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STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY
UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL
Meeting Notes – October 24, 2016

In Attendance: Leo Bachmair, Diane Bello, Jennifer Dellaposta, Arlene Feldman, Norm Goodman, Cheryl Hamilton, Rob Kukta, Hanna Nekvasil, Deb Serling, William Stanley, Madeline Turan, Alan Tucker, Tao Wang

1. Minutes of the October 10, 2016 Meeting were approved.

2. Dr. Charles Robbins, Vice Provost, was unable to attend; will reschedule

3. Young Scholars Program: Discussion

a) YS Program was stopped because :
(1) The YS students were enrolling in the summer and taking places away from SBU students;
(2) Students cannot be in the same classroom and pay different rates of tuition;
(3) At an Executive Board Meeting it was mentioned that 1 student in the past ten years enrolled in SBU as a result of the Young Scholars Program;
(4) Alan asked for a clarification or source of the SUNY rule regarding 3a(2) and the data from 3a(3);

b) Does the university have an institutional obligation for service to the community? …especially in those areas where students are financially challenged?
(1) It is the role of the SBU as a state university to take bright students and give them the means to achieve success on the post secondary level(Norm);
(2) High schools are cutting back on upper level courses;
(3) The rise in tuition rates is a real problem for all students (Tao);
(4) ACE and YS courses help students rise to the level necessary for some SBU courses without or with less remediation;
(5) The YS courses were accessible to all;
(6) ACE courses in World Languages help to maintain upper level language in the HS (this helps maintain our upper level language offerings) (Madeline);
(7) These courses offer an opportunity to attract students from Long Island to SBU, an option that they might otherwise ignore;

c) Is the mandate of ACE and YS to provide opportunities for those students in financial need to sample the college experience and have success, therefore stimulating interest in attending the university?
(1) (Norm) Is the ACE program is fulfilling its mandate to bring students into SBU;
(2) In response to how many YS were enrolled on an average the answer was approximately 30-50 (Hanna); Alan asked if we could get some type of enrollment verification;
(3) (Jennifer) ACE should be revisited as to who follows up at the university;
(4) ACE is attractive for attendance at other SUNY campuses (Madeline);

d) Suggestions for solutions

(1) Could ACE reach out to the poorer communities (Hanna);
(2) Cash in on SBU’s increased positive reputation and unique course offerings (William);
(3) Tie ACE (and YS?) into recruitment (Rob);
(4) Offer courses on campus
(a) advantages: money comes into university; students see the campus in real time; more of a “real-life” experience;
(b) problems: transportation (focus on towns with accessible RRs e.g. Huntington); working students and parents;
late afternoon and evening classes; overcrowding with enrolled students (this leads back to 3a(2); offering courses in the accessible time frame for HS students;
(5) Offer scholarships and/or Aid
(a) FAFSA provides economic information (Norm);
(b) approx.. 1/3 of SBU students are eligible for PELL grants (Arlene);
(6) Create a program for the community and make it accessible for all and go from there (William/ Cheryl);
(7) Tap into SBU’s unique offerings (William);
(8) Tie into parental community to show why it is beneficial to attend SBU and to help them convince their children to come here (William);

4. The role of departments and faculty in Academic Success Initiatives: Continued discussion

  1. Hostile environments in the classroom can be due to:
  2. The “curving down” of exams or grades;
  3. Students being poorly advised and forced to take unnecessary courses;
  4. TAs who are not overseen and whose quality of teaching is lacking;
  5. Classrooms where the professor is regarded as uncaring;
  6. Faculty concentration on research rather than teaching;
  7. The FRRPC is investigating policies and means of faculty evaluation;

b) General Comments:
(1) We are a Research University, not a Research Institute;
(2) Good relationships = Good working conditions;
(3) Promotion and Tenure depend upon Research and Grants;
(4) Ex-President Marburger would look closely at the Teaching Component for Promotion and Tenure;
(5) One can do teaching and research well;
(6) The necessary leadership begins at the Provostial level;
(7) Concentrate on the entire academic experience;
(8) Some of these measures require a cultural change, as they are elements of the traditional academic culture;
(9) If the Chair does not care about good teaching then it won’t happen;
(10) Students will learn more if faculty/TAs care;
(11) Some faculty members need to be shown how to “care”;
(12) If the program cares enough about student performance and success then there will be increased attendance at

c) Initiative recommendations:

  1. Use viewpoint of “This is what is good for our students”;
  2. Every Chair should teach at least 1 undergraduate course per year;
  3. Departments should spend more time actively mentoring faculty and TAs;
  4. Make use of TLT and the Faculty Center;
  5. Alan should meet with the new Provost;
  6. Faculty need to meet with TAs and ensure that they know what to do and oversee what they do in the classroom

5. Items needing attention:
a) Clarification of SUNY policy related to 3a(2)
b) SBU data regarding the numbers of students who attended SBU after taking Young Scholars and ACE courses [3a (3)];

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