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SUMMARY OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING

OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS

OF

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Held at the State Education Building

Albany, New York

February 9 and 10, 2009

Anthony Lofrumento, Secretary

Board of Regents


THE BOARD OF REGENTS

              The Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York held public sessions on Monday, February 9 at 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday, February 10 at 12:35 p.m. pursuant to a call duly sent to each Regent.

MEETING OF THE FULL BOARD, Monday, February 9, 12:00 p.m.

Board Members in Attendance:

 

Robert M. Bennett, Chancellor

Merryl H. Tisch, Vice Chancellor

James C. Dawson

Anthony S. Bottar

Geraldine D. Chapey

Arnold B. Gardner

Harry Phillips, 3rd

Joseph E. Bowman, Jr.

James R. Tallon, Jr.

Milton L. Cofield

Roger Tilles

Karen Brooks Hopkins

Charles R. Bendit

Betty A. Rosa

Lester W. Young, Jr.

              Also present were the Commissioner of Education, Richard P. Mills, Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, Kathy Ahearn, and the Secretary, Board of Regents, Anthony Lofrumento.  Regent Saul B. Cohen was absent and excused.

              Chancellor Robert M. Bennett called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.

ACTION ITEMS

Executive Session Motion

              MOVED, that the Board of Regents convene in Executive Session on Tuesday, February 10 at 8:00 a.m. for the purpose of discussing personnel and legal matters.

              Motion by:               Vice Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch

              Seconded by:           Regents James C. Dawson and Arnold B. Gardner

              Action:                     Motion carried unanimously

Charter Applications for February 2009

BR (A) 1

              MOVED, that the Regents approve each application in accordance with the recommendations contained in the respective summaries.

              Motion by:               Regent Anthony S. Bottar

              Seconded by:           Regent Harry Phillips, 3rd

              Action:                     Motion carried unanimously 

Summary of the January 2009 Meeting

BR (A) 2

              MOVED, that the Summary of the January 2009 Meeting of the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York be approved.

              Motion by:               Regent Anthony S. Bottar

              Seconded by:           Regent Harry Phillips, 3rd

              Action:                     Motion carried unanimously

State Education Department January 2009 Fiscal Report

BR (A) 3

                       

              MOVED, that the Board of Regents accept the January 2009 State Education Department Fiscal Report as presented.

              Motion by:               Regent James C. Dawson

              Seconded by:           Regent Milton L. Cofield

              Action:                     Motion carried unanimously

DISCUSSION ITEM

Commissioner’s Report to the Board

Oral

              The Commissioner’s written monthly report focused on priority subject areas under consideration during the February monthly meeting:  Federal Stimulus Legislation, Cost Containment and Student Achievement, Professional Development Standards for Teachers, Data System Improvements, Higher Education Data, Grades 3-8 Testing and School District Fund Balance and Reserves.

Full Board adjourned at 12:35 p.m.

 

MEETING OF THE FULL BOARD, Tuesday, February 10, 12:35 p.m.

Board Members in Attendance:

Robert M. Bennett, Chancellor

Merryl H. Tisch, Vice Chancellor

James C. Dawson

Anthony S. Bottar

Arnold B. Gardner

Harry Phillips, 3rd 

Joseph E. Bowman, Jr.

James R. Tallon, Jr.

Roger Tilles

Charles R. Bendit

Betty A. Rosa

Lester W. Young, Jr.

              Also present were the Commissioner of Education, Richard P. Mills, Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, Kathy Ahearn, and the Secretary, Board of Regents, Anthony Lofrumento.  Regents Saul B. Cohen, Geraldine D. Chapey, Milton L. Cofield  and Karen Brooks Hopkins were absent and excused.

              Chancellor Robert M. Bennett called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m.

ACTION ITEM

Zebra Mussels Patent Issue

Oral

              MOVED, that the USNY Board of Trustees accept the assignment of an undivided joint ownership interest in Canadian Patent No. 2225436 from Daniel Molloy.

              Motion by:               Regent Anthony S. Bottar      

              Seconded by:           Regent James C. Dawson

              Action:                    Motion carried unanimously

          

INFORMATION ITEM

Commissioner’s Summary

Oral

              Commissioner Richard P. Mills summarized the meeting, including among other topics, audit reports, New York State School for the Blind, veterans needs, multiyear state aid proposal, cost containment strategies, stimulus package administration and transparency, ELS response, and Higher Education profiles.

 

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

              MOVED, that the reports from the Regents Standing Committees be approved as submitted.

              Motion by:               Regents Joseph E. Bowman, Jr. and Roger Tilles            

              Seconded by:           Regent James R. Tallon, Jr.

              Action:                     Motion carried unanimously

              Chancellor made a motion to adjourn and the meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

 

REGENTS COMMITTEE ON ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE, SECONDARY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

Your EMSC Committee held its scheduled meeting on February 9, 2009.  All Committee members were present except for Regent Cohen, who was excused.

ACTION ITEMS

Charter Schools

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the New York Center for Autism Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.   [EMSC (A) 1]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Williamsburg Charter High School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly. Your Committee further recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the first renewal charter of the Williamsburg Charter High School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, and that its provisional charter be extended for a term up through and including July 27, 2009.  [EMSC (A) 2]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Academic Leadership Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including February 9, 2014.  [EMSC (A) 3]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Brooklyn Scholars Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including February 9, 2014.  [EMSC (A) 4]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves the first revision to the initial charter of the Brooklyn Ascend Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.  [EMSC (A) 5]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, and the provisional charter be amended accordingly.   Your Committee further recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the first renewal charter of the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, and that its provisional charter be extended for a term up through and including August 10, 2009.  [EMSC (A) 6] 

 

MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD

   

              Mr. Chancellor and Colleagues:  Your EMSC Committee recommends, and I move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on February 10, 2009, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

Critical Improvements to the K-12 Data System – The Regents discussed an update on improvements to the Department’s K-12 data system in three areas:  1) leadership and organization (reorganization in EMSC) 2) redesign of data infrastructure (to prevent problems and data errors before they occur) and 3) long term plans to re-engineer the data system.  Some of the short-term actions include providing school district access to the data that they enter quickly so they can correct errors; making data reports available to school districts outside of the nySTART system so that they can access data more easily when verifying and certifying their data; coordination data collection with special education so that there is one data calendar; providing support and training for school districts and the creation of regional data advisory groups.  The Department has applied for a three-year $7.8 million grant from USDOE.   These funds would be used to streamline the data system, increase data quality and accuracy, make local reporting easier, support Regents policy and school district practice to improve student achievement, and reduce the cycle time for reporting to the public.    [EMSC (D) 1]

Grades 3-8 Testing Policy Overview – The Regents continued their policy discussion on issues related to the Grades 3-8 test:   possible rescheduling of the exams to a different time of year as well as how the tests should be used and what types of questions should be on the tests (all multiple choice questions versus a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions).  The Regents heard about the field survey that is underway to get input on these issues.  The survey asks questions about preferences for which month the Grades 3-8 mathematics and English Language Arts examinations should be administered as well as preferences for scoring models (school, district, regional or vendor scoring) and for test format (multiple-choice vs. open-ended questions). It also asks respondents to identify other relevant issues such as availability of sufficient room and staffing for the exams.   The survey was posted on-line on Friday, February 6th and already 5,000 responses have been received.  In March the survey results will be provided to the Regents to help inform their policy decisions   

The Committee also discussed the problem experienced in January related to the cancellation of the second part of the Regents Comprehensive English Exam due to the weather.  The Senior Deputy asked the Board for their endorsement to pursue two policy directions that would create more flexibility.   The first is to redesign the Comprehensive Examination in English to be a one-part exam versus the current format which is a 6-hour two part exam, and endorsement to explore alternative options for the test administration and release policy to provide greater flexibility for student needs and to reduce the expense associated with the release of the questions and answers for each Regents exam.  The current policy has not permitted “make-up” administrations when an exam has to be cancelled.   The Committee endorsed these two policy directions.  The Committee also requested that staff look for immediate solutions to the problem associated with students who took the first part of the January  2009 Regents English exam being required to retake that part because the second part was cancelled.    [EMSC (D) 2]

Economic Stimulus Plan – Senior Deputy Commissioner Johanna Duncan-Poitier provided a detailed overview of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Package).  This included a description of actions the Department is now taking to position itself to expeditiously move these funds once enacted.  Among the many actions,  staff is assessing the dollar amounts in both bills (competitive and formula driven); creating a master calendar for implementation; looking at process issues and accountability; and preparing a plan for communications with the field. The Senior Deputy also provided projected education dollar amounts in both the Senate and House bills. 

Policy Activity Follow-up – Each month the Senior Deputy will be providing the Board of Regents with an update on the status of various policies that require follow-up so that the members of the Board of Regents committees are aware of activities in the field. Examples for this month’s report include off-line work on English Language Learners, Strengthening Urban teachers (forum follow-up); networks; completion of C4E cycle for this year and work to follow; Credit Recovery; streamlining of regulations/regulatory reform/consolidated monitoring, etc. Due to time constraints, this topic was not discussed this month.   

 

REGENTS COMMITTEE ON VOCATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

Your VESID Committee held its scheduled meeting on February 9, 2009.   All members were present.    Chancellor Bennett, Vice-Chancellor Tisch, Regents Bottar, Phillips, Tallon and Young also attended.                                      

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

         Deputy Commissioner Cort discussed with the Committee five specific State law/regulation requirements in special education that may result in administrative relief and/or cost savings to school districts, but that would not significantly impact the quality of special education supports and services available to students with disabilities.  These recommendations were the result of discussions held with the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel (CAP) for Special Education Services as well as stakeholders representing the Education Finance Advisory Committee, parents of students with disabilities, professional disability organizations, teachers unions, school superintendents, rural schools, school business officials, special education administrators, schools boards and others as well as written comments received.  The Committee agreed that the Department could move forward with respect to proposal #3 – Special Education Space Planning Requirements and proposal #4 – Parental Consent for July/August Services.  They asked that staff bring back additional information for further discussion/consideration with regard to proposal # 1 – Minimum Level of Service Requirement for Speech and Language Related Services and proposal #5 – Due Process Statute of Limitations.  The Committee did not support proposal #2 – Membership of the CSE and CPSE.  (VESID (D) 4)

In response to the recommendation of the VESID Committee, the Department developed and distributed a Request for Letters of Interest for potential qualified operators for the New York State School for the Blind (NYSSB).  Deputy Commissioner Cort reported on the responses that were received from eligible respondents.   The Committee agreed that the Department should pursue further discussions with the Perkins School for the Blind, one of the respondents who a review team determined to be the most qualified potential provider, to explore in more detail the feasibility of Perkins operating NYSSB.  (VESID (D) 3)

The Committee was provided an overview of the history and roles of the Independent Living Center (ILC) network, including the independent living philosophy, the primary services provided by staff at ILC’s and how New York State ILC’s have helped shape policy on national, state and local levels.  (VESID (D) 2)

Time did not permit discussion of the item “Designing our Future – New Vocational Rehabilitation Initiatives.”  It will be brought back for discussion at a future Regents meeting.  (VESID (D) 1)

REGENTS COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION

              Your Higher Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on February 10, 2009.   All members were present except for Regents Cofield, Cohen and Chapey, who were excused.

Consent Agenda

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents authorize the State University of New York Board of Trustees to confer the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree on duly qualified students successfully completing registered B.S. programs at the State University College of Technology at Canton effective February 10, 2009.   [HE (CA) 1]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approve the proposed permission to operate effective February 10, 2009, to authorize the University of Pennsylvania to use five clinical agencies in New York for clinical education of students in six of its Master of Science in Nursing degree programs.    [HE (CA) 2]

Action Items

The Committee discussed the recommendations of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching on New York State Professional Development Standards.  The discussion included feedback and comments concerning the amount of time teachers spend on professional development and the value of test scoring as a means of professional development.  The Committee recommends that the Regents endorse the proposed New York State Professional Development Standards and that Department staff proceed with implementation as appropriate.   The Department will disseminate the Professional Development Standards widely and will develop a guidance document to accompany the Standards. In addition, the Department will propose amendments to pertinent sections of Commissioner’s Regulations to add reference to the Professional Development Standards in district professional development and annual professional performance review processes. 

[HE (A) 1]

 

MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD

              Mr. Chancellor and Colleagues:  Your Higher Education Committee recommends, and I move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on February 10, 2009, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.

 

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

CUNY Master Plan – 2008-2012 – The Committee discussed the introduction and first two chapters of the 2008-2012 CUNY Master Plan.  Committee members discussed the importance of dropout and retention rates in all community colleges and whether CUNY has specific strategies designed to address these problems.  The issues in the CUNY Master Plan directly affect many of the P-16 policy issues of the Board of Regents (closing the achievement gap, teacher preparation, CTE, etc.).  CUNY leadership has been invited to the March meeting of the Board of Regents to discuss how their work coincides with the work of the Department.   In addition to those already invited, the Committee suggests that invitations also go out to a CUNY Dean of Education; a staff person from the Chancellor’s office who manages the program for students with disabilities; and an opportunity programs specialist.  It was also suggested that someone who represents the Black Male Initiative would be helpful to this policy conversation the Board of Regents are having on the low performance of Black males.   [HE (D) 1]

Overview of Higher Education in New York State: Looking at the Data – Staff provided an overview of higher education data (enrollment, performance, faculty, degrees earned and student financial aid).   The Committee members asked staff to bring back this information for a full Board discussion, taking into consideration latest developments associated with the downturn in the economy and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Package).   [HE (D) 2]

                                                                               

 REGENTS COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

              Your Professional Practice Committee held its scheduled meeting on February 9, 2009.  All Committee members were present, except Vice Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, Regent Saul B. Cohen and Regent Geraldine D. Chapey, who were excused.

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

Professional Discipline Cases

              Your Committee recommends that the reports of the Regents Review Committees, including rulings, findings of fact, determinations as to guilt, and recommendations, by unanimous or majority vote, contained in those reports which have been distributed to you, be accepted in 3 cases.  In addition, your Committee recommends, upon the recommendation of the Committee on the Professions, that 36 consent order applications and 2 surrender applications be granted.  [PPC EXS (A) 1-3]

In the case of Rite Aid Of New York, Inc., Pharmacy, Calendar No. 23935, we recommend that, in view of respondent’s Application For A Consent Order in which it requested the imposition of a $10,000 fine and the identification of the number “$10,000” as the amount of the fine in said Application For A Consent Order, the provision in said Application For A Consent Order, which was granted by the Board Of Regents on November 18, 2008, that reads “seven thousand five hundred dollars” be deemed corrected, the provision “seven thousand five hundred dollars” be deemed eliminated, and the Application For A Consent Order be deemed to provide and read the correct amount of the fine of ”ten thousand dollars”; and the November 18, 2008 Vote and Order, which is currently in effect and will continue to remain in effect after this Vote and Order becomes effective, be deemed amended to be based upon and related to the correct amount of the fine imposed on Rite Aid Of New York, Inc. of ”ten thousand dollars.”

In the case of Jane Whallon Benson, Veterinarian, Calendar No. 24197, we recommend that each of the references, in both the Application To Surrender License granted by the Board of Regents on December 16, 2008 and the specification of professional misconduct attached to said Application To Surrender License, to the profession of “Nursing” be deemed corrected, each of the references to “Nursing” be deemed eliminated, and each of such references be deemed to read the correct profession for respondent of a “Veterinarian”; and the December 16, 2008 Vote and Order, which is currently in effect and will continue to remain in effect after this Vote and Order becomes effective, be deemed amended to be based upon and related to the correct “Veterinarian” profession for Jane Whallon Benson.

              These recommendations are made following the review of 41 cases involving nine registered professional nurses, seven licensed practical nurses, five pharmacies, three licensed practical nurses who are also registered professional nurses, three pharmacists, two acupuncturists, one architect, one certified public accountant, one chiropractor, one physical therapist, one podiatrist, one professional engineer, one respiratory therapist, one veterinarian, and one veterinary technician.

Restoration Petitions

Your Committee’s report originally did not report any action on restoration petitions.  However, the Committee’s report is being orally amended at the meeting of the full Board of Regents on February 10, 2009, to reflect that your Committee voted that the Board of Regents deny the petition for restoration of a professional license [PPC EXS (A) 4].

Approvals

              Your Committee recommends the approval of the proposed emergency action to adopt revisions to the November 2008 emergency amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to the certification of licensed pharmacists to administer immunizations for the prevention of influenza and pneumococcal disease and medications for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis to provide clarification on the reporting requirements for certified pharmacists, and to otherwise ensure that the emergency rule adopted at the November 2008 Regents meeting remains continuously in effect until the effective date of its adoption as a permanent rule.  [PPC (A) 1]

Consent Agenda

              Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approve the recommendations of the Committee on the Professions regarding licensing petitions.  [PPC (CA) 1]

MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD

              Mr. Chancellor and Colleagues:  Your Professional Practice Committee recommends, and we move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on February 9, 2009, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent, as amended orally at the February 10, 2009 meeting of the Board of Regents.

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

 

              Your Committee discussed several topics of interest, including:

  • Associate Commissioner’s Report – This report included an update on the Office of the Professions budget, including the impact of budget cuts, the proposed fee increase, and the support for that increase received from the Legislature (Senator Stavisky and Assemblywoman Glick) and the professional associations.  Other items discussed were the licensure of social workers and the implementation of the CPA law.  [Oral Report] 
  • Physical Therapy Continuing Education Regulations – This item discussed the proposed regulations implementing the 2008 law requiring continuing education for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.  [PPC (D) 1]

 

REGENTS COMMITTEE ON CULTURAL EDUCATION

 

Regent James C. Dawson, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report.

Your Committee on Cultural Education had its scheduled meeting on February 9, 2009.

In attendance were: Regents Dawson, Bowman, Brooks Hopkins, Gardner, Phillips, and Young.

Absent: Regent Tilles

ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

Chairs’ Remarks: Regent Dawson greeted everyone and opened the meeting with an update on the Cultural Education Trust Board meetings, the New Netherlands and Rockwell Kent exhibits.

Deputy’s Report: Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Cannell greeted everyone and introduced the new Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian, Bernard Margolis.  Mr. Cannell talked briefly about the Deputy’s Monthly Report that had been electronically distributed to the Board on Regents prior to the February meeting along with a short video clip of Mr. Cannell talking about the New Netherland Project display that is on the fourth floor Terrace in the Museum.  Hard copies of monthly report were provided for meeting attendees. 

CE (A) 1 - Amendment to Section 92.1 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to the State Library’s Circulation Policy

Bernard Margolis, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for the Library provided a brief report in which the State Library is seeking adoption of the amended NYCRR, title 8, section 92.1(b) as previously presented at the September 2008 CE Committee meeting.  A Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published in the State Register on November 26, 2008 with no comments received.  The amendment would include NY Resident Borrowers as a permanent category, providing increased accessibility to the materials of the State Library to New Yorkers and, if adopted, will have an effective date of March 5, 2009. 

MOTION BY:             Regent Phillips

SECONDED BY:        Regent Bowman

ACTION:                    Carried

CE (D) 2 - Archives:  Report and Demonstration of the Ventana al Pasado and La Escuela Electronica Projects

Chris Ward, State Archivist and Assistant Commissioner for the Archives provided a brief history regarding the above projects which represent the culmination of over 15 years of work by the State Archives and partner institutions to identify, collect, manage, preserve, and provide access to collections and important documents which might have otherwise been lost.  Twenty-four repositories have developed significant collections that document different aspects of Latino culture, life and politics in New York State.

Ms. Ward introduced the two presenters Maria Holden and Julie Daniels.  Maria Holden, Archives and Records Management Specialist 5, State Archives, presented on Ventana al Pasado – Windows on the Past – which brings together Latino/Hispanic collections and contains detailed information about the records of individuals and organizations that have contributed to government, communities, arts and culture, and education including bilingual education. 

Julie Daniels, Coordinator, State Archives provided a demonstration of the La Escuela Electronica/The Electronic Schoolhouse website.   This bilingual, document-based teacher resource and educational resource meets P-16 goals such as, improve outcomes for English Language Learners; strengthen instruction and integrates technology as well as provides the capability to develop customized learning activities for each document.  Ms. Daniels also spoke of teachers’ responses to this website and of marketing and promotion of the site to educators.

CE (D) 1 - New York State Universal Broadband Access Grant Program

Bernard Margolis provided the Regents with a brief introduction and what he envisions for the State Library and its service to public, academic, and school libraries.  Mr. Margolis, briefly spoke of the State Library’s current statewide initiatives to improve broadband access in public libraries and introduced Mary Linda Todd of Library Development, project director for these programs.  Ms. Todd provided a comprehensive update of the status of the following grant projects and what they mean for libraries and broadband access in New York.

  • The Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program
  • The Broadband Access Grant Program awarded by the Governor’s Office for Technology
  • The Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Broadband Access Pilot Grant Program.

These grant projects target rural and suburban public libraries that service high need communities and that may have a very low rate or no internet access, consequently, the public may not be able to take advantage of E-Government services (applying for food stamps, unemployment benefits, submit on-line job applications or access and use databases such as those offered in the Statewide Internet Library to get updated information on such topics as business, consumer and health issues). Ms. Todd provided detailed information related to each of the above programs.

These three grant initiatives, which build upon and support each other, will have a far-reaching impact on New York’s public libraries by creating affordable and sustainable high speed internet access, enabling library users the ability to access E-Government services, job-searching information, and other internet-dependent services.

 

REGENTS SUBCOMMITTEE ON AUDITS

Your Regents Subcommittee on Audits met yesterday morning.

Counsel briefed the Subcommittee on actions taken to ensure that school districts cited in audits for non-compliance are taking appropriate actions to correct deficiencies.  Specifically, we were briefed on follow up activities with three school districts involving mandatory Board training and the appropriateness of certain employee benefits.

The rest of the meeting was largely focused on recent audit findings including an audit of the Niagara Falls School District that identified weaknesses in controls over the payment of employee benefits.  This is the second audit of Niagara Falls issued in the last four months.  The other Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) audits discussed at the meeting related to school districts’ financial condition and the use of fund balance and reserves.  The Comptroller’s audits reported that some districts have retained too much fund balance and in some cases the district cannot support the creation of, or funding of reserves.  Staff provided a brief presentation on the concepts related to fund balance and reserves including terminology, components of fund balance, portions that can be legally retained, various reserve accounts and corresponding statutory authorization, and common audit findings cited by the Comptroller’s audits.

The Subcommittee was presented with 32 audits this month.  All were issued by the OSC.  The Department’s Internal Audit Workgroup identified thirteen audits for additional attention.  We were briefed on 9 of the audits.

The findings were in the areas of procurement, cash, information technology, financial reporting, payroll, claims processing, conflict of interest, segregation of duties, and others, such as, control environment, use of reserves, sale of district property, student transportation services, and summer sports program.

I have attached the results of the full Review of Audits presented by the Department’s Internal Audit Workgroup for your information.

Appendix I

NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF REGENTS CHARTER ACTIONS

CULTURAL EDUCATION

ABSOLUTE CHARTERS

PALMYRA COMMUNITY LIBRARY

Palmyra, Wayne County

The board of trustees has petitioned the Board of Regents to form a corporation to provide library services to the Palmyra Community Library District by offering the following services free of charge: books, periodicals and audiovisual materials for loan; internet access; access to local and genealogy collection; programs for all ages from toddlers to adults.  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter in the first instance be granted.

PRATTSBURG FREE LIBRARY

Prattsburg, Steuben County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on July 28, 1978 to operate a library.  Such provisional charter was extended by Regents action on January 18, 1989, September 20, 1996, January 12, 2004 and amended on March 21, 2006.  The board of trustees has applied for an absolute charter.  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the provisional charter be made absolute.

AMENDMENT OF CHARTER

BAYVILLE FREE LIBRARY

Bayville, Nassau County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on December 3, 1903 to operate a library.  Such provisional was made absolute by Regents action on May 2, 1912.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the absolute charter to change the number of trustees from five to seven, to designate the Commissioner of Education as agent of the corporation upon whom process in any action or proceeding against it may be served, and to add the language necessary to maintain tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3).  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter be amended accordingly.

CALEDONIA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

Caledonia, Livingston County

This corporation was incorporated by the Secretary of State under the corporate name “Ladies Circulating Library Society of Caledonia” on July 2, 1877.  Such charter was amended by Regents action to change the corporate name to “Caledonia Library Association” on June 25, 1917.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the absolute charter to specify the number of trustees to be not less than five nor more than fifteen, to designate the Commissioner of Education as agent of the corporation upon whom process in any action or proceeding against it may be served, and to add the language necessary to maintain tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3).  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter be amended accordingly.

CASTLETON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Castleton, Rensselaer County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on April 1, 1909 to operate a library.  Such provisional charter was made absolute by Regents action on May 2, 1912.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the absolute charter to specify the number of trustees to be not less than five nor more than fifteen, to designate the Commissioner of Education as agent of the corporation upon whom process in any action or proceeding against it may be served, and to add the language necessary to maintain tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3).  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter be amended accordingly.

EASTCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY

Eastchester, Westchester County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on March 26, 1954 to operate a library.  Such provisional charter was made absolute by Regents action on March 20, 1959.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the absolute charter to specify the number of trustees to be not less than five nor more than nine.  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter be amended accordingly.

PROVISIONAL CHARTER

THE PLESHAKOV PIANO MUSEUM

Hunter, Greene County

The board of trustees has petitioned the Board of Regents to form a museum to house, maintain and display to the public of antique historical, and period pianos and other musical instruments; musical events related to the said instruments for the benefit of the public; concerts, lectures, classes, and studies available to the public for educational purposes.  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that a provisional charter be granted for a period of five years.

EXTENSION OF CHARTER

FRIENDSHIP-NILE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Friendship, Allegany County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on December 13, 2002 to operate a historical society.  The board of trustees has applied for an extension of the provisional charter.  The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the provisional charter be extended for a period of five years to allow the corporation additional time to develop its programs and otherwise demonstrate that it can meet the requirements for an absolute charter.

ORDERS OF DISSOLUTION

NAPLES LIBRARY

Naples, Ontario County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on June 29, 1962 to operate a public library serving the residents of the Town of Naples.  Such provisional charter was made absolute by Regents action on February 23, 1968 and amended on April 21, 1998.  The board of trustees has petitioned the Board of Regents for the dissolution of the charter as the corporation is no longer in operation and all taxes payable by the corporation have been paid.  The trustees request Regents approval of the transfer of the library property of Naples Library to Naples Library, which was incorporated by action of the Board of Regents under an absolute charter in the first instance on October 23, 2007 to serve the residents of the Naples Central School District. The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter of the Naples Library (town public library) be dissolved and that its library property be transferred to the Naples Library (school district public library).

POLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

Poland, Herkimer County

An absolute charter in the first instance was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on February 27, 1920 to operate a public library serving the residents of the Village of Poland.  The board of trustees has petitioned the Board of Regents for the dissolution of the charter as the corporation is no longer in operation and all taxes payable by the corporation have been paid.  The trustees request Regents approval of the transfer of the library property of Poland Public Library to Poland District Public Library, which was incorporated by action of the Board of Regents under an absolute charter in the first instance on October 23, 2007 to serve the residents of the Poland Central School District. The Office of Cultural Education recommends that the absolute charter of the Poland Public Library be dissolved and that its library property be transferred to the Poland District Public Library.

RESCINDING  ORDER OF CONSOLIDATION

THE MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE CENTER and MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE FOUNDATION, INC.

Fayetteville, Onondaga County

An order of consolidation of The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center and Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc. was granted by the Board of Regents on December 16, 2008. The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center was granted a provisional charter by the Board of Regents on December 16, 2008.  Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc. was incorporated under §402 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law (NPCL) on March 3, 2000.  Upon the December 16, 2008 effective date of the order of consolidation of The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center and Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc.,The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center assumed all the assets, liabilities and responsibilities of both organizations.  The consolidated corporation operates under the provisional charter granted to The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center.  On January 21, 2009 Office of Counsel received correspondence requesting that the order of consolidation be rescinded so that Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc. may remain temporarily incorporated under the New York State not-for-profit Corporation Law and retain its tax exempt status, until such time as The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center may obtain tax exempt status.  At that time, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center and Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc. intend to petition the Board of  Regents for an Order of Consolidation.  The Office of Counsel recommends that the Board of Regents vote to rescind the order of consolidation granted to the corporation.

 

ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE, SECONDARY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

ABSOLUTE CHARTER

NORTHSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Brooklyn, Kings County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on February 8, 2000 to operate a kindergarten and grades one through eight elementary school.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the provisional charter to change the corporate name to “Northside Catholic Academy” and to add authority to also operate a pre-kindergarten for four year olds and, as so amended, for an absolute charter.  The Office of Nonpublic School Services recommends that the provisional charter be amended accordingly and, as so amended, be made absolute.

AMENDMENT & EXTENSION OF CHARTERS

THE GARDEN ROAD SCHOOL

Croton-On-Hudson, Westchester County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on July 21, 2005 to operate a nursery school, a kindergarten and a grades one through two elementary school.  The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the provisional charter to change the corporate address to 99 Baron De Hirsch Road, Crompond, New York 10517, with a mailing address of PO Box 300, Crompond, New York 10517, to add authority to also operate a grades three through six and a two hour two year old program and a one hour Mommy and Me program, to operate a before and after care program, and to operate a summer camp with the understanding that it must be approved by the New York State Health Department prior to operation and, as so amended, be extended. The Office of Nonpublic School Services recommends that the provisional charter be amended accordingly and, as so amended, extended for a period of three years to allow the corporation additional time to develop its programs and otherwise demonstrate that it can meet the requirements for an absolute charter.

THE MCCARTON SCHOOL

New York City, New York County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on October 4, 2002 to operate a center-based school for the education of children with autistic spectrum disorder from three to eight years of age and to establish and operate a day care center within the state of New York.  Such provisional charter was amended by Regents action on September 10, 2004 and extended on December 9, 2005. The board of trustees has applied for an amendment to the provisional charter to specify that the school is operating a nursery school for preschool children from three to five years of age, a kindergarten for five year olds, and a grades one through twelve school and, as so amended, be extended.  The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) has been provided with an opportunity to review this action and the trustees have been advised that the granting of any amendments thereof or extensions thereof does not constitute approval for state funding for programs and services under the jurisdiction of VESID.  The Office of Nonpublic School Services recommends that the provisional charter be amended accordingly and, as so amended, extended for a period of three years to allow the corporation additional time to develop its programs and otherwise demonstrate that it can meet the requirements for an absolute charter.

ORDER OF DISSOLUTION

CENTERPOINT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

Angelica, Allegany County

A provisional charter was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on July 21, 2005 to operate a school.  Such provisional charter was amended by Regents action on July 26, 2006.  The board of trustees has petitioned the Board of Regents for the dissolution of the charter due to the school is no longer in operation and all taxes payable by the corporation have been paid.  The trustees request Regents approval to store the student records at the Houghton Academy, 9790 Thayer Street, Houghton, New York 14744 and seeks Regents approval of the distribution of the remaining assets of the corporation, as per it’s by-laws, to the Houghton Academy.  The Office of Nonpublic School Services recommends that the absolute charter of Centerpoint Christian Academy be dissolved, its records be stored at the Houghton Academy, and that the Regents recommend that its assets be distributed to Houghton Academy, subject to judicial approval pursuant to section 220 of the Education Law. 

 

HIGHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

AMENDMENT OF CHARTER

THE RESEARCH FOUNDATION OF STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

Albany, Albany County

An absolute charter in the first instance was granted to this corporation by action of the Board of Regents on February 16, 1951. Such absolute charter was amended by Regents action on June 29, 1951, November 22, 1968, May 23, 1986, January 17, 1990 and December 12, 2003.  The board of directors has applied for an amendment to the absolute charter to increase the allowable number of directors from 16 to up to 25 and to eliminate the position that requires the Executive Vice Chancellor to serve as chair of the Board of Directors if the Chancellor declines to act as Chair and provide for election of the Chair by the board of directors in this circumstance. Paragraph three of the charter would be amended to read:  The number of Directors is to be up to twenty-five, to be at first the persons named as incorporated who shall serve until the appointment and qualification of successor directors as provided herein.  The Chancellor of The State University of New York shall be a director, ex-officio, and shall serve as Chair of the Board of Directors; provided, however, that of the Chancellor is unwilling or unable to act as Chair, the Board shall elect a director form among the Board who shall serve as Chair of the Board of Directors.  Twenty-four directors and their successors shall be elected by the Board of Directors of The Research Foundation of State University if New York for term of three years each.  The Board shall have power to adopt bylaws.  The Office of Higher Education recommends that the absolute charter be amended accordingly.

 

Appendix II

REGENTS ACTIONS IN 41 PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE CASES

February 9-10, 2009

 

The Board of Regents announced disciplinary actions resulting in the surrender of 2 licenses, and 39 other disciplinary actions.  The penalty indicated for each case relates solely to the misconduct set forth in that particular case.

I. SURRENDERS

Nursing

Marie Lourdes Gilles; Licensed Practical Nurse; Yonkers, NY 10701; Lic. No. 213030; Cal. No. 24251; Application to surrender license granted.  Summary: Licensee admitted to the charge of having been convicted of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree, a class C felony.

Podiatry

Arthur Michael Minkoff; Woodmere, NY 11598; Lic. No. 003104; Cal. No. 24325; Application to surrender license granted.  Summary: Licensee did not contest allegations of having been convicted of crimes of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 3rd Degree, Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the 2nd Degree, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the 3rd Degree, and Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the 4th Degree.

 

II. OTHER REGENTS DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

Acupuncture

Catherine Frances Tortorella; Richmond Hill, NY 11418; Lic. No. 002280; Cal. No. 24238; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $2,500 fine.

Anatoly Shafransky; Brooklyn, NY 11229-2331; Lic. No. 002996; Cal. No. 24261; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 month actual suspension, 22 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $2,500 fine.

 

Architecture

Malcolm Aston Kaye; New York, NY 10003; Lic. No. 021910; Cal. No. 24095; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $2,500 fine.

 

Chiropractic

Catherine Frances Tortorella; Richmond Hill, NY 11418; Lic. No. 002754; Cal. No. 24237; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $2,500 fine.

 

Engineering and Land Surveying

Ronald B. Cagan; Professional Engineer; Brooklyn, NY 11230-6013; Lic. No. 054060; Cal. No. 23480; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 month actual suspension, 22 month stayed suspension, $7,500 fine payable within 60 days.

 

Nursing

Marilou P. Sadd; Registered Professional Nurse; Sound Beach, NY 11789; Lic. No. 484037; Cal. No. 22790; Found guilty of professional misconduct; Penalty: Pursue a course of education in ethics, probation 2 years, $500 fine.

Kenya Askale Lindsay a/k/a Kenya Lindsay; Registered Professional Nurse; Atlanta, GA 30305; Lic. No. 515901; Cal. No. 23894; Found guilty of professional misconduct; Penalty: Annulment of license, $10,000 fine payable within 6 months.

Peter Jerome Felton; Licensed Practical Nurse; Wyandanch, NY 11798; Lic. No. 213066; Cal. No. 23992; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation to commence upon return to practice.

Catherine Hill; Licensed Practical Nurse; Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776; Lic. No. 098086; Cal. No. 24048; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 month actual suspension, 35 month stayed suspension, 3 years probation.

Kathleen Marie Leo; Registered Professional Nurse; Johnstown, NY 12095; Lic. No. 469060; Cal. No. 24104; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 month actual suspension, 23 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $500 fine.

Beverly A. Brown-Pisons; Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Professional Nurse; Staten Island, NY 10301; Lic. Nos. 240592, 478953; Cal. Nos. 24154, 24016; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 4 month actual suspension, 32 month stayed suspension, 3 years probation.

Julie A. Causyn; Licensed Practical Nurse; Rochester, NY 14624; Lic. No. 262348; Cal. No. 24169; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $750 fine.

Guy D’Agostino; Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Professional Nurse; Fair Lawn, NJ 07410; Lic. Nos. 134715, 318152; Cal. Nos. 24187, 24188; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 month actual suspension, 23 month stayed suspension, 24 months  probation, $2,500 fine.

Cindy K. Joe; Registered Professional Nurse; Lake Alfred, FL 33850; Lic. No. 580255; Cal. No. 24196; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation to commence upon return to practice in New York State, $1,500 fine payable within 1 year.

Philomena Walker-Keller; Registered Professional Nurse; Jamaica, NY 11435; Lic. No. 209497; Cal. No. 24201; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $500 fine.

Rhonda Gierszewski; Licensed Practical Nurse; South Dayton, NY 14138; Lic. No. 286060; Cal. No. 24202; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: Indefinite actual suspension until fit to practice, upon termination of suspension 2 years probation to commence upon return to practice, $250 fine payable within 6 months.

Mary Catherine Oberle; Licensed Practical Nurse; New Windsor, NY 12553; Lic. No. 260965; Cal. No. 24212; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $2,500 fine.

Roxanne Marie Wall; Registered Professional Nurse; Gowanda, NY 14070; Lic. No. 465217; Cal. No. 24213; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: Indefinite actual suspension for no less than 2 years and until fit to practice, upon termination of suspension 2 years probation to commence upon return to practice.

Jean Frantz Louisme; Registered Professional Nurse; Spring Valley, NY 10977-3104;  Lic. No. 562587; Cal. No. 24215; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation,  $750 fine.

Aniamma Alex Philip; Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Professional Nurse; Tappan, NY  10983; Lic. Nos. 194786, 414153; Cal. Nos. 24217, 24216; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $750 fine.

Catherine E. Constantinou a/k/a Catherine Tessmer; Registered Professional Nurse; Fresh Meadows, NY 11365; Lic. No. 538494; Cal. No. 24243; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 3 month actual suspension, 21 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation.

Tamika M. Gaiter; Licensed Practical Nurse; Buffalo, NY 14211-2515; Lic. No. 287847; Cal. No. 24253; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $750 fine.

Anatoly Shafransky; Registered Professional Nurse; Brooklyn, NY 11229-2331; Lic. No. 554420; Cal. No. 24260; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 month actual suspension, 22 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $2,500 fine.

 

Pharmacy

Dong Hee Kim; Plainview, NY 11803-2022; Lic. No. 028710; Cal. No. 23945; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 month actual suspension, 23 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $2,500 fine.

Ravikanth R. Surasani; Marlboro, NJ 07746; Lic. No. 049324; Cal. No. 23965; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $1,000 fine.

S & D Pharmacy, Inc. d/b/a S & D Tri Town Pharmacy; Pharmacy; 493 Sunrise Highway, Lynbrook, NY 11563; Reg. No. 017908; Cal. No. 23966; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $5,000 fine.

Syed Zahid Ali; Saddle River, NJ 07458; Lic. No. 030672; Cal. No. 23975; Found guilty of professional misconduct; Penalty: 2 year suspension, $5,000 fine, upon termination of suspension, probation 2 years.

Rite Aid Pharmacy, Inc.; Pharmacy; 357 East Broadway, Monticello, NY 12701-1401; Reg. No. 016627; Cal. No. 24138; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: $10,000 fine payable within 30 days.

Chotu Corporation d/b/a Chotu Pharmacy; Pharmacy; 74-17 101st Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11416; Reg. No. 020850; Cal. No. 24214; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: $10,000 fine payable within 90 days.

Rite Aid of New York, Inc. #4940; Pharmacy; 3220 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618; Reg. No. 024320; Cal. No. 24221; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: Censure and Reprimand, $10,000 fine.

Eckerd Corporation d/b/a Rite Aid Pharmacy; Pharmacy; 1820 Teall Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13206; Reg. No. 024041; Cal. No. 24226; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: $10,000 fine payable within 2 months.

 

Physical Therapy

Christopher M. McRae; Physical Therapist; New Hyde Park, NY 11040; Lic. No. 023793; Cal. No. 24235; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $500 fine.

 

Public Accountancy

Seymour Finder; Certified Public Accountant; Tenafly, NJ 07670; Lic. (Cert.) No. 025003; Cal. No. 24127; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: Partial actual suspension in certain area for 1 year or until successfully complete course of retraining in that certain area, whichever occurs first, upon service or early termination of partial actual suspension, 2 years probation, $4,000 fine.

 

Respiratory Therapy

Radames Mathew Velez; Respiratory Therapist; Yonkers, NY 10703; Lic. No. 001581; Cal. No. 24130; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 month actual suspension, 23 month stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $3,000 fine.

 

Veterinary Medicine

Diane Jean Hurlbutt; Veterinary Technician; Holley, NY 14470; Lic. No. 001057; Cal. No. 24007; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 1 year stayed suspension, 1 year probation, $500 fine.

David Edward Stone; Veterinarian; Rensselaer, NY 12144; Lic. No. 008634; Cal. No. 24245; Application for consent order granted; Penalty agreed upon: 2 year stayed suspension, 2 years probation, $500 fine.