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President updates full faculty on University initiatives
April 22, 2015Tweet
Noting that the University is engaged on campus, in the community and across the globe, President Harvey Stenger on April 21 highlighted international partnerships and national rankings before moving to hiring and budget issues in his semi-annual remarks to the full faculty.
“The fun part of the job is finding these opportunities to be engaged,” he said.
Stenger told the faculty that the University will enroll 2,500 new undergraduate students in the fall down from last year’s 2,650.
“Our applicant pool was up for a smaller number of seats,” he said. “We set a new record of over 30,500 applications. We also have 73 new faculty hires for fall 2015. Almost every department is involved in searches.”
The budget for SUNY for the upcoming year is flat, Stenger said. “The challenges will be in critical maintenance, which is about half that of last year, at about $11 million per year for the next five years, as well as about $3 million a year we must cover from our own budget in salary increases,” he said. “We are finding ways.”
Stenger added that NYSUNY 2020 was not extended, but there is one additional year in place, and the good news is that the University was given full funding for the pharmacy building.
He spoke about the Upstate Revitalization Competition, in which three of seven regions will receive $100 million per year over five years. “The funding can be used for operating and a winner will have some independence in identifying new projects to support,” Stenger said. “We’re part of a broad region and each area within it will have an initiative around one of their strengths. The major focus of our area if we win will probably be the pharmacy school and Johnson City area, and the downtown incubator zone for innovation. We would also focus some expenditures and an initiative in Endicott at the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing. We will have a lot of input and hope it will help our region.”
Stenger also spoke about the recent announcement that Binghamton University will be the steward for the Castle – built 160 years ago on Robinson Street in Binghamton. The former New York State Inebriate Asylum was designed by Isaac Perry and is a national historic landmark. The University will be responsible for recommending how $12.45 million in state support will be used to renovate or prepare the Castle for use by appropriate agencies.
Stenger also focused on the generosity of donors who are supporting University initiatives:
• Charles Kim Korean Center
• Menner Family endowed faculty fellow in pharmacy
• Myers Family study-abroad scholarships
• Ford Family Senior Care Center
The president concluded his remarks with an update of the third round of Road Map funding. The 97 proposals submitted for funding have been narrowed down to 25, he said, after review by the Faculty Senate, Professional Employees Council and Road Map Steering Committee. The Faculty Senate Budget Review Committee will also review the proposals. Stenger expects additional prioritization, with the announcement of proposals being funded in July.
Following the president’s remarks, the Faculty Senate approved degree candidates for May Commencement, a new MA/MS in Sustainable Communities, a revision of the Pluralism in the U.S. (P) requirement, changes in Article VII Faculty Personnel Policies and support of “Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success.”
• The master’s program will be a combination of geography, public administration and environmental studies housed in the Graduate School. The proposal now goes to the state level for approval.
• The revision to the Pluralism requirement involve a broadening of the groups and their identities that students will study to meet the P General Education requirement.
• The changes in Article VII Faculty Personnel Policies note that department chairs may not chair the IPC, participate in IPC discussions or write the report to the UPC when their case is being considered.
• The “Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success” provides a number of ways that the University can continue to support veterans as they pursue their education. Stenger last summer signed an affirmation letter to the U.S. Department of Education acknowledging the University’s commitment to implementing the eight keys.
The Faculty Senate also elected officers for the next academic year: Fernando Guzman, chair; Sandra Michael, vice chair; and Sarah Reiter, secretary.