GRADUATE STUDENTS AND
THE FIVE YEAR GOAL
Stony Brook will provide excellent graduate education and postdoctoral programs in a supportive environment. Many graduate students and post-graduates come to Stony Brook from elsewhere and find it difficult to integrate into University life. In order to attract and retain people of the highest quality, the University will provide first-rate academic programs, competitive stipends, and good working and living conditions. Strong orientation and training programs will improve graduate students' experience and increase their success.
Add to the mandatory summer TA training program for new graduate students a more extensive orientation program that incorporates social events and programs to help students deal with housing and other basic needs. (2.3, Dean of the Graduate School, Provost)
The orientation program for new graduate students provides extensive information on academic and non-academic support services, campus administrative procedures, on- and off-campus housing, and community resources such as banks and shopping opportunities. A program for graduate students entering in the spring semester was initiated in 2003. Budget limitations have precluded the addition of new social events.
Improve programs for teaching assistants with weak English language skills. (2.3, Dean of the Graduate School, Provost)
Since 2000, all new doctoral students and supported master's students whose native language is not English have been required to submit the results of a standard test of spoken English. Incoming students' English skills have improved since 2000, and an intermediate remediation course (ESL 596) was created in fall 2002 to assist those in need of improvement. Some departments have begun postponing classroom teaching by international students until their second or third semester.
Provide all graduate students and postdoctoral associates with 24-hour access to up-to-date computers with Internet connections and the software needed for their research. (2.4, Chief Information Officer, Vice President for Administration)
Graduate students and postdoctoral associates have twenty-four hour access to computer facilities in Chemistry, Computer Science, Harriman, History, Mathematics, Neurobiology, Physics, Psychology, the Social Science Data Lab, and-in cases of special need-the Fine Arts SINC site. Other department computer labs also provide specialized facilities and software, while campus licenses offer access to commonly-used software. Some equipment rotated out of student SINC sites is moved to graduate student offices to provide personal access.
Ensure that every full-time Ph.D. student has a private desk in an appropriate office or laboratory to the extent that this is feasible within departmental space constraints. Identify areas that lack sufficient space. (2.4, Dean of the Graduate School)
A survey determined that most departments provide private desks to all their full-time Ph.D. students. Those that do not lack sufficient space. The need for additional space to accommodate these graduate students will be addressed in future space planning.
Improve telephone access for graduate students and postdoctoral associates. Wherever possible, there should be a local phone in each office. (2.4, Chief Information Officer; Provost; Vice President, Health Sciences Center)
Departments provide telephones for graduate students as funding permits, in their offices, in the labs where they work, or in shared lounges or offices. Graduate students who teach are accessible via departmental numbers, and many also use e-mail to communicate with their students.
Review the need for additional on-campus apartment-style housing and the financial feasibility of building additional units that, depending on demand, could accommodate undergraduate or graduate students, post-doctoral associates, other junior staff, and/or visiting faculty. (2.4, Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Student Affairs, President)
An undergraduate apartment complex with 500 beds opened in September 2002
to accommodate expanding undergraduate enrollment and increased demand for
housing. Construction of a second phase with 672 beds will begin in summer
2003, with completion scheduled for September 2004. Some portion of this new
facility will be allocated to graduate students. The Housing Planning Advisory
Committee is considering methods for determining the distribution.
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