Approved by Faculty Senate on 10/21/2008




May 6, 2008



Prof. H. Richard Naslund (Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies and chair of the Faculty Senate) called the full faculty meeting to order at 11:47 A.M. in UU 133.  He presented the proposed changes to the Faculty Bylaws (attached to agenda).  Prof. Naslund explained the three changes:  1) corrects an oversight regarding departments with at least 11 members but no more than 19 members; 2) requires majority of Senior Personnel Committee members to be from within the academic subdivision; 3) allows chairpersons to serve on the All University Personnel Committee.  There were no questions.  The proposed changes will now be sent to the full faculty for vote.  Prof. Naslund adjourned the full faculty meeting and began the third Faculty Senate meeting of the 2007-2008 academic year at 11:50 a.m.


1) Minutes.  a) Correction to minutes of October 23, 2007 meeting.  Referring to a question at the February 5, 2008 meeting, the last sentence in the second paragraph of the October 23, 2007 minutes (insertion in italics) should read, “As always, Binghamton’s students are exceptional and more than 85% of new undergraduates fall in the SUNY system’s highest quality rating”.  The minutes now stand approved as corrected.


b) The minutes of the February 5, 2008 meeting were approved as submitted.


2) Announcements.  a) Necrology.  Prof. Naslund reported the deaths of two former faculty members, Charles Forcey, professor emeritus (History), and Lin Chiao, associate professor emeritus (School of Management).  The Senate observed a moment of silence.  As is established practice, a note of condolence has been sent to the families on behalf of the Senate.


3) Reports.  a) Prof. Gary James, Chair, Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) on committee business in 2007-2008.  Prof. James reported on issues the committee has considered:  proposal for Masters in Student Affairs Administration; faculty evaluations of Nancy Stamp, Dean of the Graduate School and John Meador, Director of Libraries; met with dean candidates for both Harpur College and School of Education; passed several Faculty Bylaws changes; approved the proposal for a department of Asian and Asian American Studies and the proposal for a law school.


b) Prof. Sandra Michael, University Faculty Senator, on University Faculty Senate (USF) business.  Prof. Michael reported on two activities of the University Faculty Senate.  The Student Life Committee is concerned about the ratio of mental health counselors to students on individual campuses.  The UFS endorsed a recommendation from the International Association of Counseling Services calling for one counselor for every 1,000 students if there are limited opportunities available in the local community, and one counselor for every 1,500 students in communities where such services are readily available.  The current ratio of licensed mental health counselors to students is approximately 1:1625 across SUNY campuses according to a survey by System Administration.  The proposal was given to the chancellor.  


Also, there is ongoing concern about the process of transferring credit between SUNY community colleges and the baccalaureate schools.  Many students have their community college credits rejected in the major at the four-year schools.  A SUNY Joint Committee on Transfer and Articulation has developed and approved a concept proposal which it believes will mitigate the problem.  The Joint Committee includes provosts, registrars, transfer officers, System representatives, as well as faculty representing the two and four year schools.  There is concern at the UFS level about giving up too much control of the appropriate content of courses to be used to fulfill major requirements.  Accordingly, the UFS asked the Joint Committee to rework the proposal for consideration at the UFS's summer meeting.


c) Dr. Michael McGoff, Acting Vice President for Administration and Vice Provost for Strategic and Fiscal Planning, spoke about the budget.  He stated that it is a complex situation.  Originally, SUNY received a $34 million cut which meant about $1.8 million less for Binghamton.  However, since then the governor decided that $800 million less should be spent or about $109 million for SUNY.  It is not known how this latest cut will be directed but it is known that it will be on ‘all funds.’


Prof. Richard Eckert (Computer Science) asked if there would be a hiring freeze.  Dr. McGoff answered that the governor has mentioned it but one has not yet been imposed on SUNY.  Locally the administration has agreed to slow down hiring until more information becomes available. 


4) New Business.  a) approval of degree candidates.  Prof. Naslund explained that approval is a formality signifying the faculty role in granting degrees.  A motion was made 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 2008-2009 Faculty Senate Procedures Committee.  The slate is:   Vice Chair – Sara Reiter; Secretary – Caryl Ward.  Prof. Naslund will continue as Senate chair in 2008-2009.  A motion was made to approve this slate for Vice Chair and Secretary.  On voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.  Prof. Naslund reported that Prof. Douglas Summerville (Electrical and Computer Engineering) was elected by the FSEC as the next chair.


c) Proposal for Asian and Asian American Studies department (attached to agenda).  The proposal is moved and seconded from the FSEC having been approved by that body and the Faculty Senate Educational Policy and Priorities Committee (EPPC). 


Prof. John Chaffee (History and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Program) said that for the purposes of this department, the cultures and languages of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia are included.  There is a separate proposal to apply for a title XI national resource center in Pan-Asian studies to include the cultures and languages of Russia, Turkey, and some countries that speak Arabic.  This resource center would be separate from and larger than the department.


Prof. John Eisch (Chemistry) asked what countries would be included in the definition of ‘Asian’.  Prof. Chaffee replied that there is no intention of including central Asia in the department.  Prof. Eisch asked if it was not better to list the countries of interest in the proposal.  He also asked if it was better to specify what the new department was going to cover right now.  Prof. Chaffee replied that the list of countries was in the document and that as funds allow other areas in Asia could be included.


Prof. Michael asked if the faculty listed as joint and affiliated are in support of the proposal, in particular assistant professors?  Prof. Chaffee replied affirmatively saying that the list is faculty who have been involved for some time with the program.  There is unanimous consensus for the new department.  Many of those listed will soon receive tenure.


Prof. Neil Christian Pages (GREAL) moved that when the proposed department is approved, the title of the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages be changed to the Department of German and Russian Studies.  There was no objection.


A vote was taken on the proposal as amended to include the motion above.  The motion carried, 39 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention. 


d) Proposal for BU law school.  Prof. Naslund reported that the proposal is moved and seconded from the FSEC having been approved by that body and the EPPC.  The Graduate Council also approved the proposal.  The Faculty Senate Budget Review Committee also considered the proposal but took no vote.


Provost Mary Ann Swain commented that the proposal makes sense for the university intellectually, fits in well with curriculums in humanities, social sciences, management, nursing, etc., adds value to the state, meets part of the university’s strategic plan, makes available reasonable quality legal training, etc.  By adding this ‘first professional degree program’, the law school would help secure Binghamton’s status as a research graduate intensive institution.  To move forward the proposal will need to be approved by the SUNY system, SUNY Board of Trustees, and the governor.


The administration has been working with a consultant from the American Bar Association.  The focus of the curriculum will be the philosophical, historical, and social underpinnings of the law.  In addition, an internationalization perspective will be woven throughout the core curriculum.  Planning will be done for a three plus three program. 


The American Bar Association controls the curriculum in law schools.  A founding dean will need to be hired first who will choose the elective paths according to opportunities available in the state.  Regarding funding, the consultant agrees that projections stated are realistic.  It will be about seven years before the school is self-sufficient, there is about a three million dollar expense per year.  Donors will be solicited for funding and scholarships sought from law firms.  However, no requests can be made until the program is approved.  Provost Swain added that there is no intention of taking funding from any other area to pay for the law school.


Prof. James Dix (Chemistry) asked for comment about the competitive environment particularly Stony Brook’s drive for a law school.  Provost Swain said the law school is in Binghamton’s strategic plan; there is no law school in Stony Brook’s plan.  There are many unknowns and politics do play a part but Binghamton feels it has somewhat of an advantage in that the former governor had an initiative for economic revitalization of upstate NY. 


Prof. Fernando Guzman (Mathematical Sciences) asked about timing.  Provost Swain replied that there are no timetables at any of the levels.  A letter of intent was put forward and SUNY campuses have 45 days to respond.  The forty-five days is almost up.  Once approved on campus, the proposal will then be sent to System Administration. 


Prof. Eckert asked for clarification of what exactly is being voted on.  Prof. Naslund replied that the Senate is voting to approve the proposal for the administration to forward to System Administration.  Another question was asked about the status of the proposal if the Senate votes against it.  Prof. Naslund replied that the administration could still submit the proposal although it probably would not be prudent to do so.  Provost Swain said if the proposal were voted down, she would want to know why. 


Prof. Eckert expressed concern that since this is such a huge investment and given the current state financial climate, the university as a whole may suffer.  Provost Swain replied that she fully supports the proposal but there are no guarantees.  However, without necessary approvals, funding cannot be obtained and the proposal cannot move forward. 


Prof. Naslund asked for comment about funding after seven years.  Provost Swain replied that about $200,000 would be needed to cover all expenses.  It is expected that the sources will come from private endowment money, scholarships from law firms and other companies, fundraising, state tax support, tuition, etc.  She reiterated that by year seven 95% of all expenses should be covered as noted above. 


Prof. Max Pensky (Philosophy) asked Provost Swain for comment about which law schools she sees as comparable and what are the projected faculty salaries in comparison to other law salaries.  Provost Swain replied that she estimates all salaries including the law school at about the 75th percentile of public schools in the northeast.  There is no single school of comparison.


Prof. Andrew Scholtz (Classical and Near Eastern Studies) asked how this proposed law school would be different from the law schools at the other SUNY campuses.  Provost Swain replied that both Buffalo and CUNY’s schools are not ranked highly and are seen as having a particular niche.  Binghamton’s focus will be more traditional with a focus on the ‘why’ of how the law emerged as currently expressed.


A vote was taken on the proposal for the law school.  The motion carried, 39 in favor, 0 against, 2 abstentions. 


The meeting adjourned at 12:46 p.m.



Present:  A. Serdar Atav, Bruce Borton, C. Beth Burch, Sandra Card, Jaimee Wriston Colbert, Michael Conlon, Albert Dekin, Patricia Dilorenzo, James Dix, Richard Eckert, John Eisch, Alex Feingold, Joseph Graney, Vincent Grenier, Fernando Guzman, Sharon Holmes, Gary James, Celia Klin, Jonathan Krasno, Srinivasan Krishnamurthy, Harold Lewis, Patrick Madden, William Martin, Sandra Michael, Bruce Murray, H. Richard Naslund, Neil Christian Pages, Maxim Pensky, Glenn Pitman, Sara Reiter, Nadia Rubaii-Barrett, Andrew Scholtz, Antonio Sobejano-Moran, David Stahl, Douglas Summerville, Mary Ann Swain, Eugene Tettey-Fio, Gary Truce, Srinivasa Venugopalan, Caryl Ward, Deanne Westerman, Zili Yang, Matt Landau


Excused:  Maureen Boyd, Gladys Jimenez-Munoz, Karen Kozlowski


Absent:  Allan Arkush, Anne Bailey, Douglas Bradburn, Cassandra Bransford, David Davies, Lois DeFleur, Frederic Deyo, Ronald Gonzalez, Brett Levinson, Kenneth McLeod, Vladimir Nikulin, Haim Ofek, Isidore Okpewho, James Pitarresi, Olga Shvetsova, Libby Tucker, Don Weiss, Thomas Wilson, Joseph Goldman, Wazir Mohamed, Theresa Partell