On Course Archives
On Course, Fall 2002
There is no question that at the start of the 2002-2003 academic year we face challenging times. On the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and the nation, we are forced to contend with a struggling economy and the exigency of global instability and the worldwide battle against terrorism. In this context, we must steadfastly fulfill our commitments to our students and society.
I am fully confident that the University as a whole (in addition to the countless service contributions made by individuals throughout the SUNY community) is rising to this challenge.
Campuses are becoming more effective in sustaining safe, culturally diverse, academically challenging environments. In their research and scholarship, faculty are increasingly sharing their expertise and working collaboratively with colleagues in other campuses. In their teaching, they are increasingly involving their students in research and civic debate. And looking at the System from the Office of the Provost’s perspective, our quest for academic excellence continues to move forward. From the academic framework established by Mission Review to key academic initiatives in teacher education and assessment, we have laid a critical foundation on which campuses can build to move forward.
Chancellor King has challenged us to bring the University into the front ranks of American Public Higher Education; an objective we are on the way to reaching. My hopes and expectations for the coming year are high. Despite the fiscal challenges that lie ahead, and the larger issues confronting New York and the nation, our Systemwide cooperation and creativity will carry us through.
Best wishes for a great academic year! And as always, feel free to contact my office with questions or for additional information on the topics covered in this issue of On Course.
The Office of the Provost is joining with the University Faculty Senate and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges to launch a new initiative on faculty development. “The University has made progress on many important academic fronts in the past year, accomplishments that would have been impossible without the contributions of our dedicated and talented faculty,” said Provost Salins. “Now it is time to assure that our faculty has the recognition and support it needs to continue to move forward.”
The newly created Advisory Task Force on Faculty Development will build on existing efforts to recognize the accomplishments of the University’s faculty, such as Distinguished Professor appointments and the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. “This Task Force creates a great opportunity to bring together faculty from across the system to address vitally important issues,” said University Faculty Senate President Joseph Hildreth.
The charge given to the Task Force includes examination of issues relating to the ongoing intellectual, scholarly and professional development of State University faculty, including support for:
The Task Force will examine and propose a set of best practices—appropriate to each sector of the University—that will provide candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure with clear guidance regarding campus process, expectations, standards and flexibility, as well as mentoring, support and timely feedback regarding their progress. Task Force members will also discuss strategies that might successfully secure sufficient additional resources in support of faculty development. “This effort will undoubtedly lead to positive outcomes for faculty from all sectors of the University,” said Faculty Council of Community Colleges President Robert Axelrod.
The Task Force will make recommendations regarding policy, guidelines and best practices that can contribute to strengthening the academic environment, and increasing retention and development of faculty.
The Task Force will be co-chaired by University Faculty Senate President Joseph Hildreth and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges President Robert Axelrod, as well as System Associate Provost Donald Steven. Task Force Members are as follows:
The recently announced Provost's Task Force on Mathematics Education will address math education both as a vital component of SUNY’s New Vision in Teacher Education action agenda and as a national priority in education. Provost Salins launched the Task Force after meeting with campus representatives last spring. “There was a strong consensus on the issues to be addressed as well as eagerness to work across the University to enhance mathematics education,” said Provost Salins. Initial plans call for the Task Force to be divided into three working groups to address the following critical areas:
The State Education Department is eager to cooperate with this effort and hopes it will make a major contribution to improving K-12 mathematics instruction in New York. All University campuses have been invited to submit nominations for membership, and the task force will be convened this fall term.
Dr. Alan Tucker, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the University at Stony Brook, and Dr. Victoria Kouba, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University at Albany will be co-chairing the Task Force. Dr. Hubert Keen, Special Assistant to the Provost, will provide leadership from the Office of the Provost.
Dr. Keen, who also serves as Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE), said that addressing the shortage of teachers in disciplines like math and science is an important component of the New Vision in Teacher Education Action Agenda. “The University is committed to meeting state needs in the area of teacher preparation,” said Dr. Keen. “This task force will serve as a model that could be replicated in other disciplines; bringing together SUNY faculty to collaborate and exchange best practices.”
“A strong foundation in math is critical and is correlated with high performance in other disciplines,” said Provost Salins. “I have every confidence that harnessing the expertise that exists within SUNY will lead to the development of innovative new ways to improve the math curriculum at all levels.”
With sky-rocketing enrollment, increasing campus participation and exceptional faculty and student satisfaction rates, the University’s online learning program—the SUNY Learning Network (SLN)—continues to exceed expectations and garner national attention. SLN is housed within the Advanced Learning and Information Services area of the Office of the Provost.
SLN was recently notified that it was the recipient of a $100,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to host a national workshop on distance learning. More than forty people from nearly 30 institutions including the University of Illinois and the United States Army are expected to attend this fourth annual workshop.
Further, SLN was recognized with a Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) annual award for excellence in online education. Sloan-C is a consortium of more than 200 institutions of higher education that have joined together to deliver and promote high quality online learning. SLN was honored in the “Excellence in Institution-Wide ALN Programming” category.
“Too often the headlines portray online programs—both those related to academic institutions and those sponsored by private entities—as failing.” said Provost Salins. “In stark contrast, if you look at SLN’s great success, you can see that this is a model that works,” said Provost Salins. SLN first began offering courses in the 1995-1996 academic year, enrolling 119 students in eight courses on two campuses. In 2001-2002, 40,000 students enrolled in 2,500 courses offered by 53 of the University’s 64 campuses.
“ There are a total of 55 complete campus degree programs available through SLN that range from the certificate level all the way through the master’s degree,” said Peter Shea who recently assumed responsibility as Interim Director of SLN. “The SUNY Learning Network is integrated into the instructional framework of University campuses, with courses developed and taught by University faculty.”
“The success of the SUNY Learning Network is due in large part to the enthusiasm of our faculty with respect to teaching online,” added Provost Salins. “That enthusiasm in captured in an overall increase in the integration of technology in the classroom.”
The SUNY Learning Network, and more broadly, the University’s implementation of electronically integrated learning, is one of the priority strategic planning initiatives recently outlined by Chancellor King.
“One of our priorities going forward is certainly continued enrollment growth and ongoing technical enhancements of SLN,” said Provost Salins. “We are also exploring ways that SLN can facilitate the sharing of course and program offerings among campuses throughout the University,” said Provost Salins.
"One of the most important responsibilities my Office has is to maintain a continuing dialogue with our campuses,” said Provost Salins. That commitment is fulfilled by the Campus Liaison team, housed within the Office of Academic Affairs. Each Liaison is responsible for a particular sector of institutions and serves as a key intermediary between campuses and System Administration.
One member of the Liaison team, Associate Provost Robert Kraushaar, has taken on an interim post as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University Maritime College. As a result, some Liaison responsibilities have been temporarily reassigned to Associate Provost Bill Gehring, Assistant Provost Patricia Pietropaolo, and Assistant Provost Elizabeth Bringsjord —a complete listing of campuses for which they now serve as Liaison appears below. Note that liaison responsibilities for the University Colleges remain unchanged.
Associate Provost Bill Gehring (518/443-5865):
Assistant Provost Patricia Pietropaolo (518/443-5505):
Assistant Provost Elizabeth Bringsjord (518/443-5484):
SUNY Morrisville Professor Fred Hildebrand Named Provost’s
“We have made great strides in increasing our responsiveness to campus requests for new programs and/or program modifications,” said Provost Salins. “Given the temporary changes in liaison staffing, we wanted to make sure that our efforts in this critical area did not stall.” Appointed to primarily serve in our Program Review and Planning Unit, Dr. Hildebrand will play an active role in reviewing academic program proposals. “Dr. Hildebrand will also assist the broader Academic Affairs unit in the implementation of the SUNY Assessment Initiative and help to coordinate an upcoming conference on general education,” said Assistant Provost Joseph DeFilippo.
Dr. Hildebrand is a professor in the Humanities Department at the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville. His University service includes membership in the Faculty Congress Task Force on Assessment of General Education and the Technology Committee of the United University Professions. Recipient of numerous honors and distinctions, Dr. Hildebrand received the Morrisville College Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions and the Morrisville Faculty Congress Distinguished Service Citation in 2000.
Dr. Hildebrand holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Syracuse University and a M.A. and B.A in English Literature from Lehigh University. “We are very pleased to have Dr. Hildebrand as a part of our team,” said Provost Salins.