General Faculty Assembly Minutes Archive

February 14th, 2011



Chair: Susan Camp

Recorder: Sarah Lewis


The meeting was called to order at 4:08 P.M.

I.  Approval of Agenda

           The agenda was approved unanimously

II.  Approval of Minutes of General Faculty Meeting of September 20th, 2010

            The minutes were approved unanimously.

III.  President's Report- D. Stanley

         The President began her report by discussing the budget. She stated that the Capital Plan was re-appropriated, and there would be 21 million dollars in capital projects that are going on around campus in the next year. This money will help to keep all construction projects rolling and underway. All the bids that have been awarded for capital projects, specifically the Science complex, have come in under estimates and the funds that have been saved are being used for other capital projects around campus. The low bids on recent capital projects have come in under estimates, specifically the Science complex. Extra money that has been saved is being used for other capital projects around campus.         

        She reported that the total SUNY reduction in the Governor's proposal from this year's budget is about $131,400,000. Leaving aside negotiated salary increases and statutory college budgets, the total cut for state-operated campuses like Oswego is about $88 million dollars. These are very preliminary numbers, but the President estimated that the net SUNY Oswego reduction would be about $2.8 million dollars. This number is a calculation, and it is based on how cuts have been allocated previously. Based on those cuts and the process we have experienced for the past three years, it is believed that the SUNY Oswego will be in the range of $2.3 million to $2.8 million.          

         The President then reviewed the loss of funds in the budget since the 07-08 academic year. She noted that the campus is losing ground. She reported that the grand total in reductions to the budget including this year's projected cut is $11,173,300.        

         The President discussed the Chancellor's "Three Legged Stool" budget advocacy analogy. The first part of the "Three Legged Stool" includes procurement relief, which would eliminate some of the red tape. The second leg includes public and private partnerships, which the campus is actively seeking in the private sector and would include underwriters for study abroad programs. Lastly, she discussed the third leg, which is rational tuition policy. This includes a five -year plan that was offered and discussed by the Chancellor.          

         President Stanley stated that there was no tuition increase in the Governor's proposed budget. She stated that even if the tuition was increased by only $100, it would bring about $700,000 to SUNY Oswego; $200 would bring $1,400,000, and so on and so forth. She then went on to report that SUNY is working to create a "report card" for SUNY campuses. This report card would look at many different criteria, which includes financial support, retention rate, and graduation rates. The full list of requirements will be released later in the year, and the first year results will be released next year. The President reported also reported on Performance Based Resource Allocations. This would include awards for performance and at risk funds, may begin in 2012, but may also be put off. She stated that the use of performance based resource allocations isn't anything we have not already done internally at Oswego in a less formal way. She also stated that she would know more about this SUNY process in the future as well.     President Stanley reported that Spring enrollment was strong, and that full-time students were at 7,017 (which is up 153); that part-time was at 919, (which is up 14); and that the total credit hours being taken at SUNY Oswego is 105,871 (which is up 2,204). Lastly, she reported that the Metro Center has seen an increase in enrollment and everything there is running smoothly. 

IV. UUP Report- S. Abraham

      President Abraham began his report by stating that emails for the IDAP awards have just gone out; this round will cover activities taking place between 12/31/10 and 7/1/11. The applications for the IDAP awards are due on February 25th, 2011.         

      He then continued his report by stating that elections for the Oswego Chapter of UUP will be coming up shortly. He reported that ballots will be mailed out at soon and will be due back in Albany by March 23. He noted that ballots will be sent to union members only, not fee payers. There will be more information on the upcoming elections on the UUP website.         

      He also stated that there will be a retirement party in May but noted that the date has not been set. The tentative plan is to hold the reception during finals week but there will be more information soon.       

      President Abraham then continued his report by talking about the contract. He noted that the current contract expires July 1, 2011. In terms of negotiations for a new contract, he informed the assembly that suggestions from members were prioritized by the negotiating committee and negotiating team in January 2011. The team will now draft a slate of proposals to present to the governor's office and the committee will be called back to approve these proposals. Bargaining will begin for the new contract sometime in the spring but UUP Statewide President Phil Smith stated that there might not be a new contract for a long time. He pointed out that things to remember in the meantime are that the old contract will still be in effect until July 1st, 2011. There will also be one more round of DSI in 2011 under the current contract. He also stated that if there is no contract approved, the Triborough doctrine/amendment goes into effect. This doctrine states anything in the current contract that does not sunset (have a specific end date) is extended automatically until a new contract is reached. Thus, even though there will be no salary raises or DSI (after 2011) until a new contract is reached, things like health benefits will continue as they are until a new contract is reached.     

      He lastly reported out to the Assembly that only Union members will be entitled to vote on any new contract that is reached and encouraged anyone who is not a union member to join. He also prepared the Assembly that there might be a long wait for a contract.

V. Faculty Senate Report- W. Ihlow

       Below is the full Faculty Senate Report at the end of the minutes.

VI. Chair Report - S. Camp 

      The Chair began her report by stating that FAEB is developing a process for governance consultation prior to program deactivation or discontinuance. This is in reaction to the Faculty Senate Resolution and the Chancellor's agreement that consultation must occur and meet our procedures. (see form)       

      She then continued her report by stating that anyone interested in the SUNY Graduate Poster session is due to Shashi Kanbur by February 18th Dr. Camp then reported that last fall we conducted a survey about faculty and staff perceptions of FA and governance. Generally remarks were positive with many suggestions, which included:

• "FA should ask for discussion and presentations about new initiatives in the institution.

• FA should discuss and ask for presentation for certain academic related topics: focus of the institution regarding each department-school, research, hiring practices."
• "Our campus is divided into colleges/schools and life is quite different for a faculty, depending on the school. We have created a class system where one group has distinct advantage over the other. This is just not fair.
• I think it would help to get other people involved. It's always the same people who give their time and energy to the campus. I think we should standardize forms used by all the different committees, create one form with all the required information for everyone.
• The issue of quality must be enforced for faculty as well as administrators. "
• "Please consider making our FA sessions more exciting, rewarding and less time consuming so that more colleagues are interested in attending. Also, allow each respective academic discipline have more say in offering competitive and state-of-the-art programs, which means instilling in more marketplace relevance to what we offer."
      A committee is working on making recommendations on streamlining the process of curriculum development and process. Generally, by using software where all developers and approvers will know where the proposals are and what changes are being asked for or made. She then concluded by asking the Assembly if there were any questions that you have that you would like her to investigate?

VII. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.

VIII. New Business
There was no new business.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 P.M.







University Faculty Senate Report, from January 27 - 29, 2011

The issues that received the most discussion by the Senate President included
1. SUNY Strategic Planning,
2. General Education,
3. the leaky Education Pipeline from K through College Graduation,
4. "credit-creep" in programs as it affects time-to-graduation rates

Unfortunately, the state budget was not be presented by the Governor until tomorrow, Feb 1 so conversations about university funding could only be speculative but there was discussion of a new formula for campus funding related to performance ratios, and also of possible further tuition hikes

In our Comprehensive Colleges Sector meeting, included:
1. discussion of seamless articulation agreements and General Education transfer.
2. discussion of a situation that developed in SUNY Plattsburgh that appears to unfairly infringe on faculty responsibility for the curriculum. The Interim Provost asked their faculty to lower the number of credits required to complete the General Education Program. She told the faculty that if they refused to participate, the administration would make the changes. The Faculty Senate voted to not participate. As a result the administration changed the program from 42 to 34 credits.
3. questions about any further System plans for program suspension and discontinuation
4. a request a clarification of the concept of "performance-based funding". Rather than having many of our programs enter into competition for scarce resources, what are the specific recommendations from administration that will encourage us (the comprehensive colleges) instead to maximize our co-operations and complementarities? are there incentives that will lead us to these co-operations and complementarities?
5. a request a clarification of the term ‘consolidations' as that relates to the Strategic Plan. In our emerging environment of, how do the concepts such as enrollment caps and "significant changes in humanities and language programs".
6. a request for an elaboration of the term "administrative efficiencies." SUNY is now emerging from a ten year period of Gen ED that has institutionalized inefficiency and curricular management. The comprehensive colleges feel particularly vulnerable to some potential outcomes like regionalization and resource combinations, programmatic changes in humanities and languages.

Further Notes on Comprehensive College Sector Concerns, summarized by Jim McElwaine
UFS Winter Plenary
January 27-29, 2011

The Comprehensive Colleges, like the University Centers and the Colleges of Technology, are concerned with the implications of performance-based funding and administrative efficiencies, as outlined in the State of the University address.

Performance Based Funding
We request a clarification of the concept of performance-based funding.
Rather than having many of our programs entering into competition for scarce resources, what are your specific recommendations that will encourage us instead to maximize our co-operations and complementarities? What are the incentives that will lead us to these?

Comprehensive colleges feel particularly vulnerable to some potential outcomes of regionalization and resource combination, as suggested in the State of the University address. How will these change the aspirations of the Comprehensives Colleges? What extensive programmatic changes in humanities and languages should we anticipate, as GenEd changes to fit the 7-of-10 models? How do enrollment caps play into this reformation?

What kind of financial crucible is being built? To what extent are the conventional models of liberal arts education to be tested there and reformed?

Program duplication
SUNY is now emerging from a ten-year experiment in Gen ED that has institutionalized program duplication through administrative fiat. Inefficiencies, programmatic imbalance and clumsy delineation characterize our former General Education. How will the University address the shift from former intensifications in language and history to mathematics? Reductions in GenEd credits are sometimes framed as a savings on some campuses. What is your response to that?

General Education mandates
A situation has developed in SUNY Plattsburgh that appears to infringe on faculty responsibility for the curriculum. The Interim Provost at Plattsburgh asked their faculty to lower the number of credits required to complete the General Education Program. She told the faculty that if they refused to participate, the administration would make the changes. The Faculty Senate voted against participation. As a result, the administration unilaterally changed the program from 42 to 34 credits.
Do you approve of this action?

Resource allocation methods
The lack of recently published resource allocation methods at System level has had an echo effect down the chain of campuses. Locally, we are allowed less and less information, on average, at our campuses. When can we expect information of distribution methods to be distributed from System?

List of further concerns

Brockport 15% budget cuts to P/T faculty and staff, GenEd restructuring problems
Oswego Use of assessment as justification for pre-determined changes
Potsdam Spend-down of financial reserves; use of retirement incentives,
Empire State Spend-down of reserves
Purchase Spend-down of reserves, administrative turnover rate too high
New Paltz Faculty workload creep to 4 + 3
Buffalo State Spend-down of reserves, budget gap approaching 8 million; reduction of Gen Ed requirements
Geneseo GenEd reduction being seen as a means of addressing time-to- degree; faculty workload moving to 4 + 4 in a four-credit system
Old Westbury Student-to-teacher ratios remain too high
Fredonia Faculty overload; harsh budget reductions; program eliminations


There was s presentation by Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Chancellor's Deputy for the Education Pipeline and Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges
She spoke at some length about educational-community partnerships.
Also, a great push was made for the Chancellor's Transforming Teaching initiative, stressing clinical rather than classroom training.

A Presentation by Provost David Lavallee, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
He spoke on no Program deactivation or suspension without careful consideration.
He also spoke about "credit creep".

A Presentation and Budget Report by Kathleen Preston, Interim Vice Chancellor for Financial Services and Health Affairs
Since there is no governor's budget proposed, there was very little she could say of substance, but did presume that there will be cuts in the SUNY share of the budget and that we will need to share the sacrifice, and eventually we will come through these difficult times.

Chancellor Zimpher's Responses to the Sector Concerns of the Comprehensive Colleges
We need to figure out ways to work collaboratively and help each other, finding efficiencies, working regionally, etc. we are in great trouble because "the coming cuts will probably be much larger than recent cuts."

On Friday evening, Chancellor Zimpher made a multi-media presentation, which was a combination of enthusiasms for SUNY, and dire warnings of the upcoming budget shortfall and belt-tightenings.

A Report by Faculty Council of Community Colleges (FCCC) - Tina Goode
The FCCC is looking for not just course transfer, but acceptance of General Education as a curriculum transferred in toto from campus to campus. In short, if a student completes a core curriculum at one campus, a receiving campus honors that completion, adding additional learning goals as appropriate.

A Report by Student Association representatives.

A Panel Report on Shared Governance and AAUP, which included participation by Susan Camp.

Various Committee Reports on Saturday morning.

Submitted by Winfield Ihlow