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TO: University Senate

FROM: Dr. Richard Reeder, Interim Deputy Provost

DATE: September 8, 2014


Sacha Kopp Appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University

After a national search, Dr. Sacha Kopp, formerly the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education of the College of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, was selected to serve as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University, effective August 11, 2014. Dr. Kopp completed his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at the University of Chicago and specializes in the physics of elementary particles. His work included study of the particle responsible for the weak nuclear force and participation in an experiment that discovered the top quark. As a postdoctoral scholar, he played a lead role in the design and construction of an instrument installed at the Cornell accelerator used by 20 universities and 400 scientists to study the properties of bottom and charm quarks. He later contributed to the construction of a particle beam facility used to definitively demonstrate that the elementary particle known as the neutrino has mass and contributes to the gravitational matter in the universe. He has authored over 200 scholarly articles.

Dr. Kopp has been on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin since 2000. He has served as the Associate Chair for the Department of Physics and, subsequently, as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education of the College of Natural Sciences. As Associate Dean, he oversaw undergraduate affairs, and also assisted the Dean with instructional and student services budget management and in developing a strategic plan for the College. He created a new multidisciplinary degree, the Bachelor of Science and Arts, and a new freshman onboarding program, CNS101. He led the College in the use of online instructional tools, especially in the areas of pre-matriculation readiness, remediation and placement testing, and in the area of active engagement teaching pedagogies. He worked closely with alumni and the local business community to increase participation in on-campus mentoring of students, and with the local K-12 districts toward the creation of inquiry-based science curricula for future teachers.


Dr. Richard Reeder has agreed to serve as Interim Deputy Provost at Stony Brook University, effective July 7, 2014. Dr. Reeder is a Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences, having joined the faculty at Stony Brook in 1980. Dr. Reeder provided dedicated leadership and service as Geosciences Department Chair from 2008 through 2013, after serving as Deputy Chair for several years. He was also the Director of the Center for Environmental Molecular Science from 2002-2012. Most recently, Dr. Reeder has served as Stony Brook’s Capture Manager in our re-competition effort for the management and operation contract for Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with Battelle Memorial Institute. Dr. Reeder was Associate Editor, and later Editor, of the peer-reviewed journal American Mineralogist, as well as editor of several review books. Reeder is also the author of more than 120 articles and book chapters. Furthermore, he has served as the Chair of the national user group EnviroSync, which promotes application of synchrotron X-ray methods to environmental sciences. Dr. Reeder has been a member of the participating research team at several beamlines at NSLS at Brookhaven National Lab, is currently a member of the SRX Beamline Advisory Team at NSLS-II, and a project team member for the TES Beamline, also at NSLS-II. He is also a founding member of Stony Brook’s Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research (CIDER). Dr. Reeder completed his B.S. Degree in Geology at the University of Illinois, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in Geology and Geophysics. His research interests include X-ray scattering and spectroscopy studies of natural and engineered materials of environmental relevance. Reeder's research group has focused on structure-function relationships of disordered and amorphous solids, sorption behavior of heavy metals on minerals, and bioavailability of contaminants in environmental systems. He has also partnered with researchers in the health sciences to bring together critical expertise to solve problems in environmental health.

As a senior member of the Provost's Office, Dr. Reeder will assist the Provost in developing annual budgets and providing oversight for various academic units on main campus. He will also work closely with the Provost, the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and the Deans on administration, financial planning and oversight of academic programs at our branch locations. Dr. Reeder will coordinate efforts involving the Deans and Program Directors to prepare and submit campus proposals to SUNY, including proposals for new academic programs. He will also coordinate the approval process for cost sharing requests to the Provost's office for academic, research and community outreach programs. Dr. Reeder will coordinate the nomination process of Distinguished Professors. He will also oversee special projects directly at the Provost’s discretion, coordinate workflow and provide staff supervision in the Provost's Office.

Charles Taber Appointed Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education

Dr. Charles Taber, Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University, has been appointed Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education effective September 1, 2014. In this new role, Dr. Taber will continue as Dean of the Graduate School, maintaining full responsibility for the research graduate programs in the Graduate School. He will also lead the School of Professional Development and oversee all professional education programs at Stony Brook. This administrative restructuring follows the recommendations of a planning process that included an SPD self-study under previous Dean Paul Edelson, a year-long evaluation by Interim Dean Tom Sexton and the SPD staff, and the Provost’s SPD Advisory Group.

The Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education and Dean of the Graduate School provides direction, support, oversight, and advocacy for graduate and professional education across the University. This includes graduate and professional admissions and records, program development and new initiatives, program evaluation, and strategic leadership for graduate and professional education locally and among national peers. In this position, Taber will serve as a member of the University’s senior leadership team and work collaboratively with College Deans and Directors of graduate and professional programs, as well as student governance, across campus to improve graduate and professional education at the University. Dr. Taber will work to diversify the portfolio of SPD offerings (including programs for academic credit as well as non-credit), expand online education, evaluate with an eye to enhance teacher preparation programs, coordinate policies and procedures with the Graduate School and PEP, and develop a new administrative model for SPD. This new SPD will include the capacity to conduct market research in order to respond quickly and flexibly to current and future opportunities. In partnership with the Associate Provost for Online Education and TLT, SPD will become a resource for online education, and will work closely with the new Office of Academic Assessment. SPD will also work closely with our faculty, departments, and colleges to identify and develop programs that match Stony Brook’s expertise with market demands.


Associate Dean Imin Kao has accepted the position as Interim Dean for International Academic Programs and Services (IAPS) at Stony Brook University, effective September 7, 2014 and until the new Dean of IAPS is appointed at the end of fall 2014. Imin will continue to serve as an Associate Dean within our College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) while serving as the Interim Dean of IAPS. Dr. Imin Kao joined Stony Brook in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, after earning his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is currently a Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and an Associate Dean of the CEAS. Being the founding Faculty Director of the Information and Technology Studies Undergraduate College (ITS College), one of the six thematic Undergraduate Colleges at Stony Brook University, he participated in the establishment of the UG College system to transform University life and learning experience for undergraduate students at Stony Brook. Since becoming the Associate Dean of CEAS, he has led and participated in various curricular initiatives and projects, such as the development of academic degree programs in SUNY Korea, the new Civil Engineering program, accelerated degree programs, international academic collaborations in research and education, and managing CEAS' college-wide ABET accreditation. Professor Kao has received a Student Service Award and a Center for Prevention and Outreach Partnership Award, as well as various teaching awards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Being the Director of the Manufacturing and Automation Laboratory (MAL) at Stony Brook, he conducts research in the areas of robotics, contact interface, stiffness control, wafer manufacturing, intelligent fault detection and diagnosis, microsystems, and new technology in orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation. Imin also served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transaction of Robotics and Automation and the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Systems, as well as a member of the Journal Editorial Board of ROBOMECH. He is a member of ASME, IEEE, and ASEE professional societies, and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society.


SBU is investing significant resources to recruit, support and retain a growing world-class faculty. Accordingly, the Provostial area welcomed a total of 48 new tenure-track faculty for academic year 2014/2015: 19 within the College of Arts and Sciences; 15 within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; 8 within the College of Business; 2 within the School of Journalism; 1 within the Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology; and 3 within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. The Provostial area also saw an increase of 6 qualified faculty in 2014/2015: 2 within CAS; 3 within CEAS; and one within the COB.

SBU’s Online Degree in Electrical Engineering Rated Best in Four Categories

Stony Brook University’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering online ( BSEEOL) degree has been recognized as one of the best by, a blog featuring the latest news in higher education and online learning. Taking top honors in four categories, SBU is recognized as offering the highest:

  1. Value: In-state students can expect a return on investment of 10.7 percent without financial aid and 12.0 percent with financial aid, while out-of-state students can expect an ROI of 9.5 percent without financial aid and 10.4 percent with financial aid.
  2. Flexibility: The program is taught completely online, asynchronously delivered for flexible scheduling, and provides all courses, materials, tests, labs, discussions, advising, and contact with faculty completely online.
  3. Disability Support: SBU works hard to provide an inclusive environment for all students. It makes its site accessible to as many people as possible in accordance with the World Wide Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines and NYS Technology Policy 99-3.
  4. Faculty Credentials: 90 percent of SBU’s online faculty members have been teaching online classes for two or more years. Online instructors are also required to receive training in teaching online classes. This ensures that all online instructors maximize the tools allotted to them through the Internet and offer students the best possible learning experience.

SBU's BSEEOL degree program provides students with the flexibility and convenience needed to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering while working full-time. This program is ideal for professionals and qualified students who are seeking an excellent education in electrical engineering and commensurate opportunities for career advancement. The BSEEOL courses are taught online by faculty members at SBU, University at Buffalo, and Binghamton University.

SBU Nationally Ranked 5th for Having One of the Best Online Masters in Educational Administration Programs in the Country

Stony Brook University’s online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (HEA) has been ranked fifth in the country by, a leading resource for campus and online education—an impressive feat for a program introduced just four years ago. The rankings, which recognize the best 25 in the country, were selected based on academic excellence, range of courses provided, awards, rankings, faculty strength, and reputation. Offered through the School of Professional Development, the online Master of Arts in HEA program is for students seeking to advance their careers in institutions such as community colleges, government agencies, student affairs, and four-year colleges, both public and private. It currently enrolls approximately 175 students from across the country, with the greatest concentration of students from the Northeast. The HEA program is practitioner-based, with faculty having extensive leadership, research, and administrative roles in higher education. The program also focuses on globalization and leadership in higher education, including an annual study abroad opportunity. Most recently, HEA students studied abroad in China. In summer 2015, HEA program students will be traveling to Italy as part of a comparative higher education course that includes visits to several universities.

Status of Brookhaven National Laboratory Recompetition

On June 18, 2014, Stony Brook University, along with our Brookhaven Science Associates partner Battelle Memorial Institute, submitted an aggressive proposal to the Department of Energy for the management and operation contract for Brookhaven National Laboratory. This was followed by a required oral presentation to the DOE Source Evaluation Board by BSA’s key laboratory personnel on July 10t, 2014. The management and operations contract is for a minimum of five years, with up to 15 one-year renewals, allowing for Stony Brook’s co-management of BNL for as long as the next 20 years. The DOE has scheduled the announcement of the next contractor for early November 2014. Following this announcement, a two-month transition period will ensue, with the new contract set to be in place by January 6, 2015. Our exceptionally strong, forward-looking proposal, coupled with significant changes in BNL leadership, offers great confidence for Stony Brook’s continued role in managing BNL into the future.

SBU Wins $1.4 Million NIH Grant to SUPPORT UNDERREPRESENTED Undergraduate and Doctoral Researchers

Stony Brook University’s Center for Inclusive Education has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for its Initiative for Maximizing Student Development ( IMSD) program. The grant will help increase the number of underrepresented individuals completing undergraduate and doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences, further supporting SBU’s efforts in expanding and diversifying its undergraduate and graduate programs. This grant marks the fifth high visibility, and competitive, award received by the CIE, totaling $8.5 million in funds and support for 165 students and postdoctoral scholars. The IMSD project is named MERGE: Maximizing Excellence in Research and Graduate Education. Over the next five years, IMSD-MERGE will provide direct financial support to 50 scholars in the biomedical sciences: 25 undergraduates and 25 doctoral fellows. In addition to this direct research support, IMSD-MERGE will provide more broadly accessible academic enrichment services, constructive mentoring experiences, and rigorous professional development to SBU’s academic community. IMSD-MERGE welcomed its first cohort of 10 scholars this summer.


In 2014-2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo awarded $7 million in grants to the State University of New York High Needs Program. The High Needs program is intended to support workforce development in fields that are projected to substantially grow across the State. This year’s awards fund programs at 37 different colleges and universities and focus on the fields of engineering, renewable clean energy, healthcare, public health, biomedical-biotechnical, information technology and business and finance. SUNY campuses will use the awards to create and sustain workforce development programs in high-needs fields, which are determined by Department of Labor and Empire State Development and take into account New York’s needs by region. Occupations are considered high need if they are projected to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate or a combination of both in the coming years. Every SUNY campus was eligible for funding as part of the High Needs Program. The number and amount of awards given is based on the quantity, quality and scope of applications received, and varied this year from $36,800 to $100,000. With this year’s launch of Open SUNY, priority was given to programs where the majority of courses can be taken online. Stony Brook University received $90,000 for the development of an Advanced Certificate in Self-Management of Chronic Disease; $90,000 for online courses and seamless transfer from TYESA two-year colleges to engineering programs; and shared $100,000 with SUNY Old Westbury and Farmingdale for joint campus training and development of high needs courses and programs.


Dr. Joel Hurowitz and colleagues in the Stony Brook University Department of Geosciences were selected to receive a $1.4 million NASA grant to support the development and testing of the “Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry” (PIXL), one of the seven instruments just selected to be part of the scientific instrument payload of the Mars 2020 rover mission. With PIXL, Mars researchers will be able to simultaneously link chemistry to rock textural features that are as small as a grain of table salt. This is the scale at which microbes leave their imprint on rocks. Therefore, PIXL will provide a first-of-its-kind look at the record of life on the Red Planet. PIXL is an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that also contains a high-resolution imager to determine the fine-scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials. Currently under development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), PIXL was created by principal investigator and JPL research scientist, Dr. Abigail Allwood along with Dr. Hurowitz, the project’s deputy principal investigator who recently completed his PhD at Stony Brook and is now a Research Associate Professor. Dr. Hurowitz will lead testing efforts on the Stony Brook campus where he will work with graduate and undergraduate students to advance the PIXL project. PIXL’s capabilities will help NASA's Mars 2020 Rover mission accomplish its goals, which include seeking evidence for past life on Mars. The PIXL project was selected out of 58 proposals received in January 2014 from researches and engineers worldwide.

SBU Professor Receives NSF EAGER Award for BRAIN Initiative Research

The National Science Foundation has awarded Dr. Scott Laughlin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook, an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER). The EAGER awards are part of the foundation’s support of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a multi-agency research effort that seeks to accelerate the development of new neurotechnologies that promise to help researchers answer fundamental questions about how the brain works. In March of this year, NSF asked researchers to submit ideas for early-stage, potentially ground-breaking new approaches to reveal how neuronal processes in the brain lead to complex behaviors in any organism. NSF reviewed the summaries and invited full proposals from applicants whose ideas best aligned with the outlined research topics. Dr. Laughlin was among 36 recipients of these EAGER awards. Each EAGER award is for $300,000 over a two-year period, and award recipients will apply this funding to develop a range of conceptual and physical tools, from real-time whole brain imaging, to new theories of neural networks, to next-generation optogenetics. Dr. Laughlin will apply the grant funds to an investigation of the use of synthetic molecules for mapping the connections between neurons in the brain.

Carl Bernstein and Frank Myers are Co-Teaching "The Cold War: Reshaping America and the World"

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, Visiting Presidential Professor at Stony Book University, will teach “The Cold War: Reshaping America and the World” during the fall 2014 semester. He will co-teach this topics course with Frank Myers, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Political Science. The course will analyze the political, social and cultural upheavals of the Cold War, especially in America and Europe, between 1946 and 1991. From the era of Stalin, Truman and Churchill to that of Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Gorbachev, Bernstein and Myers will use two related perspectives to teach the course. First, they will examine the creation of the Cold War national security state in the U.S. and its pervasive effect on American domestic life. Because this is a vast subject area, Bernstein and Myers will focus their discussion on selected events and actions —Vietnam, civil liberties, the McCarthy Era and Watergate among them. They will also examine the role of films, music (especially rock and roll) and television programs as battlegrounds of the Cold War. The second perspective will focus on the acts of major political decision-makers as they attempted to manage foreign and defense policies on the one hand, while at the same time maintaining domestic political support. Their approach will pay special note to rhetorical features of historic speeches delivered by political and religious leaders whose words were essential weapons in the titanic struggle of the second half of the 20th century.


On October 22, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. in the Humanities Institute, Room 1006, Dr. Ruth B. Bottigheimer will give a lecture entitled “ Fairy Tales and City Life: Literature and Society,Generic Shifts and Worldview Changes.” Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Research Professor in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, has written extensively about fairy tales. She has edited several scholarly volumes on the history of fairy tales and has published nearly 200 scholarly articles in journals and encyclopedias. Bottigheimer, a Fulbright scholar and past Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Clare Hall, Cambridge, has just published a comprehensive history of the change from magic tales to fairy tales , Magic Tales and Fairy Tale Magic from Ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). Her talk will explore new understandings of the ways in which the humble fairy tale expresses core attitudes that developed with city living, a money economy, and human-centered modern society.

On October 27, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, Li Wei will give a talk entitled “Multilingualism, Social Cognition, and Creativity.” Li Wei is a Professor of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, where he is also Pro-Vice-Master of the College and Director of the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism. His most recent publications include Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism, and Education (with Ofelia Garcia, 2014, Palgrave) and Applied Linguistics (2014, Wiley). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and currently serving as Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics, UK. This talk explores the issue of how multilingual language users process social information and the potential impact of multilingualism on creativity. It reviews existing linguistic and psycholinguistic research on multilingualism and social cognition, and reports ongoing investigations that aim to understand the dynamics of multilingualism and the links with creative and critical thinking. Conceptual and methodological issues that emerge from this research and the implications for research design will also be discussed. This lecture is co-sponsored by The Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication.

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