Skip Navigation

Tentative Agenda
University Senate
Wang Center, LH 2
November 7, 2016

I. Approval of tentative agenda
II. Approval of minutes from October 3, 2016
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 Capra (D. Dwyer and N. Goodman)
VIII. S-BOLD (W. Tang)
IX. 173rd Plenary Meeting
X.. UUP Report (C. Gizzi, K. Moriarty)
Xi. Old Business
XIi. New Business

University Senate
October 3, 2016

I. Approval of tentative agenda: approved.

II. Approval of minutes from August 29, 2016: approved.

III. President’s Report (E. Feldman)

  • University Senate Survey: The campus-wide Survey of chief administrators and campus climate which is generated by the Administrative Review Committee under the auspices of the University Senate and approved by the Executive Committee is about to launch on Wednesday. This survey is administered every 2-3 years and the results will be available on the University Senate website and is shared with accrediting bodies such as Middle-States when they review Stony Brook. It is very important that all Senators complete the survey and that Senators encourage people in your division to do the same. A low response rate hampers the Senate’s ability to use the data to make significant changes in Stony Brook. Robert Kelly, Chair of the Administrative Review Committee, stated that the survey is being run online by Qualtrex. Compared to the previous surveys the number of items have been reduced to increase participation. The survey should take 10-20 minutes. Written comments are very useful in analyzing the data. We hope to report on the results to the Executive Committee and Senate in December. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential. Written responses are sanitized to avoid identifying the respondent.

IV. Discussion with the President (S. Stanley)

  • State of the University Address: At the State of the University address on September 28th, I emphasized Stony Brook’s long term goals which include improving graduation rates, diversity on campus, economic development, research and the progress in Stony Brook Medicine. We have increased the number of faculty over the past five years which will drive more research. Improving Stony Brook’s diversity will continue to be a goal. It is not enough to talk about it but we need to implement it. Progress can be seen by visiting the diversity website. Robbye Kincade from STHM has been hired in the President’s Office to develop hidden bias training programs. The HeForShe Initiative is also a major initiative. As a result of Michael Kimmel’s work for the Center of Men and Masculinities, Stony Brook is one of only two US universities to take a lead role in HeForShe. Stony Brook co-hosted the second anniversary reception at the Museum of Modern Art. Financially, Stony Brook suffered a significant setback last year when the SUNY 2020 which would have allowed us to modestly and predictably increase tuition over a 5 yr period. State allocations were not increased to compensate for this loss of revenue. In addition, Stony Brook had to absorb the costs of mandated salary increases creating an $8M budget gap.
  • Rankings: Stony Brook went down a notch in the U.S. News rankings partly as a result of completion rates and size of classes. However, the quality of the freshman class is improving and we are making progress in graduation rates. We need to energize our research efforts.
  • Syrian Refugees: J. Sanders: Last year, we talked about the hiring qualified Syrian refugees. Then Provost Assanis was working on a proposal with the other Provosts and Deans on Long Island. Can give us some sense any progress in this area and have Human Resources people been in trying to aid that process. S. Stanley: I think there have been discussions, but I did not talk about this with Dennis before he left. I don’t know what the status is. There are HR challenges in singling out particular countries for hiring and what precedent we set which we still have to explore. I understand the crisis that is there. I appreciate your question and will follow-up.
  • University Expansion: M. Bowman: We live in a culture where we all strive for excellence and bigger is better, but there are limits to the number of buildings and housing and the impact of growth on energy efficiency, preserving our campus environment and our forests, sewage disposal, etc. What is the optimum size of our campus? S. Stanley: There are a number of things going into that discussion. We have 35,000 applicants for 2,900 spots in our first year class. It is possible for some expansion in that class at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. At the same time I am sensitive to the issues you talk about. We put out a request for proposals to examine how we can utilize space more efficiently and we are working to meet the state energy goals in reducing our energy consumption.
  • Completion Rates: P. Bingham: Many of our students have to maintain jobs in order to pay for their college education and this has an impact on 4-yr completion rates. Pressure to finish in 4 yrs may actually be destructive of their welfare. Do we have data? S. Stanley: I don’t know if we have specific data on that but we know that completing in four years is economically much more advantageous than going five or six years. We need to do a better job on providing scholarships support for needy students, so they can finish in 4 yrs. Financial aid is a high priority and we need state support TAP.
  • Stony Brook Manhattan: C. Gizzi: Can you update us on Stony Brook Manhattan? S. Stanley: The rent was being raised significantly on that property on Park Avenue. We weren’t making the rent based on the tuition we were getting from the programs that were there. We were losing money. The student numbers never really materialized. We will be looking for alternatives.

V. Discussion with the Interim Provost (C. Taber)

  • Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. There is a call for nominations for the 2016-17. These are our SUNY awards in the categories of faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities and teaching. The deadline for initial filing is October 13th.
  • Applied Learning: There are Stony Brook Faculty and Staff serving on the SUNY Applied Learning Corps of Experts. They will be asked to share their ideas and experience on various types of applied learning. I appreciate their willingness to provide their expertise to the SUNY system.
  • Summer Online Teaching Initiative: The Provost’s Office has created a 2017 Summer Online Teaching Initiative which has been going on for three years. This program encourages faculty to design and offer online courses especially those in high demand. This carries a supplementary stipend of $1,500. Application forms must be submitted by October 24th.
  • Continuing Teacher and Leader Education: There have been changes in the way that Continuing Teacher and Leader Education is structured New York State which will affect some of our local teachers who come to SB for professional development and certification. Staring July 1st, 2016, NYS will now require that all teachers register with the online NYS Education Department and from the time of registration they have five years to complete 100 hours of continuing development training which is required to be offered by a certified provider. The School of Professional Development at Stony Brook is a certified provider for this training. If you are providing continuing education to teachers you must register through SPD.
  • Chemistry Research Day: The Chemistry Department annually offers a chemistry research day which is a great opportunity to see research conducted by students and faculty. Chemistry Research Day will celebrate the Chemistry Department’s 58th anniversary on November 4th.
  • International Conference and Expo on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World: On November 2-3, Stony Brook will host the 13th International Conference and Expo on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World at the Melville Marriott.

VI. Discussion with the Vice President of HSC (K. Kaushansky)

  • Academic Update: Several new initiatives have been launched over the last couple of months that are almost all externally funded. The School of Health Technology and Management continues to grow its footprint on the Southampton campus with new or expanded programs. With the closing of Stony Brook Manhattan, the Master’s in Social Welfare Program will be transitioning to space in the SUNY Optometry.
  • Mount Sinai Health: School of Medicine has signed an affiliation agreement with Mount Sinai Health in NYC. This is an opportunity to expand our academic, research and clinical programs including an ambulatory facility in Commack.
  • School of Pharmacy: The School of Pharmacy is now officially launched with founding Dean, Dr. Douglas Reid, now on campus. He will be building the curriculum.
  • Graduate Medical Education: There are changes in leadership in our graduate medical education program which affects the School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy and other graduate programs including the School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Fred Schiavone, who has been here for 25+ years and was our Dean for Graduate Medical Education, has taken a position in South Florida. We held a modest search including an internal candidate. Dr. Bill Wertheim from the Department of Medicine who has 20+ years in the medical school will be the new Dean of Graduate Medical Education.
  • Winthrop University Hosp: E. Feldman: You and I have talked about the implications of the announcement that Winthrop University Hospital has affiliated with NYU. Can you give us an update on how this will impact our students? K. Kaushansky: What Ed is referring to was a news article about an affiliation between NYU Langone Medical Center and Winthrop University Hospital. The “U” in Winthrop University Hospital refers to SB. I have been assured that the interaction with Stony Brook with medical and graduate students and residents will not be affected.
  • Affordable Care Act: M. Bowman: There was an article in the NY Times about the ailing Obama Healthcare act. What is your take on this? K. Kaushansky: I think it’s spot on. I was a big proponent of the Affordable Care Act healthcare act as it rolled out, but Stony Brook has been burned. Two years ago we were negotiating with seven healthcare plans on the NYS exchange, but the reimbursement rates would have been below the commercial rates. We did affiliate with Health Republic, but they went bankrupt a number of months ago, and we lost $15M between the Hospital and the practice. With our participation in the DSRIPP program (Medicaid redesigned), we are getting smarter about how to manage large populations of individuals to improve access but most importantly how to reduce costs.

VII. Update from the Faculty Student Association (P. Baigent)

  • What is FSA? The Faculty Student Association (FSA) is an auxiliary services corporation which is campus-based, non-for-profit and is licensed through SUNY. It is set up by legislation many decades ago and it is present on most campuses. The FSA is responsible for dining, course materials and retail.
    • The FSA Board consists of 12 members including 2 elected senate representative as well as USG and GSO representatives.
    • There has been a period of change in the FSA leadership over the past twelve months when new staff have been hired or replaced including specialized staff I shared services (IT, Communications, Facilities), Contracts Administrator and a Business Intelligence Manager. We are currently searching for an FSA Executive Director who is the Chief Operating Officer.
  • Food Service: Last year Sodexo was awarded a five-year contract based on bidding when Blackman had terminated. This fall there was a new meal plan created in response to students’ concerns which planned to address access to meals and unlimited offerings at three dine-in locations. Over 18,500 meals are served daily. Execution of the new meal plan was awful. Students were not satisfied with the food quality, portion sizes and cleanliness. The root cause from what we could see appears to be at attempt at budget savings by the vendor’s local management. Current improvements include improving food offerings, portion sizes and overall dining experience. Future improvements include an App that will show students the exact menu and more convenient take-out options. The newest and biggest dining facility is East Side Dining. E. Feldman: Does Sodexo offer an East Campus cafeteria as well? P. Baigent: no. E. Feldman: It was brought to my attention that students who require Halal or Kosher food had limited dining facilities on the weekends or in the evenings? Is this something that is being addressed by FSA? P. Baigent: If you walk into the new facility you’ll see a huge sign Halal and another sign that says Kosher. E. Feldman: And that’s available seven days a week? P. Baigent: Yes and this will be the major hub.
  • Bookstore: Stony Brook has decided to move to an online bookstore through Amazon which was chosen after an extensive competitive bid to find a vendor that was the most affordable for our students. Book sales have been going down and rentals have gone up dramatically. About 40% of textbook sales prior to this decision was through Amazon. Course materials can also be purchased from Amazon. Amazon received over 7,000 course material requisitions. Ninety-seven percent of course material was sourced successfully. Over 33,000 packages were delivered in the first three weeks of the semester. The Amazon campus pick-up is located in the lower level of the Library. Mailrooms will be open 7 days a week to deliver the books. The HSC will get a set of lockers on the second level for delivery. P. Bingham: Under this contract does the university receive a portion of the purchase price and if so is that in the form of a mark-up and if so how big? P. Baigent: They receive a commission. The budget and commission is less than what we would get from Barnes and Nobles. P. Bingham: Barnes and Nobles was 20-25% which was substantial. Is it that large? P. Baigent: No. It’s driven by the market. M. Zweig: I was one of the people that raised questions early on who raised questions about this. A bookstore is not just for textbooks. We go there to browse and to see what our faculty’s newest publications. We see what’s going on in literature outside of our fields. It’s very difficult to imagine a real intellectual community that does not have a functioning and serious bookstore. Is there any way we can actually have a bookstore on this campus? P. Baigent: I seriously doubt it. It’s not economically part of the environment. M. Zweig: This is a tremendous loss for our academic community. This takes us in the wrong direction. Do I understand from what you just said about the finances that the University actually gets less out of this than we would have gotten from Barnes and Nobles? P. Baigent: Yes, because I want students to get the best deals, more affordable textbook. Delicia Kamins: Graduate students, particularly in Philosophy, need a place where to go and see about the rest of the research in their fields. This is an unwelcome change. In weighing the economic benefit of only having books online, let me point out that only 40% of the students were already doing that and I’m assuming that includes the book rentals. That means that 60% of the students were still using the bookstore in person. We don’t have the ability to obtain a book right away. There comes a point where we have to be mindful of whether or not it’s worth it to save a little money and to preserve the academic aspect especially for the graduate students who come here.

VIII. University Food Pantry (D. Crapanzano)

  • One of our social work interns from the School of Social Welfare was doing a survey and completed it this summer and one of my colleagues was analyzing the data from the last two years of all the users of the food pantry and that also came available this summer. It gave us a good time to share some of the history of the food pantry, what some of the survey and data results were and where we are going to be reaching out to the Stony Brook community to help us continue with the food pantry.
  • The food pantry is sponsored through the School of Health Technology and Management’s Center for Community and Leadership Development.
  • The food pantry officially opened three years ago.
  • We’ve worked with a Stony Brook nutritionist. The food is based on a healthy diet with a balance of calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There is no junk food.
  • The food pantry is open three days a week when school is in session in the Fall, Spring and Summer.
  • It is located in the Union and is staffed by student volunteers.
  • Food items are obtained by food drives.
  • The survey found it is primarily used by undergraduate students who are less likely to have a meal plan.
  • Students who live on campus have limited or full kitchen access.
  • E. Feldman: Are there students on campus who are hungry? D. Crapanzano: Yes. One of the things that came up in the last couple of years is that there is a food insecurity. A lot of students will say that if they didn’t go to the pantry three times a week, they wouldn’t have anything to eat.
  • M. Bowman: What about diversity? D. Crapanzano: We have vegetarian and ethnic food.
  • M. Zweig: I’ve had students who are homeless. We should all be aware of this.

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

  • We have two events to celebrate diversity including October 20 celebrating Hispanic Culture and November 2nd to celebrate Indian Culture.
  • There a meeting for UUP retirees who meet at the Stony Brook Hilton on the 25th.
  • We have a LIRR trip to on the first Saturday of December going to the City.
  • J. Torre: As you all well know we do not have a contract now and we are in contract negotiations. If you want details on the contract go to There is a new IDA awards. It’s an expedited one through joint labor management and UUP. The dates are July 2nd through December 31st. We will also be giving numerous workshops that you can look up on the UUP website.

Meeting Adjourned at 5:15 pm.

Submitted by:

Laurie Cullen

Login to Edit