Undergraduate Council
Minutes of the Meeting of October 2, 2008

Present: Mark Arnoff, Brian Colle, Ora Bouey, Cynthia Davidson, Cynthia Dietz, Donna Di Donato, Sarah Fuller, Jeff Ge, Kane, Gillespie, Joe Mitchell, Ashley Reji, Scott Sutherland.

1. Jeff Ge agreed to take the notes. A list of future note-takers was made at the beginning of the meeting.

2. UGC Meeting Minutes of  May 9 and September 11 were approved.

3. There were very brief discussions regarding representatives for two Academic Reviews this semester (Materials Science: Oct 28 & 29 and Economics: Nov 18 & 19). The role of this committee is to a representative to attend 1-hour to 1.5 hour meeting at the first day of each review. There was a volunteer for each of the meeting.

4. Mark Aronoff,  Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, presented a First Year Matters report titled “A Strategic Action Plan for Improving the First Year at Stony Brook University”.

Mark summarized the assessment process for the First-Year project. This draft report is the outcome of a year-long effort. Executive committee of the project will bring a report to the Provost. Nine dimensional principles developed by John Gardener were used as a framework for assessing the 1st year project. Nine subcommittee were set up for the nine dimensions. It is a large effort including three surveys. A website has been created that contains a library with thousands of documents relating to the entire assessment activity. Each subcommittee was asked to give a small set of recommendations and a one-page summary. Mark has been going around the campus seeking feedback for the draft. He received very good feedback from undergraduate directors last week. This draft was completed after meetings with 3 groups. There was a suggestion from UGC that a clear connection between data and analysis will be helpful. Brian
Colle suggested to provide some link to the reports and surveys. Mark said that relevant sections will be posted online.

Several asked questions seeking clarifications about item 4.1, first curriculum committee, its function and purpose. Some wanted to see connection of campus writing program to the 1st year reading program. Kane is concerned about too many committees involved in the project, adding that we already have 9 subcommittees and UGC and others. Sarah Fuller said that students are left out this with the committee structure. It will be beneficial to get feedback from instructors in the trenches.  Ora Bouey added that action plan needs an objective and means to measure how the objective is to be achieved. So we need to define measurable goals.

Sarah Fuller asked whether will be money in the budget that is delicated to 1st year project and DEC. She specifically mentioned $100K for the writing program.

Kane said there might be existing committees that can deal with the issue. One way is to charge each these committees.  Joe Mitchell said that he would like to see the report address issues more related to student experiences at stony brook such as quality of life issue.

5. Subcommittee on the DEC and curriculum in general

Scott spoke to provost about DEC who think that Norm’s suggestion of involving distinguished teaching professor as a subcommittee of this committee is a very good idea. DEC is off our plate for now and we will pick it up off and on later.  Sarah Fuller added that it is important to have representations from various discipline.  We should be in charge of constituting the committee. The members of the subcommittee will consist of distinguished professor, members of this committee and any other that we see fit. Sarah suggested that suggestions be emailed to Scott.