UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL
March 3, 2010

ATTENDING:  Brian Colle, Donna DiDonato,  Cynthia Dietz, Arlene Feldman, Sarah Fuller, Jeff Ge, Norm Goodman, Joe Mitchell, Beverly Rivera, Scott Sutherland

MINUTES OF 2/17/2010:  There were correction to the minutes to eliminate the word “final” and to include “major graded coursework as scheduled” to “examinations” in the section on “Absentee Policy.”  There was an extended discussion of this topic beyond its wording in the previous minutes and the final wording accepted at today’s meeting is as follows:

Students are expected to report for their examinations and major graded coursework as scheduled.  If a student is unable to report for any examination or to complete major graded coursework on time, the student must contact the faculty member immediately.  If the student cannot reach the faculty member, then s/he should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Although faculty will consider each student’s request on its own merits and not attempt to define ahead of time the validity of all possible reasons a student might give for missing an examination or the date to  turn in major graded coursework, instructors are expected to accept an excuse of significant illness, tragedy, or other personal emergencies and to make reasonable alternative accommodations for the student .  It shall be the student’s responsibility to provide sufficient documentation to support any such request.  Accommodations for other reasons will be at the discretion of the faculty.

Other changes to the minutes include a revision of the third paragraph under “Discussion” relevant to the “Usability of the SBU Bulletin as a networked resource.”  That sentence was revised to read “The UGC wants the archived version to be usable three years later.  There was a discussion of which academic policies are stable and cannot be changed and which policies and/or procedures vary and are changeable.

Consequently, the question “Is there a way to distinguish which the (sic) parts of the Bulletin that (sic) reflect academic policy? was deleted.

Living/Learning Centers:  Scott Sutherland was asked by the University Senate Executive Committee to insure that the Graduate Council participated in any administrative discussion of the possible reorganization of the Living/Learning Centers.  No action was needed immediately, so it was decided that Donna DiDonato will make a presentation on the issue at a future meeting.  Laura Valente will participate in that presentation.

Agenda items for future meetings:  In addition to the presentation regarding the Living/Learning Centers, three other topics were identified for the agenda of future meetings.  In order of priority, these topics (and the relevant persons to be involved) are: 

  • The online Bulletin: Specifically, (1) Who made the decision to go to on online version without a print version (Yvette St. Jacques?); (2) How functional is the online Bulletin?  (Kane Gillespie?)

(3)What are the legal obligations in the sense of what is the “authoritative” version?  (Lynette   Phillips?); (4)What parts of the Bulletin are “stable policies” or “contractual obligations” of the university to  the student,  and what parts are simply information that is likely to vary?  (Kane Gillespie? Lynette Phillips?).

  • Stony Brook Southampton:   Beverly Rivera will review recent minutes of the UGC and cull the questions that it has raised about Stony Brook Southampton.  Members of the UGC may then add other questions that have surfaced, and both of these will be the basis of a meeting with Dean Mary Pearl.  Since one concern the UGC had with Stony Brook Southampton concerned the implementation of the DEC, it was deemed useful to consult with the DEC subcommittee.
  • The Writing Program:  Gene Hammond will be invited to discuss his assessment of the Writing Program and his view of its future development.

Schedule of future meetings:   It was decided that the UGC will meet on March 17, 24; April 14, 28; and May 12.