Deputy Provost Brent Lindquist briefed campus media outlets on plans to replace current Provost Eric W. Kaler, who was selected as the new President of the University of Minnesota, as well as what his department is doing to protect the academics at Stony Brook with budget cuts looming, in a press conference with student media on Wednesday.
While Lindquist did not know extensive plans about replacing Kaler, he said that the standard procedure would be to hire a search firm to conduct a national search. According to Lindquist, the search would take approximately seven months.
“It’s been the Provost’s position over the last three years of cuts that we are going to protect the academic core of this university,” Lindquist said. “We’ve managed the cuts that we’ve received so that the academic programs are cut as little as possible.”
On Nov. 18, SUNY Geneseo announced they would be phasing out their computer science, communicative disorders and sciences and studio art majors. Numerous sources close to The Statesman have said that the Art Department at Stony Brook would be seeing a similar fate.
Lindquist and Lauren Sheprow, interim director of media relations, said they were surprised to hear this and have not heard of any plans.
Lindquist acknowledged that it has been difficult to make sure that all classes are offered and that his department has had to adapt to a three-semester year, pushing some classes to the summer sessions.
In addition, for the first time this semester, a classical physics class was offered at 7:25 a.m. as a pilot project that would extend the current academic schedule to start at this time.
“It’s a function of trying to deliver all of our classes with reduced resources, reduced manpower,” Lindquist said.
Available instructors, in addition to available space, are issues that have affected class offerings. According to Lindquist, in approximately two years, the Old Chemistry building will feature an addition, which will house three new 250-seat lecture halls.
Lindquist also briefly discussed Project 50 Forward, the university’s initiative to evaluate and identify different inefficiencies in administrative departments on campus. According to Lindquist, the analysis phase is nearing completion.
“We would like to make sure our administrative structure, to put it in colloquial, is as lean and mean as possible,” Lindquist said. “To make sure we can deliver as many of our resources towards research and academics in this time of budgets being cut back severely.”