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TO: University Senate

FROM: Charles L. Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

DATE: September 10, 2012


Dr. David Ferguson Appointed Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. David Ferguson has agreed to serve as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. While taking on this new role, Dave will continue in his position as Chair of the Department of Technology and Society in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In his role as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Dave will work closely with the Provost on matters pertaining to the recruitment, retention, and development of under-represented faculty, staff, and students, as well as on ensuring that diversity and inclusion are cross-cutting intellectual threads in all of our academic efforts, at Stony Brook University. The Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion's operative priority is to make progress toward the university's strategic diversity interests: 1) increasing access for all qualified students, especially for underrepresented minorities and women in the STEM areas; 2) eliminating the achievement gap between majority and underrepresented students; 3) recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty and staff; 4) preparing all our students, staff and faculty to thrive personally and professionally in a world that is diverse, global and interconnected; and 5) enhancing the campus climate for inclusion.


The Provost’s Office has again agreed to Chair the Stony Brook Cares campaign this year. The Stony Brook Cares annual fundraising effort supports a network of local, national and international community services all year long. With our university support, affiliated agencies feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, nurture the sick, care for the elderly, counsel troubled youth, protect the environment and make an overall difference in so many lives. All members of the University community can obtain donation forms, information on how to give, and view the SEFA or United Way list of charities by visiting the SB Cares web site at This year’s campaign runs from September 17 through December 31, 2012.


In a co-sponsored lecture with the Department of Philosophy, the Provost’s Lecture Series is pleased to announce a lecture by Charles W. Mills entitled “Liberalism and Racial Justice.” This lecture will be held on September 13, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics Auditorium, Room 103. Charles W. Mills is a John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University. He works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, and is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and five books. In his lecture, he will discuss how a striking feature of the vast literature on social justice produced over the past few decades is the marginality of racial justice as a central theme. Though Western political philosophy (which basically means liberalism) has undergone a spectacular revival since the mid-20th-century pronouncements of its imminent demise, race has been ghettoized as a legitimate topic. Yet the Western world of settler states and colonies, of domestic and external colonialism, was centrally structured by race. This lecture will offer some suggestions as to how a liberalism that has been shaped by this history might need to be rethought to deal adequately with race.


The Middle States accreditation Planning Committee has remained active throughout the summer and into the fall. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education following a campus visit by our liaison Vice President accepted the Self Study Design document that was prepared by the Committee. We were very fortunate to hire a Middle States accreditation coordinator, Ms. Lauren Tacke-Cushing, who brings a wealth of accreditation experience with her. We are also in the process of hiring two data analysts that will focus on our middle States preparation. Six Working Groups are currently being formed to focus on one or more specific standards of excellence. Each group will have two co-chairs and up to twelve members representing faculty, students and staff. A website will go live shortly to provide the entire campus community with comprehensive information about this process. We have made more than 50 Campus presentations discussing Middle States accreditation process. Our timetable is to complete a draft Self Study by the end of this academic year for submission to the Commission during the Fall 2013 semester. The Commission will have their site visit with approximately eleven examiners during the Spring 2014 semester. The Commission will take action on the visit and our Self Study at their June 2014 meeting. This is a very important project that can serve as a blueprint for our University as we move forward for the next ten years.

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