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A Budget Message from President McInnis

September 24, 2020

Dear Stony Brook Staff and Faculty,

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.

The Next Phase of Work

While we will continue to share additional details regarding our budget, at this time I’d like to provide some more information about the next step in our path to Achieving Financial Sustainability — our Strategic Budget Initiative. Its goals are to:

  • Explore opportunities to strengthen and focus our research endeavors and encourage additional interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

  • Identify ways to more closely integrate the Hospital and clinical practices with our academic campus.

  • Analyze how our academic programs can better meet evolving needs; provide new opportunities; and support our diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

  • Remove unnecessary duplication, better integrate our programs and provide best-in-class operational support as one campus.

  • Evaluate ways to scale the support for the wide array of our cultural and athletic programs on campus while better utilizing the resources and facilities available.

These are ambitious goals. They will involve a profound, collaborative and critical engagement across our community. Some of you have already contributed to define the scope of this enterprisewide endeavor. And for many others, there will be plenty of opportunities ahead to support this process.

The Structure and Process to Guide Us

The Strategic Budget Initiative will be powered by the work of five focused task forces:

●        Research and Innovation

●        Stony Brook Medicine

●        Academic Portfolio

●        Operations Alignment

●        Optimizing Campus Cultural, Athletic and Facilities Resources

These distinct task forces will create issue-specific working groups as necessary to support their work, based on their prioritization and identification of opportunities.

A Financial Sustainability Steering Committee will coordinate and support their efforts. Led by our new Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Rose Martinelli, the steering committee will include, among others, representatives from each task force.

In addition, members of a Technical Support Group will serve as expert resources to all of the groups.

Staying Informed

Much more detailed and technical information can be found on the Achieving Financial Sustainability website, including the initial scope for each task force, the focus of the working groups, a high-level project plan and the leadership of each task force. This will be updated frequently as the various task forces embark on their missions, and I am committed to sharing key developments and updates with you along the way as progress is made.

Focused on the Future

I want to thank everyone in advance who has already stepped up and offered their time, insight and support for this important undertaking. Yes, this is a comprehensive, bold and ambitious agenda, but it is necessary for the future health and sustainability of our bold and ambitious University. With the right leadership, focus and support, I believe our goals are eminently achievable.


As I’ve said earlier in this process, we can’t rely on short-term, stopgap measures to solve long-term challenges. We need to be strategic, open and future-focused. I am confident that we are equal to this task — because I believe in the strength and ingenuity of our community and have seen our demonstrated power of partnership. Through a shared understanding of the challenges we face, a candid and inclusive approach to strategy, and a willingness to challenge our assumptions and look beyond the status quo, Stony Brook University will emerge from this process stronger — well-positioned and able to seize the opportunities that this endeavor will reveal.


I truly appreciate your continued support, understanding and commitment to this institution.


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Maurie McInnis, PhD