November 29, 2005

I. CALL TO ORDER: The 7th meeting of the Faculty Senate for 2005-2006 was called to order at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2005 in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge by Chair Joseph Rayle.

SENATORS AND MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Rayle, M. King, S. Rayl, D. Berger,

R. Spitzer, D. West, K. Alwes, L. Anderson, J. Casciani, J. Governali, J. Hendrick,

K. Rombach, S. Stratton, B. Griffen, D. Sidebottom, J. Sitterly, V. Marty, B. Tobin,

D. Ritchie, J. Governali, T. Phillips, P. Schroeder, N. Tirado, M. K. Boland,

E. Bitterbaum, E. Davis-Russell, R. Franco, W. Shaut, B. Kissel, J. Cottone, G. Clarke, D. Kreh

SENATORS AND MEMBERS ABSENT: C. DeGouff, D. Driscoll, G. Zarate, M. Gerty, E. Davis-Russell, P. Buckenmeyer

GUESTS PRESENT: G. Levine, N. Aumann, J. Mosser, R. Olsson, E. Caffarella,

E. Murnane, D. Barclay, K. Pristash, M. Canfield, S. Brown (student)


The Minutes from November 15 were approved as amended.


There were no Senate actions taken.


J. Rayle announced that he would be bringing the consultative administrative search committee proposal forward after the Steering Committee meets with Joanne Barry again. He also reported that there are a few additional items that will be coming up.


No report.


No report.


No report.


President Bitterbaum reported that recently the campus hosted the research foundation and it was determined that the system has hired a lobbyist during the last three years called Incan and Gump who visited our campus recently for the first time. He announced that this represents a major earmark in working with the community. Bitterbaum felt that they gave us excellent advice and indicated that we are going to use them. He shared the history of the project, located directly across from the Community Restaurant, in the Beard Building. The President stated that our philosophy is if you have a healthy downtown it will add a lot of vitality to the community. He said the Institute for Civic Engagement and a variety of other projects are being held there. He finished by saying it will also be providing additional classroom space.

The Provost was unable to attend the Senate because she was at a meeting in Binghamton for Provosts on International Education. Bitterbaum shared three items that she had to report. The first dealt with an initiative involving Exercise Science and Sports Studies. The President explained that the department has tried to propose this initiative regarding sports management, evolving from a discussion with Exercise Science, indicating that they felt the need at this time to develop two departments. As a result, the campus will have an Exercise Science Department and a new Department of Sports Management.

As far as the strategic plan, Bitterbaum reported, it has gone through the Cabinet, President�s and Joint Chair�s Councils. He explained that many years ago there was an African American Studies Department on campus, which was changed to an interdisciplinary program. We have have a number of majors, he added, approximately 20, and there has been a recommendation by the deans and joint chairs to move it back to an African American Studies Department. The faculty will be utilized across the college and Seth Asumah, currently a Political Scientist, will chair the program of study. This will bring more visibility to the program, the President stated, where there would be historians, biologists, psychologists and people who have a real interest in this topic. The third item he reported on was in the area of human services emanating from discussion over the last two years involving Sociology and Anthropology, who felt human services did not belong in their area. It has been decided that human services will now be included under health sciences.

Bitterbaum announced that there is also an international scholar coming to campus named Mohammed Gauss, a Fulbright scholar from Malaysia and professor of theatre and choreographer. The President stated that Gauss is in his 60�s and an "amazing human being." He encouraged anyone who could use him culturally to do so and to contact Henry Steck who will be in the Park Center hosting Gauss.

As regarding fall break, Bitterbaum stated that the students will be encouraged to contribute input and no decision have been made at this time since the administration is still looking at numbers. He said, "I am leaning towards (not having) a fall break, but do want to have further discussions due to economic reasons. A lot of things will go into that discussion. We�ve had a number of faculty e-mails and discussion but this has to be a joint decision with many people, not just one group over another." He asked for questions from the floor.

K. Alwes said, "There�s this feeling, especially among faculty who have come to me about this, that the faculty are not being given any say as to what we would do with the calendar?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "Well, we have a Calendar Committee made up of faculty, primarily, and they want input, and so the best way to direct that, we work by committee. In most institutions, there are actual recommendations. The best we can do it is to actually try it without fall break for two years based on information that has been shared with us. It�s a small group with very active people. I don�t know if anybody here is on that committee." He pointed out Ginny Levine, Joan Sitterly and Yvonne Murnane who were on the committee.

K. Alwes asked if the committee was accepting input.

Bitterbaum responded, "Absolutely."

K. Alwes asked, "Because this is what the faculty who have talked to me wanted to know."

Bitterbaum replied, "This is not going to be unanimous. Every once in awhile I do meet a colleague who feels that their voice is bigger than others. I do need to share that everyone�s voice is important, not one single individual."

R. Spitzer asked, "Could you just say who it is to send comments to?"

E. Bitterbaum stated, "We�ll get an e-mail to the community. I am still accepting comments."

J. Rayle said, "I am hearing similar things. I would like to urge that we use e-mail or some kind of process. I think it�s just a matter of publicity. People don�t know where to direct comments to."

E. Bitterbaum reiterated, "We�ll send an e-mail out to the community asking them to direct those comments to the Calendar Committee."

J. Rayle said, "I think there�s some misperceptions that we can clear up. I�d like to do that."

T. Phillips asked the President, "Did you say that you were leaning towards October break?"

Bitterbaum responded, I am not against it�.but I will take the consensus of the committee. There is a down side, if we get hit by a very harsh winter and things, the worse case scenario is we freeze lines. These are very important decisions we will have to make. We can�t increase fees for students, that has to be a decision by SUNY. We do know at this point we will be in the hole two million dollars unless we have a mild winter and we can�t raise fees, so what that means is that as people retire we won�t fill lines. 85% of our costs is personnel costs, so that�s being very dramatic, but I feel it�s important to be dramatic because of the dangers."

D. Ritchie asked, regarding the SUNY budget as presented by the Chancellor, "Has there been any movement, any information from the Governor�s office about it?"

E. Bitterbaum replied, "I am very optimistic. The Chancellor has been here recently and on every campus that he has gone to, he has heard the laments about the energy costs. He made no promises. SUNY as a system will look into it. We have to fund 64 campuses, but if the lament is large and loud enough that when the time comes that it goes to the Senate, and when UUP talks, we need a lot of people talking. There may be a little relief, maybe even this year, but there are no guarantees. I am not very encouraged but we will wait and see. But he (the Chancellor) is very hopeful for next year that there would be additional dollars for all state agencies for energy costs. Whether that comes to pass or not is a good question, but it is part of the budget that he has put forward and it is an aggressive budget. We just don�t know how many dollars will be allocated. I think there will be some additional dollars for energy but I just don�t know how significant�.I will share with you that the meeting involving Tom Egan and the Chancellor and the Governor and his staff was a very positive one and they came out feeling very good that the budget they presented, the Governor would back. Of course it�s his last term and it�s easy to be optimistic, but also the signals are fairly good from Bruno and Silver that they like this budget and want to support SUNY, but to what degree, I don�t know. We�re trying to make plans, hire faculty, will know in February just how good or bad that budget is. The signs are very positive right now."

K. Alwes asked, "Are we to believe that oil prices after this year are not going to go down to pre- hurricane costs? We are talking about them as if they are always going to be elevated. Is that what we are believing?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "No, when you listen to the experts, people who are professors of economics and who study this�when I ask our own economists they are very guarded. Now I know why economics is not a science."

T. Phillips replied, "It�s a statistical science."

E. Bitterbaum said, "I�m a biologist and I work with hypotheses. Let me just share with you that they don�t think it will ever go back to the past�Part of the problem, according to the experts here, we have the oil but we don�t have refineries to refine the oil�We have to get more refineries. From the day you take a drop of oil out of the ground until you put it in a car it takes ten years, which is a long time. I am sure prices will drop, Karla, but we would be foolish to think we would ever go back. But I get different arguments from different sources."

E. Bitterbaum said, "I will share with you, we are not just sitting back, we do know about co-generation, which is a process where you generate your own electricity. Bill shared with me today about Richard Stockton State College and the University of Ontario. These are among the universities who have approached a novel use such as geo-thermal energy. We can bond for it and it will pay itself back. We are going to be very aggressive. Steven Hunt has brought people to talk to us regarding cogeneration. We are very lucky."

D. Berger asked, "When you say we are going to be very aggressive, do you mean we, as in SUNY Cortland, as far as the budget and possible alternatives?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "Yes, we are."

D. Berger replied, "That�s good. I am glad to hear it."

E. Bitterbaum mentioned Binghamton University who uses an alternate form of energy and offered that the campus will use whatever political might it has to find solutions to the problem. He asked W. Shaut to share his thoughts regarding geothermal energy, which he felt might make a big difference.

W. Shaut said, "Well the only two campuses I know are Ontario and Richard Stockton College. At least at one of the schools put 350 wells 150 feet deep, 6" in diameter, and they use it for heating and cooling� The energy savings, we have all sorts of numbers�30-40% savings on electricity and 60% on heat, which for us would be between $400 and $500,000. I have no idea what it would cost, engineers spoke to yesterday. I can�t tell you all about it because I didn�t fully understand what they were talking about, but I felt it would be a reasonable alternative. Whether or not we could find the money to actually do it, and I am fairly certain we could do it�As to the question, does this work co-generation work? Absolutely, it does."

E. Bitterbaum said, "We have some very good people in the physical plant. Nazrin, as you know, is an architect and very familiar with this. Tim slack was recently hired, and there are other individuals working on it. Most colleges are looking at ways of trying to draw down the costs and taking different strategies. I like the suggestion by Joseph to send out an e-mail to try to get as much feedback as we can."

M. K. Boland asked, "When you refer to fall break, are you leaning towards keeping fall break?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "Maybe I shouldn�t say anything. I am keeping an open mind. I guess what I see is burgeoning costs�I know the students will visit with faculty and we�ll go from there."

S. Rayl asked, "Is there a chance that any of these positions the committees are now searching for will be frozen?"

E. Bitterbaum said, "If we get a horrendous budget, yes�We�re not anticipating that, it�s the worst case scenario we can get. We have made some commitments. We have a Masters moving towards in Sports Management and not only a requisite but students will be overenrolled and it offers a great strength. We have to be careful what we cut. Something we have to cut we just have to freeze for a year. The truth of matter is that�s the worst case scenario. Sometimes you have to throw it out so that people are not surprised making sure that people are aware. My feeling is that is not the case. The Governor seems very positive and the early signs of Bruno and Silver are very positive. In visiting with the Chancellor he was optimistic."

Y. Murnane: Comment what was done for winter session?

E. Bitterbaum said, "I did apologize that a decision we were going to make, instead of having winter session all over campus which is very expensive that way, PER and Studio West have their own small boilers we can maintain. It has grown, winter session, luckily, and it is very successful if students come to Studio West and PER where we can hold them there." He mentioned other factors that have to be taken into consideration, referring to George Fidales who will be providing all the technology that everybody needs. The President ended by indicating this will also be another financial savings for us.

J. Governali said, "About the possibility of freezing lines, it would be helpful to faculty as to having or not having a fall break, if students could see (the possibilities), it changes thinking, in terms of whether or not fall break is a good idea, such as to the alternative idea of having to freeze lines."

E. Bitterbaum stated, "That�s the worst case scenario, Joe, the last thing we would try to do."

J. Governali said, "They might appreciate the extent of the problems. It may be helpful for our thinking."

S. Rayle inquired if maybe the campus needs to have more open meetings about this finding out what do people think and how do we get this information out to the people. The said, "This is a big deal. We need to have faculty behind us one way or another."

W. Shaut said, "The simplest thing would be to e-mail the faculty. Maybe there�s one I haven�t seen. It�s real simple."

S. Stratton said, "Let me make a quick clarification. There has been discussion in our department that we have more class space than other SUNY�s so if we reduce it by one day we would not be out of synch with the rest of SUNY. Has that come up?"

Bitterbaum replied, "The issues is an interesting one and I asked Dean Caffarella. I asked how could he manage this? I will ask Ed to speak to it. Some of it also is coverage. Part of the people who serve in classrooms are adjuncts, but I�ll let Ed share that with you. One of our concerns, we did have a breakfast meeting with superintendents. Most of in this area, it turns out by state law you can not start before September 1, and I did call Richard Mills, Commissioner, at the suggestion of Doug Larison, Homer Central School Superintendent, and you would think you were moving a mountain. Basically, that�s the law and unless there�s a real emergency, according to Commissioner Mills, what most districts will do is just raise the levy for homes. That would pay for additional costs. If citizens vote against it, it will affect teacher loads, and the first to go are Art and things like that. So, it�s very interesting. This is a big issue. But maybe Ed would like to address it."

E. Caffarella responded, "In terms of adjuncts and to what affect student teaching would have on our spring or fall interval and how to accommodate that, student teaching can stay where it is right now and part of our campus classes would shift one way or another. Student teaching is supervised by adjuncts and requires few faculty on campus to provide for these students�"

I do have campuses?

E. Bitterbaum said, "We are an interesting campus in that we have several more days than most campuses. The way it works is the Carnegie units which is in minutes constituting 2021 minutes� We go way over it, so that means our students are enriched."

W. Shaut asked, "Joseph are you going to send that or should we send it?"

Rayle responded, "Why don�t you do that and it seems to me to get more people involved�I think I have some resolutions coming towards this body about this issue but I don�t know which way it will go. This is one of the forums where this could be discussed and one of it is over e-mail."

Bitterbaum said, "My feeling is that we work by consensus unless there is a safety issue and things of that nature. If we choose to have fall break we can do that, but if consequences come down and we have to deal with difficult financial issues we will deal with them, whether it�s budget cuts or whatever it could be. I am not anticipating that but you never know."

M. K. Boland said, "I was going to do this during my report but we voted on it last night at Senate and I thought I was very objective about it. There were 47 against, and 3 for, with no abstentions. So I mean, I think the problem we have with is, we are getting out at the same time as last year. If you look at the calendar last year we are getting out December 16 and with no October break�."

Bitterbaum replied, "You know calendars vary�."

S. Rayl said, "We also started school later this semester."

President Bitterbaum responded in agreement.

S. Rayl pointed out it was actually a week later.

E. Bitterbaum said, "But one thing we appreciate is what students have to say. The Faculty Senators do represent students. When we come closer to making a decision, whatever it is, I�ll be happy to come to Senate to explain it."

S. Rayl directed a question to the student reps saying, "I�m curious, and don�t want it to sound like a stupid statement or question. What it is it exactly about break that the students are so adamant about? Why is it that important to them?. I am just asking from the student perspective."

M.. K. Boland responded, "I think a lot of students are burnt out by the time it gets to October."

S. Rayl said, I am very serious when I ask. What are the specific reasons?"

J. Rayle explained, "We are not trying to be flippant but we really want to understand what your concern is."

M. K. Boland replied, "The burnout. I think we also had it in the past so if you take it away�"

S. Rayl asked, "The tradition?"

M. K. Boland said, "Yes."

N. Tirado explained further that students come to school having the expectations that they will only be in school for a couple of weeks. She said that she has been telling the students on her floor what could happen. She pointed out that in the community room the students turn out the lights.

E. Bitterbaum stated that he and his wife had a group coming that night consisting of about 30 students where they have been hosting the RA�s to get a sense of residential life and their feedback.

N. Tirado asked if motion sensors were being put in.

E. Bitterbaum indicated that something been suggested and people are looking at it. He pointed out that there are key areas such as Exhibition Lounge that if you leave lights on there is waste. He said probably the most recent e-mail had to do with space heaters and how safe they are and that people do need to read those emails.

D. Ritchie said, "Just question about winter session. As far as the upper campus buildings, which ones will be heated during that period?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "You have to keep it fairly cool temp to save money." He asked Shaut what the temperature is that they are considering to save costs.

W. Shaut responded 55 degrees.

E. Bitterbaum said, "I know that�s cool, but we�re hoping for big savings. I do come in on weekends and work. I did come in on Sundays but it is cool."

D. Ritchie asked, "Will you have a listing of buildings that staff can go to if they feel the need?"

E. Bitterbaum said, "This is when we�re really closed. When we�re semi opened, like the library has to be open at times, we�ll keep that much warmer�65 degrees."

W. Shaut corrected the President saying, "68 degrees�that refers to residential buildings."

D. Ritchie asked, "Will there be upper campus buildings closed?"

Bitterbaum stated, "The library has to be open and things like that, so the library will be 65."

D. Ritchie said, "I understand but what about other upper campus buildings?"

E. Bitterbaum responded, "No, most of them will be at 55 probably�at least that�s our thinking right now."

S. Rayl said, "Just Studio West and PER."

E. Bitterbaum said, "It�s hard to heat Old Main when you have 5 to 6 people there. It just doesn�t seem economical."

G. Clarke asked, "What time frame are we speaking about?"

E. Bitterbaum indicated they were referring to the two weeks intercession.

D. Ritchie said, "I was also interested for those clerical staff who work in those buildings. Will there be another building they can go to as in the past, they have done that?"

E. Bitterbaum said, "Absolutely. We have done that. Miller�obviously we can�t keep it at 55. We wouldn�t be able to collect any money. No, I am kidding. What we�re doing, David, is a good question, looking at it a building by building case."

D. Ritchie said, "It would be helpful for the campus if you publish something."

E. Bitterbaum said, "I was thinking of was asking Tim Slack to send a document in the next three weeks as to what we will do."

D. Ritchie responded, "Great."

E. Bitterbaum said, "They were probably already going to do this but they are way ahead of me, believe me."

J. Rayle asked, "Do you have any other questions or comments. Does anybody from the President�s Cabinet have anything?"

E. Bitterbaum said, "Thank you for all of your suggestions."

K. Alwes asked, "So who�s going to send out the email?"

J. Rayle responded, "They are."

E. Bitterbaum asked the chair, "Is that all right?"

J. Rayle said he concurred.

K. Alwes added, "I think that�s a good idea."

J. Rayle said, "And if people want to bring things to this forum, and if you have resolutions or whatever, talk to me. We�ll talk to the Steering Committee. If you want to bring stuff in and introduce it you can. I am not interested in silencing anybody on this thing. It�s a big deal, the way we do business, and I am all for maximum participation."

E. Bitterbaum said, "It may be a series of questions. We need to know the consequences�.It would be really awkward if we have a mild winter and we have all of this money.


No report.


There were no questions for the Vice Presidents.


Long Range Planning Committee � No report.

Educational Policy Committee - No report.

Student Affairs Committee - No report.

Faculty Affairs Committee � G. Clarke reported that the Committee met and authorized him to send out an e-mail to the Faculty Senate Chair, department chairs, the deans and Provost, which he did, about them sending information to the committee regarding the Faculty Senate�s charge in the area of scholarly review�I received one departmental response."

College Research Committee - No report.

General Education Committee � {SEE New Business}


T. Phillips gave a brief report. He opened by saying, "I have a brief issue just to share with everyone. Some people may know already. Erik if you have information please feel free. At Faculty Senate there�s an issue about Alfred College of Ceramics. I sent it to Joseph and am highlighting it for you. What they have received from a few campuses already is a resolution in support of Ceramics, which is a statutory College of SUNY housed at Alfred University, which is a private school. Does that make sense to everybody? What�s happening is the SUNY part is being consumed by Alfred University." He asked the President if that was his consensus of the situation.

E. Bitterbaum replied, "Well, the way I would characterize it is we�re paying all the bills and they want to reap all the benefits."

T. Phillips added, "Until 2000 the College of Ceramics governing structure within the college, which means the SUNY part. The school of art design and engineering deans reported to the dean of the college, the SUNY part. They called it the unit head. In the 90�s tension built between the Alfred University administration, Alfred University and the college. In 1996 the dean of the college was forced to resign without faculty consultation, and in 2000 again without faculty consultation. The residing college dean was forced to resign and the position was dissolved. The college head became the responsibility of the Alfred University Interim Provost with no job description. In other words, the college head was now a member of the college and not SUNY and had no clear idea of job responsibilities. The faculty was understanding, they made other changes like this. Also since 2000 the budgetary decision making was removed from the SUNY part of the college and oversight of SUNY money resides with the Alfred University Provost. The college business and human resources offices were integrated to non statutory offices without consultation with deans or the college faculty of school deans. The directors report to different governance lines. Almost all refs to SUNY have been removed from recruitment materials on the advice of a marketing consultant. A recent recruitment blitz mentioned one university without adequately addressing needs of professional program marketing. College recruitment materials have not been of caliber needed to attract students from competitive markets. The number of academically qualified students has been decreased. One sixth of the faculty have left taking a significant amount of sponsored research dollars. Maybe the Steering Committee could bring forth a resolution in support of faculty at the SUNY part of Alfred? The Chancellor and the rest of SUNY are attempting to address issue and get the unit head back in that would report to the Alfred University President and Chancellor directly?" He asked the chair if that made sense.

J. Governali asked, "Where has SUNY been in all of this? Where has SUNY been when all of this has happened, and secondly, why don�t they just pull the program in the SUNY unit?"

T. Phillips replied, "Excellent question. Well, they haven�t been very aggressive in dealing with it, I know that, at least that�s what the Alfred representatives have told the Faculty Senate."

E. Bitterbaum said, "This may be the wrong characterization. If I had to use a model they would emulate it would be Cornell. They have 4 statutory colleges that report to Cornell and SUNY pays the bill. I guess Alfred said, �Hey, that�s a great model� and SUNY is now biting back and saying no. So now you have the difficult issue. But if you go to the campus there are some beautiful buildings that are built and actually the College of Ceramics is world class. I did know they had a hard time recruiting top flight students because it�s an extraordinary place."

T. Phillips said, "I think they are trying to work this out. I mean, Betty Capaldi right now is the unit head and she is chief of staff for the Chancellor. It�s a power play and they have to work it out between trustees with Alfred and trustees of SUNY to get some resolution."

D. Berger asked, "Is that Elizabeth Capaldi?"

E. Bitterbaum replied, "Yes."

D. Berger said, "I met her in New York."

T. Phillips asked, "Is it possible to bring a resolution to the Steering Committee?"

J. Rayle indicated he might have a copy already of the resolution being referred to.

T. Phillips said, "I will send it to you."

J. Rayle replied, "Send it to me and if we want to proceed on it we can."

T. Phillips said, "Thank you."


Committee on Committees � No report.


There was no old business.


The General Education Committee Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment Proposal was introduced by David Barclay, chair of the committee.

Barclay said, "What we�re submitting here are Senate endorsements, submitted previously, in two weeks we will come back and get endorsement from the Senate in terms of what we�re proposing. We are chasing a deadline as always. Actually the deadline is February 15, which means we are pushing back. It is no very useful to push back on that deadline because if we can get it through the Senate we have one more meeting this semester and then there�s only one more before that deadline comes up. If we can get that in two weeks it would be great. If you see major things you or your constituents would like to see changed, contact Shawn Van Etten. We will do anything we can do to accommodate you by�the next meeting. So what is this. This is a proposal for strengthened based assessment campus. This is a mandate or a resolution from the Board of Trustees passed in June 2004. And what that resolution called for is pretty much two things. One was to measure level of student engagement in academic activities and the other side was to use externally areas of three core areas of the GED program, Math, Basic Communications, Writing and Critical Thinking. What all campuses have been asked to do is decide how to use externally referenced measures in those areas.

D. Berger asked, "I think I know what externally references measures are. What are they?"

D. Barclay responded, "We have two options. Either you can use nationally norms test like the academic profile, if that fits, and there was certainly some big questions about whether those standardized tests would meet learning categories�what we are doing all the time, assigning essays, grading those essays but using rubrics by expert panels by the SUNY Gear group. In each of these three areas they used rubrics. The third option was to come up with our own measure. It is a huge onus to prove that it connects, maps those two options, so we didn�t go that way. So, this was written by the General Education Committee. And Shawn VanEtten of the Institute for Research and Assessment says we can asses this mandate. I will go through what was decided. For Math we brought together an ad hoc committee, for the skilled area, GE 1, then SUNY would like to use the academic profile test, which would meet learning outcomes for one area. The one exception is the fifth outcome of the SUNY outcomes category, which is recognizing statistical methods. What they would do is provide written questions. Students would answer the multiple choice academic profile part of test�it would be graded for a score using an official SUNY wide rubric, for math.

For Basic Communication and Writing, the decisions, the recommendations came from the campus writing coordinator and faculty in the composition program. They have been on the ball leaving the process to SUNY, in ways. Are going to continue doing what we are doing? We are going to use SUNY rubrics�initial essay, comp 101 and 103 course, then grade the revised version of essay students would use.

For critical thinking, it is difficult, we don�t have critical thinking as a category. The courses in prejudice and discrimination, science tech and student affairs, both those categories involve a lot of critical thinking and are also not assessed in other areas of program. So we are going to use that area to assess critical thinking, which is infused throughout the program but we assess it in those two categories. We have brought in an ad hoc committee from faculty who teach in those areas and we basically designed an assessment inst that will be graded using the SUNY rubric.

In math using the standardized test, and in other areas using the SUNY-wide rubric for grading, what is in essence, our own instrument.

And then to assess academic environment, we are just going to follow SUNY policy on this and use the national survey of SUNY engagements. We�re just going to go with their guidelines in terms of that. That�s the basic idea in terms of what�s in this document. It is going to be all implemented in the three year plan we talked about three weeks ago. If you have any issues contact me or Shawn and we�ll try to address t hose in two weeks and, hopefully, we can get the endorsement of the Senate.

D. Berger asked, "The SUNY rubric�can you explain that a little more?"

D. Barclay responded, "All of the rubrics are in here. SUNY has met all standards for students in these assessments. Probably the best example would be on pages 9 and 10. The basic standards, are students meeting, approaching, or not meeting the standard? For each of those levels the expert panels are spelled out in the rubrics as meeting the standard. We pose questions, the student writes an essay, for example, that we can grade using that rubric.

D. Berger asked, "So you give them multiple choices and then use some criteria that were set up by SUNY and on the basis of that they make a judgment on whether the students meets or exceeds that?"

D. Barclay replied, "The actual scoring was done in house. The essays will be implemented in the composition courses. The essays are then collected and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment will organize them�faculty graders from Cortland. There will also be, some of those will be graded by several faculty, part of that process�different people using rubrics the same way. But its Cortland faculty grading this using the SUNY rubric."

D. Berger said, "I haven�t had chance to read�but have been critical of assessment programs in the past part because we tended to use instruments that weren�t validated and assumed they were measuring what they were measuring�We use reliability, which means giving the same or similar score all the time�we measure consistency with validity. You can get the same consistency with the wrong score. From what you�re saying, it sounds like a very good improvement. I am pleased with the progress and realization that things will be better."

D. Barclay said, "I think assessment is an ongoing process. Shawn is very active in completing assessments and reporting to SUNY the results. Right after that is the time faculty should come back to give comments on how can we improve this in the future. That�s how we did critical thinking. We immediately assessed that and are rolling it around for the future. So, it is an ongoing process in that way."

R. Spitzer asked, "Just a quick question about rubrics in GEAR. There are four categories, a formally standard rubric is 6 categories, is it not?"

D. Barclay responded, "For Cortland assessment, yes."

R. Spitzer replied, "So we are gravitating more to a four point rather than six, is that not right?"

D. Barclay replied, "For these three categories, yes. In the assessment coming around this spring, the next block of assessment we will be using the 6 pt rubric."

R. Spitzer asked, "So they are going to be continued being used?"

D. Barclay responded, "For that next round of assessment. Afterwards we should look back and see whether we would do better with 4 point rubric. We actually put in the Cortland assessment before the SUNY ones were available."

L. Anderson asked, "Is it possible for us to look at the national figure? I know it�s a national assessment that was provided. Can we see a sample of it?"

D. Barclay replied, "I don�t know."

L. Anderson referred to the four areas that are being assessed and looking at the National Survey of Communities

R. Franco said, "I am sure if you just taker a Google search you could see it online.

D. Barclay responded, "I think I�m right in saying that�s a SUNY wide recommendation to use that."

R. Franco said, "It is. A number of colleges have used it for the last five or six years or so."

E. Bitterbaum stated, "They use it probably because they want to compare colleges."

R. Franco said, "Oneonta uses it as well as Brockport."

D. Berger asked, "Did I hear there were no national standardized tests for critical thinking?"

D. Barclay answered, "There are national standardized tests basically, though they involve reading a passage and then answering multiple choice questions based on that. The consensus of faculty in Prejudice and Discrimination, Science and Technology and Human Affairs categories is we would rather have it more course imbedded. In otherwards, what�s going to happen, if you are doing assessment in your course, you choose an article or editorial that presents a contentious point of view and is directly relevant to your course. Students will then read it and then answer three questions and then be graded using rubric.

E. Bitterbaum said, "They are coming into re-existence. We might want to re-evaluate it a few years form now. For most colleges critical thinking has become a big issue for economics reasons." He said that organizations like ECS and ACT say, "We can make a lot of money to help our colleges" and mentioned there are some selfish reasons." He said, "They respond to the market and it becomes an important issue to colleges and universities to give evidence of students in 4-5 years�part of education does help them to think more critically�how do they do it? Some colleges will always get high scores. Is it something unique to a student who goes there?" Bitterbaum stated he didn�t know how many people purchase it indicating they are very expensive instruments to buy. He said for that reason, "I like the imbeddedness right now. We might have to bite the bullet and pilot it and see how students score on a national exam that people are generating."

Barclay said that SUNY will pay 20% of the costs which is their recommended contribution.

Bitterbaum asked, "We would get some reimbursement right now?"

M. King said, "My question would be against any of these tests, how are they validated? What is the procedure? Against what external criterion are they validated?"

D. Barclay replied, :I would really like to direct that question to Shawn, I think."

E. Bitterbaum said, "Or Merle."

D. Barclay said, "Oh Merle, I could use him."

M. Canfield replied, "Mel�s asking a question he already knows the answer to."

D. Berger said, "The answer is, they aren�t."

J. Rayle said, "Not much. This is political folks. I would be cynical about it. We�ve got to play this game to stay in business. I teach classes about the school in American Society. This is one of the great political problems of American education, whether it be elementary school or high school it is a crooked game but we�ve got to play it. I hate to be that ugly and cynical about it, but this is something, our great project is to change some of this, brothers and sisters. I�m not going to preach."

Barclay talked about the purpose of the second learning outcome and the rubric.

Berger mentioned assessment scores, as compared to what, he asked, and asked to show advantages, especially as relating to freshmen and seniors.

Barclay said they are value added.

Bitterbaum said it is fascinating to see the growth.

Berger underscored the phrase or it being a politics game.

Griffen mentioned it in the larger context as opposed to universal problems, saying it is globally related. He referred to ongoing faculty groups which stand outside assessment, the mission statement and the ramifications as far as the long range planning committee.

J. Rayle encouraged faculty to think seriously and keep doors open.

D. Berger said that faculty from Psychology, as a group, speak the most. He asked when you get outside of critical thinking what we can compare ourselves to?

M. King said, "I would be curious to see how the National Institute is validated. Can we find something locally against which to validate scores?"

Alwes said being in the English department is would be nice to have something publicly stated. She also stated that it would be really good to see exactly where the scores go.

Bitterbaum remarked that Joint Chairs has been a forum and Mary Lynch Kennedy her group has discussed this topic.

Alwes indicated that Kennedy believes we don�t use the data.

D. Berger made a remark about qualifying to colleagues, posting writing, and if we could show we do good job

Bitterbaum mentioned comparing different colleges and accredited schools, saying that if you can get that data it is of tremendous value.

D. Berger pointed out you need valid instrument to make arguments.

J. Governali mentioned that it would be nice if Shawn VanEtten could come to the next meeting

Barclay said, "Hopefully so."

Berger commended Barclay with approval of the committee�s efforts.


There were no area senator�s reports.


M. K. Boland announced that Habitat for Community is holding a hunger banquet the next day in the Function Room at 6:00. She also announced that the student�s Annual Winter formal is on Friday at Tinelli�s Hathaway House. She had a question about the resolution regarding Corey Union, asking, "You said it has been sent to a committee?"

J. Rayle was unable to recollect the exact name of the committee being referred to and D. Berger clarified that it was the Facilities Committee. Rayle announced that the committee is going to report back to the Senate and suggest a course of action.

W. Shaut asked, "You mean, the Facilities and Master plan and Oversight Committee?"

M. K. Boland asked, "Who is responsible for removing all of the classroom stuff?"

E. Bitterbaum replied, "The provost, myself and deans met about this topic and they are really trying very hard to flatten the schedule involving different deans, assoc deans and chairs and started a dialogue."

D. Berger said, "I am concerned with the Hall net policy. What happens with this?"

M. K. Boland said, "We have a meeting with Paula on the first and then we�ll be meeting with President Bitterbaum and then we�ll talk about it."

J. Rayle said, "They are working it out and don�t need our involvement at this point. I appreciate what�s happened."

M. K. Boland said, "But we would appreciate any input."

J. Rayle said, "Yes. Absolutely."

D. Berger said, "I guess it�s best for us not to be involved. I and others are involved because students rely on computers to turn in assignments, especially when you get in trouble with your computer having to scramble to fix the computer."

J. Rayle asked, "You are talking about the Hall net people?"

D. Sidebottom said, "We have a meeting with Paula and Mary Kate, I am pretty sure."

J. Rayle asked, "Could faculty also address stuff to you�give concerns?"

D. Sidebottom responded, "Yes. You can e-mail me."

J. Rayle said, "Is that satisfactory Dave?"

D. Berger said, "Thank you."

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 PM

Respectively Submitted,

Barbara Kissel

Staff Assistant/

Recording Secretary

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

(1) State University of New York College at Cortland Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment Proposal, submitted by David Barclay, Chair, GE Committee.