Faculty weigh in on CLA’s future

Faculty and staff were able to voice concerns at a town hall meeting Friday.

Adam Daniels

Faculty and staff from the College of Liberal Arts met with administrators Friday to share their thoughts on 60 recommendations released Monday that will shape the future of the college.

Professor Chris Uggen and Associate Dean for Planning Gary Oehlert  âÄî co-chairs of the CLA 2015 committee âÄî fielded questions from about 70 faculty members.      Both have taken suggestions from faculty through meetings, e-mails and a suggestion box in an effort to improve the report.

“We hope for those of you who saw the interim report, youâÄôve seen how weâÄôve changed and moved in response to that feedback,âÄù Uggen said.

The 50-page report released Monday identified challenges and trends facing the college. It proposed a set of goals to define the collegeâÄôs missioin, encourage creativity and collaboration and help position the college for the 21st century.

CLA Dean James Parente acted as moderator at the town hall-style meeting that contained a myriad of questions regarding the implications the report would have on curriculum and staffing.

Another topic of debate was how CLA should redefine itself and become more viable.

The report included a suggestion of changing the collegeâÄôs name to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

âÄúPeople can say âÄî very clearly, here on campus âÄî what the liberal arts arenâÄôt,âÄù Parente said. âÄúTheyâÄôre not engineering, theyâÄôre not pharmacyâĦ [But] students donâÄôt really know when they come, but they really ought to know by the time they leave.âÄù

The meeting followed the announcement of Stony Brook University Provost Eric Kaler as the only University presidential candidate, which prompted a discussion encouraging CLA faculty to attend KalerâÄôs interview and student forum next Wednesday.