To all Faculty, Staff and Students,
I am very excited to report that on June 24, 2011, the New York State
Legislature passed NYSUNY 2020
(http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S5855-2011), a bill
introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now, for the first time in the
history of the State University of New York, there exists a
predictable tuition program by which students and families can
properly plan for the cost of a college education. Once signed by
the Governor, the NYSUNY 2020 legislation allows each State
University of New York and City University of New York campus to
raise tuition by $300 per year for five years from 2011-12 through
2016-17. It also provides Stony Brook University and the other three
University Centers at Albany, Binghamton and Buffalo with leeway to
implement a 10 percent increase for out of state students, and the
opportunity to move ahead with the Governor's NYSUNY 2020 Challenge
Grant program (http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/nysuny/index.html).
The passage of NYSUNY 2020 marks an historic moment, because for the first time in recent memory, Stony Brook will be able to plan for the future and will be far better able to invest in academic and research programs. Governor Cuomo's far-reaching vision and leadership to move this initiative forward has been courageous and unparalleled, and the State legislative leadership has also shown tremendous foresight around the issue of supporting a quality public higher education for the people of New York. We thank each of them for their stalwart commitment to this landmark legislation. Chancellor Zimpher's dedication and advocacy has been integral to this process and she is also to be commended.
Of equal importance, passage of NYSUNY 2020 means Stony Brook University is able to pursue approval of its NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant application as presented to Governor Cuomo and legislative leadership (http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/nysuny/media.html) in Albany on June 1. With this approval, Stony Brook will be able to plan for the construction of the new translational medicine research building (MART) where scientists and physicians will work side-by-side to advance cancer research and imaging diagnostics so that Stony Brook can deliver cutting-edge cancer care and treatment more efficiently and effectively. This project will help drive the Long Island economy with thousands of construction jobs, and will double Stony Brook's capacity to provide cancer treatment to the people of Long Island.
While passage of NYSUNY 2020 legislation is a giant leap forward, projected revenue differs from our original NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant proposal and we will need to recalculate our projections for faculty hires, undergraduate student growth, faculty-to-student ratios, and financial aid using the legislation as a guide. We also must recognize that to reap the full benefits of this groundbreaking legislation we must continue to push for operational excellence and efficiency, so that the new revenue we receive can be applied to our critical academic needs. Put simply, our efforts under Project 50 Forward remain as important as ever.
This is a time for optimism. The NYSUNY 2020 legislation is transformative and will help us get through the cuts we have been managing over the past four years, without having to plan for new cuts. It will help Stony Brook University fulfill its academic and research mission, its community and healthcare mission, and its mission for regional economic development. By allowing us to hire new faculty, it will help our students have full and timely access to the classes they need in order to graduate in four years, significantly increase the number of undergraduate research opportunities, and allow us to educate additional students.
The future of Stony Brook University is bright, and I would like to thank everyone who helped raise awareness and made their voice heard on the importance of NYSUNY 2020. It is clear that your message was received, which resulted in a very positive change for the State University of New York, Stony Brook University, and the Long Island Community.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.