UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL

Minutes
Tuesday, May 8, 2007 (last meeting of Spring 2007)

In Attendance: Brian Colle, Arlene Feldman, Sarah Fuller, Kane Gillespie, Ridha Kamoua, Joe Mitchell, Scott Sutherland, Andrea Tyree

Visitor (at 4:30): Graham Glynn, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology

The meeting began at 4pm.

The minutes of April 24, 2007 were distributed, reviewed, and approved with minor edits.

The committee discussed three agenda items:

(1). Southampton Campus:

There will be new majors.  The UGC's understanding is that these will require both Curriculum Committee and UGC approval.  The UGC asked if there was a deadline for this approval (possibly June 15?).  Kane Gillespie asked if the Senate needs to approve them as well.

The UGC Chair, Brian Colle, will get an update from Martin Schoonen.

It was asked how many credits will be required for the major, and is this number appropriate in comparison with other majors.

(2) Swap and Drop proposal from Jo Jesty:

In a memo to the Senate president, Jo Jesty recommends that the last swap date be moved up, to "at least two full working days before the last add date".  The issue is that some courses are not filled to capacity due to students who drop late, and other students, who had been on a waiting list to enroll, are unable to add the course.  The net result has been that Jo Jesty's classes end up with fewer students than they can hold, despite there being unfilled demand early in the semester.

The UGC pointed out that some aspects of the proposal may not currently be possible in PeopleSoft software

There are two current methods that many instructors commonly use to address the issue: (a). allow overenrollment, realizing that some percentage of students will drop; (b). allow petitions for late additions to the course.

The UGC asked how extensive/pervasive the problem is.  It was the UGC's understanding that the last swap date is the same as the drop date.

(3). Teaching, Learning & Technology Strategic Plan:

Graham Glynn joined the UGC to discuss the current draft of the Strategic Plan.  He also updated the UGC on the status of certain changes in the structure and mission of his office.  The former "CELT" will become the "Faculty Center", to be located in the main SINC site.

Glynn's office is trying to get the word out on existing services, while requesting input from faculty and staff on their needs and suggestions.  His plan is to visis departments at least yearly.  There will be teaching certificates for TAs.  His office is gearing up to support more assessment.  They will be hiring an assessment expert to assist.

Glynn has assembled an Advisory Board.  He will be conducting annual surveys of faculty to discover weaknesses.

The draft Strategic Plan has been shared with many groups on campus. The UGC is the last scheduled group to receive the draft. Glynn asked if the UGC sees anything that is missing.

Sarah Fuller asked if the plan allows for continued upgrading of equipment, not just the initial purchase of new equipment.  Glynn responded that there exists a separate plan; they will be hiring students to monitor chalk, projectors, and other equipment in classrooms.  There is a proposal to the Provost to budget classroom management explicitly.

Andrea Tyree asked if there is a plan to build new classrooms.  The Life Science Library is the only empty building at this time; the hope is to renovate as classrooms.  There is also a possibility that Old Chemistry will be renovated for new classroom space.  There is a particular need for rooms that accommodate at least 200 students. There is one class (biology, with lab) with about 1750 students; the lectures will be given online, but a big problem remains that examinations for the 1750 students stall the server.  Some discussion continued about the quality of online learning.  Content can be effectively delivered online, while class time may be reserved for discussions, etc.

Kane Gillespie pointed out that the target is that Stony Brook have about 25,000 students.

It was suggested that SBU 101/102 and orientation be available for transfer students; this may be a good candidate for online learning methods.

Glynn summarized some of the themes in the plan, which include:
(i). Setting priorities, since resources are limited; (ii). Technology in classrooms; (iii). Increases in enrollment that may be addressed by online learning; and, (iv). Challenges in having simultaneous course offerings at different locations (Stony Brook, Southampton, Manhattan).  Glynn noted that 16 technology classrooms have been completed at Southampton; 20 classrooms will be done at Stony Brook during the summer of 2007.  The multimedia services formerly handled by CELT will continue.