University Senate
Minutes
November 2, 2009

I.  Approval of agenda:  approved.

II.  Approval of minutes from October 5, 2009:  approved.

III.  Senate President’s Report (M. Schwartz)
·     Have been involved in planning and evaluation of the Korea Songdo campus proposal.
·     The focus of the December Senate meeting will be a panel discussion on MA Programs.
·     New Senate committee formed on Teaching and Learning.
·     Senate can be more active and proactive when it comes to budget initiatives at the state level.

IV.  Report from UUP (K. Southerton)
·     Please send letters to legislators regarding the budget.  Go to UUP website (www.uupsbhscsite.org) for examples.
·     The H1N1 vaccine mandate lifted.
·     Flex Spending Account.

V.  Plenary Session Report (G. Fouron)
·     Kenneth O’Brien, the President of the University Faculty Senate, touched on the Chancellor’s tour of the 64 SUNY campuses, the budget, the cost of the state of new hires, SUNY Flex and 2020.
·     Discussed the resolutions that the Student Assembly adopted:
1.  An initiative to appeal to the legislature to repeal Bundy Aid
2.  Community College Financial Bill of Rights
·     SUNY Assessment Initiative goals:  1) advise the University Provost on ways in which SUNY could be streamlined; 2)  simplify functions and processes throughout SUNY.
·     Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher spoke about her strategic Plan 2010 and SUNY’s role in the economic revitalization and enhanced quality of life for the State of New York.
·     Six resolutions were adopted unanimously.

VI.  President’s Report (S. Stanley)
·     The budget cut is closer to 70 Mil.  The budget issues will not be going away and the projections for the state are grim.
·     Current SB allocation estimated range from 8-10 Million.
·     Chancellor Zimpher has appointed a Budget Task Force of campus reps to advise her on this distribution.  VP for Finance Karol Gray represents us on that group.
·     The South Campus outages are a result of deferred maintenance.  This subject will become part of the strategic planning process.

VII.  Second Reading of Election Proposal (M. Schwartz)
·     M. Schwartz read the Constitutional amendment for second time.

Vote on amendment:   All in favor with no dissentions.  Amendment passes.

VIII.  Panel Discussion of Stony Brook Southampton (M. Pearl, D. Conover, M. Schoonen, A. Tucker)

  • David Conover (Dean, SoMAS):  In 1994, when there was a Middle States Review of Stony Brook University, one criticism was that Stony Brook did not have any academic programs in the broad realm of Environmental Sciences at the Undergraduate level.  Provost Rollin Richmond at that time asked the Marine Sciences Research Center if they could create a program.  In 2004 Long Island University (which was operating Southampton) spoke to Provost McGrath and told him that they were planning to close the Southampton campus and move all of their programs to C.W. Post campus.   Planning Committees met from 2004-2006.  They all reached the conclusion that expanding the environmental realm was the right kind of expansion for the Southampton Campus.  Part of the reason being that our program was at that point purely graduate research education programs.  In 1996 the A&S Curriculum Committee approved the plan to create a major in Environmental Sciences.  It took us four years to get approved from SUNY (in 2000) and the State Education Department.  We developed a lease arrangement with LIU in 2005-2006.  We hired three tenure-track faculty members and one Lecturer.  In the Fall of 2005 we had 50 students.  They collectively supervise 17 graduate students, have a total of $4 Million in grants and have published 17 scholarly papers.  There are now a total of 576 students enrolled at Stony Brook Southampton.
  • Provost Kaler:  Provost Kaler spoke on the State Funds Financial Plan for SB Southampton.   Administrative costs are high followed by the Academic commitments.  There is 7.4 Mil in state appropriation funded by SUNY.  SUNY has specifically identified this for Stony Brook Southampton. For a copy of the financial plan please email ltheobalt@notes.cc.sunysb.edu .
  • Martin Schoonen:  Took possession of campus in October 2006.  The first few months were to take stock of facilities which were in gross disrepair.   The charge, as Interim Dean, was to develop an undergraduate college with a theme of sustainability.  Four major were developed which were approved in 2007.  The first classes met in Fall of 2007 with 127 students. 
  • Mary Pearl, Dean, SB Southampton:  Core curriculum in itself is not tremendously distinctive, but when you start to list our many distinctions, SB Southampton stands out as unique.  We have the back-up of a great research university.  There are no academic departments.  Course work is organized around student majors and classroom plus experiential learning.   Unique offerings such as the Marine Center (we are perhaps the only campus in the world with a Marine Center), Geographic Information System labs, outdoor classrooms (Pine Barrens, coastal ponds) and famed writer’s program.  The setting is green and we are constantly monitoring our carbon footprint. There is an Interdisciplinary focus with a link to Stony Brook University.  Arts at SBSH include writing, theatre and gallery.  MFA Program has 63 graduate students enrolled.  There are eight majors with future majors (BS in Nutrition, BA in Environmental Humanities, BS in Ecosystem Health and BFA in Writing and Theater).  Will be hiring a Community Relations Coordinator to make sure we are atuned to the priorities and interests of our community.  Our community relations include a children’s school, East End Multicultural Council, Internships, Center for Sustainable Culture (Algonquian Language Initiative).  Enrollment Stats:  Applicants from 35 states; enrollment is near 500 students with a goal of 700 next year; 84% of the students are full time; 45% live in residence halls; 87% undergrad and 13% graduate; and SAT’s are trending up.  Non-SoMAS faculty include 46 faculty and we have seven searches underway (5 tenure track, 3 lecturers and 1 visiting professor)
  • Alan Tucker (Chair, Southampton Task Force):  The Southampton task force was looking at how the faculty felt about Southampton situation.   A lot of faculty felt that they did not need to be involved in planning since this was considered a done deal.  This  was being run by President Kenny and there was going to be an iron wall between Stony Brook and Southampton.  There was an early consensus that Stony Brook faculty need to be involved in helping Southampton get off to a successful start.  The first recommendation was that Southampton should house a large research Institute for Sustainability Studies that would provide a setting for interdisciplinary collaborations. The second recommendation in the educational arena, there was a debate over whether Southampton should seek to known for instructional innovation as well as an innovative curriculum.  The following alternative recommendation was proposed:  Southampton should evolve into an Honors Campus for highly selective students with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability-related careers.
  • Dean Conover:  The issue of the size of SoMAS programs compared to the enrollment overall -- keep in mind the reason I went through the historical context was so you can appreciate that what SoMAS did was adopt an existing program which started out with 50 students right off the bat which started in 2005.  We had a head start of about two years.  It is like buying a business that already existed and already had a reputation.  You need to keep that in perspective when you think about the ratio of those SoMAS student programs and how they have grown compared to the rest of the environmental studies and the other social sciences. 

    Michael Schwartz:  Will the spread of majors on the campus happen just by natural diffusion or should there be an assertive administrative effort to recruit students who will not be concentrated SoMAS majors or is that something we don't have to worry about in the long term?

    M. Pearl:  We have a separate admissions team that has a relationship with the enrollment staff on the West Campus.  They were hired to cultivate and educate local, regional, and out of state High School guidance counselors about our non-SoMAS majors.  We are also going to be looking very carefully and critically at what is popular and what is not. 

    D. Conover:  If you look at the four majors that we developed early on, there is a lot of overlap.  So we have faculty that we bring on to support education, you are not just bring them on for one major, you are bringing them on for all of the majors.  In some cases, Marine Sciences faculty will in fact support the Coastal Environmental Studies program. 

    M. Schwartz:  What do the panelists think is needed to plan to or what should e planned to ensure the integration of the faculty at Southampton into the faculty here at Stony Brook?  What kind of institutional relationships might be needed and what might they need to be developed?

    D. Conover:  A lot of faculty were concerned about the disconnect between Southampton and Stony Brook.  The reality is that all tenure-track faculty that have been hired at Southampton (which had been selected by SB departments) have been working very closely with tenure-track faculty at Stony Brook.

    Audience member question:  Who makes the decision when a Stony Brook course can be duplicated in Southampton and who is responsible for sharing the quality of that course and making sure it is the same quality course offered at Stony Brook?

    M. Pearl:  The quality and the outcome should be equivalent.  There have been some cases where the equivalence wasn't there and we are looking at this with a critical eye.  Prof. Jim Hoffman, Associate Dean for Curriculum Affairs, has made this issue a top priority. 

    J. Hoffman:  In one case, we met with Prof. Eugene Katz and his associates and looked at his course syllabus and cloned the course over at the Southampton campus in terms of all the topics, textbooks, rigor of exams, frequency of exams, etc.  This is the guiding principles for all of the courses taught at Southampton -- that they follow the same syllabus, etc. and have communication with the departments on the west campus that developed the course.

    J. Kuchner:  Will Southampton's adjunct courses be given priority to the CAS courses?

    E. Kaler:  Each of the colleges has a budget target to meet.  CAS is meeting theirs through efforts in reduction of courses taught by adjunct faculty. 

    E. Kaler:  Nobody wants a low quality program at Southampton.  We want a program at Southampton that is well integrated and one that we can be proud of.

    M. Schwartz thanked the panel and adjourned the meeting.

    Submitted by:

    Laurie Theobalt
    Secretary