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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A Peek at the Five Year Plan

    President Kenny’s new Five Year Plan, expected out in mid-February, redirects the focus of the two previous Five Year Plans from what facilities and services need to be changed, to where the university is ultimately headed.

    “Plans one and two were a synthesis of concerns,” said Emily Thomas, Director of Planning and Institutional Research. “A lot of things needed to be fixed.”

    The third Five Year plan spotlights the future.

    According to the 2007-2012 online proposal draft, the university’s goals include “[increasing] the student body to 27,000”, “[raising the arts to national prominence” and “[expanding, strengthening and diversifying] the faculty.”

    The university’s objective is to emerge as a leader in education by creating a multicampus institution, using an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on international ties.

    Stony Brook also hopes to further their role as Long Island’s sole research university.

    However, not everyone is impressed.

    “How much more diverse can we get?” said Brittany Popkin, 20, a health science major.

    And Popkin is not the only skeptic.

    “The campus is so crowded,” said Allie Russo, 20, a junior. Russo said she wondered if such an expansion was feasible when space is already limited.

    Stony Brook plans on supporting the enrollment increase by adding classrooms, laboratories and “increasing residential capacity by about 1,200 – 1,500 beds,” according to the 2007-2012 draft.

    While this latest Five Year Plan will focus more on where the campus is headed, it is impossible to discuss the future without discussing the construction of facilities that will allow the university to reach its goals.

    The first Five Year Plan, 1995-2000, focused on setting goals such as providing internet access in resident halls and constructing an athletic stadium.

    The second Five Year Plan, 2000-2005 continued improving the campus by increasing the Honors College enrollment and renovating several residence hall cafeterias.

    But not every concern can be answered in the Five Year Plan as Thomas put it. “This is not an academic plan or a facilities plan,” she said.

    The Five Year Plan’s goals are general and cover a much broader area such as “campus beautification” than specific facility plans.

    University officials are also not the only ones behind the Plan. Each plan required several task forces consisting of students, professors, administrative officials and community members.

    “Our task force focused on the need for multidisciplinary approaches to scholarship,” said Programmatic Directions task force member, Professor Jeffrey Levinton, from the Department of Ecology and Evolution. “Essentially this means attempting to cross traditional academic borders to produce novel approaches to learning and research.”

    The goals of the task forces are twofold.

    “We wanted to gather wisdom and [learn about] concerns from the campus community,” said Thomas. The university also wants to ensure it acts with those concerns as a guide.

    The latest marine science majors are interdisciplinary.

    “I expect there will be new interdisciplinary graduate programs and hopefully undergraduate as well,” said Professor Levinton. “I personally am hoping for more efforts between science disciplines in our introductory science curriculum.”

    Each Five Year Plan built on the one before.

    Starting with the 1995-2000 Plan, President Kenny frowned on a rolling plan that did not allow for time frames. Deadlines allow the university to tackle new projects every five years.

    This February will mark the Plan’s third liftoff, with a total running time of 15 years so far.

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