Faculty and Professional Faculty Meeting
March 12, 2007
With the snow melting, we can start to envision the end of winter. In the meantime, for me March means faculty hiring, lobbying, and fund-raising.
Faculty Hiring: Our hiring continues very aggressively and with good results. To date, we have hired 24 of our projected 38 new full-time tenure-track faculty for fall 2007. Three other searches are finished with offers out to candidates, and all but three others are in the interview stage. I'm impressed with the quality of candidates I'm meeting. Clearly we want to hire as early as we can for fall 2008 as well.
Lobbying: In late February I traveled to Albany to meet with state legislators to seek funding for New Paltz. In my meetings with officials, I stressed how important it is that the money allocated in the Governor's Executive Budget for the renovation of the Old Main Building remains in the final state spending plan. I also tried to solicit funds for the renovation/reconfiguration of the Sojourner Truth Library and advocated for more full-time faculty lines. This week I'll be in Washington, D.C., meeting with congressional staff, trying to re-secure funds for the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art that we narrowly missed out on last year when the new Congress basically canceled all federal earmarks.
Fund Raising: Speaking of dollars we've obtained, the School of Business received two gifts totaling $70,000 from 1977 alumnus Ken Pasternak. The bulk of these gifts will be used to upgrade the School's Accounting and Finance Lab.
Campus Facilities Planning: In the past, the college's physical growth or changes in the campus environment have often been the consequence of independent decisions, made without reference to (or guidance from) an overall campus master plan. As we make decisions about future changes to the college's physical plant, we would benefit from having a clearer framework in which to evaluate our choices and ensure that the physical elements of our campus best support institutional values and goals. And even as this need becomes more acute, the State University Construction Fund is gearing up to develop a new SUNY-wide Capital Plan. The Fund is asking campuses to engage in master facilities planning, focusing on their physical plant needs over the next 10 years. For all of these reasons, we are going to create a Campus Facilities Planning Task Force. Working with the assistance of an external architectural/planning consultant(s), this broadly representative group of about 15 people (which will include faculty, professional staff, classified staff and students) will be charged with offering recommendations to the college president and vice presidents on the elements of a new campus facilities master plan, including overall campus appearance, campus circulation, accessibility, sustainability and the desired future location of building projects we would like to undertake in the next decade. A copy of the task force's charge is attached.
I have already spoken at length about this task force with the Executive Committee and the Academic Senate. In the next few days, Presiding Officer John VanderLippe will issue a call for faculty and staff who have interest or expertise in such matters.
Five-Year Presidential Review: It's hard to believe (especially for me and my family!) but I've been president at New Paltz for more than five years now. Accordingly, in compliance with SUNY Guidelines for Presidential Reviews and Evaluations, Chancellor Ryan will be conducting my formal five-year evaluation this spring. Dr. Stephen Portch, former Chancellor of the Georgia State University System, has been appointed the external peer evaluator and will conduct the evaluation with Assistant Vice Chancellor Aimee Bernstein of the Chancellor's Office on April 11. The evaluation team will be meeting with many invited groups (including faculty governance, faculty and staff, the deans and vice presidents, union leadership, students, College Council, Foundation Board and Alumni Association) throughout the day. Some of the meetings will be open but there will also be an opportunity for interested persons to sign up for individual appointments with the evaluators. The details will follow.
Accepted Students Day: This major student recruitment event will be held on March 31. Again, we're looking to faculty and staff who participate to help us bring in another exceptional class. Students and parents consistently tell us that their conversations with faculty are often the deciding factor in their college choice. Thanks in advance for your help on this important day for the campus.
Enjoy your spring break!