MINUTES of the ACADEMIC SENATE MEETING
March 9, 2004
Senate Members Present:
Dam, Mary Ann
Batista, Natalie; Carrington, Christopher; Cherny, Robert (excused);
Contreras, A. Reynaldo(excused); Corrigan, Robert (excused); Fung, Robert
(excused); Garcia, Oswaldo (excused); Gonzales, Dan (excused); Kassiola,
Joel (excused); Langbort, Carol (excused); Otero, Aina J.; Scoble, Don (excused);
Buttlaire, Dan; Earthman, Elise; Giardina, Richard; Gutkin, Terry; Hallum, Ann; Knox, Liz; Monteiro, Ken; Mullins,
Willie; Sung, Susan; Turitz, Mitch; Verhey, Marilyn; Viveros, Elvira; Whitaker, Gail; Yorker, Beatrice
announced that there was an endeavor to collect funds in order to support
students going to Sacramento on March 15 for lobbying purposes on behalf of higher
education. An envelope was circulated around the senate floor, and senators
were encouraged to fill out checks made out to the SFSU Foundation, with the
note field including the phrase “March on March II.”
CFA Chapter President Mitch Turitz added to Senator Chelberg’s comments
and encouraged faculty as well as students to go to Sacramento on the 15 of March. He also noted that March 19
and 26 would be lobbying days, where faculty and students would visit local
legislators, requesting no additional cuts to higher education. Turitz observed that legislators are impressed
when people come to their office, particularly students. Finally, he announced that on April 26 CFA will
hold a town hall meeting on the budget.
Senate Chair Assistant Sposito announced that shortly
there would be a second Asilomar planning meeting
to discuss potential themes, and other planning issues. The campus community is invited
and encourage to participate in the planning of the Faculty and Staff
retreat for 2005 held at Asilomar.
spoke to the urgency of the budget crisis, noting previous senate meetings,
and the permanent nature of the reductions. He commented that in the past
there have been three procedures that Universities have used to address the
downsizing of academic programs, the first of which, spreading the cuts broadly
across the campus, has some serious drawbacks. The second is to make deep
cuts in some areas while protecting others. The difficulty here is deciding
what programs will be protected, what programs must go, what criteria are
used to make such choices, and who will do the choosing. The third procedure
is a combination of the first two.
Now and in the upcoming months the University is
confronting an emergency situation involving some very tough choices. The
University has several processes in place to deal with this emergency and
all of these processes include significant faculty input.
These consist of: The University Budget Committee,
which includes faculty in equal numbers with administrators; a joint Senate
and Academic Affairs Workload Taskforce, which will report to the Senate in
May; as well as CUSP II, which is focusing on a five-year strategic plan for
SFSU will need to think about the short term, thus
considering budget requirements that need to be met by July 1, as well as
longer-term issues, while keeping in mind how to redefine our University for
the sake of its future and level of quality.
The Academic Senate Executive Committee has reviewed
all relevant policy in regards to downsizing or reorganizing our academic
programs, and these include:
Academic Program Discontinuance
Academic Senate Principles Regarding Academic Reorganization
Temporary Suspension of Academic Programs
All of these have been approved by the Senate and
the President, and are thus University policy. The parties that should be
involved in the decision making process are faculty, colleges, the Academic
Senate and the President, and a review of all these polices by all members
of the academic community is as good a place to start as any.
Third, Chair Edwards stressed the need for open communication
and that faculty plays a strong role in decision-making. He commended that
the deans are meeting regularly with their staff and faculty for discussion.
He noted that the Academic
Senate workload may increase and that this may require additional and or longer
asked that senators take care when using their microphones, as deciphering
the previous meeting’s tape had required extra effort. He requested senators
to restrict their extracurricular comments, water pouring and the like to
areas outside the range of the microphones.
AGENDA ITEM #1 - APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR March 9, 2004
Chair Edwards noted that one correction, agenda Item 6 the second line should
read consent item in first and second reading.
Houlberg, Palmer m/s/p
AGENDA ITEM #2 - APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Gregory, McKeon m/s/p
Senator Steier insisted that his absence at the
previous meeting be listed as “excused.”
indicated that he would make some small corrections to the minutes and forward
them on to the senate office.
AGENDA ITEM #3 - REPORT FROM STATEWIDE SENATORS AARON
The statewide senators
had no report to give at this time.
AGENDA ITEM #4 - REPORT— JOHN M.
GEMELLO, PROVOST & VICE PRESIDENT for ACADEMIC
Provost Gemello mentioned
the recent town hall meeting devoted to the budget and hoped that by now everyone
realized the severity of the situation and its permanent status. Today he
wanted to talk about the process that the campus would adopt. He indicated
that he had met with a variety of campus members at the town hall meeting,
with deans and a range of campus members in an attempt to discuss the budget
scene. Two weeks ago the colleges received their planning budgets, but these
were issued with only preliminary knowledge and without knowing the results
of election developments. He tried to give some idea of the magnitude of the
crisis by noting that we have 1,000 full-time faculty positions, and we are
probably going to need to reduce 170 positions, roughly 17 percent. He listed
some examples of the kinds of comments he was hearing: one dean had asserted
that the planning budget would not be possible, as the only way to reach the
target would be to double or triple class sizes, going against a long held
principle of the college. Another dean said that he had a series of short
term solutions but that they would not prove sustainable over time. Senior
faculty would be teaching other classes than what they currently teach; there
would be less research and no new equipment purchases. When the Provost asked
whether this approach could this be sustained, the answer was negative. He
said that wherever short terms solutions were possible they had been employed,
but now the campus is faced with serious long term issues. Discussion has
started to consider alternative strategies, including deep, strategic cuts.
The campus administration
wanted to hear from the community, with the understanding that solutions be
regarded as permanent strategies. Now there is a much clearer idea of what
the real budget looks like, but of course we do not know exactly what will
happen. No one expects the budget to improve any time soon. Now is the time
to face up to the crisis and deal with it in a sound, strategic way.
He mentioned meeting with
the deans over college-wide strategies, requesting proposals from them to
arrive by early April. His message to the deans was to engage with the faculty
in extensive discussions. He planned to keep CUSP II, the Senate Executive
Committee and the University Budget committee informed of developments and
had met with previous senate chairs for input. He hoped to develop an overall
plan by the middle of April. The budget will be $8 to 10 million less than
last year but SFSU still has to accommodate 95% of the student total from
this year, and we will need to restructure to be as strong as possible in
Some of the things being considered
are looking at how many colleges to have, the structure within the colleges,
and the reduction of departments and programs, including credential programs.
It is now March and with a budget needed by April the campus may not be able
to adopt a permanent plan immediately.
Provost Gemello suggested April 2004 as the time
to identify programs slotted for discontinuance. In 2004-05 the campus will
begin the process of discontinuance, which will involve reducing course offerings,
not admitting new students, and taking the time to work out mitigation mechanisms
for those affected. In 2006-07 those programs to be eliminated will have completed
the discontinuance process. This would constitute a three year plan, with
the goal of identifying programs in April.
Senator Williams asked for clarification about
determining the “number” of colleges.
Provost Gemello indicated that he had no magic
number. He suggested that the campus needed to think hard and determine the
optimal number. If the number of colleges was reduced from 8 to 6, for example,
this would be a savings. If that did not happen then that would be money that
would need to be found elsewhere.
Turitz asked how it was
possible to save money by combining colleges.
Gemello indicated the
major feature was through salary savings - if two colleges combined you would
have one less dean and associate dean, and eliminate duplicate staff positions.
It constituted in essence a reduction in personnel.
Senator Gregory asked if the deans had been advised
explicitly to have open meetings. She thought it a good idea to communicate
fully with faculty.
Gemello said he had not
made an explicit request for open meetings, only that deans communicate often
and fully with the departments and faculty. He felt it important to try to
follow the best practices available.
Senator Steier expressed some confusion and requested
criteria on how programs would be discontinued. In past discontinuances were
done to unsuccessful programs but now we have perfectly sound programs that
would be discontinued, and how would that be done.
Gemello indicated that
Steier had zeroed right in on the problem.
Currently SFSU has no weak programs. We are looking at discontinuing solid
programs, which would not be small programs, but likely some larger ones that
could mean real savings. The whole process was going to be driven by money
issues. He would not use the term “fired faculty,” but rather focus on easing
and mitigating the ramp down for faculty affected. The reasoning for the three
year plan is that he thought that the Senate has a sound discontinuance policy
which we will follow. As for the affected students, the three year plan would
give the campus a chance to get students through there programs and ease their
Senator Williams encouraged his colleagues to
speak up. He wanted to return to the topic of colleges, as it seemed easier
to consider program discontinuance, but when considering college reduction,
he found it difficult to visualize, and asked for clarification.
Gemello said that across
the nation there were a wide variety of different college structures. In the
previous budget crisis the campus had generated several interesting solutions
that involved mergers and the like. He did not want to speculate, but a major
goal was to try to treat people equitably. The campus needed to keep targets
and make decisions equitably, and make decisions on a university level. Another
part of question involved high and low Faculty Student Ratios that are often
Senator Stowers noted that the college of BSS had been talking about budget issues, and wondered what would happen
to FERP money.
Gemello was not sure of
Senator Heiman indicated that the College of Business has had discussions about making some graduate programs self-supporting.
To him it seemed like a better approach to take this path rather than to discontinue
a program entirely.
Gemello thanked Heiman for his insight, noting that the
campus would have less general fund money, but if there were ways to increase
revenue or do without general fund money that might prove to be a good approach.
MBA programs would be a likely target for this sort of thing, perhaps even
at the system level. He thought it a good time for creativity and flexibility.
Senator Ulasewicz had two questions, the first
regarding the notion of the “golden handshake” option.
Gemello replied that this
proposal was on the Governor’s desk, with the Chancellor’s blessing, but still
needed to be signed.
Dean Verhey indicated that the decision should be made in a week or two.
Gemello said that in response
to this issue the deadline for filling for a FERP had been extended, from
the end of February to the end of April.
Senator Ulasewicz wanted to know about the open
dean position in HHS.
Gemello did not really
want to fill a position without knowledge of what was going to happen.
Senator Guerrero wanted some clarification about
faculty being transferred to other departments or programs as well as being
let go, and asked about potential mergers of programs to share resources.
Gemello indicated that
there was no plan for that now, but both would be options. Colleges need to
decide this at their own level, keeping in mind any savings that may be realized.
If a program were discontinued, faculty would not remain in that program.
There was more time for mitigation should the campus go into layoff mode,
with some further mitigations perhaps possible. He thought a key principle
was to do everything possible to help faculty and students directly affected
by these decisions.
Senator McKeon wanted more clarification regarding
the timeline for program discontinuance. If there was an April list, did that
mean targeted programs would only have a couple weeks for appeal? What time
would there be between the first list and final decision? Another question
she posed was that when a program or department got on that list and its admissions
halted, the fate of those departments would be sealed, regardless of any mitigations.
Gemello disagreed that
identifying programs for consideration would seal their fate. Perhaps there
might be no new majors admitted for a time, but the program would still be
able to continue.
Senator McKeon asked at what point a program would
start halting admissions.
Gemello said that the
purpose of stopping admission for any potentially cancelled programs was to
avoid the problem of having admitted students who would then need to make
their way through. How soon students go and come was up for consideration.
Senator McKeon asked again the first part of her
question, about the timing for the preliminary list and final list.
Gemello was not sure there
would ever be a “final” list. He regarded this as a work in progress, with
the deans conferring openly and often, and that would result in a continual
review. Packages would have input from several areas. It is, however, a zero
sum game. The savings have to be made and the university needs to consider
carefully which programs it could live without.
Senator Daniels asked about interdisciplinary
programs, in GE and the like, where discontinuance conducted in a college
by college basis might pose some problems.
Gemello repeated that
the college deans would make their proposals, but that he and the President
would be asking questions about the whole picture, which he regarded as his
Senator Noble asked how cuts would be made when
discontinuance takes so long to do.
Gemello responded that
the first year would be a hybrid between broad and narrow cuts and that the
first year might mean reductions all across the board. The campus might elect
to make some short term reductions in the book budget and the infrastructure
funds to gain some breathing room to implement longer term solutions.
Chair Edwards noted that policies relating to program discontinuance were
put together in the Spring of 1994 and were put together
to senate administrative collaboration take a look.
AGENDA ITEM #6—RECOMMENDATION from the CURRICULUM
Chair Edwards brought Agenda Item 6 forward as a time certain.
Senator and Chair of CRAC
Nichols noted that in the senators’ packets
was a proposal for an off campus degree program at CaÃ±ada
college. This would be a satellite BA in nursing from SFSU’s
Department of Nursing to be held at CaÃ±ada College in San
The Chair of Nursing Beatrice
Yorker and Dean Gail Whitaker were introduced for comments
Yorker began by noting
that last fall the Sequoia Health Care hospital and HMO made an offer to SFSU
to offer a satellite nursing program. She had several initial reservations
which included the recognition of the difficulty of raising enrollment, which
they had done on campus and then realized how it created problems that could
also be present at CaÃ±ada. When first proposed the
President expressed concern about the shortage of nurses, increased funding
and enrollment, now stretched to the maximum, and faculty learned that it
took more than a few faculty positions to make this happen. Sequoia had asked
us to think hard about the proposal, and the nursing department indicated
that they would need more money for students, as well as space, as current
room is insufficient. Clinical placement sites are also limited. Even if students
were admitted, it would still be hard to do this.
This is an “outside the box”
proposal, with the understanding that Sequoia would fully fund it. They would
also handle the clinical placement for the students, and she reported that
the nursing faculty were supportive. As long as Tenure/Tenure-track
faculty did the program theory and supervised the courses, they were willing
to make the commitment to make this possible. The funding would be a minimum
of $7.5 million for six years, with a chance to go to ten or more years.
In exchange for this, Sequoia
wanted to insure that graduates would work in their own health care facilities
and in the community. Because nursing is an impacted program, it is able to
have supplemental criteria for student admissions. In this case it would include
criteria that would favor students who live and work in county, and to graduates
of the Community College district. All senior capstone students would also
be placed into their system.
Yorker expressed pleasure
at being approached, and noted that there are no BA nursing programs in San
Mateo county. The medical journal JAMA had released a
study just before negotiations suggesting that patient outcomes improve with
a higher level of nursing education. Seventy percent of the nurses in California have associate degrees, while SFSU offers Bachelor’s
and Master’s degrees. UCSF no longer offers the Master’s, and City College only offers the associate. We add value with our degree program.
Senator Chelberg offered
congratulations for creative solutions to the school of nursing, and asked
Whitaker to explain how accommodations
for the program would be handled for people with disabilities.
Dean Whitaker said
that this would be a clone of their existing program, with all the normal
assurances we have here but just handled elsewhere. CEL adds some interesting
features that cannot be done on the general fund. CaÃ±ada
has built a university center, where SFSU offers other courses. This structure,
the center, had to address all logistical issues - library, security issues
etc. including disabled access. The remote distance may pose some problems,
but Whitaker expressed willingness to engage
in discussions to resolve them.
Senator Williams spoke
in favor of the proposal but had some reservations. What implications would
this relationship have for the autonomy of the nursing program, and what safeguards
would be in place in case Sequoia went away or was otherwise unable to meet
Yorker said from the beginning that the nursing program
had insisted that there could be no influence over the curriculum. What Sequoia
could influence were supplemental criteria - i.e. San Mateo county residents get preferential treatment, etc,
and SFSU wrote another piece into the agreement that positions us well for
the future. The SFSU Foundation did a lot of research on Sequoia, and expressed
confidence in their strength as a healthy, economically sound organization.
Senator Steier asked
if the religious basis of funding would have any affect on health care, including
such items as abortions etc.
Yorker responded that that was impossible and that adequate
safeguards were in place.
Jerris, Chelberg moved to second reading.
AGENDA ITEM #5 - REPORT—KEN MONTEIRO—DEAN, HUMAN
RELATIONS—OUTCOMES from the SUMMIT on
RACE & CULTURE
Dean Monteiro wanted
to thank the senate for two resolutions encouraging deans to talk about the
summit on faculty development days but also commending on the work of the people who handled
the summit. He noted that this afternoon we heard about the threats of the
budget on our work. The Summit
discussion was part of an ongoing value we have - one of the university values.
The desire was to put the
summit into issues that the campus can deal with and make the process ongoing,
and to talk about summit issues and how people are working with them.
Monteiro wanted to respond
to the misconception that the summit was about the “watermelon incident” a
racially charged incident from last fall. He stated that almost every incident
that provokes a major response usually has at its core material that can catch
fire. But, with no fuel, there can be no fire. A reasonable second response
is to remove the fuel underneath the sparks. As for the incident, this proved
to be a lie, more talking has revealed the underlying context of issues.
There was a summit on race
and culture in 1990, when the new President was approached by some asking
for the University to address these issues. We have done several assessments,
and a series of strategic planning since. These are tools not only for addressing
a particular flashpoint but also to address deeper issues.
Referring to the handout,
Monteiro noted that the first Students’
issues were ones that were longstanding and echoed in CUSP. An obvious observation
might be that we make proposals but do not do anything but he likened the
development of a university to that of a person. It remains important to take
steps and identify goals, even when the goals are not always achieved.
Referring to the data with
respect to faculty employment, he observed that we don’t always know how well
we have done. Our hiring in minorities has been fairly flat of late, and it
is not clear how good this is.
So an open question is where
we are after the summit. The summit
committee, who did planning, also became the implementation group and has
written a road map, included in the handout. Each recommendation has been
He mentioned that the apparent
lopsidedness of the black responses had came from floor of the summit, and
meant only that more black students were voicing their concerns. Different
groups did not always have the same needs, and it is important to address
needs that come to you and are voiced.
In response to the question
of whether other issues have surfaced, he responded affirmatively. College
discussions have been productive and taken up in a University wide task force.
Further information comes
from the Pulse surveys, where students answer various questions and provide
answers to some of the things we want to know. It is a laundry list, and a
university wide endeavor.
He suggested that the road
map would allow various constituencies and committees to turn their attentions
appropriately. He finished by noting that one of the greatest challenges remains
Chair Edwards wanted to move to time certain agenda items and entertained
a motion to switch agenda items 7 and 8.
Meredith, Steier m/s/p
AGENDA ITEM #7—RECOMMENDATION—from the EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE—RESOLUTION in SUPPORT of the MARCH 15TH
EVENTS IN SACRAMENTO—1ST
AND 2ND readings—a consent item
noted that last week our students voted deliberately to increase fees to support
their educational lives. This resolution was offered in recognition of the
students, and in response to Brian Murphy’s
powerful speech at the previous meeting.
Gregory, Jerris m/s/p
resolution was passed unanimously.
AGENDA ITEM #8 - RECOMMENDATION - from the ACADEMIC
POLICIES COMMITTEE—REVISION to the UNIVERSITY’S GRADE APPEAL PRACTICES and
Meredith, McKeon m/s
Senator Meredith indicated that the proposed policy
was developed from the 1981 document, which had never been officially adopted
as a campus policy as it had never been signed by the President at that time.
The proposal had been discussed in APC, Faculty affairs, Student Affairs,
and the Executive Committee. The committees were unable to provide unanimous
support. The goal was to create a campus policy to work across all colleges
that was fair. There had been some discussion about who would have the final
say. Chairs would attempt to mediate, students could produce a formal appeal,
and the instructor must respond within 10 days, then it would go on to the
college office. All appeals would go forward, a new development, and a committee
of three appointed members (one member appointed by the faculty member, one
by the student involved, and one by the dean.) University Counsel Bartscher did not recommend a student
member for reasons of confidentiality. The policy then called for holding
a hearing to decide whether the grade would be raised or not.
Senator Houlberg questioned
item five on page two regarding the department chair designee. Who would serve
as mediator? Would that mediator be present at the meeting between the student
and faculty? He advocated having a student representative.
Senator Meredith indicated
that there had been only two formal grade appeals across campus the last year.
Senator Houlberg pointed out a clarity error on
page 8 of the document.
Senator Meredith indicated
that it would be corrected in the next draft.
Senator Jerris, also
Chair of Faculty Affairs, representing both the Faculty affairs Committee
and himself, recommend this proposal and mentioned that it had been discussed
at length with the conclusion that grading is a responsibility of faculty
and the faculty alone. Students may plead their case, but the final grading
decision resides with faculty. His committee supported this unanimously.
Senator Gerson, Chair
of Student Affairs, wanted to clarify two things. This proposal was the result
of three committees’ work, and that what was once a three-step process had
been reduced to two, so at least that much progress had been made. The Student
Affairs Committee dissented with the notion of student involvement. She thought
confidentially could be maintained by training, signing forms, and the like.
Associate Humanities Dean
Earthman represented the deans’ perspective and a number of Humanities
faculty, and asked that if colleges were unable to amend this policy, that
they be able to set responsible deadlines for appeal. Eight weeks would be
good for the College of Humanities. With web grades students now know quickly if they
have an issue with the grade received. She also recommended student participation.
Senator Meredith understood
the request for deadlines and some already specified in the proposal.
questioned the processes on page two: if the grade is assigned correct, normally
this would be resolved informally. The goal seemed to be to get students to
resolve the issue with faculty. Students could feel disadvantaged, and it
was not clear when the department chair would step in.
Senator McKeon noted
on page 4, line number 13 that each party might bring someone in support.
Does this mean each party could bring different persons at different stages?
Chair Edwards indicated
that the answer would arrive at the next meeting when the proposal would return
in second reading.
AGENDA ITEM #9—Adjournment— 4:00 p.m.