TUESDAY, March 30, 2004
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Senate Members Present:
Chen, Yu Charn
Van Dam, Mary Ann
Batista, Natalie; Bohannon,
Tara (excused); Contreras, A. Reynaldo; Corrigan, Robert (excused); Fung,
Robert (excused); Hom, Marlon (excused); Klironomos, Martha (excused); Otero,
Aina J.; Scoble, Don (excused); Terrell, Dawn
James; Benton, Peggy; Bomar, Kit; Buttlaire, Dan; Collier,
James; Gangi, Ahmad; Garcia, Velia;
Giardina, Richard; Griffith, Ellen; Guerrero, A. J.; Hallum, Ann; Holden,
Michael; Krishnan, V. V.; Linder, Martin; McClear,
Sheila; Rood, Jonathan; Saffold, Penny; Shahnasser,
Hamid; Stec, Loretta; Veeder,
Jane; Whitaker, Gail
CALL TO ORDER: 2:10 p.m.
announced that the CSU Statewide Academic Senate would be meeting on campus
this Thursday and Friday, while the Campus Chairs would be meeting here on
Chair Edwards briefly
commented on the March 10 summit at Long Beach regarding CSU budget issues. Included at the meeting were the Chairs of the
campus senates, campus Presidents and Presidents of the campus’ Associated
Students. He reported that some
interesting concepts were raised and that the prior Director of the Department
of Finance, Russell Gould, analyzed
current problems and compared our current budget situation to the budget crisis
of the early 1990s. At that time there
were issues caused by the loss of jobs and tax revenues, a situation that
righted itself with an economic recovery and the return of revenue. Presently, the job loss is only one third of
that in the past, and now is more directly related to the general fund, which
supports the infrastructure. By 1999 the
general fund tax revenues were 25% of the fund, which by 2000 had and are now indefinitely
Chair Edwards invited
State Senator Cherny to supply more
noted that Russell Gould’s
presentation was as good as far as it went, and emphasized capital gains tax as
the main source of revenue. He was
disappointed however, that Gould did
not go far enough with his analysis of the state’s budget history.
recession of the early 1990s was a regular cyclical occurrence but also
coincided with the end of the Cold War resulting in a drastic restructuring of
the California economy. California received the lion’s share of military spending and of
federal funding in general; funding sources that have now largely
disappeared. Since the early 1990s California has had a higher unemployment rate than the rest of
the country, and what Cherny
described as a “disappearing middle class” syndrome. Early 1990s economic changes that did not go
way meant that the middle class has been shrinking - a phenomenon that is not
altogether understood. A large reduction
of stable blue-collar jobs has occurred in California - the former good-paying union jobs have gone
elsewhere. Job growth in 1990s was primarily
in the service and high tech sectors, with the former characterized as poor
paying and unstable employment. Another
part of the middle class moved upward, but California has ended up with a very different tax
structure. This has been artificially
buoyed by stock options and high tech growth, which raised expectations for
education funding. Some of the money
went to long-term energy contracts. So
the current conclusion is that these changes now mean a return of the situation
to a pre-dot com state, a return with no relief in sight. We have never really
recovered from earlier downturns. Cuts
made now will not go away and this is has become our new reality.
AGENDA ITEM #1 - APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR March 30,
AGENDA ITEM #2 - APPROVAL OF MINUTES
FOR March 9, 2004
AGENDA ITEM #3
-REPORT—JOHN M. GEMELLO, PROVOST & VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS and
LEROY MORISHITA, VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE - BUDGET SITUATION
Edwards introduced Provost Gemello and Vice President of Finance Morishita
asserting that they are striving to keep the budget process as transparent as
possible. He encouraged senators to ask
questions, either from their own personal perspectives or those from those of
Morishita distributed a handout
explaining the campus budget and a three-page document from the University
Budget Committee that was shared with the Senate Executive Committee that
morning. These may be revised by taking
into account any revenue changes. The
figures have been based on the Governor’s budget with $8 million coming from
increased fees. The Governor has
proposed one set of increases while the CSU has countered with a different
plan. Reductions total $14 million this
year; this is a transitional budget.
The far right column addresses the 2003-04
reduction to the budget before the Governor’s budget. It shows how we will address the shortfall. There remains a $13.9 million problem for next
year. This does not include the student
fee increase, endorsed by the students but still awaiting the Chancellor’s
signature, a situation that is hopeful but not yet definite.
Senator Houlberg noted the beginning of the
“bloodletting” and asked when the campus would know more.
Edwards suggested waiting until the end of the talk for discussion
questions, unless there were clarification issues.
Senator Steier asked what the acronym SEVIS
meant in the document.
Morishita was not sure but indicated
that it tracked the international students’ data. [Official title is Student & Exchange Visitor Information System -
Morishita noted that the second sheet
of the Operating Budget hand out showed the campus response to permanent
reductions. There was a CMS reduction, a
Master Card reduction, and a classroom improvement reduction. The third column
showed a savings of $11.8 million. On
the Cabinet Area Reduction Summary the column in blue is based on the
Governor’s proposed budget. SFSU has
taken $1 million out of deferred maintenance, which will need to be replaced,
but not immediately. In executive areas,
there were cuts in student assistants, as well as the close of the Office of
Human Relations, which by consolidation has saved $400,000. The work study match is reduced. All these have reduced general fund, but there
is still more to do.
Gemello noted that Morishita
had pointed out ways that we have to reduce the $10 million shortfall. He wanted to outline where we are for planning
planning processes exist: a long range plan, which will address what would be best for the university in terms of its
programs, and also a short range plan that would be similar to this year,
involving across the board cuts although of greater magnitude. The university will possibly apply some
short-term reductions to get through the year and the long-range plan would be
for fall 2006.
Gemello thought the goal was to
have a plan by the end of April and wanted to know if senators found that
feasible and presented an outline of the plan.
university has identified $800,000 coming from units reporting directly to the
Provost. A second stage would be the phase-out of general fund remedial courses
by fall 2006. We might offer classes through
continuing education or through the community colleges. We will need to wait two years for this phase so there will be adequate
time for testing.
remainder of the reductions would come from programmatic reductions, and he
reminded senators of the broad vs. deep and narrow approaches, and the
administration’s preference for the latter. He pointed out that some units
could not handle the reductions. The campus administration has decided, with
input from a variety of campus bodies, how to continue with the reductions. He
has met with College Deans, the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate and
Department Chairs, as well as conducting Town Hall meetings each month, and
everywhere there has been some discussion.
current plan is for the Deans to meet during the following week and then
provide their proposals. The Deans would make their cases, and then he and the
President would make a plan to bring before the University Budget Committee.
No programs would be identified before then, but for
unusual reasons, two programs have been named already.
College of Business has some plans to move some degrees to a self-support
system. One reduction approach is to reduce the general fund, and another
approach is to keep programs but fund them differently and not from the general
fund. He commented that the College of Business has a better chance to go
to self-support than any other unit and so had been given a larger than
proportionate reduction. He mentioned a
$2.3 million target had been proposed to the Dean, who would discuss this with
the departments to see if and how that could happen.
noted that the other program made public was the proposed consideration for reduction
or discontinuance of three of the engineering degrees - civil, mechanical, and
electrical. He asserted that there have
been no decisions about any programs for discontinuance at this time.
Engineering has not been on the table but will be considered. Several factors led to this status. There were
four tenure-track searches in that department that needed offers, and he did
not want to make any offers until more sure of the future. It did not make sense to continue. The Dean then told faculty what was up. He
emphasized that he was not playing semantic games - and that contrary to rumor,
no decision had been made that Engineering was targeted or “on a list.”
Deans had come to meet with the President and himself, they proposed different
things to save money, but the results were not sufficient. He thought that it was not possible to solve
the crisis by finding small programs to shed, when we need programs of
significant size, which was why making bold decisions was important.
expressed a desire to hear about the feelings of the group on this plan, when
it is formulated. He thought it prudent
to provide a proposal, and have it work its way through senate, with the
understanding that any changes to it would need to be balanced. Another alternative might be creating a
proposal that has more reductions than necessary and then alter it to fit
Houlberg indicated that Gemello had just answered his first
question but had a second question about the operating budget. He noted that the retirement rate increase had
approached 250% and wondered why its increase was so dramatic.
Morishita responded this reflected
that the university was being charged more. Benefits now comprise $41 million
of our $225 million budget. Wages and benefits together comprise $176 million
of the budget.
Senator Houlberg thought that the golden
handshake might put some of the burden back on PERS.
Morishita indicated that the “golden
handshake” was on the Governor’s desk but that he has not signed it yet.
Daniels indicated that looking at the senate discontinuance policy there
were three decision variables: importance to the institution, quality of the
program and demand for the program. He
asked if we have any data on program costs and whether it could be made public.
Gemello indicated that we do not
have it all yet, but it would be gathered.
Williams noted the $9.7 million deficit, and it sounded like there might
be another $5 to $7 million more a year from now. He wanted confirmation of these numbers. He also questioned whether we should be
providing a plan that can account for a $14 million deficit. He encouraged senators to speak up.
Morishita indicated that while we do
not know the true extent of next year’s budget, it would be worse by a minimum
of $7 billion for the state next year.
Gemello commented on the possibility
of next year having more reductions, another reason for deep and narrow now. The uncertainty of the future has driven the
university to consider deep and narrow cuts.
Stowers asked about the fiscal status of CEL, whether they are truly
contributing a $1 million to the university and if they continue to contribute
department and college shares to the university.
Gemello noted that Gail Whitaker
had worked hard to turn CEL around and is definitely moving towards
self-support activities and should be very valuable for the university in the
Stowers indicated that her college of BSS had made recommendations, and
that whatever administration decided, she noted that the BSS recommendations
were totally faculty developed, and hoped that they would be considered
Gemello expressed thanks to
departments and colleges for their input.
McKeon expressed some surprise to learn that the Provost would meet with
the Deans next week. Her college council
meeting was occurring this Thursday, which would not give enough time for the
Department Chairs to consult with their faculty. She asked if the Provost would consider
replacing the timeline so that faculty could collectively consider proposals.
Gemello hoped that the Dean had
picked a time that would work and take into account council meeting input.
Shrivastava thanked the Provost for multiple, informative presentations.
He asked that, similar to budget
reduction plans, if there were parallel plans for raising more funding form
Gemello responded that indirectly
the answer was yes. The university was
limited in the ways it could round up additional revenue. There are two main sources: Research and
Sponsored Programs has done good development and has generated external funding
through grants, and the advancement office has been productive. The third potential source is self-support.
Shrivastava observed that there were several hiring processes in
progress and asked if these would be frozen.
Gemello responded in the negative,
indicating that the hiring pools were currently very strong. The university was in a budget crisis now, but
it would remain a university for long time. If it could hire outstanding new faculty now,
it should do that. He had urged Deans
and Chairs to take excellent people, but not make marginal hires. He estimated that probably only a third of
projected hires would be made offers.
Senator Shrivastava asked about the status of
Gemello indicated that the searches
had pretty well run their course and there would be no real savings by halting
Ulasewicz posed two questions. She
asked what would be cut, and if there was a reorganization plan, whether it was
being offered to people.
Gemello indicated that he and the
President had asked the last six Academic Senate Chairs for advice. He felt that they had given some thought to
consolidating colleges and commented that any reorganization plan would have to
come to the senate.
Ulasewicz provided some feedback on the timing, expressing a preference
for knowing sooner rather than later and that if the university needed to make
a cut of “x”-million dollars, she would prefer a longer range option.
Pong asked about the criteria used to identify the Program of
Engineering, noting its great record of hiring minority students. What were the criteria? Would you reconsider the narrow and deep
approach as over 50 faculty members would be affected.
He thought there would be great damage
from that action.
Gemello could not provide criteria
yet as it had not been developed, but he affirmed that Engineering had been
identified as a potential program. He
noted that when programs were identified, the proposal would come to senate,
and would need to meet the established criteria. He did not think that 50 tenure-track faculty
would be affected.
Krishnan asked about the nature of deep vs. across the board cuts. He
was unconvinced that all options had been taken. Looking at deep cuts means talking about
programs, and that three numbers had been mentioned: student/faculty ratios,
faculty size, and student body size, where in fact it was important to go
beyond that. Questions such as “is the program good for the university?” and
“what affect does the program have on the university” need to be asked. He related how the department faculty had come
to hear about the news, and that the Dean had “told them their rights” and that
it was a complete surprise, and hoped for more transparency in the future.
Gemello indicated that in a variety
of venues he had never really advocated for across the board cuts. His major point was that across the board cuts
do not work in a sustainable fashion. Is
this fair? He indicated some of the
problems that come with across the board cuts. He said that administration had made the
decision to go deep and narrow. He was
unsure of whether to stick with figures when considering programs - the
criteria had not been developed yet. As
to whether the department was good, he commented that every program on the list
was going to be a good program. Thirdly
he indicated that one reason that the Engineering Department had gotten short
notice was that the Dean himself had received short notice. This had been the administration’s idea, not
the Dean’s. The Dean had not been told
that Engineering would be cut, only that that was a possibility.
Senator Daniels asked about the implications
of more immediate cuts on lecturer faculty in the short term.
Gemello responded that he was not
sure what each college would do, but that the university could expect
significant reductions in lecturer dollars. This would be a college decision.
Chen commented that in the past, there had been talk about college and
department mergers. It was a huge shock
to hear about the potential discontinuance of Engineering. He urged considering proportional cuts as an
Gemello responded that to him
“proportional” meant across the board. He indicated that the term “program”
was meant the same way it was used in senate policy - it could be a department,
an undergraduate or graduate degree or a concentration.
Alvarez observed that programmatic cuts seemed inevitable, but were not
defined yet. What would happen to
faculty? He asked what would faculty
options be within those programs - reassignment, elimination, etc. and what
were the criteria about the status of faculty affected.
Gemello responded that for faculty
in individual programs, it would depend. Lecturers would probably not be rehired. Tenure-track faculty had guidelines in the
collective bargaining agreement that covered this situation. Layoffs would mean
mitigations - the university would talk to other campuses with other programs. Possibly faculty skills might transfer to
other departments, and the university would work with faculty.
Gregory observed that the senate body was distressed and that it could
become itself a source of rumors. She urged senators to think before speaking
and of the need to make sure of the veracity of “facts” disseminated. She noted
that the university is not in layoff mode yet. She noted that the Faculty Rights panel would
field any questions about potential employment issues.
AGENDA ITEM #4 --
JONATHAN ROOD, ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - NEW PROCEDURE
FOR FILTERING “SPAM” FROM CAMPUS EMAIL ACCOUNTS -INFORMATION ITEM
Rood, Associate Vice President for Information Technology, began by
observing that everyone on campus at this point was aware of the problems with
spam. He noted that 50% of 200,000 the
incoming emails per day to campus is now spam. The real solution is legislation, and California has a good anti-spam plan
in place, although the federal legislation, effective January 1, was a
watered-down solution. Laws will help but we still need more and better ones. Spoofing, the deceptive practice of stealing
email addresses and attaching them to email, is a real problem. It serves no purpose, and the university
sought to identify and block spam before it hit campus inboxes. Until now spam blocking has been user
controlled. Many people however, still
complain and want more. We want to talk
about a path to remove the most aggressive spam before it hits our door.
Gregory attempted publicly to share
responsibility for the resolution with Senators Fielden and Cherny,
as well as Vice President Rood.
AGENDA ITEM #5 -
RECOMMENDATION from the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - RESOLUTION on BLOCKING SPAM - a consent
item - 1st & 2nd readings
Edwards noted he had asked for humor
in preparation of this from Senator Gregory.
Senator Jerris read the resolution.
Senator Steier ruefully but indignantly noted that if spam were restricted,
his ability to redress certain personal anatomical deficiencies would be
asked about the nature of the criteria used for identifying spam. Some of these methods use the same mechanisms
employed to protect children from the Internet. He wanted to know how our system will operate
and did not want us to move too far in the wrong direction.
indicated that the criteria would be no different from current criteria, only
changing whether the user would receive the mail or not. The spam “rule set” is generated by words,
with different triggers. He mentioned
“spam assassin” as the university’s open source solution. If a rule set is blocking material
inappropriately, there were ways to modify and fine-tune the software.
Senator Carrington still expressed concern
about the effect this might have on academic study.
Rood suggested multiple solutions and expressed willingness from his office
to work with faculty.
Senator Cherny indicated that he had a similar question, now answered.
asked whether there might be some technical language that could be put into
resolution to give it more meaning.
the constantly changing world of spam and how rules would change, then the
spammers would change, and that it was difficult to pin down terminology.
seconded the notion of the threshold’s capacity for modification. It was possible to make arrangements to allow
certain addresses through.
wanted to know what the meaning of sending the resolution to “the local media
outlets” was in the last resolved clause.
Senator Gregory responded that this is a
traditional response to items of public interest.
Senator Houlberg was unconvinced that it was a good idea to broadcast
this apparently frivolous resolution to the media.
AGENDA ITEM #10—Adjournment— 4:00 p.m.