Approved by Faculty Senate on December 8, 2009




October 13, 2009 


Prof. Sara Reiter (School of Management and Chair of the Faculty Senate) called the full faculty meeting to order at 11:50 A.M. in UU114/Old Union Hall of the University Union.  She welcomed President Lois B. DeFleur and turned the meeting over to her.


President DeFleur reported that the university has again welcomed another outstanding class to campus.  The university received a record number of applications, more than 33,000, an 11% increase.  The high demand means that Binghamton is more selective.  Enrollment was kept level because of budgetary constraints.


The university recently welcomed 2,000 alumni and their families to campus for Homecoming celebrations.  A highlight of this celebration was the dedication of the John Arthur Café to memorialize Prof. Arthur and his many contributions to the university.


Student learning and awareness is changing.  There is more attention to on line courses, 65% of Binghamton’s summer courses were taught on line.  Students are also showing interest in new fields of study such as sustainability, service learning, and green technologies.  To address issues such as these, President DeFleur announced that she is establishing a task force on undergraduate education for the digital generation.  It has been ten years since the task force on undergraduate learning in the new millennium gathered information about trends and future undergraduate programs. 


Other campus initiatives occurring are a self study to prepare for the decennial Middle States Accreditation in fall 2010; ongoing construction of engineering and science building, Science V, new residence halls, etc. 


Further expansion of University research facilities is needed to continue the growth of research and scholarship.  Binghamton’s research awards for the first quarter are up 35% compared to last year. 


Faculty are expanding international outreach such as the new Confucius Institute being established by the Asian and Asian-American Studies Department. 


President DeFleur commented on recent events in the men’s basketball program and resulting team and administrative changes.  An external audit of the athletic program is currently being conducted.  The administration fully supports this review and believes it will be both thorough and fair.


President DeFleur spoke about the current state financial situation.  New York State revenues are down 36% resulting in an almost $3 billion deficit.  Governor Paterson has mandated a $500 million reduction in expenditures for state agencies, $90 million of which will be applied to SUNY.  The amount of Binghamton’s reduction is not yet known but could be as much as $4 million.  Binghamton is in a good position fiscally because of conservative spending and careful planning.  She reiterated that she is committed to protecting permanent faculty and staff.


Looking toward the future, President DeFleur said the presidents of the university centers and two medical schools are taking a proactive approach.  They are working together to develop legislation for operational flexibility and differential tuition.  This proposed Innovation and New Economy Act of 2010 focuses on the value of the research institutions.


Binghamton is developing a strong advocacy plan for this year, “Think Green.  Think Global.  Think Binghamton.”  This plan draws attention to existing strengths and provides an integrated vision for development.  She urged faculty to visit the Think.Binghamton website and participate in advocacy efforts. 


There were no questions.  Prof. Peter Knuepfer (Geological Sciences) moved to adjourn the full faculty meeting and begin the Faculty Senate meeting.  On voice vote the motion was approved.


The first Faculty Senate meeting of the 2009-2010 academic year was called to order by Prof. Reiter at 12:15 p.m. 


1. Minutes.  Prof. Wayne Jones (Chemistry) moved to approve the minutes of the May 5 and 12, 2009 meetings as submitted.  On voice vote the motion was approved.


2. Announcements/Questions.  a) Necrology.  Prof. Reiter read a list of former faculty who had recently passed away:  Prof. Morris Budin (Geography), Prof. Norman Lazaroff (Biological Sciences), and Prof. Bernard Mason (History).  The Senate observed a moment of silence.  As is established practice, a note of condolence has been sent to each family on behalf of the Senate.  Prof. Ross Geoghegan (Mathematical Sciences) objected to the word ‘necrology’ and asked that a more suitable word be used.  Prof. Reiter agreed.


Prof. Reiter reported that recent changes to the Faculty Bylaws had been approved by the faculty and subsequently approved by President DeFleur.  They will be incorporated into the bylaws soon. 


Prof. Reiter also reported that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC), as directed by the Senate at the May 5, 2009 meeting, has established the SOOTs (Student Opinion of Teaching) task force.  The charge from the FSEC to this committee is: 

"To look into teaching evaluation practices at other universities, the possible implications of making public the results of SOOT and similar surveys, and consideration of the broader context of the motion from the EPPC to make these results public.

With respect to practices at other universities, the Senate has requested information such as are faculty required to participate, how is the information made available and to whom, does the state have similar privacy and FOIL laws, and statistics on tenured and non tenured faculty, student response, etc.

Consideration of possible implications and the broader context should include analysis of mechanisms and consequences for dissemination SOOT information to students and other constituents, policy recommendations for the release of SOOT information on this campus (i.e. opt in?  opt out? required? voluntary?), and needed changes to the SOOT instrument, if any."

3. New Business.  a) Revision to composition of Faculty Senate University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to remove School of Education representative.  Prof. Reiter stated that the motion is from the FSEC.  She explained further that because the Senate committees are part of the appendix to the Bylaws and not the actual Bylaws, only FSEC and Senate approval is needed.  She said that the reason for the motion is that the school does not have an undergraduate program.  On voice vote the motion carried.


b) Annual reports of 2008-2009 Faculty Senate standing committees and others (attached to agenda).  Regarding the Budget Review Committee report, Prof. Rosmarie Morewedge (German and Russian Studies) asked for comment about the statement concerning lack of discussion/consultation by the administration on the prioritization and distribution of future budgetary reductions.  Prof. Knuepfer, chair of the committee, replied that there has been further discussion and faculty concerns were expressed.  Vice President for Administration James Van Voorst has recently assured the committee that the decision making process used by the university in previous years for budgetary increases will be employed in the same way for budgetary reductions, i.e. an operations committee that does not involve faculty will make recommendations and those recommendations will be presented to the committee for comment before being forwarded to the president for implementation.


A motion was made to receive the reports.  On voice vote the motion carried.


Prof. Susannah Gal (Biological Sciences) expressed concern about the room acoustics and the need for amplification.  Prof. Reiter stated that the problem should be rectified by the next meeting.


The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.



Present:  A. Serdar Atav, Herbert Bix, Katharine Bouman, Benjamin Brewster, Karen Bromley, Andy Cavagnetto, Lois DeFleur, Shelley Dionne, John Fillo, Susannah Gal, Ross Geoghegan, Joseph Graney, J. David Hacker, Scott Henkel, Norah Henry, Angelique Jenks-Brown, Wayne Jones, Clifford Kern, Kelly Kinney, Peter Knuepfer, Karen Kozlowski, R. Kevin Lacey, Ricardo Laremont, Richard Lee, Michael Lewis, Patrick Madden, Sarah Maximiek, Marcin Mazur, Michael McDonald, Sandra Michael, Rosmarie Morewedge, Haim Ofek, Christine Reiber, Sara Reiter, Kristian Rydqvist, Thomas Sinclair, Antonio Sobejano-Moran, Gale Spencer, Jim Stark, Douglas Summerville, Mary Ann Swain, Steven Tammariello, Gary Truce, Elizabeth Tucker, Srinivasa Venugopalan, Lisa Yun, Susan Lewis, Daniel Rabinowitz


Excused:  Josephine Allen, Randy Friedman, Douglas Holmes, Nagendra Nagarur, M. Stanley Whittingham


Absent:  Karen Barzman, George Catalano, Zu-Yan Chen, David Davies, Mark Fowler, Sharon Holmes, Albrecht Inhoff, Jonathan Karp, Kenneth Kurtz, J. Koji Lum, Steven Lynn, Luiza Moreira, Ravi Palat, Steven Scalet, Paul Schleuse, Timothy Singler, Leigh Ann Wheeler, Kimberly Avery