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University Senate
August 29, 2016

I. Approval of tentative agenda
II. Approval of minutes from May 2, 2016
III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)
IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)
V. Discussion with the Interim Provost (C. Taber)
VI. Discussion with the Vice-President for the Health Sciences (K. Kaushansky)
VII. Update on Enrollment: Rodney Morrison, Associate Provost for Enrollment and Retention Management
VIII. Update on the Budget and Facilities: Robert Megna, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
IX. Committee Report: Capra (D. Dwyer and N. Goodman)
X. UUP Report (C. Gizzi)
XI. Old Business
XII. New Business

University Senate
May 2, 2016

I. Approval of agenda: approved.

II. Approval of minutes from April 4th, 2016: approved.

III. President’s Report (F. Walter)

  • I am calling to order the last Senate meeting of the semester. Ed Feldman could not be here today because of a death in the family.
  • In response to allegations that the President of the University has been neglecting his responsibility to interact with the University Senate, President Stanley has been present at 6 of the 8 Senate meetings. This is a better attendance record than many Senators hold.
  • Senate elections are currently underway. Elections close on May 11th. Please vote. There are a lot of opportunities for write-ins.

IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)

  • I hope everyone has seen the signage for Far Beyond. We are incredibly excited about this. We think it’s rolled out in a very inclusive way around campus. The feedback has been generally very positive. Students seem to be energized by this. I think there is a feeling that this campaign so far has captured the energy, enthusiasm and momento of Stony Brook University and that’s really what it is designed to do. We will be rolling it out to the outside world as well. We have one ad in the NY Times so far.
  • I encourage all faculty/staff to take the on-line course on sexual misconduct. This is a variant of the one taken by the students. This is voluntary. It is not mandatory for faculty and staff to take.
  • Diversity plan is close to completion. We have solicited a lot of input. Should be completed by the end of the semester. This will give us time to get implementation. We are going to have to look for funding to implement some of the components as well and many of them require funding. It will have a detailed implementation plan.
  • This is Dennis Assanis’ last senate meeting as the Provost of Stony Brook University. Please join me in thanking Dennis for everything that he has done.
  • David Conover is leaving Stony Brook and heading to the University of Oregon.
  • Minghua Zhang is stepping down as Dean of SoMAS to pursue his research.
  • Melissa Woo is the new CIO of DoIT. Came to us from the University of Oregon.
  • Stony Brook Hospital received an F from Leap Frog, an independent rating agency that rates hospitals for safety. Within the Newsday story was a statement by Stony Brook University that we felt that this did not adequately reflect our actual performance. In fact there had been errors in the communication of data to Leap Frog which Leap Frog admitted. We believe very strongly that our quality is much higher and there are multiple independent verifiers of that. We are going to make some changes to make sure this doesn’t happen again because clearly it did not reflect well on Stony Brook and our hospital.
  • R. Pasternak, SB Hospital CEO: The survey from Leap Frog, for those of you who don’t know what Leap Frog is, it’s a private agency and it has nothing to do with regulatory bodies or financing bodies, it is an independent group. They assess every hospital in the United States whether you participate in the survey or not, so if you don’t participate in the survey they go to publicly reported data and when they go to publicly reported data, one of our concerns is that they are getting information which is two or three times removed from the source. So one of the considerations we had about participating in the survey, was at least insuring that they are getting accurate information about the organization. In the process of the information being pulled together, the people who were pulling this information together were fresh to the survey. It did not go through the traditional usual rigor we have. We do a lot of submission of information to the federal government, state government and multiple bodies. Because it was not at that level of importance in terms of what impact it might have, we made sure that it was with a senior group in the organization and it wasn’t until well into the process that there was some issue that might be affecting the validity of the data. We switched out the teams but by then the damage had been done. From the standpoint of insuring that this type of reporting has more rigor to it, we had started a restructuring of the process even before our score came out. We are making sure that every type of survey that comes in has that data verified and that this type of reporting does not happen again.
  • There was an incident at the SBS building where a student was assaulted in the bathroom. There is a person of interest. We believe they have left the campus.
  • A student died over the weekend. Potentially related to alcohol poisoning. The student died off campus. This is being investigated by Suffolk County Police as well as the University Police Department. J. Sanders: On the death of the student. The information was distributed only to students through the Dean of Students Office. It did not reach faculty so then when students call faculty to ask what’s going on we didn’t have any information to work on. I’m sure that it’s a glitch but it’s probably a significant glitch especially when students are nervous at this time of the semester. SS: It’s a good point. We do want to limit dissemination sometimes. I realize this may create the issue you are talking about. T. Ecklund: We reached out to undergraduate colleges and to faculty that are associated with the student. Those are the notifications we made. We want to honor the wishes of the family.

M. Bowman: Peter Kahn from the Department of Physics & Astronomy died over the weekend. There will be a memorial in the future.
R. Aller: On the positive feedback you spoke about for the Far Beyond campaign - I got a lot of opposite feedback. Many faculty and staff felt it was really superficial and silly. Many felt it embarrassing quite frankly for what they thought should represent a great University and that it didn’t reflect the dignity that most of us would like to see associated with this institution.

  • Commencement will be held on May 27th. Honorary degrees will go to Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Soledad O’Brien.

V. Discussion with the Provost (D. Assanis)

  • Prof. Walter presented the Provost Assanis with a “Friend of the Senate” award. We have enjoyed working with you for the past five years. We have found you very open, very willing to work with the senate.
  • It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to serving Stony Brook University. It has been a wonderful opportunity. I am ready for a new challenge but it’s emotionally hard leaving Stony Brook. I have enjoyed working with everyone: faculty, staff and students
  • Dr. Minghua Zhang is stepping down from his role as Dean of SoMAS. Anne McElroy and Fotis Sotiropoulos will be co-chairing the search committee.
  • Dr. Patricia Aceves has been appointed Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment and Technology-Enhanced Pedagogy.
  • Stony Brook University received awards totaling $4,580,000 through SUNY’s Expanded Investment and Performance Fund.
  • Three new degree programs were approved by SUNY and the NYS Department of Education.

Dr. Stanley: I am pleased that Dr. Charles Taber as agreed to serve as Interim Provost.

VI. University Senate Awards (F. Walter)

  • At the end of the semester we give out the Senate Awards. Ed Feldman started this program to recognize those people who go above and beyond to do the work on the committees.
  • Dr. Walter called each Chair of the Senate standing committees individually to come to the podium to hand out the Senate Awards to the member who had been nominated for outstanding service.

The Awardees this year are:

2016 Senate Awards


Nominated By


Steve Jaret

Robert Shrock

Library Services & Resources

Kathy Gebhard

Keri Hollander

Educational Services

Peter Salins

Norm Goodman and Deb Dwyer


Paula Di Pasquale-Alvarez

Robert Kelly

Administrative Review

Martha Furie

Marcia Simon

Graduate Council

Dawn Pappas

Patricia Aceves

Information Technology

Iris Fineberg

Tom Robertazzi and Maria Ryan

Research Committee

Arleen Steckel

Andrea Fedi

SPD Council

Donna Hildenbrand

Steven Adelson

Student Life

Norman Goodman

Alan Tucker

Undergraduate Council

Robert Rizzo

Bill Godfrey

University Affairs

Dawn Pappas

Teri Tiso

University Environment

VII. Report from the New Chief Information Officer (M. Woo)

  • Thank you to those of you who have been incredibly kind and generous on welcoming me here. It’s a difficult position to step into when there have been so many before me in such a short amount of time.
  • What I see generally going forward for central IT is that we need to focus on the customer experience. That’s not the same as customer service it’s the actual experience. We have to look at making sure that our processes are standard and that we treat people in a way that is consistent so that you know how we are going to treat you. We need to be more effective and more efficient.
  • Need your feedback. Be honest in your feedback.
  • Resources are limited on campus. My commitment to you is that I will think about that very carefully. Money that goes into a technology service is money, money that’s not going someplace else that can be of value to you.
  • F. Walter: How are we going to fund DoIT if we don’t have funding from the Rolm phones? Is the problem solved? M. Woo: We are still working on the funding. A model was presented.
  • C. Haddad: We need to address the Wi-Fi. It is very spotty. M. Woo: We need to get feedback on where there is insufficient coverage. C. Haddad: We need to be competitive.

VIII. Report from the Vice President for Communications and Marketing and Chief Communications Officer about the “Far Beyond” Campaign (N. Scibetta)

  • This is a long term strategy that we are employing as a University.
  • This began in 2014. One of the things folks looked at was what are we encountering now in higher education. There is increased competition. If you look in the past month there are at least five universities around the country that have gone through this exact branding process.
  • There is less funding at the State and Federal level. That forces us even more as a university to begin to differentiate ourselves amongst our peer groups not only nationally but globally. What is the Stony Brook story? We have unbelievable faculty and student stories. We should be known outside of the U.S.
  • We need to shape people’s perceptions through qualitative and quantitative research. Our research provided valuable insight into current perceptions.
  • Key findings: Awareness and familiarity, attributes to descriptors, opportunity to emphasize strong liberal arts program, STEM, and diverse regions.
  • The Brand promise is to empower Stony Brook’s driven imaginative community in the relentless pursuit of tomorrow’s big ideas. What is brand personality? Driven, curious, hands-on, welcoming and proud.
  • We need to bring the Stony Brook story to our audiences. Start with students, faculty and staff.

N. Goodman: Only half of the process of what we call shared governance. Shared governance means that once you've decided on something, once you put a plan together after consulting with various groups, before you execute it, you go back to those groups and say how did it conform to what they said before.
No matter what you said here today, the portrayal that we saw did not emphasize the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, it emphasized STEM research and medicine.
N. Scibetta: When you left the meeting we did go over the humanities and social sciences and we talked about the fact that when you looked at the brand guidelines slide that I put up about the promise it’s part of that. They have always been a part of it.
M. Schedel: Thank you for the digital music mention.
J. Sanders: I believe the way this was rolled out judging from my mailbox was that many of the faculty won’t speak for the students because the students covered their reaction on the Stony Brook News broadcast and many of the faculty sent me notes saying this is Orwellian, this is non-professional, I did not ask to have this signature put on the bottom of my emails. I thinks that there is a difference between opting in for something and showing enthusiasm, and having something shoved down your throat.
N. Scibetta: The footer was one of many things we were rolling out that we tested. It was always to be temporary. We tested it for 48 hours and heard from a lot of people that said please don’t take it down.
J. Sanders: What percentage of the faculty has opted in?
N. Scibetta: I don’t have the exact number for them because you can’t measure if they’ve opted because it’s in the signature emails.
J. Sanders: Did anyone in here opt in?
In a show of hands, very few opted in.
R. Aller: I was told it was compulsory and it was confirmed by Dr. Woo.
N. Scibetta: We gave everyone the choice to opt out. It was tested for 48 hours.
C. Haddad: What does the university hope to achieve with this campaign
N. Scibetta: We want to be able to tell a compelling and cohesive story. We want to be able to identify what is our story.
M. Whelan: Not all of our students had Stony Brook as a first choice. The applications we’ve driven up quite frankly it’s taken a lot of on the ground person-to-person, time intensive and quite expensive recruitment to do that if we can change the perception awareness of the guidance counselors so they will suggest us as a first choice. I’ve been through two other brandings, this is the most quantitatively based branding campaign I’ve ever been associated with. So when that happens we can withdraw not all but some of the more expensive tactics and techniques we use to get those applications.

X. UUP Report (C. Gizzi)

  • Contract is up in July. The group is negotiating very hard.

XI. Old Business: no old business.

XII. New Business: no new business.

Meeting Adjourned.

Submitted by:

Laurie Cullen

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