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Anticipating the start of our next chapter

To the University Community,

As I formally assume new responsibilities on behalf of our University, I reflect upon what a privilege it is to be part of a remarkable institution, one in which we daily witness the exemplary efforts of our faculty, staff, and students.  Anticipating the start of Stony Brook's next chapter, we should all take great pride in the work of President Sam Stanley who guided us through a decade of superb accomplishment.  That legacy is a truly powerful foundation, one that all of you sustain and on which we will fashion our future.  For all that you do, I thank you and I celebrate your expertise, commitment, and skill.  

From the perspective of my "first day" on the job, I am eager to call out certain goals that will help frame my work going forward:

  • To support and facilitate a successful search for our next University President.
  • To continue to manage our budgets and finances within existing resource constraints in ways that allow us to pursue our goals and best meet the needs of our employees, students, patients, and community partners.
  • To navigate leadership transitions in some of our academic and administrative units.
  • To nurture structures of shared governance, transparent communication, and collaborative decision-making that are the essential foundation of our excellence as an AAU-member research university.

Embracing these objectives, I will also remain dedicated to the pursuit of our key strategic commitments:

  • Facilitating the success, accomplishment, and advancement of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Promoting diversity and inclusive excellence throughout our University.
  • Managing our operations in ways that are efficient and sustainable, demonstrating prudent stewardship of all resources (human, financial, and environmental).
  • Provisioning excellent, state-of-the-art, accessible health care for our region, state, and nation.
  • Enhancing the economic development and vitality of Long Island and of New York State.
  • Striving to be an outstanding employer-of-choice.
  • Being a worthy and thoughtful neighbor to our surrounding communities.

With a keen awareness of these tasks, I am especially happy to announce important investments in our future -- academic and operational.  These were made possible by our prudent approach to spending and financial management along with revenue enhancements provided by Albany.  We will be implementing these significant initiatives in the weeks and months ahead.  An initial outline of these endeavors may be viewed at the following link.  It is my sincere hope that such commitments may be part of a continuing effort to bolster our University.  Moving forward, I will always try to be your capable and strategic partner in everything you achieve that makes Stony Brook an elite (but never an elitist) University -- a striking example of what public higher education can, should, and must be.  

As I close, I would like to share the wisdom of a late teacher of mine who, when he wrote the following words, powerfully captured some essential truths: 

A university stands for civility, generosity of spirit, concern for the individual, a respect for values, and an affection for people.  This means the way we do things is just as important as what we do.

To these principles, I resolutely pledge myself in the days ahead.

With my best wishes and warm regards . . . Michael