INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Faculty Senate elects officers for 2004-05 academic year
By : Katie Ellis
After approving the list of degree candidates for graduation this year, the Faculty Senate earlier this week elected Dana Stewart, associate professor of romance languages, as vice chair and Blenda Smith, associate professor of nursing, as secretary for the upcoming academic year. Both were incumbents for the positions and ran unopposed.
Ross Geoghegan, professor of mathematics, will continue as chair, and Richard Lee, assistant professor of sociology, will assume duties as chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, replacing Richard Eckert, associate professor of computer science.
Reconsideration of the “Statement of Goals, Principles and Responsibilities for Undergraduate Education at Binghamton University,” originally approved by the senate in January, was addressed. According to Geoghegan, the administration had concerns about the document so the executive committee was suggesting a disclaimer of sorts to resolve the concerns. “They believed there was some conflict between established law and policy and the document,” he said. “The general feeling was that there was merit to some of the administration’s objections, so we added an opening paragraph under the heading of background.”
The senate unanimously approved the addition of the paragraph, which notes that the document does not supersede board of trustees laws, policies and agreements and the document is meant to “guide faculty, staff and administrators in fulfilling their shared responsibilities for providing high quality undergraduate education.”
A companion document titled “Guiding Principles and Practices of Effective Teaching” was also discussed. The senate unanimously approved the document, which lists eight principles meant to serve as guidelines for faculty. Both documents will be incorporated into the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff.
The senate received a report for the 2002-03 academic year from its Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and heard from Peter Knuepfer, associate professor of geology, on statewide faculty senate discussions of graduate stipends, international student enrollment and system-wide assessment. There was not much new on the assessment front, he said, but there is concern about declining enrollment for international graduate students. Mary Ann Swain, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said that the American Council on Education (ACE) is “trying to work with the state department and Thomas Ridge to resolve some of the issues of visa status, particularly for graduate students.”