Health Science Sector Report, University at Buffalo – May 2009
Rochelle Mozlin, SUNY Optometry, Convener
The Health Science Sector had several concerns which are directly and indirectly related to the budget crisis. As state support is reduced, there is increasing pressure to generate clinical income. This is putting a greater pressure on the clinical faculty, often at the expense of time committed to teaching, research and service. This has a direct impact on the attainment of promotion and tenure.. Overall, there should be greater transparency and adherence to policy and guidelines governing promotion and tenure. Many of the colleges are undertaking time and activity audits of all clinical faculty with limited faculty input and engagement. While there is a basic understanding of the need for accountability and budget constraints, faculty should be involved in this process, to ensure that the mission of the university is being served. Despite shrinking state support, many programs are increasing enrollment. In addition to a need for more and not fewer faculty members, space is becoming a major issue. Facilities for conducting these programs including classrooms and laboratories are no longer sufficient.
The Health Science Sector is very concerned about the recent decision to eliminate the nursing program at SUNY New Paltz. Is this a single campus decision or part of a state-wide view of nursing programs? This is also a concern of the community colleges since this is a 2 year program accepting students from 7 community colleges. Where will these students go to obtain their nursing degrees? Loss of this program is a loss to the students, the faculty and staff and the community. Why are nursing programs being eliminated when there is a critical shortage of nurses in the state? A discussion of this concern brought to our attention the fact that allied health programs exist at various colleges other than those designated as members of the Health Science sector (Upstate, Downstate, Buffalo, Stony Brook, Optometry). The Health Science sector would like to obtain a list of all allied health programs throughout the university to be sure their interests and concerns are being addressed by the University Faculty Senate.
Technical Colleges Sector Report, University at Buffalo – May 2009
Barbara Brabetz, SUNY Cobleskill, Convener
Specialized and Statutory Colleges Sector Report, University at Buffalo – May 2009
Douglas Eich, SUNYIT, Convener
Douglas Eich, SUNYIT
Ron Sarner, SUNYIT
Richard Hurd, Cornell ILR
Mary Ellen Keefe, SUNY Maritime
William Carlson, New York State College of Ceramics
Along with the general concerns voiced by all SUNY campuses--too much assessment, too few resources, apprehension about future challenges—we also spent time in our sector updating the group on developments within our campuses.
William Carlson reports that the situation at Alfred Ceramics is stabilizing. Two new developments, both eagerly awaited on campus, are finally moving forward. First, there is an ongoing search for a unit head, who will sit as a VP in Alfred University. Senator Carlson reports that there was at least some faculty consultation in the shaping of the position. He also reports that there is a new allocation between SUNY and Alfred University, and that the campus’ next step is to search for a college business officer.
We were struck in our discussions with the important role President Wiezalis has had in moving this situation forward. Not only are we grateful that our president has a seat on the board of trustees, but we were reminded how much of the work Carl or any president does is behind the scenes: making calls, building relationships, and keeping dialogue going on the important issues for the system.
Senator Keefe from Maritime reported that her campus has had some positive developments, including an expanded graduate program, high levels of applications, ongoing physical plant upgrades, and a possible Rhodes Scholar. She also reported that faculty remain frustrated by a lack of resources, some with a20direct impact on teaching; these include both a severe shortage of classrooms equipped with appropriate technology as well as stiflingly hot classrooms (even though faculty had been promised air conditioning). She stated that enrollment in her literature sections had gone from sixteen to twenty-seven, a number that most of us in the meeting agreed is effectively unworkable.
Senator Hurd reported on the situation at Cornell as a whole, including both the private and statutory components. With Cornell’s endowment down dramatically, the news is troubling. There are cancelled pay raises, hiring freezes, and even layoffs. He stated that the Dean at ILR had taken steps to soften the impact, and that ILR is in better shape than the other three statutory units.
News from SUNYIT included our highest enrollment in nearly twenty years and a number of exciting capital projects either underway or beginning soon. We also discussed our one-year-old President, Dr. Bjong Wolf Yeigh, and I shared his clear and ongoing commitment to shared governance. Since we would be hearing him speak right after lunch, I promised the group they would enjoy his comments; I also told them he had gone out of his way to include faculty governance in discussions on campus. Even with his obvious dedication, however, we reported on some missteps and miscommunications, and noted that some members of the SUNYIT community had felt he had not gone through proper channels on particular issues. I did not share these instances as criticism, but instead as a reminder that effective shared governance, one of the themes of our plenary, requires constant attention and regular feedback, and is an ongoing commitment. Finally, SUNYIT shared one of the most important pieces of information given at any plenary: the location of the next one. Our campus will be hosting the 153rd Plenary in late October, and Ron Sarner and I promised the members of the sector that we would be ready and eager to welcome them to SUNYIT.
University Centers Sector Report – May 2009
Michael Range, University at Albany, Convener
The Senators from the University Centers are greatly concerned about the difficult budget situation in general, and about the following items in particular.
• Shifting funds from their designated purposes (e.g. tuition, IDC, IFR) to fill budget gaps created by other cuts.
• Increase in graduate tuition not matched by increased funding for tuition scholarships. This places additional burdens especially on the University Centers and decreases their competitiveness as the Centers compete for the best graduate students at the national level..
• Cuts in library acquisitions budgets. Sector representatives renewed their recommendation for a library line item in campus budgets. There also needs to be a better balance between expenditures for electronic resources and traditional media critical for many disciplines.
Another concern focused on the possible elimination of student fees that may be considered by political leaders. Such fees support specific needs of students such as health benefits and computing technology, and they are carefully monitored by SUNY. Elimination of such fees would require replacement resources. Furthermore, such fees should be covered by TAP.
Representatives are in agreement that SUNY and the University Centers in particular need to have more flexibility and indepence from state regulations, as recommended in the 2008 report of the Higher Education Commission. They restated their strong support for those recommendations that have previously been endorsed by a Resolution of the UFS.
R. Michael Range, Senator
University at Albany
University Colleges Sector Report – May 2009
Jim McElwaine, Purchase College, Convener
The University Colleges began by re-surveying our 13 campus responses relative to this year’s budget reductions. We compared that commentary to our previous survey in January.
We find that the budget difficulties at each campus continue in unprecedented severity. Most campus cuts persist as seven digit figures. Previous retrenchments have been softened to suspensions or departmental cuts. Nearly every campus has a “soft freeze” in place, especially in administrative hiring, travel, equipment replacement and sabbaticals.
We note that a number of university colleges cite excellent work by their financial officers and presidents to regain liquidated surpluses. We applaud the hard work that has left most part-time faculty in place.
Transparency in Budgetary Changes
The Comprehensive Colleges note with great concern the recent re-directions of excess enrollment tuition and state-support dollars that adversely affect our teaching campuses, having less impact on our University Centers. These changes in tuition and state-support financial return mechanisms seem to have occurred without substantive dialog with between System Administration, college presidents, CFOs and governance leaders.
The current financial crisis creates difficult choices for New York State and the State University; and, we know the current budget crisis is threatening the quality of public higher education in New York State.
The Comprehensive Colleges call for transparency and appropriate consultation between Central Administration and campus administrations prior to any major decision concerning allocation of resources that affects educational quality and curriculum.
Part 351 of New York State Education Law states:
"The mission of the state university system shall be to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational postsecondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary."
The comprehensive colleges are concerned that our mission of broad access is narrowing as students from higher socioeconomic classes find SUNY's high quality education to be an excellent value for the price. As our student populations change to reflect this, we feel our mission of access is being compromised. The Comprehensive College faculty reaffirm our commitment to the mission of broad access for the citizens of the State of New York We want to see SUNY admissions policy reflect the original mission more closely.
The Comprehensive Colleges now perceive 14 layers of assessment in SUNY. At present, approximately a third of our time as professors is consumed by assessment, taking away from the time we can devote to that which is being assessed: teaching and learning. As Comprehensive College faculty we are engaged primarily in teaching our students. As such, we are experts in accountability and assessment.
We want useful and effective measures of our success, and we are confident that those results will demonstrate that we meet and surpass the expectations of our stakeholders. However, we object to assessment that is duplicative, overly intrusive, and counterproductive. As stated in our earlier resolution, we respectfully request a thorough dialog with local administration and System Administration.
Morrisville State College Plenary - February 2009
Health Science Centers, Morrisville State College – February 2009
Rochelle Mozlin, SUNY Optometry, Convener
The Health Science Section is, of course, very concerned about the proposed 16.5% reduction in hospital funding. System Administration is committed to restoring this money to the budget and the sector will participate in this process. Tell us the best way we can help.
The proposed budget and reduced state support does create additional concerns for the sector. As positions are left unfilled and/or recruitment becomes more difficult, workload increases. The health science centers become less pleasant places to work, and there is a downward spiral in faculty morale and productivity. Budget cuts also typically fall on the backs of the clinicians who are asked to produce more clinical income. There is less (if any) time for professional development and no recognition for scholarly work that is accomplished despite having no time. The budget cuts are also leaving geographic full-time faculty out in the cold. Geographic full-time faculty is defined in the policies of the Board of Trustees as follows:
“A geographic full-time faculty member is a person serving on the faculty of a medical center who is not employed on a full-time basis for the purpose of fixing compensation payable by the State but all of whose professional services and activities are conducted at the medical center or its affiliated hospitals and are available to the State on a full-time basis for clinical and instructional purposes.”
Many of the geographic FT faculty have an academic rank and yet are not being paid by the state for the time they invest in teaching our students and residents.
It is unclear what impact the proposed tithing of the Research Foundation will have on biomedical research. However, this approach to “backfilling” the budget in the face of cuts in state support is immoral and unethical. The ability to obtain grants from prestigous foundations and institutes may be jeopardized.
The Health Science sector has noticed an increasing workload associated with assessment of educational outcomes, often attached to various accreditation requirements. Faculty are spending increased time involved in these activities, often at the expense of implementing programmatic changes and scholarly activities.
Colleges of Technology, Morrisville State College – February 2009
Barbara Brabetz, SUNY Cobleskill, Convener
IMPACT OF BUDGET CUTS UPON THE SYSTEM & TECH SECTOR
First, we point to the lack of clarity on the part of the governor’s office and legislature on how extensively cutbacks are pulling real dollars away from students trying to get an education. For example, if student–generated funds --the technology fee, health services fee, IFR dollars funding scholarships, for example -- are funneled away from campuses, students will be taxed on services that they will no longer receive. Although there has been plenty of public debate on raising SUNY tuition, we’ve heard no talk about cuts to Bundy aid to private colleges. Even the most optimistic citizen of New York will realize that federal stimulus package monies for higher education are only for the short term; they will not be used to create the “workforce of tomorrow” as promised in Washington D.C. Instead they are earmarked for shovel-ready bricks and mortar projects at both privates and publics across the state.
SUNY’s Tech Sector has moved far beyond the budgetary “tipping point”. We are decades beyond the times where mid-year budget cuts were aimed at the “fat” in campus financial plans. As you’ve heard in a litany of previous Tech Sector concerns personnel salaries, academic equipment and capital monies have never recovered from the last great SUNY budget crisis of the early 1990’s.
Blue-collar and middle class student pools, our bread and butter, will struggle to deal with any tuition increase coupled with a tight lending market. It is especially galling that only a small fraction any increase will be headed to the institution asked to educate them.
The following are some examples of how senior administrators have changed the quality (and
quantity) of instruction as a response to shrinking budget numbers.
1. Canton - The campus has now adopted a 4-day class schedule. This has been a mixed blessing. On a positive note commuter students are realizing gas savings, but there are more negative aspects affecting instruction and student life. Parking is now a concern, faculty office hours are wedged in between classes, and lab-oriented courses have not been able to move to a 4-day model due to scheduling conflicts. On the student life side there is a growing concern that a 4-day week may create a ghost campus on weekends, possibly fostering a divide on campus between local rural students (who travel home weekly) and the urban student population who stay on campus. Some other measures, although well-intentioned, have been taken to extremes. With heat down to uncomfortable temperatures nights and weekends, our faculty can see their breath in the office for hours each morning.
2. Cobleskill - Budget-driven curricular issues were brought forward by the Provost to department chairs in a wholesale fashion and were not vetted with governance or curriculum committee. We in governance struggle to reign in the momentum of these initiatives which include, among many issues, lowering degree credit requirements for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Out of fears that state funding will continue to shrink, maintaining tuition dollars from healthy student enrollments has some sobering effects. Published academic dismissal standards have been lowered and strategies of preferentially admitting out-of-state and international students for Fall 2009 has come from senior administration.
3. Delhi - The faculty are concerned about rising enrollment caps, a natural and expected consequence of a de facto faculty hiring freeze. As at the other tech campuses, the heat in offices, dorms and classrooms has been turned down to uncomfortable levels. As a consequence of fewer full-time permanent faculty at a small college, each educator is expected to pitch in to absorb the load – more advisees, more commitments on weekends, summers and breaks to work at advising days, etc.
4. Farmingdale - Although there is no official elevation of classroom limits, many sections this semester are overloaded, a few beyond posted classroom capacities and with not enough seats for registered students. Adjunct class sections have been cut while numbers of matriculating student are exploding.
5. Morrisville - Class enrollment caps are rising and part-time faculty positions have been cut. Although these moves were first billed as temporary and voluntary, they continue.
Members of the sector have read published reports in the media that certain college campuses in other sectors are seeking legislative change to allow “flexibility” in use of state property. In the most direct sense, campus flexibility is welcome as a means to start research development programs, foster regional economic development or host incubators or industrial parks on state property. We caution that flexibility, however, could be code for a means to subvert faculty governance or disguise campus financial commitments. We urge that SUNY entities born of this flexibility must abide by the NY Officials ethics laws and use SUNY’s current practices in hiring. Any financial gains that result from these endeavors should be reinvested back into the university.
We are thrilled that we will soon hear who our next Chancellor will be. As we all know, the new Chancellor is stepping into a volatile environment and will have to hit the ground running. However, in the absence of leadership (let alone continuity of leadership) in Albany there is no campus that can move forward on its initiatives regardless of political clout. We call out to the almost empty halls of System Administration to mentor and support the large number of new college presidents and senior administrators for the betterment of all campuses.
C. CURRICULAR OFFERINGS & PENDING PROPOSALS
At each tech sector campus multiple program proposals have been sitting at the SUNY Provost’s Office for review and comment for quite some time. The campuses of the Technology Sector require timely and constructive feedback. If there are overriding issues with outstanding program proposals or other reasons for delay, each campus would appreciate immediate input from the Provost’s Office.
D. PRESSURE FOR ONLINE COURSES
There continues to be pressure from deans and administrators on most campuses in the sector to develop and increase online course offerings. We believe that these efforts may be well-intentioned – for example meant to attract select students and increase enrollment/tuition, or a way save money while building courses for four-year degree. We agree that these efforts will bring more students, but see no real plan to accommodate them. Furthermore, there is skepticism among faculty that these initiatives will actually save money. Class sizes are (and should be) fixed in the 20’s and support positions apart from teaching faculty lines are ballooning. At some campuses, adjuncts are developing and teaching courses, sometimes from different time zones or continents. There are logistical and pedagogical problems that result, especially in light of outcomes assessment. Little, if any, faculty discussion within governance has taken place to address these issues.
Assessment is a many-headed beast that is fed with volumes of data and reports, many rehashing the same meaningful objectives and outcomes but in different formats. With recommendations coming soon as a result of the Comptroller’s audit of Assessment in the Major, we call for a streamlined and meaningful streamlined assessment measure good for all – middle states accreditation, professional accreditation, assessment of the major, peer evaluations, student evaluations, general education, etc.
Specialized and Statutory Colleges, Morrisville State College – February 2009
Douglas Eich, SUNYIT, Convener
Douglas Eich, SUNYIT
Ron Sarner, SUNYIT
Barbara Warkentine, SUNY Maritime
John Bishop, Cornell ILR
William Carlson, NYSCOC
Our sector spent some time talking about some perhaps isolated pieces of good news. For one, a few of our campuses are watching capital projects move forward, including roadway improvements at Maritime, a new student center at SUNYIT, and a new building for Cornell ILR. SUNYIT reported that our senior administration is actually shrinking in size, with the retirement of a VP for student affairs, enrollment management and development; our new President has chosen not to replace this position, but to move toward a “dean of students” model. This decision was welcomed on our campus.
Maritime reported on two administrative concerns. First, we learned that Maritime has the fourth largest administrative costs of any20campus. The reason is that the Levin institute payroll is housed at Maritime. Faculty sought clarification on this, as well as recent media reports raising concern about a possibly inappropriate political fundraiser on their campus. Unfortunately, Officer in Charge O’Connor was unable to attend our meeting to address these concerns.
We also discussed the impact of assessment. Along with our multiple ongoing obligations to system and our various accrediting bodies, each of our campuses has local requirements, some quite complex. Maritime, for instance, has one full day devoted to assessment each semester. Faculty reviews are mixed, with some feeling the process to be more burden than benefit. We also shared a perception that some of our colleagues who have always been enthusiastic supporters of assessment are growing increasingly frustrated with the time commitments. I reported on two colleagues who said simply that the time they used to spend revising and improving the content of their courses is now spent assessing outcomes – and that the trade off has not benefitted their teaching. In addition, there is always the concern that administration will ignore the principles of a culture of assessment, and will use results as a club, rather than a tool for improve ment.
Senator Carlson from Alfred Ceramics contributed his own report on the state of his campus. I’ve included that report below:
New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University - Statement of Senator
• An Allocation Agreement (the amounts of money transferred between the College of Ceramics and Alfred University) was reached between Alfred University and SUNY. This agreement was concluded and signed between the Fall semester and the beginning of the Spring semester. The Allocation Agreement was not provided to the College of Ceramics Faculty Council until just prior to it being signed; therefore, faculty comments were not solicited in a timely manner and an inspection of the details was not possible. No formulas were provided to determine the affect on the College of Ceramics finances.
• The College of Ceramics Unit Head position has yet to be searched but it was announced a search would begin.
• A Statutory College Budget /Finance Officer has not been searched or filled.
• Appointment of a temporary SUNY College of Ceramics Budget Officer should proceed immediately. This statutory position is not to be filled in consultation with the host university (obvious conflict of interest) nor is the position to be subservient to university budget authority (however, consultation is desirable).
• Aspects of the College of Ceramics budget were presented to the Ceramics faculty albeit without inclusion of the contribution from the statutory student room and board income. The College of the Ceramics budget should include all statutory inputs, e.g. SUNY allocation, statutory student room and board income, state construction funding, statutory faculty generated income, and statutory endowment gain (which is apparently controlled by the host university).
University Centers, Morrisville State College – February 2009
William Lanford, University at Albany, Convener
1. Kermit Hall, President of the University at Albany died tragically in the summer of 2006. Since that time, Albany has not successfully completed a search for a replacement. As academic administrative offices below President have become vacant, they were initially filled on an interim basis and later those appointments made permanent. The net result is that now all administrative offices, except for the Deans of some of the smaller colleges, have been filled without benefit of an affirmative action search and without normal consultation with campus governance. While we are experiencing turbulent times in SUNY and in the State, SUNY should adopt more robust administrative appointments policies which will not allow such a situation to repeat.
2. The University Centers are concerned that the combination of the increase in tuition along with the reduction in the number of teaching and research assistantships will result in a troubling decrease in the number of new graduate students entering our programs. Suppose a Ph.D. program takes 5 years. In equilibrium, 20% of the students are in each of the 5 years. If budget reductions require a 20% cut in graduate student lines, that will likely result the admission of zero new students. Such a drastic decrease in new graduate students hurts SUNY by diminishing its reputation, by making it harder to obtain research grants, and by decreasing the number of undergraduate sections.
3. We strongly support SUNY's negotiations with Elsevier and hope the result will be a better contract than the previous one, freeing up badly needed resources for other library needs. However, we are concerned about the decrease in support for SUNY's Office of Library and Information Services.
4. Increased enrollment along with decreased numbers of faculty and teaching assistantship lines will damage the quality of education within SUNY. It will increase the time-to-degree at all levels and reduce course availability for our students. This historic trend of reducing SUNY per student resource seems to be accelerating and, if not reversed, will cause major damage to the future of New York State and its workforce.
5. Budget cuts seem likely to have a disproportional effect on minority student population, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. If this is allowed to happen, New York State will not have the supply of diverse scholars needed for the 21st century.
6. We recommend attention be paid to reducing the duplication in required assessments within SUNY. Such a reduction will decrease campus workloads and, if carefully done, may improve the effectiveness of the remaining assessments.
7. The UB 20/20 proposal to give the University at Buffalo increased freedom from State regulations was discussed. The University Centers support the recommendation in the Governors Commission that SUNY needs increased flexibility. However, some members of our sector raised strong questions about some aspects rumored to be in the current UB 20/20 Bill.
University Colleges, Morrisville State College - February 2009
Jim McElwaine, Purchase College, Convener
Initial Budget Cut Survey
In order to obtain a sense of statewide responses to AY 08/09 budget cuts, the Comprehensive Colleges began by surveying current reductions at each of our 13 campuses.
New Paltz –
Retrenchment in one department; pay increases disallowed across campus.
Retrenchment of 3 lines, one department closed; close to hard freeze
Empire State –
Searches in a “holding” pattern; IFRs subject to local sweeping
Recall of all AERF; reduction of adjuncts; loss of 30 lines across 3 yrs in faculty and staff
Buffalo State –
Soft freeze; reduction in all travel expenses; teaching load and class size increases
mandated; assess ‘essential’ status of every adjunct; expect larger percentage of adjunct
loss in 09/10.
Little impact; 20 searches approved; no retrenchment
No travel; no hires; personnel changes imminent
Some searches cancelled; soft freeze; no foundation money; course load reductions
Sabbaticals canceled; OTPS reduced 30%; searches reduced from 28 to 11.
6% cut in every division, meaning usually loss of 1 line and all travel; all searches require
Soft freeze; president directing all cuts away from faculty; no half-year sabbaticals; all part-time instruction to be cut; no Temp Service; no travel; equipment purchase reduced
Old Westbury –
No SCAP; no AERF; travel restrictions; loss of 90 course sections across whole college;
adjuncts cut about 15%; 3 out of 11 faculty in one department now obliged to assume
administrative duties; undergraduate programs being cannibalized.
Little impact as yet; some searches cut; 2.5 to 3.5% cuts absorbed by local efficiencies;
perhaps a 10% across the board reduction in 09/10.
There were further concerns voiced, specifically:
• Will agreeing now to larger class sizes will establish a precedent that will not be addressed by a subsequent reduction upon the return to stable funding? And,
• Will we see a flood of students in a dearth of resources? Also,
• Will the ‘magic’ class sizes of 19 and 49 remain? Finally,
• Are class size maximums and changes union issues?
Subsequent discussion with senior senators indicated that UUP has deferred to act on class size in the past. Is that a greater reason to have the UFS advocate on class size issues?
Two Issues of Concern
The remainder of discussion focused on two issues:
• How to maintain quality education in a sequence of large and continuous budget reductions; and,
• How to eliminate or minimize assessment redundancies and inefficiencies.
The Comprehensive Colleges now perceive 14 layers of assessment in SUNY:
SUNY General Education – GEAR
Annual departmental reviews
Middle States reviews
Discipline specific accreditation reviews
The National Survey of Student Engagement
The Student Opinion Survey
The College Learning Assessment
The Voluntary System of Accountability
At present, approximately a third of our time as professors is consumed by assessment, taking away from the time we can devote to that which is being assessed: teaching and learning. As Comprehensive College faculty we are engaged primarily in teaching our students. So, we believe in accountability. We want useful and effective measures of our success, and we are confident that those results will demonstrate that we meet and surpass the expectations of our stakeholders. However, we object to assessment that is duplicative, overly intrusive, and counter-productive.
Agreement was unanimous to address both of these issues through resolutions from the floor, with prior review and approval by the Executive Committee. Resolutions were drafted and approved during the sector concerns meeting and presented to the Executive Committee the following morning.
The motions will be posted at http://www.suny.edu/facultySenate/ApprovedResolutions.cfm
The senators for the Comprehensive Colleges respectfully request a direct response to those resolutions from our Chancellor or Provost.
Submitted by the University Faculty Senators for the Comprehensive Colleges:
University Centers, SUNY Potsdam – October 2008
W. A. Lanford, University at Albany, Convener
1. Campuses need budget information now so they can make reasonable plans.
2. SUNY is special. Dollars going to SUNY are an investment in the future of New York State with there being no greater engine for economic development than SUNY.
3. SUNY's effectiveness is hampered by its status, effectively, as a state agency. SUNY needs more independence and flexibility, as recommended by the New York State Commission on Higher Educations.
4. Campus Presidents should be reminded that it is not acceptable for their administration to admit students to graduate programs, overriding the recommendation of the faculty.
5. Curriculum is a faculty responsibility and, as such, campuses should be more careful not to offer courses for credit that have not been approved by their faculty.
6. The newly imposed 4 year limit on Teaching Assistant support causes great stress at both undergraduate and graduate level. Is this a SUNY policy or do campuses have flexibility in its implementation?
7. The policy for forming Presidential Search Committees currently requires election by all teaching faculty. This is not practical for some units, e.g. very large numbers of faculty on multiple campuses. In such cases, we suggest it would be more appropriate to let campus governance recommend membership.
Comprehensive Colleges, SUNY Potsdam – October 2008
Jim McElwaine, Purchase College - Convener
The Comprehensive Colleges are concerned about transferability, budget cuts, administrative intrusion into campus governance, and administrative improprieties regarding curricular design.
Transferability and Articulation
Transferability presents significant problems by awarding baccalaureate credit for courses taken through NY community colleges that are taught by secondary school teachers. It may also establish a path for transfer of upper level courses now taught at community colleges.
Transferability may also create assessment problems for programs that are involved in licensure and professional accreditation, by requiring de facto acknowledgment of a program not registered to a licensing board or accreditation agency.
The Comprehensive Colleges oppose the misconceived deadlines and amateurish threats by which the SUNY Board of Trustees has pressured the Joint Committee on Transferability and Articulation into a hasty contrivance, interfering with a fragile transfer environment that demands mutual trust and collaboration. Despite these problems, the comprehensive colleges endorse the joint committee’s resolution on transferability.
Administrative Intrusion into Governance
The Comprehensive Colleges detected six infractions by administrative offices on several different campuses. These intrusive practices included
• violation of standing committee appointment procedures,
• inclusion of management/confidential personnel on campus review committees,
• refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of a duly elected CGL; and,
• continued administrative “creep” when ad hoc committees are established to governance procedures.
Administrative Intrusion into the Academy
The Comprehensive Colleges noted several instances in which the administration launched curricular changes without approval or proper consultation with faculty. It also noted administrative intrusions into general education course design and assessment. In an environment of increasing administrative turnover, the Comprehensive Colleges oppose the increased practice of curricular change by short-term administrators as simple career proof of accomplishment.
The Comprehensive Colleges would like to see a conclusion of the current budget “vacuum” at the campus level. Our faculty wants to proceed proactively in assisting the University as it maintains campus missions during a reactionary fiscal period. The Comprehensive Colleges urge System Administration to instruct campus presidents to publish their short-term tactics, for the next two financial quarters, so that we can plan together to minimize expected mid-year budget cuts. The Comprehensive College faculty wants campus budget processes that will mitigate impacts and protect educational mission assets.
Senators for the Comprehensive Colleges
Health Sciences Sector, SUNY Potsdam - October 2008
Sara Grethlein, Upstate Medical - Convener
Questions for the Chancellor from the Health Sciences Sector
Thank you for responding to our concerns. These questions come from the combined representatives of Stony Brook, Downstate, Upstate, Buffalo and Optometry.
1. Have you included an assessment of success in shared government in your formal Presidential review? Is direct faculty governance feedback being sought?
2. If there is a campus in which the faculty governance structure is perceived to be dysfunctional, how should that be brought to your attention?
3. How are you directing Presidents to engage the faculty governance leaders (elected, rather than selected) in dealing with budget cuts?
4. Under the fiscal threat, faculty are experiencing even more pressure to increase clinical productivity – how are you planning to protect the research and educational missions? Ex. Reductions in pediatric programs that don’t pay, but are essential to educational missions
5. Can you explain why administrative positions have been excluded from the hiring freeze (if that is accurate)?
6. As a sector, we are responding to external pressures to increase enrollment and have (ex. Stony Brook College of Medicine has increased 25%). How are we going to support this growth in class size in the current fiscal climate, especially in regards to faculty growth to keep pace with the increased enrollment?
7. The exclusion of qualified faculty ranks from consideration for Chancellor’s awards unduly disenfranchises full time faculty educators (including many program and course directors) in the health sciences who have clinical ranks. Can this be addressed?
Specialized and Statutory Colleges, SUNY Potsdam – October 2008
Doug Eich, SUNYIT - Convener
On each of our campuses, we are waiting to see the full impact of New York’s fiscal crisis. Despite this overarching concern, we spent some time during our sector meeting discussing positive developments on our campuses. SUNYIT has a new president, who has done much to invigorate the campus. Because he’s new, committed to shared governance, and available, we nominated him to serve on the Governance Committee’s panel discussion on May 1. We also learned that ESF is getting a new building – an impressive feat if one knows how small and contained their campus is. Maritime shared that the campus has undergone many infrastructure improvements, especially in its roadways and sidewalks. Both Maritime and Farmingdale mentioned the timeless problems that come with growing enrollment, including increased class size and expanding ranks of adjuncts. (On a side note, we were intrigued to hear that ESF has almost no adjuncts at all).
We also heard a report on New York State College of Ceramics. Sadly, there is no news since our last meeting. The unit head remains in place without a clearly defined job description; the results of last year’s audit remain hidden from the campus (and the budget as a whole lacks any transparency); Alfred University continues its attempts to hide the “SUNY” identity of NYSCOC. We are all well aware of the full agenda that system administration is facing – but in this very climate of fiscal concern, we ask Chancellor Clark to press forward with his efforts to clarify what actually occurs with SUNY’s $10,000,000 allocation to NYSCOC.
Campus Governance Leaders, SUNY Potsdam - October 2008
Walt Conley, SUNY Potsdam - Convener
The CGLs would like to thank the University Faculty Senate for its hospitality and opportunity for us to convene to discuss our issues. On Thursday night, Ed Alfonsin gave another excellent presentation and workshop on parliamentary procedure. Fourteen interested individuals took part on campus and another 8 individuals took part through video conference. Ed’s presentation was recorded and will be made available for later distribution to those interested.
During yesterday’s Sector Meeting, Sharon Cramer briefly discussed the role of the Faculty Senate Governance Committee and the newly revised Governance Handbook and encouraged CGLs to pick up a copy before they leave the plenary. A digital version of the handbook will soon be available.
The majority of the meeting focused on budget issues plagued by all campuses. As is always the case when this group meets, we find many new differences between our campuses, and managing the current budget crisis and having a part in the campus budgeting processes are no exception. As was pointed out by President Wiezalis yesterday, campus governance consultation and involvement with budgets vary widely; with some campuses having what they see as adequate consultation and involvement while others are left out of the process entirely. Regardless of the extreme differences between our campuses, it is highly recommended that transparency be employed in these processes and we encourage the Chancellor to pass that message along to the campus presidents as we try to do the same.
Related to this was discussion on existing structures such as budget committees and advisory groups across the campuses. Again, many differences exist here and best practices were shared. It is likely that future activity of this group will be a survey of the campuses on this issue, much like surveys have been employed for similar best practices. It was mentioned that one of the greatest rationales for having these meetings of the CGLs is to share best practices and concerns we all have. It allows us to go back to our campuses and share this information with our Faculty, Staff, and Administrators in the hopes of eventually following the successful practices of our peers at other campuses while also avoiding their misfortunes.
Also related to this issue was the desire for more time together to discuss common issues of campus governance leaders and potential solutions. If something can be done to help facilitate this, it would be greatly appreciated.