CAPRA MEETING, MARCH 27, 2009
MINUTES

Present:  Alan Calder, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman Susan Lieberthal, Daria Semegen, Irene Solomon, Alan Tucker, Larry Wittie

The meeting started at 3:15 p.m.

Report by Alan Tucker on the University Senate Task Force on Southampton

University Senate President Michael Schwartz assembled a Task Force on Southampton to try to integrate the work of various Senate committees, such as CAPRA, Administrative Review, A&S Executive Committee.  Its charge was "to document and clarify the current status of Stony Brook Southampton (SBS) and its relationship to Stony Brook"; "to develop a practical vision of SBS as a viable and integrated part of Stony Brook"; and "to develop a sense of the resource needs to accomplish these goals."  The Task Force plans to meet four times.  The Task Force is focusing on how SBS's intellectual focus of sustainability studies could be translated to a viable collection of curricula for sustainability-related programs of study and how faculty could be hired to deliver this curricula and undertake associated research.  The Task Force is also very concerned with start-up problems given the current sub-critical level of course offerings.  To attract and retain a growing number of students, a larger number of courses need to be offered than the current enrollment of 200 students would justify.

President Kenny's model of all SBS faculty being in a single department and SBS relying heavily on lecturers and professors with enhanced teaching loads for the instruction did not seem workable to the Task Force.  A workable model will have to get Stony Brook faculty deeply involved in Southampton.  Such involvement seems to require a critical mass of Southampton faculty who have professorial (tenured/tenure-track) appointments in Stony Brook departments.  Fortunately, at present, all professorial SBS faculty have such appointments in SB departments.  Faculty might be hired in a range of Stony Brook departments with interests in sustainability problems; they could find the SBS campus a very exciting place to work if there was a vibrant community of interdisciplinary researchers studying sustainability questions.   This environment should also be attractive to students.

There was a discussion of three different models for SBS:  (1) a lower division feeder school, (2) a capstone institution that students attend for a semester, (3) a liberal arts college associated with SB with a little more of a traditional faculty.  Some concern was also raised about the problems of attracting junior faculty to SBS without a clear set of governance rules regarding promotion and tenure.

A discussion among CAPRA members ensued about the relationship between this Task Force and the CAPRA subcommittee on Southampton.  It was agreed that the CAPRA subcommittee’s focus was on resource and governance issues of SBS.  Bill Godfrey, chair of the CAPRA subcommittee on Southampton was appointed to the Task Force to represent CAPRA and to help link the work of the two groups. 

Bill Godfrey was asked to ascertain the views of the new Dean/Vice President of SBS, Mary Pearl.  Also, there was a brief discussion of the effect on faculty hiring for SBS of the “rule” of President Kenny that tenure should not be considered for newly-hired faculty until at least their second semester at SB.

Report of the Subcommittee on the College of Business

The subcommittee indicated that the original model for the College was to link its program to other relevant departments (e.g., Economics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Sociology).  More recently, it appears that there was a decision to reduce reliance on other departments for necessary courses and to provide the needed courses taught by adjunct faculty.  The subcommittee suggested that given the current budgetary situation, consideration be given to have the College return to the earlier model of greater cooperation with relevant departments for its instructional responsibilities. 

In the course of discussion, it was suggested that Joe McDonnell should be asked how the present economic climate is affecting the viability of the College.  It was pointed out, however, that the College enrolls a considerable number of majors and minors, indicating its utility for the campus.  What is needed, it was suggested, was a clear delineation of what is required to make the College a viable and valuable part of the campus, and a discussion with the Provost of the feasibility of providing what is need to produce that outcome.  It was especially noted that the College depends in large part on courses in the Department of Economics, which requires some additional resources that are difficult to provide in the current budgetary climate.

Report of the Subcommittee on M.A. programs

The subcommittee is in the process of following up its general review of the issue with meetings of relevant individuals who have been identified as useful to the subcommittee’s task.  It has developed a list of questions to ask of Department Chairs regarding their view and concerns about stand-alone M.A. programs.  In the course of discussion, mention was made of the existence of a subcommittee of the Provost’s Strategic Advisory Committee, convened by Joe McDonnell, which is also focusing on the issue of M.A. programs, especially their ability to enhance campus revenues.  To promote this program, the tuition from enrollment in these programs will be divided as follows:  30% to the President, 7 ½% to the Provost, 7 1/2 % to the relevant Dean, and 55% to the sponsoring department.  The subcommittee was asked to see if they could coordinate the work of the two subcommittees, or decide how to divide the responsibilities between them.

In the context of the Provost’s drive to increase viable stand-alone M.A. programs, the Executive Committee of the University Senate have developed an interest in this issue.  Consequently, it is important that our subcommittee completes its report as soon as possible to help inform the deliberations of the Executive Committee.

Subcommittee on Table of Organization and Resource Flow

Larry Wittie is continuing to collect data on academic resources that flow through the Provost.  He will ask for similar data from the Vice President for Administration and Finance (Karol Kane Grey) and the Vice President for Facilities and Services (Barbara Chernow).  A question was raised about the IFR account for the Staller Center, and Larry said that he would contact the Director of the Staller Center (Alan Inkles) to acquire further information.  It is important the members of CAPRA suggest questions of the data set that Larry has developed to inform its responsibility to be a consultative body for the Administration on resource allocation and academic planning.

Other Business

Norm stressed the importance of all subcommittees completing as much of their work as possible in the next few weeks so that they can submit a written report to CAPRA, which will become the basis for its annual report to the University Senate that is due by the end of the semester.

The meeting ended at 4:00 P.M.