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UFS 2010 Fall Plenary Meeting Report

University Faculty Senate 2010 Fall Plenary Meeting Report—Alfred State College (October 22-23, 2010)

To: Julee Miller, Presider, College Senate

From: Terry Hamblin, University Faculty Senator

Subject: University Faculty Senate 2010 Fall Plenary Meeting Report

Date: October 24, 2010


The University Faculty Senate Fall Plenary meeting took place on Friday October 22nd and Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at Alfred State College. Like the Plenary meeting at SUNY IT in Utica, this was a very busy and productive meeting. Among the several key issues and concerns discussed were the SUNY budget, enrollment caps, strategic enrollment management, retrenchments, the lack of shared governance, the situation at University at Albany’s, the revision of SUNY’s General Education guidelines, and the SUNY strategic plan.

President’s Report—Kenneth O’Brien, UFS President

• PHEEIA, the New York budget process SUNY and the University Senate

o Elements may reappear in upcoming year; possible increase in TAP, possible increase in tuition, possible increase in additional financial support to students receiving TAP.

o PHEEIA is dead as a comprehensive reform package.

o UUP may be open to moderate increase in tuition.

o Legislators not focused on mission of SUNY.

• SUNY Mid-Year budget cut

o $23.5 million differential mid-year cut.

• Power of SUNY—Strategic Plan Implementation (Phase IV)

• Pay raises for System Administrators

o Issue weakened chances of comprehensive budgetary reform.

• Student Mobility

• Retrenchments

o University at Albany’s program retrenchments in Classics, Italian, Russian, French, and Theatre.

• Enrollment Caps

o Fall 2009 base number for Fall 2011 Freshman class. Origin of enrollment caps was concerns about quality of instruction in Freshman level courses, over reliance on adjunct instructors, residence life issues.

Technology Sector Concerns

During our Technology sector session, our discussion centered around a number of issues: the impact of the freshman enrollment caps (Freshman Enrollment capped at Fall 2009 enrollment); the impact of retirements; program elimination and possibility of faculty retrenchments (Morrisville State College eliminated electrical engineering and engineering science in 2009; 7 full-time faculty retrenched); workload issues—more students, less faculty, over reliance on adjuncts and part-time faculty and staff; and the impact of SUNY’s new General Education guidelines.

None of the campuses in the technology sector have begun to make adjustments to their own General Education programs in light of the new SUNY guidelines; however, several campuses have begun to examine whether of not they may want to make changes. There are concerns that other campuses are making changes to General Education programs without faculty input.

Provost’s Office Report—Senior Vice Chancellor David Lavallee

Update on new SUNY Academic Course Transfer (SUNY ACTS) Website. Website will go live beginning November 2010 to CGLs, Enrollment, and Chief Academic Affairs Officers. New website will include course descriptions, categories for General Education. New website is 90% ready and the final step on transfer and articulation (student mobility). New policy guarantees that courses approved for general education credit will transfer across SUNY in the category that they were taken in. A.A. and A.S. degree graduates will be given junior status upon transfer.

• Discussion of the University at Albany situation and program suspensions

• Discussion of Strategic Enrollment management and the marginal costs or adding or subtracting academic programs. Possibility of consolidation/cooperation with campuses in lower enrolled programs.

• Discussion of academic policies that lead to on time graduation. “Culture of graduation” Preference to transfer acceptance of students with SUNY AA and AS degrees.

• Discussion of Enrollment Caps. Provost discussed the consequence of “chasing the tuition the dollar”; tripling in the Residence Halls; and the use of adjunct faculty to teach freshman courses.

• Discussion about the confusion about SUNY and Campus reserves.

Budget Office Report—Monica Rimai, Senior Vice Chancellor

• Monica Rimai presented “Budget 101, Part A--Higher Education Finance in the State of New York”

• Vice-Chancellor Rimai provided a complicated financial overview for state-operated campuses.

• Some highlights

• State Operated budget operates on multiple fiscal years

• Budget accounts often appear differently

• Revenue forces highly restrictive

• Budget process highly political

• Additional mid-year cuts forthcoming. Governor’s office given authority to cut $23 million from budget. 1% cut.

• NYS $8-9 billion deficit. Vice Chancellor Rimai is “very concerned about FY 2012.”

Sector Reports with Chancellor Zimpher

• Chancellor Nancy Zimpher discussed PHEEIA (Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act) and the need for a new legislative strategy. PHEEIA was as a way to generate revenue and gain control of tuition increase.

• Chancellor Zimpher, “State legislators saying one thing on campuses and doing another thing in Albany!”

• Chancellor also discussed the need for regulatory reform and the need to avoid cuts, restore cuts, and make SUNY whole. The Common goal between SUNY and UUP was the “restoration” of cuts to SUNY and community colleges. PHEEIA was seen as a way to generate revenue and gain control of tuition increase.

• Chancellor argued that some campuses would have to make changes to remain competitive. “Every campus cannot be all things to all students. Need for strategic enrollment management.”

• Discussion of $6.5 million a year in diversity scholarships.

• Presentation of Phase IV of SUNY Strategic Plan ‘Power of SUNY’ at dinner.

Resolution on the Suspension of Programs at the University at Albany 156-02-1

Whereas the core mission of a comprehensive University Center is to deliver an education and to do research of national and international repute

Whereas one of the six big ideas of the SUNY strategic plan (“The Power of SUNY”) is “SUNY and the World” which emphasizes SUNY’s global mission

Whereas the motto of the University at Albany is “The World Within Reach”

Whereas the administration of the University at Albany has suspended admission to the following academic programs: Classics, French, Italian, Russian, and Theatre

Whereas these academic programs are part of the core mission of a comprehensive University Center

Be it resolved that the actions of the administration at the University at Albany compromise the core mission of that University Center and compromise the ability of SUNY to fulfill its global mission as articulated by “The Power of SUNY” strategic plan.

Passed with majority vote

Resolution on Consultation with Governance 156-01-1

Whereas SUNY campuses are facing extraordinary financial pressures, and

Whereas campuses may be forced to consider program consolidation, suspension or elimination, and

Whereas the procedures for reaching such decisions have not always involved appropriate consultation with existing governance, and

Whereas SUNY has clear policies for establishing and revising programs, and the impact of program consolidation, suspension or elimination is as significant to a campus as the establishment of programs,

Therefore, Be It Resolved

The University Faculty Senate urges System Administration to ensure that campus administrations and existing governance bodies employ formal procedures for consultation before reaching any decisions regarding program consolidation, suspension or elimination.

Passed with majority vote

Contact Info
Jared Yando, Presider

Last Updated: 2/19/16