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4. Project Organization

The project will have a number of major activities whose interconnections are the heart of this initiative. A carefully structured organization is required to implement and coordinate these activities. The basic unit of the consortium at each institution will be a group of 2 to 4 faculty in a discipline (or at a small institution, possibly a cluster of disciplines). At each institution there will be two project co-leaders� one a mathematician, one a non-mathematician� and a local organizing committee. For each quantitative discipline, there will be a consortium-wide coordinating committee on how to better integrate mathematical content and instruction with classes in their discipline. Simultaneously, there will be task forces of faculty from different disciplines across the consortium working to develop specific project products, such as materials for new interdisciplinary courses or new instructional technology. Overall project leadership will come from the two project co-directors working with an executive committee of experts drawn from the consortium membership. Also, there will be an outside advisory committee of academic and industrial leaders (see Section 10).

This extensive organizational structure is critical to our comprehensive, multi-faceted project . We are unaware of any other effort in higher education that could serve as a model for our project. A major purpose of this project is the creation of a model for how to undertake such large-scale reform.

The local disciplinary groups at each institution will:

  • enlist faculty in their discipline to participate in planned project activities and to develop new local activities;
  • coordinate local disciplinary efforts with consortium-wide disciplinary committees;
  • organize local cross-disciplinary efforts with other disciplinary groups and the local organizing committee; and
  • coordinate local disciplinary participation in the testing and refinement of new curricular materials, software, etc. developed by activity task forces.

Local co-project leaders and organizing committees will:

  • monitor and coordinate the work of the local disciplinary groups;
  • obtain support for project efforts from department chairs and campus administrators;
  • lead cross-disciplinary efforts in coordination and cooperation;
  • coordinate local efforts with consortium-wide activities; and
  • oversee local evaluation and assessment efforts and ensure corrective action is taken when needed.

The consortium-wide disciplinary committees will:

  • examine reforms in their discipline developed elsewhere for possible adaptation to, and adoption by, the Long Island consortium effort;
  • develop a plan for interconnecting disciplinary activities including connection-building efforts between mathematics and other disciplines; and
  • coordinate efforts of local disciplinary groups.

The consortium-wide activity task forces will:

  • develop new courses, educational technology and curricular materials;
  • run workshops about task force efforts;
  • oversee testing of task force products;
  • assess and refine the task force efforts; and
  • develop and implement large-scale dissemination of task force products.

The project co-directors and Executive Committee will:

  • develop and oversee the activities and organization of the consortium;
  • obtain administrative and financial support for the consortium from campus academic vice presidents and from SUNY Central leadership;
  • initiate and oversee regional and consortium-wide task forces and meetings;
  • coordinate and monitor project efforts at consortium institutions;
  • assess progress towards overall project goals;
  • develop consortium dissemination and publicity efforts; and
  • cooperate with other S.M.E. systemic change initiatives.

Newsletters, workshops, conferences as well as electronic methods of communication and dissemination� e-mail, newsgroups, distribution lists, ftp, gopher services, and the World Wide Web (WWW)� will be used to share information about the project inside and outside the consortium (discussed further in Section 8 below). A critical aspect of internal communication will be to catalyze connections between faculty in different disciplines and at different institutions, such as biologists at Suffolk Community College and Stony Brook and a mathematician at Dowling college who each want to develop educational software illustrating certain types of mathematical models in biology. To develop collaboration and cooperation across disciplines, there will be a regular series of multi-disciplinary meetings at each institution along with regional and state-wide conferences and workshops.

Local co-project leaders are listed in Section 9. The local organizing committees were formed during the planning process, and most have already started meeting. Leaders for all the consortium-wide task forces have been identified, as have many of the faculty for local disciplinary groups. Members of the various project committees will communicate primarily by electronic means, including WWW-type formats for committee reports.

The Executive Committee will meet monthly. The leadership of the various local committees and task forces (about two dozen people) will meet formally three times a year (October, January, April) with the Executive Committee, once with the advisory committee present, to assess progress, refine plans, and maximize coordination among the diverse project efforts. They also will have a 2-day retreat each summer for more in-depth assessment and planning.

The project will start with the consortium on Long Island. It is expected that at different institutions� two year college, four-year college and university� the efforts may evolve differently. Inevitably, acceptance will be more widespread at some institutions than at others. After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the effort on Long Island, we will extend the project to the 59 SUNY institutions in upstate New York. The state will be divided into three regions, in addition to Long Island, with consortium efforts in each region centered at a SUNY University Center (Albany, Binghamton and Buffalo). Each region will be organized similarly to Long Island. However, several upstate SUNY faculty will be involved from the outset in some of the initial task forces.

Given the large scale of this efforts, there will be limited funds to support many of the local project activities. A modest program of small grants, supplemented by existing faculty development funds (see Section 12), is proposed to bring about greater participation in development efforts. We will work with SUNY Central to obtain a special legislative initiative to help support the SUNY-wide implementation effort.

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The Long Island Consortium is sponsored by the NSF Initiative: Mathematical Sciences and Their Application Throughout the Curriculum, DUE #9555142. The original NSF proposal can be accessed by clicking here.

Last updated October 7, 1997. Please direct comments or suggestions to [email protected]