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April 7, 2020
>> So this is Pat Brown. I will be convening the April 7, 2020 SUNY Oneonta college council meeting. Welcome everyone. Colleen, if you would call the role so we can determine a quorum?
>> That would be great. Joseph Bernier?
>> David Brenner? Diane Georgeson?
>> Hi Diane. Mark McGough?
>> Debra Parisian?
>> Daniel Sniezek?
>> Timothy Nolan? William Wilkerson or his designee? And is Adolock on, our observer?
>> Who just joined?
>> Is that Timothy?
>> Hi. Can you hear me?
>> We can.
>> Hi David. I’m going to try to make sure that we’ve patched you in.
>> OK. The meeting has been convened. Hello everyone. I will entertain a motion for the approval of the minutes for the January 30, 2020 meeting. You should name yourself so that the record will reflect it.
>> Dave, second.
>> Thank you, Dave. Are there additions, deletions, changes to the January 30 minutes? Hearing none, all those in favor of approvals signify by saying “I”.
>> Are there any abstentions or nays? None, OK. Thank you. I would like to say as we get into the agenda here that we’ve tried to make the meeting as accessible as possible in compliance with the open meetings law and the executive orders that have been issued since the outbreak of the virus. Colleen, would you explain to the people on the phone what we have done to make this meeting as public as we can?
>> We’ve let the press know the location of the meeting and if they arrive, they’ll be welcomed at the other end of the table. We are recording the meeting which will be transcribed and that will be posted on the website shortly.
>> Thank you. I will defer my report and move directly to the president’s report. Welcome, Madam President.
>> Hi everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying the sunny day. Maybe if you have a sunny day up there in Albany as well. Well, I’m going to start my report with some actually really good news is that I want to make the announcement that Dr. Jennifer Bueche has received the award of distinguished service professor. She started at SUNY Oneonta in 1997. She has developed and directs our SUNY Oneonta master of science in food and nutrition program which is recognized in the field as a national model. She also serves as our faculty athletics representative and as such she designed the academic game plan that has dramatically increased the academic performance and standing of our college athletes and increased the student athlete retention rate to 97 percent which is extremely high and great. She’s an international recognized expert in the area of nutrition and dietetics and probably most notable has been her service to SUNY Oneonta’s students as she always finds ways to consistently pursue better ways of health for the entire campus community. So it’s just a pleasure and an honor that she is receiving this title as distinguished professor. My next bit of good news are the student chancellor award recipients. So we have four students that have received the award Katherine Martinez-Munoz. She’s a student leader that is a biology major and so she has-- a part of multiple national honor society and has done research in the Adirondacks, Amazon Rainforest, and at Michigan State. She’s a peer tutor, a flautist, an avid volunteer. In 2019 she was one of 8 students who traveled to Puerto Rico to help the hurricane cleanup efforts. Alexa Amalbert. She’s a computer science major from New York. She’s a student athlete who has consistently made the provost list and won numerous awards for her GPA and basketball abilities. She has volunteered extensively in her local community and abroad and she hopes one day to work for the FBI in cyber security. [inaudible] Elise is a business economics major. He’s also a student athlete and a leader on and off the soccer field and he consistently is named to the provost list and is a member of several national honor societies. And last but not least is our own Timothy Nolan, a psychology major. He set himself apart with outstanding leadership skills, high GPA and involvement on campus. As president of SUNY Oneonta’s student association, he is tireless in his pursuit to serve, clocking in more than 500 hours at events and in his leadership roles. He’s a member of several honor’s societies with an orientation leader and frequently volunteers in his hometown and he was supposed to present his psychology research at the midwestern psychological association in Chicago this month, but we’re proud that his research was accepted. So congratulations to Timothy. Can well all clap for him?
>> Thank you very much.
>> So that’s exciting. OK so now the not as good update with regards to what we have been doing with regards to the COVID-19. This really started for us-- the governor said today it’s been 37 days. Well I would add probably another 30-ish days to that because we really started our involvement with COVID-19 in late January early February with our study abroad students. So we had a number of students studying abroad and so we started working diligently very early on in February with regards to our programs, making sure that our students could get back to the states safe and working on refund policies. We also, because of where our spring break was position which was earlier than most schools, we began making decisions in late February and make some early decisions and became really leaders in the SUNY system with regards to what we were doing. For example, we extended the spring break by a week just to buy us some time and then also it ended up we needed that time so that we could allow faculty to transform their students from bricks and mortar face to face to online delivery. We cancelled all travel abroad programs for the remainder of the semester and the summer and just today upon recommendation of our study abroad folks, I canceled the fall study abroad trips as well. We have put in place internal control systems and we follow best protocols for students to move out. We’ve identified spaces for students that may need to be quarantined. We have about 74 students still on campus and about 22 residential staff. I’m just amazed by how much the faculty and staff have done in a short period of time to really transition our entire operation for the most part to virtual space. It’s been a heavy lift, but they’ve done it with dedication, compassion, and care, putting students and each other at the center and so that’s just been incredible to watch how well that transition is going and we have -- you know obviously there’s lots of hiccups along the way but everybody again is taking the care, having patience, being flexible, and learning as we go. Construction was suspended for a brief bit of time by the state but now we are designated as essential, a state facility, and so our construction projects can continue. We continue on New York paused, meaning all of our employees continue to be paid and that was just extended through the end of April, April 29. I hold every other day meetings of a large group EOC meetings and then been holding virtual town halls with the faculty and staff on a regular basis a couple times a week. Timothy and I are coordinating to do a similar type of virtual reach out to students in the near future. We have our best-- the health, safety, and welfare of our students and employees and all of our planning and decision making. The financial impacts of this particular year is that we’ll take a $6 to $8 million revenue hit because of refunds to our students with regards to rooms. Sodexo will take another almost $7 million hit with regards to dining services. We’ll also have refunds for work study and some of the fees. We’re waiting -- we should have our refund policy approved-- I have a meeting tomorrow with SUNY and how to have that approved tomorrow evening so we can get that out to students and their families later this week. We have implemented essential spending protocols for the campus for the remainder of the semester and we’ll have those in place for next year as well. We’re having an institutional perspective with regards to budget decisions. As we know the state has passed the budget largely similar to what the governor proposed but with a very large caveat that the budget director has been granted broad powers to adjust on a quarterly basis and so we’re taking that into consideration and that’s why our essential spending protocols moving forward for this year as well as next year. We’re in a very good place. We have been fiscally conservative. We have a great team and we’ll be able to weather this as we tighten our belts. We have a student emergency fund that we’ve allocated funds to more so than what we’ve had in the past over the history since its establishment in January 2018 and I have to just say I’m very proud that we were one of the first institutions to have such a fund and so since that time period we’ve had $180,000 received and awarded $135,000 to 129 applicants. The balance as of the end of the month was $42,000. Since March 17 when we started working remotely, we have 72 applications and 13,000 awarded to 18 applicants. There’s still about 48 applications to be processed with a total of 55,000 requested. So, Collin and his team continually are fundraising for that account to meet the needs based on this extraordinary crisis that we’re going through. We also created and are supporting our Sodexo colleagues 2020 fund. Even though our employees, the state employees remain on the payroll, Sodexo did have to lay off just over 100 employees and so we’re hoping to raise over $20,000 so each of the impacted employees can receive a $200 food gift card to a local grocery store and so that’s an amazing effort at this time. The magnitude of the mean of our students is growing. We’ve set up a page on the student development page for students to relate what’s the impact that they’re going through and request services and we have a team of individuals that have volunteered to help counsel, communicate, resources to students that are in need whether it’s anything that they need; emotional support, technological support. All of those things as this crisis continues. And with that I would entertain any questions?
>> Are there questions for the president?
>> What does it look like as far as with the distant learning and students not being on campus? Is that going to have a negative impact on fall enrollment? Are some students just not going to come? What does that look like in the fall, not just for us but just higher education in general?
>> I think for us we’re actually continuing. So we have on our admissions side we have a good engagement in our virtual activities. Our applications and our accepts and deposits are trending as we would have expected and so we’re not anticipating any decrease in new freshman. We’re actually kind of upping our targets a little bit for the new freshmen. Transfer students are worse off but we were anticipating that anyway. So really on what we’re seeing on our admissions side is business as usual. With regards to students, returning students, our withdraw rate for this semester, we’ve extended the withdraw date, but our withdraw date at this point in time is lagging in past years. So meaning that our students are sticking with it and are continuing.
>> That’s great.
>> So that’s good-- good news overall. Again we do expect, obviously, some significant hits on the budget from the state and some softness in our graduate programs so we’ll have some loss in tuition revenue but we’re modeling for all of that, we’ll take a conservative approach, and like I said I don’t anticipate my strategy is not to do across the board kind of draconian measures. Obviously if the state or SUNY directs us to do certain things we’ll abide by that but at this point I don’t see any need to ban all travel or you know to have everyone take a 5 percent cut or you know to freeze all and every hiring, but we will be looking at all of our budget applications this year and really only moving forward as essential trying to put everything on pause and again tighten our belts.
>> Thank you.
>> Is there another question?
>> I had a question. Do you or have you canceled summer use of the dormitories for various camps and things like that or are you waiting to see?
>> We have -- there’s a few events that have been canceled such as reunion weekends, we just canceled that. Our summer bridge program that we usually do in July for access programs, that is going to be moved virtually. As far as camps, we’re looking at that. We’ll have some decisions. We have trigger dates that we have in place with regards to some of those programs.
>> OK thanks.
>> I’d like to ask you about the decision on the refunds for the food and dorm expenses. Is that a SUNY wide you know decision and protocol or is that on a campus by campus basis?
>> SUNY had hoped to do kind of a SUNY wide, but its meeting with significant resistance, is a nice way to put it and so I think we have you know a program that we think is best for our students and you know our finances and what we think would be best for our campus and culture and we’re just waiting for approval on that. SUNY at think at the offset was wanting campuses to move to credits versus refunds and crediting you know next year’s room and board, but Binghamton already posted their procedure and that’s you know putting pressure on all of us because everybody can say well that one’s up, why isn’t yours up? So hence the call tomorrow.
>> Thank you.
>> Any other questions?
>> So the question I have is have they given you any indications of our kinds of actions that they would have to take under one type of scenario or another because I think other structural-- if the state had a structural debt before the virus struck, when we look at all the-- us players now that are directly affected by it do you know if they’re planning or have they sent you any mellows yet or any stand-by’s or anything like that?
>> They haven’t at all. I know Julie has a meeting with her counterpart’s finance and administration with SUNY. I have a call with the president later tonight. On Friday and last week when we were on call with the president there was basically the indication that come after the first quarter that we could anticipate double digit across the board cuts that we would have to bank in, hence why we’re doing scenario planning now and going to essential spending protocols, but I think, and Ty Patrick could speak to this as well, but I hear from the government is that they just don’t know right now because they don’t know a length of time. They don’t know what the revenue loss will be as well when they total up all the expenses. So you know I think that’s the-- what I call the passing of the budget was the kick the can down. Like here’s the budget but we can change it readily on a quarterly basis to adjust to whatever comes. SUNY, the system, as a system has made some across the board decisions. They’re freezing all hiring, limiting travel, which you know now there is really no travel. They’re putting in place their own essential spending protocols and they are going to invest in an enrollment marketing campaign kind of post COVID-19 which will also tag into Hal and his team are working on a marketing strategy for us that will be different from what we’ve done in the past.
>> Thank you.
>> Anything else for the president? OK let’s move along and hear from Paul.
>> Good afternoon Patrick and everyone. I’m going to be using the outline that was emailed to you yesterday from campus and it’s -- the name-- the title of the document is the SUNY Oneonta College Council Comprehensive Campaign Presentation, April 7, 2020, Division of College Advancement. So I’m going to give you a moment to have that in front of you or for your reference and while you’re doing that I’d like to introduce two of the members of my team, senior staff members, who are Ellen Blaisdell, the associate vice president for college advancement and Ben Wendrow, director of development and donor relations. They’re both here on the call. Ellen is our campaign manager in essence, and Ben is involved in all strategy and campaign implementation. So as I now begin this part of the council meeting, I’d like to start with our SUNY Oneonta mission statement. We nurture a community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially, and live purposefully. Our college advancement staff along with the entire members of our college foundation board of directors have been planning for our next comprehensive campaign this whole past year. As a matter of fact, this next campaign is our top strategic goal in the division of college advancements objectives and key results, our OKRs. Specifically, and verbatim, that OKR for our division is to plan and roll out SUNY Oneonta’s next comprehensive fundraising campaign in fiscal year 2019-20. This includes determining a fundraising goal, timeframe, campaign priorities, as well as projected time frame for reaching the vision of a $100 million endowment in net assets. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we adjusted our planning and that took-- that took us awhile and we were thoughtful and deliberate in our thinking to be agile and focus on the immediate needs of our students. We know for certain that our students and their families need our help more now than ever, and you just heard of some of that from President Morris when she referred to the student emergency fund. Last Thursday, to continue all of our fundraising and to implement and put in place our campaign at our April 2, 2020 board of directors meeting of the state university college of Oneonta college foundation the campaign in all of its details were presented and the foundation board approved our next campaign called “Grow, Thrive, Live: The future of SUNY Oneonta”, with a goal of $25 million. In repeating those key words directly from our college’s mission statement, grow, thrive, live, we have now begun the next phase sometimes referred to as the leadership phase and nucleus fund phases of our campaign. And at this point I’ll now turn it over to Ellen Blaisdell for our continued presentation.
>> Thanks, Paul. I wanted to give you folks a brief overview of grow, thrive, live, the future of SUNY Oneonta, our campaign. Obviously, what Paul just said, and this is very intentional to align the campaign name to our SUNY Oneonta mission statement. Our campaign is going from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2023, 5 years. And that timeline can be extended as needed by the foundation board of directors. As Paul said, our goal is $25 million in gifts, grants, and pledges and documented estate planning gifts and the great news is that we have raised 50 percent of that goal to date. We’re going to be outlining our three-phrase approach which really is focused on addressing the immediate needs of our students and their families while maintaining flexibility. I wanted to take a moment and introduce to you actually our campaign co-chair, an alumni couple Pat and Linda McCann have agreed to serve as co-chairs of our campaign. Pat is class of 75 and his wife, Linda, is class of 1976. The McCann’s have been loyal and generous donors and volunteers and have established their own endowed scholarship and they also give generously to our unrestricted endowment. Pat is also past president of our college at Oneonta foundation board of directors and currently serves on the board and the McCann’s wrote a really beautiful, brief statement that they wrote themselves and I wanted to just take a moment and read it to you. They read it to the April-- to the board on April 2, 2020, the college foundation board of directors. It just shows-- it really comes from their heart and shows the passion for what we have ahead of us. So this is their statement, which is also in the packet that Paul referenced. It begins, “SUNY Oneonta, was formative for many of us. We came out better people than we went in. This was true for us personally and has been true for tens of thousands of other students. However, the next 10 years will be challenging [coughing]. They will need to acquire different skills and they will encounter more social pressures. While these are challenging times, SUNY Oneonta is positioned to thrive because we have the leadership, dedicated faculty and staff, and strategic priorities to continue to offer a transformative, educational experience. However, we need one more ingredient to make this happen. We need greater financial resources that can be strategic and have the flexibility to adapt to the changes ahead. We believe those of us who have benefited so much from our education experience at Oneonta now need to step up for the next generation of students. That is why we agreed to be co-chairs for grow, thrive, live, the future of SUNY Oneonta. We hope you will join us and invest in the future of our college, our students, and our world.” So that’s their statement and I just wanted to now ask my advancement colleague Ben Wendrow to describe the three phases of our campaign.
>> Thank you very much Ellen. Good afternoon everybody. So phase 1 of our campaign is what we have been doing. It started as Paul and Ellen state on July 1, 2018 running through present day and is our silent phase of grow, thrive, live. As Ellen said, we’ve raised over $12.5 million in gifts and pledges since the inception of the campaign representing over 50 percent of our $25 million goal. Included in that, I’m pleased to announce that we do have our first $1 million pledge commitment and that’s from our foundation board president Andrea Casper. Beyond her generosity, 80 percent of Andrea’s gift is allocated to our unrestricted endowment which will help us grow the long-term funding that will be available for strategic institutional priorities as directed by the college foundation board of directors. Moving from there, we move into phase 2 which will last for approximately 1 year. We will continue our aggressive fundraising but we are going to be realigning the initial public phase of grow, thrive, live to help our students in this time of need by focusing on priority funds listed just on the next page in this packet. This is still a comprehensive campaign, so all gifts regardless of purpose will count towards our campaign goal and that includes gifts, documented pledges and documented estate plans as well. The third and final phase of our campaign which will last for approximately two years we will be moving back to our original strategy when the time is right. So we anticipate that that will be roughly 1 year from now, but we will be largely focusing on individual and digital communications during phase 2 to maintain flexibility and also ensure that all of our communications are sensitive and timely. When we do move in to phase 3, that will focus on the broader priorities originally identified that align directly with the SUNY Oneonta mission statement. Those include academics, student research and faculty development, it also includes career preparedness which includes experiential learning, global experiences, internship support, and student travel and professional development and access and affordability which includes the fund for Oneonta, the unrestricted endowment, and scholarships. So with that, Ellen is there anything else that you would like to add at this point?
>> Oh, thanks Ben. I wanted to just review these priority funds that we’ve identified for our phase 2, especially, of our campaign. We know that statistically the number 1 reason that students withdraw from SUNY Oneonta is because they can no longer afford their education and these specific funds we’ve identified as having the highest impact and provide immediate and sustaining support to SUNY Oneonta and their families. So 5 areas of support. The first one, President Morris already mentioned which is the student emergency fund. These are awards made to students for non-tuition related expenses, for emergencies like groceries, rent, utilities, transportation. On a side note I have a colleague that serves on the committee that reviews these applications and cases are really compelling and the need for this emergency funding is real. So student emergency fund for non-tuition related expenses. The second area is the student success scholarship fund. That is tuition and college expense related. So students due to emergency or extenuating circumstances may need special scholarship help to make sure that they can continue their education and that’s what the student success scholarship fund is for. The third area is for the fund for Oneonta. That’s our annual unrestricted and expendable fund where we raise funds each year and expend them on things like scholarships, student programs, networking for students and so much more. The fourth area is our unrestricted endowment. That is flexible funding that can be directed where needs and opportunities arise and we really want to make that a major priority of our campaign for these kinds of purposes that are clearly unforeseen but the need is great and that is the kind of funding and support that unrestricted endowment can provide. And the fifth area of course is additions to pre-existing scholarships. Scholarships are more important than ever now and students will need them. So those are the five areas. Student emergency fund, student success scholarships, the fund for Oneonta, unrestricted endowment, and additions to pre-existing scholarship and these are listed in your handout as well. And Paul, I’ll give it back to you now.
>> OK well thank you. Thank you, Ellen, and thank you Ben and I hope our council members and everyone can see the thoughtfulness, the specificity, and the planning that’s taken place in partnership with our college foundation board of directors. At this point, in conclusion we ask that our college council members consider making their best and largest gifts possible to help us with our next campaign. It can be done over a 3 to 5 year period and also too, we hope that the college council will be able to see its way to endorse this campaign and send a vote of confidence and appreciation to our college foundation board as well and Patrick, I’ll stop there and conclude and see if there are any questions from our council members?
>> Thank you, Paul. First, I want to thank you and congratulate you Paul and your -- on this program, on this plan. It’s ambitious, it’s-- it really shows a commitment to the future of the school and I think you’ve done a terrific job in putting together this plan and I would, at this time, entertain a motion to pledge the councils support for the plan as presented by Paul and his team.
>> Joe would like to make that motion.
>> Mickey would like to second.
>> Thank you. All those in favor?
>> Any nays? Hearing none, it’s unanimous. There is our endorsement for you, Paul, and your team and your program. Are there questions on the specifics from the council?
>> I’ve got a quick question. I sent the outline is unabashedly for our students, and I think that’s great. A lot of fund drives are for other things, but this is for our students, particularly our students in need. What was the discussion about the timing, you know with the Corona thing going on, the timing to go public with this. Now I know the need is there, but what was the discussion that you had about that?
>> Thank you, Joe that’s an excellent question. Our discussion is not to go public with it in an extensively public way. We’re working with our governing boards, with our internal constituents first and then we’ll begin to have brief and more concise announcements starting later this spring into the summer and I can see by the end of the summer and fall we would have our most public announcements at that time. We’re very sensitive and empathetic to the challenges that some people are experiencing right now, including our alumni. At the same time, however, we are unabashedly and unapologetically dedicated to raising money for SUNY Oneonta and our students. Alumni and donors want to be informed and they appreciate being asked and to know where they can direct their support to help our students and our college the most right now. So that was the basis for our decision.
>> Great. Thank you.
>> You’re welcome.
>> Just one comment if I could. I think that’s an excellent approach, Paul, with your department division. I don’t want to say lower, but moving a little more slowly and looking at the terrain and knowing the things that are happening to us now without giving up anything long range we can work our way through it. It’s a lot better than making a big splash and then people wondering what you’re doing.
>> Thank you. We do. We do want to present our co-chairs, or two alumni couple, Patrick McCann and Linda McCann with the opportunities for these public testimonial statements like the one that Ellen just read to you and we want to continue to showcase the McCann’s and people such as Andrea Casper who are demonstrating their generosity and their unwavering dedication to SUNY Oneonta with their time and with their gifts. So we will publicize them and we will-- you know we’ll promote that as an example of leadership and I think it will all come together nicely for us.
>> You guys, I want to congratulate you on working and the thought that you put into it.
>> Thank you. And I really love the fact that Patrick used the word future. We have tried to build on President Morris’s’ themes of future proofing SUNY Oneonta. We couldn’t quite work that in deliberately into the title or name of the campaign but we are-- we are doing our best and a lot to have that be a continuing theme which we know-- which we know is well received by alumni and donors and community members and people again who believe in our mission and our college.
>> Well I would encourage all of the members of the council to get out their checkbooks and dig deep for you. I know we all contribute in our time and our energy sitting on the council but to the extent possible I encourage the members to contribute our resources as well. So thank you again, Paul. That was--
>> You’re welcome and we appreciate the opportunity this afternoon to have presented this information to the council and receive the council’s endorsement. At the end of the day I will send this great news to our board president Andrea Casper and we just want you to know we’re presenting to you from three remote locations in and around Oneonta and we look forward to sharing with you on a regular basis reports about our campaign, Grow, Thrive, Live: The future of SUNY Oneonta. So thank you again, Patrick.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you and I’ll be signing off right now. Thank you so much. This is Ellen. Thank you so much for your time.
>> Same from Ben Wendrow. Thank you everybody and have a nice rest of the day.
>> I’m going to jump in here and just give a few brief remarks. I know the president spoke about the budget being completed and I’ve done-- I think this is my 37th budget or something like that. This one was certainly one of the strangest. They’re-- I mean the difference between the state budget and the federal budget has always been this sense of finality and certainty that the state budget has that really with all the continuing resolutions passed by congress that never really seems to be a final certain several budget. You know unfortunately-- in my view unfortunately I think this year has slipped by necessity into a more federal mode. I think it would be very foolish, indeed, to think that the state legislature has passed a final or certain document there April 1 and April 2. The budget will certainly be adjusted and amended by the governor and perhaps the legislature during this next fiscal year for sure. It’s not the first time that’s happened. The governor has been given the ability to adjust within very prescribed limits in the past. What’s different this budget is there really are no limits on the governors authority if certain milestones-- financial milestones are met. So you know I guess we’ll all stay tuned and see what the first quarter adjustments bring, but I don’t think we have a real certain budget at this point and that makes the president and her teams job all that much more difficult if you’re trying to hit a moving target here. So we will be here as the council to support you, President Morris, as you move forward on trying to adapt to this new budget reality. The other thing I wanted to mention was that the virus has hit close to home with Senator Stewart and I wanted to make sure we kept him and his wife in our thoughts. I get the news a little late up here in Albany. I don’t know if there’s a report on the Senator’s health that someone can share that lives closer to him.
>> Patrick, the most recent information I have is-- was from yesterday or the day before and the senator, which came from his wife, the senator is off the ventilator and improving and we haven’t heard anything since.
>> That’s certainly very good news and I know we all wish him the best.
>> Maybe we can move along to--
>> You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
>> InterCall. Please enter your conference code, followed by the pound or hash sign. Sorry you may have entered an invalid conference code or dialed an incorrect number. 4026. Please verify and try again.
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>> Thank you. After the tone, state your name, followed by the pound or hash sign.
>> Colleen Brannen.
>> Thank you. You will now be placed in the conference.
>> ...restrictions past a certain distance from a doorway and to join thousands of other schools across the country. The student association believes that we should make progress towards becoming another one. I’m sorry. I didn’t really have anything prepared but you all have the resolution in the email. I’d be happy to take any questions. I’ve handed this off to Dr. Morris and she’s had conversations with the unions on campus which have been productive, but it’s still sort of a work in progress. Yeah, I’d like to take any questions if you have any.
>> I’ll start off. Thank you. Is there something we as a council you would like us to do today or is our role to review and approve a policy once it is implemented? I’m not quite sure where the council fits in to the procedure here. That may be more of a question for the president than it is for you. I’m not sure.
>> Yeah so right now as Timothy noted, we’re in conversations with the unions. Certainly, you could endorse it but it would be, as far as you know kind of giving-- if that proceeded, if that’s something that you’re comfortable with but it really is a union negotiated policy.
>> Will we, as a council, be expected to approve the final product? Is this a-- does this fall within our checklist of things to deal with or is-- does it fall outside of that purview?
>> Colleen do you have guidance on that?
>> I actually don’t. My gut reaction to this, and I can look it up and get back to all of you, is that it would be appropriate for the council to endorse the idea of it and then maybe once the -- once things are handled with the unions we can bring it back.
>> Oh, I was just looking and it is outside of your authority so you could certainly endorse it. It wouldn’t be coming back to you at the council if it gets approved.
>> I see. OK. OK any questions for the president or for Timothy on...
>> Are you fucking kidding me?
>> InterCall. Please enter your conference code followed by the pound or hash sign.
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>> Thank you. You will now be placed in the conference.
>> This is Diane. I guess in somewhat opposition to Dan I would propose a motion that we endorse this in spirit.
>> OK. What is the “this” in spirit that you are suggesting? A tobacco free campus-- I mean put a--
>> I think I have to get back to the letter, attachment but I say we endorse the students request for a tobacco free campus. Understanding it’s not really within our jurisdiction it sounds like to you know make this rule a regulation, it’s up to the president, but as a council I would suggest we endorse the letter.
>> All right. Anyone else? Well, Diane if you would like to make a motion, I will entertain it.
>> May I make a suggestion?
>> Why don’t we say we can endorse the motion but have designated smoking areas?
>> Well, that seems like a different approach than what the students have put in front of us.
>> Well I’d like to make that motion.
>> It’s certainly legitimate, Dan. I’m not saying it’s not a legitimate approach, but I don’t think you can have both. You’re either going to be a tobacco free campus or you’re going to have -- or you’re not and you may have dedicated smoking areas if you are not a tobacco free campus.
>> Well that’s not true. The other campus’ have free areas and what they have is a designated area where they actually have a lean-to or a building or something where they can actually smoke in that area. I just don’t want to have to go back and renig especially if there is a smoking in the area where we say there’s a lot of litter in the area. Obviously, we have a lot of students who do smoke. Concerned about some of our military folks who just got out of the military too. I’m not saying-- and you know batches should be OK too. So we should just think about this a little bit.
>> This is Deb. I do have one question regarding the definition of campus, I suppose, especially for residents. If this was to be a tobacco free campus, for those that live on campus and this is their home, per se, in the parking lots with their personal car, would that be considered on campus because that is where they park?
>> I think, you know, again these are granular issues and I think what Timothy is asking is you know a broad sense based on the resolution at hand. The details would, again, be negotiated by the unions and with management as well as go up through SUNY. So if, again, you know I understand whether or not you support the proposal in general but I don’t think you need to get into like the weeds of the policy itself because that certainly would be forthcoming whether it was tobacco free, whether you had zones, how it’s enforced. How those things are things that would be negotiated and worked on in the future.
>> This is Diane again. So I pulled the letter up and basically the resolution just says that they’re urging the administration to draft and implement a policy that prohibits tobacco products. So yes, it sounds like the details of that would come from the administration, but again my notion would be I would support this.
>> Yeah, but look at the last line. The last line has where it says all tobacco, all areas, no designated area, no nothing. So I can’t-- I’d like to reword that or something. That’s a problem and what you’ll have is people smoking in cars and policemen going around and yelling at them and the other problem we had in some campuses we had folks going off campus in the backyards of folks’ houses and smoking because that was off-campus. So we need to think about that. We really need to think about it and I know you don’t want us to be granular, but it’s pretty granular in note. ‘
>> With this conversation I do see a lot of parallels between our dry campus policy. So of course alcohol is not permitted on campus and with the rise in minimum age for tobacco products you could make another comparison between the two. I’m sure you could say of course people are going to break that rule because you know students do, but it’s an attempt to I guess going back to the theme, create a better future, healthier campus, more sustainable campus. So it’s-- we’re not trying to I guess restrict anyone’s rights per se we’re just trying to create a better campus.
>> Any further discussion?
>> Since this is non-binding, since we don’t have authority because it doesn’t have to do with picking the president, parking, or naming a building, I don’t see why we just can’t endorse this to get it to where it needs to go and the campus is going to decide what happens, not us, and I would support what Diane is trying to do.
>> Yeah but we also have the student handbook so don’t get confused because I think they’re talking about putting it in the student handbook and that is our authorization. We do do that.
>> This is me, Diana again. Just also add that it is in keeping with a lot of employers in the community. Its keeping with the city in that tobacco products are now banned from parks, all of our public parks. So while I understand it’s still a right to smoke, I think the more we make it a social construct of making it as difficult as it can be, that will eventually lead to healthier communities. So that was my rationale for supporting this.
>> OK. I’m personally certainly willing to entertain a motion, Diane, if that’s what you choose to do, or anyone else. It seems to me a little fuzzy about what we were-- would be agreeing to. I think Dan has raised some legitimate points. So I would prefer not to vote on this at this time, but again if you want to make a motion that’s certainly within your right and I will entertain it.
>> This is Mark McGough. Dan, just one thing I would say. Could perhaps this disuase some of your concern about that last paragraph is that I don’t read that and being so prescriptive that it precludes the administration for allowing some of the exceptions that you note. I can understand you being concerned that this is a very prescriptive resolution. I don’t think it is. I think it says that you need to have a policy and the policy needs to limit the use of tobacco products and the policy needs to apply to all SUNY Oneonta facilities and property, but that doesn’t read to me as to say that it has to preclude some of the options that you mentioned. So I think it does allow for, as the president mentioned, the details to be worked out and while it doesn’t make a commitment that your exceptions will be allowed, it still leaves it open for that kind of implementation. That’s how I would suggest you -- I’m no lawyer, but that’s how I would read that. [inaudible] Patrick.
>> This is David Brenner and I would agree with Mark on that and some of the details that he mentioned. I would be ready to vote now or not vote and let it flesh itself out in the normal administrative ways of getting things done when they specifically mentioned administration. I think that should be left there but I endorse the idea of getting both promoting what the administration wants to do in regards to this as part of how they react to the letter and it would support some of the complexities that Mark has questions about and I know Dan is sincere in what his concerns are and I would go along with the idea that we’re working on it and we’re looking at it and we could vote on it. Since there’s so many holes to be plugged later on, the details could be worked out at that time.
>> Thank you, David. Anyone else with comments or concerns? OK. Diane would you like to place your motion on the table?
>> Yes. So I move that we accept the student associations letter in which they recommend that the administration consider making SUNY Oneonta a smoke-free campus. That would be motion.
>> Is there a second?
>> I’ll second that.
>> That’s Joe?
>> Joe seconds.
>> OK. Further discussion? Because there’s been so many opinions, I think we should have a roll call on this, Collene. So if you would do that?
>> Got it. Let me get it; the list. OK. Do you want me to just ask each person what their vote is, Patrick? Is that how you’d like me to proceed?
>> I’m sorry I couldn’t hear?
>> Thank you. Dave Brenner?
>> Diane Georgeson?
>> Mark McGough?
>> For reasons I just described, aye.
>> Deb Parisian?
>> Dan Sniezek?
>> Timothy Nolan?
>> OK and I’m-- that’s everyone. Well actually Patrick I didn’t include you.
>> No, you didn’t. I.
>> Thank you. I’ve got it.
>> OK the motion has passed. Thank you and Timothy thank you for bringing that to us but also for your service to the college council. We know this will be your last meeting and I wanted to make sure that I extended my personal good wishes to you and we have a resolution that I’m going to try to read. I don’t know if honoring your service is the right verb, but something like that. This is a resolution the college council of the State University of New York College at Oneonta whereas Timothy Nolan has served as the student association representative for the 2019-2020 academic year with distinction on the college council of the State University of New York College at Oneonta and whereas Timothy Nolan has contributed significantly as the student association president to the college and as a devoted volunteer and whereas Timothy Nolan has obtained a high level of mutual respect between himself and all other members of the college council during his tenure. Therefore, be it resolved that the college council of the State University of New York College at Oneonta sends its deepest gratitude keeps his service, council member and good health and good fortune upon graduation. Signed this day, April 7, 2020 Patrick Brannen, Chair. Again, Timothy, you’ve done a terrific job, not only on the council but in your other endeavors at the college and we wish you all good things.
>> Thank you. Thank you. I want to thank you for those kind words. It’s been my utmost pleasure. This year has been full of ups and downs and challenges and I wouldn’t want it any other way so I really do appreciate that.
>> You’re most welcome. So what comes next?
>> It’s a little uncertain right now, however I’m keeping an optimistic view and I’m sure things will fall together.
>> Well, again, good luck to you and thank you. I’m not sure but Mark, would you like to say some words about your status on the council?
>> Sure, Patrick, thank you. For those of you that didn’t know, my-- I just sold my company last week, last Monday to be exact and while it was an exciting process in no small part due to trying to close in the middle of a global pandemic we got it done and my office is now under new ownership. The company out of Tennessee, a premier battery manufacturing and sales company, international company, and for that reason I have ridden off into the sunset so to speak with dioxysis last week and am no longer maintaining a residence in the area. So unfortunately, I will be resigning from the council. I have truly enjoyed the time that I’ve been able to spend with the entire group. Nancy brought me in a number of years ago and Barbra’s been a really exciting new leadership that she has brought, in my opinion to SUNY. I spend a lot of time, as much as I can, on the campus when I’m in town and I heard nothing but positive things about Barbra as a new president from the students and administrators alike. So I’ll miss not being able to participate as you take SUNY Oneonta to the next level, Barbra, and I certainly wish we would have had the opportunity to spend more time together but I have enjoyed the time that we’ve spent and again because of my moving away from the area, I will be submitting-- this will be my last meeting with the council.
>> Well, you’re welcome to come back and visit any time. Thank you for all your service.
>> Thank you.
>> Mark, it was a real pleasure having you on the council. You have a very unique set of experiences and you brought a real unique dimension to our discussions and I always found you to be very thoughtful in your-- and serious in your deliberations and we will miss you for sure, but good health and good luck to you and congratulations on the big deal.
>> Thank you, Patrick. And your leadership on the council-- I’ve been on other boards. As you may know I was on the Heartwood Board and I’ve been on others. You’ve been a very steady hand and top shelf as far as the way you run the meetings and Colleen, your professionalism and organizational skills, especially as we wander up on the stage for each commencement ceremony is unparalleled in my book. So thank you for all those good services to the community.
>> Thank you, Mark.
>> OK. I have one last announcement from the ACT front. The letter has not gone out yet, but I will give you a preview of it. We have cancelled the annual ACT conference that was slated for mid-October and we have also cancelled this year’s dues obligation for the campuses. So no conference, no dues, no scholarships this year. And that letter will be coming out probably by the end of the week. I don’t want to end the meeting on that very somber note. Anyone else have any good of the order?
>> Patrick, do we need to pass a resolution for Tim?
>> Oh, I read the resolution but we didn’t vote. Do we do that my motion, Colleen?
>> You have in the past.
>> OK is there a motion?
>> I”ll make a motion that we approve the resolution honoring Timothy Nolan.
>> Second, by Mark.
>> Thank you Mark. All those in favor?
>> It is passed. Thanks, Joe. That’s a good catch.
>> Thank you.
>> Patrick, I have one item for the good of the order. This is Colleen. Commencement as you all know has been cancelled for May and we have a new date which is Saturday, August 29. We’ll have three ceremonies; one at 9, one at noon, and one at 3 o’clock and just wanted you all to have that for your calendars.
>> That is totally optimistic and I’m very pleased with it. So yeah we’ll mark our calendars and try to be there for sure.
>> Thank you.
>> All right. Be safe. Stay healthy. I wish you all good things and is there a motion to adjourn?
>> Motion. Mark.
>> Thank you. We are adjourned.