Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2010
Cultural Education Committee
June 21, 2010
Time: 4:15 p.m. – 4:55 p.m.
Location: Room 146 EB
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 Committee had its scheduled meeting on June 21, 2010.
In attendance were: Regents Dawson, and Tilles
Absent: Regents Phillips and Brooks-Hopkins
In addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance was Regent Bendit.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
Chair’s Remarks: Regent Dawson welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with an update on advocacy efforts with the legislature regarding the Cultural Education (CE) Account and CE fee increase.
Regent Dawson continued his remarks mentioning the retirement of Regent Bowman which also leaves a vacant seat on the Cultural Education Trust Board. Regent Dawson will ask the Chancellor to assign a Regent to fill the vacant position. In addition, the Senate Majority Leader has appointed Dr. Melvin I. Douglass to the CE Trust Board replacing Dr. Jeffrey Kraus.
Deputy’s Report: Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Cannell greeted everyone and briefly spoke about the Deputy’s OCE Monthly Report that was distributed prior to the meeting. Mr. Cannell also reported on additional worthwhile happenings for the Office of Cultural Education namely:
The New York State Library in collaboration with the Queens Library, and ElmCor, a local community service organization working with families and youth, launched its 2010 Summer Reading at New York Libraries Program on June 19 at the Queens Library. As guest speakers, Mr. Cannell introduced the program and Regents Geraldine Chapey and Roger Tilles spoke about the benefits of reading and visiting local libraries during the summer months. Mr. Cannell also reported that the event included a program presented by “Secret Agent 23 Skidoo,” a children’s hip-hop recording artist, who is this year’s Spokesperson for the program.
An article was published in last-weeks issue of Metroland newsweekly (an Albany-based alternative newsweekly) regarding the opening of five new branches of Albany Public Library.
Mr. Cannell provided a brief update regarding the Day Peckinpaugh, which is now in dry-dock awaiting funding for its repair, and the opening of the Citizen Soldier, a new Museum exhibit. He also spoke about a recent visit from Jinna Smit, Project Manager of the Mutual Cultural Heritage Program, Nationaal Archief, in the Netherlands and the continuation of the partnership related to New York’s Dutch heritage and the New Netherlands Research Center (NNRC).
Regarding the retirement of Regent Bowman, Mr. Cannell expressed his appreciation for Regent Bowman’s dedication and contributions made while serving on the CE Committee and CE Trust Board.
John Frederick, Office of Government Affairs, gave an update on the CE Fund Bill as it progresses through the State Legislature.
Robert Weible, State Historian, distributed information to Committee members for their review on the Meaders Collection as Mr. Cannell provided background information regarding the collection.
CE (D) 1 – Report and Discussion on Office of Cultural Education Finances
Deputy Commissioner Cannell provided this report that focused on the three areas of OCE’s operation: revenue, scope of services and staffing. Regarding revenue, Mr. Cannell highlighted the constraints placed on OCE by the negative cash balance in the Cultural Education Fund. He suggested that a more diversified funding mechanism would be beneficial. He highlighted a number of programs that would be curtailed or reduced because of the revenue constraints.
Mr. Cannell informed the Committee that OCE will begin a strategic planning activity in July, with the goal of developing clear priorities, a long-term staffing model and a plan to identify a mechanism to solicit private funding to support programs. One such focus of private funding would be the approximately five million dollars needed to acquire the Meaders collection which was described in the materials distributed by Robert Weibel.
As stated in the Regents Item, OCE staff are urgently seeking the Board of Regents’ support for advocacy in the coming budget and request their assistance in seeking immediate and long-term solutions and advice on long-term remedies for program direction and alternative funding means.
The floor was opened to discussions including advocacy efforts and strategies to move forward. All agreed that the Meaders collection presented a great potential for advocacy for both the Cultural Education Fund increase and separate funding dedicated to the acquisition of the collection.
Under new business, Regent Tilles requested that the Committee take up, at a future date, a proposal prepared by the Museum Association of New York to establish a Regents Commission on Museums.
Finally, the committee agreed that the Cultural Education Trusteeship Committee meeting was not necessary as the agendas and membership of both committees was substantially identical.