MINUTES # 12
April 11, 2006
SENATORS AND MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Rayle, M.King, S. Rayl, D. Driscoll, D. Berger, P.Quaglio, R. Spitzer, D. West, K. Alwes, L.Anderson, J. Casciani, J. Governali, J. Hendrick, K. Rombach, S. Stratton, D. Sidebottom, J. Sitterly, V. Marty, B. Tobin, D.Ritchie, T. Phillips, P. Schroeder, N. Tirado, S. Brown, E. Bitterbaum, E. Davis-Russell, J. Cottone, G. Clarke, D. Keh, P. Buckenmeyer
SENATORS AND MEMBERS ABSENT: C. DeGouff, G. Zarate, B. Griffen, S VanEtten, J. Clark, R. Franco, W. Shaut
GUESTS PRESENT: G. Levine, N. Aumann, R. Olsson, Y. Murnane, D. Barclay, J. Wilson, L. Gatto, D. Faulkner, D. Margine, R. Goldberg, M. Yacavone, A. Dahlman, M. Ware, L. Simmons
I. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES:
The Minutes from March 28, 2006 Minutes were approved as amended.
II. SENATE ACTIONS:
There was a motion from K. Alwes: The Faculty Senate wishes long time Senator Bill Griffen good health and a successful return to Cortland. (Passed)
There was a vote to approve the nominations for vacancies on the Committee on Committee�s (Passed)
There was a vote to approve the two recommendations from the EPC Committee: Revision to English Composition Requirement; Transfer Credit Policy (Passed)
III. CHAIR�S REPORT:
The Chair opened his report by mentioning the fire in the clocktower building where several SUNY Cortland students were displaced and nobody was hurt. He also mentioned Bill Griffen who is out on medical leave in Germany undergoing treatment for cancer. The good news is Griffen�s psa numbers are down and he appears to be well and in good spirits.
IV. PARLIAMENTARIAN�S REPORT:
D. Kreh reported that the call for nominations went out with some elected positions remaining. He explained that since the Senate still needs nominees he would go down through the list for each of the positions that required elections and call for nominations from the floor.
D. Berger asked a question about responsibility for elections of area senators.
D. Kreh replied that it is the responsibility of each senator to conduct their own election.
D. Berger responded that he needed some assistance with that and felt the policy was not such a good thing. He said that since the Senate restructured there are different categories of senators at large versus an area and it was really unclear to him who should be running an election for what office.
D. Kreh offered Berger his assistance after the meeting.
V. VICE CHAIR�S REPORT:
VI. SECRETARY�S REPORT:
VII. TREASURER�S REPORT:
VIII. PRESIDENT�S REPORT:
President Bitterbaum reported on the clocktower building fire telling the Senate that he and the Provost went downtown at 9 AM and saw that all of our students were safe. They had been brought to the YMCA and he thanked that agency for their efforts. He was impressed with them, as well as the YMCA, Dana Wave from ASC who came down providing food vouchers for free, and others who contributed. 90% of the fire victims were seniors getting ready to graduate. Those students have been given the option of living on campus for free if they choose and were also sent to the Registrar�s office. An e-mail was sent out in the morning and the President announced there would be an update in the afternoon. Books were provided from the bookstore for free on loan and the Student Health Services is providing medicine. R. Peagler and Counseling Services was also commended for their contribution in providing counseling to those students involved.
The Provost commented that she had been able to get all of the 40 student�s names and their schedules were run so that her office could make arrangements with all of the faculty involved.
K. Alwes asked what the possibility was that student�s who were affected might have to receive an incomplete?
The President responded that the situation is very unique and he did not have a blanket answer. Bitterbaum added that some students had papers and/or exams. He explained that those students would have to go to the faculty and department�s involved for assistance.
An unknown individual asked if we counsel students to obtain renter�s insurance?
The President said we do not formally but in the future we would advise families to do that, although some students are covered under their parent�s homeowner�s policies and some are not.
D. Ritchie asked if the college could provide disk storage in the future for students?
The President responded that that was a wonderful idea with the library being a possible location although he did not feel that they were going to be able to solve that problem immediately.
D. Sidebottom replied that his department is providing a large storage area for every student when they come back in the fall.
The President moved on reporting on budget news of a more positive nature. The Capital gift of 20 million to renovate Bowers was still completely intact, he reported. The SUNY Operation Budget could potentially be the best budget in a decade, he reported.
On DSI Bitterbaum that there are two processes going forward with DSI for faculty and DSI for professionals. He shared that faculty have spoken loud and clear that they prefer the old process. Ray Franco has sent out the DSI for professionals which is going forward.
President Bitterbaum reported on the Title III Grant, started in 1999, with very exciting results. Some examples of the grant�s success involves the development of new majors, geographic information systems, media design, new communications media, conservation biology, learning communities, pre-majors, infusion of technology, Web CT, central advising, and an increasing number of people using Raquette Lake, to name a few. Title III, he further explained, allowed one to match up to a certain amount of money. Bitterbaum explained that 50 thousand was raised and the campus also received 350 thousand dollars, so that our endowment is over ten million dollars. He then reported statistics indicating the success of the Title III grant. In 1999 we had 2,300 majors in Arts and Sciences compared to last fall with over 3,000. Prior to the grant there were 33% in Arts and Sciences while today it is at 44%. President Bitterbaum ended by saying, "So it has been a very successful grant on a number of levels and I want to thank everyone who was involved in that."
J. Rayle added that he ran into R. Chaturvedi recently who sent his warmest regards to everyone.
Bitterbaum added that Chaturvedi is writing a book on a nuclear physicist from India who was the first Director of the Indian Atomic Commission. Ram will be going back to his native country of India, his first time since 1985.
Another item that the President reported was that SUNY Cortland hit a milestone a few weeks ago. We have room for 1075 freshmen next fall and have received over 10,072 applications. He explained how difficult it is for the Admission�s Office to have to handle so many rejections.
D. Berger asked what the breakdown is between Arts and Sciences, Education and Professional Studies?
M. Yacavone responded that out of the 4600 students accepted well over 40% are in Arts and Sciences. He also mentioned the necessity of capping programs in different areas due to high volume of applicants.
President Bitterbaum added that every single application is looked over by the Admissions Office which is a very time consuming process. He mentioned the extraordinary diligence the Admission�s Office puts into reviewing applications and expressed his pride in their efforts.
K. Alwes stated that now allowing students in as well is not favorable and asked if we entertain questions from applicants as to why they were not admitted?
Bitterbaum replied that students and parents ask all the time and the Admissions Office handles those inquiries very gently.
M. Yacavone responded that those applicants are invited to submit any other relevant information that might be in their favor and their application is reviewed again.
D. Ritchie mentioned that he heard that all colleges are experiencing many more applications than ever and asked what our acceptance rate is relative to the past.
Bitterbaum responded that the New York Times published an article back in November where they disclosed that out of 4000 colleges in America, public and private, only 150 of them accept less than 50% of applicants and SUNY Cortland is on that list.
D. Berger asked how SUNY Cortland compares to Geneseo?
President Bitterbaum replied that they were on the list and although he was not sure he felt it was probably in the high 40�s.
Elizabeth Davis-Russell mentioned a study of the American Association of Colleges and Universities where they looked at graduation rates and other factors and we sent a member from SUNY Cortland who was a member of a team that studied 12 institutions that had been selected nationwide as exemplars. What they found was that in terms of our profile we are very much like Geneseo in terms of academic indicators. She said the difference that was communicated to her. She said, "As you walk a campus and talk with faculty students and staff there was a decided difference in their perception of themselves and the way they spoke about themselves. They had this sense of confidence in what they do and what the students are, a sense of pride that contrasted to our campus�.I would suggest rather strongly�.that we are indeed equal to those institutions that in the past had been seen as aspirational peers. We are indeed peers rather than seeing them as peers and there�s some question about believing in that and in believing in our students."
D. Berger responded, "These kinds of disclosures on our part help."
IX. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Student Affairs Committee: P. Buckenmeyer announced Nicole Tirado as the Faculty Senate Scholarship recipient of a $1000 scholarship and there was a generous round of applause.
Faculty Affairs Committee: G. Clarke reported that his committee is meeting and compiling a report as part of their charge.
Long Range Planning Committee: No report.
Education Policy Committee: SEE Old Business.
X. AREA SENATOR REPORTS:
XI. SUNY SENATOR REPORTS:
T. Phillips just returned from a SUNY Faculty Senate meeting in Plattsburg where he reported it was enjoyable although not very contentious. He reported that there are not any troubling issues and the UFS is optimistic about the budget. Karl Wiesalis made an extensive report which is supposed to be posted online. He said is anyone wants information there are hard copies, reports and PowerPoint�s available there. He said that faculty development initiative was spoken about from the Provost�s Office who is planning to push a mentoring program of faculty. He spoke about a meeting of UFS and UUP, an historic meeting where they hope to push some initiatives as a group. Phillips stated that the Provost�s search committee was a little bit contentious because there had not been governance representation on the SUNY Provost�s Search Committee and people are upset about that. Saturday the Chancellor spoke that he thought he was doing the right thing in forming a search committee since in the past someone was just appointed and he assumed that alone was a positive step. MOU was discussed and the faculty complained at the end of the MOU period because faculty do not feel they have enough input on some campuses. The Chancellor said it is an ongoing process and there have been plenty of times faculty could have given input. On Friday Steve Worona, a computer expert from Educause, gave his report about computer policy and law, what is open and available and what is private and isn�t. Steve is Director of Policy and networking programs at Educause. The talk included students putting information on Facebook and Infospace, and there was mention of one student who was refused admission to medical school because the school didn�t like something posted on Facebook a few years prior. Phillips mentioned that everything there is public including monies going to political campaigns, including who and where the donations came from.
President Bitterbaum reported that one can donate up to 199 dollars and it doesn�t have to be reported, but anything over does.
Phillips added a talk about the P-16 initiative through SUNY and in the afternoon a progress report about K-8. The speaker mentioned that there seems to be progress at that level where in 9-12 there is little progress.
There was a sector concerns meeting with comprehensive colleges complaining about consultation, claiming there is not a lot of consultation between the administration and faculty on many campuses. Phillips gave accolades to the SUNY Cortland administration for being very good in that factor. He said on Old Westbury and many other campuses there are many problems including the full-time versus part-time breakdown where more than 50% of courses are taught by adjuncts, and in terms of GE programs, over 70%. He said, relatively speaking, we are doing well compared to other campuses.
The budget was also discussed and BAP II. Phillips mentioned an item that he brought up to Kim Kline, Vice Chancellor for Budget, involving the fact that one of the things SUNY has requested is 1 million dollars for a college initiative. He said Geneseo has tried to get a designation as a SUNY Honor�s College and although SUNY put it in the budget it was rejected by the legislature in the executive session. He said SUNY has been pushing the designation.
XII. STUDENT SENATOR REPORTS:
N. Tirado reported that the evening prior N. Aumann came to talk to the students about revisions to the English requirement and "nc" removal of the "nc" designation. She asked if it was true that you could still receive a "d" for a course even if the "nc" was removed?
Tirado�s question was answered from the floor in the affirmative.
Tirado also reported that some students are concerned that there are students in the Senate that are also tutors for English. She asked, "One concern was if "nc" was removed that it be consistent if only mla or apa is used?
D. Faulkner, replacement for M. L. Kennedy as Director of Writing, responded that at the last Composition meeting it was decided that both apa and mla would be accepted across the board and that the problem should go away.
Tirado said the last concern was consistency. A student could be doing well one semester and then when they find out they are not performing so well in their portfolio it is too late and they would not receive an "nc" but removal of the grade.
Alwes pointed out that she had expressed the same concern at the last Senate meeting. She expressed that people think this might indicate a sign of some disagreement. She said the portfolio was designed as a qualitative measure and if she were passing students and her colleagues thought she shouldn�t be, she would want to know. She felt she didn�t think the concern presented a real problem.
Tirado reported that the students voted 31 in favor, 4 opposed with some abstensions on the proposal.
XIII. OTHER COMMITTEE REPORTS:
College Research Committee: No report.
General Education Committee: SEE New Business
Committee on Committees: The Faculty Senate Steering Committee approved the appointment of B. Tobin as replacement for B. Griffen (sick leave) as faculty representative to the Student Government Association.
XIV. OLD BUSINESS:
The two EPC proposals, Revision to English Composition Requirement and Revision to Transfer Credit Evaluation were approved.
XV. NEW BUSINESS:
D. Barclay disseminated the Cortland General Education Restructuring Proposal. He explained that in regards to the proposal itself, his committee set it down in terms of what would happen at this point of the recommendation regarding justification. Then, he went on to state, the actual proposal would be talked about at the college, if this were approved by the Faculty Senate, assuming there is a referendum.
He reported that there is more information on the web with a url at the end of the first paragraph which includes the background discussion on March 20th, the history of the proposal, the actual report, recommendations and the proposal produced by the Provost�s Task Force in its original form, appendix and the document that he had just disseminated to the Senate.
He reminded the Senate that the whole process involved two years of planning and that it was developed, for the most part, by the GE Task Force. J. Governali, C. Vanderkarr and J. Duncan were co-chairs who lead the task force through development of the proposal. They went through several rounds of faculty review, it was disseminated to the campus, there were open meetings at each stage, including feedback on the proposal, and ultimately in January they sent their recommendations to the Provost who then forwarded them back to the faculty governance structures of the campus to the EPC and GE Committees. The GE Committee was directed to look at the content and structure of the proposal itself. Barclay explained that after he was finished talking he would let John Cottone, Chair, EPC Committee comment from his perspective. When the GE Committee did unanimously support the proposal they gave their preliminary recommendation and then circulated it to the campus for a final round of review. He said they are now recommending that the college adopt this as the new GE program.
Barclay also narrowed it down to three issues: He stated that this proposal, really known as the Cortland Program, is really important and would help with advisement and transfer students because one wouldn�t have to figure out mathematical formulas in calculating advisement and transfer credits. He said the current system is cumbersome and now the categories are identical and do match very closely together. He said it is a major improvement as a communicative tool. The second major change that happened is the categories themselves have been changed a little bit and broadened. Students can no longer take a mixture of courses. Barclay indicated, for example, a student could no longer take a humanities course on a different campus that would not transfer into Cortland. This category is narrower than the SUNY equivalent At this point, with this proposal, every single category is bigger than or the same size as the equivalent one, enclosed fully in each SUNY category. The third and final point is that this is not SUNY 1-10 but still the Cortland program which is being restructured. If you look at it carefully some of the titles, goals, learning outcomes and, in some cases, complete requirement is still a SUNY requirement with no courses added and none removed. This is not straightforward SUNY 1-10. The task force tried as much as possible to retain essential elements of the Cortland category. There have been some changes in the big picture. Barclay said, "With that in mind, this is what we�re recommending, this program, as a big improvement over the old situation."
J. Cottone said EPC reviewed the proposal as it was written and their job was to look at the parts of the proposal that dealt with educational policy. He said, on page 3, dealing with the SUNY Cortland GE, in the areas of transfer courses, they submitted their recommendations and comments including interpretation of certain areas, particularly in some areas such as the issues of double counting and transfer policy and the possibility of students transferring courses that may count for more than one category area. He said, "I think we as a committee were assured we were interpreting the policy correctly as it was written by SUNY and if there are issues still raised in regards to that it will still have to be looked at, from the stand point of the community. The college was in compliance with how the policy was specified for our campus as well as the outside jurisdiction, what a student was granted as a SUNY category and has met outcomes and how it would come in. It may count for different SUNY outcomes. There were some issues we did raise and I think based on that interpretation, if it was correct, and I hope that there will be questions raised regarding those issues and hopefully make sense in allowing the proposal to move forward. We did have some other issues really felt outside the purview of the policy which would come up with discussion. They were really addressed in the original recommendations that came from the GE task force, and I still think will be part of the discussion. There are more recommendations about supporting restructuring the program which is one strong recommendation. We do believe there will be other issues brought up and the Faculty Senate will have to realize that at some point they will have to be dealt with, once we get through debating and approving the structure as it has been proposed for later on."
R. Spitzer commended the committee for doing an excellent job calling it a good report with changes which need to be made. He said, secondly, it is important to note to emphasize that the document is not the one dated March 20 but April 7 which is actually the change in articulation policy but not the related memo materials that had been circulated, which did raise questions and is not the one before us today. He said this presents a problem as far as how the Senate is to proceed which raises many questions. He also had one specific concern, in the earlier version of the actual policy, asking if words were underlined or italicized to signify amended sections?
Barclay responded that what happened was that the document came from the Task Force in terms of what was changed and what wasn�t. He explained that if you looked at page 2 regarding bachelor�s degree requirements, the section that had a few little places underlined, the GE section and skills section, were reworded from what was currently in the catalog. He said everything else is, for the most part, exactly the same and there were only a few minor changes.
R. Spitzer asked if there was any intent to underline or italicize altered text that didn�t get printed in this version?
Barclay said the document the Senate has been presented with represents what will go into the catalog if it is approved and that is how it would appear.
The President said that most of the college will have the opportunity to hear the richness of the discussion in the Senate and that it might be worthwhile before it was sent out if Barclay could write up bullets indicating the revisions.
Barclay indicated that D. Ritchie would be doing exactly that when he posts the document on the Faculty Senate website which includes some additional 8 pages. He said the discussion includes 3 pages from the GE Committee giving their reflections and the other is what the Task Force used.
D. Berger asked, "What is the plan? Is this going to go for a faculty referendum?
The Chair responded that he assumed so and the decision would be arrived at next time.
R. Spitzer made a point of order, "I think the college handbook indicates a change of this magnitude has to go to a faculty referendum."
D. Berger said, "If that is the case, when it comes up at the next meeting, one can either endorse it or not? The endorsement is up to the faculty as a whole?"
Rayle said, "We have to have a referendum to have a change of this magnitude."
D. Kreh said, "The Senate will conduct a referendum, recommend a "yes" or "no" vote. It is important to communicate that in the instructions in the referendum."
D. Berger asked about the propriety of doing so.
J. Governali observed, in processing the question considering recommendations in the past, that this document does not include those recommendations. He asked what happened to them, did they go to the GE Committee or where did they go?
Barclay said the recommendations in the final report and the document in the Senate was provided with is in the final web document.
Governali asked if those recommendations weren�t pretty important in terms of what had been discussed previously?
Barclay responded that the GE Committee looked at those to see if they endorsed any recommendations, which was a separate process. He said the committee has commented on many of the recommendations made formerly and if this proposal is approved they will go forth with some of those recommendations. But until it is approved there is not really much they can do.
D. Berger asked when it does go to the faculty who is going to vote on it, all full time faculty?
D. Kreh responded all voting faculty.
J. Rayle asked if the courses listed under each category was the most up to date list?
D. Barclay responded that there have been changes this semester, so that represents what is currently up to date as to which courses are approved.
Cottone said EPC did raise as one of the areas outside of policy in regards to recommendations they did feel that although they didn�t want anything to derail the proposal they did feel it was important to realize that some of those recommendations would come up in the discussion. He said they did not want to sidetrack the discussion but to keep those on the table and deal with the proposal and then those recommendations will come back to the forefront. He said EPC have some revisions they will automatically bring to the floor in light of the proposal.
Barclay said, "Are you suggesting revisions, John, to the proposal itself?"
Cottone said, "No, quite the opposite. Once the discussion about the proposal is included then those issues that dealt with recommendations as to how the Faculty Senate would proceed with certain issues for recommendations�the next logical step would take place."
Chairman Rayle said he hoped people would understand once the proposal passed it would make it a little easier if people understood that there are multiple parts to address.
Barclay said that he felt it was important if the proposal went to a referendum and passed that they then didn�t turn around immediately and change aspects of it.
J. Rayle assured Barclay that was not anyone�s intention.
J. Cottone indicated that it would really come down to one question of whether or not was in favor of supporting the proposal and asked if the referendum would not follow along those lines?
J. Rayle responded that it was a unique situation and would be dealt with accordingly.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:25 PM
The references below are appended in the order they were submitted:
(1) EPC Proposals: Revision to English Composition Requirement; Revision to Transfer Credit Evaluation.
(2) Cortland General Education Restructuring Proposal, April 7th, 2006, D. Barclay, Chair, GE Committee.www.cortland.edu.senate/minutes.min12.html