University Senate Meeting
April 6, 2015
I. Approval of Agenda
II. Approval of March 2, 2015 minutes
III. Report of the President of the Senate (E. Feldman)
IV. Report from President Stanley (M. Maciulaitis and L. Gomes)
V. Report from the Provost (R. Reeder)
VI. Discussion with the Sr. Vice President for HSC and Dean, SOM (K. Kaushansky)
VII. Enacted Budget (M. Arens)
VIII. Update on Club Red (M. Schedel and B. Godfrey)
X. Report from the Student Life Committee (C. Pitocco)
XI. Report from UUP (A. Shertzer/C. Gizzi)
XII. New Business
XIII. Old Business
March 2, 2015
I. Approval of agenda: approved.
II. Approval of minutes from February 9, 2015: approved.
III. Senate President’s Report (E. Feldman)
- Dr. Kaushansky is stranded in Santa Fe, New Mexico and will not present today. The EC met with him by phone prior to the Senate meeting.
- The EC will be meeting with Senator LaValle to discuss the budget mandate on experiential learning for all undergraduate students, the role of a governor in making academic decisions for SUNY, a renewed rational tuition plan after the expiration of SUNY202 and the Obama proposal for free tuition in Community Colleges for two years.
- Met with the University Affairs Committee last week to discuss Club Red. Margaret Schedel will be co-chair an ad-hoc committee to oversee Club Red. The committee will be charged with developing a business plan.
- Openness without threats of retribution at Senate meetings: A senator respectfully asked some questions of one of our chief administrators at a fall meeting that President Stanley was unable to attend. Subsequently, the Senator was called in by his supervisor and told that if he wanted to keep his job than he should be a “silent Senator.” The Senator spoke with President Feldman and UUP about the incident. Feldman stated that this is unacceptable on many levels having to do with academic freedom and free speech is antithetical to one of his goals as President which is to increase the openness and communication at Senate meetings. After discussing this issue with the Executive Committee, Feldman discussed the issue directly with President Stanley while maintaining the confidentiality of the Senator. The President will address this in his discussion.
IV. Discussion with President S. Stanley
- This is a University. It is a place of inquiry and discussion, and a place we want to be able to exchange ideas but to be able to do so without concern for retribution for the ideas we put forward. Any attempt to suppress open dialogue is antithetical to what we are trying to do at Stony Brook University or at any institution of higher education. After discussing this issue with President Feldman, I invited him to present the topic at a University Council meeting to bring it to the attention of the Deans and VPs. I made clear that this is unacceptable at Stony Brook University. We want to have a culture of tolerance for opinions that are different from ours but there should never be any effort to suppress anyone’s voice. Will continue to put this message forward.
- The extension of SUNY 2020 is very important and has been transformational for Stony Brook University. It doesn’t expire this year but we want to continue to push for a renewal of this effort because it is an election year and it will allow the students who currently applying to let their parents know what their tuition would be. We need to make sure the momentum is not lost.
- The five year capital plan: This is vital to all SUNY campuses and would be beneficial to the local economy as well. Investing in our infrastructure will create jobs. We are facing challenges in terms of critical maintenance. There are a lot of repairs that need to be done. The number one priority is to renovate the Union.
- Pushing for ways in which to be more efficient in helping our region by helping to transfer the incredible technology into the marketplace. We are working on proposals with Cold Spring Harbor and BNL to find ways to do this more effectively.
- On April 9th the SAC Auditorium will be named the “Sidney Gelber Auditorium” in honor of the late Sidney Gelber. Dr. Gelber was SBU’s first Provost, first Dean of Arts and Sciences and second Academic Vice President.
- Experiential learning: Curricula should be in the hands of the faculty.
V. Discussion with Provost D. Assanis
- There are two new national searches including a search for the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. CEAS has seen tremendous growth under Dean Yacov Shamash who has doubled the number of undergraduates and tripled the amount of graduate students.
- The second search if for a Dean of International Academic Programs and Services who is responsible for promoting and developing SBU’s global activities across its schools and will also be responsible for visa and immigration services for students, visiting scholars, faculty and researchers.
- Dr. Peter Paul, Associate Vice President for Brookhaven Affairs is retiring after 48 years. Dr. Richard Reeder has been appointed as Dr. Paul’s replacement effective immediately.
- The 19th Annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture will be on Monday, March 30th at 4:30 p.m. in Staller.
VI. Absences on Religious Holidays (J. Topek for the Interfaith Council)
- Since the change in the academic calendar there are now classes held on a number of major religious holidays that were once non-class days and this has resulted in an increase in the number of students who face having an exam or other important work due on a religious holiday.
- Feel that we need academic leadership to help faculty members understand their obligation under the law [NYS Education Law, Section 224A] and to apply this policy in a fair and equitable way. This is posted on the Provost’s Website.
- The Provost’s Office has been diligent about addressing the individual cases.
- During the discussion several points were addressed:
- Being absent on a religious holiday is ot the same as being sick or attending a funeral.
- Students should not be charged with an absence on a religious holiday.
- Students have to be given the equivalent opportunity to make up work & exams.
- The Provost suggested not to hold exams on religious holidays.
- Requires faculty to act in good faith with an awareness of the law while respecting students’ rights.
- The Interfaith Center is the first place students go to if they have complaints.
- This might be a good thing to bring up at orientation.
VII. Report from the Vice-President for Research (D. Conover)
- SBU Research and Development expenditures by source are 53% is supported by the Federal Government, 38% is institutional funds, and the rest is industry, institution funds and state and local governments.
- During the last decade NIH, NSF and the DOE who have been big supporters of funded research have experienced little or no increase in appropriations for grant support.
- Over the last five years faculty haven’t been submitting as many proposals.
- We can stimulate more research activity by hiring more faculty in areas of high federal investment, increase industry-sponsored research, ease the burden of submitting proposals and managing big grants, etc.
- We are proposing an Office of Proposal Development to coordinate large interdisciplinary research initiatives or those involving large multi-institutional grants.
- Creating a Research Associate Dean’s Council to assist in formulating research teams to connect faculty from different schools, colleges and centers.
- Shifting from COEUS to Huron to streamline proposal submission.
- Changes to Federal OMB Uniform Guidance: Computing devices can be directly charged to federally sponsored projects. Direct charging of administrative and clerical salaries if conditions are satisfied.
- FY14-15 compared with the first six months of FY 13-14: Research expenditures are up by 7.35% and proposals submitted are up by 31%.
VIII. New Business:
S. Adelson outlined a USG resolution in support of a renewed rational tuition plan for SUNY. The Tutoring Center came about by the SUNY Rational Tuition Plan. Gives the institution the opportunity to increase tuition by asking for senate support at renewal. There should be a dialogue between administration and students on what the tuition level should be. Support for the USG Resolution was passed unanimously by the University Senate Executive Committee. A motion was made and seconded that the University Senate endorse the student resolution. By voice vote, all were in favor, there were none opposed and there were no abstentions.
The meeting was adjourned at 5pm.
Respectfully submitted, Laurie Cullen, Secretary