College Council Minutes of Sept. 14, 2012

Audio recording of the meeting available on iTunes U

PRESENT                                        ABSENT

Mr. James McMahon, Chair        Mr. Saleem Cheeks, excused   
Ms. Darlene Baker
Mr. Michael Goldych          
Ms. Carolyn Rush
Mr. William Scriber
Mr. Gary Sluzar
Ms. Rebecca Witkin

Ms. Deborah F. Stanley, President
Dr. Lorrie Clemo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mr. Nicholas Lyons, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Ms. Kerry Dorsey, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Mr. Howard Gordon, Executive Assistant to the President
Ms. Ellen McCloskey, Assistant to the President
Ms. Joan Carroll, Faculty Assembly Chair
Ms. Julie Harrison Blissert, Director of Public Affairs and College Council Recorder

1.  The chair called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

2.  The minutes of June 7, 2012, were unanimously approved.

3.  SUNY Oswego Co-op Program: Dr. Clemo introduced Sheila Cooley, director of cooperative education. The college's co-op program will officially launch in January, but some students have already completed co-op experiences. Two of them, who had placements at O'Brien and Gere and Welch Allyn, answered questions following a video introduction. Students can be full-time students and still have a six-month paid work experience related to their major. This initiative is in line with SUNY goals to develop the workforce and to assist students in completing their degrees. Oswego is a leader in SUNY in this area. Discussion focused on workplace communication and culture, co-op opportunities internationally, mentoring, and co-ops leading to post-college employment.

4.  President's Remarks: The president reported that full-time enrollment is holding steady, but the number of 18-year-olds is declining statewide and recruitment will become more challenging. Part-time enrollment has declined for ten years for a variety of reasons, including declining opportunities in teacher education. The college is developing new programs to address needs in the community, such as health services, and to maintain enrollment. She also reported on residence hall occupancy, increase in under-represented students, geographic distribution of students, academic profile of freshmen, 63 new faculty and staff, 8.6 percent increase in full-time faculty, ongoing construction of the sciences complex and Rice Creek Field Station and historic preservation of Sheldon Hall. On budget matters, she explained how new tuition revenues were distributed at Oswego and the SUNY Finance and Administration Strategy Team's work to help create a new resource allocation strategy. She invited Ms. Blissert to demonstrate the upcoming website improvements and report on the college's ranking in recent college guides. Discussion touched on commuting students, community impact of students, tourism impact of students' families, decrease in Native American enrollment, recruiting under-represented students, gender balance of the student body, international enrollment, how SUTRA works, an update on athletics and the educational impact of changes in the international scholarship.

5.  Student Association Report: Ms. Witkin reported on SA's plans to bring together the 181 registered student organizations to get them to collaborate on programming and bridge the gaps between them, the many fresh faces in Student Senate, new sustainability projects to influence student behavior and reduce waste, the successful Student Involvement Fair, and the fall concert. Discussion involved the composition of Student Senate, crew club, civic engagement of students and Rock the Vote project, voter registration process, and introducing students to the attractions of the Lake Ontario. Mr. Gordon noted Ms. Witkin's wide involvement on campus.

6.  Faculty Report: Ms. Carroll reported on progress in implementing the new general education program for Fall 2013, efforts to streamline curriculum initiatives and revisions, ongoing work of the task force on governance, formation of a task force on adjunct faculty, and preparing to host the SUNY Faculty Senate and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher from Oct. 25 to 27.

7.  Old Business: Mr. Scriber suggested the chair appoint Ms. Rush, Mr. Gordon and himself to work on an annual report for the College Council, and all agreed.

8.  New Business: Mr. Goldych suggested allowing STEM majors to graduate in five years. President Stanley said such a move would be costly to students and detract from college success indicators. Dr. Clemo noted some of the programs the college has instituted to support STEM students: the summer math program, additional academic support and an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation to increase retention. Discussion touched on the demands of athletics as well.

Mr. Sluzar asked about the possibility of leasing college facilities. Mr. Lyons said the college has leased space for cell towers and could consider other proposals.

The chair asked Mr. Goldych to investigate the county tourism potential of college students and their families.

Mr. Goldych noted the progress of Romney Field House renovations. He opined that the communications department should stiffen academic requirements so that its graduates working in the media could better enlighten the public about the science behind current events, such as uranium enrichment.

The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.