College Council meeting minutes for April 16, 2019

College Council Meeting Minutes
April 16, 2019


Ms. Darlene Baker
Mr. Saleem Cheeks, via phone
Mr. Michael Goldych
Mr. Richard Farfaglia
Mr. James McMahon, chair
Ms. Kristin A. Shanley-Graves, Esq.
Mr. Eusebio Omar Van Reenen, SA President

Mr. Baye Muhammad, excused
Mr. Brian McGrath, excused

Ms. Deborah F. Stanley, President
Ms. Mary Canale, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Dr. Scott Furlong, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Jerri Howland, Vice President for Students Affairs & Enrollment Management, Dean of Students
Mr. Nick Lyons, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ms. Pamela Caraccioli, Deputy to the President for External Partnerships and Economic
Ms. Kristi Eck, Chief of Staff
Dr. Lisa Glidden, Faculty Assembly Chair
Ms. Ellen McCloskey, Confidential Assistant to the President
Dr. Mary C. Toale, Executive Assistant to the President
Mr. Wayne Westervelt, Chief Communication Officer

Ms. Juliet Giglio, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
Tarica Thomas, junior, Cinema and Screen studies major, and Chief of Staff intern

1. Welcome and call to order:  College Council chair James McMahon called the meeting to order in the Marano Campus Center (Room 114) at 1:00 p.m.

2. Approval of minutes of October 24, 2018: James McMahon asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the October 24, 2018 meeting. Darlene Baker made a motion to approve the minutes; seconded by Richard Farfaglia. The minutes were approved by the Council.

3. Only 982:  Juliet Giglio, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, shared the documentary Only 982: A Holocaust Refugee Story – a video documentary project that she worked on and produced with former student and alumnus Mic-Anthony Hay ‘18. The documentary can be viewed online at  

The documentary preserves the memories of cousins who were 7 years old when they had to leave Eastern Europe for Fort Ontario's Safe Haven to escape the Holocaust. A SUNY Oswego Challenge Grant from the college's Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee (SCAC) made the project possible, providing the means for Hay, a senior journalism major, to do cinematography and editing for the documentary last summer, and for Riki (formerly Rikicia) and David Levi -- both now 80 -- to return to Oswego for interviews from their homes in the New York metropolitan area for "A New Home in Oswego: The Story of Two Refugees."  Read more at  Giglio and Hay’s work was also covered by in the following July 24, 2018 article: (

Michael Goldych asked about journalist Ruth Gruber, best known for her journey with the 982 refugees of the Nazi Holocaust from war-torn Europe to a temporary haven at Oswego’s Fort Ontario. President Stanley shared that an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from State University of New York was bestowed on Gruber at Oswego’s 140th commencement in 2001. SUNY Oswego nominated her for her life as a pioneering journalist, a model for women activists and an example for everyone who embraces freedom.

Pamela Caraccioli pointed out that later this summer (on Monday, Aug. 5 2019) Oswego and the Fort Ontario State Historic Site will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of a train carrying 982 Holocaust refugees to the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter.  The documentary will be shown on a loop that day, and shown at a free public commemoration program held at Fort Ontario.

Chair James McMahon praised the work of Juliet and Mic-Anthony, and encouraged all those involved to keep working to produce more documentaries like Only 982 – first-hand accounts that connect us to history.

 4. Branding Exploration Initiative: Wayne Westervelt, Oswego’s chief communication officer, updated the College Council on the Branding Exploration initiative that SUNY Oswego kicked off this past fall (2018). Throughout the past year, the college has been engaged in an institution-wide Branding Exploration, a self-reflective marketing initiative that seeks to gain a greater understanding of the Oswego brand and one that strives to uncover answers to the following questions: How do you describe and define the college? What is the Oswego's greatest strength? What differentiates Oswego from other colleges and universities?

Westervelt pointed out that the SUNY Oswego brand is more than just our logo, a photo, or the college colors and fonts. It is a true reflection of who we are and where SUNY Oswego is headed. It is our organizational DNA, what sets us apart, and how our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends describe SUNY Oswego in their day-to-day interactions ... on campus, in their communities and in places around the globe.

He explained the three phases of the Branding Exploration initiative, listed below.

  • Phase 1: Discover: Market research and review; collect baseline and emotional data, perceptions; host workshops and conduct interviews with key stakeholders.
  • Phase 2: Define: Determine brand elements (the essence of Oswego); highlight benefits and defining attributes; produce existing conditions report with branding recommendations
  • Phase 3: Develop: Create brand-positioning statement, brand promise, brand pillars and guidelines, brand mantra; implement master creative strategy

 Westervelt shared that throughout the spring 2019 semester, work has focused on the creation of the website; informing all campus stakeholders of the branding exploration via workshops and direct outreach; and collecting thoughts and perceptions. He concluded the presentation by encouraging all present to visit and “share your thoughts” by completing the short survey/questionnaire. 

5. Code of Conduct:  Before introducing Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Dr. Jerri Howland, President Stanley began by pointing out that Oswego is making changes to the campus Student Code of Conduct that reflect the way we currently conduct student affairs operations and best practices on campus. Vice President Howland reviewed all proposed edits, changes, additions, and clarifications to the existing Code of Conduct, providing a side-by-side view of existing Code of Conduct / proposed Code of Conduct (including each individual edit highlighted).

Discussion continued on campus notifications, enhanced communication on campus, and enforcement of the campus’ smoke-free policy, cyberbullying, and freedom of speech protections. 

Following a thorough review and explanation of all Code of Conduct revisions/changes, Chair James McMahon proposed that the Council resolve to accept the changes.  Richard Farfaglia made a motion, seconded by Michael Goldych.  Approved by all members of the Council.

6. Student Association (SA) Report: SA President Eusebio Omar van Reenen, provided a report on the agenda of the past year.  Omar emphasized that this semester, the Student Association has had many successful events, programs and legislative reforms; become an essential platform in advocating for social justice, sustainability and diversity on and off-campus; and ensured that students were given a seat at the table and an equal opportunity to thrive. He shared the impact of his cabinet’s four top initiatives:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Sustainability; Shared Governance; and an Accountable and Transparent Student Association. Omar also reported on the following SA activity.

  • Implemented a monthly newsletter initiative to better bridge the gap between students informed and uninformed about the functionality, programs, services and initiatives of the SA.
  • Legislation Passed:
    • "Amadla, Awethu!" Power to the People – calls on all Lakers to “foster an environment which respects, embraces and promotes cultural competence.”
    • The Women’s Center Period Act: Free and Equal Access to Menstrual Products
    • Equal Pay for Equal Play - amends the current SA budgeting rubric to allow for both men and women’s clubs sports teams to have an equal opportunity to thrive.
    • Sustainability Referendum - This past election, a referendum was included on the ballot for students to vote for or against single-use plastic cups in the dining halls. The referendum passed. 
  • SUNY Student Assembly Conference - At the SUNY SA conference the Oswego Delegation passed the most resolutions calling on the Board of Trustees to reform sustainability, social justice and women’s rights on campus.
  • Islam is Peace: Campus Vigil - The Student Assembly hosted another campus vigil to stand in solidarity with our fellow Muslim Lakers, and those affected by the horrific mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • OzFest
  • Student Presidents’ Council

Omar presented a recently produced SA video and thanked President Stanley and the administration for their support of the Student Association.

7. Alumni Report:  Vice President Mary Canale referred the Council members to the written report provided. She passed out the “fresh off the presses” Alumni magazine.  Vice President Canale announced that this year’s Commencement Eve Torchlight Dinner and Ceremony are scheduled for Friday, May 17. Our featured alumni keynote speaker will be John McLoughlin ’75 – retired Port Authority Police lieutenant and World Trade Center survivor.  She also provided the following updates.

  • During the fall 2018 semester, a record-breaking 240 alumni returned through the Alumni-In-Residence (AIR) program. This is in comparison to the (also record-breaking) 225 alumni who returned through the program throughout the entire ’17-’18 year! So far during the spring 2019 semester, 54 additional alumni have returned through AIR, with 19 visits still planned before the end of the semester.
  • The Oswego Alumni Association revamped our Alumni Awards program, and have chosen recipients for 2019 Alumni Association Awards:
    • Bob Moritz ’85 – Distinguished Alumnus Award (to be presented on May 3 in NYC)
    • Stephen Butler ’85 – Lifetime Award of Merit (to be presented on June 7 at Reunion)
    • Christy Harrison Huynh ’98 – Community Service Award (to be presented on June 8 at Reunion)
    • David DeVillers ‘89 – Distinguished Alumnus Award (to be presented on June 8 at Reunion)
    • Craig Fisher ’65 – Lifetime Award of Merit (to be presented on June 8 at Reunion)
    • Diane Larsen-Freeman ’67 – Lifetime Award of Merit (to be presented on June 8 at Reunion)
    • Cameron Jones ’09 – GOLD Award (to be presented on Oct. 5 during Comm. Studies Alumni Dinner)
    • Reunion Weekend is June 6 - 9, 2019, with a theme of “Out of this World,” to align with the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon. We have 15 class year milestone celebrations scheduled, as well as four group anniversary milestones (Beta Tau Epsilon – 80th Anniversary, Phi Lambda Phi – 60th Anniversary, WRVO/WOCR/WNYO – 50th Anniversary and Zeta Chi Zeta – 50th Anniversary) and 16 non-milestone groups. Registration for Reunion events and housing opened on April 3, and we already have nearly 200 registrants to date (as of April 11).

8. Faculty Report: Faculty Assembly Chair Lisa Glidden reported that they’ve had a busy year in Faculty Assembly, evidenced by some exciting new programs, revisions to improve some of our existing programs, and reflect an ongoing effort to make sure our policies make sense and strengthen our institution.  Below is a summary of Faculty Assembly business conducted since the Spring 2018 College Council meeting.

  • New programs:
    • Business analytics minor
    • Entrepreneurship minor
    • Literacy program (new birth-12 major, out of the K-6 and 5-12 programs)
    • Policies:
      • We voted to enact the policies recommended by the Task Force on Free Speech, Civil Discourse, and Peaceful Assembly. We’re currently working on implementation.
      • Approved bylaws revisions to Appendix A, B, and D
      • Approved recommended syllabus language on Clery Act/Title IX reporting
      • Approved use of a language testing service for competency in less-commonly taught or spoken [in the US] languages
      • Recommended criteria for personnel decisions for instructors
      • New catalog language for transferring credits to Oswego
      • New graduate catalog language for coops and internships (on the 4/22 agenda)
      • Revisions to:
        • Honors program
        • Communication Studies major
        • Applied Math Economics major
        • Marketing major
        • English major
        • Computer Science BA / BS

Glidden pointed out that within Faculty Senate, questions have been asked about College Council membership and appointments recently.  McMahon responded by stating that “College council appointments are made by the Governor, and you serve as members until you are replaced by the Governor.”  

Glidden announced that SUNY Oswego’s Gwen Kay will serve another term as the president of the SUNY Faculty Senate. Glidden also shared that she is the outgoing Faculty Assembly Chair on campus, but was recently elected convener within Campus Governance.

9. President’s Remarks, Campus Update: President Stanley provide a detailed report to the College Council members, highlighting the State budget for 2019-2020, various SUNY Oswego capital projects, enrollment history and projections for the coming year, the performance of the Oswego College Foundation, and information on various competitions and events, including the upcoming Commencement ceremonies.

  • NYS Budget 2019-20
    • Rational tuition plan yields a $200 annual increase
    • Assistance for UUP raises totals $109 million
    • State budget includes $550 million for capital funding (for critical maintenance projects)
    • Excelsior income threshold level has increased to $125,000 per household.  About 900 Excelsior students are enrolled on the Oswego campus.  We are in the top 5 in all of SUNY with students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship.  President Stanley pointed out that we do not and have not changed our admissions criteria to enroll Excelsior eligible students.
  • SUNY Oswego Capital Projects
    • Distribution methodology has changed but SUNY Oswego will receive a $5.4 million allocation.  We will be eligible to apply for additional funds from the $396.6 million available in capital funding.
    • President shared the many projects currently in construction:
      • Tyler Phase II - $13.8 million
      • Campus Energy Reduction Project - $1 million
      • Student Activitiy Center:  The Space - $2.4 million
      • Syracuse Campus – BHI
      • Commissary - $1.6 million
      • Penfield Library - $1.4 million
      • Health Services - $4.5 million
  • She also presented on many projects in design, including:
    • Hewitt Hall (concept design)-$65m
    • Hewitt Quad-$5m
    • Funnelle Hall (not capital funding)-$12m
    • Penfield/Lanigan Connector-$10.8m
    • Sheldon Terracotta-$8.6m
    • Critical Maintenance
    • Roofs-$2.1m
    • HVAC-$1.4m
    • Enrollment
      • Projected high school graduates in New York State shows the number of high school graduates is not going to be as plentiful in New York State over the next few years.
        • 185,856 high school graduates in 2016-17; dropped to 179,163 in 2018-19
        • Projected to drop to 173, 806 high school graduates in 2019-20
  • Community college headcounts are in decline. Total student headcount of 249,343 in fall 2010 has dropped to 200,341 as of fall 2018.  Many community colleges are suffering double-digit declines.
  • Oswego has been taking several steps to increase its recruitment of out-of-state students, making a concerted effort to recruit in states where there is a growing population of 18-20 year olds. Our out-of-state student headcount has risen from 42 in 2009 to 77 students in 2018.
  • SUNY Oswego experienced the highest attended Admitted Student Days this weekend (April 12-13) with approximately 1,130 students and guests having visited campus. Downstate students filled multiple buses, which were made available for a small fee for families traveling to Oswego to take a look at what’s happening on campus and to help them determine if Oswego is the right choice for them.
  • Applications are trending in the right direction.  We are estimating the college will receive around 13,000 applications after last year’s record number of applications received (13,413).   
  • Of the 13,000 fall first-year applicants, the total number of diverse students applied is estimated at 7,545 (or 58%).
  • Oswego College Foundation
    • Endowment is at $41.193 million as of April 12, 2019.  Our annual giving remains robust, coming in at a little over $6 million.  Vice President Canale and President Stanley have been traveling quite a bit the past several months meeting with potential donors and seeking major gifts.
    • CNY Business Competition: President Stanley asked Pam Caraccioli to report on the Oswego teams who competed this spring (2019) in the CNY Business Competition.  According to Caraccioli, a total of 60 teams participated at the Syracuse University-hosted competition with SUNY Oswego fielding four teams:  
      • Magnetic Waves
      • Water Conservation App: NERO (3rd place)
      • Make a Doll Workshop
      • Travel App: Charta
      • Quest:  Quest, a signature day on campus – this year was two days for the first time ever -- celebrates the scholarship and creativity of SUNY Oswego students, faculty and staff.  The Quest symposium kicked off on Tuesday, April 2, with a display of scholarly and informative posters at SUNY Oswego's Syracuse campus, as a number of presenters discussed their work and celebrated their accomplishments. On Wednesday, April 3, hundreds of scholarly and creative pursuits were showcased throughout campus.  In addition, for the second year in a row, the spectator-friendly Three-Minute Thesis competition was held for graduate students.

        Michael Goldych encouraged the college to continue to promote Quest and its activities to local high schools (both students and guidance counselors).
      • Upcoming Events:  President Stanley highlighted some of the more popular upcoming events including Cruisin’ the Campus (through April 22), Student Art Exhibitions: April 23-30 & May 7-15, and OzFest: May 10.  She concluded her presentation by announcing the alumni speaker at the May 17th Torchlight Commencement Eve Celebration – World Trade Center survivor John McLoughlin ’75 – and the four graduation speakers who will all receive SUNY Honorary Degrees at the May 18, 2019 Commencement ceremonies.
        • Dr. Mildred García -- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony, 9 a.m.
        • Jeffrey Ragovin ’00 -- School of Business ceremony, 12:30 p.m.
        • Noreen Falcone and Yvonne Spicer ’84 M ’85 -- SCMA and School of Education combined ceremony, 4 p.m.

10. Old Business:  Saleem Cheeks referred to an incident that recently occurred at the University at Buffalo.  Discussion ensued about campus life at Oswego and the college’s judicial code of conduct.

Michael Goldych praised The Oswegonian (April 12 issue) for its coverage of twin sisters – Clara and Camille O’Kane – junior transfers at SUNY Oswego who are excelling in the classroom and succeeding as members of the Oswego State lacrosse team.

James McMahon encouraged Council members to share any agenda items, topics they may have for future meetings with the President’s Office and college staff.

11. New Business:  There was no new business raised by the members of the College Council.                                                                                  

 Motion to adjourn was made by Darlene Baker, seconded by Richard Farfaglia, and approved by all at 3:35 p.m.