This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Senate misses its deadline

Work on faculty code of conduct to be done over the summer

Published: May 5, 2005

Contributing Editor

The Faculty Senate missed its own deadline on Tuesday, the date of its final meeting of the 2004-05 academic year and the date it hoped to present a draft of a faculty code of conduct that President John B. Simpson requested in September.

Instead, Peter Nickerson, senate chair and professor of pathology, presented a list of issues and documents that already exist at UB that may be relevant to drafting such a code. That task, he said, will be taken on during the summer months by a Faculty Senate committee that was appointed last week.

Simpson has said that ideally, the finished version would be a brief list of "eight to 10 points" of how members of the faculty should behave.

"We should have a clear, articulate and clearly understood outline of what is to be expected, what is professional behavior," he told the senate's executive committee members at its Sept, 29 meeting.

Since that time, the code of conduct also has been taken up by UB's Professional Staff Senate, which is in the process of drafting its own version. PSS Chair Lawrence A. Labinski, staff assistant in procurement services, said his group will present this to the Faculty Senate and then work with the senate to blend the two versions into a final document.

Members of the Faculty Senate committee that will develop a draft of a code of conduct are Barbara Burke, associate director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Affirmative Action; Carlos Crespo, associate professor of Social and Preventive Medicine; George D' Elia, associate dean for research, School of Informatics; Lucinda M. Finley, vice provost for faculty affairs and the Frank Raichle Professor of Trial and Appellate Advocacy in the UB Law School; Jeannette M. Ludwig, associate professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Martha T. McCluskey, professor in the Law School; Nickerson; and Samuel D. Schack, chair of the mathematics department.

Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, also addressed the senate, reflecting on his first academic year at UB and the approaching one-year anniversary of his arrival at the university.

Noting that he and Simpson, who also was present, had just come from the Literary, Textual and Cultural Studies envisioning retreat, held as part of the UB 2020 planning process, Tripathi said they left "85 to 100 faculty members all in the same big room talking to each other."

"It's very exciting getting 100 faculty members to talk about joint research and where the university should go," he said. "This is the way it has been the whole year: In small groups and bigger groups, on the fifth floor of Capen Hall and everywhere else, we have been trying to get everyone to talk about the future of the university. It's continuing. The best part has been to see the people talking together talking about real work, real research and the future."

To that end, Tripathi then asked those present to go around the room, one at a time, to share their own impressions of the past year. But only a few faculty spoke, asking questions and, in one case, offering thanks to the provost and the president.

Lee S. Dryden, director of interdisciplinary degree programs, remarked that in terms of recruiting and retention, "UB lacks a sense of a brand" and asked the provost "when and how we can move in the direction of promoting the excellence that you've been discovering as you go from department to department in order to attract a better class of students" in the UB 2020 planning process?

Michael E. Ryan, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and Dennis R. Black, vice president for student affairs, are developing a report to present this month on those issues, Tripathi said, adding that retention has improved in the past few years—the current rate is more than 84 percent—but there is still "a lot of room to grow here as far as retaining from first- to second-year students and we will be looking at that as well."

Judith A. Adams-Volpe, director of university and external relations, Arts and Sciences Libraries, thanked Tripathi and Simpson "for the emphasis on undergraduate education that you created for the UB Celebration of Excellence," held on Friday.

Tripathi also announced that the UB This Summer program for 2005 will feature free presentations—one lecture in each of 10 weeks—on the strategic strengths identified by the UB 2020 planning process; each event will be held at the end of the working day "so that we can attract people from outside the campus," as well as the UB community, to "promote understanding of what these areas are so they are not abstract."

Uday P. Sukhatme, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also gave a presentation on recent achievements of that school, including an increase in faculty hiring, which has grown by 20 percent in three years. With 45 searches in progress, Sukhatme expects the school to have between 470 and 480 faculty members by the end of this year.

He also noted the university's success in acquiring a $2,000 increase in graduate student stipends, as well as a $500 library allowance for each new faculty hire to obtain needed texts, and an improved Web presence for the school, including a "snow map" he commissioned from the geography department to show potential students and hires that the bulk of snowfall in Western New York falls to the south of the City of Buffalo.