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TO: University Senate

FROM: Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

DATE: November 4, 2013



Dean Nancy Squires will be completing her term of service as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) this year. Dean Squires started her term as Interim Dean of CAS in 2009-2010 and was subsequently appointed as Dean of CAS in 2010. During the term of her administration, the College of Arts and Sciences benefited from her wealth of experience, thoughtfulness and rational judgment. During a period of budget cuts, she has been a steadfast advocate for our academic departments and instrumental in achieving administrative savings, including piloting shared services in the academic sector. She has launched innovative initiatives in the humanities, which included creating a new department for Cultural Analysis and Theory, elevating the Writing Program to new standards, and strengthening the role of language teaching at Stony Brook. Nancy Squires also provided dedicated service to our institution as Interim Provost prior to my arrival. The past two years, we have worked closely together, and with the CAS Department Chairs, to rejuvenate the intellectual capital of CAS by hiring more than 60 new faculty members evenly distributed across arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and natural and life sciences. Our new hires are building on excellence, addressing critical needs in teaching, and expanding the interdisciplinary frontiers and collaborations of CAS with other schools and colleges.

The Office of the Provost will be initiating a national search for our next Dean of CAS. Dr. Lorna Role, Chair of our Neurobiology and Behavior Department and Dr. Perry Goldstein, Chair of our Music Department will co-chair our search committee, which will be comprised of the following members of our community:

  • Susan Brennan, Professor of Psychology
  • David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Technology and Society, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Peter Gergen, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Director of Undergraduate Biology
  • Perry Goldstein, Professor and Chair of Music; CAS Dean Search Committee Co-Chair
  • Barbara Jacak, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy
  • Eduardo Mendieta, Professor and Chair of Philosophy
  • Joy Pawirosetiko, Honors College Undergraduate Student and USG Senator
  • Lorna Role, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology and Behavior; CAS Dean Search Committee Co-Chair
  • Trevor Sears, Professor of Chemistry joint with Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Jeffrey Segal, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Political Science
  • Evgenia Sidorova, Doctoral Student and President, Graduate Student Organization
  • Minghua Zhang, Dean of School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Matthew Whelan, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
  • Kathleen Wilson, Professor of History and Cultural Analysis and Theory, Director Designate of Humanities Institute
  • Patricia Weisenfeld, CAS Alumna, Vice President of Special Initiatives, Simons Foundation

An executive search firm will be engaged to assist the search committee in identifying exemplary internal and external candidates. Staff support to the search committee will be provided by Janice Barone, Assistant Provost for Human Resources. We anticipate that the new Dean of CAS will be appointed upon the start of the 2014-15 academic year.


The State University of New York's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is pleased to announce the seventh annual Faculty Diversity Program (FDP) for the 2014-2015 academic year. The program is budgeted to provide partial salary support to SUNY state-operated campuses for new assistant professor-level appointments.

Salary support will be provided for three years and distributed annually as follows:

  • 2014-2015 – 80% of negotiated salary up to $80,000
  • 2015-2016 – 75% of negotiated salary up to $50,000
  • 2016-2017 – 25% of negotiated salary up to $15,000

Faculty appointed under this initiative will be awarded $15,000 to support an active research program. These funds will be disbursed to the campus and faculty will have up to three years to expend the research support. SUNY institutions are strongly encouraged to nominate outstanding scholars who have attained a record of distinction early in their academic careers, exhibit promise for scholarly productivity of the highest quality and have a demonstrated ability to work in diverse learning environments. The Faculty Diversity Program is limited strictly to new, full-time, tenure-track appointments at the assistant professor level; existing appointments will not be considered. For procedural questions, please contact the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at (518) 320-1189. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this award. Disbursement of the award is contingent on the faculty member having completed all requirements for the terminal degree in their discipline prior to the commencement of the 2014-2015 academic year.

A complete dossier will consist of the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Candidate’s statement of interest;
  • Published work or writing sample;
  • Three reference letters;
  • Evidence of candidate’s ability to respond effectively to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds;
  • Home department/academic unit or dean’s evaluation of candidate’s academic record;
  • Chief Academic Officer’s recommendation for appointment; and
  • Statement on the candidate’s contribution to enhancing campus diversity.

The deadline for submission of a complete dossier in hard-copy format to Marsha Pollard, Associate Chief Academic Officer, is January 24, 2014. All submissions will be reviewed by the Chief Academic Officer, and only individuals nominated by the Chief Academic Officer are eligible for SUNY consideration. Nominators will be apprised as to whether their nominee will be forwarded to SUNY for further consideration by February 10, 2014.

$1.4M NSF Grant Awarded to SBU-BNL to help Underrepresented Minority Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows Advance into STEM Faculty Research Careers

Stony Brook University’s (SBU) Center for Inclusive Education (CIE) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the competitiveness of underrepresented minority (URM) Ph.D. students and postdoctoral trainees who are advancing into STEM careers. This Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (AGEP-T) initiative is called FRAME (Frontiers of Research and Academic Models of Excellence). In the three-year grant period, the project will train 30 graduate students and 12 postdoctoral fellows by providing comprehensive professional preparation that will permit FRAME fellows to compete for, and succeed in, faculty positions at top research intensive institutions.

AGEP-T will differ significantly in structure from the previous SUNY-AGEP program as the goals of AGEP-T shifts focus from the recruitment of larger numbers of URM STEM graduate students to ensuring these students’ successful transition into the STEM workforce. FRAME will achieve this by providing funding opportunities to enhance research productivity and technical skills for obtaining research funding. The research mentors will help FRAME fellows devise individual development plans to determine a career path. Since securing faculty positions is the ultimate goal of the program, the postdoctoral FRAME fellows will also participate in either secondary education or university-based teaching to develop knowledge transfer skills. As lead institution, Stony Brook University joins five other top tier institutions in winning this competitive grant: University of California Berkeley, Purdue University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Texas A&M and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Stony Brook Shares in $5 Million National Science Foundation Grant for STEM Education

Stony Brook University is one of six recipients of a $5 million grant from the Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop tools that will change the way STEM students are assessed. The five-year grant, which will help catalyze the national movement to better test and evaluate the knowledge, abilities, performance and competence of STEM students, is one of the largest science education grants ever awarded. Dr. Ross Nehm, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolution, and member of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME), is the Principal Investigator on the project. Along with Stony Brook, five other universities were recipients of this grant: Michigan State University, University of Colorado, University of Georgia, Western Michigan University and the University of Maine.

SBU Sociology Professor Awarded NSF Grant for Big Data Research

Arnout van de Rijt, an Associate Professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Sociology and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS), has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Field Experiments and Formal Models of Arbitrary Social Inequality.” His research focuses on success-breeds-success dynamics and suggests that many successes that individuals experience are a direct result of prior success, and not intrinsic quality or merit. Some social scientists have proposed that one fortunate success may trigger another, the idea that success breeds success, thus producing significant degrees of arbitrary distinction between similar individuals. But evidencing this theory has been difficult because sociologists can only observe a single run of history; they cannot go back and see if the same people attain very different levels of success a second time around. Preliminary results of his research show that when different kinds of successes (money, awards, endorsements and quality ratings) are given to arbitrarily selected recipients, all produce significant improvements in subsequent rates of success as compared to the control group of non-recipients. For the success-breeds-success experiments, van de Rijt is working on a computational interface that through the Internet can automatically allocate successes to large numbers of arbitrary persons and automatically record their subsequent successes. These new computing and information technologies available at Stony Brook’s IACS provide unique opportunities for social scientists to conduct research that was not possible before.


On Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. in the Staller Center Recital Hall, Perry Goldstein presented a talk entitled “ Send This Diary to My Widow: A Musical Account of Robert

Scott’s Expedition to the South Pole.” Perry Goldstein is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music at Stony Brook University, where he has been on the faculty since 1992. Composer of over 50 pieces in a variety of mediums, he has been called a composer of “consummate structural and inventive artistry” ( CD Spotlight) and his works have been described as “percussive and pummeling” ( The New York Times), “an-I-dare-you contraption” ( Fanfare), “a raw-boned tour-de-force” ( The Buffalo News), “genuine firework[s]” ( Achener Zeitung), and “jazz-paced, abrasive, [and] ultimately cathartic” ( The Los Angeles Times). His music can be heard on 19 compact discs, including on Bridge, Centaur, Challenge, Crystal, Innova, Mark Master, New Dynamic, New World, United States Military, and Vanguard recordings. In 1997, he received the President’s and Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching . This lecture is co-sponsored with the Department of Music, and will be followed at 8:00 p.m. by a full performance of a 35-minute work by the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, with faculty soprano Brenda Harris, led by guest conductor Jeffery Meyer.

On Monday, November 11, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, Byron Hurt will present a lecture entitled “ Manhood, Music and Soul: An Evening with Filmmaker Byron Hurt.”
Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, and anti-sexist activist. Hurt is also the former host of the Emmy-nominated series, Reel Works with Byron Hurt. His documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS’ Emmy-award winning series Independent Lens. Byron's latest film, Soul Food Junkies, won the CNN Best Documentary Award at the American Black Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. Filmmaker Byron Hurt will talk about his evolution as man and shows clips from his award-winning film, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. This lecture is co-sponsored with the Department of Sociology.

10th International Conference and Expo on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World

On October 21, 2013, Stony Brook University hosted the “10th International Conference and Expo on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World.” This premier international forum allows for a much-needed discussion of innovative applications of emerging technologies in infrastructure, healthcare, and energy, which are three of the most critical components of a smarter global environment. This two-day conference featured multiple sessions on cloud computing, visual computing, mobile computing, big data and dynamic data analytics, smart infrastructure, smart medicine, smart grid and smart energy. The conference hosted renowned speakers, presenters and panelists from all parts of the world, hailing from industry, academia, and government, as well as an international audience of more than 600 attendees.

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