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71 Comments by ts

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Thiele calls for Stony Brook president to step down

THANK YOU ASSEMBLYMAN THIELE! As a student who has lost my entire college while SUNY administrators rake in big bucks, I want to thank you for bringing this out into the open. My college at Southampton was not a "losing business" - it was growing and thriving with an unheard of 54% jump in admissions. The college did not fail --- SUNY Stony Brook failed the college. It's very hard to swallow that my college was killed to save $6 million over three year when I have to read the NY Comptroller's reports about how many millions SUNY wastes through sloppy book-keeping and then I have to read that the Senate Task force on Govt Efficiency investigated SUNY and found it flushing away 10s of millions in "wasteful spending" every year. Then the recent report that SUNY pays a quarter million $$ for a no-show VP and Stony Brook has 22 VPs earning a total of $4 million. But my entire undergraduate college has to be shut down to save money while SUNY throws away millions. THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR ME & FOR DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY." Aug 14, 10 3:55 PM

Bravo to Thiele for speaking out. According to the latest from SUNY, the undergraduate college in Southampton was shut down because "Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley Jr. would rather be focusing his efforts on partnering with a private developer to build graduate student housing to help take the research school to the next level. Under the existing SUNY guidelines, Stanley said he cannot build housing at a low enough price to support rents that graduate students could afford". (http://www.suny.edu/Files/sunynewsFiles/Pdf/SUNYPower-BusinessReview.pdf)

So now the truth comes out -- the college's demise wasn't about budget cuts - it's all about the new president's preferences. But are they serious? What about the millions of dollars that the state just paid for all the recent dorm renovations and new dorms that were JUST built and now are empty, never even having ever housed one single student? Talk about wastiing money hand over fist. Surely an 82 acre campus with all this new housing could have accomodated the undergraduates and grad students too. " Aug 16, 10 10:40 PM

the point being that there are a lot of brand new beautiful dorms that were just built and cost millions but now sit empty, while SUNY says the undergraduate college had to go so they could build more new housing for other students. How does that even make sense? How is that not a waste of the millions that were just spent on the new housing? Please. People here making excuses for why SUNY had to kill this college because of budget shortages don't have a clue & are an affront to Southampton's students who have been so callously disregarded. " Aug 16, 10 11:00 PM

yes its js. my daughter posted here, had a problem with the log-in not recognizing my account, re-registered & made a typo. oops. and who are you -- one of those Stony Brook VPs or just one of its lowly administrators? You seem to have inside knowledge. Wouldnt be surprised if you work for them. But Im one of those who are not interested in laments about SUNY's cash flow problem when they have been proven to be throwing money away elsewhere & irresponsible with state funding by wasteful spending. Their budget problem should not be balanced on the back of these students. I agree with you that Stanley had to cut money from somewhere - he should have started by cutting his bloated & excessive admininstration, not undergraduates." Aug 16, 10 11:16 PM

re: "The students at SBS were not stripped of anything other than their campus and dorms". Thats not correct. They were stripped of everything. Their programs were not just in the classroom - they were in the community and in living sustainability concepts on a daily basis in a fully "green" environment that had a mission and committment to those concepts. None of that is available at any other campus in NY and what they were offered is not comparable to what has been taken from them. It was not just a campus & dorm room. To continue trying to explain this to people who want to make excuses for why students must suffer for SUNY wastefulness is pointless." Aug 17, 10 1:27 PM

Court upholds Thiele Independence nomination

I acnt believe a professional educator actually said this." Aug 25, 10 10:16 PM

Thiele calls for Stony Brook president to step down

Right, we're plain flat out of change. And that is supposed to justify cutting students' education, eliminating their academic programs and entire schools first, while still maintaining 22 high-salaried VPs (at just one of the 64 campuses), paying them almost $5 million a year, paying no-show executives a quarter million a year for not coming to work, and paying another quarter million to someone else to do his job while that guy stays home, and paying millions more to lobbyist firms when you already have a bunch of these VPs who are also registered lobbyists. When the belt needs to be tightened, priorities must be set. SUNY is crying poverty while it just keeps spending spending spending -- but not on its students." Aug 26, 10 12:27 AM

Deadline looms for Stony Brook Southampton

A local politician filed a lawsuit in the same Supreme Court to get her name on the election ballot & the court rendered a decsion within days because of the looming ballot deadline. These students filed in that court in May - facing an August 31 deadline. On August 26, theyre still waiting for a decision. Some deadlines matter - some dont." Aug 27, 10 3:33 AM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law

Thank you Mr. Nature. I for one do appreciate that. 5 little undergrads stood up to goliath & were vindicated. Now on to an independent SUNY Southampton." Aug 30, 10 9:36 PM

Thanks to Assemblyman Thiele and Senator LaValle" Aug 30, 10 9:38 PM

I dont think its correct to say that the only thing that kept the school open was "money from Stony Brook". I understand the state legislature was providing millions in funding each year specifically for Southampton - money that Stony Brook could only spend on the Southampton college. I believe that is what Thiele was referring to when he said that every cent given to Southampton was resented by the main campus' administration. BTW, as far as I know, while Stony Brook's state funding may have been reduced, this state funding for Southampton was not cut. " Aug 30, 10 11:18 PM

Stony Brook is intentionally misleading the public with the figures it keeps putting out there. First of all, there were 800 students enrolled for this semester at Southampton (not 373). Only about 300 of the 800 Southampton students moved to the main campus while waiting for the reinstatement of their college at Southampton. What has happened to the other 500 and their academic plans? Secondly, Stony Brook's figures on the cost of educating a student at Southampton does not reflect the 800 students that were actually enrolled for this semester. If the actual number of students was used for the calculation, it would show a reduction in the cost per student as there was an increase of 54% in enrollment. Had the college been allowed to achieve its full capacity of 2000-2500, the cost would be significantly less still. Thirdly, Stony Brook does not mention that the state was funding Southampton with $8 million per year - specifically allocated for Southampton - & that funding was NOT cut. Neither should the school have been." Aug 31, 10 5:24 PM

He may have held a meeting with the council & whatever public knew about it in time to attend & they may have discussed his intentions for Southampton, & the council may have made a recommendation, but the fact is the undergraduate college was still being terminated. They were not discussing whether or not it should be. It was already a done deal, so this really doesnt satisfy the requirement outlined by the law. Also, how could he "comply with the Court's directive" in May when the students' final set of documents for their lawsuit was submitted to the court in mid June and a court directive wasn't handed down until August 30? Is he saying that SBU had already gotten a directive from the Court ahead of time & the students werent told until the day they had to start classes on the main campus?" Aug 31, 10 7:51 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law; Stony Brook says it's in compliance

The students' lawsuit wasnt even finished being filed with the court until mid-June. If SBU had been in compliance since May, the court would have said there was no case - and there would not have been a decision in the students favor in late August. SBU tried a similar argument in court claiming they already met compliance but the judge rejected it. Just notifying the council of the president's already-done-deal does not meet the requirement of the law. " Sep 1, 10 6:24 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law

It just shows the arrogance yet again. He made the decision & announced its a "done-deal" in April. In May he informed the council what he already did. They recommended forming a panel to decide what to do with the property next. At no time has anyone discussed or voted on whether the closure needed to or should happen or if it would be allowed to happen. Along the way they all skipped the part that says they must review, consider, recommend, and approve decisions BEFORE implementation. Its just the height of arrogance for the pres to say "im in compliance because I told the council what Im doing". I wont be surprised if he gets them all to take a vote tomorrow & gets them all to vote for his plan. If that happens, the whole council is a sham." Sep 1, 10 8:45 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law; Stony Brook says it's in compliance

In yesterdays Newsday editorial, the paper announces that no court will change the almighty president's decisions, but he should make nice & have an open meeting to soothe "hurt feelings" & explain his rationale again. Pese spare us. We've been hearing & reading those explanations for 5 months & they still dont wash. Another meeting to hear more of the same is not needed. How about opening the books to indpendent auditors istead and proving that the college had to be killed?

But Newsday and Stony Brook are missing the point. The president broke state law and harmed students in the process. PERIOD. The SUNY chancellor who gave him free-reign to do so says she "stands firmly behind him." We do not need to hear excuses for their illegal and harmful actions. This is not about soothing "hurt feelings". These administrators of a public state institution violated state law and students were harmed because of them. We need for them both to be held accountable and fired.

Let's restore the college at Southampton, re-instate the enviornmental sustainabilities programs, bring back our students and faculty first. Then we can all have an open meeting to discuss expanded uses and the other cost-saving alternatives that the president has admitted he never considered before illegally cutting my child's college for his own agenda. .
" Sep 2, 10 3:25 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law

This cant just be fixed by a council vote to approve what is already illegally implemented. The president broke state law and harmed students in the process. PERIOD. The SUNY chancellor who gave him free-reign to do so says she "stands firmly behind him." We do not need to hear their excuses for their illegal and harmful actions. This is not about soothing "hurt feelings" as Newsday seems to think. These administrators of a public state institution violated state law and students were harmed because of them. They BOTH need to be held accountable and fired.

Let's restore the college at Southampton, re-instate the enviornmental sustainabilities programs, bring back our students and faculty first. Then we can all have an open meeting to discuss expanded uses and the other cost-saving alternatives that the president has admitted he never considered before illegally cutting my child's college for his own agenda. .
" Sep 2, 10 3:47 PM

Stony Brook Southampton students want judge to order reopening of campus in spring 2011

they had 800 students & threw them away. 3 years of right-on-target recuitment tossed aside. But I bet most of them would be back in an instant" Sep 3, 10 9:24 PM

I believe there was a business major there. A new nutritionist major program was about to begin and other majors were in development. Remember the college was right on track in its 5-yr plan. There was more to come still in the works when it got shot down in year 3." Sep 5, 10 8:51 AM

what gets me is that the president repeatedly reminds the world that so many of you have "already moved to the main campus" - as if you it was your choice" Sep 5, 10 8:53 AM

oh please.... dont delude yourself" Sep 5, 10 8:54 AM

oh please.... dont delude yourself" Sep 5, 10 8:54 AM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law; Stony Brook says it's in compliance

The Publick House, for example, ... more lost $90,000 a year once the original Southampton College closed? Thats very interesting. If data like that could be tracked from now until the end of this semester in December, showing just how much the community has been affected, it might have an impact." Sep 5, 10 9:48 PM

Stony Brook Southampton students want judge to order reopening of campus in spring 2011

could be the reason why the the whole SUNY Board of Trustees was sued right along with Stony Brook University, its president and council. " Sep 5, 10 10:01 PM

re: "they could haev got right to the bottom of all this and maybe helped the sutdents then instead of having to go thru all this". really dont know what youre referring to. They did get to the bottom of it -- immediately & have been ontop of it with the students since day 1. BTW, on day 1 (announcement day) the decision had already been made without the involvement of the council and without following state law. Thats the whole point. Talking to the council after the president has already made the decision & started the ball rolling on it without following proper procedures, whether it was announced or not, doesnt change that fact. " Sep 5, 10 10:06 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law

what campus of only 300 students? if youre talking about the college at Southampton, that was the number of just its incoming freshman class. There already were 500 students there. In all, 800 students were enrolled for this semester. And that was the target for this year - year #3 of the new school's 5yr plan - so it was right on track to reach its full capacity of 2000 in the near future, & on schedule. " Sep 6, 10 4:29 PM

Judge rules that cuts to Stony Brook Southampton violate state law; Stony Brook says it's in compliance

maybe they should all put together a petition to the university council, pressing for the re-opening & restoration of full operations for the next semester which starts in January." Sep 8, 10 12:11 AM

Judgment favorable but does not restore Stony Brook Southampton

If it was ruled illegal & ordered that it could not proceed, it only makes sense that whatever has proceeded into effect thus far must be undone. " Sep 18, 10 1:23 AM

Southampton Update from Assemblyman Thiele...

Dear Friend,
Thank you for your recent email with regard to Judge Baisley signing the court order declaring Stony Brook’s action to close the Southampton campus to be illegal. This is certainly a victory for the students. It is gratifying to have our position upheld by the State Supreme Court.

Please also note that the Judge did not set any date for the re-opening of the college. While we requested the Judge to do so, it was not unexpected that the Judge failed to. The judiciary typically does not view its role to make policy and budget decisions. This is similar to what happened in the Central Pine Barrens about fifteen years ago. There, the Court of Appeals declared that the Pine Barrens should be protected, but did not order the preparation of a comprehensive management plan. The court gave that task to the Governor and the Legislature. Ultimately, it was the Legislature that established a plan for Pine Barrens protection.

So what happens next?
My fellow elected officials and I will be pressing for a settlement of this conflict that results in the re-opening of the campus and the re-establishment of a four year full service residential campus at Southampton. Any effort by Stony Brook to go to the University Council to attempt a “do-over” to close the campus will be met with the most stringent opposition.

This court victory has changed the public discussion about the future of the college. The next important event is the meeting of the University Council on October 4. It is unclear whether the Council will have this matter on its agenda. Elected officials have been contacting members of the Council urging them to not rush to judgment to allow for the consideration of alternatives to closure.

Please help us by contacting the University and the Council urging them to work to settle this matter by re-opening the college rather than continuing the conflict. Thank you for your continued help on this matter.

Sincerely,
Fred W. Thiele, Jr. - Member of Assembly

SB Council Addresses:

Matthew Graham, Undergraduate Student Government, President
The Undergraduate Student Government
Suite 202 Student Activity Center
Stony Brook NY, 11794-2800

Kevin Law
333 Earle Ovington Blvd.
Uniondale, NY 11553

Leonard A Benedict MD
433 Uniondale Avenue
Uniondale, NY, 11553

Mr. John C. Cochrane
80 Concourse E
Brightwaters, NY 11718

Mr. John J. Corrado
Suffolk Transportation Inc.
10 Moffit Blvd.
Bay Shore, NY 11706

Ms. Jeanne Garant
220 E Main St
Port Jefferson, NY 11777-1857
(631) 928-5500

Prof. Robert H. Flynn
260 Thompson Shore Road
Manhasset, NY 11030

Dr. Lou Howard
197 S Bayview Avenue
Amityville, NY 11701

Mr. Frank C. Trotta
146 South Country Road, Ste. 4
Bellport, NY 11713

Ms. Diana Weir
180 Oser Avenue, Suite 800
Hauppauge, NY 11788

email: sbcouncil@notes.cc.sunysb.edu" Sep 21, 10 4:10 AM

Theres more than just a technicality involved. If they just rubber-stamp an after-the-fact approval on something that has already been illegally implemented, the council will be seen as a total sham. They are required to review and consider other alternatives. Theyre going to have to do that now. "Any effort by Stony Brook to go to the University Council to attempt a 'do-over' to close the campus will be met with the most stringent opposition".
" Sep 21, 10 4:14 AM

For insider information & new revelations that may shock some - check out these articles from the Stony Brook Press:

"Stony Brook Southampton Shuttered Without Council Oversight"
http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/stony-brook-southampton-shuttered-without-council-oversight/

"With No Check, There is No Balance"
http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/with-no-check-there-is-no-balance/

"The Southampton Exodus"
http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/the-southampton-exodus/

" Sep 21, 10 4:22 AM

The council has a specific role with important duties but, according to comments made by some of them, they “don’t have the time” to inform themselves of the issues or even their responsibilites as a council. That is outrageous and an admission that should not be left to slide by. How can they perform their duties when they haven’t bothered to find out what they are? (see “Stony Brook Southampton Shuttered Without Council Oversight”
http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/stony-brook-southampton-shuttered-without-council-oversight/)

The implications of those council members’ statements are mind-boggling. That is supposed to be an oversight body. The Student Government should be howling over this and contacting the governor about the extreme failure of his appointees. They should be demanding that the entire council be replaced immediately with people who would take their role and responsibility seriously.
" Sep 21, 10 4:47 AM

Stony Brook officials keep telling the press “The campus is not closed – the campus is still open”. But in a recent university newspaper, the Southampton staff assistant admits that, for the few grad students commuting to the campus, “There’s no computer access, there’s no library, there’s nothing for them to eat,” … “We had to put some chairs out so they could have somewhere to sit between classes”. What kind of an "open campus" is that? How do you do grad studies without computers or a library? To add insult to injury, these students were charged the same full student fees as all other students, for the privilege of attending classes under those conditions.
" Sep 21, 10 5:04 AM

University Council supports cuts made to Stony Brook Southampton

Breaking News... the Council's resolution is illegal. Press conference at the Southampton campus windmill on Tuesday, 10/13/10, 11:30am

this story is not finished.

for some astonsihing revelations surrounding the closure decision, see:

http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/stony-brook-southampton-shuttered-without-council-oversight/

http://www.sbpress.com/2010/09/with-no-check-there-is-no-balance/

" Oct 9, 10 2:16 AM

correction: Press conference Tueday Oct 12" Oct 9, 10 2:39 AM

well they did come. Southampton's College Press Conference went great. There was total representation from the East End community: politicians, officials, environmentalists, students, alumni, professors, staff, Shinnecock Nation, SAVE the College at Southampton, Inc.~ all there with ONE VOICE!"
Re-open the 4 yr college at Southampton." Oct 13, 10 7:30 PM

theres legislation in albany that would sort of do that - not give back the money but give back the campus to the community as an independent SUNY college that the community would be involved in developing. full text of the legislation is posted at the NY Senate website for public comment at: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/api/1.0/html/bill/S8467" Oct 13, 10 10:41 PM

Cuts At Campus Still Called Illegal

simply not there? we beg to differ:

"Overall, the University plans on saving roughly $6 million on the closure over two to three years, a number that has been tweaked several times since the announcement was made last spring. What is $6 million in the larger University operating budget of roughly $1.9 BILLION? And of that larger operating budget, the $6 million figure that has been thrown out as the "projected savings" is just a mere 1.95 percent of the the $332 million Stony Brook receives in state-aid. What about the millions of dollars in the accounts of the Stony Brook Foundation? Out of all the revenue the University pulls in, it chose to make a drastic and highly visible move in a hasty and deceptive fashion...."
http://www.sbpress.com/2010/10/the-closure-of-southampton-a-cynical-view/
" Oct 15, 10 12:02 AM

Stony Brook Southampton Plaintiffs Ask Judge To Find School In Contempt Of Court

I dont know why reporters keep repeating erroneous numbers and omitting the fact that there were 500 current students AND another 300 newly-accepted freshman who were just entering Southampton. Thats 800 students. Stony Brook would like people to believe that the majority of students were taken care of, but ONLY about 300 of the 800 went to the main campus (and only because they had no other choice at the time). " Oct 25, 10 12:12 AM

While Stony Brook proclaimed that they "cant afford the luxury" of a college at Southampton, they are talking about establishing a nursing college or an arts college there. If they cant afford the college that was already there, how can they afford to create other new colleges there? They could have added those programs without destroying the sustainability college. It looks like they are willing to put any kind of college there, just not the sustainability college." Oct 25, 10 12:19 AM

Of the 800 students who would have been at Southampton this fall, the majority chose NOT to go to the main campus" Oct 25, 10 2:07 AM

Southampton Village To Ask Stony Brook For Windmill Back

Id like to see the entire property returned to the taxpayer. We didnt all make that huge investment just so Stony Brook could have another asset to rent out for its own profit. It was taxpayers of this state that purchased ithe property & paid to renovate it, with the intent that Stony Brook University would operate a 4yr residential college there. Stony Brook reneged on its end of the deal. Seems to me that if you pay for something & then don't get it, you get your money back. Its doubtful that Stony Brook has $78 million to give back to the state, so it should be returning the entire property - windmill included." Nov 21, 10 10:08 PM

Southampton Town Steps In To Host Windmill Lighting Ceremony

I beg to disagree. such a college is feasible & do-able. Check out the College of the Atlantic, in Maine. It is exactly what Southampton was supposed to be and was well on its way to being - but it is much smaller." Dec 3, 10 6:52 PM

dont think he'll be run out of town anytime soon, unless he is given a bigger better job in Albany. Despite all the controversy & negative press he's gottten since he took over, Stanley's new friend the gov-elect has just tapped him for his transition team. (President Stanley Invited to Participate on Cuomo Transition Team for Health & Education
http://commcgi.cc.stonybrook.edu/am2/publish/General_University_News_2/Presidenet_Stanley_Invited_to_Participate_on_Cuomo_Transition_Team_for_Health_Education.shtml)
" Dec 4, 10 1:11 PM

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