Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about the Project 50 Forward initiative by browsing answers to the most popular questions below. 

What is Project 50 Forward and what is it intended to accomplish?
 Project 50 Forward is one of the most important initiatives that Stony Brook University has embarked upon in its 50+ year history. It will help enhance Stony Brook University’s fundamental teaching, research, and service missions while building a platform to support the future growth of the University and strengthen Stony Brook’s role in the economic renewal of New York State.
What exactly falls under Project 50 Forward?

Project 50 Forward focuses on every facet of University operations—streamlining procedures, reining in costs, creating new revenue streams, and taking advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our faculty and support our students by providing them with the resources they need to excel. The result will be a more efficient, more effective Stony Brook University.

Specifically, Project 50 Forward focuses on three critical missions:

Operational Excellence seeks ways to optimize support for students and faculty to advance the educational and research mission of the University. 

Academic Greatness will be achieved through a significant review of the academic structure, systems, and programs to identify areas where efficiencies may be implemented. At its core is the goal to provide an academic structure that is responsive, accountable and committed to our students, providing them with the most effective tools possible so they can reach their educational and research goals in a timely manner.

Building for the Future will be advanced through the development of a Facilities Master Plan (FMP).  An advisory committee is charged with the review, analysis, and formulation of a best-use model for new and existing buildings and infrastructure for all Stony Brook University campuses, including Main Campus, Medical Center, Research and Development Park, Manhattan, and Southampton.  

What aspects of campus operations are in scope for Operational Excellence reviews?

Every administrative area will be reviewed to identify efficiencies and savings opportunities. We have an outstanding student body and faculty—this initiative will help them excel.


Is this review different from reviews that have taken place before?

This Operational Excellence review and the Project 50 Forward initiative are unique concepts at Stony Brook University, and atypical in the higher education industry. Three institutions that have pioneered the process are University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Cornell University, and we have seen how it has helped them in their goal to become more effective and efficient. That is why there is a very strong commitment from senior leadership and others who are dedicated to implementing the tasks and initiatives needed to make the Operational Excellence review successful.

Is Project 50 Forward's goal to address budget cuts?
Operational Excellence is about more than closing the budget gap; it is about learning what we can do to become more operationally efficient and how to be strategic about how we use our resources. It’s about how Stony Brook University moves on a positive trajectory for the next 50 years.
How will the student body be impacted by Project 50 Forward?
The goal is to find savings and generate new revenue so we can better serve Stony Brook students and faculty in pursuit of excellence in research, education, and discovery. Project 50 Forward will help propel Stony Brook University into the top 20 public research universities, adding value to a Stony Brook degree.
Why do this evaluation at this time?
There is no better time than right now. Project 50 Forward is Stony Brook's answer to today's continuing tough economic and fiscal climate and the plan to set us on a trajectory for the next 50 years. Public higher education has undergone many changes since 1963 when SUNY did not charge New York State residents tuition. And according to James C. Garland, author of Saving Alma Mater: A Rescue Plan for America Public Universities,The business model of higher education that has worked for a century is not working anymore, and it needs to change. Project 50 Forward is Stony Brook’s strategic initiative toward working through today tough fiscal climate and for setting us on a trajectory for the next 50 years.
Where do you anticipate Stony Brook can save the most money and cut costs?
We are looking at every area. Other universities have found savings in the implementation of efficiencies in the procurement process, streamlining information technology (IT) support and administrative functions. 
Who is responsible for oversight of Project 50 Forward activities?
Stony Brook University has assembled a Steering Committee, chaired by University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, which will drive the decision-making and communications process.
How has staff responded to the Operational Excellence component of Project 50 Forward?
We have a high level of participation among all of our employees at this point in the process, and by building in multiple avenues for feedback and communication, we anticipate that this type of feedback and participation will continue.
How will faculty, staff, and students be made aware of Project 50 Forward developments?
All communications will be posted on this Web site where the Stony Brook University campus community can find  comprehensive updates and news about the initiative, as well as be provided with an opportunity to offer ideas, comments, and suggestions on how to help Stony Brook University.
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