Minutes approved by Faculty Senate on October 12, 2004


May 4, 2004



The tenth meeting of the 2003-2004 academic year was called to order at 11:45 a.m. in UU 133 by Prof. Ross Geoghegan (Mathematical Sciences and Chair of the Faculty Senate).


1. Minutes.  The minutes of the April 13, 2004 Full Faculty and Faculty Senate meeting were approved as distributed.


2. Announcements/Questions. Prof. Richard Eckert (Computer Science and Chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee [FSEC]) reported that the committee and the various Faculty Senate standing committees have met frequently throughout the year.  Recently the FSEC has met with various deans and administrators for an exchange of ideas, plans, expectations, challenges for the future etc.  Some issues the FSEC has addressed that will continue in the fall are possible changes to the Faculty Bylaws regarding representation by small academic units; review of individual school bylaws; implementation issues of academic honesty policy; revised general education guidelines as a result of assessment process.  He announced that Prof. Richard Lee (Sociology) has been elected chair of the FSEC for two years beginning in Fall 2004.


Prof. Geoghegan added that the Budget Review Committee under the leadership of Prof. Howard Brown (History) has diligently pursued from the administration an outline budget of University financial information that will be made available to members of the Senate.  The goal is provide comparative figures from year to year.


3. New Business.  a) Approval of degree candidates.    A motion was made and seconded to approve the lists of degree candidates contingent on completion of requirements for respective degrees.  On voice vote the motion was unanimously approved.


b) Election of 2003-2004 Faculty Senate Procedures Committee.  On voice vote the following nominees were unanimously approved:  Vice Chair – Dana Stewart; Secretary – Blenda Smith.  Prof. Geoghegan will continue as Chair for the second year of his two-year term.


c) Annual report of 2002-2003 Faculty Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.  Prof. Geoghegan explained that the earlier report submitted to the Senate in the fall has been replaced by the report on today’s agenda.  Prof. Frank Cardullo (Mechanical Engineering and Chair of the Faculty Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee) explained that the committee reached consensus on this report.  It is largely the same as the previous but there are some minor adjustments in numbers reported and it is overall less judgmental.  He added that next year the Budget Review Committee would formally monitor expenditures and revenues in the athletic program as previously mentioned.  The Intercollegiate Athletics Committee will focus on the academic performance of student athletes, issues of admissions, etc.  A motion was made to receive the report.  The motion passed without dissent.


d) Reconsideration of document entitled “Statement of Goals, Principles and Responsibilities for Undergraduate Education at Binghamton University” that was approved by the Faculty Senate on January 27, 2004.  Prof. Geoghegan explained that the Senate approved the document in January.  The motion stated that the document would be placed in the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff.  Members of the administration intervened saying that the document conflicted with established practice and law at the university.  A meeting among the affected parties was held and a solution was agreed on:  to insert the following paragraph entitled ‘Background’ at the beginning of the document: 




The State University of New York operates within a framework of federal and state laws, the enacted Policies of the Board of Trustees, and a number of negotiated collective bargaining agreements.  Nothing that follows should be construed as superseding these laws, Policies, and agreements.  The Board of Trustees has delegated to faculty within the State University of New York the responsibility “for the conduct of the university’s instruction, research and service programs.” [Article VI, ¶3]  The aim of this document is to guide faculty, staff and administrators in fulfilling their shared responsibilities for providing high quality undergraduate education.


Prof. Geoghegan added that this additional paragraph is moved and seconded from the FSEC.


Prof. Sandra Michael (Biological Sciences) asked for details about the conflicts.  Prof. Geoghegan replied that he could not give specifics as they were numerous and minor.  Prof. Randy McGuire (Anthropology and Chair of the Faculty Senate ad hoc Committee on the Quality of Teaching at BU) agreed and summarized that the paragraph affirms the President’s authority as stated in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and her privilege to delegate responsibility to the faculty and others.  He added that representatives of UUP have stated that the document does not conflict in any way with the union contract and in fact are in full support of it.


Prof. Susan Strehle (English) said she is in favor of the document and its content although in reality the university does not function in this manner.


After a vote the motion to approve the document as amended (addition of first paragraph) carried unanimously.


e) Approval of document entitled “Guiding Principles and Practices of Effective Teaching” as revised by the FSEC on February 24, 2004.  Prof. Geoghegan explained that this document is a companion to the previous but has not yet been discussed by the Senate.  It also comes moved and seconded from the FSEC. 


Prof. McGuire reported that the Provost has stated she has no concerns about this document as she did the previous.  The purpose of the document is an attempt to formalize a statement about what good teaching should be.  He stated further that the committee shared a draft with many campus groups and revisions were made.  He pointed out that the first paragraph encourages departments and schools to develop a set of individual principles and practices.  He also said that the eight principles and examples are neither mandatory nor complete.  The FSEC retains the ability to add or subtract examples.  Prof. McGuire also reported that he is chair of the All University Personnel Committee and that committee unanimously approved the document.


Prof. Eckert asked if the intent is to place this document in the Handbook or a prominent place as well?  Prof. McGuire replied affirmatively.  Prof. Eckert moved to amend the motion that the document also be included in the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff.  The motion was seconded.  After a vote the motion carried unanimously.


Prof. Andrew Scholtz (Classical and Near Eastern Studies) said the document would be useful when considering personnel cases and moved to insert the following in the third sentence of the first paragraph after the word learning “(guidelines, not mandatory practices)”.   The motion was seconded.  Prof. Knuepfer agreed saying it is important to allow flexibility.  Prof. McGuire countered saying it is unnecessary since the statements in the document are clear.  He commented that the Senate does not set guidelines for Initiating Personnel Committees.  After a vote the motion failed, 16 in favor, 25 opposed, 2 abstentions.


A vote was taken on the motion to approve the document and to include it in the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff.  The motion was approved unanimously.


f) Report of University Faculty Senator Peter Knuepfer on the recent University Faculty Senate meeting concerning system-wide assessment and other matters.  Prof. Knuepfer reported on two issues discussed:  decrease in international student applications, graduate in particular; overall decrease in graduate school applications.  The other centers and Binghamton have adopted provisions that tuition revenues be placed into research grants.  He added that the lack of graduate stipends seems to be uniform and widespread across the system.  Some institutions have found it more cost effective to fund one post-doc instead of two graduate students.


Regarding plagiarism by undergraduates, Prof. Knuepfer reported that the University of Maryland has on line a worthy program about the difference between citations and paraphrasing.  There was discussion about honor codes and academic dishonesty.  He urged faculty to be aware of processes in place.


Regarding system-wide assessment, the Chancellor said he is in favor of the most recent proposal and will take it to the Board of Trustees.  The proposal was approved by the University Faculty Senate with slight amendments to include more faculty involvement and a request for state funding for the process. 


Prof. Michael remarked that she understands it will be very unlikely that students from China will be allowed in the United States next year because of visa problems.  Provost Mary Ann Swain agreed and said there are real concerns at the national level.  She stated that the ACE (American Council on Education) is working with the state department and Thomas Ridge, United States Department of Homeland Security, to resolve some of the issues around visa status particularly for graduate students.


Prof. Geoghegan thanked Prof. Eckert for his service as chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and welcomed the new chair, Prof. Lee.


The meeting adjourned at 12:47 p.m.


Present:  John Affleck, Janet Ambrogne, Jeffrey Barker, Jonathan Biggers, Matthew Brin, Gisela Brinker-Gabler, Elizabeth Brown, Beth Burch, Frank Cardullo, Robert Carpenter, Charles Cobb, Richard Eckert, Deborah Elliston, John Fillo, Ross Geoghegan, Janet Hogan, Gladys Jimenez-Munoz, Gerald Kadish, Peter Knuepfer, Philip Kraft, Leslie Lander, Dennis Lasser, Richard Lee, Hal Lewis, Steven Lynn, Ingeborg Majer-O’Sickey, Florence Margai, Stanley Masters, Michael McDonald, Sandra Michael, Ralph Miller, Charles Nelson, Nkiru Nzegwu, Richard Pastore, Sol Polachek, Francisco Rueda, Andrew Scholtz, Michael Sharp, Jim Stark, Eugene Stevens, Dana Stewart, Susan Strehle, Mary Ann Swain, Joel Thirer, Nancy Um, Peter Eraca, Lee Nesslage


Excused:  Howard Brown, Manas Chatterji, Susannah Gal, Sam Morell, Blenda Smith, Lisa Tessman, Barbara Wolfe, Melissa Zinkin


Absent:  Susan Bane, Subimal Chatterjee, Lois DeFleur, Mark Fowler, Vincent Grenier, Liz Rosenberg, Douglas Summerville, John Titus, Susan Repine, Aleksey Tikhomirov