Plans are underway to introduce expanded programs in graduate creative arts and undergraduate marine sciences at the Stony Brook University Southampton campus in the fall of 2011. This expansion, which follows several productive Advisory Committee meetings and continuing discussions among University administration and faculty, also includes plans to offer an undergraduate residency program in creative arts to begin in the fall of 2012. Some elements of the graduate creative arts plan will begin even sooner, at this summer’s Writers Conference.
“Through the excellent work of the Southampton Advisory Committee led by Provost Eric Kaler and Diana Weir, and innovative concepts put forth by Robert Reeves, Director of the M.F.A. in Writing and Literature Program, and Minghua Zhang, Dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), we will be able to offer these excellent revenue neutral programs in which we can take advantage of the unique resources of the Southampton location,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “We have made excellent progress and plan to expand these programs this year.”
Southampton Arts, the proposed name for the graduate creative arts program, will leverage the successful business model, the reputation for academic excellence, and the proven leadership of the existing Southampton M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Literature, founded and directed by Robert Reeves. The center will support the creation of original art across a range of disciplines grouped into three areas: Creative Writing and Literature, Theater and Film, and Visual Arts.
“Stony Brook University has a unique opportunity to reach academic greatness in the fine arts through a center for graduate study on the Southampton campus that taps into the rich cultural heritage of the East End of Long Island,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Eric W. Kaler.
Semester by the Sea: Marine Sciences, offered through SoMAS, is designed for undergraduate students across the United States to spend a semester immersed in marine studies at the Southampton campus. The proposed program uses an experiential learning approach, taking full advantage of the Southampton Marine Science Center, its research vessels, its waterfront marine lab facilities, and the unique campus location on the shores of Shinnecock Bay for direct access to estuaries, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Once Southampton Arts is underway, the program will introduce an equivalent undergraduate arts residency, Semester by the Sea: Creative Arts. This full-immersion arts experience will take advantage of the culturally rich East End and draw talented students both from the SUNY system and from private institutions across the country. Cohorts of students will complete projects in the fine or performing arts, enrolling in a combination of courses designed to complement their artistic endeavors and further their liberal arts education. Applying the well-established model of study abroad, these arts residencies should be ready to welcome the first visiting undergraduates in fall 2012.
“Semester by the Sea: Creative Arts will not only create cost synergies with the M.F.A. program’s infrastructure and faculty,” said Provost Kaler, “it will avoid the administrative costs associated with four-year undergraduate resident and academic life. These short-term residencies are the most cost effective way to restore an undergraduate presence and to build enrollment quickly.”
“We are very excited because this expansion of existing programs at Southampton is fiscally responsible,” said President Stanley. “All related expenses are covered by tuition and fees while maintaining Stony Brook University’s commitment to academic excellence.”