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Faculty Senate meets to review policy issues

Student Opinion of Teaching (SOOT) surveys, the Academic Bill of Rights and revisions to the Academic Dishonesty Policy were on the Faculty Senate’s agenda Tuesday.

The Senate unanimously approved without discussion a resolution to constitute a committee to review SOOT policy and instruments before moving on to a discussion about the Academic Bill of Rights under consideration by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

A resolution approved by the University Faculty Senate of SUNY in opposition to a proposed Academic Bill of Rights was the basis for the discussion. Peter Knuepfer, associate profes-sor of geological sciences and representative to the University Faculty Senate, provided some history of the issue and noted that an endorsement of the resolution would join Binghamton with other SUNY campuses that have already done so.

“This is a political document,” he said. “We already have guide-lines that protect academic freedom for faculty and students, so there’s no need for further action.”

Ken McLeod, professor of bioengineering, said he was supportive of the resolution in principle but questioned its negative tone. “There are some details with the wording to work on,” he said. “Let’s write a new resolution in a positive tone.”

Putting forth the resolution as approved by the University Faculty Senate was the outcome of long discussions by Binghamton’s executive committee, said Richard Lee, associate professor of sociology and executive committee chair. “We determined that adhering to a single document carries more weight than a single campus, and that’s why we put this resolution forward.” Following additional discussion, the Senate approved, 38-4, a resolution endorsing the University Faculty Senate’s resolution. Revisions to the Academic Dishonesty Policy were also put forth for discussion, but tabled until a future meeting. Those voting to table the discussion indicated differences in how to deal with dishonesty at the graduate level versus the undergraduate level, as well as how to deal with dishonesty within the research arena, remain to be addressed.

In other business, the Senate agreed to a revision to allow addition of non-voting members with particular expertise that would contribute to the committee’s function to the Committee on the University Environment, bringing it in line with other Senate committees, and heard a report from Lee on fall 2005 activities of the executive committee.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08