Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Welcome to the start of a new academic year — an exciting time filled with anticipation and unlimited possibilities.
This September marks Stony Brook University’s 60th anniversary. In 1957, the University began as a small teachers preparatory college with only 148 students. We have since become an internationally recognized research institution as well as a powerful engine for Long Island’s economic growth. In these 60 years, the University has gone far beyond what is expected of a public university in a very short period of time, bearing witness to incredible discoveries and accomplishments that have had local, national and global impact.
Today, like many of the top research universities across the country, Stony Brook is facing some new and unanticipated budget restraints. We will work to minimize their impact on our core mission of teaching and research, continuing to strive for the excellence and quality for which we have come to be known. And we will remain focused on our students, continuing to offer them the opportunity to graduate from Stony Brook with a world-class education and ready to address the most important issues of our time.
In seeking ways to tackle these issues, Stony Brook is at the forefront of next-generation multidisciplinary engineering and medicine. We are pleased that the Empire State Development Corporation recently approved a $75 million grant to develop the Institute for Discovery and Innovation in Medicine & Engineering (I-DIME) at the Stony Brook Research and Development Park. I-DIME will be a driver of innovation and discovery for New York State. It will provide a place where cutting-edge academic research and data analytic support come together with private sector ingenuity to solve some of the most challenging problems of today and tomorrow.
On the healthcare front, on August 21 we took a bold step forward in realizing a new vision for medical care and education on Long Island. Southampton Hospital became Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, a partnership that will combine academic medicine and community medicine for a new level of care for residents of the East End of Long Island. The two hospitals will collaborate to improve healthcare quality and access, coordinate care and improve efficiency for their patients through shared resources and managing the flow of patients between the two facilities. We have already successfully collaborated in bringing many new educational and clinical programs to the community, and I look forward to what our medical students, doctors and nurses will accomplish next.
Our student body continues to be among the best and most diverse in the country. This has again been another extremely competitive year for an incoming class at Stony Brook — we received more than 35,300 applications for fewer than 3,150 spots. Thanks in part to the Excelsior Scholarship program, more students are now able to pursue their dreams of higher education at Stony Brook, and we are pleased to be welcoming our largest incoming class to date. Those students are joining an institution that has been recognized in a recent national study as being one of the top 10 campuses for offering an education that provides a proven path toward upward mobility for students from low-income households.
We are also pleased to welcome LeManuel “Lee” Bitsóí, EdM, EdD as chief diversity officer. Lee brings more than 20 years of experience in academia, which will serve him well in providing vision and leadership in promoting an institutional culture that supports equity, inclusion and diversity at Stony Brook. Lee will also be focused on guiding efforts to conceptualize, assess and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource. He will work closely with students, faculty and staff throughout the institution on the implementation of our Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. Launched last year, the Plan articulates specific goals and tactics for ensuring an inclusive community for all, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, religion, ability, veteran status, socioeconomic level or sexual orientation. This fall, we will again hold Town Hall meetings to update the community on the status of the Plan’s working groups and how they are striving to achieve their specific goals.
It is important for us to listen to one another so we can continue to improve our campus environment. To that end, beginning in September, I will hold specific office hours to meet one-on-one or in small groups with students to discuss their experiences and perceptions. I am looking forward to these discussions and to what we can do, together, to continue moving the University forward. To schedule a meeting, please click here.
As part of Stony Brook University's strong commitment to building an inclusive community for our students, employees and neighbors, we will be hosting our first CommUniversity Day on Saturday, September 23, from 12 pm to 4 pm. This event will showcase the many facets of the campus community and the innovative work that goes on at SBU through hands-on activities, fun entertainment, informative tours and thought-provoking mini-talks. Themed “neighborhoods,” including health and safety, the arts and a discovery zone, will be stationed all along the Academic Mall for you to explore. From music to medicine, from food to fun, we invite you to experience all that Stony Brook has to offer. For more details on this event, please visit stonybrook.edu/SBUCommUniversity.
We have much to look forward to this fall as we forge ahead to make our campus the best it can be. I am grateful to each of you for your continued support and unwavering dedication to the well-being of our community. My best wishes to all for a rewarding and enjoyable year.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD