The merit scholarship money that our annual Stony Brook Foundation galas have raised — more than $5.5 million in five years — has enabled us to increase the number of Intel winners, National Merit Finalists and Semi Finalists, valedictorians and salutatorians, and other outstanding students. The quality improvement has brought our average SAT scores above 1200, and our honors students' scores to around 1400. (Chart 1) But we don't plan to stop there; we know superb students can benefit most of all at Stony Brook.
As always, there are shifts in popularity for undergraduate majors. (Chart 2) Most astonishing of all is the fact that the undergraduate Health Science major, a collaborative East Campus/West Campus initiative started only four years ago, is now the third most popular major. As the new MBA program gears up, plans are underway to enable students to have any undergraduate major plus an MBA degree in five years; that could shift some of the undergraduate business management students to other majors — at a time when the new MBA work will require more of the Business faculty's time.
Although college guides tend to be anachronistic and inaccurate, we have at least attained better status in those erroneous but inescapable compendia of misinformation. The Princeton Review, in "The Best 357 Colleges," has some good things to say: "With its solid reputation in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering, Stony Brook University has developed into one of the best known schools in New York's state university system. Students tell us that this reputation is well deserved Graduate programs continue to receive national accolades." The Fiske Guide to Colleges was downright complimentary this year: "Stony Brook boasts the best of both worlds: a small-college community with the power of a leading research institution." And even in U.S. News and World Report we have climbed 11 points over the last year, although ranking 106 of the national universities is far below what our academics deserve. Although we do not take these reports seriously, students and their parents take them seriously in choosing schools, and so they become important to us.
Our graduate student enrollment picture, like that of other research universities, has been complicated by the world situation. Although 76 percent of our new master's students hail from New York and only 14 percent are international, only a quarter of our new doctoral students are New Yorkers, a quarter from other states, and half are international. (Chart 3) As you have seen in the press, the difficulties of acquiring visas in a timely manner under the Patriot Act have turned increasing numbers of international students toward Australia, Great Britain, and other countries. This year our numbers of both undergraduates and graduates are slightly down, a characteristic of the national enrollment picture at research universities; at the same time, community college enrollments are up.
The MBA program, which began this fall, has been a long time being realized, but we are now beginning both an executive program at Stony Brook Manhattan for people already working in companies and a regular MBA program for our campus-based students, to first supplement and then replace the Master of Science in Management and Policy. NCATE accreditation will encourage increasingly important education programs at Stony Brook. New graduate programs in Health Technology and Management are burgeoning-courses offered at Stony Brook Manhattan have proved very popular. So Stony Brook finds itself giving growing numbers of advanced professional degrees in education, health care, and business — at the same time that we continue our emphasis on doctoral degrees in the traditional fields.
The merit scholarship money that our annual Stony Brook Foundation galas
have raised has enabled us to increase the number of Intel winners, National
Merit Finalists and
Semi Finalists, valedictorians and salutatorians, and other outstanding students.