The following initiatives originated as part of the Strategic Budget Initiative. Implementation began in June 2021 and progress will continue to be updated here. Please note that with guidance from the President, Office of the Provost, and the SBI Steering Committee, these projects have moved into the implementation phase and are being managed by the appropriate business unit. For questions about these initiatives and their supporting task forces, please submitthis form.
Support increased faculty research activity
Establish a Strategic Research Group by convening associate deans of Research, the Vice President of Research, and the Provost, among others.
· Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress
· Design seed grant approaches
· Determine set of Working Group recommendations for implementation (team building, innovation, industry connections)
Fall '21 Update: The Strategic Research Council has been established and held its first meeting in October.
Spring '22 Update: OVPR has established a new Revise and Resubmit Seed Grant Program. After making four awards totaling $56,000 in the first round, a second round is now open for PIs/teams who have received highly favorable summary statements on prior, unfunded grant proposals. OVPR anticipates making 6-8 awards totaling $80,000. Proposals are due March 15, 2022.
The Office of the Provost, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research, created a new seed funding program to support proposal development aligned with the focus area of the initial ten Tiger Teams. The Provost’s Venture Fund (ProFund) Seed Grant Program will provide up to five $100K grants to support pre-proposal activities for large, multi-PI initiatives, and up to $200K for successful teams. Several teams have already formed to respond to funding opportunity announcements.The deadline for submissions is April 4, 2022.
The Office of the Provost is working on a seed grant for interdisciplinary teams in Creative Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. The request for proposals will be released soon.
Develop a strategy for managing research space.
· Create a cross-functional Research Space Team, reporting to the Strategic Research Group, to begin space inventory and planning
· Identify a third party to conduct a research space inventory (West Campus)
· Identify peer benchmarks to inform KPIs
Fall '21 Update:Alfredo Fontanini is serving in a newly developed position, Vice Provost for Research and Infrastructure, a key role that will connect our research academic needs with facilities. Stony Brook is partnering with an external advisor to support a comprehensive research infrastructure assessment. Dr. Fontanini and team will also examine our infrastructure in terms of age, financial sustainability, governance and management.
Spring '22 Update: A RFP was prepared in November 2021 soliciting bids to conduct a research space inventory. A committee reviewed submissions from four consulting firms and submitted scores to Procurement. A selection is expected soon with the survey likely to begin in late summer or early fall 2022.
In a related but separate process, the Strategic Research Group is proceeding with recruitment of a consulting firm to provide a space quality survey which will assess the quality of our research space, infrastructure and facilities, identify swing space, develop metrics, and suggest management and governance structures. This survey will complement the ongoing Facilities and Administrative survey. Final bids are anticipated in April.
Expand OVPR team to support proposal development and award management.
· Establish hiring plan; 5-year investment until IDC grows to match increased personnel costs (6, plus 2+2)
· Develop a budget to support investment plan
Fall '21 Update: Two positions were created and filled in September to support proposal development. We’re currently recruiting for four new positions in the offices of Sponsored Programs and Grant Management to better support our investigators throughout the lifecycle of grants.
Spring '22 Update: Two new positions, Sponsored Award Expeditor and Labor Distribution Specialist, have been added to the Office of Grants Management and were filled in January 2022. OVPR is currently recruiting for two additional positions, Grants and Contracts Specialist and Subawards Specialist, in the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Summer '22 Update: Two Grants and Contracts Specialists as well as a Subawards Specialist were added to the Office of Sponsored Programs in April 2022. A search for a Proposal Development Specialist in the Office of Proposal Development is underway.
Enhance support of postdocs and early career PhD graduates.
· Create Postdoc hiring track
· Amend recent PhD policy to extend employment to one year (Phase 2)
Fall '21 Update: A new postdoc hiring track, in additional to the traditional model, is expected to be approved this fall. In addition, a new HR Facilitator position will assist PI’s as they recruit and appoint postdocs.
Spring '22 Update: The new postdoc hiring track has been approved. The HR Facilitator position description has been revised to attract candidates with a skill set aligned with the hiring support needs of administrators and PIs. The new title is Scientific/Technical Recruiter.
Clinical Research Working Group
This group identified issues and potential solutions for enhancing clinical research productivity and developed a set of recommendations that can help to support the growth of our clinical research portfolio.
o Institutional Review Board (IRB) concerns
o Biostatistical assistance to clinical investigators
o Pipeline from trainee to early career faculty engaged in clinical research
o Infrastructure: Availability of research space for inpatient and outpatient clinical research procedures
The following actions have been taken to address the IRB concerns:
o The protocol template in myResearch has been simplified and updated.
o IRB leadership has set up regular meetings with DoIT to address concerns regarding myResearch.
o DoIT and the Office of Research Compliance are moving forward with an upgrade of the IRB software system for myResearch.
o The Office of Research Compliance is now offering workshops with rotating topics that include main areas of interest to the research community (i.e., how to submit amendments/continuing reviews; how to develop a consent form).
o Satisfaction surveys with study team members have been introduced.
o A new “reliable methods” training has been introduced for IRB members.
o An “Ask the Experts” form has been developed for real time answers to regulatory and compliance questions.
Continued evaluation and implementation of working group recommendations.
Support Academic Program Development
Improve incentives and coordination among academic units and expand Stony Brook’s education to new student segments
Implement Tuition Revenue Share for professional Masters programs.
· Understand implications of debt forgiveness
· Identify additional programs for inclusion (Dental, Medicine, etc.)
Fall '21 Update: A new model has been developed, including debt forgiveness for the vast majority of programs, and is expected to be implemented in Fall 2021 in time to inform our master’s admissions process. It has received final approval and will be shared with the deans and department chairs in November. The new approach will align institutional and individual incentives, create transparency in funding levels and timelines, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in program development.
Spring '22 Update: $2.1 million in debt has been forgiven as part of this process. We will pivot from the old model to the new with July 1, 2022 targeted for launch.
Streamline program approval to clarify roles, responsibilities and timelines for new program approvals across campus.
Fall '21 Update: This workstream will be the focus of additional work in Spring 2022.
Spring '22 Update: We are in the process of piloting an automated submission system for academic programs proposals. The pilot is currently open to all proposals that are reviewed by the Grad Council and the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. In addition, we will launch a revamped academic program proposal website during the spring semester.
MA program development and management (Phase 2).
· Determine needs of new office in the Graduate School
· Establish graduate admissions function and identify initial marketing needs
Fall '21 Update: We launched the New Graduate and Health Sciences Admissions Office at the end of July, 2021, which is responsible for supporting graduate admissions efforts across the University with the goal of reducing complexity, streamlining workflows, and making the admissions process easier for all users, particularly our prospective students. Additional activity around program management will be the focus of the Dean of the Graduate School in the coming year.
Spring '22 Update: This effort continues under the guidance of the Dean and Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
Create CP&EE office within the Provost Division.
· Identify initial approach to support existing programs
· Align programs closely with University mission
· Implement a web portal for all programs
Fall '21 Update: Progress is underway to create this office which will spearhead opportunities in continuing and professional education. More information will be shared in Spring 2022.
Spring '22 Update: Recruitment will begin soon for a Vice Provost for Professional Education.
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Improve processes to interact with and support each other
Create a more uniform process for managing clinical placements.
· Establish a Clinical Placement Office
Fall '21 Update: We are developing a new process that matches the academic requirements of our healthcare students with the needs of our healthcare teams. Our goal is to have recommendations shared with senior leadership by the end of the semester. More information will be shared in the new year.
Spring '22 Update: The implementation team provided final recommendations to leadership for creating a new position to develop a centralized placement process for the health sciences schools. Recruitment for this position is slated to begin in the spring.
Identify a technology solution to support clinical placement needs (Phase 2).
· Advance work completed to date to identify requirements, solution and vendor
Fall '21 Update: This initiative is part of the next phase of implementation and work will begin to find an appropriate solution once recommendations have been received and resources identified.
Spring '22 Update: Recommendations are under review. The new Clinical Placement Coordinator, once hired, will lead the process for acquiring appropriate technology to support SBU’s needs.
Create a solution to support identified dental billing issues.
Fall '21 Update: This issue has already been addressed and resolved.
Reduce administrative burdens by automating processes and streamlining roles and responsibilities
Implement HR technology and process changes.
· Time and leave management (Implement new Kronos instance)
· Workflow improvements (Phase 2)
· Ensure Interfolio interfaces with PeopleSoft
Fall '21 Update: We’re working to replace paper-based HR systems with user-friendly technology solutions, beginning with an improved time and leave management process. Beta tests on new self-serve functionality for common HR processes (e.g. change of address, etc.) will be starting in Spring as part of a phased and gradual roll out of new technology.
Spring '22 Update: We’ve committed to a year-long evaluation and redesign of HR processes and technology guided by a consulting firm. We’ll begin implementing an improved timekeeping system in late spring and throughout the summer. More technology upgrades are expected in the summer and through the end of the calendar year.
Implement HR organizational and role changes.
· Define HR & VPC roles
· Clarify recruitment and hiring structure (Phase 2)
Fall '21 Update: This work is underway and more information will be shared in the Spring.
Spring '22 Update: This work is ongoing as part of the larger evaluation of Human Resources.
Revenue and Cost Containment
Build new opportunities to grow Stony Brook’s resources
Establish a permanent contract evaluation team.
· Implement online inventory
· Roughly $15M in savings over 3 years
Fall '21 Update: We are establishing a permanent Contract Evaluation Team in order to continuously identify opportunities to save resources without impacting performance or support of our academic, research and health missions, with the goal of saving $15 million over the next three years.
Spring '22 Update: This team has successfully identified $15 million in potential savings over the next three years as well as expenditures that will help the University spend more efficiently and create additional revenue.
Begin establishing a sponsorship and branding office (Phase 2)
Fall '21 Update: A small team, led by Advancement including faculty, staff and students is working to establish a new Office of Corporate Relations, a new “front door” to the University to create more effective relationships with local and regional organizations to support revenue-generating corporate sponsorships, philanthropic initiatives, student recruitment, and corporate sponsored research. More information on this initiative will be shared in Spring 2022.
Spring '22 Update: This team has established a new policy refining the process by which the University evaluates sponsorship and branding opportunities. Recruitment is set to begin for a candidate who will lead this effort long-term, and a team has been established to evaluate opportunities above the $50K threshold.
Establish a plan to consolidate processes to support Conferences & Events.
· Continue work on revocable permit process and explore insurance options
Fall '21 Update: Streamlining Conferences and Events on campus is underway with a small team charged with removing some of the barriers to more effective utilization of the facilities, including insurance and permitting processes, and by creating an entry point for faculty and staff to support hosting conferences on campus.
Spring '22 Update: This team is proceeding with the development of a portal that will allow for simplified community access to scheduling conferences and events on campus. Their target date to launch the technology is summer 2022.
Stony Brook leadership has identified one-time funding to support the implementation costs for this initial group of recommendations.