I wanted to contact all of you with a reminder and an update:
As you know we will have candidates for the Provost/VP
of Academic Affairs position visiting campus this week
and next. Our choice of a new Provost will be an extremely
important one for the campus, especially as we deal with
the challenging budget environment over the next several years.
On Tuesday, October 27, Dr. Terry Allison, Dean of the College
of Arts and Letters at Cal State LA will be on campus. On Tuesday,
November 3, Dr. Zulma Toro-Ramos, Dean of the College of Engineering
at Wichita State University will be on campus. Both candidates will answer
questions at an open forum on the day of their visit. These are scheduled
for 11AM-12 Noon in Engineering 189. I encourage you to participate in
these sessions if at all possible. Bios of the two candidates are available on
the search committee web site: http://www.sjsu.edu/president/provost
There is also a link whereby you can send feedback about the candidates
to the search committee.
The Budget Environment
Last week I attended a meeting of the Council of Senate Chairs
at the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach. It was an extremely informative
meeting as we shared campus strategies and budget news. Some of the
smaller campuses, especially Dominguez Hills are undergoing program
elimination without significant shared decision making. Larger campuses,
appear to be practicing more effective shared governance and, at least
in the near term, seem to be weathering the cuts better.
Much of the time was spent discussing the budget for the remainder of this year
and for next year with Ben Quillian, the CSU Vice Chancellor for Administration
and Finance. One topic was the recent arrival of some $77 million of
federal stimulus money. The Chancellor’s Office is distributing roughly a third
of this funding to the campuses right away, to pay for pressing needs
related to student success (extra sections, student support, etc).
The remaining two thirds are being held in case the State makes a mid-year
revision to the CSU budget – State revenues continue to lag behind the projections in the
July budget agreement. Quillian told us that each campus has been asked
to submit detailed budget pans to the Chancellor’s Office for next year. One
Senate Chair asked Quillian if we could see a blank copy of the budget template
that campuses are being asked to submit. Initially he agreed to share it with
us; later, however, he informed us that the template contained sensitive
details, presumably related to collective bargaining agreements, that made
it “inappropriate” to share a this time. We will continue to press, as a Council
and as individual campus Chairs, for as much information as possible on budget
plans. Here is a copy of the Memo Ben Quillian sent to campuses before the
stimulus funding was announced.
Other topics of conversation were: differences in furlough implementation from
campus to campus (many campuses gave faculty far less flexibility in choosing furlough
days than we did); the upcoming summer on “self-support” (nearly all campuses are planning
for this); and on-line teaching evaluations (a few campuses now do all of their
evaluations on line and report high participation rates and no impact on the
Other Senate Business
The SJSU policy committees and the Executive committee continue to work on a
number of issues in preparation for upcoming Senate meetings. We are finalizing
our list of members for the Strategic Planning Board – this body acts as the Campus
Budget Advisory Committee (in addition it’s primary role of developing a strategic
plan). We are developing policy and guidelines to supersede the Presidential
Directive on Graduation and Change of Major. And we are working to reshape the
responsibilities of the Admissions and Standards Committee, a group with
dual roles: the policy role of approving program and college level rules on probation,
disqualification and reinstatement AND the judicial role of ruling on appeals of
decisions related to those rules.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Senate Retreat last Friday. It was
extremely informative and resulted in numerous suggestions for how the Senate
can help move the sustainability agenda forward. In the coming days, I will send
you a number of links related to the retreat so you can come up to speed if
you were unable to attend.
Thanks to all of you for your service to the Senate.
Chair, SJSU Academic Senate