“[Our student-athletes] have brought significant public attention to our University, and their accomplishments have enhanced our reputation as an institution committed to excellence in its every endeavor.”
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SBU and ARRA Awards
Another measure of the extraordinary efforts of our faculty, staff, and students, comes in our growth in sponsored research. Stony Brook faculty rose to the occasion and performed with true distinction in achieving funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We received 102 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards, resulting in some $55 million in ARRA funds and generating some $11 million in indirect funding (Chart 12). This effort is significant, in that our awards in this area constitute 45% of the total amount awarded to all SUNY campuses and is greater than the combined total of the amounts awarded to the other three university centers. More importantly, for the first time, Stony Brook surpassed $200 million in sponsored research expenditures (Chart 13). Now, because a significant amount of this came from ARRA money, I am not certain we can do this again next year, but what a wonderful goal for us to shoot for, as we work to build sponsored research at SBU. My thanks to all of you for your hard work in getting this done.
Athletics is yet another area where Stony Brook has been increasing its success and reputation. The increased attendance that we have seen over the past decade in such sports as football, men’s and women’s basketball and lacrosse, continues to be indicative of the growing excitement and interest that our sports teams are generating across the campus and within the community. From the 2000-01 fiscal year to fiscal year 2009-10, attendance at the four sports that I just mentioned has doubled, increasing from a little more than 30,000 attendees to over 60,000 (Chart 14). This past year, in particular, has also been a banner year for Stony Brook Athletics.
The women’s cross country team won its third straight America East Championship title, while the men’s Soccer team stormed through the America East Conference tournament, winning the championship without allowing its opponents a single goal! Men’s basketball won the America East regular season title while posting its best season ever, setting program records for overall victories (22) and conference wins (13), and hosting its first-ever Division I post-season game. In football, Stony Brook grabbed a share of the Big South Conference title in dramatic fashion in the final game of the season, and Head Coach Chuck Priore was selected as Big South Coach of the Year. In men’s lacrosse, the Seawolves captured the America East regular season title, won the America East post-season tournament, and won the first NCAA Division I post-season tournament game in school history. Stony Brook men’s lacrosse is now ranked in the top ten in the nation for the first time in school history. The Stony Brook University baseball team won its second America East championship in three seasons, and won a game in the NCAA Tournament.
While our focus as an institution of higher learning will always be academics, I am extremely proud of the performance of our student-athletes and the positive and professional manner in which our athletics administration and coaches represent Stony Brook. Their efforts have brought significant public attention to our University, and their accomplishments have enhanced our reputation as an institution committed to excellence in its every endeavor.
Project 50 Forward
Before I conclude, I would like to mention Project 50 Forward, an exciting new vision of how we will approach the next half century and beyond.
Project 50 Forward is a comprehensive initiative designed to enhance the fundamental teaching, research, and service missions of Stony Brook University. Through greater accountability and the commitment to do more with less, this initiative will develop a solid platform to support the future growth of the University and strengthen Stony Brook’s role in the economic renewal of New York State.
I believe that Project 50 Forward will add value to the Stony Brook degree, propel us into the ranks of the top 20 public research universities, and make a positive impact on everyone associated with this great institution, but it is going to require the involvement of our entire University community. With your suggestions, engagement, and support, we will look for every opportunity to provide our faculty and students with the resources they need to excel.
There are three essential elements at the core of Project 50 Forward: Operational Excellence, Academic Greatness, and Building for the Future. Operational Excellence will focus on every facet of University operations, with an eye toward reducing costs and streamlining operations. Using a generous gift from the Stony Brook Foundation, we have engaged Bain & Company to help with this process, which is designed to help us improve our effectiveness and efficiency, while also helping us deal with our budget situation. Academic Greatness will be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive Strategic Plan, which is being developed with input from faculty and University leadership. Following a significant review of our academic programs, the Strategic Plan will identify and address areas in which we can build upon excellence, developing programs that will truly differentiate Stony Brook from other institutions and continue our trajectory toward greatness. Building for the Future, which falls under the auspices of a new Facilities Master Plan, is the third essential element of Project 50 Forward. The Master Plan will enable us to review, analyze, and develop a best-use model for new and existing buildings and infrastructure for all our campuses, including Main Campus, the Medical Center, the Research and Development Park, Manhattan, and Southampton.
Working together, with Project 50 Forward as our blueprint, we can accomplish all of our goals. I encourage you to explore the Project 50 Forward Web site for more detailed information about this initiative.