Undergraduate Council Minutes

April 16, 2009

Members Present: Ora Bouey, Brian Colle, Jordan Cushner, Donna Di Donato, Cynthia Dietz, Sarah Fuller,  Jeff Ge, Kane Gillespie, Norm Goodman, Joe Mitchell, Bev Rivera, Scott Sutherland

  1. Scott Sutherland started the meeting by asking if anyone is interested in serving as a member of the joint committee (with Provost office) on Distance Learning and Intellectual Property. The committee would address issues and concerns of students and faculty members in regard to distance learning classes. Ora Bouey have some experience in distance learning and agreed to serve on the committee.
  2. Scott Sutherland asked for comments on the confidential list of potential members for the Gen Ed subcommittee. The names on the list were chosen by Provost Eric Kaler, Tom Hemmick (the chair of the subcommittee), and Scott Sutherland to represent various quarters of the university. The list was emailed to each member prior to the meeting. Various opinions were shared during the discussion, including commenting on suggestion of additional names. There is consensus that the current list of 25 names is already too long. Suggestions aiming to reduce the size of membership were made including the creation of “teams of areas”.  Scott Sutherland will take UGC members’ comments to the Provost and Tom Hemmick when finalizing the subcommittee membership.
  3. Minutes of March 26 meeting was approved.
  4. Donna Di Donato presented two policy proposals for dealing with students in academic jeopardy.
    3a) One is to place a limit of 16 credits in a semester to those who are on probation, first or second reinstatement and thus reduce the likelihood that they will compound an already risky situation with a heavy credit load;
    3b) The other is to place a minimum requirement of earning at least a 2.00 semester GPA in the semester of being suspended to be eligible for petitioning for academic reinstatement.

For item 3a), the council endorsed it after some discussion.
For item 3b), some voiced their opinion whether a strict 2.00 GPA is prudent and whether it infringes a student’s right to petition. The following modification of the policy was suggested and endorsed by the council:
Students who are suspended and have earned at least a 2.00 term g.pa. may petition for academic reinstatement by completing a petition form and submitting it to the appropriate Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals. Students who are not entitled to return, should be counseled to take classes elsewhere and demonstrate a readiness to make good progress at Stony Brook in a later term. Petitions for a waiver of the waiting period for students not in good standing will be considered only under the most extraordinary circumstances.

  • Toward the end of the meeting, one member voiced a complaint that he was not given sufficient time during discussion. Scott Sutherland said that he will be more sensitive to this in the future.