News & Announcements

Jan. 26, 2011: Students Bring Operational Excellence into Focus
In December 2010 three student focus groups—one each representing undergraduate, graduate, and health sciences graduate students—offered feedback on the Operational Excellence component of Project 50 Forward. The focus groups’ goal was to obtain student perspectives on ways Stony Brook administration could enhance its overall effectiveness.

Each focus group identified opportunities to improve Stony Brook’s administrative functions in areas such as registration, classroom facilities, transportation, information technology, dining service, and campus housing. Among the groups’ suggestions were improvements to the SOLAR system, making WolfieNet (Stony Brook’s Wi-Fi network) accessible everywhere on campus, extending the library’s weekend hours, making healthful food options more affordable, expanding retail operations on campus, and providing additional venues for late night dining.

These suggestions will be provided to Operational Excellence initiative design teams, which are being formed. During the Operational Excellence design phase, these teams will develop specific recommendations to improve Stony Brook’s administrative operations and share them with the Operational Excellence Steering Committee for evaluation.

Getting Down to Business
In other news, during a three-month period in the fall five students from Stony Brook’s College of Business joined the Operational Excellence component of Project 50 Forward to review and suggest process improvements within the Office of the Registrar. College of Business faculty member Teresa Goodfellow, who is the faculty sponsor for Stony Brook’s newly formed chapter of The Association for Operations Management, led the student team.

The students worked alongside consulting company Bain & Company to conduct an operations diagnostic within the Office of the Registrar, reviewing services such as graduation application process, degree progress audit, transcript request, and enrollment and degree verification. The team assessed these activities and suggested ways to improve service and streamline processes where possible, relying on interviews with the Registrar staff, independent research, and comparative data from other universities to conduct the analysis.

The team identified several potential opportunities to improve the Office of the Registrar. These will be examined in depth by a cross-functional team in the Operational Excellence design phase and include:

  • Simplifying and automating key components of the graduation process to speed up degree verification and issue diplomas sooner.
  • Utilizing increased automation to verify transcripts against major/minor degree requirements to provide students and advisors with improved visibility into degree progress.
  • Pursuing changes to Registrar policy and SOLAR to facilitate the usage of unofficial transcripts. This will help students who require an unofficial transcript for employment verification purposes.

With the launch of Project 50 Forward, Stony Brook is relying on input from all sectors of the Stony Brook community to achieve its goals. If you have suggestions on how Stony Brook can be made more effective and efficient, please contact the Project 50 Forward team.


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