An unfinished residence hall at the Southampton Campus. Construction ceased after the university's decision to relocate students to the Stony Brook West Campus. ALESSANDRA MALITO/ THE STATESMAN

After seven months of speculation, five of which were and are being spent in the courts, the shuttering of the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University still raises many questions.

Was it a necessary cut? Do the numbers support that, and regardless if they do, are they the correct numbers to begin with? Was the process President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. took to get to the relocation of the Southampton students properly executed? And is the real reason the campus was closed really because of budget cuts or some alterior motive?

Rumors have spread, a lawsuit has been served, meetings have been made and numerous people have been affected. And although these things will probably continue to happen, The Statesman has taken investigative notions on the happenings involved with Southampton.

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If you thought the court proceedings for Southampton were over, think again.

Supreme Court Judge Paul J. Baisley, Jr. began the second part of the legal process in the Osiecki vs. Stanley case, which started in May, when he expected the defendants’ paperwork last week.

Going back to court on Nov. 4 was an action to determine if the Stony Brook Council’s resolution supporting President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.’s decision to relocate students to West campus satisfied the court’s ruling, according to Russell Penzer, the students’ attorney.

After the Oct. 4 University Council meeting, the attorney and his clients felt that the Council did not accurately follow the court’s ruling to annul Stanley’s decision. Instead, after a budget presentation, done by Associate Vice President for Strategy, Planning and Analysis Dan Melucci, and hearing statements by students, faculty and supporters for and against the reinstitution of Southampton, they went into executive session for almost two hours and came back to announce they agreed with Stanley’s original decision. The vote was 8-2, the only two opposed being Council members Lou Howard and Frank Trotta.

“He didn’t make a plan, he made a decision,” Penzer said about Stanley. “It was made unlawfully.  Then the Council met and supported the decision, which is nothing because it was annulled. We feel that it can not have met the legal requirements the way that it was done.”

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The Council’s Role

The University Council decided on Oct. 4 to stand by President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.'s annulled decision. ALESSANDRA MALITO/THE STATESMAN

Although an executive session is allowed for legal purposes, in no way is it to be the place for major discussions, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr.(R-Sag Harbor), who attended the quarterly meeting on Oct. 4.

While the Council members were having their legal briefing, as Council chairperson Kevin Law said before they left, audience members shuffled around the room for two hours. When they returned, a motion was passed to stand by Stanley’s actions.

Thiele said the Council should have discussed the situation in front of the public based on the Open Meetings Law, which states “that the public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials.” A portion of the law can be found on the Council’s page on Stony Brook’s website.

But not only did the Council make its conclusion after a long dis-cussion outside of the conference room, they based it on Stanley’s decision that was annulled by the court. According to the judge’s ruling, the Council should have supervised the potential closing of Southampton back in April, which it did not, and therefore had to review it at their meeting.

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The Council’s role in this case was almost as controversial as the president’s decision, partially because the president had bypassed them when he first announced he was relocating the students.

The defendants, represented by former New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, said in their briefing that the Council “does not operate as an independent body, nor does it in any way ‘supervise’ the University, as petitioner argue.”

However, according to the New York State Education Law 356, which can also be found on the Council’s webpage, “each state-operated institution of the state university shall be supervised locally by a council consisting of ten members.”

In the Education Law, it states that Council’s responsibilities include recommending who to appoint as state university trustees candidates, reviewing of all major plans of the head of such institution for its more effective operation, making regulations governing the care, custody and management of lands, grounds, buildings and equipment and reviewing the proposed budget requests for institutions.

The defendants also argued that the Council expressed concerns for the acquisition of the campus in 2005. They cited from the Council’s resolution on Sept. 9, 2005 that “the financial plan [for a Southampton campus] forecasts certain operating shortfalls.” But when looking at the resolution itself, which was published when the chairperson was Richard T. Nasti, the Council expressed “its strong support for Stony Brook University’s (‘University’) acquisition of the campus at Southampton.”

“Obviously the Council was supportive,” said former Stony Brook University President Shirley Strum Kenny, Stanley’s predecessor who was in office when Southampton became a branch of Stony Brook. “I don’t remember any unusual discussion, certainly no serious questioning of the acquisition. I don’t believe anybody expressed doubts about the purchase because I would remember that.”

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The Council did write in the September 2005 resolution “that the acquisition must not divert resources required to maintain and build upon the strength and excellence created by Stony Brook University under the leadership of President Kenny and her administration.”

According to the presentation provided by Melucci at the Council meeting last month though, funds were being diverted from the main campus to subsidize the 82-acre sister campus in the East end.

Budget’s Bucks Cause Confusion

Students marched from Rocky Point, N.Y. to Stony Brook's West Campus after learning that they would be relocated to the West Campus in the fall. ALESSANDRA MALITO/ THE STATESMAN

On Aug. 31, Stony Brook’s main campus and Southampton campus students began to share their classes, dorm rooms and everything else the university has to offer.

This collaboration between learners wasn’t one of choice, at least not by the students. Instead, it was decided in April of this year by Stanley that Southampton students would be relocated to the main campus due to excessive budget cuts by the state.

According to documents in the court files retrieved in Riverhead, numbers from April 10 compiled by the university show that the fiscal year 2009-2010 brought in revenue of approximately $4 million, while the total expenditure was more than $12 million. This, along with the housing and dining losses, totaled a debt of almost $10 million that the university would have to pay. The funds came from main campus, Melucci said.

Those same numbers, given at the Council meeting and later at a meeting with The Statesman, were revised again and again every few months, but the numbers always remained the same.

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According to students and supporters of Southampton, however, numbers were being skewed and constantly changing in favor of the university’s point of view.

“I do not think that the University Council meeting was handled correctly,” said 20-year-old environmental studies major Dana Cutolo, who was one of 149 Southampton students to move to the main campus in the beginning of this semester, according to Media Relations Interim Director Lauren Sheprow. “Mostly because the numbers were wrong and our campus did not even get enough time during the meeting.”

Tara Linton, 19-year-old environmental humanities major and a plaintiff in the court case, said “different numbers were cited regarding Southampton’s cost and losses” when Stanley met with Thiele and student leaders in the spring over the closure.

Southampton graduate of 2010 John Botos said he was one of five students who went into the Administration building after a walking protest, where he had received a document from Stanley, Provost Eric Kaler and Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Baigent that showed different numbers than those at the University Council meeting. Although there were numerous attempts to have a copy of the document, it was not provided.

Students also mentioned that they had not been aware of any financial problems.

In Melucci’s affidavit, the first significant budget decrease occurred in fiscal year 2008-2009 when “Stony Brook’s share of the $246.3 million reduction in support for SUNY that year totaled almost 20 million dollars – 6.5 percent of its 2008-2009 state operating budgets – despite increased student enrollment spurred, in part, by deteriorating economic conditions locally and on the national scale.”

According to the affidavit by Stanley, who became president on July 1, 2009, he arrived at Stony Brook when it was facing record deficits.

“My predecessor, Dr. Shirley Kenny, members of the SUNY Search Committee and representatives of the Stony Brook Council made their concern about the impact of these pending budget cuts known to me during the interview process,” it read.

Melucci said he, too, had a “long” discussion with Stanley about the budget situation, and couldn’t imagine if Southampton was not one of the items mentioned. No warning of budget problems was made clear to any students or faculty, however.

“When you are trying to move an initiative to success, you try to be as optimistic as you can,” Melucci said. “If you start warning, what do you think their reaction is going to be? We’d have no enrollment.”

“It’s not that we were lying,” he said, adding that the university was “fully committed” until the day the decision was made to relocate the students to main campus.

The Southampton campus was expected to attract 1,600 students in its third year of operations, which was fiscal year 2009-2010, but instead only had 477 students, according to the budget. To this, it could be understood that the goals were not attained, and perhaps too high, considering the economic downturn with the recession.

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Long Island University at its peak was 1,500 to 1,600 students and we thought we could get back to that in five years,” said Melucci during an interview held with Sheprow and University Budget Director Mark Maciulaitis. “It wasn’t terribly sophisticated.”

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In their transition year of 2006-2007, which the university projected an enrollment of 200 students.  Melucci considered the transition year a part of the five year plan, but Kenny said it was not. The next year they projected 800 students and the year after 1,200 students. By the last two years of the plan, there would be a projected 2,000 students enrolled at the branch campus.

The difference was 1,123 students and therefore a difference of about $9 million they expected to have last fiscal year. Had their projections gone through, they would have been positive by about $200,000, instead of an approximately negative $10 million.

Along with the actual difference of tuition, Melucci explained the difference in the projection and actual third fiscal year of the state support for student FTE, which is a student’s status with course loads.

Melucci’s presentation on Oct. 4 showed that the fiscal year 2010-2011 had a budget gap of $30 million, including Southampton already cut, and that with their two phases of reducing campus operating areas totaling $20 million, they’d have $10 million left to carry over into the next fiscal year. Melucci expected another $40 million in cuts for the following year and the same amount of cuts as in the previous two phases. That number, plus the $10 million deficit from the year before would leave an unresolved budget gap of $30 million for the following fiscal year.

The $10 million deficit from Southampton’s budgeted 2009-2010 fiscal year would possibly be covered partially from the contingency budget, which is saved for unforeseen financial turmoil like if a building had a fire or if oil prices were hiked up exponentially because of a war. In most years, Melucci said, the contingency budget is untouched. The 2010-2011 budget goes until July 2011 so the university has nine months to decide if that is a necessary step to offset the deficit. If prices for utilities, which are linked to natural gases provided by the Nissequogue Cogen Partners, remain low however, something Melucci said is not unreasonable, there won’t be a problem.

He also included in the presentation that Stony Brook University faced budget cuts of approximately $59 million, or about 19 percent, since April 1, 2008. During the interview, Melucci said that there was $450 million cut to the SUNY program over three years.

“It may even be larger than that,” he said.

And indeed it is. Last week, SUNY slashed more, bringing Stony Brook up to $62 million needed in cuts, he said, which includes the cuts from fiscal year 2008-2009 and additional cuts since then.

“Due to the magnitude of the impact, policy decisions on the distribution of these cuts were held over until President Stanley arrived on July 1, 2009,” Melucci said in his affidavit.

Stanley said in his court papers that upon his arrival, he convened a budget group of senior campus administrators to overlook various aspects of the university’s operations.

“The fiscal drains involved in operating the school’s Southampton and Manhattan satellite locations were two of several issues immediately brought to my attention,” he said.

The 2009-2010 budget for Stony Brook main campus was about $300 million with about 24,000 students in Fall 2009 as opposed to Southampton campus at a little more than $14 million with about 500 students in the same semester. This would make it approximately $12,000 per student head at main campus versus an approximate $30,000 per student head at Southampton campus. That is about two and a half times as much for a Southampton student than for a main campus student. Taking the number of the budget and dividing by the number of students can compute the amount of money per student head. According to Melucci’s affidavit, the net loss of approximately $20,000 per student remained, after incorporated annual state subsidies of utilities and salary, and tuition and fee revenues increased. Tuition and fees at Southampton were the same as main campus.

Some Southampton students then raised the question – if it’s all Stony Brook University money, why doesn’t it come from the same place?

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Melucci explained during the interview that in an analysis, what you do with “costs are what’s costing more money than something else,” he said. “It’s an analysis to see what’s making most money versus losing money.” In this case, Southampton campus was losing them money.

Another projection was the transition year of 2010-2011, when students were relocated, faculty members remained for contractual obligations or left the university entirely and fewer buildings were being used, such as the dorms and the library. The amount of revenue would remain the same at a little over $4 million, but the expenditure would decrease to approximately $11 million. The only expenditure that increases is the almost doubled housing costs that come from lack of residential fees and a 20 to 25 year mortgage plan.

One misconception that did stick out was the approximate $7 million Senator Kenneth P. LaValle secured for the campus from the state each year, according to Thiele. According to Melucci, that the number never existed and that if there were proof of it he would have put it in the budget papers. He did say there was a one-time deal of $7.4 provided by SUNY specifically for Southampton, but there was nothing else.

This year there should have been 2,000 students enrolled at Southampton, if the projection of enrollment was correct, which would have made the campus positive $1.3 million. Instead, plaintiffs contested there would be about 800 students at the Southampton campus this autumn.

“At no point were these incoming students informed that SBU and the SUNY Trustees might shut down their school of choice,” the plaintiffs argue in their briefing. “A week after taking tuition payments, SBU did just that.”

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Melucci said that number of students was untrue. Actually, based on applications, he said the number was more around 600-650.

The main number, however, is the approximate $6.7 million the university will be saving annually, which will be after all contractual obligations to the faculty are expired. This process should take about two to three years, but Melucci said they’ve already seen $1 million more than they expected to see for the transition year, going from $3.1 million to $4.1 million between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

The anticipated budget at full implementation will also include the total termination of instructional faculty, not including the MFA Writing Program and SoMAS program, and no more administration. The only costs will be the two programs, decreased utilities and facilities. Once fully executed there will still be a deficit of $3.3 million. According to Melucci, the various programs they are hoping to work on once the court’s enjoinment is revoked perhaps, could offset that.

“Southampton will have a bright future, but not the bright future we thought it was going to be in March,” he said.

The Restructuring of the Campus

ALESSANDRA MALITO/THE STATESMAN

Getting rid of one of only two sustainability campuses in the country, the other being Arizona State University, did not show a bright future for students and supporters though.

The campus, which was acquired in 2005 for $35 million provided by the state, is known for its environmentally-friendly ways.

“As set forth above, it is a small college with a distinct focus and purpose,” according to the plaintiff’s briefing. “As the school itself states on its website, the course of study is ‘organized not into departments but around issues related to environmental sustainability, public policy and natural resource management.”

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Although it is a branch of Stony Brook, it has its own administration and a separate admissions process. It also had unique clubs specifically within their environmental interests. Those who attended Southampton were able to partake in groups such as the Food for All club, which revolved around unprocessed foods and food issues, a SCUBA club, a boating club and a gaming club, according to Botos.

There was also a garden club and greenhouse, which allowed students to learn about soil composition and plant physiology.  An organic garden on campus, provided the nearby air with an aroma of numerous spices such as basil and oregano. Although it has been said that the organic garden’s produce was used to provide local grocers and campus dining, marine science major and 19-year-old sophomore Elliott Kurtz said it was not. Sometimes the produce would be given out to students and faculty during Farmer’s Markets on Thursdays.

Thiele said getting rid of Southampton after spending $35 million to purchase the campus and then an addition $43 million to renovate and add to the campus would be absurd.

“From a taxpayer point-of-view, investing $78 million in capital improvements to the campus and then shutting it down is insanity,” Thiele said.

But in decision-making science, “the amount of money paid in the past for something ought to have no bearing on future decision-making,” said Thomas Whalen, a Ph.D. and retired professor of decision sciences at Georgia State University. “Instead, the value of something is the difference between the total future benefit of maintaining and using it, and the total future cost of maintaining and using it.”

“This has to be compared with the future value of selling it, which may be negative if it costs more to get rid of it than you can get for it, plus the future benefits of taking the resources saved from maintaining, and using them for something else,” he added. “Mixing historical costs, even recent ones, into serious decision-making is known in popular speech as ‘throwing good money after bad’ and in decision science as ‘the sunk cost fallacy.’”

But whether this really is bad money is something that needs to be evaluated, and should be done so by multiple knowledgeable people, and not solely a high-status person. A committee was formed by the University Senate in 2009 to evaluate Southampton when faculty were concerned their opinions were not being considered by then-president Kenny.

While a lot of money has been put toward the campus, the funding may be more helpful in other programs that inhabit the distant campus grounds.

The University Council’s presentation for Southampton included prospective programs, such as a campus for the arts, enhancing Marine Sciences, having a semester at sea and planning cultural events. There is a council to look into the prospective that include Co-Chairs Kaler and University Council member Diana Weir, SUNY Provost David LaVallee and Suffolk County Community College Dean Richard Britton.

Closing the campus, according to what Stanley said in the Graduate Student Organization May 11, 2010 minutes, was something that he did not “see us resolving in the near future.”

And with the governor’s executive budget being a gloomy forecast of what may happen to Southampton, people speculate Stanley had to make a move fast.

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It may have been more than just budget cuts that made Southampton’s closing such a big deal – it may have possibly been the way the situation was handled that made the students and supporters angry.

“It’s just a lot of things that went wrong that made this go in the worst possible way,” said Matt Graham, Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government president and one of the University Council’s members who voted against the reopening of Southampton.

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A Matter of Inconvenience

ERIKA KARP/THE STATESMAN

Linton was with four other students in a friend’s room and about to study for an exam when she first heard that Southampton’s doors were being closed.

“We all thought it was a joke until somebody found Will James’ article on 27east.com from a Google search,” she said. “We found out about the closure of our campus not from SBU officials, but from a Southampton newspaper article… online.”

Soon after, Stanley showed up at the campus, walking through the masses of students who held a silent protest.

“I think he was wrong to come to our school and not even show us the slightest bit of compassion when telling us he was shutting down our school,” said Cutolo. “He smirked and laughed at us during our silent protest. I know he didn’t enjoy shutting a campus down, but I just wish he had showed some real compassion.”

Sheprow said back in April that the way the students found out was not planned and that the university wanted to be the one to tell them first.

Not only the way they found out, but what the decision entailed played a major factor in their hurt feelings. A lot of the students in their affidavits suggested a trend of inconvenience, having to move 40 miles away from their home campus to Stony Brook’s main campus. Some said they would lose their jobs and internships, others said they would have to drive the  commute  often.

The responders felt that situations, although unfortunate, were not enough to show harm and damage done.

“Despite moderate increases in student enrollment, the cost of residential education at Southampton continued to vastly outweigh tuition revenues,”  Kaler said in his affidavit. “As a result, University academic advisors, admissions officers and enrollment retention specialists went to extraordinary efforts to ensure that each and every Southampton student would be able to continue their studies in his/her chosen degree field of interest at the Stony Brook campus, if that student chose to do so.”

But even with these considerations, students felt that they were being forced to move to Stony Brook or drop out.

“With the closing of Southampton, petitioners will be forced either to complete their studies at SBU, a school they never planned or wished to attend, or attempt to transfer in the midst of their college careers to another institution with an academic curriculum and setting comparable to Southampton,” the plaintiff’s briefing said.

The students showed this in their affidavits.

“I had no choice – I either had to move to the main campus or leave  school and spend considerable time and research to find another college, if even one exists, like the Southampton campus,” Linton wrote in her affidavit. “I participated in approximately three recruiting sessions sponsored [by] the school. I asked school administrators repeatedly whether Southampton was likely to be closed due to budget cuts. I was informed that the SUNY system had invested millions in the campus and was operating under a five-year plan to expand the college and it was, therefore, in no danger of closure.”

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Kathleeen Furey, 55, an Environmental Humanities major with a minor in environmental planning, design and development, and a student also a part of the Supreme Court case, said staying at Southampton was a convenient way to take classes and go home to take care of her 87-year-old father.

“I have spent decades studying environmental issues and I was excited to continue my pursuit of learning in this area at a campus that is seven minutes from my home in Hampton Bays,” she said in her affidavit. “I also do not wish to study at a giant university where I will be a ‘number,’ losing the intimate, personal atmosphere I enjoy at Southampton.”

Students felt that the university’s main campus was impersonal and too large for their needs. While they try not to insult the campus, they feel that it is not the right environment for them.

“At first I felt panicked almost every single day due to the amount of people I was seeing on campus,” Cutolo said . “Southampton was definitely smaller than this campus.” But she is one of few Southampton students who says she is transitioning and finding it a bit easier, “although I would go back to Southampton in a second.”

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Students felt that this relocation would make them lose their jobs and internships. Nicole Altimari, 19, a marine science major, volunteered at the Riverhead Foundation at Atlantis Marine World and was looking to get an internship. She feared the relocation would lose this opportunity for her. She, too, felt that she had “no other choice than to attend classes at the main campus in Stony Brook.”

Katherine Osiecki, 18, a Southampton student who is majoring in art, environmental design, policy and planning, worked part-time at an art gallery in Southampton and said she would lose her job since she no longer lives in the area.

“The state, of course, is not trying to fire petitioners; rather, due to the fact that respondents plan to close Southampton, petitioners will be forced to leave the area where they now live and work, and move and/or commute 40 miles away to the Main Campus,” the plaintiffs’ court files read. “Because of this forced dislocation, petitioners, as set forth in their affidavits, will have to give up their Southampton area-based jobs and internships.”

This is deemed an inconvenience and harmful because the students “ordered their lives around the reasonable and obvious assumptions that they would attend Southampton for four years and live on, or near, its campus,” the plaintiffs continued in their court files.

But the defendants said that these were not enough of irreparable harm to justify reopening the campus. In fact, they thought it would be a greater inconvenience to a greater amount of people if the decision was reversed.

“As the change was announced in early April, before students were required to accept admittance to colleges after application, many students made college decisions based upon the changes announced by the University, either to attend SUNYSB or some other institution,” the responders wrote in their court files. “Those students would all have their decisions, some of whom are traveling from out of state, affected by a reversal of the decision. Those students who made housing decisions based on the fact that housing at main campus was unavailable because Southampton students were given priority would also be adversely affected by a reversal herein. Moreover, faculty and other staff have accepted assignments, obtained employment, moved or otherwise affected their lives in reliance on the shift of courses to main campus.”

And furthermore, they added, the petitioners never denied the economic factors that exist to require the administration to make hard decisions.

But was it a decision handled properly?

The Decision

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President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., walks past students protesting his decision to restructure the Southampton Campus. ERIKA KARP/THE STATESMAN

The university was committed to the success of Southampton until the day the decision was made, Melucci said. But at the same time, it was one part of “a multilayered response to cuts in the University’s allocation of state funding,” according to Stanley in his affidavit.

He also said that the Southampton satellite location was one of several issues that was brought to his attention, along with the Manhattan campus they closed because it expired, according to Sheprow. In fact, during his employment interview process with Kenny, members of the SUNY Search Committee and members of the University Council, Stanley was told of their concerns about “the impact of these pending budget cuts.”

The relocation of the Southampton students did not cut any majors or minors, except for coastal environmental studies, according to the plaintiffs. But Marianne Klepacki, whose daughter had a major in Business Management with a specialization in sustainable business, said her daughter’s major was not transferred.

When asked, Sheprow said it was brought over to the main campus, along with the five majors at Southampton.

Furthermore, the students’ fears of not meeting their graduation requirements because of a lack of classes they need will not be necessary.

“We are offering the classes students need in normal sequence,” she said. “That does not mean we offer all classes in a semester or in two semesters.” Students are suggested to meet with academic advisors so they can develop an outline for their course load.

Some classes were cut, however, including human ecology, Sheprow said.

“It was replaced with a different class because a suitable instructor could not be identified in time,” she said. “An instructor has been assigned and human ecology will be taught in the spring.”

A meeting could not be set up with Stanley, however. Although in the last article, the reason was because they were legally bound not to speak, according to Sheprow, she said now that the “University will continue to address the matter in a court which is the appropriate form.”

With the budget dwindling and the Governor’s Executive Budget getting closer and closer to approval, the University had to make a decision, and its president chose to cut Southampton.

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Looking back on the decision by Stanley, however, it seems as though some things may have been missed or seen and ignored, the students fear.

According to the Nov. 2, 2009 University Senate meeting, Provost Kaler said $7.4 million was appropriated by SUNY. Interim Dean Martin Schoonen added that the first classes of the sustainability majors met in the fall of 2007 with 127 students.

Former Dean Mary Pearl replaced Schoonen in the beginning of 2009. According to Southampton graduate John Botos, Pearl helped rebrand the university and made it as good as it was.

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“She was there not even less than a year and we would have reached 800 by this fall,” he said, which is false according to Melucci (refer to Budget’s Bucks Cause Confusion). “I can only imagine between May and the start of the semester how many would come.”

In fact, during the Nov. 2 meeting, Pearl said that applicants applied from 35 states, enrollment was near 500 students with a goal of 700 next year, which they would have exceeded, and 84 percent of the students were full time. Forty-five percent lived in residence halls, 87 percent were undergraduates while the other 13 percent were graduates. She also said the SAT scores were trending up.

Needless to say, many supporters feel that Stanley went through the process behind closed doors in order to make some money off of the campus. Thiele, for one, said it was all a private discussion and that the idea of a separate university at Southampton as part of SUNY is not “off the table.”

“I think that Stony Brook wanted the money in the Southampton budget and the only way they could get their hands on it was to move the undergraduates to the main campus,” Klepacki said. “Stony Brook wanted Southampton’s budget money to plug the holes in its budget, so Southampton was cannibalized by Stony Brook University.”

Student and marine vertebrate major Aubrie Andenmatten, 19, said the closure caused damage to numerous people for selfish reasons.

“I believe the campus closing was done for his [Stanley’s] own wants and needs and the issues he says there are, he is blowing out of proportion and is just using them as excuses to get what he wants,” she said.

The decision goes even further, as students and legislators agreed that alternative options were not considered.

“Stanley is not interested in alternatives to save our college,”  Linton said.

According to Thiele, multiple attempts by him and the other legislators on the basis of finding a way to make up the lost money were rejected by Stanley.

Some feel it’s just a sticky situation.

“Everything about the situation is going to be tough. The university took as many measures as they could,” Graham said.  “From my part, it was a tough decision, but at the end of the day, I have to make what decision is right for all of the students here.”

Stanley seemed to feel the same way, but others still question his decision’s credibility because of what the decision represents to the students and how it was executed.

“I want to try to see their view in this, I really do,” said Cutolo, who was appreciative that the administration tried to accommodate the students as best they could. “But I think mostly how they went about this decision has bothered me the most.”

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21 comments

  1. To D:

    CAPRA MEETING, MAY 8, 2009 MINUTES

    There are some infrastructure problems that need to be addressed. The sewage system is inadequate for the projected number of students and will need substantial resources in order to be upgraded. Also, the dormitories are not in good shape and need substantial rehabs to make them habitable and environmentally sound for the projected number of students. The dining facilities and gymnasium are minimal and need to be expanded. Finally, there is the perception that as an aggregate, the students at Southampton are not at the same level of quality as those on the Stony Brook campus.

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/univsenate/Capraminutes2009May08.shtml

    Senate Minutes

    Stony Brook University
    University Senate
    Campus Environment Committee
    February 19, 2008

    Environmental Master Plan for Southampton – Martin Schoonen

    Sewage treatment plant will go on campus in a closed structure and a new Green house to be considered

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/univsenate/CEminutes2008Feb18.shtml

  2. Interesting that there is documentation that in 2007 the dorms at Southampton had only parts of two dorms operative(separate ones for men and women), providing “about” 80 beds. Was this 40 beds for woman and 40 beds for men? This means that they could not accomodate anymore than the beds they could fill as a residential campus. So how many were turned away?

    CAPRA Minutes
    November 9, 2007

    Southampton subcommittee report (attached at the end of these minutes)
    generated some discussion:

    Southampton is getting $100K for an undergraduate library. These funds are not coming from the Stony Brook campus library budget. Questions were raised as to whether this was adequate to Southampton’s needs and the consensus was that it would be adequate for this year since students at Southampton have access to electronic journals from the Stony Brook domain. Also, Southampton is getting their own librarian but not via Stony Brook campus funds.

    Marine Sciences is big out there. Bill Godfrey is trying to contact Malcolm Bowman concerning some discussion about possibly expanding the Marine Sciences program at Southampton.

    Alan Tucker asked about the dorms. Bill reported that there are parts of two dorms that are operative (separate ones for men and women) with about a total of 80 beds. Apparently, this is sufficient for now since about 50 of the approximately 120 students reside off campus.

    Alan Tucker also asked how many students there now were students at Southampton before Stony Brook took it over. Kane Gillespie said none of the current students were there prior to its incorporation into Stony Brook as there was a period when there were no student at all and all had to have come through Stony Brook.

    There was some discussion about the money available to students at Southampton for their co-curricular activities since the per capital allocation from student fee funds was probably inadequate for starting up the range of student activities at a new campus. There was a suggestion that Joe Antonelli, President of USG, be asked to bring this issue to the Student Life Committee to enlist its support in requesting President Kenny and Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Baigent to provide some seed money to help meet the start-up costs for student activities at Southampton.

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/univsenate/Capraminutes2007Nov09.shtml

    “Approximately” and “about” is just a little too vague when you are trying to meet a projected quota. You either have the accomodations to meet your quota or you don’t! It appears there was a shortfall on beds!

  3. To T:

    My question to you is where are you getting YOUR projected enrollment figures from?

    All published information I’ve seen pertaining to projected enrollment figures for Southampton involve having 2,000 students by the fifth year. The plan was 800 students by the first year, adding 400 each year until it reaches 2,000 by the fifth year. That was the business plan from the very beginning to justify the economics of acquiring and operating that campus.

    Whether there were stumbling blocks along the way is irrelevant to the fact that these projected enrollment figures needed to be met to make the campus economically viable — especially in the light of budget cuts from the State.

    Besides, I find it hard to believe that applicants were actually turned away because of the supposed sewage plant requirements. Can anyone point me to documents saying that Suffolk County actually imposed an enrollment cap on the Southampton Campus because of its sewage plant?

  4. Thank you T for explaining the projected enrollment figures and the reason why the figures had to stay at that rate. The sewage project had been approved this year and it would have been a great project for the students to work on. The students had a chance to participating in building a sustainable campus, not just learning about it from lectures, books and power point presentations.

    It reminded me of a much larger project in the Arizona desert, 70 miles north of Phoenix:

    “Arcosanti is an educational process. The four-week workshop program teaches building techniques and arcological philosophy, while continuing the city’s construction. Volunteers and students come from around the world. Many are design students, and some receive university credit for the workshop. But a design or architecture background is not necessary. People of many varied interests and backgrounds are all contributing their valuable time and skills to the project. Week-long silt sculpture workshops and Elderhostel programs offer other ways to be involved. At the present stage of construction, Arcosanti consists of various mixed-use buildings and public spaces constructed by 5000 past Workshop participants.”

    I wonder if we could look at this sustainable community project that I visited in 1978, and learn from it to keep the Southampton campus viable?

  5. The article says that Southampton campus was expected to attract 1,600 students in its third year of operations, which was fiscal year 2009-2010. Where are they getting those supposed projection numbers from? Southampton’s enrollment projections actually were:

    2007-08 YEAR 1: 200 students
    2008-09 YEAR 2: 400
    2009-10 YEAR 3: 600
    2010-11 YEAR 4: 800 (and thats what it was about to be!)
    2011-12 YEAR 5: 1000

    Enrollment was on track with these projections. Admissions were up by 54%. There would have been about 800 students this past September, which is exactly where it was supposed to be. There couldnt be more. It would not be allowed. Applicants had to be turned away because there was a limit on the number of students until the new sewage treament plant could be completed. The administration knows this, so why they keep quoting impossible numbers & implying that students werent interested in coming to that college is beyond me.

  6. As President of the Undergraduate Student Government, Matthew Graham, had a responsibility to the students of both Southampton and Stony Brook to follow the USG SENATE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE DECISION TO CLOSE
    STONY BROOK SOUTHAMPTON that was written on April 13, 2010. It appears that the Administration “got to him” and when he voted as a member of the Stony Brook Council, he became a turncoat who disregarded and disrespected this USG Senate Resolution.

    This is the resolution:

    SENATE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE DECISION TO CLOSE
    STONY BROOK SOUTHAMPTON

    Whereas, the Stony Brook University community extends far beyond the physical confines of West Campus, including Stony Brook Southampton, East Campus and Stony Brook Manhattan;

    Whereas, Stony Brook Southampton is a distinctly different entity from each of the other components of Stony Brook University, is a unique campus community in and of itself, and is a vital part of Stony Brook;

    Whereas, over 400 undergraduates consider Stony Brook Southampton their academic home, it is unfair and unjust to force these students to abandon their educational niches so suddenly and immediately, and the decision to curtail operations there displays incredible nearsightedness and poor decision-making by the University administration;

    Whereas, the educational opportunities offered at Stony Brook Southampton are unique not only to the Stony Brook community, but to the larger academic world, thus it is impossible for students to change schools and maintain their academic interests, and the administration’s current course of action is unkind and cruel to the students of Stony Brook Southampton;

    Whereas, even if it were possible for now-displaced students to find new, fitting academic locales,
    the immediacy of this action callously prevents students from transferring;

    Whereas, West Campus already faces housing and class shortages, and is absorbing $27 million in
    budget cuts, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for West Campus to incorporate over 400 unexpected students in addition to the incoming freshman class and transfer students;

    Whereas Stony Brook Southampton is an integral part of its surrounding community, providing jobs and stimulating the local economy; and

    Whereas a considerable amount of time, on the parts of student leaders, and money – over $78 million dollars – on the part of the University, have already been invested in growing and beautifying the campus and turning it into a thriving academic community since its acquisition;

    Resolved, by the Senate of the Undergraduate Student Government –

    (1) That as the Stony Brook Southampton students, academic programs and campus are important
    to the Stony Brook community, the decision to curtail the undergraduate program at Stony Brook
    Southampton was the wrong decision;

    (2) That the government of New York State must increase its funding for Stony Brook University to
    an appropriate level, which would adequately allow for the continuation of academic programs; and

    (3) That the decision to curtail operations at Stony Brook Southampton shall be rescinded, and the
    academic and residential programs shall continue.

    Respectfully submitted to and passed by the Stony Brook Undergraduate Student Government Senate on this 13th day of April, 2010.

    http://groups.google.com/a/stonybrookusg.org/group/press/browse_thread/thread/ac0abca90404ec0b#

    There is no evidence on the USG website that USG repealed that resolution prior to the October 4,2010 Stony Brook Council meeting. In that case, Matthew Graham pulled the same thing that drew critisism about how President Stanley handled this situation. As the USG President, Matthew Graham, is mirroring the President of the university by also making a unilateral decision and voting to support Stanley’s decision even though the USG Senate condemned it.

    What happened to “Respect for authority?” How are we expected to respect authority when the person of authority DISRESPECTS the law, policies and procedures and those who he/she is supposed to represent or mentor?

    Over the years professionalism and common courtesy have fallen to the wayside and those of authority are setting an example that in order to get ahead you have to be manipulative, self absorbed and controlling.

    Tolerance for such behavior is wearing thin and those who violate the rights of others need to be held accountable.

  7. Sustainable Majors = employment after graduation

    5 Small Businesses You Can Start for Under $20,000
    Friday, November 5 2010 Rieva Lesonsky

    “3. Green Consultant

    Helping people go green is big business — $18 billion big. Green consultants generally specialize in helping either private individuals or business go green.

    If you choose to target consumers, remember that people are still thinking with their wallets. They are interested in making their homes more energy-efficient because of the promised money savings, so make that a central part of your sales pitch.

    Many small and midsized businesses are interested in going green as well, but often don’t have the internal know-how or infrastructure to do so. Many companies are looking for affordable green packaging solutions, in many cases because consumers are demanding it.

    There are a lot of government incentives out there, so both consumers and businesses are motivated to get greener”

    http://www.allbusiness.com/education-training/education-systems-institutions/15263780-1.html

  8. To T:

    You are absolutely right that “that is usually the way is it with start-ups in the beginning, until the ball gets rolling.” But start-ups also need more money during its first few years. But the reverse happened during the past two years. Less money was allocated to Stony Brook and SUNY in general.

    You’re right that enrollment levels at the Main Campus and Southampton Campus are apples and oranges — but when the State is forcing SUNY to make cuts — these apples and oranges both boil down to simple dollars and cents.

  9. Thank you “D” for taking the time to look at the schedule for the Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business major, in regards to what is offered this fall, and what has not been offered in the past.

    My child was a dean’s scholar in an honors program of a very prestigious mid-sized university, when she decided to transfer to the Southampton program. I was not happy that she was leaving her scholarship, but as long as she was happy with a major, I was happy. She had a friend who declined admission to Yale to go to the Southampton campus. These are the type of wonderful students who Stony Brook disenfranchised, on April 7th.

    Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business was listed on the Stony Brook University Southampton website as a sustainability major. It was listed on the Stony Brook University website last spring as being available only at the Southampton campus. So that is why the specialization courses have not been offered recently at Stony Brook.

    Since Stony Brook has said it has no intention of keeping the staff from the Southampton campus, I have to wonder if they will ever be available, and I have to wonder if Stony Brook has any interest in keeping sustainability as a program on the main campus. Do you know the answer? And for that matter, every Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business major has to take a minor outside of business such as Environmental Design or Ecosystems and Human Impact, for another 21 credits. So that is why it is considered a Sustainability major. But if Stony Brook does not renew the contracts of the Southampton professors, how can these students get the courses that they need?

    Consider the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
    “September 27, 2010
    Congress and the Administration have invested significant resources in green jobs, including $500 million in competitive grants for green job training under the Recovery Act and $40 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 funding for the Department of Labor’s Green Jobs Innovation Fund. However, it has been difficult to accurately assess the size and scope of the green job market because there is no widely accepted definition of the term.
    To address this, Congress appropriated $8 million in FY 2010 for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to develop and implement data collection on green jobs.
    On September 21, BLS released the official definition of “green jobs” that they will use as part of two planned surveys next year to identify the number of current and projected green jobs in the U.S. economy, the wages associated with such jobs, and their distribution across industries, occupations, and geographic regions. The surveys are expected to provide policymakers and workforce development professionals with a clearer picture of the current and projected demand for green jobs, and provide data to support the development and evaluation of green job policies and programs.

    In establishing their definition, BLS has identified two types of green jobs:
    A) jobs in businesses that produce goods and services which benefit the environment or conserve natural resources; and
    B) jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources…..”

    On May 28th nothing had changed on the Stony Brook website to indicate that the Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business major was transferred to the main campus. The students certainly were not told their major was transferred and the courses available for registration as a
    Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business major, were not available to the students. You could read about it in the Stony Brook Press. There were two articles featuring different students in that major.

    My daughter took 300 level business classes in her major at the Southampton campus and she really enjoyed her marketing professor. She was so happy to find out that the program was growing well enough for the Fall of 2010, that she would not need to travel to the Stony Brook campus. She had already registered for classes. I remember how happy she was.

    She does not attend Stony Brook and I doubt she ever will. She never had the intention to go to such a large school.

    For what it is worth, it seems to me that Stony Brook mismanaged the development of the Southampton campus. Stony Brook could have had larger classes at the Southampton campus.

    Were articulation agreements established with Suffolk Community College so students with the proper GPA could transfer seamlessly?

    Was a survey taken in the community to see what majors the community residents feel they need? What are the results?

    How much did Stony Brook have Southampton, advertise the business sustainability program and the fast track MBA?

    The sustainability majors have to take a great deal of science classes. So do other health professionals such as nurses and dietitians. So do the SoMas majors. The campus could easily be expanded with more majors who share core science classes.

  10. to D: comparing enrollment numbers of an established 40(or so) yr old university to those of a new major in a new school that was delayed a year in recruitment efforts, and delayed 3 years in hiring executive administration & PR heads, & had not yet even completed its start-up is a little bit of apples & oranges. Yes those enrollment were “low” – that is usally the way is it with start-ups in the beginning, until the ball gets rolling.

    The school started in 2006 but SBU couldn’t recruit that year due to technicalities & then didnt get the ball rolling until Dean Pearl was hired 3 years later in 2009. A PR head wasnt even hired until THIS year. And then SBU claims “the college failed”. I dont think so. SBU dropped the ball & instead of calling the college a failure, SBU should have given consideration to their own part in limiting its growth. The fact that had all these delays warranted a revision of projections & extra time should have been given to make up for the delays.

    With only one year on the job, Dean Pearl was getting the college caught up to speed & enrollment was up by 54% in just one year! Word was getting out to students all over the country – they enrolled from 35 states – & there would have been even greater growth next year. SBU should have allowed a chance for the newly-hired administrators efforts to have an effect.

    It’s seems very convenient & deceptive to shut it all down claiming past “low enrollment” while ignoring that fact that enrollment was about to explode.

  11. I agree that the learning environment in Southampton cannot be fully replicated at the Main Campus. But I can also argue that very real sustainability issues present in the larger, “non-green” Main Campus should present attractive challenges to these students who want to save the environment.

    I don’t know why you consider “BS Business Management with Specialization in Sustainable Business” a sustainability major. Clearly it is first and foremost a Business Management major. It is run by the College of Business even when it was offered in Southampton.
    The required 10 core business courses are the same for all management majors except for two (BUS 112 instead of BUS 115 for the introduction to business) and (BUS 349 instead of BUS 348 for principles of marketing).

    BUS 115 Introduction to Business for Business Majors
    BUS 112 Introduction to Business and Environmental Sustainability

    BUS 348 Principles of Marketing
    BUS 349 Principles of Marketing and Sustainable Products and Services

    I do see that BUS 112 is not offered for Fall 2010 while the BUS 349 section has been combined with BUS 348. In that regard, I agree that the tacked-on “Sustainable Products and Services” may have been lost. I also have no idea what will happen to the specialization-specific electives — I don’t think they have had the chance to offer it in Southampton last schoolyear.

    The other core courses should be the same. For example, BUS 210 Financial Accounting is the same. In Spring 2010, BUS 210 was offered in Southampton and had 12 students. On the other hand, Stony Brook had five sections of BUS 210 with an average of 50 students each.

    Of course the desired faculty-to-student ratio is the one at Southampton. But this is just one example of why the administration contends that it is much more expensive to educate students at Southampton. When forced by the State to make cuts to its budget, difficult decisions have to be made.

  12. April 2010 was just into year three of the five year plan. These were the rough enrollment projections…

    In year one (07-08): 200
    Year two (08-09): 400
    Year three (09-10): 600
    Year four (current year): 800 (projections were on track)
    Year five (11-12): About 1000

    The reason for this plan — a better sewage treatment plant was required by the county for the campus to grow beyond 1000 students.

    Southampton was working on a “living machine,” state-of-the-art sewage treatment plan. And then growth to 1500 was planned for thereafter.

  13. I disagree with this statement for the reasons listed below it:

    ““Despite moderate increases in student enrollment, the cost of residential education at Southampton continued to vastly outweigh tuition revenues,” Kaler said in his affidavit. “As a result, University academic advisors, admissions officers and enrollment retention specialists went to extraordinary efforts to ensure that each and every Southampton student would be able to continue their studies in his/her chosen degree field of interest at the Stony Brook campus, if that student chose to do so.”

    Up until 6/12/10 There were 9 majors offered at the Southampton campus, 3 of which are SoMas majors. There were 6 Sustainability majors, including Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainability . Also there were 4 minors listed and under other programs was a fast track BA/BS -MBA program.

    On May 28, 2010 there is no sign that the Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainability major was moved to the Stony Brook campus, under the business department online.

    The website that existed on 6/12/10 no longer exists. On 7/26/10 the Southampton website was altered and listed the major, Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainability, under other programs, and it was no longer listed as a sustainability major.

    “Southampton
    The committee met with guest Martin Schoonen, former Dean of Stony Brook Southampton, to discuss the future plans for the students on the campus, and Southampton degree offerings. Upon the suspension of resident majors at Southampton, Schoonen created a list of equivalencies between the requirements of the five Southampton majors and Stony Brook campus course offerings, for the purpose of allowing Southampton students to substitute courses for their existing declared major. Southampton students were also given advance registration for the Fall semester. Some courses have direct equivalences on West campus, while some courses are unique to Southampton.
    There are five majors specific to Stony Brook Southampton (Sustainability Studies, Environmental Humanities, Coastal Environmental Studies, Ecosystems and Human Impact, and Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning). Of utmost concern is the fewer than 100 students enrolled in these degree programs and how they will be best served on the Stony Brook campus. The main question is whether we will maintain these programs into the future, or simply allow the continuing students to graduate. Maintaining the programs would involve rewriting the majors to take advantage of courses and faculty from the main campus. The Provost has convened a committee (Martin Schoonen is the chair) to discuss these issues. Kane is on the committee.”

    Clearly, no consideration for the students studying the BS in Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business, was given by this undergraduate curriculum committee, at the late date of May 3, 2010. It was still listed with the other sustainability majors on 6/12/10.

    Arts and Science Senate
    Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
    Academic Year 2009-10
    Minutes
    23rd meeting, May 3, 2010 – Approved May 10, 2010
    Present: Kane, Edmund, Beth, Darcy, Martin, Darlene, Sally, Ridha, Nicole Guest: Martin Schoonen

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/cas/curriculumcommittee/minutes%2009%2010.pdf

    “Some courses have direct equivalences on West campus, while some courses are unique to Southampton.”

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/cas/curriculumcommittee/FinalAnnual%20Report_09_10.pdf

    On 5/28/10 the Business Management Major Core courses, at Stony Brook, did not list Introduction to Business and Environmental Sustainability, or Principles of Marketing and Sustainable Products and Services, and the Sustainable Business courses listed had a note”(note that some courses may only be available at the Southampton campus).” It listed Introduction to Business for Business Majors and Principles of Marketing, instead.

    There are 21 credits required for a minor.

    At the Southampton campus the BS in Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainable Business major, required 4 electives in specialization and one elective in general management, and then “…a discipline outside of business, which at Southampton includes minors in Ecosystems and Human Impact, Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, Sustainable Studies.”

    These minors were not listed as available at the Stony Brook campus, and are not even suggested on the business website on 5/28/10. What were the students majoring in Business Management with a Specialization in Sustainability suppose to do? They were left in limbo. The Stony Brook Press articles I have previously cited documents how some of these students felt.

  14. The Southampton was interdisciplinary, not disciplinary, and it was planned this way by the FIVE YEAR PLAN FOR 2005-2010 TASK FORCE REPORTS, because “Interdisciplinary research (IDR) can be one of the most productive and inspiring of human pursuits-one that provides a format for conversations and connections that lead to new knowledge.”

    “Stony Brook must undertake a paradigm shift to vastly increase multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research to remain in the forefront of scholarship, research, teaching and addressing society’s vexing problems.”

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb.5yrplan08/task-force-reports.pdf

    ASU (the school with the sustainability program that impressed former University President Shirley Strum Kenny) is already doing this:
    ““The multi-disciplinary nature of ASU’s minor in sustainability is very appealing to students, and enrollment is predicted to eventually reach the thousands,” Boone added.”

    http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu/news/gios-news/new-green-minor-for-major-change

    ASU knows how to grow a university and a major. Stony Brook should serious take a look at what ASU has done with its sustainability program, if it wants to have more revenue sources.

  15. The discussion is now just going around in circles. The judge received the written arguments from both sides & will make the decision on whether the sustainability college reopens. Whatever side anyone thinks is right or wrong, there are a few points that the article could have made more clear:

    1. Mrs. Klepaki is telling the truth about her daughter’s Sustainable Business major being eliminated and Ms. Sheprow doesn’t know what she’s talking about. If that major is listed in the course catalog, the catalog is not correct. There are currently Southampton students at the main campus who were in this program & who now are regsitered as “undeclared” because that program certainly WAS cut. Its not just Mrs. Klepaki saying it. One of those students was quoted in the SB Press “Southampton Exodus” article last month, explaining that she is a junior from the Sustainable Business major and just wasted the last few years of her life working towards a degree in a major that no longer exists. Sheprow needs to get her facts straight before she opens her mouth.

    2. It’s a huge mistatement to say that Southampton’s Sustainability Studies Program “survives in the Main Campus”. It does not. What is left there is no different than environmental classes at any other school. Sitting in a classroom talking about Sustainability is not what Southampton programs were. An entire important part of Southampton’s programs did not make it over in the transfer. The learning-through-living, experiential piece that included the environment as a classroom, daily living sustainability concepts on a green campus, and IMPLEMENTATION of sustainability projects that could be put into general use on campus, was a major component & was a main reason why these students chose Southampton instead of any other enviornmental college. It no longer exists.

    Classes may have been moved but the PROGRAMS were put out of existence. That’s what outsiders just don’t get. It’s like taking all the hands-on labwork out of the biology programs & telling those students that they will be learning about biology just by sitting in a classroom & talking about it. Without the experiential learning component, the sustainability students have basically been stripped of their laboratories. They did not choose to go to Southampton for classrooms or a library – they went for the experiential learning and now that it’s not available at the non-green main campus, its kind of offensive to constantly be hearing that “Southampton’s programs” have just been relocated when they are actually no longer anything like Southampton’s programs.

    What some people don’t understand is that these students were not at Southampton for the sciences. They are humanities students. In the same way that science majors view labs, research, access to grads and technology as being essential to their major course of study, these students viewed the experiential learning component of their programs. That environment was their lab. Access to it IS essential for their major course of study.

    Whatever side anyone is on, & whether they feel that moving the college was right, it would just be nice if someone acknowledged that such a drastic alteration to their program and the elimination of a main component that made those programs what they were, is a valid reason for why these students are so outraged.

  16. There are several newspaper articles that have students stating that my daughter’s major did not transfer. Even on the Stony Brook website for Southampton it states that there is already Business Management program at Stony Brook, but it does not say anything about a BS in Business Mgmt. With a Specialization in Business Sustainability. It was a major not a concentration. All the business classes at Southanpton were steeped in sustainability concepts, which is not true at Stony Brook.

    I don’t know who D is, but obviously, they have never been to ASU. I lived within 6 miles of the campus for 6 years. No one has ever said that they have a separate campus, but they do have a separate building dedicated to sustainability majors and courses. It is right next the the Home Economics building where I took some of my classes, back in the late 70s and 80s. It is not an urban campus. Its like a tropical garden with gorgeous buildings and I would bike there, on the bike lanes, from my house, in 20 minutes. My best friend from ASU lived there until last year and I have visited her over the years as well as the campus.

    And my daughter’s major was not offered. The Statesman had a few articles about it already. So I am surprised that Ms. Sheprow thinks it was offered. I guess she has not been reading the Stony Brook Press articles. If she had, maybe she could have made sure the courses were available to the students who needed them.

    Its not Easy Being Green

    April 23, 2010

    http://www.sbpress.com/2010/04/its-not-easy-being-green/

    “Although some majors will be offered at Stony Brook University’s main-campus, SBS students feel slighted by the school. “I can’t even make a schedule, I don’t know what to do. This is ridiculous,” said junior Alla Villafana, who can complete her Business major at SBU, but not with a concentration in Sustainability, which was only offered at SBS.”

    The Southampton Exodus
    September 15, 2010
    http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/the-southampton-exodus/

    “Believe it or not, the fact that Holmes even had a major to return to this fall can be considered a lucky situation. “My major, sustainable business, didn’t even transfer over. I just wasted money, a lot of us did,” says Navarra. Right now, she’s technically undeclared.”

    I wrote to the SUNY Provost Dave K. LaVallee, (certified, returned, signed receipt) and he only said Business Mgmt.would be offered and refused to answer my question about the BS in Business Mgmt. With a Specialization in Sustainable Business. The lawyer at Stony Brook, Lynette M. Phillips, (certified, returned, signed receipt) could not answer my question and her letter says she is going to have Eric Kaler answer my letter, and there is a
    cc. Office of the Provost
    Office of Student Affairs

    at the bottom of her letter. Eric Kaler is the Provost and VP of Student Affairs at Stony Brook University.

    I never heard from Eric Kaler. I have since found out he is also the Provost and VP of Brookhaven Affairs at Brookhaven National Labs and of course the co-chair of the panel to “re-purpose” the Southampton campus.

    So many people at Stony Brook seem to have multiple positions! Why?

    I have copies of the website. First Business Mgmt with a specialization in Bus. Sustainabilty was a Sustainability Major, ( all the Sustainsbility majors will transfer) and then, it is not there and described under other programs!!! Anything can do a disappearing act on the internet, and then reappear in a new format.

    I feel like we had constant, misleading information, as a parent. No one knew what was really going on.

    Fortunately my daughter was not a junior or senior, so she was not forced to go to Stony Brook.

    Funny thing is, I thought I sent Miss Malito these articles, so she could confront the administrators, when she interviewed them, to get the truth.

    September 15, 2010

    “Some of the funding for Southamp- ton has already been curtailed, accord- ing to Daniel Melucci, Stony Brook’s Vice President for Strategy and Plan- ning. “We currently have a total of $7.7 million budgeted for Southampton for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Last year the total state budget was approximately $12.5 million,” he said.”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/37578722/The-Stony-Brook-Press-Volume-32-Issue-1

    If the present southampton students generated 4 million and the state support was 7.7 million, then that is 11.7 million that was available to support the Southampton campus. Just think how much more would have been generated if they kept the campus open and all the students who were expected to be enrolled this fall, were there now!

    State support was planned by design, to be diminished as enrollment rose and 800 students were anticipated to be there this fall:

    “The acquisition of the Southampton College campus, now known as Stony Brook Southampton is a welcome challenge and opportunity. For this campus we have created a multi-disciplinary curriculum dedicated to the theme of Sustainability, a focus that will nurture innovative research, education, and leadership for New York State. The long- term funding plan for this campus includes tuition and fees supplemented by state tax support provided through the SUNY Budget Allocations Process. At full development the campus will be self-supporting. However, during the next several years of growth, tuition and enrollment-related funding will not be sufficient to cover costs of operations.
    A four-year transitional budget plan is required that would phase out as enrollment grows.”

    http://www.budget.state.ny.us/pubs/press/2007/townHallMeetings/Long_Island/StonyBrookUniversity.pdf

    Of course it is difficult for me to understand how the Southampton campus “cost” Stony Brook anything with this previous support from the state:

    Of the $379.7 million in Capital support for SUNY, $164.8 million is authorized for the Old Westbury academic complex and renovation of the Stony Brook Southampton Campus, $114.9 million for other high priority projects, such as the Plattsburgh Science Facility and the Empire State Regional Center, and $100 million for various university-wide maintenance projects. ”

    2007-08 Budget Analysis
    Review of the Executive Budget March 2007
    http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/2007/execbudgetfinal030607.pdf

    And last but not least, the Southampton Campus is the jewel of the Town of Southampton, and no one has ever said that about Stony Brook University. I lived in Three Village for 18 years. There is no way the Southampton students studying sustainability and the environment will ever have the same opportunities in Three Village, that they had in the Town of Southampton and in Riverhead. I now live in Southampton, a ten minute walk away from the campus.

    Unless you live out here, you have no idea, about all the opportunities that are available for sustainability majors, simple because the residents are willing to spend the extra money and time it takes to save their environment.

    The preschools promote no waste lunches, assembled at home by parents. They start them very young, out here, thinking about the environment.

    The Group for the East End:

    “Group for the East End derives its support from 2,500 individuals, family members, foundations and local businesses. The Group does not rely on local government funding to operate its programs, so we can serve as an objective watchdog of governmental decisions that ultimately determine the future protection of the local environment and the quality of life of everyone who enjoys the resources of the East End.

    In response to community need, the Group has greatly expanded its public and classroom environmental education programs over the last ten years. Each year, the Group reaches more than 1,000 local students through its school-based education programs, and sponsors a wide range of environmental action and outdoor educational programs [explorations] for the entire community. These programs have succeeded in providing the public with a heightened understanding of the natural world and the importance of public participation in accomplishing positive environmental change.

    In response to the intensive pressure for development across the region, the Group is expanding its work in the arena of community and environmental planning for multi-town issues, such as coastal erosion, local airport expansion, natural gas terminals, groundwater protection and open space preservation. Although the Group must remain vigilant in the environmental review of individual development projects, it has become clear that a strong and informed environmental voice must be part of the community planning process if long-term environmental protection is to be assured for the future”.

    http://www.eastendenvironment.org/about-us/mission.aspx

    This is no small organization. They know how to organize a very large fundraising party with hundreds of guests for an eventful evening, and continuously provide other interesting fundraising events through out the year.

    Group for the East End is one of many organizations that provide an example of how to work on saving the environment using many different formats.

    And lets be real, about the timeline for this campus, because the purchase was delayed by the liens on some of the buildings, so they could not promote the programs or hire much staff, until the campus was officially a SUNY school. Stony Brook took over the Marine Science program with only 50 students, and they already had buildings for their program. So Stony Brook knew in time that the campus would grow.

    “Ms. DeGenova informed the Members that while the sale had originally been scheduled for Spring 2006, it was now expected to be completed in Summer 2006.”

    http://www.dasny.org/dasny/board/minutes/5_24_06.php#supersearchresult

    Southampton is not LIU. In this economy, more students from the East End need an accessible undergraduate program, one that does not require a 1 1/2 hours to commute, in one direction.

  17. There are a lot of overhead costs associated with running Southampton as a stand-alone residential college. The infrastructure and services required to support the residential college have to be duplicated in Southampton. Revenue from tuition was insufficient, and so was the financial state support. Faced with budget cuts, the consolidation of the sustainability programs into the main campus was necessary. The economies of scale on the main campus will allow cost savings to meet the cuts.

    If the residential college in Southampton is reopened in the future, the university administration and the legislature must make sure that it will be economically viable. In large part, the economic viability of the Southampton campus depends on the state. So, both SUNY and legislators like Thiele and LaValle should work together that the money is there.

    The SUNY takeover of Southampton was planned during the time of President Kenny at the time when Stony Brook’s favorite Senator LaValle was the chairman of the Higher Education committee. Senator LaValle made sure that there was money for the purchase of the campus and for capital improvements. Additional money for operating the campus was also promised. That promise cannot really be met in the long run, especially since Sen. LaValle lost his committee chairmanship when the Republicans lost control of the State Senate. That’s the unfortunate thing with SUNY — its fortunes is tightly linked to the fortunes of its political patrons. It is not shielded from political machinations in Albany.

    As an example of other projects Sen. LaValle had in line for Stony Brook — $45 million for a law school, $5 million for a monoral (yes, a monorail) feasibility study. Money has already been budgeted and approved for these projects by the State in 2008 courtesy of Sen. LaValle. It’s doubtful we’ll actually be seing a Stony Brook Law School, because the State really does not have the money.

    As it is, SUNY will rise and fall depending on the whims of the politicians in Albany. When the state is faced with budget cuts, SUNY is treated like any other agency and asked to trim its budget. Unlike agencies like the MTA though which can raise fares to meet budget cuts, SUNY cannot do the same. In effect, SUNY’s hands are tied.

    OK, rant over.

  18. This is a generally well-written article. Just a few points:

    1. Ms. Klepacki claims her daughter’s major was not transferred. Ms. Sheprow claims otherwise. Who is telling the truth? What is the truth? I think you missed really clarifying this issue.

    2. Assemblyman Thiele contends that “From a taxpayer point-of-view, investing $78 million in capital improvements to the campus and then shutting it down is insanity.” I would argue that investing $78 million in a campus, without guaranteeing that the campus will have money for operating costs IS insanity.

    3. ASU does not have a separate, dedicated campus for its School of Sustainability. It is located within their urban Tempe campus. Stony Brook’s Sustainability Studies Program survives in the Main Campus.

    4. Any suggestion of ulterior motive on the part of President Stanley in making the decision on Southampton is preposterous and without basis. Faced with budget cuts, the difficult decision on how best to spend the money has to be made. Even if the campus is sold, the money will go to New York state coffers and will be spent according to the whims of the legislature.

    5. I think it is worth mentioning that the Main Campus is better positioned to support an inherently disciplinary sustainability studies program. It links the sciences, economics, sociology, business, among others. Sustainability students will have access to experts in these fields who are on the Main Campus. Library materials are more expansive.

    6. The affected students are right to be angry. I do hope they get to adapt to the Main Campus quickly.

  19. what I don’t get is how they are saying that it cost too much to operate the college there so they moved the programs out…and theyre looking for new programs to operate a college there. Huh? If they’re looking for new programs to put in there, why couldn’t the sustainability programs & those students be put back and those new programs just added? Seems to me a lot of unnecessary waste & trauma to shut down a whole college only to reopen it with different programs. There could have been co-existence for all. Such a waste. And very poorly handled by people who are entrusted to know better.

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