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The aim of this plan is to build on successes and address opportunities to take Stony Brook University to the next level in its efforts to enhance student, faculty and staff diversity and to build an inclusive community. Doing so will require an assessment of historical practices, a review of policies and processes and a connection to University-wide priorities and mission.

The plan elements come out of many discussions and written exchanges with students, faculty and staff of different races, ethnicities, ages, genders, religions, abilities, socioeconomic levels and sexual orientations. Additionally, more than 120 thoughtful comments and suggestions were received in response to the first draft of this plan following its release in March and were reviewed and included, where possible, prior to releasing this plan. While people celebrated some or all of their experiences at Stony Brook, many also recommended ways to improve how we embrace our diversity to create and maintain a welcoming environment on campus. Opportunities raised by all groups encompassed the broad areas of hiring, student enrollment and the daily campus experience in classrooms, meeting rooms, labs, campus dining locations and residence halls. Some issues are specific to students or faculty or staff, while others are relevant to all groups.

Having a more diverse community of students, faculty and staff directly connects to Stony Brook University's mission, which states that we must strive to fulfill our objectives of high-quality comprehensive education at all levels while providing leadership in economic growth and state-of-the-art healthcare for our region, and do so in the context of celebrating diversity and positioning the University in the global community. Ensuring that the plan uses a broad definition of diversity further deepens that connection to the mission. Accordingly, the plan includes diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, veteran status, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sex and sexual orientation. Diversity of perspectives, thought and understanding serves as a foundation of Stony Brook’s educational enterprise and helps our students become citizens of the world.

In reviewing our successes, it is important to recognize that there have been various efforts in the past, along with current work being done, to improve the campus climate and to make headway in meeting the goal of developing a more inclusive community at Stony Brook. These efforts have moved us forward and provide the foundation for this plan. Additionally, Stony Brook has an existing comprehensive set of student diversity and academic-support activities. These programs, identified in this plan, include pre-college programs (e.g., Science and Technology Entry Program and the high school component of Women in Science and Engineering), undergraduate programs (e.g., Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit [EOP/AIM], SUNY Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the undergraduate component of Women in Science and Engineering, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program and the Institute for STEM Education), graduate and postdoc programs (e.g., Turner Fellowship Program, Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate - Transformation Program, and Bridge to the Doctorate), many cultural student organizations and programs, such as the Student African American Brotherhood, and frequent cultural celebrations, such as Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month and various programming options at the Charles B. Wang Center. Several of our programs have become national models.

In spite of these successes, there remain challenges, including increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in our student body and among our faculty and staff. Stony Brook now ranks about midway among AAU institutions in the employment of underrepresented minority faculty. Focused efforts must be made to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty group across the disciplines. Similar effort is needed to recruit and retain a more diverse professional staff and student body.

Stony Brook University must use a data-informed approach to this important work. Efforts to expand the gateways and pathways for recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff must be intentional and systemic — requiring the engagement of every part of the University, including high-level administration, departments and divisions, and building on the networks and connections that have evolved over the past several years. The success of these initiatives hinges on a vibrant and engaged Stony Brook community that values excellence and embraces the diversity of thought and experience of its students, faculty and staff.

It is with the aim of achieving and sustaining such a community that this report offers goals, strategies and a process for taking Stony Brook University to the next level in its development as a campus that celebrates differences.



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As noted in the 2015 SUNY Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, "SUNY aspires to be the most inclusive State university system in the country. We will achieve this goal by striving to ensure that the student population we serve and the administrative staff and faculty we employ are representative of the diversity of our state...SUNY will identify diversity, equity and inclusion as essential aspects of system and campus planning and as indispensable characteristics of academic excellence and the ongoing experience of every member of the SUNY community."

Stony Brook embraces this definition of excellence, and this plan, along with ongoing work, will bring the community closer to actualizing these aspirations. Highlights of data on our students and employees provide an overview of where we are today and give us the ability to understand and monitor progress toward goals to advance diversity.


Among undergraduates, the enrollment of women has decreased somewhat from 50.5% in fall 2006 to 45.7% in fall 2015 largely because of lagging yield rates and steep enrollment increases in STEM fields, which disproportionately enroll men. Among graduate students, women are in the majority, decreasing slightly from 57.1% in fall 2006 to 55.8% in fall 2015.

Progress has been made on enrolling qualified Hispanic/Latino students, with their share of undergraduate enrollment increasing from 8.8% in fall 2006 to 11.0% in fall 2015, and at the graduate level from 4.7% in fall 2006 to 6.3% in fall 2015. Enrollment of Black/African American students has slipped at the undergraduate level from 8.8% in fall 2006 to 6.5% in fall 2015 and is essentially unchanged over that period of time at the graduate level. Native American students remain just a fraction of a percent of undergraduate and graduate enrollment. Significant growth in international students has been realized over the period with their share at the undergraduate level increasing from 6.0% in fall 2006 to 13.8% in 2015 and at the graduate level from 19.0% in fall 2006 to 24.5% in 2015.

Freshman Graduation Rates

Graduation rates of men significantly trail graduation rates of women. The gap in the four-year rate shows women most recently with a 17 percentage point higher graduation rate than men; this gap narrows to 12 percentage points for the six-year graduation rate. The graduation rate of Black/African American students in six years was most recently 71.2%, exceeding the overall institutional average of 68.3%, but this group trails in graduating on time, with a four-year graduation rate of 44.0%, compared with an institutional average of 52.4%. Hispanic/Latino students’ most recent four-year graduation rate of 42.2% and six-year graduation rate of 58.5% are below institutional averages and the graduation rates for white students, although these gaps are much narrower than the national gap between these groups. With a four-year graduation rate of 50.2% and a six-year graduation rate of 64.7%, white students also trail the institutional averages.

Undergraduate Admissions

Among freshmen, slightly more women apply to Stony Brook than men, with women representing 50.8% of the applicant pool in fall 2015. Women are admitted at about equal proportions to men, with women representing 49.9% of admitted students in fall 2015. Women, however, choose to enroll at much lower rates than men, with women constituting just 44.0% of new freshmen, translating to a yield rate of 17.9% for women compared with a 22.7% yield rate for men. Among new transfer applications and admissions, women accounted for a slightly larger proportion (52.0%) of new transfer students.

In fall 2015, freshman applications were reasonably balanced among race/ethnicity groups, but admission rates for underrepresented groups were lower than those for white students, Asian students and nonresident alien students. In the freshman application pool in fall 2015, white students constituted 27.3%, Asian American students constituted 20.3%, Hispanic/Latino students constituted 16.4%, nonresident alien students constituted 15.2%, and Black/African American students constituted 12.5%. Among admitted freshmen, white students represented 33.9%, Asian American students represented 23.4%, nonresident alien students represented 18.8%, Hispanic/Latino student represented 9.0%, and Black/African American students represented 5.4%. Yield rates of underrepresented minority students were somewhat higher than those of white, Asian and nonresident alien students.


Veterans and their dependents who access educational benefits through the Veterans Administration have made up a relatively small share of the student population at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In fall 2011, just 0.6% of undergraduates and 0.4% of graduates had registered with Stony Brook’s Office of Veterans Affairs. By 2015, this proportion had risen to just 0.8% at the undergraduate and graduate levels. No dependents of veterans accessing educational benefits through the VA were enrolled at Stony Brook in fall 2011, and this proportion had risen to just 0.2% by fall 2015.


Students who have indicated to the Disabilities Support Services Office that they have a disability represent a small but increasing share of the student population. In fall 2012, just 2.7% of undergraduates had self-identified through DSS. By 2015, this proportion had risen to 4.0%.


Men constituted 69.8% of Stony Brook’s tenured and tenure-track faculty in fall 2015, down from 74.4% in fall 2006. The tenured and tenure-track faculty have been composed primarily of white faculty members, who represented 78.5% of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in fall 2006, decreasing to 69.0% in fall 2015. Asian Americans represented 11.0% of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in fall 2006, increasing to 13.7% in fall 2015. In fall 2015, 2.6% of the tenured and tenure-track faculty were Black/African American, down from 3.3% in fall 2006, and 3.9% were Hispanic/Latino in fall 2015, up from 2.6% in fall 2006.

Among faculty not on the tenure track (excluding hospital residents), the percentage of women increased from 44.8% in fall 2006 to 50.5% in fall 2015. Proportions of faculty by race/ethnicity were similar to those among tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Among non-faculty employees*, women represented 69.5% of the total in fall 2006, decreasing only slightly to 68.4% in fall 2015. Demographics by race/ethnicity in fall 2015 were more broadly distributed than among faculty, with white employees constituting 64.0% of all non-faculty employees, Hispanic/Latino employees constituting 9.7%, Black/African American employees constituting 8.4%, Asian employees constituting 8.3%, and nonresident alien employees constituting 1.5%. These demographic distributions diverge, however, when segmenting non-faculty employees into a lower income band (full-time annual salary $20,000- $100,000) and an upper income band (full-time annual salary $100,000+). For fall 2015, among the upper income band, 51.9% of full-time non-faculty employees were women; 80.2% of non-faculty employees were white; 8.1% were Asian; 4.0% were Black/African American; 3.3% were Hispanic/Latino; and 0.3% were nonresident aliens.

*Includes employee positions at the University Hospital (including residents), the Long Island Veterans Home and all payroll sources (state, Research Foundation and Faculty Student Association), but excludes graduate assistants and student workers. About 15% of this group occupied part-time positions; these were excluded in the examination of demographics by income band.



I. Improve the diversity of the Stony Brook Community through enhanced recruitment and retention.



  • Identify and add a variety of activities to the recruitment calendar. These may include adding campus visits, holding call-a-thons by current students and alumni, adding additional alumni events for admitted students, and improving communication with guidance counselors at targeted schools.
  • Refine recruitment materials to highlight financial aid opportunities and focus on having campus tour guides that are representative of the diverse campus community.
  • Promote SBU arts and humanities majors as well as the sciences.
  • Work with regional and local partners on developing proposals for longer-term pipeline initiatives.
  • Replicate the College of Arts and Sciences student advisory committee that covers issues of student success and student diversity in other colleges on campus.
  • Assess and support existing pathway and mentoring efforts in the sciences for incoming and current SBU students.
  • Strengthen our existing STEM pathway programs and, where appropriate, develop a pathway to the SBU health sciences programs.
  • Offer ongoing programs for international and non-English speaking students that will help them learn cross-cultural and context-specific communications skills to enhance their academic and personal experience at SBU and to promote their professional development.
  • Train admissions staff at individual college level in concepts of hidden bias.
  • Continue efforts to close the gender gaps that exist at matriculation and at graduation.
  • Expand recruitment efforts with regional veterans groups.
  • Expand recruitment efforts and develop retention strategies for Native American students.


  • Collaborate with others in the SUNY system who are working to develop a SUNY Pipeline Initiative for underrepresented doctoral students.
  • Work with existing groups in the SUNY system to connect with students and postdocs from underrepresented populations at other institutions to invite them for research partnerships and scholarly talks.
  • Develop a junior scholars outreach program that includes reaching out to specific scholars in other institutions as well as industry partners to advertise job openings.
  • Convene regular Preparing Future Faculty forums for department chairs and incorporate discussion of key diversity issues, including implicit bias, mentoring, campus climate and work life balance policies in those sessions.
  • Partner with Brookhaven National Laboratory where possible on research and professional development opportunities for postdoctoral fellows aimed at enhancing the diversity of the STEM workforce.


  • Hold training regarding implicit bias for the University Council in June 2016. Include such training for chairs and departments as practicable.
  • Continue to collect data on the demographics of faculty and staff on an annual basis and assist colleges, schools and departments to compare their demographic profiles with those of relevant peers and, where relevant, with the NY region.
  • Revise employee exit survey process to include questions on climate and inclusion.
  • Enhance the employee onboarding process to include regular follow-up with new employees.
  • Expand mentoring options and capacity for new faculty and staff both within disciplines and for institutional leadership roles.
  • Develop welcome wagon or other interactive process to assist departments with the transition of new employees to SBU.
  • Strengthen Title IX, Title VII and ADA efforts through integration of functions and additional staffing.


  • Incorporate implicit bias awareness concepts in the mandatory training for members of search committees and, where possible, require that qualified candidates from historically underrepresented populations be included in interview pools.
  • Require that search firms provide information on success rates in placing qualified candidates from historically underrepresented populations prior to entering into contracts with such firms.
  • Expand work with hiring departments and organizations geared to working with underrepresented individuals, persons with disabilities and veterans in targeted outreach efforts.
  • Provide support for early- and mid-career staff to become future leaders by offering opportunities for participation in leadership academies and campus committees.
  • Explore the development of a staff trainee program that draws on Stony Brook students and provides experience in different departments.


  • Continue to provide partial funding for the appointment of visiting or permanent faculty who would enrich diversity at the institution on an as-needed basis and as funding allows.
  • Expand outreach for filling lecturer opportunities via omnibus ads twice a year and work with departments to develop department focused screening processes.
  • Provide support for early- and mid-career faculty to become future leaders by offering opportunities for participation in leadership academies (e.g., ACE, PKAL, AACU, SUNY, SBU) and campus committees.
  • Encourage faculty to present at and attend conferences of minority-specific network/discipline groups.
  • Create a Presidential Fellows Program to employ and train postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented groups and prepare them for faculty appointments.
  • Encourage chairs to support the development of career pathways for faculty.

II. Expand educational, research, healthcare and other efforts to ensure that Stony Brook students have the ability to thrive as members of the campus community and as global citizens in a diverse society.

  • Require all new students to attend a one-hour course on diversity and a one-hour course on gender during opening weekend.
  • Incorporate diversity and inclusion topics in Undergraduate College programming and offer at least one option that covers the topic in the 102 curriculum.
  • Strengthen the current cultural competency component of the 101 course.
  • Explore ways to institute a college-level requirement for a diversity awareness course (e.g., broaden CAS efforts to other schools).
  • Encourage the SBU Curriculum Implementation Committee to bring a proposal to the University Senate to add to the current Stony Brook Curriculum requirements a new category of diversity within the “Demonstrate Versatility” set of learning objectives.
  • Provide training pertaining to recognizing implicit bias in the classroom for faculty and revise end of semester surveys to include bias concepts in the evaluations.

III. Support the development of a campus climate that values diversity, equity and inclusion in a way that promotes the ability of members of the community to thrive and to achieve their individual goals.

  • Explore availability of or develop training pertaining to implicit bias and cultural sensitivity (race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, mental health) for students and employees.
  • Highlight our shared principle of community as articulated in the SBU Community Pledge for Students. Introduce incoming students to the Pledge as an important expectation of the safe, caring and inclusive community that Stony Brook strives to be.
  • Explore adding cultural sensitivity training to opening weekend curriculum for FTFT students and for transfer students.
  • Celebrate diversity on campus through activities, photo choices and other community efforts (e.g., “I’m a Seawolf and ________ “ campaign).
  • Consider the dietary requirements of our diverse community and the food offered at various campus venues.
  • Hold meetings with the Diversity Plan Advisory Council and campus community regarding campus climate for students at least once per semester. Assign issues raised to the SBU Diversity Plan Steering Committee for an action plan.
  • Develop Web-based option open to SBU community members to give feedback and make recommendations for improvements to be addressed via the working groups established to implement this plan.
  • Build the grant-funded UNITI Cultural Center and create an LGBTQ* Center and involve students in the planning and design at all phases.
  • Identify and implement the necessary processes to allow students, faculty and staff the ability to use their preferred name, pronoun and gender identities in all areas and systems on campus within the requirements of state and federal law.
  • Where feasible, design all new and renovated buildings on campus to have conveniently located, multi-use all-gender restrooms included in construction that are ADA-accessible.
  • Where feasible, pursue the inclusion of at least one all-gender restroom in each existing campus building that is ADA-accessible. Maintain newly designated all-gender restrooms in the Student Activities Center.
  • Continue efforts to meet and, where feasible, surpass ADA requirements on physical access to the campus, accessible technologies and teaching materials.
  • Assist SGA in the implementation of its process for distribution of student activity fees.
  • Renovate spaces for student activities and programs to reduce costs for student events held at the SAC and to encourage student events to be held on campus.
  • Continue to train all UPD officers in national Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) and host an open meeting with UPD on regular basis.
  • Where possible, incorporate anti-bias concepts in current bystander initiatives (e.g., Red Watch Band, Green Dot).
  • Explore re-establishing a Diversity Fellows Program consisting of trained volunteers from the campus who act as a team of neutral facilitators during events and lead discussions after activities, lectures or symposia.
  • Continue to include the research and scholarly accomplishments and awards of our diverse faculty and staff in campus-developed marketing/communications efforts.
  • Review campus communication avenues to ensure effective promotion of on-campus cultural events.
  • Develop ways to recognize student, faculty and staff diversity and cultural awareness efforts that help promote the University’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Encourage the creation of campus/community social groups (e.g., SBU employee choir, softball and/or soccer league).
  • Develop website to host info about employee affinity groups and social groups (e.g., softball league, choir, message board).
  • Invite speakers who will cover concepts of inclusion and anti-bias in campus lecture series events.
  • Continue to develop and implement plans for meeting technology-based ADA requirements.

IV. Establish a culture of accountability and assessment around diversity and inclusion initiatives and policies.

  • Require that managers have an articulated expectation around diversity in all performance programs.
  • Hold meetings for employees at least annually on campus climate. Assign issues raised to the ongoing SBU Diversity Steering Committee.
  • Develop Web-based option to report comments and recommendations for change and improvement.
  • Measure progress on implementation of the 2016 Stony Brook University Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and make results available to the campus community.
  • Name a Chief Diversity Officer in 2016. The CDO, as mandated by SUNY, will work across the institution to implement best practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion and will help in the implementation of this plan.
  • Continue to track the data regarding the diversity of our students and employees.



  • A high-level Steering Committee will set priorities, handle emerging issues and problems and be held accountable for implementation, planning, resource allocation and assessment. The Steering Committee will bring in other campus leadership as needed. The Steering Committee will begin meeting in June 2016. The Committee will provide regular updates regarding implementation.
  • Working groups chaired by key campus leaders responsible for the interest areas will develop specific plans for implementation; review existing efforts to determine their efficacy; outline obstacles, resource needs and assessment measures; and keep the Steering Committee up to date on implementation efforts. Initial plans will be due to the Steering Committee by August 15.
  • Members of a broad-based Advisory Council will serve as ambassadors and will review ideas and strategies, raise concerns and suggest implementation steps as well as new areas of focus, and review existing efforts.
  • An initial $1 million will be set aside to support diversity initiatives. The plan for expending these funds will be crafted by the Steering Committee based on the recommendations of the working groups.

Steering Committee

Will meet 1 to 2 times per month to drive implementation.

Working Group Chairs See below
Advisory Council Chairs Marvin Colson/Smita Majumdar Das
VP for Finance & Administration Robert Megna
Senior VP for Advancement Dexter Bailey
Chief Deputy to the President Judy Greiman, co-chair
VP for Strategic Initiatives Matt Whelan
VP of Human Resource Services Lynn Johnson
VP for Communications & Marketing/Chief Communications Officer Nicholas Scibetta
VP for Student Affairs Peter Baigent
 VP for Health Sciences Workforce Diversity Frances Brisbane
Assistant Vice President for Student Health, Counseling and Outreach Services Marisa Bisiani
 Director for Title IX and Risk Management Marjolie Leonard, co-chair 
 Chief Deputy to the Senior VP for Health Sciences Megan Toohey
 Interim Dean of Graduate Education Nancy Goroff 
 Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Charles Robbins
 Dean of College of Arts & Sciences Sacha Kopp
 Dean of College of Engineering Fotis Sotiropoulos
 Dean of School for Social Welfare Jacqueline Mondros
 Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion David Ferguson
 Associate Provost for Enrollment & Retention Management Rodney Morrison
 Stony Brook University Hospital Lou De Onis
 Staff Matthew Moore, Marrisa Trachtenberg
 Advisory: Institutional Research Braden Hosch

Working Groups

Membership selected by chairs and convened as determined by chairs to develop working plans and priorities, outline obstacles, develop funding requests, act as ambassadors, raise issues and make suggestions.

Assessment/Evaluation Braden Hosch/Patricia Aceves
Communications Sue Walsh/Alida Almonte
External/Internal Community including UPD Joan Dickinson/Larry Zacarese
Facilities Dallas Bauman/Bob Megna
Faculty Stella Tsirka/Carol Carter
Graduate, Postdoc and Professional Students Jennie Williams/Nancy Goroff
Non-teaching staff and human resource services Lou De Onis, Marjolie Leonard, Jen Rossler
Undergraduate Students Shelley Germana

Advisory Council

Members include representatives of various groups/areas. It will meet on an as-needed basis to provide insight and ideas about implementation, to give recommendations about options and to serve as ambassadors.

Area Member
Member Advancement Hodan Hassan
Alumni Relations Matt Colson
Athletics Greta Strenger
BFSA Inel Lewis
Center for Inclusive Education Toni Sperzel
Center for Prevention and Outreach Smita Majumdar Das, co-chair
Communications/Media Relations Lauren Sheprow
Commuter Student Association Sydney Bryan (Aruj Malik-alt)
Division of Information Technology Jennifer Adams
East Campus Diversity Committee Barbara Nemasure
 GSO Sedigheh Moradi
 Health Sciences Center Marvin Colson, co-chair
 HSC Student Representative Adam Diaz
 Human Resources Tracey McEachern
 Labor Relations Tracy Haas
 LI State Veterans Home Russell Day
 President’s ADA Committee Glenn Dausch
 Provost’s Diversity Committee Cheryl Hamilton
 Provost’s Office Rick Gatteau
 R & D Campus Yacov Shamash
 Residence Hall Association Yasmeen Hamami
 SBU Hospital  Lou de Onis
 Southampton Campus  Carmen McCoy
 Student Affairs  Cheryl Chambers
 Student Veterans Group  Juan (Jay) Garcia
 Union Universitaria Latinoamericana  Pablo Calvi and Lynda Perdomo-Ayala (East Campus)
 University Senate  Eden Figueroa
 USG  Nahae Kim
 Undergraduate Student  Chelsea Marks
 Undergraduate Student  Ruben Romero
 Undergraduate Student  Dwayne Moore
 Undergraduate Student  Sydney Gaglio


The University has a five-part mission:

  • to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate, and professional education of the highest quality;
  • to carry out research and intellectual endeavors of the highest international standards that advance knowledge and have immediate or long-range practical significance;
  • to provide leadership for economic growth, technology and culture for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region;
  • to provide state-of-the-art innovative healthcare, while serving as a resource to a regional healthcare network and to the traditionally underserved;
  • to fulfill these objectives while celebrating diversity and positioning the University in the global community.


As a member of the Stony Brook University community, I agree to promote equality, civility, caring, responsibility, accountability and respect. I recognize the importance of understanding and appreciating our differences and similarities.

Therefore, I pledge the following:

  1. I will not encroach on the rights of others, either as individuals or as groups.
  2. I accept the obligation to listen to and understand the beliefs and opinions of others, and to treat others fairly.
  3. I am accountable for my own behavior. I accept that I am, in part, responsible for the welfare of the community itself.
  4. I will stand up for the dignity of every member of this community.
  5. I will celebrate and express pride in our community’s diversity in all its forms: race, gender identity, differing ability, religion, sexual orientation or any of the dimensions that make each person uniquely human.