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Q&A
Stony Brook University College of Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Program Changes

The following questions and answers provide more information regarding academic program changes within the College of Arts and Sciences. If you have a question that was not addressed here, please email CASdeanSBU@stonybrook.edu.

What changes are being instituted in the College of Arts and Sciences?
In recent months, the College has engaged in strategic discussions with our faculty leadership, members of University administration, the Provost, the Graduate School, and the University Senate. After close consideration of all faculty leadership proposals, we developed a strategic pathway that will build upon the distinctive strengths and qualities of the College and foster a stronger foundation for our future:

  • The College will create a new Department of Comparative World Literature by combining the departments of European Languages, Literatures & Cultures; Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature; and Hispanic Languages & Literature.
    • This newly combined department will draw upon faculty strengths in literature, culture, and language across the College and reinforce Stony Brook's position as a global institution.
    • Undergraduate majors and minors in Spanish, French, Italian, and German; a minor in Comparative Literature; a minor in Russian; and master's degree programs in language teaching will all be contained within the new Department of Comparative World Literature; in addition, the graduate degree program in Hispanic Languages & Literature will continue to be offered.
  • The College will create an innovative interdepartmental co-teaching process for doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences, making shared use of courses in methods and theory across these disciplines.
    • This new model makes it possible for graduate students who are on separate tracks to collaborate with their peers in a variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.
  • The College will create cross-departmental doctoral training in teaching pedagogy to support undergraduate courses and efficiently deploy graduate and faculty instructors in areas of critical need.
  • The College will suspend admissions into the undergraduate degree programs  in Theatre Arts, Cinema & Cultural Studies, and Comparative Literature.
  • The College will suspend admissions into the graduate degree programs in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature.
  • In order to best serve our students, we are increasing the budget for the Program in Writing and Rhetoric to enable staffing of more sections of writing classes that are taught by full time faculty, adding five full time lecturers for Fall 2018. 

How many students are affected by the admission suspensions announced on June 22, 2017? 
Out of the nearly 12,000 undergraduate majors and graduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, there are fewer than 100 students currently enrolled in the affected programs.


What does the suspended admission mean to students currently enrolled in the affected programs?
Suspending admission does not affect students currently enrolled in these programs; they will be able to continue pursuit of these majors and their dissertation/graduate degrees.


What, if anything, will happen with the teaching assistantships within those programs that will experience suspended admissions?
Commitments regarding teaching assistantship funding remain unchanged.


When will the suspension of admission to these programs occur?
Students newly admitted to the University who declared one of the affected majors by May 1, 2017, may proceed with these majors. To help students navigate their path to graduation, academic advising will be available to all students enrolled in these programs.


What does the suspended admission mean to new students who enrolled in the College as full-time freshmen or transfers entering fall 2017?

The seven incoming students who declared their interest in one of the affected majors on or before May 1, 2017 will have the opportunity to complete these majors. Academic advisors will work with all students enrolled in the affected programs to help them on their path toward academic success.


Will this affect courses in the 2017-18 academic year?

No.Classes for the 2017-18 academic year have already been scheduled by the Registrar and will continue as planned.


Will courses within the affected majors still be available to students?
The Office of Advising will work with the College of Arts and Sciences and those students in the affected majors to construct a course sequence each year, ensuring that proper courses are available to keep students on track to complete their degrees. These courses will be available to other students if seats are available.


Do these changes mean that the College of Arts and Sciences no longer offers programs in the Arts and Humanities?
No. As the liberal arts core of Stony Brook University, the College of Arts and Sciences has deep roots in the arts and humanities, offering rich programs
in Art; Music; English; History; Africana Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Asian Studies; Philosophy, languages and more. We remain committed to offering a wide array of courses and degrees consistent with our liberal arts mission to help students explore diverse possibilities that exceed their initial expectations and prepare for a lifetime of discovery.


Will there be any job losses due to the changes?
While every effort is being made to limit impact to faculty and staff, we anticipate that some may be reassigned while some term appointments may not be renewed. Any non-renewals are for programmatic reasons.


How will this these changes affect undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty in terms of training and pedagogy?
The College will create cross-departmental doctoral training in teaching to support undergraduate courses and efficiently deploy graduate and faculty instructors in areas of critical need. This will expand the training provided to graduate students in their own teaching, and will enhance their competitiveness in the job market.

We will create an innovative interdepartmental co-teaching process for doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences, making shared use of courses in methods and theory across these disciplines. This new model makes it possible for graduate students who are on separate tracks to collaborate with their peers in a variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.


When will the new department of Comparative World Literature become official?

The planning for the combination of the departments of European Languages, Literatures, & Cultures; Hispanic Languages & Literature;
and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature into a single Department of Comparative World Literature will take place over the course of the
2017-2018 academic year.  


What will combining these departments mean for the College of Arts and Sciences?

The Department of Comparative World Literature will draw upon faculty strengths in literature, culture, and language across the College and reinforce Stony Brook's position as a global institution.


Will the establishment of the new department of Comparative World Literature result in a reduced number of academic degree programs?
No. The new department will be the new home to existing majors and minors in Spanish, French, Italian and German; the minor in Russian; the doctoral program in Hispanic Languages & Literature; and the master’s degrees in language teaching.


How much is being saved by making these changes to the College of Arts and Sciences programs?
This is just one part of an ongoing initiative to address the University’s overarching budgetary challenges, including the College of Arts and Sciences current deficit. There are different elements that are being explored as part of this process and when put into practice we anticipate savings 
in excess of $1 million.


Is this happening anywhere else on the Stony Brook Campus?
Every unit within the University is being asked to take a look at their departmental spending in the face of budget challenges and this is a continuing process.


Are there reductions planned for the Program in Writing and Rhetoric ?
No.  The Program in Writing and Rhetoric delivers introductory writing (WRT101/102) to all new students on campus, as well as advanced courses for students pursuing a minor in Writing.  These are essential missions for the campus.  

In order to best serve our students, we are increasing the budget for the Writing Program to enable staffing of more sections of writing classes that are taught by full time faculty.  The College is making a substantial investment in the Writing Program through the addition of five full-time lecturers for Fall 2018. All full time faculty currently in the program will be retained.

 

For more information, visit the Program and Writing and Rhetoric website.


Will there be full time faculty reassigned to the Program in Writing and Rhetoric from other programs?
We are considering a number of possibilities. One example is redeploying full time lecturers, those with relevant and/or transferrable skills, to the PWR from other departments. Doing so will help us sustain employment for colleagues whose current departments are facing a decline in enrollments. Faculty within the PWR will provide mentorship and training, as necessary, as we continue to strengthen our offerings.  We are working with the director and faculty of the Writing Program to assess the suitability of these colleagues for teaching WRT101 and WRT102 sections.


Are there reductions planned for the College's language programs?
No.  We continue to offer programs, majors and minors in numerous languages. In addition, we continue to offer the doctoral program in Hispanic Languages and Literature. Also, tenured faculty from the Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies have been redirected into language-based majors. These tenured faculty have relevant training in language and literature instruction and will continue the strength of these programs. 

What are the specifics of the College’s new workload policy?
In July 2017, the College issued a workload policy that department chairs are utilizing as we plan our instruction for 2018-19. As Stony Brook University is an R1 research institution, our faculty are expected to do research in addition to teaching. Faculty who are not individually scholarly active nor engaged in doctoral mentorship are required to teach higher loads in order to maintain 100% effort. This policy applies to all faculty in the College, and is revisited annually for each member. Thus, faculty in programs without doctoral degrees are expected to affiliate with or share appointments in doctoral programs so as to supervise students or teach a greater load. Likewise, faculty in doctoral-granting programs who have not supervised students for some time, are expected to increase their teaching load.

 

 

Updated 11-22-17

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