December 7, 2004


CALL TO ORDER: The 7th meeting of the Faculty Senate for 2004-2005 was called to order at 1:15 PM on December 7, 2004 in the Corey Union Fireplace Lounge by Chair Ram Chaturvedi.


SENATORS AND MEMBERS PRESENT: R. Chaturvedi, J. Rayle, P. Buckenmeyer, D. Driscoll, P. Walsh, M. King, K. Alwes, L. Anderson, J. Cottone, J. Hokanson, K. Rombach, B. Griffen, K. Pristash, D. Canaski, E. McCabe, A. Henderson-Harr, A. Young, T. Phillips, P. Schroeder, D. Vegas, D. Kirchner, E. Bitterbaum, E. Davis-Russell, R. Franco, J. Governali, E. McCabe, J. Cottone, D. Kreh


SENATORS AND MEMBERS ABSENT: C. DeGouff, D. Berger (sabbatical), J. Peluso, N. Libous, B. Shaut, C. Plunkett


GUESTS PRESENT: G. Levine, P. Koryzno, R. Olsson, E. Caffarella, Y. Murname, I. Jordak



The Minutes from November 9 and November 23 were approved.Karla Alwes wanted it put in the record: �I want to thank Barb Kissel for doing a very good job. It�s very difficult for her to keep up with us and I want that to go in the Minutes.�



There was a motion to approve the addition of Bill Buxton to the Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Reconstruction. (Passed)


There was a motion to defer the motion from P. Walsh, CTE Committee, regarding inappropriate or harassing comments on CTE forms, until the Steering Committee could meet to discuss the matter allowing input from student representatives from SGA. (Passed)



The Chair gave a report, beginning with an issue that came up concerning the CTE Committee, who had communicated with the Steering Committee that they felt there was a mis-communication as to what they wanted as far as the comments section on CTE forms as an attempt to discourage inappropriate comments. Chaturvedi stated that the Steering Committee did comprehend but felt they needed more information before any action could be taken.He also thanked J. Governali for his efforts as far as GE and CTE Committee charges.He said that once those committees come to any decisions the recommendations would be brought before the Senate for approval.He also thanked R. Spitzer and K. Alwes for their responses in reference to his request for assistance in enlisting more support for the Senate. He had solicited feedback from former Senate chairs as to why they felt Senate contribution was important. Subsequently, both individuals had taken the time to offer valuable input.His next item of business pertained to a request from the Provost requesting nominations for both the Chancellor�s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Distinguished Service Professor, which are due in the President�s Office by December 14.. He said that if anyone would like to nominate someone for these awards they should take the time to do so as quickly as possible.


G. Levine added that they are also seeking people to serve on various committees which will involve about three meetings in January.


The Chair then brought up the call for Senate dues which are now being sought and urged everyone to make their $10 payment as soon as possible.The money funds scholarships and plaques for retired faculty.


He received a message from the chair of the SUNY Faculty Senate regarding a conference call that the Chancellor would be undertaking that afternoon having to do with GE and how GE is going to be handled.


Phillips added that the e-mail was sent to the SUNY Faculty Senate list on behalf of Joe Hildreth.


Chaturvedi didn�t think it was sent to governance leaders but wanted to pass it along to the Cortland Senate.


Phillips added that President Bitterbaum had more information.


The Chair thanked the President for the refreshments provided by his office and also ASC for preparing the special holiday cookies. He wished everyone greetings, a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.



No report.



No report.



No report.



President Bitterbaum opened his report by stating that part of his report emanated from Provost Davis-Russell.


Bitterbaum talked about a function that night at 5:00 in PER in the Hall of Fame room to honor Joan Sitterly, who for over 20 years has served as Cortland�s volleyball coach. He announced she had an extra-ordinarycareer with over 800 wins and a 78% winning record.He added that she is stepping down to become the permanent Athletic Director.


He shared disappointing news regarding a conference call he participated in for an hour which, he stated, he thought was going to be about the budget. It evolved due to a former agreement where 64 campuses planned that, as a community, they would continue to contribute to a GE assessment report with the understanding that the information would be reported to the Provost as aggregate data from all campuses, coming out of a pledge from the SUNY system.He said that, as of yesterday, apparently they have gone back on the pledge. He gave some background information.Our campus is undertaking a 3 year study and submitted the prior GE assessment report in hard copy to the system. This came out of the fact that the Gannett newspaper chain decided that they would not accept this aggregate data and, through the Freedom of Information Act, have requested individual information. The SUNY attorneys have been involved but the campuses have been advised it is not feasible to fight it.He explained that we are being asked by the Gannett newspaper chain to release information, not by aggregate, but by individual campuses, a document from each of 64 campuses, by January 25. This will be shared with the SUNY Trustees and it be released to the general public on January 10. He said the our campus will be prepared if the newspaper comes to visit us. He stressed that he felt it important as to how we are using his information to improve ourselves , as well as reach and educate our students. He said the Chancellor did this because he felt he had a pledge to the faculty of SUNY, whichincluded Ken Riser, the faculty representative from the community colleges, as well as Joe Hildreth.He added that the community colleges are most anxious because the data shows that their students are needing a lot of improvement, since some students never graduated from high school and come from all kinds of diverse backgrounds.


Phillips inquired about some of the comments different Presidents made in reaction to this new turn of events.


The President responded that most comments were from community college presidents whose enrollments contain a high number of students with poor math and writing skills.


Phillips asked if there were there any warnings put out by individual campuses that this should not be used?


Bitterbaum stated, �I am sure.�He said that students come to a campus knowing �x� and leave knowing �y� and as a campus one looks at improvement as far as writing skills and critical thinking. He said you inquire as to why is it that at campus �x� there is improvement and not with campus �y.�He said, �This is not a graduation test where they come in and take it at the end, where they try to prove it as value added. The reason the system did not want to separate data is because it is like comparing apples and oranges.How do you compare Maritime with Alfred, Binghamton with Cortland?� He said we only compare ourselves internally.He finished by saying, �We will just have to weather the storm, but it will be interesting to see, as each day unfolds, what additional information is released.�


The Provost put it into context, just to refresh everyone�s memory, that each campus� assessment data comes from the assessment plan the system provided consisting of the 10 learning outcomes. She further stated that each campus was allowed to develop its own methodology for assessing those outcomes.She said, �We at SUNY have a long history for doing this imbedded in some of the areas, so over the course of three years we sent in a schedule demonstrating how those would be assessed.� This is year 3, she explained, and during this year we will be assessing the arts, information management, critical thinking and basic communication and presentation skills.She further said that when the newspapers get this information they will be getting sets of data based on individual assessment measures using varying methodologies, so there is psychometrically no way to compare institutions if one attempted to do so.


An unknown Senator asked, �Do you think this is the first step to moving towards standardization in assessment process?�


The Provost responded, �There were several steps in the assessment process. The first was assessment of the major, which we do through program reviews. The second set was assessment of GE, based on each campuses� own assessments methods, and the third was systemwide assessment, which had within it three areas: communication/writing, quantitative skills and critical thinking.She said that we have already assessed those areas and will be reporting them in the next cycle.In the third, she explained, the system will be putting together a group of outstanding faculty to develop a set of instruments that institutions can use.She stated that we have to tell them which of the three methods we will be employing as we go through the rounds of assessment.


President Bitterbaum said, �This is a compromise between the campuses and the faculty, a set of officers, that�s how the part came into being. It was discussed last year in theSenate and the pledge was one we felt.�


Phillips said, This will make a lot of different campuses look bad but it is going to happen. It may not be good information, may not be valid, may not be relevant. I still expect we are still going to make that comparison, but a lot of people predicted this, and it has come to fruition.�


Alwes asked if the invidious comparisons were coming from Gannett?


Bitterbaum responded that they felt that they had the right to report how state schools are faring and the taxpayers have the right to know.He further stated, �I don�t think they will write a lot of positive stories. I would hope, Gannett is a famous, very important chain of newspapers, New York state would report the good end of that


Someone else said, �As it turns out, in all states, there are newspaper editors who are very positive about the system, either graduates of the system...and so the Chancellor will be sending articles that he will write.�


Bitterbaum added, �It might not be positive but we will be prepared and they will be going to begin the process of writing articles and editorials.�


P. Koryzno added, �We will have every right to respond. I see no problem. There is always the danger to try to come up after the fact... We have a strong GE program.�


Provost Davis-Russell mentioned the long history of assessing our GE program.


The President said, �We have a GE core curriculum doing a good job at this college. If you start attacking one part of SUNY you attack all of SUNY.If you say, we have ten Nobel laureates at Stony Brook, we don�t all have Nobel laureates, (implying) everyone else is doing a terrible job in that area. Not true.�


J. Governali mentioned that every year public schools publish scores and that we need to move away from this direction.


The Provost declared, �I decided after they said that this will never happen.�


Phillips said, �The budget piece is the other piece of it. They are moving towards some type of performance indicators...extra funds we are allocating...budgetary resources will follow...campuses that don�t perform well...bottom line.�


McCabe said that the state schools are targeted (and there is) the perception out there the people are paying a lot towards the state schools...state taxes are going into these schools...What are we getting out of them? This is something to keep in mind.�


Bitterbaum stated that we are the largest system in the nation explaining that California has more schools but we have more students. He said we don�t do a good enough job doing our story as opposed to hospitals and social workers.



The Provost expounded further on the assessment initiative saying it wasn�t just coming from the state level but that Congress, at the last session, was busy as part of a discussion of the Education Reorganization Act addressing accountability of institutions.She said, �Not only should we look at GE scores but graduation rates and a number of other things that we routinely assess and look at.


She talked about the Middle States team and particularly the Middle States Evaluation. She said, �One recommendation that we struggled with last year and this year was faculty working with move toward a 3/3 work load. Many faculty across campus already have 3/3 work load and Middle States talked about inequity there.� She asked Deans to have a long discussion with their department chairs, who would talk to faculty and gain feedback and discuss it with the President.Her charge to them was to look at ways to do this without additional resources since we don�t have that.The School of Education decided it wanted to stay with its current model which allows for them to have smaller classes for the courses they want to teach. She said that the School of Professional Studies decided they could go to a 3/3 model without incurring any new expenses. The Dean said there would be a $200 surplus.Many departments in Arts and Sciences already function at a 3/3 level the Dean of Arts and Sciences informed her that some of those departments that did not have a 3/3 model could move to one without incurring any new expenses. Her recommendation to the President is for those departments who wished to move to 3/3 model be allowed to do so and he has accepted that recommendation.She also emphasized that as they move towards that goal there is the expectation of scholarship. The Deans discussed this with their chairs and faculty and they felt that it was not unreasonable to expect that faculty and departments could increase it if they wanted to. She said the expectation of publication or related work was every two years, and a repeated review in some fashion would come as part of the Long Range Planning process.A couple of years ago the committee proposed a goal to look at how we do programming across the campus. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction from faculty causing frustration regarding inequity. She said their intent is to bring guest speakers to campus.A budget will be �pinched together,� she said, to create some honorarium or related expenses. The LRPC goal was co-chaired by H. Steck who stated that it was felt there would be a central body that would coordinate activities and there would be central funding, but to bring campus speakers with themes used as part of class discussion by faculty and tied in with readings.



In response to a question from K. Alwes about when this would be implemented the Provost responded it was slated to begin in Fall 2005.




Long Range Planning Committee - No report. Cottone did emphasize that his committee is down a couple of members from the humanities and math science areas. He asked Senators for their assistance in recruiting members in those designations so that those seats can be filled for the second semester.


Educational Policy Committee - Governali reported that his committee has been working on summer school reconfiguration and would be distributing information the following week.He announced there is one piece they are going to disseminate to the campus for review and hopefully obtain feedback by the end of January so that they can send it to the Senate for approval.


Student Affairs Committee - P. Buckenmeyer reported that his committee will be meeting to review candidates for Faculty Senate Scholarships�� in the spring. They need two student reps and he asked if anyone knows of anyone willing to serve.


Faculty Affairs Committee - McCabe reported that her committee met recently with K. Alwes, Chair, English Department and clarified policies and procedures in her department.They will be looking at some decisions which need to be made by the end of the semester, and will also be reviewing the policies and procedures of the Physical Education department, possibly going into the next year.


College Research Committee - A. Henderson-Harr reported about an announcement sent out on e-mail on behalf of the Faculty Research program as an attempt to stimulate scholarship and research on campus. The average $3000 award is for full-time tenured tack faculty. The program is supported through the Office of the Provost, who has designated $20,000 to the program. She encouraged faculty to apply. The outcome is a pilot program to encourage publication and further research or scholarship.


The Provost added that each year faculty and staff recognition and awards are in May. She encouraged Senators to nominate their peers to recognize them for the work they�ve done. There are several categories, Teaching, Technology and service, in addition to others. She said that this initiative is a local one and not emanating from the Chancellor and that the call will come out in January.


General Education Committee - No report.






Committee on Committees -The ballots have been tallied for contested seats on the ROTC ad hoc committee. The results follow: Arts and Sciences, Mary McGuire, Kathy Russell; Professional Staff, Louis Larson, Brian Tobin; Education, Bill Griffen, Stephanie Spina; Professional Studies, Jeff Walkuski; Library, Gretchen Douglas; M/C no nominations received; Classified Staff, Pam Schroeder.


The Ad Hoc committee for Senate Restructuring has been formed . The following members are:


Arts and Sciences, Tom Pasquarello, David Barclay; Education, Joseph Rayle; Professional Studies, Jerry Casciani, Jeff Walkuski; Professional Staff, Mike Holland, Kevin Pristash; M/C Joanne Barry.


There was a motion to add B. Buxton, Education, to the Senate Restructuring Committee which was passed {SEE Senate Actions}



P. Walsh spoke on behalf of the CTE Committee. He sent around a document pertaining to the situation as it presently stands.He referred to the discussion that took place previously and responded that he took the information back to his committee where it was discussed.He stated that there has been some question as to harassment from students through the use of CTE comments. According to an informal report from the Provost the reality exists on our campus, along with a concern from faculty received during the reappointment tenure.He stated that there is no way to prevent students from putting in inappropriate comments. His committee wishes to submit that Faculty Senate approve that the following statement be communicated through the CTE process with the understanding that more in depth examination about the role of the departments about the decisions regarding the harassing nature be conducted in the Faculty Senate and perhaps, more importantly, at the department level. He said, �It has come to the attention of the campus community that some students may not be aware of comments on CTE forms, involving harassing comments concerning the instructor and the appropriate comments.� He made a motion that the CTE Committee requests that a statement be read aloud from the back of each CTE form and the issue was discussed at length.


Vegas took issue with the word �harassing� which she felt students would interpret differently.


The Provost wanted to respond to Vegas�s concern. She felt the students needs to be involved in the discussion with the committee as to how best to communicate this to students. She felt �harassment� had nothing to do with teaching style, as Vegas had implied, but in recent cases has had to do implicitly with a faculty member�s gender and/or sexual orientation.


Alwes wanted to speak to the term �harassment� in a positive vain. She said in the prior discussion the word �inappropriate� was used and she felt �harassing� was more explicit.


An unknown Senator suggested reviewing it with a focus group of students to make sure they clearly understand saying, �What is clear to us may not be to a young person.�


Griffen suggested using the word �ad hominem� referring to comments of a personal nature.


Bitterbaum gave an anecdote from a previous campus where a faculty member was very oppressive in his style in his class and the students considered that harassment.He said the matter was looked into and was proven to be harassment.He made this analogy, he said, because the issue is not always black and white.

McCabe offered that the better the teacher is the less inclined students might be to put in a negative comments.


Alwes felt the word �harassing� suited her. She suggested that since the Dragon Chronicle has a disclaimer page that no one can make personal comments in the letters to the editor column, which she felt is clearer than the other options.


Vegas asked if the students could fill out the Scantron form and be given a choice in putting comments on a separate sheet, thus offering them the choice of making comments at all.


Bitterbaum asked Alwes why she had taken the negative approach, which surprised him.


Alwes explained that this evolved from the phraseology using �inappropriate comments� versus �harassment.�She said the students who participate in this behavior know they are doing it and nothing you say will prevent them.She said this way you are asking for constructive criticism instead of allowing it to continue.She said she likes �harassment� because with this terminology the student understands that�s what they are doing.She said, �There isn�t a student out there who thinks harassing comments are what we want in that box. So I thought faculty were pointing out that sometimes we get harassing comments.�


Rayle suggested replacing the second, positive sentence, with the first, negative one.


Chaturvedi said he would refer the motion to the Steering Committee and both they and the CTE Committee would prepare a resolution which would be brought before the Senate.


The Provost said that whether the problem was resolved through wording or prose, it is important how you get the information disseminated, and include that in the process.


Chaturvedi said they would invite D. Vegas and her colleagues from SGA to come to the Steering Committee meeting where it would be discussed..


Someone asked if there were any students on the committee and the chair replied �no.�


The Chair said the issue would be discussed.



There was no new business.



The Provost announced that the Writing Committee send out announcement that they were going to award a $5000 grant to a department and Tim Phillips and his colleagues from the Economics department won that award. The topic was Enhancing Writing for Future Accounts.She also announced that her office is going to bring in a nationally known expert to have a workshop. The announcement will go out Feb. 11 and she invited faculty to attend.She hoped encouraged participation in these workshops that have been designed so faculty can work with students with their writing.The Committee consisted of Kathleen Burke, D. Spencer and T. Phillips.


W. Griffen encouraged everyone to attend the UUP Annual holiday party at 4:00 the following Thursday in th Exhibition Lounge. He said all were invited, and in answer to a question, that he would be performing.





D. Vegas reported on the winter formal which, she announced, went �really well� with 200 students in attendance. Midnight Madness was going to be on Wednesday at Neubig Hall which is a program where student leaders and administrators serve students on campus, sponsored by Student Affairs and SGA. The .50 each student donates goes to YWCA Victims of Violence program. She asked anyone wanting to volunteer that they can.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 PM


Respectively Submitted,


Barbara Kissel

Recording Secretary


The following reports are appended to the Minutes in the order reported and submitted by Senators and other members.


(1) Statement from CTE Committee regarding harassing comments on CTE forms submitted by P. Walsh.