About Academic Greatness

During its first 50 years, Stony Brook University established itself as one of the country’s top research universities. As we position ourselves for the future, we are launching Project 50 Forward, a comprehensive initiative with three primary components: Operational Excellence, Building for the Future, and Academic Greatness. The driving principle of Academic Greatness is to propel the University to the next level — into the ranks of the Association of American Universities’ top 20 public research universities.

Approach
In support of the University’s mission for reaching new heights of Academic Greatness, Project 50 Forward will establish and launch a Strategic Plan — developed with input from many sources within the academic community. The Strategic Plan will, in turn, help to guide Operational Excellence and Building for the Future, as the University seeks to streamline operations, enhance academics, develop new revenue streams, and direct more resources to our core mission of teaching and research.

Specifically, the Strategic Plan will help us to:

  • Evaluate our strengths and weaknesses
  • Fine-tune and focus our mission
  • Inform and guide budget priorities and allocations
  • Identify common themes that can support interdisciplinary studies
  • Improve the diversity of our faculty and staff
  • Develop measures of accountability
  • Identify advancement and fundraising opportunities

In accordance with the new SUNY strategic plan, Stony Brook’s Strategic Plan for Academic Greatness touches on several of the Six Big Ideas as outlined in the “The Power of SUNY,” which can be focused upon in a way that is most appropriate for Stony Brook University.

At the Strategic Plan’s core is the goal of creating an academic structure that is responsive, accountable, and committed to our students, providing them with the most effective tools available so they can reach their educational and research objectives in a timely manner. A group consisting of at least 100 faculty members, students, and staff is an active part of the planning and development process, and each person shares a common goal—to identify strengths and priorities for the University.

The Executive Committee for the Strategic Plan consists of the University Council of vice presidents, deans, and administrators. The administrators and deans have been charged with developing a specific strategic plan for their respective areas:

In addition, these interdisciplinary committees will develop plans for the following:

  • Curriculum Revision
  • Globalization
  • Interdisciplinary Research
  • Student Experience

Strategic Plan Areas of Focus
As Stony Brook University seeks to set new standards for Academic Greatness, the focus will be on the following key areas:

  • The Research Enterprise – Strategic Plan committees will look at how Stony Brook can stimulate research funding, grants, and contracts; our approach toward hiring research-active faculty; types of facilities and administrative infrastructure that will accelerate progress; and how and where the University can strategically expand its graduate programs. We will look at strengthening relationships with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, providing our students with opportunities in the areas of wireless technology and advanced energy research and development, and taking an interdisciplinary approach to enhance these opportunities both within the University and beyond.

  • Globalization – It is essential to address how we can develop international programs and relationships with institutions overseas that best match our mission and vision for teaching, research, and scholarship.

  • The Curriculum – The mission within this area of focus is to assess our academic and educational programs carefully to be sure they are effective vehicles for educating our students and preparing them for future professional endeavors. We are evaluating where we are, where we want to be, and what we must do to get there.
  • The Student Experience – How can we support and enhance student progress and create a cohesive learning experience inside and outside the classroom? How do we expand the horizons of our students academically and enable them to take advantage of all that the University offers? How can we facilitate a more caring and safer campus for our students? And how can we foster a greater sense of place and community for our residential and commuter students? The Strategic Plan will address these issues.
  • Advancement, Funding, and Fiscal Responsibility – As state support reductions continue to factor into planning decisions, how do we make a challenging financial outlook work to our advantage? Stony Brook University is entrepreneurial by design with its overarching mission of research and discovery. How can the University build its financial base and external support while advancing its academic mission?
  • Economic Development and Sense of Community – The Strategic Plan will seek to enhance the relationships within the local, regional, and statewide communities by developing initiatives and targets for community partnerships and economic development. Stony Brook University is an asset to all of these communities, and the Strategic Plan looks at ways to empower relationships among the faculty, students, and staff that will facilitate access to and growth for businesses, opportunities for individuals, and will have a positive impact on overall quality of life.

Participation
We encourage everyone on campus to get involved. There are many opportunities to provide your insights, feedback, and ideas, and the Strategic Plan will reflect your input where possible.

November, 2010