He is a Stony Brook graduate and a former EOP student. Two other SBU Alums were newly elected to the Assembly: Assemblywoman Kimberley Jean-Pierre and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner.
Governor’s Proposed Operating budget:
- Shifts base funding from formula based on enrollment to performance based. There will be 10% withholding of state support from each campus pending approval of the Performance Improvement Plan which would be $15M for SBU.
- Adds $18M in performance based funding to support plans to fund bonuses for Presidents who provide START-UPNY leadership resulting in commercialization of research. Stony Brook’s approximate share would be $3M.
- Fails to fund salary increases for 2015-16 which would result in $8.1M loss for Stony Brook.
- Centers of Excellence: CEWIT: $872,333 and Advanced Energy Center: $872,333 [these can’t BOTH be $872,333!]. Same as last year.
- LI Vets Home funding is $46.6M, up $1.7M from last year.
- The Marine Animal Lab: this is the last year of a $1M commitment from the NY State Senate.
- No increase in TAP. There is an additional $27M to support DREAM Act.
- No increase in EOP/AIM.
- Only includes $200 Mil system-wide for critical maintenance. SBU share is $22M (usually $74M). Includes an additional $19M for the Gyrodyne resolution which is slated to fund the student union improvement project.
- $26M slated to fund SBU/BNL Supercomputer.
- Round V of NYSUNY 2020 includes $55M system-wide.
- Getting up to $3M to Suffolk County if they provide 50% match to develop nitrogen reduced septic/cesspool systems or to SBU without the match.
Hospital Operating and Capital Budget:
- Direct State support with $69M going to three SUNY hospitals which does not include the $18.5M added by legislature in 23014-15 enacted budget.
- $400M for hospitals providing care in underserved regions. Creates private equity loan program.
- Creates a “Get on Your Feet” loan forgiveness program. Applicants must attend a college in NYS, live in NYS after graduation and earn less than $50,000.
- Provides full scholarships for SUNY/CUNY graduate teacher education programs. You have to be a NYS resident and have to agree to teach in NYS for five years.
- Continues the STEM Scholarship program.
Top Capital Priorities:
- The top priority for capital is to add an additional $300M to critical maintenance system-wide and an additional $5 M for a high performance computing center.
- Additional money for the design of the School of Pharmacy.
- Hospital capital for SBU.
- Infrastructure fund for sidewalks and traffic control improvements.
VII. Discussion with the Provost (D. Assanis)
- Dr. Yacov Shamash is stepping down as Dean of the College of Engineering to be a Special Advisor to SUNY Chancellor on STEM. He will focus VP for Economic Development. During his tenure as Dean, he has doubled undergraduate enrollments, increased SAT scores and played a pivotal role in fundraising including $86M for new CEAS facilities.
- Reschedules classes: There is no perfect solution for Monday only classes. To address the Monday cancellations, Friday, March 6th and Friday, March 27 will follow a Monday schedule. Faculty of Friday only classes and Tuesday only classes have a few options. They can hold it on a Saturday, colleagues in TLT can be of assistance or for smaller classes faculty may negotiate an alternate with their students.
- The 22nd annual Faculty Achievement dinner as held on February 4th at Lombardi’s on the Sound to highlight their accomplishments.
- The State has approved a new M.F.A. Degree in Film at SBU, the first in the SUNY System.
VIII. Undergraduate Council Report (A. Tucker)
- The Chair of the Undergraduate Council, A. Tucker, reported on the goals and activities of the Council consistent with President Feldman’s goals of communicating the progress of the Standing Committees to the Senate as a whole.
- He reported that the charge of the committee is to review and recommend policy to the Provost and other administrators concerning all aspects of the University’s undergraduate academic program.
- The UGC endorsed course clusters in USB curriculum which could be a way for a student to take a set of courses with a unifying theme.
- The Committee reviewed a proposed curriculum expansion of the University Scholars Program. They want to have a curricular component that extends first semester seminars and extra-curricular activities. There are about 300 scholars per class.
- Stony Brook is unique in that we list honor societies on transcripts. Peer institutions list departmental honors instead. The Council recommends that we change this. The problems with honor society recognition is that students can remain in the Honor Society even if their GPAs drop after election to the honor society.
- The Council strongly supports the plan for default filing for graduation when graduate requirements are completed, exempting students planning a second major, etc.
X. SUNY Faculty Senate Report (F. Walter)
- The University Faculty Senate meets three times per year at various SUNY campuses.
- Meeting at the Stony Brook campus January 2016
- Some items that survived into the Governor’s request include $50M for a Master Innovator Fund designed to attract superstar researchers and $30M for a loan to support Open SUNY to be repaid from tuition from increased enrollments.
- Interesting developments were that the Governor’s request mandated that experiential learning be a requirement for graduation. The SUNY Faculty Senate believes the definition of degree requirements is in the purview of the faculty, not the Governor. The Governor also intends to hold back 10% of the SUNY funding from the campuses until they submit their performance plans mandated under SUNY Excels.
- Three resolutions were adopted. 1) to urge SUNY to provide incentives to motivate graduate students to write research grants to external funding agencies. 2) is a resolution from the SUNY Student Assembly in support of President Obama’s “8 Keys to Veteran’s Successs” initiative. 3) to support the SUNY Board of Trustee’s budget request.
XI. UUP Report (A. Shertzer)
- SUNY 2020 is a poor alternative to the State fulfilling its obligation to fund SUNY. If SUNY 20/20 is continued, the cost to new students at the end of another 5 years will be $3,000.00 more than it was when it began.
- We took some 40 EOP students to Albany to meet with legislators to impress upon them the need to fully fund EOP programs statewide. We had a total of approximately 350 students from SUNY campuses across NY.
Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.