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The college has responded to a challenging economic environment by measuring current practices and prospective innovations against the yardstick of its commitment to transformational learning. For this strategy to succeed, it will be necessary to make transformational learning a more intentional part of both academic and budgetary decision-making. Even then, some difficult financial decisions probably lie ahead.


Standards addressed in this chapter
3 — Resources (also addressed in Chapter 1)
10 — Faculty


How can Geneseo's commitment to transformational learning serve as a means to evaluate its use of resources and make intelligent plans for future use? In the face of limited and declining financial support, the college must set priorities and make difficult choices. This chapter explores how Geneseo is responding to fiscal crisis by attempting to ensure that resources flow to enterprises that advance the college's mission and maintain its position as a center of excellence in undergraduate education. The goal of changing students' lives must set the standard for every financial decision the college makes. The human beings most immediately responsible for that transformation — the faculty — must be regarded as the institution's most important resource.

Non-personnel initiatives that support transformational learning

Support for transformational learning has guided Geneseo in addressing financial, technological, and facilities challenges through strategic and contingency planning and investments.

In its 2007 Periodic Review Report, Geneseo reiterated its goal of becoming the nation's premier public liberal arts college. The report showed that Geneseo has achieved parity with many of the nation's top liberal arts colleges but that the one area in need of improvement was student/faculty ratio. It recognized that improving the student/faculty ratio to rival that of the college's aspirational peers would require additional resources. While acknowledging that the college needed to improve its fundraising and development capabilities (a task that the college is working hard to achieve), the report looked for additional revenue from increased tuition (by means of a differential tuition policy), a new fee for academic excellence, other fee increases, and increased tax dollar support from the state and SUNY System Administration. Unfortunately, these new revenue streams were never authorized by the state or SUNY. In fact, two years after the release of the report, the state system, and with it Geneseo, entered a period of fiscal retrenchment that has continued to the present day.

Because of drastic reductions in state financial support, the four-year period FY 2009-12 was perhaps the most challenging time in the college's history. (See FY 2008-12 budgets.) These budget cuts forced the college to undertake the cost-saving and revenue generating initiatives discussed below. These initiatives, combined with a new rational tuition policy enacted for FY 2012-16, have positioned the college well, and will enable reinvestment, as we enter a "new normal" era for public higher education in New York State.

Monetary resources

State tax dollar support of the college reached its peak in FY 2008. By the middle of FY 2011, it had been reduced by over $3.9 million, a cut of 22.2 percent. A $620 tuition increase partially offset this reduction, producing nearly $3.3 million annually in additional revenue, but even with this increase the college's state purpose budget was $636,600 less by the middle of FY 2011 than it had been in FY 2008. Over the same period, the college's personnel costs (state purpose regular personnel allocation) increased nearly $6.3 million, owing mostly to state-mandated contractual obligations that provided for raises of 4 percent in both FY 2008 and FY 2009, and 5 percent in FY 2010. Together, the cuts, unfunded mandates, and tuition increase produced a budget gap of $6.9 million by January 2011, with smaller gaps in each of the intervening years. (See FY 2008 to 2012 budgets). To deal with the resulting budget gaps, the college undertook a number of initiatives designed to generate additional revenue and cut expenses.

Revenue actions

Recognizing that the downturn in the economy, and its impact on New York's ability to provide financial support to the college, was likely to persist for a long time, Geneseo made every effort to increase its own-source revenues wherever possible. The college increased selected fees, sought increased financial support from its auxiliary services corporation (Campus Auxiliary Services — CAS) and the Geneseo Foundation. In addition, as described in Chapter 1, President Dahl established the task forces of Six Big Ideas, four of which have potential for generating new revenues.

  • Create innovative five-year professional programs.
  • Expand instructional delivery.
  • Create a center for collaborative research.
  • Create a center for strategic community partnerships.

While the work of these task forces continues, the college has begun to implement some of the recommendations of one task force, Expand Instructional Delivery, and is seeing early signs that additional revenue can come from this effort. For example, summer session revenue increased 13 percent, or $193,188, from $1.46 million in summer 2010 to $1.66 million in summer 2011. Summer session enrollment increased by 204 students and 636 credit hours, or 13.4 percent. The college added two off-campus "study away" courses and nine online sections that were well received. The online courses enrolled 183 more students in 2011 than in 2010 — an increase in enrollment of 45.3 percent and an increase in credit hours of 46.5 percent.


Tuition from study abroad programs (OAP tuition) increased 112 percent between FY 2008 and FY 2011, going from $316,933 to $671,988, an increase of $355,055. For the last three years, income from the study abroad office has been used to support further growth. A study abroad advisor was hired, and funding for faculty travel to attend international conferences was increased. The relationships that have developed from these investments have resulted in new programming and an increase in the number of international visiting faculty on campus. The study abroad program thus provides a model of how to generate resources for high-impact, transformational activities. The college hopes to replicate this model in its developing study away programs.

Other revenue sources

Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) nearly doubled its support of the college from FY 2007 to FY 2011, providing $743,682 in FY 2007 and $1.43 million in FY 2011. Two areas where CAS made substantial contributions are leasehold improvements and program funding. In FY 2012, CAS is providing $750,000 in program funding, an increase of $300,000 from FY 2007. In addition, CAS funded three leasehold projects that have created exciting collision spaces designed to promote transformational interaction among students: Books and Bytes in Milne Library, and Starbucks and the Fusion Market in the college union.

The Geneseo Foundation also provided increased support to the college, especially in FY 2009, when scholarship, supply, and service allocations were augmented by foundation dollars. Increased support for scholarships was especially important in FY 2009, since a mid-year tuition increase was not anticipated when the college's budget was formulated for the year.

The Geneseo Foundation, through its Roundtable Athletic Association, has also purchased equipment, renovated facilities, and made important contributions to improve the recruitment of student athletes. The association's purpose is well aligned with the goals of transformational learning. Roundtable is an organization of Geneseo alumni, parents, friends, and business supporters committed to advancing Geneseo's intercollegiate athletic program as an integral component of a Geneseo education, thereby strengthening the personal, social, and leadership development of all Geneseo student-athletes.

As mentioned previously, the college has greatly improved its development activities through the Geneseo Foundation, aiming to establish a $25 million endowment during its current capital campaign, Shaping Lives of Purpose. The public phase of the campaign launched in September 2011; as of November 2011, $16.8 million had been pledged. Funds from the campaign will be used to create an endowed chair of the School of Business and to establish the Center for Inquiry, Discovery, and Leadership. The center will provide significant transformational learning opportunities. Its purpose is to create and foster defining experiences that build upon Geneseo's transformational academic and extracurricular programs through exploration of new avenues of learning and personal development. The center will engage individuals in business, government, and the arts with Geneseo students and faculty. It will provide five areas of endowed programs: student ambassadors, student research, student internships, student academic grants and awards, and lectureships. The center will provide a forum for students to pursue focused learning opportunities outside the classroom in conjunction with professional leaders from various fields. It will aim to create, cultivate, and perpetuate long-term, ongoing relationships with the larger community.

In addition to cultivating private sources of revenue, the college increased three fees that are components of its comprehensive fee: the technology fee, the intercollegiate athletics fee, and the transportation fee.

Proceeds from the intercollegiate athletics fee, the transportation fee, and other discretionary fee increases went largely towards augmenting services and covering inflationary cost increases. For example, the additional revenue from the intercollegiate athletics fee went towards the equestrian program, which was elevated to varsity status in 2004; the hiring of new, full-time coaches to correct a deficiency noted in the college's Title IX report; and addressing inflationary costs, the largest of which was an increase in bus transportation costs. Similarly, increased transportation fee revenue was used to add bus routes requested by students and to cover increased costs resulting from higher fuel prices. Technology fee increases will be discussed later in the section on technological resources.

Expenditure actions

In FY 2009, the state system and Geneseo experienced the first round of state budget cuts. Geneseo's state purpose budget, the college's main and largest budget, was reduced by $2.5 million, representing a 6.6 percent reduction from the previous year's budget and a 15.6 percent reduction in state tax dollar support. In addition, two university-wide programs that provide funds for academic equipment replacement were not funded in that year, adding another $217,354 in cuts and bringing the total reduction to over $2.7 million. These cuts presented a severe challenge, coming as they did just after the adoption of several strategic initiatives designed to move the college forward.

These strategic initiatives, which added nearly $2.3 million to the college's state purpose budget, were faculty equity raise adjustments and the addition of 33 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) positions to the college's state purpose budget since 2006-07. Over 40 percent of the new positions (14.5 FTE) were in the Division of Academic Affairs, including three new faculty lines, one and a half lines in The Office of Study Abroad, an ESL coordinator, and an EOP counselor. Ten other positions in the Division of Advancement were added to promote relationship building for long-term fundraising through improved alumni publications and events, and to prepare for the capital campaign.

To address the resulting budget gap, the college imposed a series of expenditure controls beginning in June 2008. (See letters from Vice President for Administration and Finance Kenneth H. Levison dated 6/10/08 and 8/14/08.) These controls included:

  • a hiring freeze
  • travel restrictions
  • other OTPS (Other Than Personal Service) controls
  • utility conservation

The college also elected to transfer OTPS allocations and expenses to other funds. By FY 2011, the college was transferring OTPS allocations previously contained in its state purpose budget to its SUTRA (State University Tuition Reimbursable Account) and IFR (Income Fund Reimbursable) funds in the amounts of $1,542,800 and $826,100, respectively. Despite these transfers, total OTPS allocations were over $2 million less in FY 2011 than in FY 2008, a reduction of 25.7 percent. In FY 2011, the college also budgeted salary savings from the hiring freeze of $2,523,198, and cut student temporary services by $243,614 from the previous year.

It was soon evident that the budget-balancing methods on which the college was relying for the first three years of cuts could not be sustained in the long run without substantially affecting the quality of the college. On May 6, 2009, just one year into the cuts, President Dahl laid out the choices facing Geneseo: adopt reactive cuts and downsizing that would inevitably weaken the institution, or respond to the crisis with creative strategic thinking. President Dahl chose creativity, announcing the formation of the six task forces. At the time of their formation, it was hoped that the task forces would make recommendations capable of producing structural budgetary savings while also strengthening the college.

One year later, with the work of the task forces producing little in the way of immediate budgetary savings, and the state's fiscal outlook deteriorating, it grew clear that the college would have to develop contingency plans. In order to preserve the core of the academic enterprise and provide resources for investments to keep Geneseo vibrant and vital, contingency planning, by necessity, focused on reallocating diminishing resources through program closures or program deactivations. As President Dahl stated, "We are at a point where we must consider program closures as a way of preserving quality."

After more than six months of data analysis, three programs were selected for deactivation — Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Computer Science, and Studio Art. Savings from these program closures is projected at $1.97 million ($832,000, $600,000, and $538,000 respectively). These programs will be funded from accumulated fund balances, which are sufficient to the task, until they are deactivated. As already noted in Chapter 1, only after considerable deliberation, and in accordance with criteria matched to the college's mission and planning goals, did the president's cabinet deactivate these three major academic programs. Every effort was made to preserve the integrity of the college's academic mission and to account for the concerns of students enrolled in the affectd programs.

FY 2012 and beyond

The FY 2012 adopted state budget contained more cuts for SUNY, and although there was considerable discussion of a tuition increase, it was not provided for in the budget. The adopted budget contained a reduction of $150 million or 13.5 percent in state support for the state-operated and statutory campuses, with support to the comprehensive colleges, Geneseo's sector, reduced by $32.8 million or 15.2 percent. Geneseo lost $2.2 million or 15.7 percent of its state support, going from $14.13 million in FY 2011 to $11.92 million in FY 2012, and bringing the total loss of state support since FY 2008 to nearly $5.7 million, a reduction of 32.3 percent. These cuts served to mobilize support for a rational tuition policy.

After a concerted lobbying campaign that engaged SUNY supporters and stakeholders, including students state-wide, the state enacted the NY-SUNY 2020 Act on June 24, 2011. The act authorizes SUNY to raise tuition by up to $300 annually for five years, beginning in FY 2012. Under the act SUNY is required to provide a tuition credit for students who are eligible to receive TAP (New York State's Tuition Assistance Program). This TAP credit reduces the tuition increase by 24.8 percent on average, thus reducing the amount of new tuition revenue available for operations. Under a maintenance of effort provision, the act also prohibits the state from reducing general fund operating support to SUNY unless the governor declares a fiscal emergency. Unfortunately, the act does not require the state to cover collective bargaining or other inflationary cost increases under the maintenance of effort provision. Collective bargaining adjustments will cost the college $369,800 in FY 2012.

Despite the shortcomings of the act, it is an historic reform that has enabled the college to develop a five-year plan for boosting investment in academic quality. The $300 tuition increase resulted in $1.2 million of additional revenue for Geneseo, net of the TAP credit. Campus-generated revenue increased from $27.6 million in FY 2011 to $28.8 million in FY 2012, mitigating the cut in state support and leaving the college with a net loss of $1.02 million, a 2.4 percent reduction in its budget from the previous year. Since FY 2008, Geneseo's state purpose budget has been reduced by over $1.2 million, a cut of 2.9 percent. Over the same period personal service costs from collective bargaining increased by over $6.4 million, producing a budget gap of $7.6 million. In FY 2012, the college will cover the additional $1.02 million cut to its budget with fund balance reserves, continuing the practice of the past several years. Over the course of the next four years the college hopes to realize an additional $4.8 million in new tuition revenue. This revenue, combined with the nearly $2 million in savings from the program deactivations, will enable the college to restore many of the cuts it has been forced to make over the past four years.

In FY 2012, the college began restoring some funding for OTPS and addressing critical PSR needs. OTPS allocations increased by nearly $900,000 or 15.2 percent from the previous year despite remaining over $1.1 million below FY 2008 levels (-14.4 percent). The year-over-year increase was appropriated to restore much needed supply, equipment, and travel allocations that were reduced as a result of past budget cuts. Total personal service allocations, including transfers out for Non-Instructional PSR, decreased by $93,542 from the previous year, with the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions decreasing by 19.1 to meet budgetary and state early retirement program requirements. The eliminated positions were vacant and unfunded in the previous year. Eliminating these positions enabled the college to decrease its reliance on salary savings from vacant positions by over $1.3 million in FY 2012 (see SUNY Geneseo Budgets FY 2008 to FY 2012). The college appropriated funding to fill nine faculty positions in the current year. Eight full-time faculty have been hired thus far on one-year visiting appointments to address the most crucial needs of departments with high enrollments and vacant lines. Our five-year strategic plan envisions reducing the reliance on reserve funds to a sustainable level as tuition increases, while simultaneously reinvesting, to the greatest extent possible, in the core of the academic enterprise, mainly by filling vacancies in faculty lines. Current planning for FY 2013 envisions filling as many as 17 additional faculty lines.

As the foregoing discussion demonstrates, Geneseo's finances have been severely challenged since FY 2009. However, the college has taken the steps necessary to protect the core functions of the college and support its mission and goals, and it has made investments that contribute to transformational learning.

Geneseo has long been at the forefront of expenditure control. The college prides itself on being a good steward of the public funds with which it is entrusted. For example, Geneseo was among the first institutions to adopt energy-saving initiatives, retrofitting facilities, and it began re-engineering services long before the onset of the current fiscal crisis.

Technology resources

Information technology

Geneseo increased its technology fee regularly over the decade (see Comprehensive Fees, CIT Allocation, and Grants-in-aid). Initially, the increases were in response to demands for new technology (for example, the Angel Learning Management System, known locally as myCourses) and to address inflationary and other cost increases. (The Integrated Science Center and two new residence halls required the addition of 10 network closets, and changes to meet new security and regulatory requirements.) Later, as state budget cuts accelerated, technology fee increases enabled the transfer of Computing and Information Technology (CIT) expenses from the college's state purpose budget to its IFR budget, mitigating the effects of state budget cuts on this important service and on the academic affairs division. Between FY 2008 and FY 2011, CIT's state purpose, other than personal service (OTPS) allocations decreased from $559,000 to $26,855, a reduction of $532,145, or 95.2 percent. Increased technology fee revenue enabled an increase in the department's IFR/OTPS allocation of $414,708 (from $1,395,590 in FY 2008 to $1,810,298 in FY 2011), reducing the total cut to $117,437, a 6 percent reduction. Over the same period, two university-wide programs supporting equipment purchases (Student Computing Access [SCAP] and Academic Equipment Replacement [AER]) were reduced by an additional $49,384, bringing the total reduction to $166,876 or a decrease of 8.1 percent. These cuts ultimately resulted in a slowing of the computer-replacement schedule. However, CIT continues to replace failing hardware, maintain a schedule that guarantees the replacement of computers that are five years old, and address requests for new technology.

In FY 2012, the college again increased its technology fee, enabling an increase in CIT's IFR/OTPS allocation of over $193,000. Unfortunately, funding for both of the university-wide programs was reduced by a combined $45,000, for a net, year-over-year increase of $149,000. In FY 2012, CIT's OTPS combined allocation from the above sources was 0.9 percent, or $19,024 below the FY 2008 level. (See college comprehensive fees table.) However, after the FY 2012 budget was adopted, the college revised its process for the provision of telephone services from a user-recharge method to a college-funded service. This change enabled CIT to reallocate $21,395 from its telephone recharge line-item to equipment, bringing CIT's OTPS allocation back to its FY 2008 funding level in actual, non-inflation-adjusted dollars. It also provided every department of the college with additional funds for supplies, services, and equipment.

In FY 2011, CIT received one-time allocations of $100,000 for an uninterruptible power supply and $383,663 for a wireless upgrade in the residence halls. (See $2 million equipment list.) The DIFR budget also contained increased funding for CIT in the amount of $73,400 for residential internet upgrades and connection costs.

Equipment support for undergraduate research

The university-wide program for academic equipment replacement (AER) has been inadequate historically, peaking at only $120,000 in FY 2007. In FY 2011, this SUNY program provided Geneseo with only $78,300. That level of funding is not sufficient to address the needs of CIT, let alone those of other academic units, particularly departments in the sciences that require state-of-the-art equipment for undergraduate training and research. To address academic equipment needs beyond those of CIT, the college has relied on capital bond funds, its own reserves, state legislative member-item grants, and congressional earmark funding.

Equipment needs in the newly constructed Integrated Science Center (ISC) were bonded under a provision that allows for capital financing of initial equipment and furnishings. Over $6.4 million dollars of scientific equipment was purchased using this provision. In addition, the campus has made use of Installment Purchase Financing (IPF), a state program that allows campuses to acquire equipment using either state-supported bonds or a statewide lease/purchase agreement. The campus is responsible for the annual debt service. The Pelletron Particle Accelerator was purchased, in part, with $561,550 of IPF proceeds, augmented with federal earmark funding in the amount of $248,000. The college, recognizing the growing importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines to the state and national economy, was able to make compelling arguments to its state and federal representatives to support the acquisition of scientific equipment. These efforts resulted in state legislative grants for scientific equipment of $22,500 and $40,000 in FY 2008 and FY 2009, respectively. The college received a total of $72,500 in state member items in FY 2009. In FY 2010, the college received a $1 million federal earmark to purchase a new FTNMR Spectrometer for its materials testing laboratory. Unfortunately, member item and earmark funding is becoming increasingly restricted as the economy lags and budgets worsen at both the state and federal levels.

To further augment technological equipment replacement, the college has used funds from administrative overhead and other college reserves. For example, in FY 2010, over $335,00 in stabilization funds were made available to replace an aging scanning electron microscope and purchase centrifuges and fume hoods. In FY 2011, $2 million in IFR reserve funding was provided for the purchase of equipment. Two classifications of equipment were eligible to receive this funding: equipment that fulfills a critical need and equipment that will move the college forward in one of nine areas. (See budget call letter of March 9, 2011.) The Budget Priorities Advisory Committee reviewed requests and made recommendations to the president. Equipment purchased with these funds ranged from a sprung floor for the Brodie dance studio to neuroscience research equipment to dasher boards in the ice arena. A complete list of the equipment purchased can be found in the evidence space.

Despite its budgetary challenges, the college has used funds judiciously to purchase equipment that supports high-impact learning activities in the sciences and, more generally, in all undergraduate programs. Nevertheless, the development of a systematic equipment replacement program continues to elude the college, although it is a priority of the Division of Administration and Finance. The Office of Sponsored Research, the Office of Grants Management, and Geneseo's controller have been working with faculty to develop a fee schedule for the use of certain scientific equipment. These fees will enable improved maintenance of equipment and provide some additional funding for equipment replacement. In addition, the SUNY Board of Trustees promulgated new fee policy guidelines in September 2011 that permit the development of instructional cluster fees to fund extraordinary costs, including the costs of maintaining and purchasing specialized equipment. The college has begun a useful life analysis to support the development of such fees.

Facilities resources

Current and recently completed capital projects

Capital dollars, while less than optimal, have been made available by the state for new strategic initiatives and to fund critical maintenance of the college's academic buildings. The most significant recently completed strategic initiative is the new Integrated Science Center (ISC). Phase I of the $57 million construction and redesign project opened in September 2006. Phase II, the rehabilitation of the former Greene Hall to the same technical and visual level as the new Phase I facility, opened in fall 2009. The center puts all the sciences — physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology and, geology — under one roof. The opening of the center was greeted with much enthusiasm. It will contribute to both transformational learning and economic development. It will promote increased collaboration, facilitate new research initiatives, and allow Geneseo to build on its reputation as SUNY's most selective undergraduate institution, specializing in educating New York's future science leaders. Geneseo has an excellent record of external funding for scientific research in which undergraduate students work directly with faculty. (See Sponsored Research 2009-10 Annual Report.)

Reconstruction of the Doty Building is currently underway, with a scheduled completion date of October 2012. This $32.4 million project is a textbook example of good government. With a relatively minor capital investment, two state agencies, SUNY Geneseo and the Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service Office (FLDDSO), will realize significant benefits from this shared-use facility. FLDDSO will operate a day treatment program on the first floor of the facility, providing internships for students in Geneseo's very strong special education program, and adding an important transformational learning opportunity that emphasizes service and community engagement. The facility will also house Geneseo's Small Business Development Center, providing easier access to the community and providing opportunities for business and marketing students to engage with local businesses. The Doty Building will include a 250-seat recital space for music performances and house a number of the college's administrative offices.

Another project currently out to bid, with construction expected to begin in January 2012, is the rehabilitation of Bailey Hall. When completed, Bailey Hall will house the psychology, sociology, geography and anthropology departments, research labs, and general purpose classrooms. The project includes a large addition to provide new avenues for transformational education that involves undergraduate research. The total cost of the project, including equipment and furnishings, is projected at $30.3 million.

The college will begin demolition of the Holcomb Building in January 2012 to make way for a new $14 million college stadium. The stadium will house a lighted, 2000-seat, synthetic turf field. Intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports, and recreation at Geneseo are considered an integral part of the educational process. This new stadium will add to the richness of co-curricular life on campus and help the college to recruit and retain student athletes. The facility will also increase public access to the campus and contribute to increased community, alumni, and donor support.

The final project in the college's current five-year capital plan is a $17.3 million reconstruction of Letchworth Dining Hall. This project will add unique dining options in more intimate settings designed to promote communication and interaction among students and faculty.

All of these construction projects are being designed to meet LEED Silver Certification requirements as part of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment signed in 2007 by President Dahl. Among the LEED components in Doty are geothermal heating and cooling, recycled content products, porous pavements, rainwater harvesting, and water efficient plumbing fixtures. Bailey's renovations will include rainwater harvesting and possibly photovoltaic cells. The stadium will include recycled products, natural lighting in the team rooms, and water-efficient plumbing fixtures. Letchworh Dining Hall will also use geothermal heating and cooling. For more information on these projects may be found here. A list of capital projects completed since 2005 may be found here.

Since 1998, with the completion of its circulation master plan, the college has worked to enhance the residential and pedestrian aspects of the campus. Residence hall and grounds infrastructure projects have been undertaken to create new collision spaces, thereby supporting the goal of transformational learning by recognizing students as "whole people who learn in and out of the classroom." (A Well-Rounded Education for a Flat World.) The Union Plaza reconstruction; the construction of two new 80 bed residence halls, Seneca and Putnam; and Putnam Quad site improvements are examples of this effort. Writers House was established in 2009 in Seneca Hall to provide a residential community for students who are committed to writing. Eco House, which opened in fall 2010 in Putnam Hall, provides a living environment for students interested in issues of sustainability and social justice. Both houses provide space for transformational learning. The halls themselves were constructed as connectors between other residence halls, forming new courtyards that provide new collision space for students to congregate, adding more opportunities for interaction. Union Plaza was another project that added collision space. Currently, Monroe Residence Hall is undergoing a $12.4 million reconstruction. This project includes geothermal heating and cooling from 60 geothermal wells, as well as rainwater harvesting for use in lavatories.

Future plans

In the spring of 2011, a new Facilities Master Plan was presented to the college community. It was developed from the college's strategic plan, which was linked to the President's six and arose from numerous other studies and plans such as the Residence Hall Master Plan, the Athletic Facilities Master Plan, and the Accessibility Study. The master plan combines an analysis of critical maintenance needs and strategic program initiatives into a long-range vision covering the state's next two five-year capital plan cycles, from 2013 to 2023. The plan assesses building conditions and projected space needs of the college community. Two specific space needs are identified in the master plan:

  • additional library and study space
  • classroom space with maximum capacities of 16 and 30 students.

Two of the main recommendations of the master plan are

  • to provide an addition to Milne Library and renovate the existing facility
  • to reconfigure existing classroom space in buildings such as Welles and Sturges in order to provide for capacities of 16 to 30 students

Both these recommendations seek to provide smaller space for the kind of one-on-one and small group experiences important in transformational learning. A list of the projects proposed in two time periods, 2013 to 2018 and 2018 to 2023, may be found here.


The Climate Action Plan submitted by President Dahl to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in July 2010 commits the college to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The sustainability task force has identified seven projects that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 50 percent:

  • Wind energy — 38.8 percent eCO 2 reduction — by either purchasing electricity from a wind energy provider or constructing a local wind farm
  • Residence hall boiler replacements - 4.2 percent eCO 2 reduction
  • Four day work week (commuting) - 2.03 percent eCO 2 reduction (a higher reduction may be possible if academic buildings are placed in unoccupied mode, i.e., curtailed)
  • LED street lighting — .27 percent eCO 2 reduction
  • Arboretum Expansion — 0.17 percent eCO 2 reduction — designate selected areas that are currently mowed as forever wild
  • B20Disel fleet — 0.14 percent eCO 2 reduction
  • Commuting — by biking, walking, and carpooling — a 0.05 percent eCO 2 reduction

The college's Climate Action Plan is to be reviewed every 5 years to see if the college is meetings its targets in three time periods: 2010-20, 2020-35, and 2035-50. Green modifications of facilities, including geothermal heating and cooling to make them more energy-efficient, will be required during each phase of the plan. The college has been including these design specifications in all of its new construction and rehabilitation projects, including, as previously noted, the current rehabilitation of Monroe Residence Hall,. The college has done so not only to demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship but because meeting the challenge of carbon neutrality provides a significant opportunity to engage students in high-impact learning.

Human resources that support transformational learning

The faculty are Geneseo's indispensable human resource for achieving its mission. They must be central to strategic and contingency planning as the college seeks to addresses its resource challenges through a more intelligent pursuit of transformational learning.

In 2010-11, 242 full-time and 97 part-time faculty were employed to achieve Geneseo's academic mission of providing students with a liberal, liberating education marked by intellectual rigor and active learning. The qualifications of Geneseo's faculty, who serve variously as teacher-scholars, mentors, and competent practitioners in their disciplines, correspond to the college's high aspirations. For example, 93 percent of faculty hold a doctorate or terminal master's degree. Of the 7 percent without a terminal degree, all but one faculty member is in a qualified academic rank where the college does not require a terminal degree above the master's level. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the characteristics of Geneseo's faculty by full-time/part-time distribution, minority group distribution, gender, and nonresident status.

Faculty profile

Table 1: Instructional Faculty

Source: Office of Human Resources, 2010-2011 Data




339 (Instructional Faculty)



45 (Minorities)



149 (Women)



192 (Men)



4 (Nonresident Aliens)



232 (Doctorate or terminal degree)



92 (Master's degree, but not terminal)



Table 2: Ethnicity of Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty

Source: Geneseo Fact Book (2009 to 2010), IPEDS Report

Ethnicity of Faculty

Full-Time Faculty

Part-Time Faculty

White-Non Hispanic



Black-Non Hispanic






Asian/Pacific Islander



American Indian/AK Native



Nonresident Alien






Comparative data from 2007-08 and 2009-10 (Common Data Sets, 2007-08, 2009-10) show that while the total number of instructional faculty has fluctuated from 353 to 339, a decrease of full-time positions has been accompanied by parallel shifts of part-time instructional faculty from a high of 102 in 2009-10 to the current level of 97. Notwithstanding these variations in full- and part-time faculty, often influenced by fiscal hurdles experienced since FY 2008, Geneseo remains strongly committed to maintaining a high full-time to part-time faculty ratio. As described earlier, the college has pursued a coherent approach to preserving faculty lines in support of its mission. Recently, for example, Geneseo appropriated funds to fill nine faculty positions (eight have been filled to date) to meet department needs. There have also been positive if modest changes in minority and women faculty representation. The college's efforts to recruit more women faculty, a goal set as early as 1991 (Self-Study Narrative, 2001), have been productive; 43 percent of instructional faculty are women, a small increase (2 percent) since 2000. Minority group representation has increased in percentage as well, from 10 percent in 2007-08 to 13 percent in 2010-11. These shifts in instructional faculty, though modest, show that the college has sought to achieve its planning goal to "recruit, support, and foster the development of a diverse community of outstanding students, faculty, and staff." Nevertheless, there is room for improvement — in both recruitment efforts and faculty perceptions about the importance of ethnic diversity among their own numbers. (These matters are addressed at length in Chapter 1.)

Geneseo's distribution of faculty within academic ranks compares favorably to that of other public four-year colleges, as Table 3 illustrates.

Table 3: Full-Time Faculty Distribution By Rank

Source: 2010 to 2011 HERI Faculty Survey - Institutional Profile Reports


SUNY Geneseo

Public Four-Year Colleges

Public/Private Universities and
Public Four-Year Colleges

























Not Tenured




*Indicates a faculty rank ineligible for tenure consideration at SUNY Geneseo.

Although tested by unprecedented budgetary challenges, Geneseo has succeeded in preserving "an adequate core of faculty and other qualified professionals that is responsible to the institution, supports the programs offered, and assures the continuity and coherence of the institution's programs" (Characteristics, Standard 10). The integrative nature of transformational learning need not preclude a traditional emphasis on knowledge acquisition and the development of critical reasoning skills, nor is there a conflict between these traditional outcomes and the effort to foster students' identity development and general psychosocial well-being. Thus, an "appropriately prepared and qualified" faculty of sufficient numbers remains a cornerstone of institutional success (Standard 10, Elements A and B). Confronted by a trying fiscal climate, college administrators have had to make painful human resource decisions (freezing hiring, deactiving academic programs). These decisions, arising from diminishing state support, have necessitated reallocation of material and human resources, including program closures. But in all these decisions, the core mission of the institution has been jealously protected. Despite the budgetary turmoil, overall distribution of faculty by rank has remained stable — within one to three percentage points since 2007-08. (See HERI 2007-08 faculty profile.) The latest HERI Profile shows increases in the percentage of women faculty at the assistant professor and professor ranks accompanied by a decrease at the rank of associate professor. These changes reflect the promotion of women faculty and institutional hiring practices that support the creation of a diverse campus community.

Geneseo's teacher-scholars

Geneseo faculty continue to distinguish themselves as teacher-scholars and in professional service, as evidenced by the number of prestigious SUNY and national awards received since 2007. For instance, five faculty have been awarded promotion to the highest academic ranks of SUNY, one to Distinguished Professor, three to SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, and another to the rank of Distinguished Service Professor. Another 15 faculty received the SUNY Chancellor's Award in these categories: Excellence in Teaching; Librarianship; Scholarship and Creative Activities; Faculty Service; and Professional Service. In addition, faculty from the School of Education, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Geography were competitively selected for Fulbright Scholars awards in the last two years, and a member of the mathematics department received the Mathematical Association of America Teaching Award (Seaway Section). The number of recent awards and the consistency with which Geneseo faculty have been recognized for their achievements in teaching, research, and service are indicators of the quality of the college's most critical resource, its academic employees.

The faculty's voluminous output of published scholarship and creative activity bolsters the high-quality teaching that is Geneseo's hallmark. Moreover, when faculty tie their scholarly and creative endeavors directly to their pedagogy, the result is transformational learning.

Campus-wide, scholarly and creative activity at Geneseo either exceeds or matches that of peer institutions. Geneseo's 2007 Peer Analysis, for instance, demonstrates that scholarly productivity from 1998 to 2001, as measured by publications and citations by full-time faculty, was equal to or exceeded that of peer institutions in COPLAC (the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges), and compared favorably to that of "aspirational peers." (2007 Geneseo Periodic Review Report, SUNY Geneseo Peer Analysis,Table 8, 37). Responses from the 2010 to 2011 HERI Faculty Institutional Profile substantiate this conclusion: in most categories surveyed, Geneseo's faculty report somewhat more involvement in scholarly and creative activity than academic personnel at peer institutions. . Geneseo surpasses its peers on two measures, faculty engagement of undergraduates in research projects and the percentage of faculty who work with undergraduates on research. An institution-specific question on the 2010-11 HERI reveals that 79 percent of Geneseo faculty members believe "having students involved in my research project is a win-win situation for both me and my students."

Table 4: Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities

Source: 2010-2011 HERI Faculty Survey - Institutional Profile Reports



Public Four-Year Colleges

Public/Private Universities
and Public Four-Year Colleges

Engaged undergraduates on your research project




Worked with undergraduates on research project




*Average hours spent on research and scholarly
writing, 1-4/5-8 hours/week




*Preparing for teaching, 5-8/9-12 hours/week




Taught a capstone course




*Advising and counseling students,1-4/5-8 hours/week




*Other creative products, performances, 1-4/5-8 hours/week




*Published articles in academic, professional journals, 3-4/5-10




*Chapters in edited volumes, 1-2/3-4




*Books, manuals, monographs, 1-2/3-4




*Exhibitions, performances in applied or fine arts, 1-2/3-4




*Professional writings, published or accepted, 1-2/3-4




*Patents, software products, 1-2/3-4




* Indicates representative questions and levels of activity (hours spent or projects completed) taken from the 2010-2011 HERI Faculty Survey. For example, the table shows the percentage of faculty who reported publishing 1-2 chapters/3-4 chapters, or spent 1-4 hours/5-8 hours each week on an activity.

Teaching remains the foremost responsibility of Geneseo's faculty, complemented by scholarship, research and service. Data from the 2010-11 HERI show that 56 percent of faculty have received an award for outstanding teaching and 85 percent believe teaching is essential in their professional work. Retention rates within academic programs and the SUNY Opinion Survey are two measures that confirm student satisfaction with the quality of instruction at Geneseo. For instance, retention by program for first-time, full-time students between 2008 and 2009 averaged 90 percent across all majors (Geneseo Fact Book). The following results are from questions on the SUNY Opinion Survey, 2009.

  • Question: What is your overall impression of the quality of education at this college?
    Score/Rank: 4.24 (4= high)/1 of 13 among SUNY comprehensive sector colleges
  • Question: How satisfied are your with this college in general?
    Score/Rank: 4.21 (4= satisfied); 2 of 13 among SUNY comprehensive sector colleges
  • Question: Quality of instruction
    Score/Rank: 4.0 (4= satisfied); 3 of 13 among SUNY comprehensive sector colleges
  • Question: How often have you been intellectually stimulated by the material presented in class?
    Score/Rank: 4.03 (4=frequently); 2 of 13 among SUNY comprehensive sector colleges
  • Question: Compared to your expectations, your academic experiences at this college have...
    Score: exceeded expectations (28.2 percent), met expectations (65.2 percent)

These levels of student satisfaction are further corroborated by a "Senior Survey Seven Year Data" report showing that 96 percent of respondents in 2009 were either very satisfied or satisfied with the intellectual challenge of courses and 98 percent felt similarly about the preparation of faculty members. The data suggest that a significant relationship exists among faculty scholarship, student learning, and student satisfaction with educational outcomes; in short, faculty productivity is consonant with high-quality teaching. Indeed, Geneseo's remarkable strength lies precisely in this mutual amplification of scholarship, creativity, and effective pedagogy, particularly as reflected in the numerous discipline-specific collaborations between faculty and students for research and service, and in faculty-supported programs and events that nurture students' full human development. Among the many examples are GREAT Day, the Edgar Fellows Program, department internships, capstone courses, and GOLD. The latest (2010) National Survey of Student Engagement results substantiate this conclusion: Geneseo seniors are more likely to conduct undergraduate research, study abroad, participate in internships, volunteer for community work, and participate in co-curricular activities than students at COPLAC and public Carnegie peers. (Additional discussion of these many learning opportunities for students may be found in chapters 2 and 3.)

Faculty salaries

As described above, the college addressed one of its most pressing needs in 2006-07; namely, increasing faculty salaries to a more competitive level and thereby enhancing the college's marketplace appeal. Faculty salaries at Geneseo had slipped below the national median into the third quartile, hampering the college's ability to attract and retain highly qualified faculty.

Of the 241 full-time faculty members in 2006-07, 22 were removed from eligibility for salary adjustments due to lack of merit or their status as lecturers. Another 88 faculty members had salaries that fell above the CUPA median for their discipline and rank, leaving 131 full-time faculty eligible for salary adjustment. Salaries were adjusted by adding flat amounts based on each faculty member's rank and years in rank. For example, associate professors received $3,000 if in rank from one to three years and $3,500 if in rank more than three years. Full professors on average were further below the CUPA medians and received $5,000 if in rank one to three years and $7,000 if in rank more than three years. Overall, the average adjustment for eligible faculty was $6,330. Although 50 faculty still had salaries that fell below the CUPA median at the conclusion of the process, the average difference between their salaries and the CUPA medians had been reduced from $6,567 to $1,186. This initiative cost the college $1.2 million. The impact of these administrative policies are reflected in the 2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey, where 50 percent of faculty responded that they are either very satisfied or satisfied with salary, an appreciable improvement when compared to the 2007-08 HERI results, where only 27 percent of respondents reported satisfaction with salary levels.

Salary issues are a concern across the entire SUNY system, as illustrated by Appendix A-31, "Executive Level Review of Salary Issues," in the State/UUP Agreement, 2007 to 2011. Geneseo's expenditure control methods, Six Big Ideas task force results, tuition reform enacted through the NY-SUNY 2020 Act, and fundraising realized through the Division of Advancement's capital campaign, which began in September 2011, should permit the college to revisit the issue of faculty salaries.

Faculty workload

Despite the financial difficulties of the past five years, the college has authorized new positions in the Division of Academic Affairs to address some pressing needs. A Director of English as a Second Language and an Educational Opportunity Program counselor were added in 2007-08, and a Transitional Opportunity Program counselor was added in 2010-11, demonstrating Geneseo's commitment to assist and support its increasingly diverse student body. Moreover, in 2007-08, 0.5 FTE was added to the college's Small Business Development Center to accommodate greater outreach efforts. Because internships and other civic engagement opportunities often grow out of the center's work, this addition strengthened transformational learning outside the classroom.
A Dean of the School of Business and three more faculty FTE in biology were also authorized over this period.

State budget cuts, a hiring freeze, and an early retirement incentive have resulted in a number of vacant lines, both instructional and non-instructional. In 2010-11, state budget cuts forced the college to eliminate four vacant non-instructional lines, temporarily unfund 23.5 other lines that were either vacant or scheduled to become vacant (including 21.5 instructional lines), and transfer 3.4 FTE to other funds. Forty-five other employees, including three faculty, elected to participate in a state-sponsored early retirement incentive. The college also offered two incentive programs of its own, the Phased Retirement Program and the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program. Ten faculty participated in these two incentive programs, bringing the total number of early retirement participants to 55. To comply with the requirements of the early retirement incentive, the college eliminated 28.9 FTE in FY 2012 on an all-funds basis, including 9.7 instructional positions. The elimination of the 9.7 faculty lines in FY 2012 brought the total reduction in faculty lines to 11.9 since FY 2008, a reduction of 4.6 percent, from 259 FTE to 247.1 FTE.

Despite budget cuts and retirement incentive obligations, Geneseo has been able to maintain a cadre of high quality, full-time faculty. However, the magnitude of the cuts has adversely affected the college's student/faculty ratio, increasing that ratio to 20 to 1 (FY 2011) from 19 to 1 (since fall 2007).

A modest increase in part-time faculty has been necessary to maintain access to selected courses. Perhaps because of the increased student/faculty ratio, less than half of Geneseo's full-time faculty (46 percent) express satisfaction with their teaching load (2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey). Decreasing the ratio and limiting the number of part-time faculty are long-standing college priorities. To reduce the ratio, along with the pressure on certain high-enrollment departments, the college is attempting to manage its enrollment. Changes to the SUNY tuition policy have enabled the college to develop plans for filling 17 additional faculty lines in FY 2013. Together, better enrollment management and additional resources should bring improvement.


Sabbatical is one of the most significant awards an institution can give for faculty development. Geneseo's support of faculty development is reflected in the number of sabbatical leaves granted annually. Since 2007, 74 faculty have been granted sabbaticals. Table 5 summarizes sabbaticals granted in the last five academic years.

Table 5: Sabbatical Leaves

2007 to 2008

15 sabbaticals approved

2008 to 2009

26 sabbaticals approved

2009 to 2010

13 sabbaticals approved

2010 to 2011

9 sabbaticals approved

2011 to 2012

11 sabbaticals approved

The annual fluctuations in number of sabbaticals granted does not reflect uneven or reduced support. College administration, though seriously constrained by budget, has used a fair, rigorous peer-review process to award the maximum number of sabbaticals feasible each year. The administration does not view the college's fiscal obstacles as justification for curtailing its sabbatical program.

Funds for Scholarly Activity

The college supports faculty through benefits, awards, fellowships and grant programs, and other means, many of them established for well over a decade. For instance, when a newly hired faculty member receives a new computer and, in some cases, funds to support research endeavors. The college also strives to replace faculty computers and associated equipment every five years. (Before the budget crisis, the replacement cycle was three years.) When a faculty member secures an independently funded professional leave, health insurance costs are covered by the college. Travel and incentive grant programs, often supplemented by department awards, are available to support teaching, research, and participation at professional conferences and workshops.

Perhaps the most telling indicator of the college's commitment to its faculty is the number of the fellowships, awards, and grant programs managed by the college through the offices of the president and provost, the Geneseo Foundation, and the Office of Sponsored Research. Prominent examples include the Presidential, Roemer, Geneseo Foundation, and Research Development fellowships; College Senate small grants; sponsored professorships; and the Hurrell/McNaron award available to faculty. Awards are given annually for excellence in research and creativity, advisement, faculty mentoring, and part-time teaching. In 2009-10 alone, the Office of Sponsored Research funded 323 individual awards (faculty and student) totaling $239,475 (see 2009-10 Sponsored Research Annual Report). More funds will be directed to the Geneseo Foundation in 2011, permitting it to increase award amounts and to establish a new course-release program in proposal writing.

Table 6 reproduces annual subtotal amounts for "major faculty awards" and "other research support programs" from 1998 to 2010. The table shows that college support for faculty research has remained stable. Any fluctuations in funding totals reflect the number of fellowships, awards, and grants given each year, not a weakening commitment to these programs. In fact, the average funding in the last five years (2005-10) was $83,235, slightly above the mean yearly expenditure of $75,995 in the previous five-year period (2000-05). Even in the face of budget limitations, internal funding for faculty development activities has not diminished, a testament to the institution's commitment to faculty support. (For more detailed information, see the "College Support of Research Development" table in the Annual Report of the Office of Sponsored Research 2009-10.)

Table 6: Subtotal Expenditures For Faculty Awards And Research Support Programs





























The college's Teaching and Learning Center has become an avenue for faculty to collaborate and exchange ideas. The center's goal is to "reinforce the importance of teaching excellence as a fundamental responsibility of a public university." Each year, the center and the provost's office jointly sponsor a faculty colloquium series; recognize faculty members who have been nominated and competitively selected for outstanding teaching; and schedule periodic "open office hours" with the provost.

Through books, videos, a "teaching toolbox" of instructional tips, a full schedule of faculty presentations and discussion forums, and other services, the Teaching and Learning Center helps foster deeper understanding of the role of transformational learning in teaching and professional growth. Examples include the center's 2011 series on high-impact educational practices, and presentations and discussions by faculty members and invited guests on a wide range of topics, from the renewal of American higher education, to the impact of software and hardware tools such as wikis and the Kindle, to the use of mindfulness in pedagogical practice, to preparing and supporting African American college students. In the relatively short time since its inception, the center has become a main campus resource for faculty looking to hone and update their pedagogical skills.

Institutional policies and procedures

Selection of faculty

Since its last Middle States visit, the college has vigorously pursued its planning goal to "recruit, support, and foster the development of a diverse community of outstanding students, faculty, and staff." Actions taken by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Human Resources have clarified, standardized, and thereby improved search procedures. Faculty and staff involved in searches now receive training, and the search process takes extensive advantage of digital technology. Through these changes, the college has maintained and strengthened its unqualified support for affirmative action. These improvements are discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

There has been a modest increase in the number of minority and women hires to faculty and staff positions. According to the 2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey, there is faculty support for continuing efforts to hire more faculty of color (78 percent agree) and women (70 percent agree).

Policies and procedures for appointment and evaluation of part-time faculty are comparable to those for full-time faculty. Part-time faculty generally must possess a master's degree, though in unusual situations, specialized expertise in a narrow instructional area may justify a waiver of this criterion. Part-time faculty are typically hired for one year or less, or to fill a temporary vacancy. In accordance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees of SUNY (Article XI), part-time faculty are eligible for term appointment after six consecutive semesters of service. This status entitles them to prior notice if they are not going to be reappointed. Hiring procedures are governed by standards of the Policies of the Board of Trustees and the New York State/United University Professions Agreement, 2007-11, and as directed by Geneseo's Office of Human Resources.

Evaluation of Faculty

The college's faculty evaluation system requires untenured faculty to be reviewed every two years or sooner, depending on contractual decisions, and in the year prior to continuing appointment (tenure) review. The evaluation weightings are 50 percent teaching, 35 percent scholarship and creative activity, and 15 percent service. Criteria for evaluation are based on those stated in the Policies of the Board of Trustees. A college document entitled, "College Guidelines for Appointment, Term Renewal, Continuing Appointment and Promotion" provides brief descriptions of the expectations for each category. More detailed local standards may be found in Geneseo's Form H and in written department guidelines.

Based upon long-standing practice, the college does not require post-continuing appointment evaluations. Those seeking either promotion or university approval of a special SUNY rank (e.g., Distinguished Teaching Professor) undergo a review that follows a prescribed timetable in cases where the review is voluntarily initiated. Continuing appointment and promotion reviews are conducted independently by the faculty member's academic unit, the provost, and the Faculty Personnel Committee, each submitting an independent recommendation to the president. The president makes the final decision on all personnel matters.

Each fall, the president, the provost, and members of the Faculty Personnel Committee hold a meeting to inform faculty of the criteria and procedures used to evaluate them for contract renewal, continuing appointment, and promotion. The provost holds a similar meeting for faculty who may wish to apply for promotion to full professor. Evaluation for the rank of Professor includes external review by two experts in the faculty member's field of scholarship. The provost's website provides a handbook of Academic Affairs Policies as well as information on the evaluation procedures for contract renewal, continuing appointment, and promotion.

Like their full-time counterparts, part-time faculty participate in student evaluation of their teaching and are subject to evaluation within department or academic unit policies. SUNY Board of Trustees policies, the United University Professions (UUP) contract, and college policies afford part-time faculty the same rights of academic freedom as full-time academic employees enjoy, as well as most benefits, including health insurance, tuition waivers for SUNY-wide courses, patent rights, an optional retirement benefit, and support and services (such as office space and secretarial assistance) commensurate with the performance of their duties. Part-time faculty, along with full-time faculty and professional staff, are eligible for professional development funds through the Individual Awards Program administered by the NYS/UUP Joint Labor Management Committee. At Geneseo, the College Senate Constitution (Article II) defines term appointment part-time faculty who hold an academic rank and whose primary responsibility is to an academic unit as "teaching faculty" with full rights of representation.

In 2002, the President's Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation was formed to examine institutional policies and procedures against best practices in the academy. Two years later the task force submitted its final report, recommending adoption of a conceptual framework for the college's approach to roles, rewards, and evaluation procedures. The recommendations, in brief, are as follows:

  • adoption of a Personnel Evaluation Report (PER)
  • development of clearly defined department and discipline-specific expectations for renewal, continuing appointment, and promotion
  • adoption of a commercially available form (IDEA) for student evaluation of teaching
  • adoption of a college-wide policy for peer review of teaching
  • a reduced student/faculty ratio
  • creation of a reward system for noteworthy accomplishments of academic units
  • establishment of a faculty service award
  • faculty and chair development measures

These recommendations have been considered at the highest levels of administration, resulting in a number of changes, among them adjustments to the college's Form H, which is used for contract renewal, continuing appointment, and promotion decisions; creation of a Form CH to be used for evaluating department chairs; improvements to the college's annual orientation sessions for new faculty and for tenure and promotion reviews; clarification of evaluation criteria used by academic; changes to the process and form students use to evaluate teaching; and creation of campus awards that recognize faculty accomplishments in service, research and creative activity. A large proportion (79 percent) of Geneseo faculty members either strongly or somewhat agree that the college's criteria for advancement and promotion are clear (2010 to 2011 HERI Faculty Survey).

However, a sampling of department policies and procedures reveals that the language of transformational learning is not specifically identified in procedural guidelines for review and promotion. The college would do well to heighten campus-wide awareness of transformational learning as a guiding pedagogical concept, and to incoporate the concept explicitly into the appropriate institutional documents.

More information may be found in a number of documents in the Evidence Space, such as Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures, Strategic Planning Group Progress Report on Goals and Objectives, President's Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation.

Academic freedom

Title I of Policies of the Board of Trustees states, "It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research. In the exercise of this freedom faculty members may, without limitation, discuss their own subject in the classroom; they may not, however, claim as their right the privilege of discussing in their classroom controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. The principle of academic freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility. In their role as citizens, employees have the same freedoms as other citizens. However, in their extramural utterances employees have an obligation to indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons." Geneseo complies with the board's policy and implements that policy in the daily affairs of the institution.

Faculty perceptions that autonomy and independence are afforded (97 percent are satisfied), freedom to determine course content can be exercised (89 percent are satisfied), and respect for expression of diverse values and beliefs is descriptive of their campus experience (88 percent agree) are confirmation of the college's commitment to academic freedom (2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey).

Conclusions and recommendations


  • The college has instituted sensible expenditure controls to address budget gaps (OTPS controls, hiring freeze, travel restrictions, conservation and sustainability measures).
  • Campus Auxiliary Services and the Geneseo Foundation have become increasingly important for revenue generation and college support.
  • Noteworthy development of physical plant resources either has been realized or is in the strategic planning stage, despite budgetary constraints (e.g., Integrated Science Center, Residential Master Plan, Doty building project, proposed college stadium, Bailey renovation).
  • Physical plant projects, many governed by SUNY system planning, can potentially generate revenue, support faculty teaching and research, enhance facilities for transformational learning, and improve future student recruitment.
  • The Geneseo faculty profile compares favorably with that of public four-year institutions, and in some categories of evaluation with COPLAC and aspirational peers.
  • There is a strong and positive relationship between faculty scholarship, student learning, and student satisfaction with educational outcomes.


  • Academic program deactivations are an unfortunate result of the extraordinary fiscal constraints faced by the college since the last self-study. Further program deactivations are not anticipated, even though budgetary issues continue to affect resource needs of the institution.
  • The goal of achieving a lower student/faculty ratio to match aspirational peer institutions is yet to be realized.
  • Even though faculty are involved in numerous academic and co-curricular activities that meet the definition of transformational learning, this approach to education is not yet widely recognized as such by faculty, nor does the language of transformational learning appear widely in the documents of academic departments and the college.


  • Continue pursuing ways to generate revenue from within. Own-source revenue generation remains a vital need, even if mitigated somewhat by the new SUNY tuition policy, for the future of the college (e.g., Geneseo Foundation capital plan, online learning, Six Big Ideas task force outcomes).
  • Establish a more systematic schedule of equipment replacement.
  • Align physical plant maintenance closely with sustainability standards to help mitigate budget constraints.
  • Request increases in existing fees and develop new fees pursuant to the new Board of Trustees fee policy (e.g., lab fees, instructional cluster fees).
  • Continue multiple-year strategic and tactical planning. Such planning is essential if the college is to be successful in reaching its aspirational goals. This applies particularly to reducing the student/faculty ratio and achieving diversity targets in faculty recruitment efforts.
  • Adopt a systematic, campus-wide approach to integrating transformational learning into the mission and identity of the institution. Begin by integrating the language of transformational learning into the mission, goals, and values of the college; policies and procedures from the institutional to department levels; and faculty reward structure. Make transformational learning an explicit priority in budget planning and allocation.
  • Reconsider the faculty advancement and reward structure to better reflect the talents and skills of faculty members and their unique contributions to the to transformational learning and the success of the college.

<< Chapter 3: Student Success
Chapter 5: Leadership and Governance >>


  1. I am not following the math in the Technology resources, Information technology section. It states that the total cut was $117,437, a 6.0 percent reduction. It also states that funds started at $559,000. So wouldn't the reduction be $117,437 of $559,000 or 21.0 percent?

  2. Our Teacher Scholars section refers to our recent Fulbrights, but doesn't mention that eleven of our current faculty are Fulbright Scholars from previous years.  In the past two years, a member of the Sociology Department was also given a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad award.

    1. Thank you, Helen.  I think there will be an opportunity to mention this during the time we spend with the Middle States Review Committee.