Undergraduate Council Minutes
April 22, 2013

Attending: Kathleen Bratby, Derek Cope, Arlene Feldman, Jeff Ge, Kane Gillespie, Norm Goodman, Peter Khost, Michael Mooney, Anne Moyer, Jean Peden, Peter Stephens, Scott Sutherland

Minutes from April 8, 2013 were reviewed and approved with minor changes.

  1. The Council discussed a request from the Hispanic Languages Department to expand their ACE program into three more school districts. It had been tabled because of questions regarding demands on faculty and staff time as a result.  Katy Vernon replied to the Council’s concerns that they are aware of the resource issue but are confident that the revenue generated from the expansion will be sufficient to cover a part time faculty supervisor. The supervisor will be a part time faculty member who will work with the director of the Spanish Language program.

    a) The Council approved moving forward to add additional high schools.

  2. The Council continued to discuss the request by the History Department to expand their ACE program. Michael Barnhardt emailed Scott in response to the Council’s concern about approving too generalized and unspecific a course that does not have a counterpart in the SBU curriculum.  He intends to restrict the course to a Long Island history course in a new proposal.  It has not been presented to the curriculum committee yet and the Council will await more information from that process.  

  3. The Council revisited a discussion about allowing students to declare more than two majors that had previously been tabled.    Michael Mooney reported that approximately 400 students graduate annually with a second major (15-20%). Currently students are limited to two majors and three minors.  Kane asked if there are any SUNY regulations regarding this issue and Derek reported that he investigated the issue and only a few SUNY schools do not allow more than two majors. Michael Mooney added that many AAU institutions have a "rule of 3” (2 majors/one minor, 3 Majors, etc.). Several issues were raised during the discussion:

    a) Concerns were raised about students who want to pursue majors that are similar to each other.  Kane reported that there have been instances where one department is agreeable to a dual major and the other objects because of too much overlap.  There are some specific policies that exist in the bulletin regarding double majors and exceptions.  The question was raised: if students meet the program requirements of more than one major, why not allow them to apply it to both? 

    b)The role of departments in declaring more than one major was discussed. It is not current practice for students to have both departments agree before declaration, only that the second department approves the major declaration.  If a department does not want another major to be combined with their own, should they have to provide justification?

    i)Peter Stephens will ask Charlie Robbins to request information from departments: who does not currently allow double majors and what is the justification?

    c)A question about how a third major would be listed on the transcript and diploma was raised. Should students be able to order them?

    d) Concerns about time towards degree were raised.  Will allowing for a third (or fourth) major allow students to remain as students indefinitely? Will a third major affect financial aid? Is it in a student’s best interest to graduate sooner with fewer majors? What is “reasonable time” for completion?  Michael Mooney reported that students are currently automated for five years in PeopleSoft and have to ask for extensions.

    e) Administrative processes to add third majors in PeopleSoft were discussed.  Many processes have to be run to have our systems recognize a third major.

Norm recommended approving the proposal for students to declare a third major and allow petition for 4th major with a review by the Council in two years. 


  1. The proposal to allow third majors was approved

    a)existing restrictions on double majors cannot be violated

    b)the declaration for a third major will be a new, separate form than the current major declaration form; it should be signed only by the third department

  2. The proposal to allow petitions for a fourth major was approved

    a) Petitions will be submitted and approved through the current administrative process for all Colleges who are affected  (Rick Gatteau for CAS, COB, SOJ and SOMAS, and Jennifer Dellaposta for CEAS).

The Council agreed that the existing policy on double majors will be reviewed at an upcoming meeting.

Respectfully submitted,
Jean Peden