University Faculty Senate 2010 Spring Plenary Meeting Report—SUNY New Paltz (April 22-24, 2010)
To: Julee Miller, Presider, College Senate
From: Terry Hamblin, University Faculty Senator
Subject: University Faculty Senate 2010 Spring Plenary Meeting Report
Date: April 25, 2010
The University Faculty Senate Spring Plenary meeting took place on Friday April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at SUNY New Paltz. Among the several key issues and highlights were: SUNY’s new strategic plan “The Power of SUNY”; the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA); the issue shared governance; and revised guidelines concerning presidential searches.
President’s Report—Kenneth O’Brien, UFS President
- Discussion of SUNY’s new Strategic Plan “The Power of SUNY”. New strategic plan represents a redirection and redefinition of SUNY. O’Brien discussed the unique historical mission of public education in American life. “Public universities serving public purposes”. Relationship between six areas of focus and public problems.
- Update on the budget process. Not a welcoming attitude from State Legislature. Continuous wave of budget cuts taking its toll. Budget process needs to become more productive, more serious, and less “public theatre”. Restoration $180 million in additional budget cuts “not likely”. SUNY needs to do a better job of explaining the short and long-term detrimental impact of sustained budget cuts and the consequences on SUNY and its students (retention, graduation time, economic development, class availability, delivery of educational services, etc.).
- Update on the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. UFS Executive Committee endorsed resolution supporting PHEEIA. Chancellor sees PHHEIA as a multi-year process. If it does not pass Legislature this year, Chancellor and SUNY Administration will continue dialogue with legislature to discuss and address concerns. Chancellor confident that elements will get passed.
- UFS voted to re-elect Norman Goodman (Stony Brook University) as the UFS Vice-President/Secretary for a two-year term.
Provost’s Report—David Lavallee, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Reorganization of program review and assessment personnel by regional assignment rather than by sector. Future responsibilities will be driven by geographic proximities, not sectors. This will allow schools and personnel to develop regional partnerships.
- Discussion of new strategic enrollment management council.
- Discussion of the need for a SUNY-wide graduation audit which would allow a comparison of graduation rates and retention rates across the system.
- Update on Student mobility, General Education policy, and Assessment.
Budget Report--Monica Rimai, Senior Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
- Update on Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA). Discussion of how legislation was tied revitalization of state economy, and an attempt to set tuition in “an equitable manner.
- Discussion of differences between Chancellor’s Office and UUP over PHEEIA. Legislation not an attempt to do “an end around of state contracts”. UUP focused on restoration of budget cuts which is not realistic in this budget environment.
- Discussion of budget process and potential likelihood of tuition increase, program cancellations, possible retrenchments and layoffs. “All campuses will have to consider layoffs and program elimination”
Strategic Plan Launch—Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
- Launch of SUNY’s new Strategic Plan “The Power of SUNY”.
- The central aspirational idea of the new Strategic Plan is that SUNY should be the economic engine for New York State, as well as the key to the economic revitalization for the state and the enhanced quality of life for its citizenry.
- SUNY’s new Strategic Plan has six main components (“Big Ideas”)
- SUNY and the Entrepreneurial Century
- SUNY and the Seamless Education Pipeline
- SUNY and a Healthier New York
- SUNY and an Energy-Smart New York
- SUNY and the Vibrant Community
- SUNY and the WorldChancellor also discussed how PHEEIA was the long-term solution and alternative funding solution to the strategic plan.
- Chancellor discussed multidimensional advocacy budgetary strategy. Persistence and relationship building is the key. If Empowerment Act does not pass this year, they plan to continue to move forward next year.
- Campus Governance Leaders-Concerns over faculty evaluation of administrators
- Colleges of Technology-Concerns that previous report was unanswered. Questions surrounding impact of new Gen. Ed policy, PHEEIA.
- Health Sciences-Concerns about faculty role in selecting Middle States steering committees; new SUNY Strategic Plan.
- Specialized Colleges-Concerns about aging Physical Plant, budget concerns.
- University Centers-Concerns about the decrease in sections without decrease in enrollment and the increase time to degree for students. Hinders SUNY ability to carry out mission
- University Colleges—Questions about the new Gen. Ed policy
University Faculty Senate Resolutions
- Passed resolution on Presidential Searches, Guidelines for Conducting. Recommends that Chancellor advance to the Board of Trustees that the name from Document 8400 in the Policy Manual be changed from Presidential Searches, Guidelines for Conducting to “Presidential Searches, Requirements for Conducting. Resolution also recommended that the policy be changed to add additional faculty to search committees for presidential searches by the chairperson in consultation with the campus governing body.
- Passed Resolution on Electronic Meetings that created a subcommittee to develop specific recommendations for conducting electronic meetings between scheduled plenaries.
- Passed resolution on the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act.
Jared Yando, Presider