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Faculty Senate hears president’s overview

By : Katie Ellis

Student successes, successful recruitment of international students, the importance of Homecoming Weekend to the campus and alumni and the University’s budget were among topics touched upon by President Lois B. DeFleur in her semi-annual address to the Faculty Senate Tuesday.

“While we did finally receive a budget in September that contains an increase, as we look to the future, we’ve been told that this base will basically remain the same for the next four to five years except SUNY will work for money for the labor contracts,” DeFleur said.

The University will use $3 million in additional funds over the next three years for its previously announced faculty hiring initiative. Those funds are over and above the University’s normal hiring.

Turning to the strategic planning draft currently being reviewed by the campus, DeFleur said the document “serves as a starting point for discussions and after some revisions, the vice presidents will develop plans for their areas to provide more specificity in terms of strategic objectives and tactics.”

The strategic plan effort will help the University as it prepares for the SUNY system’s Mission Review II. SUNY is asking campuses to respond to a series of questions regarding the strengths and distinctiveness of their undergraduate, graduate and professional program directions as well as projections regarding admissions and student outcomes, DeFleur said. “They’re also asking for plans in physical facilities, community outreach and ties with external organizations, as well as external fundraising.

“At this time, we need some general basis for discussions with the SUNY system. We’re going to take a different approach and will send some summaries of different things we’re working on. The end goal according to SUNY is to sign another Memorandum of Understanding. We’ll try to put some stakes in the ground with the system and let them know some of the things we are thinking.” Following the president’s remarks, the Senate discussed the current strategic plan draft. Peter Kneupfer, associate professor of geology, spoke of his desire to keep the excellence of the undergraduate experience a central element of the document and of his support of the enhancement of graduate education.

Andrew Scholtz, assistant professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, said it is basically a very strong document, but asked “that real work and research be done into the kind of contributions that are already being made that reinforce the University’s core, not simply branching out and moving the (University’s) center.” Comments are being taken on the plan until October 29. They can be made via the provost’s website
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Last Updated: 10/14/08