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Faculty Senate approves bylaw changes, addresses tentative contract
May 7, 2013Tweet
The Faculty Senate met for the final time of the academic year Tuesday, unanimously approving degree candidates. Also approved were changes to the bylaws removing a five-year limit on the voting status of Bartle professors as no longer useful, and to the composition of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to remove references to outdated titles in athletics and the libraries. The Senate also voted to approve a resolution calling for the United States Congress to restore the National Science Foundation’s ability to fund research in political science based soled on the peer review of research proposals, and to support and maintain a scientific, autonomous system of peer review in the NSF that is free of political restrictions.
Senators also approved officers for the 2013-2014 academic year: Alistair Lees, professor chemistry will serve as Faculty Senate Chair; Sara Reiter, professor of management, will serve as vice-chair; and Pamela Sandoval, associate professor of education, will serve as secretary.
In addition, Faculty Senate Executive Committee Chair Howard Brown gave a report of FSEC activities during the academic year, providing an overview of the numerous meetings held with administrators including Dean of the Libraries John Meador, Vice President for Administration James Van Voorst, Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services Mark Reed, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Susan Strehle, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Nieman, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Lawrence Roma, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Donald Loewen and President Harvey Stenger.
The FSEC has also had substantial discussions about the tentative contract negotiated by the leadership of UUP with the state, Brown said. As a result, the FSEC approved the following:
“The United University Professions has recently negotiated a tentative contract with the State of New York. In addition to other unappealing features, the proposed contract would eliminate the 1% Discretionary Salary Increases (DSI) that have been included in earlier contracts. These increases were given to the base salary of individuals receiving the increase. The tentative contract eliminates the former DSI, reduces the amount of discretionary money made available to 0.5%, and specifies that it be distributed solely as one-time bonuses that will not be added to base. This means that, no matter how much faculty or professionals excel in teaching, research or service, their base salaries will be exactly the same as if they did nothing. This change will greatly compromise the University’s ability to encourage and reward exceptional accomplishment, to address salary inequities and to provide salary increases for individuals receiving promotions. Therefore, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee of Binghamton University urges faculty and professionals in UUP to vote against the tentative agreement.”
Brown also noted in his report that the FSEC has staffed a number of high-level committees, including placing five of the 10 representatives on the Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence Committee, which he chaired, and five on the search committee for the dean of Harpur College, later replacing two. He said that four faculty will be appointed in the near future to the search committee for the dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs.
Before adjournment, the Faculty Senate heard a report from University Faculty Senator Peter Knuepfer, and gave him a round of applause for being elected to a two-year term as president of the University Faculty Senate at its recent meeting. Knuepfer spoke about two resolutions approved at the statewide level: one to maintain SUNY hospitals in a manner that does not negatively impact other SUNY campuses and another establishing a SUNY shared governance award for which he encourages Binghamton to apply.
The meeting ended with Brown and Faculty Senate Chair Alistair Lees encouraging suggestions for improving attendance and participation in Faculty Senate.