CAPRA MEETING, MAY 8, 2009
MINUTES

Present:  Alan Calder, Kane Gillespie, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman, Joan Kuchner, Susan Lieberthal, Irene Solomon, Larry Witte, Jane Yahil

The meeting started at 2:40 P.M.

The focus of today’s meeting was on the subcommittees’ reports for this academic year.
 
MA/MS subcommittee

The subcommittee submitted a written draft report for consideration.  There was some discussion of the reluctance of some departments to take the initiative on developing new, or expanding existing, MA/MS programs as encouraged by the provost out of fear of a lack of follow-through on promises made for adequate resources.  Also, some existing programs are not able to expand or cannot do so without taking existing resources from other needed programs. 

The question of whether there is an adequate market for MA/MS graduates and jobs available for them in particular fields needs to be addressed.   It was pointed out that there has been no mention so far of providing a support system for stand-alone MA/MS programs such as advising, mentoring, social networking, and career guidance.  There also may be some tension in classes where these students are mixed with graduate students enrolled in a Ph. D. program.  The relationship between these programs and those in the School of Professional Development needs to be reviewed, especially for those who enter as non-matriculated students in SPD hoping to matriculate later into a departmental MA/MS program. 

Finally, the e-mail from Michael Schwartz, President of the University Senate, to Provost Eric Kaler points out a number of resource problems that need serious consideration in the rush to promote an increase in MA/MS students.  The subcommittee was asked to take the issues detailed in this e-mail into account in their final report to CAPRA.

Southampton subcommittee

This committee also submitted a written draft report.  In the discussion about Southampton, several issues emerged.  The focus for faculty at Southampton is on teaching rather than research, and that is likely to be the primary criterion for promotion and tenure decisions.  Also reflecting the emphasis on teaching, the typical course load for faculty is 4 courses one semester and 3 the other semester.   Both the primary emphasis on teaching for promotion and tenure and the teaching course load are not typical of the Stony Brook campus.

The fact that the new head of Southampton is both a dean and vice president is a consequence of her reporting to the provost on academic matters in the former title and to the president for all other matters in the latter title.  There needs to be better integration of faculty at Southampton and Stony Brook.  There was mention of useful model s at Pennsylvania State University and the University of West Virginia for having different campuses with different foci in the same institution.

There are some infrastructure problems that need to be addressed.  The sewage system is inadequate for the projected number of students and will need substantial resources in order to be upgraded.  Also, the dormitories are not in good shape and need substantial rehabs to make them habitable and environmentally sound for the projected number of students.  The dining facilities and gymnasium are minimal and need to be expanded.  Finally, there is the perception that as an aggregate, the students at Southampton are not at the same level of quality as those on the Stony Brook campus.

Library subcommittee

This committee also submitted a written draft report.  A short summary of the subcommittee’s report is that the library is substantially underfunded and understaffed.  It especially needs an increase in its budget for monographs.  The lack of an adequate number of monographs is more deleterious to departments and programs in the Arts and Humanities and the Social and Behavioral Sciences than in the Sciences, Engineering, or the Medical fields.   A major source of the inadequate resources for monographs is the high cost of the “Science Direct” electronic journal package from Elsevier.  It was suggested that Elsevier has a virtual monopoly on prestigious journals, meaning those given special credence in promotion and tenure decisions, that they can command such a high cost.  One suggestion for addressing this is to have the various Promotion and Tenure Committees consider a wider range of publication outlets in their deliberations, especially electronic versions such as required by NIH.

There was a discussion of the fact that newly-proposed programs, institute, and centers need to include committed resources to meet their library needs.   In the case of the newly-proposed CASE Institute involving Stony Brook and the Brookhaven National Laboratory, there are discussions between its proposers and the Dean of the Libraries on the adequacy of their library needs and possible consolidation between the Stony Brook and BNL libraries.  For another new institute (the Confucius Institute), however, there is as yet no specific written proposal that details its library needs and where the resources are coming from to meet these needs.  This led to the suggestion that the Executive Committee of the University Senate, which is currently considering recommending changes to the Guidelines for Institutes and Centers , include in its recommendations that all such proposals require a specific, identifiable commitment of adequate resources to meet the library needs of any new institute or center.

Finally, there was some discussion about the administrative duplication of the libraries on the East and West campuses.  While it is acknowledged that each of these libraries have different needs,  it was suggested that possible administrative consolidation be considered to achieve monetary savings that could then be used for other library needs.

Subcommittee on Table of Organization and resource flow between units

The chair of this committee submitted a draft written report just as the meeting ended.  He indicated that he needs to refine his report and will send it around to committee members shortly.

Subcommittee on the College of Business

The members of this subcommittee were unable to attend this meeting and will submit a written report in the next week or two.

The meeting ended at 3:35 P.M.