Chief Campus Counsel Susan Blum to depart in September
July 12, 2022
It is with a level of sadness that I write to let you know that Chief Campus Counsel and Senior Advisor to the President Susan Blum has advised me that she is leaving her position, effective September 2022.
For decades at Stony Brook, Susan has been a leader of unquestioned integrity who has always placed the interests of this university, its mission, and the faculty, staff, and students above all other considerations. Since my arrival at Stony Brook, I have relied on Susan’s experience, acumen, and commitment as I learned to navigate being at a university that was new to me, with all its unique qualities. As my executive team has worked with our campus community during the past two years to take Stony Brook to the next level, Susan has been an outspoken and courageous advisor and a supportive colleague. Her contributions to Stony Brook will continue to pay dividends for years to come, and I will miss her a great deal.
Susan’s sound legal advice and wise counsel to five Stony Brook University presidents have both guided and strengthened our community and the SUNY system for 28 years. In her current role, she manages a team of attorneys, paralegals, law interns, and undergraduate fellows that provides legal advice to the university, the academic medical center, and SUNY.
As a member of Stony Brook’s executive management team, Susan always encourages everyone to adopt an “all-on-the-same-team” approach to the work. And what makes Susan so special — beyond her sharp legal mind and her dedicated years of service — is that she steers any credit for success to others. Make no mistake, though: She is the chief architect of our legal strategies on an array of high-level issues that support the academic operations and governance of the university. She also oversees the critical legal work of Stony Brook Medicine, its five health sciences schools, four hospitals, including Stony Brook University Hospital, numerous community-based healthcare operations, and the Long Island State Veterans Home.
Susan joined SUNY in 1994, serving as associate counsel at Stony Brook. At the time, she was lead attorney for the SUNY system’s network of hospitals, along with serving as then-President Shirley Strum Kenny’s cabinet counsel, where she developed legal strategies and advised on operational matters for Stony Brook’s hospitals and health sciences schools. In 2010, she became senior managing counsel under then-President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.
Stony Brook will continue to benefit from the talented team that Susan recruited and nurtured during the course of her career here. Upon her departure, Associate Counsel Suzanne Shane will serve as interim senior managing counsel. Suzanne has been at Stony Brook since 2010, and focuses on legal advice around student-centered issues, including the review and interpretation of academic and disciplinary policies and procedures. She also oversees legal matters involving student activities, study abroad programs, admissions, and career placement, along with the negotiation and arbitration of disciplinary grievances, and matters involving copyright and trademark law. Suzanne was formerly associate counsel at Long Island University, and she is a graduate of Stony Brook University and New York Law School. SUNY, in collaboration with our university, will conduct a national search to fill the position.
While Susan’s departure will mark the end of an era, I am excited by her prospects to continue to serve the local community, the Long Island region, our state, and beyond. Please join me in wishing her the very best as she moves on to a new chapter of what has been an amazing and fruitful career — one that certainly has benefited our faculty, staff, students, and the entire Stony Brook community in so many meaningful ways.