HSC, Level 3, LH 5
March 6, 2017
I. Approval of tentative agenda
II. Approval of minutes from February 6, 2017
III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)
IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)
V. Discussion with the Provost (M. Bernstein)
VI. Discussion with the Vice-President for the Health Sciences (K. Kaushansky)
VII. Report from the Secretary of the School of Medicine Senate (Margaret McNurlan)
VIII. Tuition on Research Grants (ToRG) (N. Goroff)
IX. UUP Report (C. Gizzi, K. Moriarty)
X. Old Business
XI. New Business
February 6, 2017
I. Approval of agenda: approved with flexibility.
II. Approval of minutes from December 5, 2016: J. Sanders under V. Course Evaluations: Should read not tenured and non-tenured faculty were worried.
- J. Sanders: I have an issue, not about accuracy, but about concern in the minutes. The minutes say, under the monitoring of Muslim students brought up by Dr. Bowman that the President responded, “I have no awareness of undercover activities and I have certainly not been consulted by law enforcement about such activities.” I believe our President is either misspoken or lied to us. We need to look into this on the Executive Committee level. E. Feldman: This is not a correction to the minutes, is that correct? J. Sander: Yes. E. Feldman suggested that J. Sanders question the President about this topic. December Minutes were approved as amended.
III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)
- Meeting with Senator LaValle: The Executive Committee meets a couple times per year with Senator Ken LaValle who is the State Senator for this district and is Chair of the Higher Education Committee. The Executive Committee met with him last Thursday including the budget and the Governor’s “Free Tuition” proposal which he did not think had a good chance of passage in the Senate. He did there was going to be an increase in TAP money, however. I brought up my concern about the impact of the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration on Stony Brook’s students, faculty, staff and research.
- Elections: You will be receiving an email on nominations for the spring elections. I hope you will run for re-election. Please encourage members of your department to run for senate seats and positions on Standing Committees. There are other opportunities to run for seats on the SUNY State-wide Faculty Senate and for state-wide committees which are not elected positions.
- Leadership Awards: When appropriate, the Senate wants to acknowledge members who have done extraordinary work. One of our members is not only leaving this Senate but leaving Stony Brook. I want to give the first leadership award to Dr. Maria Ryan who has served us well for many years as a Senator At-Large, member of CAPRA and as Co-Chair of the Research Committee. Dr. Ryan is leaving Stony Brook to become Vice President and Chief Dental Officer for the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
About 18 months ago a policy on Open Access was drafted by some of the Librarians and forwarded to the Research Committee of the University Senate who approved it. The Executive Committee liaison for the Library Services and Resources Committee was concerned that this committee to review this policy who found concerns in the policy. It was stuck for a while as it went back and forth between the two committees. I used my executive privilege to ask Patricia Aceves to broker an agreement between these two committees. Patricia did a phenomenal job in developing a policy that was subsequently approved by both committees and the Executive Committee. Maria Ryan and Patricia Aceves were presented with awards.
IV. Discussion with the President (J. Greiman)
- President Stanley is in Albany for a Presidents’ Meeting and lobbying state legislators.
- Immigration Ban: A couple of students were directly impacted by President Trump’s Executive Order on travel. The President, the Provost, Communications, Legal, International Affairs, have all been working closely on behalf of the students for their safe return to campus. SUNY also has an immigration lawyer on retainer. Senator Charles Schumer’s staff has been instrumental in helping our students with immigration issues. We held an immigration law seminar with the SUNY lawyers which was videotaped. There is an existing task force dealing on how we better serve our international students. There is a website on visa and immigration which has the immigration seminar and President Stanley’s statement from the rally. The website will continue to be filled with different resources. We have heard from GSO about other action which would be useful. The SUNY Board of the Trustees is the only authority to give a campus “sanctuary” status. SUNY Presidents do not have the authority to declare any campus a sanctuary campus.
- Campus Dining: FSA is in the process of a request for proposals to enhance the current dining program. The FSA has a new management team.
- National Study: A recently released national study ranks Stony Brook among the top 10 colleges and universities in the nation for raising low income students up the economic ladder.
- Legislative update: Stony Brook’s legislative agenda is narrowly focused this year on regaining tuition authority, fighting off any excessive regulation, getting capital funding restored at an appropriate level, critical maintenance and getting $100M for an Engineering building. Governor Cuomo’s budget calls for $163M for the Excelsior Financial Aid Program for FT students taking 15 credits for families earning less than $125,000 a year. The Predictable Tuition Plan calls for up to $250 for 5 years with no Maintenance of Effort. There is also a Life Sciences Initiative of $650M for 5 years.
N. Goodman: The legislature was not likely to approve an additional tuition increase
for students. The SUNY budget is on the Faculty Senate website.
Dean of Students: J. Sanders: Are you fully informed on the dismissal of the Dean of Students? J. Greiman: The Dean of Students has left the University to pursue other opportunities and Jerry Stein is here for the interim as we start a search. J. Sanders: I would ask my colleagues how many of them believe that it is as simple as he has left to pursue other opportunities. That is a euphemism. How many of the Dean of Students salary are we paying for at the present time? J. Greiman: I do not know. J. Sanders: Do you know when Jerry stein, a valued member of our community, took over as functioning Dean of Students? J. Grieman: Sometime around the first or second week of January. We cannot discuss personnel matters. J. Sanders: If he took over the first or second week of January why were students informed that Dean Ecklund would be leaving on January 20 and why wasn’t the University community informed about this? Only students got a note that may or may not have had a falsehood in it. If he took over on the January 1, Dean Ecklund was not in the process of leaving on the 20th of January. J. Greiman: He didn’t take over on January 1, it was sometime in those first few weeks. J. Sanders: Judy could we check on this please? J. Greiman: Sure. E. Feldman: The question is, is there more that can be shared or that is known about this change in the Dean of Students Office. J. Sanders: This abrupt change in the Dean of Students Office. J. Greiman: As with any personnel matter, we cannot discuss it - period. J. Sanders: But I don’t think that’s true. For instance, when we had a new wonderful Provost coming here, the President made quite a big deal about the appointment of a new Provost and of his qualifications which is in fact commenting on a personnel matter.
Surveilling Muslim students: J. Sanders: At the last Senate meeting I asked President Stanley about the issue of NYC Police surveilling Muslim students on campus. The minutes say that the President said “I have no awareness of undercover activities and I have certainly not been consulted by law enforcement about such activities”. Does that accurately reflect what he said? Could you please make that clearer because there is printed information suggesting that the University as of March 5, 2012 was well aware that there was police surveillance of our Muslim students? Stony Brook’s President never made a comment about it in contrast to the University Presidents at Barnard, at Fordham and at Yale. J. Greiman: I guess you asked the question last time and he answered. J. Sander: If this is the right answer then in fact he lied to this body. J. Greiman: I don’t believe the President lied to this body. We never lie to this body. J. Sanders: He may have misspoken. E. Feldman: I think what Jonathan is raising is that what the President stated at the Senate meeting is inconsistent with the information that Jonathan was aware of from 2012. The question is if the President could address that incongruity. J. Greiman. Certainly. Can you send me the information Jonathan? J. Sanders: Yes, I will give it to you. We have never received a statement about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of police surveillance of members of this community based on religion, nationality or peacefully expressed political opinions by the President and I think at this time when there is so much hatred circulating, so much stereotyping and blaming of our Muslim students, faculty and researchers. If we had a timely statement in 2012 we’d all be better off.
V. Discussion with the Provost (M. Bernstein)
- Executive Order on Immigration: I would like to thank Jun Liu, Professor of Linguistics and Vice Provost for Global Affairs, who also has worked very hard with many constituencies at the University to meet the needs of our faculty and students who have been affected by the Executive Order on Immigration. He has done a superb job.
- Senior Assistant Provost for Finance, Budget and Operations: We have recruited Heather Montague who is currently the Associate Dean for Finance and Administration in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Buffalo for this position as of February 27th. I would like to acknowledge the great work of our Associate Vice President for Budget, Mark Maciulaitis, for all of his help in the transition.
- CAPRA: Last Friday, I had my inaugural meeting with CAPRA under co-chairs Deb Dwyer and Norm Goodman. I thought we had a good conversation regarding some strategic issues in the Office of the Provost. I received a lot of good input from the CAPRA team and looking forward to working with them in the future.
J. Sanders: I wonder if you were surprised, ambushed or struck by anything done by our colleagues who really did yeomans service in the Senate survey. Were you struck by anything about attitudes towards academic administrators, things that work well, things that don’t work well here? M. Bernstein: I had an opportunity to read a draft of the survey but I have not yet read the final version which dropped today. I will obviously work through the useful and constructive commentary in the survey with my team and with the Deans, but I don’t think I have any other impressions to share with you at this time. E. Feldman: The Executive Committee will work with our chief administrators around problem areas.
VI. Discussion with the Vice President for the Health Sciences (K. Kaushansky)
- Health Care Outcomes Data: There are a number of rating agencies for hospitals. One of the largest ones is called Health Grades which looked at more than 5,000 hospitals in the U.S. About 280 hospital in the U.S. were given a top five percent rating based on health outcomes. Stony Brook was included in this top 5% and was among only 10 hospitals in New York State.
- Financial Status: There are a number of financial stresses on Stony Brook. For the last six years both of the schools and the hospitals budget have been growing by about 6-8% per year and almost every year the schools have been in mostly in balance. Our bottom line ranges anywhere from $4-$15 M in the black over the last six years. The hospital is a $1.2B organization with $1.2B in revenue and $1.16 B in expenses leaving us in the black for about $4M for this year. We lose money on a lot of patients. It costs us 23% more to care for Medicare patients than we get reimbursed and 33% more for Medicaid patients. We get paid $0.67 on the dollar. We lose on Medicaid and on no pay patients about $100M a year. We see more underserved patients in Suffolk County than any other hospital. With a combined grant from both Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services and the State of New York, we are made whole for this service to indigent patients. This is the only reason University Hospital has a balanced budget.
- Affordable Care Act: Another concern is President Trump’s goal of doing away with the Affordable Care Act which could cost Stony Brook additional $23M reduction in reimbursement.
C. Gizzi: What is happening with vacant leadership positions at the hospital? K. Kaushansky: Rueben Pasternak, the head of Health Systems, has been doing two jobs. We decided to split the job because the Health Systems piece has gotten complicated. We are putting the other three searches on hold until we complete our search for the Chief Executive Officer.
VII. University Senate Survey (R. Kelly)
- The Administrative Review Committee which designed and analyzed the data from the Survey, did an enormous amount of work over the past year. The on-line Senate Survey is conducted 2-3 years. It began about 20 years ago as a paper survey. The principles of the survey are one person, one vote and confidentiality for all of the responders including all faculty and staff on campus.
- The survey has approximately 100 questions organized into 27 question groups and there is a comments field for each group. We changed the questions a little bit from the previous survey. Respondents were able to self-define their positions.
- Responses to a question were grouped as positive and negative. The number of positive responses were divided by the number of actual responses. Thresholds: Outstanding was considered greater than 75% positive and concerns was less than 37% positive.
- Question style was perception based. This is not an objective evaluation and it doesn’t measure precise results.
- We filtered the comments to remove potentially identifying information.
- The response rate was well over 50% more than previous surveys.
- Areas of concern with the academic administration. Five Deans with significant negative scores. There were a large number of critical comments and low scores for the President and previous provost (Assanis) on academic administrative questions.
- The scores for Building and Infrastructure were negative (36.5% positive) with 674 comments. Many comments were detailed and negative.
- There may be a possible 2017 mini survey on problem areas with the next full survey in 2018-19.
S. Marsh: In reporting of the scores wouldn’t a score of 1-4 or 1-5 make a big difference?
R. Kelly: Yes, but we were very careful this time about the measure that we used and
not be too aggressive in our measurement.
J. Sanders: This is an incredible piece of work especially in the middle of an academic year. I’ve seen a lot of these surveys when I sat on the Senate in Columbia, and they were not as good as this. I got the feeling that particularly with CAS Dean that you had to struggle to find balancing comments of positive with the negative. I’ve never seen such consistently large number of negativity and I think someone has to look into this. We’ve had several discussions in this body about how we want to improve the teaching at the University and I was struck by comments about parking here and that faculty who teach have trouble finding places to park. I think it might behoove us to have a committee or have Executive Committee look into prioritizing parking for teaching faculty. R. Kelly: We actually looked into that problem a few surveys ago. We spoke to the people who were responsible for the parking. There is little distinction between teaching faculty and others. One of the major problems is that there is some percentage of students who work part-time at the University and they are entitled to a faculty/staff parking pass. J. Sanders: I think it would behoove us to reinforce the centrality of teaching by changing the parking system to emphasize teaching faculty.
VIII. Open Access (D. Chase)
- I want to recognize the thorough and diligent and hard work of my colleagues on the Senate Research Committee and also recognize the diligent and hard work of the members of the Library Services committee and the Executive Committee.
- Open Access is unrestricted on-line access to scholarship. More than 80% of our scholarly journals allow deposit of a final manuscript in open access repository.
- More than 100 U.S. Universities have open access policies.
- The benefits Open Access include increased visibility and impact of SB scholarship, support of our mission of research excellence and it positions our faculty to comply with grants funder’s public access mandate.
- Faculty will continue to publish in journals of their choice.
- Waivers are easily available.
E. Feldman: This is coming from the Executive Committee to the floor so a motion on this policy is not necessary but I am going to call for a vote. Let the minutes show that this policy on Open Access as distributed was unanimously endorsed by the University Senate.
IX. ToRG: Unfortunately Nancy Goroff had to leave so we are going to postpone the discussion about ToRG to another meeting.
X. Resolution for Support and Protection of Members of the Stony Brook Campus Community (E. Feldman)
E. Feldman: There are several small changes that the Executive Committee made today that are in red (projected on the screen for the Senate). The intent of this resolution is for the University Senate to go on record about the impact of this Executive Order on Immigration on our university community.
J. Sanders: I think in this statement you are failing to mention Muslims. I have crafted a paragraph that I think is appropriate. J. Sanders offered an amendment to the resolution as a the last “Whereas” clause, seconded by N. Goodman as follows:
During a period when Muslims and Islam itself have too often been the target of thoughtless stereotyping, misplaced fears, bigotry, and casual hate speech, the University Senate reassures Muslim students, faculty, staff and researchers that they are valued and essential members of our community of scholars and that they can count on our full and vigorous support.
Police surveillance based on religion, nationality, or peacefully expressed political opinions is antithetical to the values of the Stony Brook Academic Community.
Discussion on the amendment: J. Sanders: Those are actually two separate thoughts. One is to address the Muslim question. The other is to address the police surveillance on campus that our President was negligent in ever addressing. N. Goodman: I would rather have the surveillance as a separate motion right now because it doesn’t really fit into the intent of the resolution. Another Senator: I’m not comfortable with this although I understand the situation with Muslims, I feel that this focuses only on Muslims. What about Mexicans? Indians? There are other persecuted and discriminated groups.
All in favor of the proposed amendment: 11. Opposed: 16. The amendment fails.
Discussion on the resolution: I. Fineberg: I feel this is very rushed. This is an
important statement. E. Feldman: Let me comment and then invite you to offer a motion
to table. The reason the Executive Committee decided to bring this resolution to the
body now is our concern that this is a very timely matter and delaying it to the March
meeting might not have the same impact on our national agenda as passing something
now. I invite you to move to table this resolution. I. Fineberg: I agree with your
comment that this is timely. Is there any format which we could give this some time
to allow us even a week or a few days for discussion. Can we do this timely by email?
E. Feldman: In order to have this discussion I need a motion to table otherwise this
discussion is out of order. A motion was made and seconded to table. E. Feldman. Now
there’s a discussion about tabling this resolution. N. Goodman: This is a timely issue.
This resolution is a slightly modified version of the resolution by the SUNY-wide
Faculty Senate. There is no resolution that anybody in this body or any other body
that would find this perfect. We need to take action before the Executive Order is
reinstated. What this does is affirm the fact of our responsibility to our colleagues
and students and protect them as best we can within the boundaries of the law. F.
Walter: This is timely and if we wait a week it may be too late. P. Di Pasquale-Alvarez:
We were given this to review before today’s meeting and many of us who are voting
members of the Senate stayed to make sure that we passed this resolution. The proposed
amendment was declined and we have three minor changes to what we were given in writing
days ago. I feel that we should be voting to either pass or reject the resolution.
J. Sanders: My proposal should not affect the efficacy of what we are doing. USA Today
early last week online had a list of statements that ran 34 pages. Conspicuously absent
was a statement from Stony Brook University. I believe that we should follow what
Dr. King said, the extreme urgency of now, vote on it today.
E. Feldman: One possibility might be to have a small committee of this group to address this if you are not ready to vote on it today. N. Goodman: I disagree with my colleague. This is timely and needs to be voted on now. A small committee is not the same as the University Senate.
F. Walter: This resolution have been vetted by the Executive Committee. That’s our job to look at these things first. The Senate is free to reject it but I think we do have to vote on it.
F. Walter offered an amendment under item number 2 where you have already made a change “Develop further policies to support undocumented students, staff and faculty”, the Executive Order affected documented students, staff and faculty as well. Green cards are valid documents. I would remove the word undocumented.
E. Feldman: Is there a second to that amendment to this resolution? Seeing none, the proposed amendment fails. Is there any further discussion on tabling this resolution? A hand vote was conducted on tabling the resolution. The motion to table failed.
E. Feldman: Vote on the resolution. A hand vote was conducted on the resolution which passed with all in favor, none opposed with one abstention.
Let the records show that there was one abstention. The Resolution is passed.
Meeting Adjourned at 5:20pm.