Committee charge

This committee shall review budgetary procedures and priorities for planning and resource allocation in the Presidential, Provostial, and Vice-Presidential areas.  It shall be consulted by the University Administration on these matters and on proposals for new colleges, schools, and inter-collegiate programs or the elimination, dimunition, or combination of colleges, schools, or other academic units.

General budgetary issues

CAPRA was kept up-to-date about the SUNY budget by three members of the Committee who are also Senators to the SUNY University Faculty Senate (Kane Gillespie, Bill Godfrey, and Norm Goodman) and also by Provost Dennis Assanis and Assistant Vice President for Budget Mark Maciulaitis.  The latter two also reported on the Stony Brook budget as well.

First, the bad news: From 2008-09 to 2010-11, Stony Brook experienced a reduction of just over $82 million, a 26.9% cut.  These reductions led to reducing the size of the payroll by offering three voluntary separation programs for faculty and staff, instituting a hiring freeze for nonacademic positions, ending the lease on one of the two Manhattan properties, eliminating the undergraduate residential program at Southampton, reducing the frequency of some campus services, reducing the budgets in the Vice-Presidential areas by $51 million, decreasing the temporary service payroll, and decreasing the size of the freshman entering class.

Now, the good news:  During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature agreed on a budget for SUNY without cuts; included a “maintenance of effort” clause that means that unless there is a catastrophic budget situation for New York State, there will be no further cuts to SUNY; and passed NY SUNY 2020, which allowed each of the four University Centers to apply for a challenge grant of up to $35 million) for construction of facilities and programs to help the economic revitalization of New York. In addition, over the next five years, this legislation provided for an annual $300 increase in undergraduate tuition for in-state students and up to a 10% increase for out-of-state students as well as an Academic Excellence Fee of $75 .   Stony Brook and Buffalo’s challenge grant proposals were approved by Governor Cuomo. In addition to the $35 million dollars from SUNY2020, Stony Brook received an additional $150 million from Marilyn and James Simons and the Simons Foundation.  These combined funds will be used to build the MART (Medical and Research Translational) building, integrating medical research and practice, and to hire 267 new faculty, medical professionals and staff over the next five years as well as allowing for an increase of 1,200 students.  The faculty hired under this program will involve both the East and West campuses. The one possible negative item in the generally positive budget is a $55 million reduction from last year’s allocation to the three SUNY hospitals, though it is unclear as to how SUNY will deal with this situation.

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has put forth two important budgetary initiatives in her “State of the University” address.  First she is requiring each campus to reduce their administrative costs by 5% and to reallocate those funds to support academic and student services.  Second, SUNY is planning to take 5% off the top of each campus’ budget allocation for possible return based on a series of performance indicators that are being developed.   Many campuses have indicated that they prefer that the pool of funds used for distribution based on performance indicators come from new state dollars rather than be taken from the campuses base allocations.  At the current time, however, the exact percent to be withheld has still not been finalized.   The Chancellor has also established a system-wide committee to develop a new budgetary model for the allocation of funds to the campuses.  There is some concern that the initial discussions of this model suggested a process that would be disadvantageous to the University Centers, especially Stony Brook and Buffalo; consequently, these two campuses are working in concert to try to ameliorate this potential problem.

Provost Assanis and Assistant Vice-President Maciulaitis initiated a discussion of a “Responsibility Centers Management” model for budgeting on the Stony Brook campus.  Analysis of this model was assigned to the CAPRA subcommittee on“Strategic Plan, Responsibility Centers Management model, and Faculty Resources.”  A brief summary of this subcommittee’s report on the RCM model can be found in the appropriate part of the next section on Subcommittees.


CAPRA continued it long-standing practice of conducting much of its work through the use of a series of subcommittees.  What follows is a brief summary of the activities of each of these subcommittees during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Satellite campuses subcommittee

Stony Brook Southampton:  The situation at the Southampton campus remains fluid and unclear.  The inaugural Fall 2011 Marine Sciences “Semester by the Sea” program enrolled about 20 students and operated without dorm space since many of the students lived locally.  It is not clear what growth in this program is possible or what the Summer and Fall 2012 enrollments will be.   The University’s reluctance to open up the dorms (which must be revenue neutral) increases the difficulty of recruiting students for this program.

The status of the Arts program is unclear.   Some students interested in the Arts at the Stony Brook campus (for example, students in the CAT program) are interested in taking some Art courses on the Southampton campus, but it is not yet clear whether these courses will count toward their degree.

There is some discussion about relocating the Southampton Hospital to this campus, possibly to the current site of the gymnasium across the street from the main campus, and moving some of Stony Brook’s medical/health programs there. There is still some question about the effects of this possible move on the campus infrastructure, especially its sewage treatment capacity.

The Peconic Institute (the initial meeting of which was partially funded as part of the settlement of the lawsuit over the transfer of programs from Southampton to Stony Brook) appears to be in a state of limbo.  After a successful initial meeting, the second meeting was much more contentious, drawing East End residents who saw the Institute as a potential threat to their property rights.  Consequently, it is not clear how the development of this Institute might affect Stony Brook or the Southampton campus.

Stony Brook Manhattan:  The space at 401 Park Avenue had 15,000 usable square feet; given the budgetary constraints (its cost was estimated at $1.150 million), its lease was allowed to expire on December 31, 2010.  Stony Brook still has 13,500 square feet of usable space at 387 Park Avenue.   The annual cost of maintaining this facility is estimated at $1.4 to $1.5 million, most of which (like the space at 401 Park Avenue) is for rent and security.  A range of courses continue to be scheduled in this facility and a number of the “cluster hire proposals” being considered include using this space.

Shared Service Centers subcommittee

This subcommittee met with Nancy Squires, Dean of the College of Arts and Science, Kenneth Kaushansky, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Stony Brook Medicine, and Dennis Assanis, Provost, to discuss the proposed establishment of Shared Service Centers (SSC).  There was concern expressed by the members of the subcommittee that a “one size fits all” model would be inappropriate.  Consequently, it urged the relevant administrators to hold discussions with both the faculty and professional staff in the departments/programs that will be involved in the SSCs to discuss their views as to how such a change could be structured to make it effective in their particular situation.  Though the establishment of the SSCs was originally described as a way of saving money as well as increasing efficiency, recent discussions with the relevant administrators indicated that they are not contemplating reductions in staff, only reallocations that will not result in significant cost savings. 

Provost Assanis strongly supported the establishment of the SSCs due his experience of seeing them work effectively at the University of Michigan, where he had a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  Since the center of concern regarding the establishment of the SSCs was in the College of Arts and Sciences, that body’s Senate took major responsibility for engaging the Administration (Dean Squires and Provost Assanis) on this issue though the Administrative Review Committee of the University Senate was charged with the task of researching the experience of other campuses that had established SSCs. Dean Squires agreed to halt any further development of these structures pending that report.  The report was submitted to the University Senate for its meeting on May 7, 2012

Vice President Kaushansky indicated he had consulted faculty, staff, and students about the proposal to create the equivalent of SSCs on the East Campus through the use of Town Hall and breakfast meetings.   In the end, the Registrar and Instructional Technology functions of the five Schools on the East Campus were combined.   In addition, a new position of a Vice-President of Finance and Administration was created for the five Schools.  Seven graduate programs were consolidated, with more planned for the future.  Vice-President Kaushansky indicated that he will use surveys to assess the effect of these consolidations.

Health Sciences Center subcommittee

This subcommittee used the year to understand the nature of the HSC budget and how it is used to support the academic and health support programs on the East Campus.  To that end, it met with Vice-President Kenneth Kaushansky, who indicated that the budget is a “transparent process.”  He expressed his belief that this budget could be managed more efficiently than it has been, and was interested in increasing oversight and accountability for the budgetary process.

There has been considerable turnover in the administration of the East Campus, with the resignation of the Director of the University Hospital, the Chief Financial Officer, and a number of department chairs.  In addition, there has been a change in the “branding” of the East Campus, which is now called “Stony Brook Medicine” rather than the Health Sciences Center.   There was some concern expressed by some members of the faculty and staff that the new term (medicine) is less inclusive and less reflective of the range of services available on the East Campus than the one it replaced (health).

Flow of funds subcommittee

On 28 October 2011, as in 2009 and 2010, the CAPRA Flow of Funds subcommittee requested annual summaries and transaction details for fiscal year 2011 (FY11) for all expenditures on state fund accounts controlled by the Provost's office and by the VP for Student Affairs.  Unlike previous years, release of the FY11 (July 2010 through June 2011) files were delayed significantly until 14 February 2012.  Consequently, it was too late for the voluminous expenditure spreadsheet files to be processed until after the end of the spring 2012 semester. 

The subcommittee plans to analyze the FY11 expenditure data and compare the results to those for the corresponding FY09 and FY10 accounts.  It will seek to document the impact of the recent spate of state budget cuts upon the academic and student support programs of Stony Brook University.   

MA/MS subcommittee

This subcommittee was established approximately two years ago in response to Administrative encouragement of academic departments to establish new MA/MS programs or to expand existing ones as a source of revenue in light of the continual budget cuts the campus had experienced.  The subcommittee began a series of interviews with relevant departments to elicit their experience with the new or expanded programs, especially whether it resulted in the anticipated additional revenue and its effect on other academic programs in the department or other departments.  About a year later, there was some question raised by the Graduate Council as to whether this was an appropriate task for CAPRA or whether it properly was a function of the Graduate Council.  After some e-mail exchange between the chairs of CAPRA and the Graduate Council, the subcommittee met with the Graduate Council to discuss this concern. In the e-mail exchange between chairs and at that meeting, it was reported that an earlier Council did not indicate an interest in this task, which is why it was initiated by CAPRA.  However, the current Council, and the new Dean, agreed to review the issues of the effect of new/expanded MA/MS programs, and Acting Dean Taber will be instituting regular reviews of all graduate programs that should address a number of the relevant issues. These reviews will consist of three levels:  (1) a database review that will focus on “outcomes” and “satisfaction;” (2) periodic internal reviews; and (3) external reviews that were suspended because of budgetary constraints.

Strategic Plan, Responsibility Center Management Model, and faculty resources subcommittee

The major focus of this subcommittee was on the proposed new budget model, “Responsibility Centers Management” (RCM), that will be established over a three-year period.  This model is an “all funds approach” and has been approved for use at Stony Brook by the Project 50 Forward Steering Committee.

The subcommittee was asked to do a detailed analysis of the proposed model, which it did.  It had further discussions of the model with Provost Assanis and Assistant Vice President Maciulaitis, and reviewed some of the relevant literature on the use of this model at other universities.  The subcommittee submitted a draft report of its analysis of this model to the full CAPRA membership, including Provost Assanis and Acting Vice-President Maciulaitis, summarizing the intent of the model, its potential benefits, potential concerns about the model, crucial needs to support good decision-making using this model, and providing a set of recommendations to be considered as this model is put into effect.  After discussion at a meeting of CAPRA that led to some minor editorial changes, the final report was submitted to the University Senate Executive Committee and to Provost Assanis and Assistant Vice-President Maciulaitis.  Both Provost Assanis and Assistant Vice-President Maciulaitis indicated that they found the report both informative and useful.  As a consequence, the chair of this subcommittee was appointed to the Budget Committee that was established in the RCM model as a representative of and a link to CAPRA.

The subcommittee noted that there does not yet appear that there is an overall campus “strategic plan.”  While a number of the Colleges and Schools have developed strategic plans, these do not yet seem to have been integrated into an overall campus plan, something that should be the driving force behind budget allocations.

Other activities of CAPRA

Proposal for a “partnership” arrangement with Hofstra University for an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Stony Brook

The committee reviewed this proposal and asked for additional information on what it meant to be a  “partnership school,” and the budgetary and space implications of this proposal.  After receiving the information requested, the committee decided that there were no substantial resource implications for the campus.  Moreover, establishing such a program would benefit Stony Brook students in two ways:  (1) students currently involved in the program (and future enrollees) would not have to travel back and forth between this campus and Hofstra University (the “host campus” for this program) for their programmatic requirements; and (2) students in this program will be offered scholarships by the federal government that covers full tuition, books, fees, and as stipend based on their class standing. Consequently, CAPRA recommended the approval of this program to the Executive Committee of the University Senate.

Proposal for an Undergraduate B.S. Degree Program in “Technological Systems Management” (BS/TSM) in SUNY Korea

Imin Kao, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and David Ferguson, Chair of the Department of Technology and Society, presented a proposal for a BS/TSM at the SUNY Korea campus.  After a careful analysis of the proposal and a detailed discussion with the two, several modifications to the original proposal were suggested and accepted by Kao and Ferguson, and the proposal was amended.  As a result, CAPRA recommended approval of the proposal to the Executive Committee of the University Senate.  This positive recommendation was based on the understanding that this program would not involve any New York State taxpayer dollars since it would be supported by tuition, the South Korean government, the City of Inchon, and the Inchon Free Economic Zone (IFEX) for five years; the financial plan for the program indicates that the program will be self-supporting after the third year.  Also, SUNY has established a LLC as a firewall to shield it and Stony Brook from South Korean legal jurisdiction as well as from any financial problems that might arise should the program need to be discontinued. 

There is a Stony Brook faculty member already in place in SUNY Korea administering the existing B.S. and Ph.D. program in Computer Science and an M.S. Program in Technology Systems Management who will serve as the program chair for the BS/TSM program.  The faculty for the program will be a blend of visiting members of the Stony Brook Technology and Society Department and local faculty in Korea who will be vetted by the Stony Brook Department of Technology and Society; promotion and tenure processes will be consistent with those at Stony Brook. 

The curriculum will include major requirements and substantial student choice for general education courses; the latter will be taken during the year these students will spend on the Stony Brook campus.  Student services such as admission, advising, degree auditing, student clubs and activities will follow the model and procedures of the Stony Brook campus.

Committee members

Paul Bingham, Biochemistry
Darren Chase, Library
Michael Chiarello, Nursing
Jackie Collier, Marine Sciences
Debra Dwyer, Health, Technology, and Management
Shmuel Einav, Engineering
Shamell Forbes, Undergraduate student
Kane Gillespie, College of Arts and Sciences
Bill Godfrey, European Languages, co-chair
Norm Goodman, Sociology, co-chair
Eugene Katz, Biology
Stalin Mafla, Graduate student
Meg Schedel, Music
Larry Wittie, Computer Science
Pamela Wolfskill, Political Science

Resource advisor

Mark Maciulaitis, Assistant Vice President for Budget

Administrative contact

Dennis Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Respectfully submitted,

Norm Goodman