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University Senate
April 4, 2016

I. Approval of tentative agenda
II. Approval of minutes from March 7, 2016
III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)
IV. Election of Secretary/Treasurer
V. Report from President Stanley (J. Greiman)
VI. Report from the Provost (R. Reeder)
VII. Open Access Policy (T. Robertazzi)
VIII. UUP Report (C. Gizzi, K. Moriarty)
IX. Old Business
X. New Business

University Senate
Meeting Minutes
March 7, 2016

I. Approval of agenda: approved.

II. Approval of minutes from February 1, 2016: approved.

III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)

  • Secretary/Treasurer. Unlike Senators who are elected by their constituencies, the President of the Senate and the Secretary/Treasurer are elected by the Senate. The responsibilities of the Secretary/Treasurer is to take Executive Committee minutes and with the President to oversee the Senate’s budget. Our current Secretary/Treasurer, Kathy Monahan, has agreed to stand for re-election, but I would like to announce that nominations are open for additional candidates. Self-nominations are acceptable. Prospective candidates should contact President Feldman. The election with be in the April Senate meeting.
  • Coordination Council/Chairs Retreat: As per our bylaws, the EC meets with the Chairs of the 12 standing committees each year to coordinate the activities of the standing committees and to enhance communication among committees. This meeting will take place on April 1. Last year’s Retreat was very productive.
  • Openness at Senate Meetings: One of my goals when I was elected was to improve the dialogue with our administrators. From the feedback that I have gotten from both administrators and Senators is that this initiative has been productive. At the November 2015 Senate meeting, Professor Sanders raised some issues about some students who were stuck in elevators for several hours and what the university was doing to improve the repair of our elevators and the response time in such situations. In addition, he raised questions about the President’s policy about responding to the families of students who have died. The President was not at that meeting, but these issues were discussed with the President’s Deputy, Judy Greiman, for transmission to the President. Prior to the December meeting, I reminded Ms. Greiman about these unanswered questions. During the discussion with the President at the December Senate meeting, there was a heated exchange between Professor Sanders and the President which became, I thought, more than just about the issues but became personal. Professor Sanders also talked about the fact that he had contacted some of the families of the students who died in order to inquire about the President’s response to those families after their loss. I emailed the President afterwards apologizing on behalf of the Executive Committee for the fact that I think that conversation had gone over the line. I don’t think that was in good taste for Professor Sanders to have contacted the families of students who have died. I was worried about the sensitivity of the families who have lost a son/daughter. I discussed this with the Executive Committee and met privately with Professor Sanders. I expressed to him what I saw as the differences between being an investigative reporter and a Senator. Subsequent of the December meeting, I received multiple emails from Senators who are outraged at what Professor Sanders had done in contacting families and the tone of his questioning of the President. I will continue to be a strong advocate for raising issues in the Senate that are germane to our campus and I will advocate for open dialog without any fear of retribution.
    • The lessons learned from this incident are:
      • Open dialogue, debate and discussion is essential for a healthy Senate.
      • These discussions need to be focused on the issues and policy.
      • The discussions need to be civil and respectful.
      • When questions remain, it is helpful to have appropriate follow-up.
      • All Senators have a responsibility to raise issues for discussion and be willing to challenge others about the content of the debate as well as the style of discourse.
    • N. Goodman: Was there any feedback after the discussion was over and any actions so far?
    • E. Feldman: Some felt that Professor Sanders should have been sanctioned by this body.
    • F. Walter: It may have gotten a little heated but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with the dialogue. I know there are people out there who have a negative impression of investigative reporters, but they serve a very important role in society. They ask questions that other people don’t ask. I think we should commend Professor Sanders for raising these issues.
    • D. Dwyer: I agree we should commend him on speaking up, but one has to think of the consequences of actions.
    • J. Souza: I thought it got way to emotional and personal and was inappropriate. What do you want from us when something like this happens so that we don’t add to it?
    • E. Feldman: Professor Sanders shouldn’t be the only person in the room asking questions of our administrators. If other people share those concerns, please speak up. If people are offended by the dialogue, say something.
    • N. Goodman: People may be afraid to participate in debates for fear of the consequences to them. We’ve experienced this in the past and you and the President have reaffirmed the view that discussions in the Senate should not affect the status of individuals.
    • E. Feldman: The incident that occurred last year is that somebody that was open in their opinion at the Senate was called in by their supervisor and was reprimanded for some of the comments and had their job threatened. The President couldn’t have been more supportive of the concept of Senators being able to speak freely in Senate meetings without fear of retribution.
    • S. Kopp: I want to endorse that and I know you and I have spoken about other situations where people have had that concern. It’s not just this senate but also the A&S Senate and the Engineering Senate. We are all committed to allowing open dialogue which is separate from job performance.

IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)

  • Discussions at Senate meetings: Thanked E. Feldman for speaking up. I think civil dialogue is something we all should aspire to. I am in favor of open dialogue.
  • Budget: Spent Tuesday in Albany talking to our legislative leaders including the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the Assembly and the head of Budget for the Governor primarily about the extension SUNY 2020. Currently, there are differences between the Governor’s proposal and what the Assembly is proposing.. The assembly is less excited about tuition increases, more excited about increasing state allocation. One concern about just a state allocation bump is that it is a one year solution while SUNY 2020 is a five year solution giving the Board of Trustees the authority to raise tuition up to $300. That gives us much more stability going forward. The Maintenance of Effort is also a critical part of SUNY 2020. We remain affordable. We have almost the lowest tuitions in the AAU. 40% of our students graduate with no debt and those with debt have less than the national average. SBU has a low 2.8% default on loans. The undergraduates unanimously voted for SUNY 2020.
  • Provostial Search: There is a website dedicated to the search which has a draft position description for the Provost. Russell Reynolds Associates who has coordinated our last two provostial searches is the search firm. A Search Committee has been appointed, and they will begin their work this week. I welcome input into this process, and I also welcome nominations.
    • N. Goodman: There is some concern about the process by which the Provost’s search committee was put together. We were disturbed by the number of members of the Search Committee who were not vetted or recommended by the Senate in light of shared governance.
    • S. Stanley: There are members from the University Senate leadership on the search committee including members of CAPRA. When I put a search committee together, my job is to represent the diversity of the university, to represent the appropriate faculty constituencies and to put together a committee that will represent to the outside world the strengths of Stony Brook University.
    • N. Goodman: Shared governance means you consult in a collaborative fashion. At the state level, the Chancellor consults with the faculty senate. The issue here is the degree of consultation before you can make that decision. The Senate provided you with a list of names and you chose only one name.
    • S. Stanley: There is no dictate that says I am required to appoint a member of this Search Committee from the University Senate according to SUNY by-laws. Of course, I want representation from the University Senate.
  • Diversity: The draft diversity plan was sent to the university last week, and I encourage your review. I have committed $1M for this initiative. There will be a Provost’s lecture on March 10th with Dr. Shaun Harper who is an expert on diversity.
  • Student Safety: R. Aller: After dark, many of the students wear black clothing and are hard to see when they walk on campus roadways and they are invisible. I am concerned about their safety.
    • S. Stanley: We have given out reflective backpacks to students and have made public service announcements about safety. I am open to other suggestions. We are working on expanding a number of sidewalks. We just received a $1M grant to expand out sidewalks in the Stony Brook Road area.

V. Provost’s Report (S. Tsirka)

  • The faculty achievement dinner will be held on April 26th to celebrate faculty who have received prestigious national and international fellowships honors and awards.
  • The HeforShe Symposium held on March 3rd and 4th was a very successful event.
  • The second annual Women’s Leadership Symposium will be held on March 17th. The keynote speaker will be Jessica Bacal from Smith College.
  • The 20th annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture on April 4 will feature Alan Alda, Eric Kandel and Jim Simons.
  • We received 13 letters of intent for the S-BOLD Initiative (on-line learning). Seven have advanced to the full proposal round.

VI. Discussion with the Vice-President for the Health Sciences Center (K. Kaushansky)

  • DSRIPP- The Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program is an $8B federal program through which NYS is divided into 25 regions. The goal of the program is to improve the access of Medicaid and underserved patients to health care, to improve the quality of that care and to reduce the cost of that care. Stony Brook has was selected as the lead health care organization for the Suffolk County PPS. We were allocated about $300M to manage this program over five years. All of the 25 organizations who requested compensation requested funding for information technology and 19 of them received funding. Information technology was our first request and it was not funded. However, our 33rd request was funded which was also as much money as our higher requests.
  • Capital Funding: $8B was allocated to improve capital infrastructure for healthcare organizations in NYS with $1.2B going to Suffolk County. Although we were awarded some of this money, NYC did far better and Nassau got twice as much as we did. We did not get our top choices of capital.
  • Uncompensated Care: Stony Brook delivers more uncompensated care to patients on L.I. than any other facility.
  • The state proposed that a cap the amount of disproportionate share dollars that is given to the 3 SUNY hospitals at $150M which would result in a decrease of $28M for Stony Brook University Hospital. I will be in Albany tomorrow to advocate for Stony Brook.
  • Another assault on the Hospital and SUNY’s healthcare system is the Affordable Care Act exchanges. We chose a company called Health Republic which recently went bankrupt after many people signed up causing us to lose $14M. This is a legislative discussion to create a fund compensate us for the loss. We are one of the few states that doesn’t have money that is designed to help protect healthcare providers when something like this happens.
  • Network affiliations: Northwell Health is negotiating with the Governor’s Office to lighten the governor’s budget by $700M in exchange for reforming healthcare in Brooklyn.
  • We are interested in affiliating with Mather Hospital.
  • Stony Brook has a Campus in Manhattan and the lease for that space has become prohibitively expensive. The President’s Office has been trying to find a suitable alternative space. From the Stony Brook Medicine perspective, it’s a great opportunity. The School of Social Welfare is very excited about really growing a Social Work program Manhattan. The Biomedic Informatics department is excited about placing a master’s program in Manhattan.
    • D. Dwyer: Do you think NYS might be moving toward a public option?
    • K. Kaushansky: I have never heard that. I am a realist. I doubt that would happen.
    • M. Ryan: With the DSRIPP initiative you said we didn’t get out first choice but our 33rd.
    • K. Kaushansky: We got seven of the choices from two to thirty-three. We got about $50 Mil out of the $1.2 bil. that was allocated to the state.
    • M. Ryan: For what initiatives?
    • K. Kaushansky: We got $10 Mil for some outreach clinics on the South Fork.

VII. Update from the Ad Hoc Committee on Club Red

  • E. Feldman: We have an ad hoc committee for Club Red which has met many times during the winter. Simons Café was no longer willing to host because they were losing money. The committee explored other venues within and outside the University for the continuation of Club Red. Club Red will meet Friday, March 11th at 4:30 at the Simons Café. Dean Kopp will be the sponsor.

VIII. Governor’s Proposed Budget (J. Greiman)

  • The Governor’s theme this year was “Build to lead”. Key areas: Transportation and infrastructure (modernize mass transit), education (extend CUNY and SUNY 2020), social and economic progress (primary issue is to raise minimum wage to $15), protecting public health (provide 12 weeks paid family leave, increased awareness and breast cancer screening) and ethics and government reform (reform FOIL laws, limiting outside income for legislators). On the Economic development side there is a sixth round of REDC funding. There is a small business tax cut and key to all budget negotiations is the fact that he is keeping the state spending growth under 2%.
  • Higher education highlights: Decreasing CUNY funding by $420M. There was a slight reduction of support to SUNY teaching hospitals by $18.6M.
  • Capital budget: Critical maintenance was held flat. Stony Brook and the four University centers have been getting for a number of years about $75M. That went down in the last few years during which time we had no allocation or allocations of about $20 million. This year we received $21M, although we have about $440M in deferred maintenance. $50M was added for capital for the Hospital.
  • Financial aid: TAP funding is set at $1 Bil. Funds DREAM act at $42 Mil.
  • Economic Development: Reduction to funding of Centers for Excellence. Research: Bio-science Venture Capital Funding, cuts funding for SBU Marine Animal Disease Lab and $50 Mil for Nassau Hub.
  • Proposes extending SUNY 2020 giving the SUNY Board the authority to raise tuition up to $300 over the next five years.
    • N. Goodman: This is a lousy budget for SUNY. Governor vetoed maintenance of effort.

IX. Initiative on Diversity (J. Greiman)

  • Had a number of meetings with faculty and students. The student groups raised similar issues. We received a lot of good suggestions. Some key issues for students were classroom bias, hidden bias, gender issues, and respect for diversity. Employee issues were recruitment, retention, pathways and mentoring and creating community.
  • Please submit web-based comments by March 11th.
  • There will be hidden bias training for the University Council and hospital leadership which is set for May 4th.
  • A steering committee and Advisory Council will be developed to guide implementation.
    • J. Sanders: When student journalists for broadcast were looking at this they said that this report is really interesting. However, it is very long. Why did we get it when we are doing midterm exams? The other significant issue is, at least anecdotally, one of the strengths of Stony Brook compared to other branches of the SUNY system, is that students, particularly Muslim students, see a great deal of tolerance here. I have had students both in the Journalism School and other branches have said to me particularly a jahib wearing traditional Muslim women that they felt alienated, scorned and ridiculed at other campuses and they came here specifically because Stony Brook has a reputation of being a more tolerant place. Yet despite the comments of President Stanley that he discussed religion and other things, I don’t see the work Muslim mentioned in this report.
    • J. Greiman: The Muslim students actually raised the same issues in terms of they want to see more people who look like them on faculty and staff, and that they want diversity training, cultural sensitivity training for new students and staff.
    • S. Shridar: One complaint is that vegetarians are being discriminated against. Any discussion of this in the diversity program?
    • T. Ecklund: Contact campus dining or direct them to the Student Voice.

X. Vote on Proposals from the Dean of Arts and Sciences (S. Kopp)

  • Met with the faculty of Cultural Analysis and Theory. This proposal was a merger of between the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. There have been difficulties with the merger. They wanted to split off. It has never been successful as a merger.
  • They asked their department to be dissolved and replaced by two departments.
  • Got input from other chairs and the whole college.
  • This was approved by the A&S Senate.
  • K. Kaushansky: How many faculty will be in the two departments when they split?
  • S. Kopp: Cultural Analysis and Theory is about 18 faculty so it would be 9 faculty for each new department.

Vote: All in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention. Vote passes.

XI. Library Services and Resources Committee Report (R. Shrock)

  • A move toward open access: A major item was how the library can use its limited budget to serve the university community in the best possible way in dealing with Predatory subscriptions to Elsevier and others
  • Dean Constantinou successfully negotiated a five-year contract with Elsevier.
  • The Library Services and Resources Committee drafted a resolution that was passed last year supporting the move toward open access. Continued the policy embodied in that resolution.
  • The Committee participated in the Open Access Symposium that the Dean and the Library held in the Wang Center. As Chair of the committee, I attended several meetings, colloquia and presentations by the Dean, Shafeek Fazal and Darren Chase on Open Access.
  • There is a need for more computer workstations in the Library. Dean Constantinou secured funds from the administration for a large-scale renovation of the Library which will include installation of many more computer terminals.
  • The Committee made a valuable contribution in the fall of 2015 by saving a number of geological maps that were going to be inadvertently discarded by the Library. I notified the Chair of the Geosciences department and expedited communication between all parties involved.
  • We also carried out extensive discussion with the Dean and other Library administrators regarding the policy for the removal of Library materials (RLM).
  • Students have requested that the Library stay open later. The committee discussed what necessary actions would be required including paying people to staff the Library longer. The hours now have been significantly increased.
  • Ann Gleason, the new head of the HSC Library, has decided to leave and we are monitoring the search process for her successor.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15.

Submitted by:

Laurie Cullen

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