138th Plenary Meeting, Maritime College - October 2004
Resolution Tuition Plan for SUNY
Resolved, that the University Faculty Senate instruct its President to conduct a conversation, including references to the Senate's established policy regarding a rational fiscal policy, with the Chancellor and President of the Student Assembly regarding a tuition plan for SUNY.
Selection of Campus Presidents
The importance of the selection of a president can not be underestimated. A successful presidency can be extremely beneficial to the campus, to the greater community, and to the reputation of the State University of New York. A turbulent or unsuccessful presidency can have a profound negative impact upon the campus, the community, and the University.
The selection of well-qualified public servants is recognized in law, and is ensconced in the New York State Constitution which requires appointment to be on the basis of merit and fitness (New York State Constitution Article V, Section 6).
A selection process that provides a full range of information regarding candidates, particularly finalists, is more likely to result in a successful presidency than a selection process that relies upon limited information. In SUNY's history there have been several troubled presidencies that might have been avoided had the search committees involved had more complete information with respect to the candidate's prior performance.
In the academic world it is a common, but not universal practice in senior-level searches for a small visitation team to be dispatched to the places of employment of finalists, and while there for the team to personally meet with a variety of constituencies including superiors, subordinates, lateral administrators, faculty leaders and student leaders. These visits are undertaken for precisely the reason that they provide the search committee with a wider perspective of the candidate's past performance than can be obtained through telephone reference checks.
Whereas the selection of a campus president is one of the most important decisions in the life of the campus, and
Whereas the quality of a presidency can have profound positive or negative effects upon the campus, the community, and the State University of New York, and
Whereas the likelihood of a successful presidency is enhanced where there is thorough knowledge of the past performance of candidates, and
Whereas there is a New York State constitutional mandate Article V, Section 6 to assess merit and fitness of candidates for appointment,
Now therefore be it resolved that the University Faculty Senate recommends to the Chancellor that he recommend to the Board of Trustees that the 1997 Guide to Presidential Searches be amended to provide that the search committee may, prior to its final deliberations and at its sole discretion, establish a team of not fewer than three members, at least one of whom shall be a faculty member, to visit the finalist's place of employment, for the purpose of meeting with superiors, subordinates, lateral administrators, and other appropriate constituents in order to more fully evaluate the candidate's merit and fitness upon their return to report their findings to the full search committee.
138-02-01 without dissent
Fall Plenary Session
In January 2004 the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate requested the Governance Committee to examine the issues surrounding the establishment of the School of Nanotechnology at the University at Albany. To that end the two committee co-chairs visited the Albany campus on two occasions in February and April 2004, meeting with faculty critical of the process and with faculty and the Dean of the School of Nanotechnology.
As noted in the Report to the Executive Committee, there are differing perceptions on the question of whether the governance process broke down. However, as noted in the Report, "that, by itself, indicates that there were not a set of procedural expectations shared by the faculty leadership, the administrative leadership, and the leadership within the School of Nanotechnology."
A clear understanding of governance procedures by all segments of the campus community is central to the success of the governance process, and clear and frequent communication about procedural expectations facilitates such an understanding. To that end, the following resolution is offered:
Whereas increasing pressures upon the campuses of the university to become more responsive to the economic development priorities of the state and the communities in which they are located, as well as budgetary pressures to increase efficiency make it likely that reorganizations of academic units will occur with greater frequency than in the past, and
Whereas the organizational structure of the campus has a profound impact upon matters of research and instruction, whose primary responsibility rests with the faculty, and
Whereas a broadly understood and carefully articulated consultative process enables the faculty to effectively discharge its governance responsibilities,
Now therefore be it Resolved:
138-03-1 without dissent
RESOLUTION ON THE ROLE OF CAMPUS GOVERNANCE IN MISSION REVIEW II
Whereas, continuity in University and campus programs and goals resides in the faculty, and
Whereas, System Administration has mandated the active participation of campus governance in the Mission Review II processes, and
Whereas, the generation of the campus guidance documents is a critical step in the Mission Review process, and
Whereas, it is apparent that to date there has been great variability across the system regarding effective inclusion of the campus governance structures,
Therefore, be it resolved that
The University Faculty Senate ask the Chancellor, or his designee, to communicate with each campus President in writing reaffirming the crucial importance of formal faculty participation through the established campus governance structures in every step in Mission Review II (planning, drafting and revising the guidance documents, representation on campus visitation teams, and planned implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding), and
Be it further resolved that
A record of such participation be attached to both the campus guidance document and the final campus Memorandum of Understanding. Such a record should include the processes by which the guidance documents were drafted; the role of campus governance in discussing, endorsing, and/or ratifying such documents; and the provisions for including established campus governance structures in both the campus visitations and the planned MOU implementation.
138-04-1 without dissent