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Nov 23, 2010 12:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

SUNY Trustees Support Cuts To Stony Brook Southampton

Nov 23, 2010 12:34 PM

State University of New York trustees last week ratified Stony Brook University’s decision to remove programs and close facilities at Stony Brook Southampton, a satellite campus located in Shinnecock Hills.

The vote on November 17 was intended to satisfy an order by a State Supreme Court justice, who ruled in August that university administrators should have consulted an advisory board, the Stony Brook University Council, before deciding more than six months ago to close the dormitories at the satellite campus and relocate its sustainability programs to the main campus.

The cuts, which were announced in April and took effect in August, are intended to help close a multimillion-dollar budget gap at Stony Brook University brought on by a drop in state funding.

The resolution by the SUNY Board of Trustees comes after the Stony Brook University Council passed a similar resolution in early October, which was also intended to satisfy the order by Justice Paul J. Baisley Jr.

“Just to cure any possible issue there, the SUNY Board of Trustees felt it was prudent to pass a resolution approving these actions,” said Cary F. Staller, a trustee who lives in Old Field.

Mr. Staller was one of 15 trustees to vote in favor of the resolution supporting the cuts. One trustee abstained, and none opposed.

Mr. Staller said he supported the cuts because it proved to be “extremely expensive” to operate Stony Brook Southampton as a small residential college—especially when the SUNY system is under “financial stress,” as it is now.

“This economic model is just not sustainable unless the state is in the position to fund Southampton separately, or we had a substantial endowment specifically for Southampton,” he said.

SUNY Provost David K. Lavallee has talked to Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. about partnering with SUNY Farmingdale to run a horticultural program at Stony Brook Southampton in the future, and partnering with Suffolk County Community College to run a culinary arts program.

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