SB AlertChild Care Center - Delayed Opening for Thursday, 3/22. SBUEM Continues Monitoring Weather Conditions.  More information
Skip Navigation

Tentative Agenda
University Senate
May 1, 2017

I. Approval of tentative agenda
II. Approval of minutes from April 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 Interim Vice President for Research (R. Reeder)
VIII. Report from the Research Committee (I. Fineberg and T. Robertazzi)
IX. Plenary Report (P. Wolfskill)
X. UUP Report (C. Gizzi, K. Moriarty)
XI. Old Business
XII. New Business

University Senate
April 3, 2017

I. Approval of agenda: approved.

II. Approval of minutes from March 6, 2017: approved.

III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)

  • President Stanley: I sent you President Stanley’s commentary in Scientific American about the value of international students, faculty and staff on our academic mission. I want to publicly thank the President for doing so. It is an important statement for us.
    • N. Goodman: Why is President Stanley not here? E. Feldman: President Stanley is with his family on the west coast celebrating the birth of his first grandchild.
  • Budget: The NYS budget has not yet been passed. It might be useful if you see or want to call your state legislator. I will send recommended “talking points” to you.
  • USG: As you know, the University Senate and Executive Committee involves faculty, professional staff, graduate and undergraduate students. This year we’ve had a member of the Undergraduate Student Government who is part of the Executive Committee and he has been consistent and active in participating in our discussions. The students apparently agree with my perception of this young man because the USG has elected Ayyan Zubair as their President. Ayyan is here for an announcement. A. Zubair: There are multiple actions you can take to show our support for all Stony Brook students, faculty and staff regardless of religion or sexual orientation. On Friday, April 7, there will be a Muslim prayer ring to show our support from 1:30-2:00 on the Staller steps.
  • Chair’s Retreat: The Executive Committee meets with the Chairs of the Standing Committees at a Retreat which will be on April 30. Provost Bernstein will speak about his vision for Stony Brook and to answer questions. Doug Panico and Allison Matos will make a presentation about FOIL requests and how that impacts taking minutes for our standing committees.
  • Elections: The Nomination letter for 2017 soliciting nominations for senate elections on campus as well as three open state-wide senate seats will be going out shortly.
  • Service Award: While I want to recruit junior faculty and professional staff to be part of the Senate, I also want to pay show my appreciation for senior leadership in the University Senate. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I’d like to present this Service Award to our esteemed colleague, Robert Aller. R. Aller: Thank you very much. You did twist my arm to continue to serve. I do think, however, that it’s extremely important that all of us try to participate in this body and represent the larger university community as best we can. Thank you, it’s a privilege to serve.

IV. Discussion with President Stanley (J. Greiman)

  • The Stony Brook Gala is April 19th in NYC when we will honor Vice President Joe Biden for his dedication in the fight against cancer.
  • Diversity: The website on Diversity has the 2017 Implementation Work Plan which includes eight working groups which have reviewed the plan and have recommended specific actions, priorities and funding opportunities. There will be three town hall meetings, one on the west campus, one on the east campus and one in Southampton. There will be more time for questions at these town hall meetings. The website has an extensive list of FAQ’s. You can also register to receive emails about upcoming events.
  • Immigration: I urge you to reach President Stanley’s commentary in Scientific American on the value of international students and faculty in higher education which has received a lot of national attention. There is a SUNY mandate that every campus police department adopt immigration enforcement policies related to requests from immigration officials. This is not a new policy. N. Goodman: Is there anything in that SUNY policy that contradicts the resolution that this body passed? J. Greiman: I would doubt it but I haven’t taken a look. N. Goodman: is the President formally adopting that policy? J. Greiman: At the last meeting my suggestion was that we have a conversation with the Executive Committee and put it on the agenda. There just a couple of fine details that I think we just need to have conversation about.
  • Hardship Fund: You should have received a solicitation from the Hardship Fund for faculty and staff. We have temporarily opened the hardship fund to students who are impacted by the Executive Order on Immigration with the thought that there may be some students who are planning to go home this summer but they cannot so this fund may help support them.
  • Budget: There is a massive increase in defense spending proposed with a similar reduction in non-defense discretionary spending. The President’s proposed budget scales back on research especially on areas of research we have here. We have been lobbying at the Federal level. The State has not passed the budget. There is an extension of the current budget until May 21. A major sticking point was that Governor Cuomo proposed using a 10% charge to Foundations or affiliated organizations of SUNY schools, to pay for the Excelsior and EOP programs resulting in all sorts of legal issues. Should it pass all of the Foundations of SUNY and CUNY and probably other non-profit foundations across the state will have to assess what it says and whether legal action should be taken. They are is agreement in both chambers and with the Governor about giving SUNY up to $200 increase in tuition for each of the next four years so we would go back to having a predictable tuition program. They also came to an agreement on an increase in capital expenditures.
  • Body Cameras: The University Police did a pilot in the fall to test body cameras. The University Police will be installing body cameras which records audio and video. The video will be deleted after 120 days.
  • Dean of Students: The Senate asked about how many Deans of Students are currently being paid. Jerry Stein is the Interim Dean of Students. We are conducting a national search for a new Dean of Students. Tim Ecklund resigned as Dean of Students on December 30. I cannot talk about personnel matters.

Questions: P. Bingham: Is it true that the increased tuition is treated as a separate revenue string from the existing board tuition? In other words, tuition that Stony Brook students pay doesn’t show up in the account at that Stony Brook controls. We are funded by the state independently of that tuition revenue? J. Greiman: We are funded by the state. We do get state appropriation and we get tuition money. P. Bingham: So when a student comes and pays tuition that money goes in an account that the President controls. J. Greiman: As far as I know. E. Feldman: After my meeting with the President this past week, I learned that 1/3 of our tuition dollars comes from international students. R. Aller: Has there been any indication that the federal government will be allocated funds to enforce a particular immigration policy? J. Greiman: There has been no change to the federal law that says campuses are among those areas that are called sensitive locations. Senator: What about the Stony Brook in Albany day? J. Greiman: I haven’t discussed it with President Stanley. The timing was not right. C. Gizzi: The Hardship Fund website still lists eligibility as employees and I’d Iike to know if you are going to change that. When will the temporary period end? J. Greiman: I’ll look into getting the website changed. The temporary fund will probably end after the summer. J. Sanders: Being that a third of our tuition is coming from international students, the Chronicle of Higher Education says that some schools that traditionally depended on foreign students are experiencing a decline in foreign applications up to 30%. Can you give us an idea on where we stand on that? J. Greiman: Last I heard there was a 10% decline in applications. H. Nekvasil: Among graduate or undergraduate students? J. Greiman: I think that we’ve seen a decline in both. The only number that I know is a 10% decline in graduate student applications, but I don’t know what the decline is among undergraduates. That’s in applications, not enrollment. H. Nekvasil: Who sets the policy for the cost of out-of-state tuition and whether that is something we could raise. J. Greiman: the percentage by which we are able to raise is generally mandated by the legislature and SUNY. We do not have the ability on our own to decide to raise it. We raised out-of-state tuition I believe by 10% over the course of the last five or six years.

V. Discussion with the Provost (M. Bernstein)

  • Faculty Awards Archive: The Provost’s Office is creating an archive of all awards and honors that have been received by Stony Brook faculty. We want to encourage you to help us keep our records up to date, current and accurate. Faculty can now record their award information at:
  • URECA: We have some exciting upcoming events including a celebration of our undergraduate research initiatives in SAC including an all -day poster session.
  • Distinguished Lecture: Subra Suresh, President of Carnegie Mellon University, is coming under the auspices of the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine. President Suresh is a leading figure in the interface between engineering and medicine.
  • Course Evaluations: A few senate meetings ago, some questions and concerns were voiced about the change in the format of course evaluations and the timing around course evaluations when it moved to a digital platform. Some concern shared at the meeting especially on the part of early career stage colleagues was that students would be undertaking evaluations in the wake of knowing about their grades or certainly about their final examinations. A lot of that concern did not resonate for me, but we did take steps to incorporate your concerns. I am happy to announce that as of this fall, our course evaluation reports for each instructor in a course will also include grade distribution metrics. In other words, we will be able to see evaluation of an instructor and the distribution of final grades.

Questions: R. Aller: We have several new faculty members in SoMAS in the last few years. One of the problems with some of these appointments have been that renovations of laboratory space promised has not come through. How does administration view this problem? M. Bernstein: The Provost’s Office and Facilities and Operations are aware that we have a problem with respect to renovation for the laboratory enterprise, but also in general. Some of that is financial. Bob Megna and his team have been working with the Office of the Provost to develop strategies to streamline renovations, speed up the process by which plans are made, bids are secured and decisions are made to proceed with work. We have involved some faculty leadership primarily from the STEM fields because that’s where it’s directly affected. We are working on a formal statement on this that would be part of our website for faculty on the tenure track where renovations and laboratory environments are not brought up to speed in a timely fashion. We have to look at an extension of tenure clocks when labs are not renovated.

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

  • The School of Medicine is preparing for an accreditation visit which comes up in a year. One new curricular event that was just approved is our accelerated 3-year track for an M.D. degree which is offered in only about ten schools in the country. This is akin to our School of Nursing which has a one-year accelerated program. It is estimated that any student that goes through this program ends up saving/making about $350,000 additional dollars in their career. Ten to fifteen percent of our students might participate in this program.
  • The School of Nursing just went through their accreditation visit. The exit interviews were very positive.
  • School of Pharmacy: We had a visit from one of the accrediting bodies to give us advice on where we need to shore up and what additional faculty we need to have on board before we go for an official accreditation visit.
  • University Hospital: University Hospital was shorted $34M on our disproportionate share payment (DSH) that was due in September but didn’t arrive until January. We have been lobbying to get the $34M back. The total shortage for services rendered as much as three years ago was about $49M. The state decided we don’t “need the money.” There is a proposed suggestion that the NIH budget be cut by $5.8B which will come entirely out of Indirect Costs which are the monies that are paid to a university to support research. The Indirect Cost rate is 59%.
  • Reuven Pasternak and I met with Governor Cuomo prior to the proposed American Healthcare Actwhich would cost the State of New York from anywhere from $4-6B in support for healthcare. We avoided that bullet when this bill was not passed.
  • ICE Agents: At the last meeting, Professor Sanders questioned me about whether or not Stony Brook Medicine had a policy surrounding undercover law enforcement agents in the hospital, what are our policies, what are our practices here at Stony Brook. The question was a reasonable one because it prompted me to look into what we can do here at Stony Brook and what we can do together with other healthcare organizations to ensure a safe environment for people who come to Stony Brook University Hospital for their health care. There is rumor that ICE agents are present in the emergency rooms. Greater than 99% of the time we are notified if there is a law enforcement agent on our premises. HIPPA protects the confidentiality our patients. We are drafting language for signs in the emergency rooms about this issues. We have a lot of safety mechanisms.

C. Rubbini: Good afternoon, my name is Camilo Rubbini, I am a graduate student senator, I represent the GSO senate in this senate. I have a question concerning graduate students. On March 8th, two days after the previous senate meeting where some cuts were announced, 17 graduate students in the program of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences were communicated that effectively immediately after the end of the semester they will receive no tuition scholarship or stipend. In the spirit of what it was said about international students I want to mention 9 of these students are international so they will be required to leave not only the university but the country. Since this is something that affects all the graduate students in the school, we would like to know if the school is evaluating alternatives to accommodate the needs of these students.
K. Kaushansky: Unfortunately because of budgetary reasons the School was in a deep financial hole. This program was costing the SHTM a net loss of about $1M a year. Because of that the Dean made the decision that the program needed to be phased out. A little over half of the students have already achieved their qualifying exams. They will allowed to “teach out” – to be allowed to continue to graduation. We will help the other students get into other programs.
N. Goodman: Can you update us on the other schools? K. Kaushansky: Enrollment is rising in the School of Social Welfare. We have a group of three Dental School of Deans coming to do an external review of the School of Dental Medicine.
H. Nekvasil: Didn’t the Medical School move towards a change in the curriculum that offered more hands on clinical approach?
K. Kaushansky: We did indeed through the LEARN Curriculum which has a lot of innovative elements to provide more clinical work…12 weeks clinical, 12 weeks translation. It allows the medical students to get into the clinic full time starting in January of their second year. It also intersperses some of the basic science that they would otherwise have received in the four or five months before. In the design of that curriculum, we were anticipating a three-year curriculum.

VII. Club Red (F. Friedberg)

  • We had a successful fall semester with 10-12 dates all but two of which were sponsored. Those are $1,000 sponsorships from our Deans and Provost and affiliated businesses like Island Federal Bank.
  • We gave a certificate of appreciation to our café managers.
  • With the spring semester we were initially given a list of dates, but then the dates were pulled because the deal is if the café gets a standard business reservation to rent out the café they will go with that quote because it is far more lucrative than our $1,000 sponsorships. We only have two club red events for the spring. The other issue is miscommunication with the café. We are concerned about maintaining our relationship.
  • There is a Club Red committee meeting this Thursday. Please join us. We need more volunteers, particularly for the website.

VIII. Graduate Council Report (M. Simon)

  • The Graduate Council is mandated to advise the Dean of the Graduate School in all matters pertaining to Graduate education including changes in policy, student life, graduate student fellowships, course evaluations, etc.
  • This year we’ve only met nine times. Usually we’ve met around thirteen times. I think it’s a reflection of a decrease in the number of new programs.
  • We discussed tuition on research groups which was brought to the senate at the last meeting.
  • We are also looking into a policy on awarding degrees posthumously.
  • We are also discussing how to handle IP within a required Graduate School reporting policy.

IX. UUP Report (C. Gizzi and K. Moriarty)
C. Gizzi:

  • UUP Election ballots have been sent which are due at the UUP Office in Albany on April 12.
  • Legislative activity: We are letting our state legislators know how important it is to spend money here.
  • We are concerned about our UUP faculty members in the SHTM who were non-renewed.
  • On April 22 there will be a march for science in Washington, D.C.
  • There is an East Campus membership meeting on April 12th. The State-Wide President, Fred Kowal, will be at the attending.

K. Moriarty:

  • The meeting on the Constitutional Convention and it was well attended.
  • Delegate assembly for UUP state will be held on May 5-6th.
  • There will be an academic committee meeting on April 13th with Fred Walker.

X. Old Business: no old business.

XI. New Business: no new business.

Meeting adjourned.

Submitted by:

Laurie Cullen

Login to Edit