Pratt Institute Academic Senate
December 21, 1993
Present: Ariev, Finkbeiner, Hayes, Hazzikostas, Hines (for Cohen), Kelly, Lobell, Morton, Palms, Pile,
Ross, Sirovich, Sparer, Toulis
Observer: Amy Snider
Guests: President Schutte, Kathleen Hopkins.
President Palms called the meeting to order at 12:15 P.M.
The minutes of November 30 and December 7 were approved.
• Board of Trustees Meeting (Kathleen Hopkins, the faculty trustee):
She voted in favor of the final faculty contract presented by the Board; in particular, she approved of
the TIAA-CREF reduction as an alternative to a cut in paychecks.
Pratt has a BBB- rating and therefore no bond, even a high-yielding one, will be issued.
The Board Finance Committee reported that expenses are in line, but revenues are down;
admissions are good, but there are more graduate students (who take fewer credits) and fewer
undergraduate students than expected.
The Dime Savings Bank agreed to a forbearance plan which started in November.
Herb Meyers, a new trustee with marketing expertise, was inducted.
The Search Committee for the Vice President of Development interviewed six candidates; there are
The following questions were brought up in the discussion precipitated by her report:
Why, when graduates programs are growing, is the graduate faculty being given what it views as a
slap in the face? (It is believed that the mandated 40% increase in graduate teaching load will have
a negative impact on some graduate programs and may cause some to be discontinued entirely.)
Has the administration done all that it can to cut administration's costs? The following motion passed
MOTION: The Academic Senate urges the faculty to immediately resign all committee assignments
until the Pratt Administration is willing bargain in good faith with the UFCT.
• President's Palms' Report:
Some trustees would like Pratt to have a greater presence in Manhattan. They suggest that the
Puck Show be expanded and more widely advertised.
President Schutte works well with Jack Minkoff and would like him to stay on as Provost for another
year. Minkoff has agreed to this. Schutte suggests that the faculty, the deans, and the Senate look
into curriculum development; possibly there is Mellon money available for curriculum review.
Some suggestions from the Senators were that
- this is the time when Pratt needs a Provost with expertise in curriculum development;
- there be a permanent Provost before there are searches for permanent deans;
- there be a period of about one semester in which Minkoff's tenure as Provost and the permanent
Provost's tenure overlap.
• General Committee (Palms):
Some issues discussed were:
* the necessity of the Budget Panel. Schutte believes it is dispensable and would like the top
administrators to come up with a plan vis-a-vis the budget.
* There will be a search for a head of Campus Planning and Management.
• Senate New Programs Committee (Lobell):
Lobell hosted a brainstorming session with several faculty, chairs, and deans. He will have a
meeting with chairs in the near future.
The Senators asked the President why he did not first consult with the Senate about Minkoff's appointment
and about the increase in the graduate faculty teaching load, both of which have academic ramifications.
The Senate is also concerned about "process," and about the decline in graduate faculty morale and general
morale on campus. It would like the Administration to reopen negotiations with the Union.
The President explained that right now Pratt has a lot on its platter, and that engaging in a full search would
be time-consuming; he would rather search for a Dean of Art & Design, since three years for an Acting Dean
is excessive. He said that because of "constraints" he could not discuss the terms of the contract, but that
he is concerned about morale. He is working hard to get money and still hopes to be a ray of light at Pratt.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 P.M. The next meeting will be at 12:15 P.M. on January 11.