College Senate Bulletin

Bulletin No. 13
February 6, 2004

Spring 2004 Senate Meeting Schedule
Approval of Actions Taken at January 27, 2004 Senate Meeting
New Senator
Call for Nominations: At-Large Senators, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
Minutes: Student Affairs Committee Meeting, December 4, 2003
Minutes: Student Affairs Committee Meeting, January 20, 2004
Appendix A to SAC Minutes
Minutes: Policy Committee Meeting, January 21, 2004
Appendix to Policy Committee Minutes
Minutes: College Senate Meeting, January 27, 2004
Letter from CAS Board President Regarding CAS Board Election Procedure
University Faculty Senate Winter Meeting Report
Letter from Joe Hildreth, President of University Faculty Senate Regarding Campus-Based System-Wide Assessment
UFS Motion Regarding Campus-Based System-Wide Assessment

Correspondence: Charlie Freeman, Department of Physics,

Greene 202; e-mail:; phone: 245-5286

Spring 2004 College Senate Meeting Schedule

All Senate Meetings: 4:00 pm, Newton 204
Feb 24 (preceded by the All-College Meeting at which the Committee on Nominations will report)
Mar 23
April 20

Approval of Actions Taken at January 27, 2004 Senate Meeting

President Dahl has informed the Senate Chair that he approves the recommendations that resulted from the College Senate actions on January 27, 2004.

New Senator

Welcome to Steve Swift ( who replaces Janine Giordano on the College Senate and on the Curriculum Committee.

Call for Nominations: At-Large Senators, Senate Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer

The Nominations Committee is seeking nominations for At-Large Senators (over 6 and under 6 years) and for the Senate offices of Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The term for At-Large Senators is 2 years, and the term for Senate Secretary and Treasurer is one year. All members of the Teaching Faculty are eligible for these positions. Election to Senate Vice-Chair is a 3-year commitment, as the Faculty Constitution stipulates that the Senate Vice-Chair becomes Senate Chair and then Senate Past Chair. Please suggest candidates for these positions by Tuesday, February 17, 2004 to a member of the Nominations Committee (Rachel Hall, Duane McPherson, Jane Morse, Amy Sheldon, Melissa Sutherland (Chair), or Jasmine Tang). Self-nominations are permitted. The Nominations Committee will present its slate of nominees at the All-College Meeting, Tuesday, February 24, 2004 and will accept additional nominations from the floor. Please consider running for one of these positions.

Minutes: Student Affairs Committee Meeting, December 4, 2003

Committee Members Present: M. Lynch, J. Principe, B. Nash, E. Bock, J. Tang, W. Freed, C. Annala, J. Hyman, S. Enam, K. Davies, R. Holthaus

Committee Members Absent: L. Zoller, J. VanRemmen, D. McPherson, T. Zollo, C. Geiger, C. Rowley

Guests: K. Jones

The meeting called to order at 4:03pm.

New Business:

Sundance Bookstore: Kathy Jones was invited to discuss Sundance Bookstore. She reported that Sundance Bookstore’s contract is up after this year, and the college is soliciting bids from vendors. She is unsure whether there will be any outside bids, which could affect the amount of leverage we have in negotiations with Sundance. K. Jones also presented a survey that is intended to assess student and faculty opinion about bookstore service. Negotiations will begin between January and March.

J. Hyman asked about the connection between CAS and Sundance. K. Jones said that there is a contractual relationship which allows CAS to get percentage of Sundance profit.

Old Business:

Syllabi Statement: M. Lynch asked for feedback from SAC faculty members regarding a suggested syllabus statement addressing the needs of students with disabilities. Faculty reported mixed reactions from their departments. Some departments were in favor of including a relevant statement on course syllabi. Other departments were less supportive. For example, some faculty reported that their colleagues raised concerns that too many things already were mandated on the syllabus and that students might ultimately ignore an additional statement. Faculty in other departments did not feel that it was necessary. Reactions on both sides of the issue were discussed.

J. Principe suggested that it may be hard for some students to approach professors because they may feel intimidated in general without having to admit they have a disability and are going to need more attention

The question was raised as to where students get information about disability services. R. Holthaus reported that there is a box on the health history forms that students may check to indicate a disability. She suggested that increased coordination between the Office for Students with Disabilities and Health Services might be helpful.

M. Lynch suggested that SAC continue this discussion at the January meeting when all members are present in order to decide a course of action.

Student Health and Safety: M. Lynch reported that they are going to put in a proposal for a first-year seminar regarding student health and safety in February.

SUNY Updates: J. Hyman reported that the Board of Trustees voted for a rational increase in the tuition of SUNY schools annually, but there is a problem with binding future state senates, so the issue is still up for debate. He also presented a statement opposing System Wide Assessment in Albany, NY

The meeting was adjourned at 5:06 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Lynch, Ph.D.

Chair, SAC

Minutes: Student Affairs Committee Meeting, January 20, 2004

Committee Members Present: M. Lynch, J. Principe, B. Nash, E. Bock, C. Geiger, J. Tang, J. Van Remmen, S. Enam, J. Hyman

Committee Members Absent: K. Davies, C. Rowley, C. Annala, T. Zollo, W. Freed, D. McPherson, R. Holthaus

The meeting called to order at 4:05 p.m.

Old Business:

M. Lynch provided updates on several topics from last semester.

Students with Disabilities: M. Lynch mentioned that the committee had discussed whether a statement addressing the needs of students with disabilities should be a required part of course syllabi. If the committee wants to pursue this recommendation, Dean Bailey advised M. Lynch that the matter should be referred to the Policy Committee since it involves a policy issue. After some discussion, the members of SAC decided that they would like to ask the Policy Committee to consider a recommendation that would require faculty to include a relevant statement on their syllabi. (See Appendix A for suggested wording of two possible statements provided by Tabitha Buggie-Hunt.)

Health and Safety: M. Lynch will be writing a proposal for a new Freshman seminar focusing on Health and Safety. The proposal is due to M. Stolee on February 9, 2004.

Sundance Bookstore: A survey regarding Sundance Books went out to the college community. The survey is connected to the college’s renegotiation of its contract with Sundance.

Other Items: J. Hyman stated that the Standardized System Assessment that was proposed last year appears to be dead in the water at this time. J. Hyman is now looking at Governor Pataki’s proposal for a $115.00 per student reduction to campuses. He states that a new student group the HECC- Higher Education Coordinating Committee is forming on campus. SAC members including students, faculty and staff voiced their concern about the financial well-being of the SUNY system.

New Business:

Academic Calendar: M. Lynch asked students what they thought about the new early start to the Spring semester. B. Nash liked the new schedule. He felt there wasn’t time to get a new job and work under the old schedule and he would rather go to school during the cold winter season than attend school when it is nice outside. J. Hyman was a little disappointed about coming back sooner but he mentioned that it did give him a head start on some of his student government work. J. Principe preferred to come back and work as an RA and continue school rather than stay at home. E. Bock didn’t like coming back early because she had a job during past breaks and was able to earn money for the spring semester while still having time to do some traveling on vacation. S. Enam didn’t mind coming back to school and referenced that he only had a two weeks off for winter vacation during high school years.

When asked for their opinion, faculty were much more negative citing a lack of time to prepare for the new semester as well as concern about the additional winter driving that would be required (n.b. at the time of this meeting, two faculty members of SAC had already had weather-related car accidents on their way in to work). M. Lynch discussed the potential of working with the Faculty Affairs Committee to assess the impact of the change to an earlier spring semester.

B. Nash observed that we might want to see how people like getting out in April or early May to get a more complete feeling of how the college community feels about the change.

Agenda Development: M. Lynch asked committee to identify items for consideration for the Spring semester. E. Bock brought up concerns about there not being enough dining facilities for north campus students. J. Principe explained that the CU Snack Bar was closed for the semester due to maintenance work being performed in the Snack Bar. J. Hyman explained that a CAS committee meets every other Thursday in the CU at noon and that would be a good forum to bring up those concerns.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Lynch, Ph.D.

Chair, SAC

Appendix A to SAC Minutes:

Here are two examples of statements that could be included on course syllabi. Of course the professor could play with these a little if they wish-as long as the information is correct.


SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities. Students should notify the Director in the Office of Disability Services (Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, 105D Erwin, and their faculty of any needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.

Students with documented disabilities may request academic accommodations and adjustments as provided within federal law. All such requests should be made by first contacting the Office of Disability Services, located in 105 Erwin. The Office of Disability Services can be reached at 245-5112 or Information on services and campus policies can be found on their website at

Michael Lynch, Ph.D.

Chair, SAC

Minutes: Committee on Undergraduate Policy, Core, and Review Meeting, January 21, 2004

Policy Members Present: H. Hoops (Chair), D. Andreson, E. Coloccia, K. Cunningham, A. Eisenberg, E. Gillin, D. Granger, S. Iyer, C. Jadlos, M. Lima, J. Over, S. Schwartz, A. Sheldon, Y. Tamura, C. Truglia A. Shenoy and L. Chatterton.

Guests: Dean S. Bailey and Tom Greenfield

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm.

This meeting was called to discuss a proposal from Tom Greenfield and others to revise the attendance policy (see below)

To: Senate Policy Committee

From: Tom Greenfield (English), Eugene Stelzig (English), Beverly Evans (Foreign Language), Ed Drachman (Political Science), Carl Shanahan (Art)

Date: November 23, 2003

Re: Proposed Faculty-Option Class Attendance Policy and Rationale

We respectfully propose a revision to the College attendance policy as it appears in the online GeneseoUndergraduate Bulletin 2002-2004 

Current policy with proposed deletion and paragraph adjustment.

Paragraph 1. Students are expected to attend all classes. Furthermore the College recognizes that students hold primary and ultimate responsibility for their academic performance and accomplishment. <> Students are expected to recognize the importance of regular class attendance and to complete satisfactorily all requirements of all courses in which they are registered.

Final Paragraph. (No change proposed in text). Student attendance in classes on religious holidays is governed by New York State Law, and students who do not attend class on certain days should refer to the policy at the back of this bulletin.

Add After Paragraph 1.

Faculty have the option of requiring attendance in their courses and factoring attendance and/or absenteeism into final grade calculations. Course syllabi must contain details of any attendance requirement, incentives, and/or penalties imposed for absenteeism.

Faculty responsibilities for exercising and enforcing attendance/absence policies (hereinafter a/a) in their classes are as follows:

Faculty must keep accurate, written attendance records for all students in any class for which attendance is required.

Faculty may only count absences or attendance for officially scheduled class sessions as they appear in the Master Schedule and Dean's website. Office hour visits, professor-student conferences, out-of-class group project meetings, field trips, etc. may not be counted in the a/a.

No absenteeism penalties can be assessed for classes occurring during official drop/add periods;

Per state law, no absenteeism penalties can be assessed for absences for religious observances.

Committee discussion of the proposal:

There was widespread agreement that the “average student” knew that it was against policy to grade students on attendance. This was especially reinforced by the student members of the committee.

There was widespread relief that the proposed plan does not require faculty to take attendance but rather leaves it up to the individual faculty member. Although we did not take a formal vote, it is unlikely the Policy Committee would support a mandatory attendance policy. The committee also noted that the proposal required any grading component due to attendance to be clearly spelled out in the syllabus.

There was also widespread agreement that although the present policy does not allow attendance itself to factor in grading, it does allow “participation” to be part of the grade. The line between participation and attendance is sometimes somewhat blurry. Clearly one cannot participate in some activities without attending. Choosing a participation activity that is sufficiently easy for a student in class is essentially a de facto attendance policy. This of course, requires careful wording of grading procedures in the syllabus. Dean Bailey suggested that one statement made by a faculty member probably would be worrisome if a student challenged that particular wording, but that rewording probably could make the professor’s scheme compliant with the present policy.

The overlap between participation and attendance allowed in the present wording caused one person to ask: “What does the revised policy add?” Some committee members felt that in the absence of a clear, practical advantage to the change, we should leave the present wording in place.

Several people felt that the proposed changes made the policy more honest. One member felt that it was ethical to “say what you mean”, and that stating that there is no attendance policy, while grading on certain kinds of participation was potentially confusing to students.

Both Tom Greenfield (as former Dean) and Susan Bailey (Dean) agreed on that point. Both visitors suggested that their experience was that lack of attendance is the number one problem they see in individuals that have been dismissed from the college for academic reasons. Tom Greenfield also pointed out that a very large number of students in academic difficulty interpret the present policy as indicating little or no reason to go to class unless the mood strikes.

A reoccurring defense of the present policy is that it treats students as adults and that it allows students to “choose to fail”. Whether this is a good thing or not was debated.

Many people who felt that the present policy was preferable, focused on our stronger students. One student member of the committee, pointed out that: “Everyone knows that you have to go to class to do well.” (Note the contrast between the response of these students and the responses of students in academic difficulty.) One faculty member polled students in an advanced class and said that 21 of 22 of these students preferred the present policy and saw no need for an attendance policy. Some student and faculty members of the Policy Committee expressed concern that the revised policy could send a message that the college does not trust students to act responsibly. In this regard it might make Geneseo look a little more like a high school or community college.

On the other hand, there were comments that the revised policy may especially help those students that are more at risk. This viewpoint was first raised by the third student member of our committee, who stated that: “It might help some students to get to class and thus to succeed.”

In addition to the differences between students discussed above, there are differences in size, style and subject matter in different classes at Geneseo. There may also be different costs and benefits to an attendance policy for these different classes.

One member of the committee pointed out that attendance is especially important for the kinds of laboratories that are common in art and science. In many cases it is impossible to make this up by reading and difficult for faculty members to make meaningful substitutes for a missed class. In addition the pedagogical and faculty workload issues, a student who missed a lab might be unprepared to do subsequent work safely and/or without damage to equipment.

Others in the committee made extensive use of in-class discussions in their courses. These discussions are impossible to replicate out of the classroom. A student who has missed such classes can reasonably be assumed to have learned less than his/her classmates who went and this arguably could be factored into the grade. A more subtle point is that if a class is structured so that the learning is centered around discussions, a person who does not come to class denies his/her contribution or viewpoint to the learning of other students.

One committee member who teaches a large lecture class stated that students occasionally do well even if they do not come to class and that she was not bothered by that. However, she also pointed out that she would not have to require attendance under the proposed new policy.

There was also concern on the bureaucratic procedure of dealing with of illness or other reasonable absences. This concern was partially mitigated because faculty can choose not to adopt an attendance requirement. Further, those who presently use participation have been successful dealing with reasonable absences vs. non-excused ones for years.

Lastly, one faculty member made the observation that the present policy prevents faculty from rewarding students for their effort in attending a class. Many (all?) faculty have had students that have gamely come to class, even though they may be struggling with the material. The present policy prevents faculty from giving such students a break.

Jeff Over moved that we accept the proposal and forward it to College Senate with our recommendation. After seconding, the motion was called. The committee voted on the motion with 10 in favor, 5 opposed with 1 abstaining. Therefore the motion passed.

Maria Lima brought up the question of possibly giving extra exam time to students from whom English is a second language. The Chair will find out a little more about this issue, and if appropriate, we will reconvene to discuss it.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55.

Respectfully submitted

Harold Hoops, Chair Policy

Appendix to Policy Committee Minutes:

Rationale for Proposed Revision

By Tom Greenfield, Eugene Stelzig, Beverly Evans, Ed Drachman, and Carl Shanahan

Our current prohibition against all attendance policies rests on the erroneous assumption that such policies are so thoroughly discredited in higher education as to preclude a professor from ever employing one to constructive effect. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The empowerment of individual faculty to set their own attendance policies is widespread throughout the academy, including many of the finest liberal arts colleges and universities in the country. Among institutions explicitly empowering faculty to set their own attendance policies are:Yale College of Yale University, Williams College, Georgetown University, Vassar College, Trinity College (Connecticut), Loyola of Chicago, Colgate University, Carlton College, Franklin and Marshall College, Skidmore College, Wesleyan University, Grinnell College, Tulane University, and University of Iowa undergraduate programs. (Sources: current online catalogs and handbooks, as posted November 1-2, 2003).

The widespread practice of granting faculty considerable flexibility in setting class attendance policies reflects findings in the literature on improving teaching in college -- literature replete with both studies on class-attendance:student-success correlations and discussions of the role attendance policies can play in improving college teaching.

Positive correlation between class attendance and student success is so firmly established in higher education literature that the substantive debate focuses on the degree of emphasis educators should place on that correlation. Astin (1997) found attendance to be a comparatively weak factor in student success, although he reported positive correlation between hours in class per week and student self-reported growth in knowledge of a field or discipline. Gardiner (2002) found positive correlation between class attendance and both retention and academic performance among first-year students at community colleges, liberal arts colleges, master’s level institutions and research universities. In more focused studies, Urban-Lurain and Weinshank (2002) found that class attendance was “the strongest predictor of student performance (i.e., final grades)” in large lecture computer science classes with interactive learning components, and Diehl et. al. (1998) in a study at Mississippi State found significant correlation between class attendance and freshman grade point averages. (See also Mark Clayton, “This May be College, but We are Still Taking Attendance,” Christian Science Monitor article on Mississippi State and other colleges’ responses to correlation studies between class attendance and student success.)

Not surprisingly, the literature on the value of college class attendance policies per se acknowledges the controversy, urges caution and care in their use, and shies away from recommendations for universal, across-the-board prohibition or application of such policies. Nonetheless, professional literature harbors clear support for individual faculty control of class attendance policies. Sleigh and Ritzer (2001) identify class attendance policies as a way by which college faculty “can communicate the importance of attendance.” Gross-Davis (1993) numbers individual classroom attendance policies among the standard “tools for teaching” available to faculty and in need of clear explanation on the syllabus. Advocating itemized mid-term performance evaluations as a valuable means of motivating college students, Froh (1996) differentiates between participation and attendance as discrete and distinct items for possible inclusion on such reports. Cleveland (2002), in her essay on improving teaching in large classes, straightforwardly recommends “giving credit in some way just for attending class” to add variety to the grading procedure just as one would add variety to modes of content presentation, and Silverman (2001) identifies taking class attendance as a time-effective method “to help at least a few students to cope successfully” with the impulse to cut classes.

In the absence of consensus against class attendance policies and in the face of a substantial body of literature lending support to the judicious use of such policies, Geneseo must in good faith grant to faculty the prerogative to manage attendance policies in their own classes – the breadth, range, and diversity of which militate against institutional prohibition.

Works Cited.

*Alexander W. Astin. What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited. San Francicso: Josey-Bass, 1997.

Clayton, Mark. “This May be College, but We are Still Taking Attendance.” Christian Science Monitor (online), January 29, 2002.

*Cleveland, Lynda G. “That’s Not a Large Class; It’s a Small Town. How do I Manage it.?” In Christine A. Stanley and M. Erin Porter, eds. Engaging

Large Classes: Strategies and Techniques for College Faculty. Bolton, Mass.: Anka, 2002.

Diehl, William et. al. “Freshman Academic Success Project” 1998. Reported in Maridith Guider, “MSU Gives Out-of-Class Freshmen Get a Friendly Visit. Mississippi State.” University New Bureau, February 26, 1999.

*Froh, Robert C. “Assessing Student Involvement in Learning.” In Robert J. Menges et. al. Teaching on Solid Ground: Using Scholarship to Improve Practice. San Francicso: Josey-Bass, 1966.

Gardiner, John et al. “Findings: Second National Survey of First-Year Academic Practices.” Policy Center on the First Year of College. 2002.

*Gross-Davis, Barbara. Tools for Teaching. Josey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco, 1993.

*Scorcinelli, May Deane. “Promoting Civility in Large Classes.” In Christine A. Stanley and M. Erin Porter, eds. Engaging Large Classes: Strategies and Techniques for College Faculty. Bolton, Mass.: Anka, 2002.

*Silverman, Franklin. Teaching for Tenure and Beyond. Westport, Conn.: Bergen & Garvey, 2001. Urban-Lurain, Mark and Donald J. Weinshank. “Attendance and Outcomes in a Large, Collaborative Learning, Performance Assessment Course.” American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 2001.

*Sources from the Geneseo Teaching Learning Center in Milne 208. The proposers are grateful to the Provost Office and Milne Library for providing this assistance and support.

Minutes: College Senate Meeting, January 27, 2004

Attending: Bailey, Bicket, Bock, Boiani, Chatterton, Chen, Coloccia, Dahl, Dance, Eisenberg, Enam, Esch, Everett, Faulkner, Geiger, Gillin, Gohlman, Gordon, Gouvernet, Granger, Hartman, Hartvigsen, Hon, Hoops, Hursh, Hyman, Jadlos, Jassawalla, Johnson, Klima, Kline, Landes, Lima, Lynch, Metz, Mounts, Muia, Nash, Nicodemi, Norris, Pretzer, Principe, Putman, Ranieri, Remy, Rowley, Savellos, Shenoy, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tamura, Tang, Truglia, Weibel, Woidat, Youssef, Zhao. Guests: Schacht, Spicka. (Quorum maintained throughout entire 1 ½ hour meeting).

Call to Order

Adoption of the Agenda--adopted

p. 115-116, Senate Bulletin12

Spicka: List of course revisions should not include Geog 250, needs to be passed by “U” committee—motion carries

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting--approved

p. 111-113, Senate Bulletin 11

Senate Reports:

President C. Dahl: Governor’s budget includes flat appropriation for SUNY, little additional money. State tax funding up 6.5 million dollars to 889 million dollars, tuition will go up 20 million dollars to over a billion dollars. But every other state entity getting 5% cut. Also the state is not cutting money SUNY can raise from fees and other sources of revenue. Governor’s office has bright idea of balancing budget by asking students who receive TAP to loan Pataki 1/3 of TAP money. But this won’t happen. Fooling around with TAP distracts attention of legislature, which restores TAP but doesn’t listen to arguments re: increasing SUNY funding. Capital budget for SUNY construction is 1.8 billion for 5 year capital construction. Our share is 32.3 million dollars, which is good news for Geneseo. Mostly will be used for critical maintenance. 2 caveats: 32 million doesn’t include 20 million we need for phase 2 of integrated science bldg., but we’ll lobby for that money as we have done in past; last time there was 80 million or so in matching funds, but now350 million in matching money also funds private colleges. Mandates a 1 to 3 match—we would raise 3 dollars for every 1 we get from the state. We will try to change this. Governor said no tuition increase. SUNY system will attempt to recover 36 million lost last year when the legislature reduced tuition increase to 950 dollars. We also need to make sure we get money for phase 2 of science building, and fight TAP changes.

J. Hyman: Can we use tuition directly?

Dahl: Tuition counts as income for state, which can use any way it wants. This needs to be restructured, but is big project.

J. Boiani: when will budget be finished?

Dahl: Should be faster than normal, probably by April. Speed due to the fact that it is an election year, and b/c last year governor overstretched his hand and got his entire budget vetoed. He’s increasing money despite his fiscal conservatism.

Dahl: Integrated Science bldg project inconvenient and noisy. If noise is unbearable call Levison’s office and we’ll try to do something about it.

Provost D. Gordon: 2 pieces of good news—we were able to fund all sabbatical proposals approved by professional leave review committee. There is money available for conversations in the discipline program. Applications are available in provost office or on-line. The program offers grants of up to $5000 to fund multi-campus conferences on cutting edge issues. Deadline for Albany is April 1, Provost’s office wants applications by March 15. National coordinator of American democracy project will be at Brockport in Feb., representatives from our campus will go.

Chair C. Freeman: thanks to Melissa Sutherland for taking over as chair of nominations committee. Nominations committee looking for nominations for at-large senators (5 over 6 years, and 3 under 6 years), vice chair, secretary and treasurer, as well as members for the professional leave review committee and the gen ed committee. Will present slate of nominations at next meeting, will also accept nominations from the floor except for prof. leave and gen ed committees. Welcome new students senators and new dept. reps Kurt Fletcher, physics, and Jeffrey Mounts, psychology.

Vice Chair G. Hartvigsen: no report

Treasurer Errol Putman: Senate Fund: $721.77; Richard Roark principal $1972.02, income $475.60

University Senator W. Gohlman: He and C. Freeman going to Oneonta this weekend for meeting of University Faculty Senate.

Central Council L. Dance: first SA meeting last Wednesday. Inter-residence council held spring training before classes started. Anthony Chefalo new program chair for inter-residence council. This Friday is the spring activities fair in the union lobby.

Standing committee reports:

UCC Cynthia Klima:

First Readings:

New Courses:Anth 234, Math 239, Econ 365, Econ 293—motion carries

Course revisions: Acct 211, Acct 310, Csci 242, Econ 364, Econ 393, Geog 365, Geog 250, Math 237—motion carries

Major revisions: B.A. in Mathematics, B.A. in Mathematics w/Adolescent Certification, B.A. in Theater, B.S. in Accounting —motion carries (first readings)

Minor revisions: Asian Studies Minor, Minor in Mathematics—motion carries

Policy H. Hoops: no report

Graduate Academic Affairs Dale Metz:

First Reading: New Course Acct 510 p. 125—motion carries

Second Readings: Revised Program Description: MSED Secondary Ed Spanish Specialization; New course description: Span 414; Revised Courses: Span 413, 425, 426—motions carry

SAC M. Lynch: committee suggested that faculty include statement on syllabi that address needs of students with disabilities. Some departments were in favor, others less supportive. SAC would like to formally move issue over to policy committee to consider. Have some examples of statement that could be used.

FAC R. Hartman: Met on Dec. 9 to talk about changes in calendar. Many faculty are concerned. Issue discussed at exec committee and sent to gather more research. Has since sent info to Provost Gordon’s office. FAC meeting Feb. 10 at 4:00 in Welles 111. Faculty with concerns email Hartman, students email Lynch.

Old Business

New Business

Executive Committee brings Resolution on Campus-Based System Wide Assessment p. 124, Senate Bulletin 12 for discussion in college senate.

Josh Hyman: resolution seems more campus based, how does this differ from what is done by GEAR committee?

Gordon: the biggest difference is reference to “externally referenced measures.” This sounds like we would need to use standardized tests. Also option in here for value-added assessment, which is not required by GEAR. Believes this raises problems for assessing gen ed on campus: getting students to take tests, getting them to take tests seriously. This is intended for accountability not improvement—thus hard to interpret results.

B. Gohlman: is there a sense that this isn’t going to pass the university senate? We were told at last meeting that this will happen. How can UFS shape it so its least painful and insulting? This is an attempt to control how and what we teach. This resolution an attempt to deal with negative reaction of UFS.

Freeman: has heard from 6 other SUNY colleges that have considered this resolution. Fredonia did not pass, Brockport passed sense of senate motion that this was good starting point, but wanted continued discussion, Plattsburgh, Oneonta no action. Binghamton passed motion that assessment at Binghamton is fine and no need for university wide assessment.

Josh Hyman: if we give them this, they might do something even worse

Joe Remy: should senate want to avoid voting directly, we can postpone indefinitely

Paul Schacht, chair of assessment committee: if we don’t pass it, what is to prevent original plan from being implemented. Is this a good compromise? Or do we hold fast to principle of campus based and campus controlled assessment? Would like to hear more discussion before postpone.

Josh Hyman: thinks that unanimous rejection by UFS will prevent them from bringing up original plan

Olympia Nicodemi: what’s the timeline? What chances are there to improve/negotiate?

Gohlman: systems administration are getting impatient

Nicodemi: would be hesitant to adopt as stands b/c its not an acceptable proposal. It’s not yet a compromise. Support following Brockport model, which was polite way of saying no.

J. Boiani: Brockport endorses UFS to negotiate.

Schacht: original proposal from De Russy referred to communication, information management, math, social science, critical thinking. King’s resolution dropped social science. Now we have “building blocks of general education.” Do we know what that refers to?

Gohlman: don’t know what that means

Freeman: in bulletin 10 on p. 108-109 is memo from Chancellor King, which doesn’t list particular areas

Maria Lima: first bulletin approved resolution in August (Bulletin p. 7 and 8) against standardized tests. We shouldn’t compromise.

Gillin: agrees w/ M. Lima. By meeting this resolution halfway implies good faith reciprocal relationship with Albany. But we have no reason to trust them. Regrets talking in these terms.

Josh Hyman: by putting foot in door for negotiation, we are giving credibility to these proposals.

Nicodemi: two positions here: one that we don’t want to support this at all, and the other to follow the Brockport model to prevent a dictum coming down.

C. Woidat: sentiment that it will be forced on us, but there is dissatisfaction state wide at all levels with standardized testing. Momentum on our side.

Schacht: political pressure from parents might work, but pressure from campuses is not likely to affect trustees. He would prefer Brockport alternative. If trustees want system wide assessment then we’re going to have it one way or another. Sees this proposal as change—value added now optional.

S. Bailey: Agree with Schacht, but would like to emphasize again the steps that have been taken toward assessment on campus, show we understand accountability and do not take this likely. We need time to work on it.

Lynch: maybe a compromise statement—this reflects progress but satisfied with what we are doing now. We’re wasting energy—if they are going to do what they want, then we will just recognize data as meaningless.

Hartvigsen: call to question

Freeman: motion carries. Now vote to adopt resolution.

Resolution dies.

Gohlman: moves that we adopt policy statement of Brockport, and that we as a senate encourage reps to present our questions, objections, problems.

Freeman: it was a sense of senate.

Hartvigsen—we already voted against resolution so our statement needs to be different

Kurt Fletcher: please reread sense of senate from Brockport. Given that we didn’t pass it we are not contradicting ourselves.

Gillin: amendment to strike first clause (good starting point)

Freeman: discussion

Lynch: how would it start now?

Freeman: endorse continued discussion but reluctant to pass.

S. Bailey: how about just “starting point”?

Freeman: must vote manually. Retaining “starting point” fails. Now back to original amendment to remove good starting point.

Fletcher: retain good starting point.

Freeman: time to vote.

Dahl: change “reluctant” to “unwilling” to more match what we have done.

Freeman: Any objections? No objections.

Freeman: vote—amendment passes to remove good starting point. Now we discuss whether or not to adopt sense of senate as it stands now:

The College Senate at SUNY Geneseo endorses continued discussions on the four points listed in the "Resolution on Next Steps for an Assessment Framework" proposed by the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Senate but is unwilling to formally pass it until all of its implications are in evidence.

Freeman: Discussion? Adopted by voice vote.

Letter from CAS Board President Regarding CAS Board Election Procedure

January 23, 2004

Professor Charlie Freeman

College Senate Chair

Department of Physics

SUNY Geneseo

Dear Charlie:

I am writing you in my capacity as President of the Campus Auxiliary Services Board of Directors to ask you to consult with your Executive Committee to decide on a new method for selecting faculty members for the CAS Board.

On April 29, 2003, the SUNY Board of Trustees adopted new guidelines for Auxiliary Services Corporations such as CAS. One of these guidelines states that faculty members on the CAS Board “shall be appointed by the campus faculty governance organization.” At Geneseo that would be the College Senate.

Presently, faculty members on the CAS Board are chosen by an election process operated by the CAS Board. Our Nominations and Elections Committee solicits nominations through a mailing to all eligible faculty, confirms that the nominated faculty are willing to run for election, and then holds the election using a mail ballot. I think this process works pretty well. We typically have three or four candidates willing to run and I’ve observed that all those elected during my time on the Board have been very conscientious and effective members. Also, the number of faculty returning ballots is usually above fifty percent. Nevertheless it is probably unwise for us to ignore a SUNY Board of Trustees Resolution.

I would appreciate it therefore if you and your Executive Committee can discuss the issue and develop a selection procedure that would take effect in the Spring of 2005. Any new procedure will be incorporated into a modified set of ByLaws that must be approved by the CAS Board, the College President and the SUNY Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business. I am hoping we can begin that process by having the CAS Board approve a set of modified ByLaws at its April 27, 2004 meeting.

One procedure that I can suggest personally is that the College Senate requests the CAS Board to continue to solicit nominations and turn over the list of confirmed nominees to the Senate Chair to be included on the Spring Web ballot. I am a fan of elections. However the official selection method is for you and your Executive Committee to decide.

If you would like any more details or would like me to meet with you or the Committee to discuss this in more detail, please let me know. Thanks for your help.


Jim Boiani, CAS Board President

University Faculty Senate Winter Meeting Report

The 136th Plenary Meeting of the SUNY University Faculty Senate was held at SUNY Oneonta from January 29-31, 2004. On Thursday night, the Campus Governance Leaders (CGLs) held an informal meeting. The main topic of discussion was the system-wide campus-based assessment issue, and how the campus governance organizations had responded to the UFS executive committee's call for approval of their resolution on campus-based system-wide assessment. There seemed to be general support for keeping the faculty involved in the process of developing an assessment proposal, but there was at least one CGL whose campus believed that the faculty should take a strong stand against system-wide assessment in any form.

At the Friday morning meetings of the University Faculty Senate, a presentation entitled "Top Legal Issues for SUNY Faculty" was delivered by Marti Ellerman, from SUNY Legal-System Administration. Her presentation included a "Top 10" list of legal issues facing faculty today, including affirmative action, sexual harassment, academic freedom and the rights of the disabled. Interested members of the college community should contact either Bill Gohlman or Charlie Freeman to receive a copy of the slides used in this talk. The next presentation was entitled "Faculty Rights in an Electronic Age" and was delivered by Carey Hatch of the SUNY Office of Library and Information Services. The main thrust of this presentation was to encourage faculty members to maintain the right to freely distribute research papers on their own websites and to promote efforts to make research output open access. A copy of this very interesting presentation is available at Brian Stenson, SUNY Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business, presented a budget report. The final presentation of the day was entitled "Mission Review II" by Beth Bringsjord, SUNY Academic Affairs-System Administration. Copies of the slides from this talk are also available by contacting Bill Gohlman or Charlie Freeman.

Friday afternoon there was a spirited discussion regarding the assessment issue. Many campuses supported "continuing the dialogue" with the Board of Trustees on system-wide assessment. A motion (please see documents below) was passed which calls for the formation of a committee consisting of members of the UFS, Faculty Council of Community Colleges, and the Student Assembly that would draft a proposal for campus-based system-wide assessment before March 31, 2004. This proposal will then be distributed to the campuses for approval by their campus governance bodies. There was some opposition to this motion; a small minority of senators was opposed to any further discussion of any SUNY-wide assessment plan, seeing no need for an additional layer of assessment beyond what is currently being done locally at the campuses. The majority of the senators, however, felt that it was important for the UFS to stay involved and to have a voice in determining the shape and scope of any system-wide assessment plan. Many senators expressed appreciation for the Chancellor's decision to "pause" implementation of the Board of Trustees June 2003 resolution on assessment and for the increased flexibility that was part of the Chancellor's recent "four point" proposal. These senators were hopeful that a compromise proposal could be developed that would be acceptable to all parties.

Friday night, SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King attended a dinner reception at the campus and gave an after dinner speech. In his speech he discussed a tuition plan that would call for small increases in tuition each year. This proposed plan would also guarantee that student's tuition would be locked in at the same rate for 4 years after enrolling at the college. This would provide predictability to students and their families in budgeting for college costs; students would know exactly what they would have to pay for tuition for their entire four-year college career. If a student needs a fifth year to graduate, the tuition for the fifth year would be whatever the tuition rate was set at for incoming students during the student's second year. The Chancellor also called on the University Faculty Senate to develop a policy for handling academic misconduct by faculty. He emphasized that such a policy should be a code of academic conduct that would deal with the moral issues, not the legal issues involved. The Chancellor indicated that one aspect of this plan might be to require that if faculty academic misconduct (plagiarism, for example) were proven, the University would have a responsibility to make the findings public.

The Saturday morning session included reports by the Standing committees of the UFS. The Governance Committee of the UFS proposed two resolutions; one called for increased campus support of local faculty governance bodies, and the other called for increased campus recognition of campus governance leaders by asking them to serve on appropriate administrative committees and to represent the faculty at academic ceremonies. These resolutions were passed by the entire UFS. After a thorough study of the campus governance practices at other SUNY campuses, the Governance Committee found that many campuses did not provide adequate support for faculty governance organizations or appropriate recognition for campus governance leaders. Here at Geneseo, I believe we have already been doing everything that was called for in these resolutions.


Respectfully Submitted,

Charlie Freeman

College Senate Chair

Letter from Joe Hildreth, President of University Faculty Senate Regarding Campus-Based System-Wide Assessment

February 5, 2004

Dear Colleagues,

During the Winter Plenary Meeting of the University Faculty Senate held at SUNY Oneonta on January 29-31, we passed the attached motion on Campus-based system-wide assessment. The debate on the motion (which was developed and introduced by the Executive Committee) was energized and robust. After discussing the issue for over one hour the Senate voted to pass the motion and continue the dialogue. The motion passed with a strong majority (in fact, it received only 2 dissenting votes).

The argument that seemed to persuade most Senators is summarized below.

The decision before us today is to decide on one of two choices. The first choice is to say no and walk away. If that is done, we will have a System-wide assessment developed and implemented without faculty involvement. If we protest, we will be reminded of the fact that we were asked to be involved, but we declined the offer.

The second choice is to continue the dialogue. This will provide us with the opportunity to continue to present faculty concerns and attempt to remove or alter those aspects of system-wide assessment that faculty oppose. By continuing to discuss assessment and present faculty concerns, we have already made great progress. The current offer is vastly different than the big, across-the-board test that represented the beginning of this System-wide assessment issue. We should continue to remain involved in order to modify assessment to a form that is acceptable to most faculty.

This argument seemed to persuade most of the Senate to vote to continue the dialogue.

Please share this motion with your faculty colleagues.

Joe Hildreth, President

UFS Motion Regarding Campus-Based System-Wide Assessment

The following motion was passed by the University Faculty Senate at its Plenary meeting in Oneonta, NY on January 30, 2004

In response to resolutions by the SUNY University Faculty Senate and the SUNY Faculty Council of Community Colleges, there has been a “pause” supported by System Administration in the implementation of their resolution of June 17, 2003 on assessment. In addition, Chancellor King has invited the SUNY faculty governance bodies to “take the lead in developing a draft of a revised proposal…” to present to the Board at its meeting on January 27, 2004. Consequently, the Executive Committee recommends that the University Faculty Senate accept Chancellor King’s offer to continue discussions on “University-wide campus-based assessment” with the aim of developing a proposal on assessment that is acceptable to the SUNY Faculty, System Administration, and the Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee also recommends that the University Faculty Senate, in consultation with the Faculty Council of Community Colleges and the Student Assembly, establish a committee to continue dialogue and develop a proposal on assessing the foundational skills of General Education by March 31, 2004 so that it can be submitted to campus governance bodies for their views in order to be presented and voted upon by the Senate at its 2004 Spring Plenary session.