News & Announcements Archive

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.


Nov. 3, 2010: Project 50 Forward Update
Stony Brook is more than halfway through the diagnostic phase of our Operational Excellence program, during which a fact base is being gathered of our University operations. This information has been gleaned through faculty and staff surveys, interviews, benchmarking, and cost and performance information. We are identifying opportunities from this base to recommend areas and procedures to be revamped and revised to reduce our operating costs. There has been strong participation in these activities from Stony Brook faculty and staff. In particular, over 1,300 faculty and staff participated in the organizational effectiveness survey and over 200 employees helped build organization charts and activity assessments across the University.

Although the Operational Excellence diagnostic phase is not yet complete, the Steering Committee is able to share three preliminary findings:

1. Stony Brook is relatively lean in administrative areas compared with those of other universities

2. Stony Brook has the opportunity to save between 5% and 9% of University dollars spent each year on purchasing goods and services

3. Stony Brook has opportunities to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of many departments by streamlining processes, clarifying decision-making, and optimizing organizational structures

The final element of the diagnostic phase involves conducting faculty and student focus groups. These will take place in late November and will review the following five areas: information technology, purchasing, facilities, administration (finance, human resources) and revenue opportunities.

The second phase of the program is the Design Phase. It will utilize faculty and staff teams to provide detailed recommendations and solutions to help cut costs and increase revenues. We look forward to keeping you up to date on our progress, and appreciate all of your participation and input thus far.

Survey Participants Prize Winners Named
On behalf of the Project 50 Forward team, please accept our thanks for completing the surveys that were issued in July and in September.

Your feedback is helping us analyze and assess the University's organizational construct, as well as helping us gain an understanding for opportunities in the areas of procurement and IT.

Once all the information is compiled and assessments complete, these surveys will greatly contribute to the initial phase of the Operational Excellence component of Project 50 Forward. In this phase we are focused on building a comprehensive set of facts and data about Stony Brook from which potential areas of opportunity will be developed for the Operational Excellence Steering Committee to consider.

Completion of these surveys required broad participation across our academic and administrative departments. We are pleased to report that we received more than 1,300 responses which is a remarkable achievement and surpassed our highest expectations.

At the onset of the survey, a participation prize drawing was announced, and at this time, prize winners have been identified. Nearly 50 prizes are being awarded, and to protect the identity of those participating in the survey, we are announcing winners by employee identification numbers.

If you see your University ID number in the list below, please contact Jessica Kunis at 632-6340 to learn how to collect your prize. If you have any questions, please contact us through the feedback page.

Grand Prize: One winner
A 32GB iPod Touch
Employee ID Number:

First Prize: 10 winners
Tickets to a special event at Staller Center for the Arts
Employee ID Numbers:

Second Prize: 10 winners
Stony Brook University Seawolves Athletic Event
Employee ID Numbers:

Third Prize: 25 winners
$10 Starbucks Gift Card
Employee ID Numbers:

Fourth Prize: Three winners
Lunch at Pentimento Restaurant with - and courtesy of - President Stanley
Employee ID Numbers:

Congratulations and thank you again for participating in the Project 50 Forward Survey. Your input goes a long way in making the operational assessment of the institution accurate.