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Feb 25, 2011 2:14 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Thiele: Stony Brook Southampton Could Offer New Programs By Fall Semester

Feb 25, 2011 2:14 PM

A new vision for Stony Brook Southampton, beginning with the offering of additional arts and marine sciences programs at Stony Brook University’s satellite campus in Shinnecock Hills, might begin to take root as early as the coming fall semester, according to State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

But Lauren Sheprow, a spokeswoman for Stony Brook University, said this week that new programs for Stony Brook Southampton were still being discussed, and that it was too early to say whether or not they would be in place for the fall semester.

Local elected officials and Stony Brook University administrators have been hashing out the future of the 82-acre satellite campus since it was devastated by budget cuts last year. Last April, the university announced it would close the dormitories at Stony Brook Southampton and relocate the campus’ environmental sustainability curriculum—and the bulk of the undergraduate student body—to the main campus in Stony Brook. The cost-saving measures went into effect in August, leaving only marine sciences research and graduate writing programs operating on the campus.

Since the cuts were announced, local officials and university administrators have talked about reviving the site by introducing graduate music and visual arts programs, and expanding the marine sciences operations to include a “Semester at Sea” program, which would allow students from other schools to spend a semester based at the East End campus. They have also discussed reopening the dorms there.

This week, Mr. Thiele said those measures could be in place by the fall, saying that the reappointment of State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle as chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee has accelerated the pace of talks.

“The discussions have continued to progress and progress so well that there’s the possibility of the expansion of those programs at the graduate level that could happen as soon as September,” he said.

Mr. LaValle, who has also been involved in the discussions, was more hesitant to state a possible time line this week. “We’re not there yet,” he said. “We’re trying, and that has always been the goal, but we’re not there yet. The only thing I can say is that the administration has been more cooperative, more engaged in discussions. But I think we’re a bit away from where we need to be to say we have a deal.”

Southampton Hospital officials have been talking with the university about relocating to the campus, Mr. Thiele said, but he added that such a move likely would occur in the longer term, if at all. The addition of undergraduate arts programs could also happen sometime after the fall, he said.

Mr. Thiele said that while the discussion is progressing on some fronts, the issue of the sustainability students who were forced to vacate the Shinnecock Hills campus in August remains unresolved.

“I think progress has been made,” Mr. Thiele said. “But there’s no total resolution of the issue, and I think a big part of that is our concern of what happens to the former Southampton students, and there’s still discussion there.”

Ms. Sheprow wrote in an e-mail this week that the sustainability programs have been “permanently relocated to main campus.”

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so if theyre opening the college & dorms to other students, what was the reason for all the chaos & disruption to the sustainability students & the devastation of all that had been created & achieved at that campus? it looks like all the university did was wreak havoc, disrupt lives & academics just to change programs, when they could have just ADDED those programs to the existing ones that were already there. such wasteful mismanagement. They should offer the arts & music & other programs that ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Feb 24, 11 6:35 PM
They saved a ton of $$$ and are actually hashing out a plan that makes fiscal sense.

Everyone forgets that the first itteration of SBU @ Southampton was the design of Shirley Strum Kenney who probably bathes in money she got from her time @ SBU.

"devestation" and "chaos" are exaggerations. It was a MAJOR inconvenience for all involved - no doubt, and it made some students change their college plans but it's a fantastic introduction into adult life where there are no guarentees.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 25, 11 11:43 AM
Thank you Mr. Thiele and Mr. LaValle for your tireless efforts to sustain this important educational institution for decades.

Institute for Marine Sciences and Earth Sustainability TBD?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 24, 11 6:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Where are all the conspiracy theorists who were certain that Stanley was going to sell off the campus? Or bring in his drug research buddies? Or whatever other off-base ideas you were sure were going to happen?

Looks like they had a budget problem, closed the campus to help address that problem and have been spending time thinking of ways to make a fiscally responsible school.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 25, 11 11:44 AM
The Southampton Campus can only survive with private school levl tuition and fees. If you want to attend colleg in the Hamptons, pay the price. Why should all NY State taxpyers pay for this priviledge?
By Walt (292), Southampton on Feb 27, 11 12:53 PM
@Walt: All of NYS taxpayers already paid for the school, to the tune of ~78 million dollars. This is (was) not about attending a college in "The Hamptons". It was about attending a school devoted to the environment and sustainability studies, leading to varied degrees in environmental studies, marine science or sustainability studies. The students chose the college and all it offered, which happened to be in an ideal location to study the environment, which happened to be in The Hamptons.
By SOS (4), east hampton on Feb 27, 11 4:09 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SOS (4), east hampton on Feb 27, 11 4:17 PM
What is so bad about a new hospital being built on a PORTION of the property? Especially when said hospital is part of the University System? You are against good health care? I think we can all agree the existing Hospital is a subpar facility...

When LIU was in control, the Parrish Art Musuem was going to move to the campus and be PART of it, just like the "proposal" for the hospital. Why is this bad?

My point was that life isn't fair, people promise things and don't come ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 27, 11 7:24 PM
I do not understand how Stony Brook "saved" any money closing the Southampton campus, when it had a separate budget that was not co-mingled with the Stony Brook campus. The Southampton campus was getting 7.7 million in separate support from SUNY according to university statements made by Mr. Melucci:
"“Some of the funding for Southamp- ton has already been curtailed, accord- ing to Daniel Melucci, Stony Brook’s Vice President for Strategy and Plan- ning. “We currently have ...more
By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Mar 1, 11 11:43 PM
I love the title! My idea was The Global Institute of Sustainability and Marine Sciences to be a sister state school with Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability. In Arizona they explore the sustainability of urban populations in arid regions, so at the Southampton campus, we could specialize in coastal population sustainability. Half of the US population lives within 17 miles of the coast and that is why our waterways are so polluted, our seafood must be limited, per the NY ...more
By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Mar 2, 11 1:07 AM
May 19, 2008
"For instance, he noted, Stony Brook University has indicated that it does not want to include a hospital on its Southampton campus, where there are undeveloped acres. The university already has the University Medical Center on its main campus in Stony Brook, and it is not looking to duplicate its health care program, Mr. Chaloner said."
"Talks continue between Southampton Hospital and the Southampton Elks over the hospital’s possible purchase of the Elks’ ...more
By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Mar 2, 11 1:18 AM