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ACHIEVING FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

 

From Maurie McInnis, President

Last month, I shared detailed information about the budget challenges facing Stony Brook University, including the short-term financial impact of COVID-19 as well as some of the concerning longer-term trends that we will all need to understand and address in the years ahead. I was so pleased that nearly 1,700 of you were able to join a series of virtual Campus Conversations to discuss these issues in more detail and many more of you have visited the Achieving Financial Sustainability website. It has been heartening to see members of our community greet these challenges with a renewed sense of commitment, collegiality and enthusiasm to build on the excellence of Stony Brook.

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ACHIEVING FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

This has been a difficult and unprecedented year for higher education in general as well as here at Stony Brook.   From a financial perspective, COVID has had a significant impact on our budget through both a meaningful increase in costs as well as dramatic reduction in our overall revenue. These budgetary impacts have been further compounded by reductions in state allocations—a trend that we anticipate for many years into the future.

While we have taken a number of difficult but necessary stop-gap measures to address these challenges, they come nowhere near closing our shortfalls. Stony Brook’s financial challenges are more long-standing and  systemic than COVID. For many years our funding has not kept pace with our peer research institutions or even our own cost of education. 

As a community, we must immediately begin to re-examine our approach through a series of substantive conversations—sharing our best ideas and challenging assumptions to build on the excellence of Stony Brook University—in order to continue to move this great institution forward. 

We are approaching this undertaking in a three phased process:

Phase I: Understanding the Challenge 
In August, this website, “Achieving Financial Sustainability” was launched by sharing detailed information and data to help our community understand the current climate and historical trends that have and will continue to influence our financial position. 

To better understand the funding we receive, our costs, and the budgetary challenges we face, please explore the page on this site entitled "Understanding the Challenge."

Phase 2: Partnering with Purpose
In Phase 2, much of the heavy lifting will happen.  Through a series of listening sessions, discussions, surveys and other means intended to engage the community, the Strategic Budget Initiative (SBI) will begin to identify both short-term operational and longer-term strategic opportunities to improve our financial position.  We will be able to implement some of these opportunities immediately, while more significant initiatives will need to be implemented in the next phase. 

In particular, the goals of the Strategic Budget Initiative during Phase 2 are to:

  • Explore opportunities to strengthen and focus our research endeavors and encourage additional inter-disciplinary collaboration and innovation.
  • Identify ways to more closely integrate the Hospital and clinical practices with our academic campus
  • Analyze our academic programs with a focus on understanding evolving needs and opportunities, aligned with our diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
  • Create opportunities for better alignment, remove unnecessary duplication, and provide best-in-class operational support as one campus.
  • Evaluate ways to better utilize the resources and facilities available on campus and scale the support for the wide array of our cultural and athletic programs .

Detailed information on the SBI is available on the page "Partnering With Purpose."

Phase 3: Implementation
Once phase two is complete and strategic opportunities to both grow revenue as well as reduce costs have been identified, we will move together to the implementation phase.  The exact timing and nature of these changes will depend greatly on the ideas and opportunities this process generates. We will be able to implement some of these opportunities immediately, while more significant initiatives will need to be implemented over time or require additional analysis and evaluation.

  Note: This website has important information and it will be updated frequently.  Please read it and please  ask questions.

This site contains charts which are not machine-readable. Persons with disabilities who require accommodation should contact  Jacob.Levich@stonybrook.edu   .