ACTIONS of the SENATE

This page lists motions that have been passed by the Geneseo College Senate, other than curricular approvals.  Curricular actions are available from the Geneseo file server for Graduate Curriculum and Undergraduate Curriculum.

Actions are grouped into general categories, within which they are listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first).  Multiple actions on the same date are separated by a horizontal line or provided through links.  Some larger categories, indicated by square brackets, have a separate web page.

This page is currently complete from Feb 2011 to May 2014.

Links to Sections:

[Undergraduate Academic Policies]

Student Affairs

Faculty Affairs

External Affairs

Honoring People

Student Opinion of Faculty Instruction

[Actions of the Faculty]


Student Opinion of Faculty Instruction

5 Nov 2013

Be it resolved that,

Given the importance of the SOFI's in personnel decisions, the college senate considers it a best practice for faculty to administer the SOFI's online in-class at an appropriate time at the end of the semester.

7 May 2013

Whereas, student assessment of faculty instruction is a required element of faculty evaluation; and

Whereas, student opinions of faculty instruction are an important factor considered by faculty in the development and improvement of courses; and

Whereas, SOFIs are the current mode of obtaining student opinions of faculty instruction; and

Whereas, students responses should not be unduly influenced by factors other than instruction;

Be it Resolved That:
Students' completion of the SOFIs is voluntary. There will be no administrative or academic penalty on individuals or classes of students who decline to complete the SOFIs.
Faculty members are encouraged to administer on-line SOFIs in class whenever possible and practical as it has been shown to be an effective way to improve response rates.


The Senate asks the college administration to reiterate and emphasize at all levels the existing policy on the availability of SOFI comments described herein:

Written SOFI comments will be only directly accessible to the instructor, whether through electronic or any other means. The instructor shall not be required to share written comments with those involved in decisions pertaining to renewal, continuing appointment, promotion, and awards. This policy will be published on the provost’s web site.

1 May 2012

Whereas it is the current policy that student input is a required part of faculty evaluation,

Whereas, the Senate recognizes the important role of accurate student feedback reflecting the

students' opinions of the quality of the instruction they receive,

Whereas response rates to online SOFIs are inadequate and unrelated to attendance,

Whereas non-attending students who cannot evaluate class can respond to online SOFIs,

Whereas online SOFI response rates vary greatly,

Whereas the online SOFI system has sometimes been unreliable,

Whereas students fill out SOFIs in a non-uniform time and manner,

Therefore, Senate concludes that the current system fails to capture student opinion accurately,

and Therefore, Senate recommends that the College replace online administration of the SOFIs used in

the evaluation of faculty with a valid alternative.

26 Apr 2011

RESOLUTION ON ADMINISTERING THE SOFI'S

Whereas: Geneseo has a long standing guiding principle to minimize the influence of final grades on Student Opinion of Faculty Instruction (SOFI) data collection, and

Whereas: Recent difficulties in achieving an acceptable SOFI response rate have led to the extension of the data collection period through study day, to the evening before finals period, and

Whereas: A major contributing factor to the low response rate is time pressure on students as the end of the semester approaches, and

Whereas: Considering that 10 to 12 weeks of instruction should provide an adequate basis for students to form their opinions of faculty instruction,

Be it therefore resolved: The Senate recommends that the SOFI period be scheduled such that the data collection ends roughly two weeks prior to the beginning of finals period.

Faculty Affairs

15 Apr 2014

Faculty Participation in Evaluation of START-UP NY Proposals

Upon the receipt of a proposal by the SUNY College at Geneseo from a business for participation in the START-UP NY program, a Campus Evaluation Committee will consider the proposal. The Campus Evaluation Committee will include three (four?) members of the faculty. This will include the Chair of the College Senate or his or her designee and three faculty selected from among the faculty of departments most closely aligned with the proposal's contents. The Chair of the College Senate will contact the chairs of the departments most closely aligned with the proposal's contents. These departments will provide two faculty members willing to serve. The College Senate Chair will also recommend a faculty member from the wider campus community.

These faculty committee members along with the other members of the committee will be responsible with reading the proposal and submitting an evaluation of the proposal. As part of the process there will be the opportunity to raise questions about specific points of the proposal and its relationship to the mission of the college. The business sponsoring the proposal will then have the opportunity to answer those questions before the final recommendation is made.

The faculty will be required to serve only for the evaluation of that specific proposal. Each separate proposal will require formulation of a separate committee. Re-evaluation committees that will review the continued alignment of previously approved proposals will follow the same faculty participation structure.

8 Oct 8 2013

Whereas the required two-day unpaid furlough in 2013-2014 under the new UUP contract will impact faculty and staff morale, and

Whereas the College Senate realizes that the Geneseo Administration is not responsible for this policy, and cannot refuse its implementation.  However, the administration can help to mitigate the negative impact of the furlough on faculty and staff morale and demonstrate the Administration’s sensitivity to the faculty’s and staff’s willingness to accept the salary reductions by carefully considering the way this policy is implemented.

College Senate recommends that the Administration consult closely with faculty and staff to find ways to implement the furlough with the following goals in mind:

  1. The unpaid (i.e., non-reimbursed) furlough days should, to the greatest extent possible, be real “days off” so that faculty are not asked to essentially provide unpaid labor to the State.
  2. Students and the general public should be educated about the nature of faculty work life so that they more fully understand why unpaid furloughs are unfair and unreasonable.

Student Affairs

7 May 2013

The College Senate recommends to the President that she or he make it a top priority to implement both short- term and long-term solutions to address the needs for study, recreation, and activity spaces on campus.

Specifically, the College Senate recommends to the President the following:

  • Short-term and immediate steps should be pursued to rehabilitate and enhance the functionality of existing facilities (e.g., re-grade ball fields; install lights; replace Kuhl gym floor; install temporary dance floors; etc.).
  • Space should be reallocated to and rehabilitated for recreation and activities as it becomes available following the openings of newly reconstructed spaces (e.g., the occupancy of the Doty, Erwin, Bailey, Fraser and Sturges Buildings will be reconfigured in the near future).
  • Available local funds (e.g., surplus 'Reserve Funds;' Income Fund Reimbursable [IFRs]) should be used to complete smaller-scale capital improvements.
  • —The Facilities Master Plan for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation should be updated/revised. Based on the priorities identified in the Master Plan, a series of high priority proposals should be developed for capital improvements to activity and recreational spaces.

The College Senate recommends to the President that he support the consistent use of a single definition of hazing in College Policies and publications. Further, as all students are required to abide by the Student Code of Conduct, it is recommended that the definition therein be referenced and, as appropriate, the definition be supplemented with behaviorally-specific examples (e.g., including, but not limited to, "call-outs" and "drop-offs").


The College Senate recommends to the President the following regarding the analysis and use of the data from the Campus and School Hazing Climate Assessment:

  • —identify and publicize major areas of concern at Geneseo
  • —develop meaningful prevention measures in response to the identified areas of concern
  • identify and publicize comparisons between Geneseo and peer institutions
  • educate students, faculty, and staff about hazing, how best to prevent hazing, and response options
  • establish mechanisms for on-going oversight of campus hazing and College response efforts (e.g., the newly formed Student & Campus Life Hazing Prevention Committee)
  • —ensure ongoing communication and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders – student organizations, campus officials and offices, and representatives of the local community
  • —employ empirically-validated, best-practices to guide and inform future prevention, education, data- tracking, and response efforts.

The College Senate recommends to the President that he support centralized data recording of incidents of campus hazing and periodic reporting of these results to the College.


The College Senate recommends to the President that he support the inclusion of "hazing" as a category on the University Police Department's "Silent Witness" form.

3 Apr 2012

Program Funding related to sexual assault issues

The Senate recommends to the President that he support funding for efforts which seek to (1) prevent sexual assault at Geneseo, and (2) educate faculty, staff, and students about resources and options available to those who have experienced sexual assault. The Senate SAC will seek to update with the President regarding status of this issue in fall 2012.


Transportation Funding related to sexual assault issues

The Senate recommends to the President that he support the development and funding of a service whereby medically-stable students who seek a forensic evaluation by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner following the experience of sexual assault are assisted by the College with transportation to Strong Memorial Hospital. We urge that this be implemented prior to the start of fall 2012 or sooner.


Administrative Structure and Procedures related to sexual assault issues

The Senate recommends to the President that the organization and procedures of the College sexual assault response effort be reviewed. We urge that the following be considered and implemented prior to the start of fall 2012 or sooner:

  • implementation of best practices as those outlined in the "Dear Colleagues" letter issued by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (4/4/2011) for data collection, policies, procedures, and efforts towards response, education, and prevention;
  • designation of a College official who "owns" the issue of response to sexual assault, coordinates College efforts, and offers periodic reports to the College community; and
  • implementation of an expanded, coordinated, and systematized data collection and record-keeping protocol which records all reports of student sexual assault, and expands current recording and reporting practices beyond those based on compliance with Clery Act requirements.

Policy Governing Student Conduct

The Senate recommends to the President that he initiate review of the Student Code of Conduct, and support changes which align the Code with NYS law (Penal law 220.78) and serve to increase the likelihood that students will contact College officials to report and to seek assistance amidst emergencies and crises. We urge that proposals for changes to the Student Code of Conduct be presented to the College Council for review and approval prior to the start of fall 2012 or sooner.

External Affairs

15 Apr 2014

Resolution Calling for Delay in Implementation of the edTPA

Whereas, there were multiple fundamental flaws in the implementation of the edTPA in New York, compared with the current recommendations from the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), the developer of the test; and

Whereas the teacher preparation programs were not provided final guidance material for edTPA preparation until fall 2013 in many cases, and thus have not been given sufficient time to evaluate whether programmatic changes should be made to prepare students for the edTPA, nor to implement such changes; and

Whereas, there is a near-consensus of opinion among teacher education faculties and leaders that there was not a sufficient period of low stakes participation for proper implementation of edTPA; and

Whereas, New York State requirements for student teaching (NY State Education Department Commissioner's Regulation 52.21), coupled with the need to present new material for evaluation if a teacher certification candidate fails the edTPA, limit the candidate's ability to be fairly tested by emphasizing the results of a candidate's initial student-teaching experience; and

Whereas, the increasing burden of test fees may disproportionately limit the ability of under-represented and under-prepared students to become teachers, restricting the diversity of future classroom teachers at a time when K-12 students themselves are increasingly from multicultural backgrounds; and

Whereas, the State Assembly of New York has introduced legislation (A09207) to delay use of the edTPA in initial teacher certification until July 1, 2015;

Therefore, be it resolved that the College Senate of the State University of New York College at Geneseo emphatically urges the Board of Regents and the State Education Department:

1. To remove the use of the edTPA as a requirement for initial certification in New York beginning May 2014 and thereafter; and

2. To establish a task force involving college faculty and administrators to review the role of externally evaluated performance-based assessment in teacher education programs, and whether or how edTPA (or other measures) might be used in those programs; and

3. To postpone the use of edTPA data in the profiles of teacher education programs until the 2015-16 academic year at the earliest.

And further, the SUNY Geneseo College Senate instructs its officers to bring this resolution to the attention of the New York State Board of Regents, the New York State Education Department, and appropriate members of the New York legislature.

22 Mar 2011

Resolution in Support of a Five-Year Tuition Plan for SUNY

WHEREAS, the mission of SUNY Geneseo is to educate students while providing economic, social, and cultural support to Western New York, and

WHEREAS, SUNY Geneseo's tuition is only $4,970 per year – among the lowest in the nation; and

WHEREAS, historically SUNY tuition has been anything but fair and predictable, SUNY having been allowed to raise tuition only 13 times over the last 48 years – the smallest of which was 7 percent and the highest of which was 43 percent; and

WHEREAS, SUNY, being the largest comprehensive university system in the United State, has the potential to create unprecedented opportunities for current and future college students and their families, as well as for businesses and industry, and the workforce of the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, SUNY campuses must have fiscal stability to be able to carry out this responsibility;

WHEREAS, a five-year tuition plan that is fair, equitable and responsible and keeps all tuition revenues at SUNY campuses without corresponding cuts will provide current and future students and their families the ability to adequately plan ahead and know any tuition increase will be used to enhance educational opportunities; and

WHEREAS, SUNY state-operated campuses have been the only New York public higher education sector to be subject to mid-year gubernatorial reductions without the concurrence of the legislature, and have frequently been the only part of state government to deal with the costs associated with collective bargaining agreements negotiated by the Governor's Office of Employee Relations without state funding, thereby eroding the state's maintenance of effort;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the SUNY Geneseo College Senate hereby supports the State University's proposal for the enactment of a five-year rational tuition plan, as well as a commitment to the maintenance of effort throughout any given year.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SUNY Geneseo College Senate encourages the State Legislature to support this proposal and pass it into New York State Law, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SUNY Geneseo College Senate calls for immediate tuition relief or restoration to fill the $2 million budget gap for Geneseo created by the Executive budget, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Chair of the SUNY Geneseo College Senate shall forward copies of this Resolution to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Legislature and all others deemed necessary and proper.

Honoring People

10 Sep 2013

In recognition of his six years of stalwart service as Presiding Officer of the Faculty and Senate Chair at the SUNY College at Geneseo, the College Senate presents Dennis Showers with this ceremonial gavel as a token of our sincere appreciation.

7 May 2013

Whereas, President Christopher C. Dahl has provided long and valued service to the State University of New York at Geneseo and

—Whereas, President Dahl has shown himself to be highly committed to the principles and processes of shared faculty governance, even having served as a role model to other presidents and administrators in the SUNY System and beyond, and

—Whereas, President Dahl has provided both service and leadership to the Geneseo College Senate through his committed presence and judicious input,

—Be it therefore resolved, on this day, May 7, 2013 that the Geneseo College Senate on behalf of the entire college community expresses its heartfelt thanks and appreciation for his service and commitment and offers him a token of our appreciation declaring that he is a Friend of the College Senate and wishes him well in the next phase of his life's journey.