Undergraduate Council Minutes
February 18, 2013

Attending: Kathleen Bratby, Arlene Feldman, Derek Cope, Jennifer Dellaposta, Sarah Fuller, Jeff Ge, Norm Goodman, Ellen Hopkins, Imin Kao, Peter Khost, Anna Lubitz, Joe Mitchell, Michael Mooney, Anne Moyer, Jean Peden, Peter Stephens, Scott Sutherland
(The minutes of February 4, 2013 were approved.)

  •  Update on SUNY Korea
  • Imin Kao presented an update on the progress of the planning and implementation of the SUNY Korea TSM/BS program from one year ago and introduced plans for two new undergraduate programs in Computer Science and Information Systems.
  • Timeline: MEST approved the TSM/BS program at SUNY Korea in August, 2012, and applications for the two new proposed undergraduate programs will now be submitted.
  • Students: In March of 2013, the first group of students will begin their study. This cohort will come to Stony Brook, beginning April, 2014 for one year to take mostly liberal arts courses in the service of fulfilling the General Education Curriculum. Currently, there are 30 students who have been admitted, 27 of whom have accepted. Overall the group has good English skills, as 11 or 12 have placed out of WRT 101. The group is also academically well-qualified, with SAT scores (1570) that are superior to the students admitted to Stony Brook. Math and English placement tests are being administered under the same standards as for Stony Brook students. There is also a study abroad program in SUNY Korea being established and set to begin in summer, 2013, under the leadership of Dr. David Ferguson.
  • Faculty: The program has a full-time Chair, Dr. Fred Phillips and three full-time professors, Dr. John Ihl Lee, Prof. Y. J. Park, and Prof. Nasir Sheik. These have the title “Practice” professors, a new term that signifies that they have good connections and experience, and the ability to obtain research grants. Faculty at SUNY Korea are vetted by the faculty here, in the home department, with a local search committee. Courses: all courses but one are eing taught by full-time faculty.
  • General Education Curriculum: SUNY Korea students will come to Stony Brook for one year, paying out-of-state tuition, to take primarily liberal arts courses that would not be available at SUNY Korea. The hope is to encourage them to take new General Education Curriculum (pending approval). There will be a team from Stony Brook that will go to Korean to help them to register, since they are coded as SUNY Korea and their schedules are complicated. They will not receive any special privileges but will have the same access as other Stony Brook students. The plan is that students will have to have passed or placed out of WRT 101 so they will be adequately prepared.  They also cannot be on academic warning, in order to perform well here, and they will be helped to beef up their record before they come. A request is being made to the Undergraduate Council to approve these two provisions.

Some points of discussion on this issue included:

  • Concerns about the ability of students to handle writing in English have already been taken into consideration in the selection of students. Gene Hammond has vetted the instructor of WRT 101 course.
  • Concerns were raised about the logistics of completing the General Education Curriculum in one year. The plan is to have students take Category 1 in the first semester and Category 2 in the second semester. Students can petition to stay for an additional semester if they do not complete this. Success will also be monitored during the first year of the program, and if necessary, a plan is in place to bring Stony Brook  professors to SUNY Korea to teach additional Category 2 courses.
  • Questions were raised about when/how the program would be financially viable. 100 students per year is the sustainable target, but in the beginning the plan is to sacrifice quantity for quantity. There is 5 years of subsidy from the Korean government and more from another program. The target is to have 100 enrolled by the time the subsidy runs out. There are 80+ students total now. Stony Brook professors’ and administrators’ time is reimbursed. There is protection if the venture ultimately is not financially viable.  
  • There is a new idea of co-teaching, 3-4 faculty members from Stony Brook, and 3-4 from SUNY Korea, resulting in 6 weeks out of 14 being taught by 3 Stony Brook faculty members who are there for 2 weeks each.
  • It was suggested that students could make up requirements during the winter session at Stony Brook (if some General Education Curriculum courses were available).
  • It was questioned why EST104 Independent Study in Technology and Society, which involves independent study, comes before EST202 Introduction to Science, Technology and Society. This will be brought forward for discussion with Dave Ferguson.
  • SUNY Korea was distinguished from Pathway. Pathway is a separate program that helps students obtain English training in order to ultimately study in an American Institution. SUNY Korea students are in our academic programs.
  • Concerns were raised the about the students’ level of preparation for English, The Linguistics department will be involved in making sure the quality of the instruction/testing is adequate.
  • The new Computer Science and Information Systems programs will go through the same approval procedure as for TSM. About 200-350 students would be expected to come to Stony Brook each year ultimately if this is successful. The point was made that funds must be channeled toward making the additional courses needed available.
  • Concerns were raised about how decelerating students will be dealt with and concerns about their petitioning to stay here to take a single course. They might take summer courses or courses in their home country. If these were not in English this would not go against existing policy.
  • Concerns about course availability were raised, noting that the necessity of fitting all courses into a single year might imply setting up a sequence of courses that would be counterproductive in minimizing flexibility.
  • It was suggested that it would be useful to see a sample program for the current DEC and for the new Stony Brook General Education Curriculum, to determine how realistic the plan is. It was noted that this was done for earlier the DEC for SUNY proposal.
  • Concern about visa issues potentially posing problems was raised.
  • The Council approved two topics that were submitted:

(i) SUNY Korea undergraduate students need to take WRT101 and pass (or be placed into WRT102) before they can come to SBU in the sophomore year to finish the General Education (GenEd) curriculum.
(ii) If a student in SUNY Korea is in academic jeopardy, they will be required to e in good standing (minimum 2.00 g.p.a.) before they are allowed to come to SBU. Students who are on academic action must be approved by the VP of Academic Affairs at SUNY Korea.

  • Honors Society Proposal
  • The Council discussed whether Honors Society designations should appear on the transcript at all. This is the question that prompted the moratorium on approving new honors societies to appear on the transcript. It was noted that once a student is inducted it is on the transcript, there is no standard audit process, but a student may be removed if there has been an extreme judicial issue. It may be a disservice to students if the designation is taken of, and if it is, some note of this should be made.  Commencement programs are another source of this documentation.  The Council voted 13 in favor, 1 objection to put honors society designations the on transcript if the society meets some set of approved criteria, with societies that are already listed on the transcript needing to be recertified as meeting criteria within one year.

C. Constituency of Certification Committee for the New General Education Curriculum
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is now discussing how to comprise the constituency of the Certification Committee. This will involve either: (1) appointing one to two representatives from each school, or (2) using the membership of the existing Curriculum Committee, which includes one ex officio member from CEAS, with new representatives from the Library, and from Health Sciences.
Respectfully submitted,
Anne Moyer