SIPS Executive Committee Meeting Highlights

The SIPS Executive Committee is composed of the SIPS Director, Chairs of the five Sections, SIPS Assistant Director, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Chair of the Council of Extension Leaders, Chair of the Director of Graduate Studies Council, and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Council

Executive Committee Meeting Highlights

Building renovations update (Chris)

  • Plant Science – Scaffolding in place and repairs in progress on corner of building near the Conservatory which has protective covering. February 4 estimated completion date.
  • Bradfield – Chairs and administrative managers are receiving weekly updates on Bradfield construction

Strategic planning process update (Chris)

  • Draft outline of strategic plan in progress.

Does the NYS “teacher” designation include faculty, TA’s and postdocs teaching in-person during the spring semester to be vaccinated for COVID? (Joss)

  • The answer is still unclear. Dean’s office has no additional information.

Graduate fellowships (Jenny)


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY NIFA requests applications for the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program for two funding cycles, Fiscal Years (FY) 2021;

New Beginning for Tribal Students Programs (NBTS) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture

New Beginning for Tribal Students makes competitive grants to land-grant colleges and universities to provide identifiable support specifically targeted for Tribal students. A land-grant college or university that receives this grant shall use funds for, but not limited to, recruiting; tuition and related fees; experiential learning; student services, including tutoring;


Extension update (Jenny and Susan)

  • We are pleased to announce the continuation of the 2021 Annual CALS Extension Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, April 15th at 10 a.m. (90 minutes). The theme is about developing adaptive approaches to diversifying Extension.
  • New this year is a three-part series of seminars that will precede the town hall event monthly. First seminar scheduled for Friday, January 22nd at 10 a.m. (60 minutes). (Meeting ID: 944 0545 2768; Passcode: 2021)

Christopher Hufnagel, Director, Office of Information Technology, CALS has completed infrastructure survey in Guterman and submitted a proposal to CALS recommending replacement of entire computational infrastructure. Not known if CALS will fund project.

Update on shared equipment list (Magdalen)

Tami Payne has created a SmartSheet spreadsheet for lab resources which can be shared. For access go to SIPS Launch Pad and click on “SIPS Faculty.”

Updates (Chris)

Course roster

  • For section chairs – notify your faculty that instructors should double check the Spring 2021 course roster for accuracy and refrain from requesting changes until the system reopens.


Plant Science

  • Cornice project ongoing. Completion in mid-February

Teaching labs

  • PS 102 is ready for teaching
  • PS G09 is currently filled with soil monoliths that will be moved by the start of classes on February 8.


  • On/ahead of project schedule.


  • Murray McBride will remain the position until at least August 2021.

COVID Vaccinations

  • Under the New York State COVID vaccination guidelines, teaching faculty are eligible for vaccinations now (Phase 1B).

Strategic planning

Current draft of plan structure is list of goals each with list of objectives.

  • Step 1: Chris has sent rough draft of plan structure to Chairs, received feedback and will send to entire EC this week.
  • Step 2: Collect feedback on plan structure. Consider use of terminology – “goals” vs. “grand challenges.”
  • Step 3: Discuss strategy to form groups around goals/objectives.
  • Step 4: Discuss assessment process to measure progress on achieving goals/objectives.