TO:                  University Senate

FROM:            Dennis N. Assanis, Provost

DATE:             April 9, 2012   


Dr. Axel Drees has agreed to serve as Vice Provost for Budget and Planning, effective March 29, 2012. Axel received his Ph.D. in Physics from Heidelberg University in 1989 for pioneering work on experiments seeking to create the quark gluon plasma, an exotic state of matter that dominated the early universe until 10-6 seconds after the big bang. This research was carried out at CERN, the European Laboratory for nuclear and high energy research.

Axel's long and distinguished history with Stony Brook began in January of 1998, when he joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. From 2000 to 2008, Axel served as one of two Project Managers for the PHENIX collaboration at BNL—a group of 500 scientists from 60 institutions worldwide— and contributed to the discovery of the quark gluon plasma. In fall 2008, Axel was appointed as Associate Dean for Budget and Operations with the College of Arts and Sciences. During his tenure with CAS, Axel streamlined the budget process so that departments within CAS could predict their budgets, and he initiated planning activities to increase revenue. For example, Axel worked in close collaboration with the Provost’s Office and the Graduate School to roll out the tuition sharing initiative for masters programs. Axel also served as the Acting Dean of CAS during the summer of 2011.   

In his role as Vice Provost for Budget and Planning, Axel will work closely with the Provost on matters pertaining to budgetary policy and in the design and implementation of the new activity-based budget system, including vetting it with the colleges, schools, departments, and other University stakeholders. Axel will assist the Provost in developing annual budgets for the academic sector and in managing West Campus academic space. He will also represent the academic sector on the Project Management Office committee as part of Project 50 Forward.

On Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, in a co-sponsored lecture with the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research and the Department of Geosciences, Dr. Rod Ewing will present a lecture entitled “Plutonium: ‘Burn’ or Bury–Nuclear vs. Geologic Solutions.” Rod Ewing is the Edward H. Kraus Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan. He is a Professor in the Departments of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, and Materials Science & Engineering. Dr. Ewing has published widely on issues related to nuclear materials, radiation effects in materials, nuclear waste management and nuclear waste policy, as well as on the use of nanomaterials in medical diagnostics/treatments and the response of materials to extreme environments. He was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and is a founding editor of the magazine, Elements. Rod Ewing received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, the Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2006, and the Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006.

On March 19, 2012, we celebrated the Grand Opening of the SUNY Korea and Songdo Global University Campus. Stony Brook University is leading the development of academic programs at SUNY Korea on behalf of the State University of New York. Our campus proudly opened its doors to the first class of students on March 3, 2012. SUNY Korea begins with Master’s and doctoral programs in computer science and technology systems management. In the fall, we will add a program in quantitative finance. We are also planning to offer graduate programs in mechanical engineering with a concentration in energy, and soon we will be adding undergraduate programs.

In time, other universities in the SUNY system will also open programs at SUNY Korea. This campus will educate and train students who will contribute to the growth and development of South Korea’s educational, social and economic systems. This partnership places SUNY on a world stage, and further builds upon Stony Brook’s reputation as an ‘internationally’ renowned institution of higher learning. It also provides SBU with opportunities to form academic and research partnerships with other U.S. and foreign universities on the Songdo Global University Campus. This joint venture strategically positions us to develop cutting-edge research that will contribute new knowledge and new technologies to our global community.

Stony Brook will host Earthstock, a week-long celebration surrounding environmental awareness and sustainability, from April 16 - April 20, 2012. Stony Brook University is at the vanguard of the sustainability movement. Our commitment to a green future is evident everywhere on our 1,400 acres: from reducing our carbon footprint, to advocating recycling and using recycled materials whenever possible, to promoting alternatively fueled transportation. For more information on SBU’s 2012 Earthstock program, please visit

Admitted students, and their families, are invited to campus on Saturday, April 21, 2012 to meet with faculty, students and staff to learn more about our campus and life at Stony Brook. Guided walking tours of our campus and residence halls will be ongoing throughout the day. All departments are encouraged to participate to showcase faculty and current students. We are expecting approximately 2,000 new students to attend with their parents and/or family members, and are expecting a total of 4,000 participants.

On Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Chapel, Stony Brook University will be hosting an Artists, Authors and Editors reception. This annual exhibition affords SBU faculty artists, authors and editors the opportunity to share the diversity of the scientific, scholarly, and creative activity that they help to create on the Stony Brook campus.

The annual emeritus faculty association luncheon will be held on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 12.00 p.m. in the S.A.C. Ballroom. Provost Assanis is honored to address our distinguished emeritus faculty and thank them for their continued involvement with the University. Provost Assanis will share his experience serving as a Professor at the University of Michigan, as well as Director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, Founding Director of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Clean Vehicles, Director of the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory and Founding Co-Director of the General Motors-University of Michigan Collaborative Research Laboratory for Advanced Engine Systems. Dennis will also discuss his research, which is focused on transportation technologies. He is recognized internationally for his innovative development of modeling methodologies and experimental techniques to shed light into complex thermal, fluid and chemical processes in internal combustion engines so as to improve their fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The Office of the Provost will sponsor nominations for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching U.S. Professors of the Year Award. This award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Please note that candidates cannot be self-nominated and nominators must be members of the Stony Brook University faculty or administration. Nomination information can be found at Stony Brook University may submit three nominees for this award. 

The program deadline for submission of nomination materials is April 16, 2012. The Provost's Office will need complete nomination packages by 5:00 p.m. on April 11, 2012. This does not provide a great deal of time for assembling a nomination package. Please note that previous winners of Excellence in Teaching/Distinguished Teaching awards may have existing portfolios that reduce the time for assemblage of required materials.

Nominators should forward complete nomination packages to Marsha Pollard at for electronic submission (only Word or PDF format accepted).

The local Stony Brook University Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award recognizes the University’s appreciation of a faculty member’s significant and ongoing contribution/s to the missions of the University. The Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award shall be considered an accolade granted to a full-time Faculty Lecturer at Stony Brook University, based on significant contribution to the University, as evidenced by the quality of the individual’s teaching, service, and related professional development.

Upon receipt of the Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award, the awardee shall carry the title of Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer in the Stony Brook University unit to which the faculty member was appointed as Lecturer. Once awarded, the Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer designation at Stony Brook University is anticipated to remain in effect for the duration of the faculty member’s service in the rank of Lecturer at the University. The Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award may carry a one-time monetary award of $1,500.00 to be distributed at the time that the Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award is conferred.

For additional information on the nomination and selection process for the Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award, contact Axel Drees, Vice Provost for Budget and Planning, at or 631-632-4366.