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Stony Brook University 50 Forward

Operational Excellence Project Leaders Recognized by President Stanley

breakfastOctober 15, 2013– On October 2, 2013, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, commended the efforts of the Project 50 Forward Operational Excellence project leaders at a recognition breakfast.

He also highlighted the service improvements and cost-savings that Operational Excellence has achieved thus far. Project 50 Forward initiatives saved $12.7 million in fiscal-year 2011–2012 and another $10.4 million in fiscal-year 2012–2013 for a cumulative saving of $23.1 million. The savings are being reinvested in the teaching, research and service missions of the University.

At this time, six Operational Excellence projects have been completed. There are 15 projects currently in progress, with others planned for the future. President Stanley singled out the leaders of the completed projects for special recognition for a job well done.


These projects include:

The Migration to Google Apps for Education
Project Leaders: Margaret Schedel, Charles Powell and Shady Azzam-Gomez
Stony Brook transitioned from Lotus Notes to Google Apps for Education, providing new ways for faculty, staff and students to have universal access to our email, documents, calendars and more.

Enrollment Management
Project Leader: Matthew Whelan
A more efficient degree-audit system for current students was designed as well as a transfer-credit articulation system for incoming transfer students, creating an electronic platform to replace the original paper system, streamlining the graduation process. Since graduating in a timely manner is of paramount importance to our 15,000 full-time undergraduate students and 1,800 transfer students annually, the new electronic systems will enhance academic success and improve timely graduation rates. The system will not replace the judgment of faculty about courses and graduation paths, but by eliminating the duplication of repetitive tasks, staff now has more time to focus on academic endeavors.

The Consolidation of Library Services
Project Leader: Andrew White
Unifying of our library resources across East and West Campus into a single cohesive system has resulted in a more efficient and user-friendly experience for students, faculty and staff. Fueled by a transition from a primarily print model to a primarily digital one, the library consolidation required extensive analyses and comparisons before any action was initiated. Every aspect of the library system was examined, including staffing, information technology, equipment uniformity and the library’s website.

Faculty Student Association Review–Phase I
Project Leaders: Jerrold Stein and Gina Vanacore
Many facets of the Faculty Student Association were examined to identify efficiencies and savings that could be redirected to expanding services. By examining FSA’s existing operations, conducting a financial analysis of its non-core activities and redesigning FSA processes, the guiding principles of Project 50 Forward were introduced to an area that provides important services to students, faculty and staff. Using these recommendations as a foundation, Phase II of the FSA project is currently underway. 

Employee Assistance Program
Project Leader: Deborah Abbate
New York State EAP requirements were examined, and Stony Brook’s EAP metrics were compared with those of six other SUNY campuses. Using this as a basis, the team redefined processes and goals, leveraged technology and was able to improve delivery of services.

Custodial Staffing Assessment
Project Leader: Terence Harrigan
This project instituted a pilot program that deployed building custodians to clean during off-peak hours. After a thorough analysis of the pilot program’s results, staffing changes were implemented that resulted in cleaning operation improvements. 

The nine project leaders recognized at the breakfast represent hundreds of faculty and staff from all parts of the campus who have spent countless hours above and beyond their official duties, working to make Operational Excellence a reality. Their efforts to find new efficiencies, greater savings and improved procedures and policies will make Stony Brook University a better place today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future.