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President discusses advocacy, athletics with Faculty Senate

President Lois B. DeFleur made her final report to the full faculty Tuesday, March 16, addressing the fiscal challenges the campus faces, as well as the issues surrounding athletics.

Noting that the University anticipates additional cuts of about $6 million in state operating funds, she pledged continued advocacy for Binghamton and SUNY. “We cannot sit still through all of this and we have to advocate aggressively for Binghamton,” she said. “We represent a solution and make a strong contribution to the state as it faces economic challenges.

“With so many competing priorities, the state doesn’t know how it will resolve its fiscal challenges, but we will have to go down to the wire advocating for Binghamton and SUNY.”

DeFleur then turned to athletics, reviewing the University’s reasoning and process for moving to Division I before addressing the recent difficulties that have surrounded the men’s basketball program. Following the dismissal of six players from the team, a new operational plan focused on recruiting, operations and academic support was formulated and adopted, she said.

Additionally, the University is addressing a number of specifics relating to the report issued by Judith Kaye, retired chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, DeFleur said.

“We are committed to moving forward and we have made some changes in the way things are operating,” she said.

DeFleur said that SUNY has begun developing policies and procedures regarding academics and athletics on a SUNY-wide basis, and met last week with a number of people on campus, including Faculty Senate leadership, to discuss the issue.
She reiterated the University’s commitment to excellence in academics, taking full responsibility for what happens on campus and thanking faculty for their dedication.

Following her remarks, Ricardo Larémont, professor of political science and sociology, moved for a vote of thanks to DeFleur for her years of service to the University, which was seconded and approved to a round of applause.

Adam Amit, Student Association president, also made a statement to “reaffirm and recommit the student body to Division I.” He said athletics is one part of the entire collegiate experience for students and he called for everyone on campus to “strive to make Binghamton University the best in the country, in everything we do, not just one aspect.”

During its business meeting, the Faculty Senate approved a resolution on excellence and standards that reaffirms “its confidence in the quality of the campus academic environment and its commitment to maintaining this tradition of excellence that has been a hallmark of the University ... characterized by rigor and high standards of professional scholarship in faculty research and the value assigned to essential educational requisites in program requirements, coursework, student learning and admissions.”

Status reports about the SUNY Faculty Senate’s work on resolutions for a tuition policy and an assessment management policy, as well as a budget committee report and a report about Faculty Senate Executive Committee activities this semester were also given. 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08