Emeritus Faculty Association newsletter #101, September 2004

First meeting of academic year:
10:30 a.m., Friday, October 1, Javits Seminar Room, Melville Library E2340. After an informal half hour of coffee, pastries and fruit, Joel T. Rosenthal, Distinguished Professor of History, will discuss his latest book, in which he departs from his career-long concentration on medieval Europe to focus on an institution of higher learning in the late twentieth-century United States. Come and compare your own memories and interpretations with JoelÕs in From the Ground Up: A History of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Joel Rosenthal earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He came to Stony Brook in 1964. A strong advocate of faculty governance, in addition to serving three terms as Department Chair, he has held numerous other University and professional positions, including long service on the national AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. He has written or edited a score of books and monographs, and more than fifty scholarly articles on medieval history. He is the first member of the History Department to attain the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Before the talk, University archivists Kristen Nyitray and Jason Torre will briefly discuss the status of the faculty documents program and related digital projects.

Last meeting:
May 14th 2004, held in conjunction with the annual luncheon, for which we thank the Office of the Provost. Francis Bonner introduced the new EFA officers and the new chair, Homer Goldberg, spoke briefly, asking that anyone with suggestions for future speakers or activities contact him.

Provost Robert McGrath then discussed "The State of Health of our University." Despite 13 years of declining per student support from Albany, he found much to be bullish about. Among recent achievements he cited:
¥ The Emerson String Quartet, with its week-long festival and its chamber music workshop, which has helped make the Music Department one of the most attractive in the nation for both undergraduate and graduate students, as evidenced by the soaring increase of applicants.
¥ The new Biological Engineering Dept which has brought Engineering and Health Sciences together in one of the most innovative programs in the nation.
¥ A new creative writing program that has been established in the English Department, spearheaded by several prominent poets.
¥ The addition of new interdisciplinary studies, including the creation of a Latin American Social Studies Center.
¥ The continued integration of Brookhaven Lab with the University, making possible about a dozen joint appointments and increasing the competitive position of New York State.
¥ A steady improvement in the student body: in recent years undergraduate applications are up 40% and average SAT scores are up 100 points; merit scholars now number about 15 each year.

The Honors College and the WISE program continue to attract top students. We are creating a new College of Business, and this Fall incoming freshmen will enroll in one of six residentially based theme colleges. Greater efforts still need to be made to increase out-of-state students.

News of other Emeritus programs:
Columbia, Emory, USC, and Yale have active programs. An article on the Yale program appeared in the April 13, 2004 issue of the New York Times. A dedicated historic house on the edge of the New Haven Green serves as a base for Yale' s 300 retired professors and administrators (we have 250), and provides office and classroom space, computer assistance, daily sherry, and naturally, a lecture series. Of course it didn't hurt to have Yale alumni provide $10 million for the purpose. The full story is available in the archive at www.NYTimes.com for a more affordable $2.95.

Prospective Emeriti Webpage, a Request from David Smith:
For some time I have been concerned that emeritus professors, staff, and spouses drop out of touch just by default. For example, my phone number, which is internet-based, is not listed in local directories. We are listed in a special section of the campus directory, but without departmental affiliation, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses (or mailing address in some cases). Some departments include emeritus faculty on their websites and some do not. A possible corrective would be an Emeritus website linked to the main campus site. This could feature news (including a copy of these newsletters), a list of names, telephone numbers, principal e-mail addresses, links to other websites, and so on. Since some of you may not wish to divulge all this information, before proceeding we would need some signed indication from you of the details listed above and which you would permit to be listed. You could send this by internal mail to David R. Smith, c/o Dept of Computer Science or to my principal email address listed at the top of this newsletter. Thank You.