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TO: University Senate

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

DATE: December 7, 2015

Dr. Jun Liu Selected as the Next Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Dean of International Academic Programs and Services at Stony Brook University

After a competitive national search, Dr. Jun Liu has been selected as the next Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Dean of International Academic Programs and Services at Stony Brook University, effective January 25, 2016. Dr. Jun Liu is Associate Provost for International Initiatives, Chief International Officer, Director of the Confucius Institute, and a Professor of Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University.

As the 2015 recipient of the Governor’s Award for an International Education Program, he established a one-stop international center at Georgia State, providing both the physical location and symbolic icon for global activities and synergies connecting the campus, communities, and the world. Under his leadership, Dr. Liu launched five faculty-driven task forces at Georgia State by focusing on emerging markets (e.g., Greater China, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, and Turkey), resulting in a greater number of international students on campus and a greater number of Georgia State students studying abroad, a number of innovative dual degree programs, faculty mentoring programs, study abroad with peers programs, as well as the Summer Institute with Global Ambassadors Program. Among his accomplishments at Georgia State, he streamlined University-wide resources by providing more funding for faculty doing research abroad, for students studying abroad, and also connected the University with outside communities and government entities in gauging interest and support for creative international programs and projects. Prior to his work at Georgia State, Dr. Liu spent 13 years at the University of Arizona as Head of the English Department, Director of the Confucius Institute, and Assistant Vice Provost for Global Engagement.

As one of the leading scholars and researchers in the field of linguistics, Dr. Liu has published more than 10 books and 80 papers in the area of intercultural communication, communicative competence, and language education. As a sought after motivational speaker, he has given more than 100 plenary and invited speeches in more than 30 countries since 2000. Dr. Liu obtained his B.A. in English Language and Literature from Suzhou University in 1981, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from East China Normal University in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Second and Foreign Language Education from Ohio State University in 1996.

I wish to gratefully acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the search committee under the direction of co-chairs Dr. Charles Taber, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, and Dr. Lisa Benz-Scott, Director of the Program in Public Health. The search process was assisted by executive search firm Isaacson Miller.

New Responsibilities for Stella Tsirka and Mary Remmler

I am pleased to inform you that the responsibilities previously held by Dr. Richard Reeder, as Interim Deputy Provost, and Dr. Axel Drees, as the Vice Provost for Budget and Planning, have been reassigned to current members of my team, Dr. Stella Tsirka and Mary Remmler, respectively.
Effective November 12, 2015, Dr. Stella Tsirka has been serving as Deputy Provost and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. In her expanded role, Stella is representing the academic sector on the Project Management Office as part of the Project 50 Forward Initiative and manages west campus academic space in consultation with the Provost. Stella will also work closely with the Provost in academic planning matters and coordinate the approval process for cost sharing requests to the Provost's office for academic, research and community outreach programs. With respect to faculty affairs, Stella will continue to be the focal point for matters pertaining to faculty hiring and retention, mentoring and developing faculty careers, enhancing faculty productivity, cultivating academic leadership and service, and recognizing faculty excellence. She will also continue to provide oversight to interdisciplinary centers and institutes reporting to the Provost. In addition, Stella will oversee special projects directly at the Provost's discretion.

Effective September 10, 2015, Mary Remmler has been serving as the Associate Vice President for Academic Budget and Financial Planning. In this expanded role, Mary oversees the fiscal operations and financial planning of the Provostial area and is responsible for developing, reviewing, and overseeing multiple budgets and commitments within the area. She advises the Provost on fiscal policy matters and works closely with the Provost and Deans on the preparation of annual and long-term budgets of Provostial areas in collaboration with the central budget offices. She is also responsible for analyzing financial and planning data to track progress of academic affairs towards the strategic objectives of the University’s Strategic Plan and SUNY expectations, including the SUNY 2020 program and performance-based funding.

Dr. Rich Reeder will continue to serve as the Associate Vice President for Brookhaven Affairs and Dr. Axel Drees has been appointed as our new Chair of Physics.

15 SBU Faculty and Staff Honored with 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Fifteen members of Stony Brook University’s faculty and staff have been chosen to receive the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in the following categories:

Excellence in Classified Service: Jenille Johnson, Secretary I, Economics; Gabe Zahralban, General Mechanic, Southampton Campus Operations and Maintenance; and Dennis Ryan, Electrician, West Campus Operations and Maintenance.

Excellence in Faculty Service: J. Peter Gergen, Professor, Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Gary Mar, Associate Professor, Philosophy; and Anne Moyer, Associate Professor, Psychology.

Excellence in Professional Service: Megan Alberti, Senior Staff Assistant, Anthropology; Margaret Hanley, Staff Assistant, English; Mary Moran-Luba, Senior Staff Assistant, Cultural Analysis and Theory; Hedieh Resciniti, Student Union Assistant Director, Facilities Operations; and Nina Maung-Gaona, Assistant Dean, Center for Inclusive Education and the Graduate School.

Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities: Robert Shrock, Professor, C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Peter Stephens, Professor, Physics and Astronomy.

Excellence in Teaching: Michael Bender, Professor, Computer Science; and Andrew Wackett, Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Medical Education, School of Medicine.

The group was honored at the annual University Awards Dinner this past fall; each will receive a certificate and a Chancellor’s Excellence Medallion to commemorate this prestigious selection. The honor provides system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence. Through these awards, SUNY publicly acknowledges the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and staff across its 64 campuses and System Administration. Individuals selected for this honor are role models within the SUNY community.

14 SBU Students Honored with the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

In 2015, fourteen students from Stony Brook University received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. These Stony Brook students are: Cassandra Dix, Jheison Giraldo, Shannon Grogan, Qurat-ul-ain Gulamhussein, Julia Joseph, Jaclyn Lattanza, James Leonard, Jay Loomis, Marina Mestres, Janagan Naahanathan, Sanat Patel, Matthew Sacco, Olivia Sanchez and Eric Speakman. The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement. Each year, campus presidents establish a selection committee that reviews exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office and are subject to a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.

Call for Nominations for the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Each year, the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence acknowledges truly outstanding undergraduate student achievement. We are seeking nominations of students who have demonstrated and been recognized for the integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, community service, arts (creative or performing), athletics, and/or career achievement. Stony Brook University is eligible to nominate up to 14 students. Successful candidates will be invited to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany for an awards ceremony and reception held in April.
To be eligible for consideration, students must graduate between June 2015 and May 2016. Completed nomination forms should be submitted to Karen Kernan, URECA Director, N-3005 Melville Library (email: Only awards received while at Stony Brook University should be included on the form (e.g. awards from another colleges or high schools may not be included). A GPA of 3.5 or above is recommended. The campus deadline for nominations is December 18, 2015. For more information, please visit

Stony Brook University’s Efforts to Support Inclusive Excellence

Stony Brook University is nationally recognized for its many programs that provide support and opportunities to underrepresented student populations in its mission to achieve inclusive excellence. Some notable programs are the following:

Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professorate-Transformation (AGEP-T): AGEP-T is the new National Science Foundation grant committed to increasing diversity in the academy in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). AGEP-T is focused on building strategic alliances of institutions and organizations to develop programs that will increase the success of underrepresented minority students in STEM through graduate education, postdoctoral training, and academic STEM career preparation.

Biology Partnership in Research and Education Program (BIOPREP): This National Institutes of Health program was developed to increase the number of Ph.D. scientists from underrepresented minority groups who are engaged in biomedical research; to encourage underrepresented students at two-year institutions who want to transfer to four-year schools and prepare for careers in the biological sciences; and to introduce motivated high school students from underrepresented areas to the techniques used in modern biotechnology research.

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP): Funded by the New York State Education Department, the goal of this program is to promote academic excellence and to provide support services for its participants. The mandate of this program is to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority and income-eligible college students pursuing degrees in scientific, technological, health, and health-related fields of study, including many areas where licensure is required.

Educational Opportunity Program for Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM): The purpose of the Educational Opportunity Program is to fulfill New York State’s commitment to provide access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students who possessed the potential to succeed in college, but whose academic preparation in high school has not fully prepared them to pursue college education successfully. The primary mission of the EOP is to facilitate the recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of these students. This is accomplished by providing EOP/AIM students with an array of educationally-related support services.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate: The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate program is funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the number of underrepresented minority students admitted into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs. The program is designed to provide support for these students as they complete their master’s degree coursework and transition into doctoral programs, ultimately increasing the number of underrepresented minority scientists in academic, scientific, and technology professions.

New York Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NY STEM): Stony Brook University's NYSTEM, funded by the Title I program of the New York State Department of Education, works with middle school students and teachers from high needs school districts. The program has the primary goal of enhancing students’ learning of STEM. It meets this goal by providing a residential STEM summer program for students on the Stony Brook University campus and academic year enrichment experiences.

Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG/GeoPREP): In May 2007, Stony Brook University partnered with a National Science Foundation initiative called Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG). The Stony Brook program, called GeoPREP, is a multi-track program that serves underrepresented minority students from high school through graduate school. The primary audiences for this project are high school students from high needs school districts on Long Island, underrepresented minority undergraduates, and in-service and pre-service science teachers. The program addresses the lack of scholastic follow-up opportunities for students in New York State whose interest in the geosciences has been whetted by 8th or 9th grade Earth Science.

The Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM): The Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The objective of the S-STEM program is to support students who are majoring in disciplines that are critical to the nation's competitiveness in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and the natural and physical sciences. The goals of this program are to support students with demonstrated economic need, to increase the number of students who receive degrees in STEM disciplines, and to help students become members of Long Island's high technology and research workforce.

W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship: The W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship is a graduate fellowship program for qualified underrepresented students whose immediate academic plans include obtaining graduate or professional degrees in a variety of disciplines, including the biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine, humanities, engineering, and the arts. The State of New York Legislature established the Underrepresented Graduate Fellowship Program in 1987, with Stony Brook choosing to name its program after W. Burghardt Turner, a former Professor who was dedicated to supporting Stony Brook's underrepresented students in the pursuit of their academic degrees. Since its inception, the Fellowship has graduated more than 100 Master's and 108 Ph.D. students.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program: The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program seeks to increase the number of women in the science, math and engineering fields through outreach, recruitment and retention efforts. Combining the vast resources of a major University with the close bonds of a small community, the WISE College Program enables undergraduate women to work closely with peers and faculty to form friendships and to achieve a solid background in their field. The WISE Pre-college Program reaches out to local schools to inspire young women to choose to pursue science, math and engineering degrees.

Dedication of the Behavioral and Finance Lab in the College of Business

On November 6, 2015, we held a dedication for the new Behavioral and Finance Lab in the College of Business, which was funded by a $60,000 commitment made by Neil and Arlene Butterklee, two prominent Stony Brook University alumni. This generous gift of our Behavioral and Finance Lab is used for accessing databases and the Bloomberg terminal for behavioral decision-making studies that present students with various judgment tasks in marketing, leadership, and group dynamics. All business schools have labs of this type, and having state-of-the art computers, access to data, and an environment that is conducive to learning and research is of central importance to any reputable College of Business.

Stony Brook University’s International Conference on the Mediterranean

On November 14, 2015, Stony Brook University hosted an International Conference on the Mediterranean, which focused on what the Mediterranean region represented in the age of progress and what it may represent in the current era of geopolitical re-alliances and globalization. The Mediterranean has been in the world spotlight for many months now because of mass migration and refugees moving to Western Europe. Institutions of higher learning and their scholars cannot remain passive spectators of events of such drastic magnitude. It is important to ask why? We must delve into the history, culture, and beliefs of the people of the Mediterranean to understand why we are where we are. The Mediterranean is an area that has given so much to world civilization, from religion, art, science, and philosophy. This event shed new light on the understanding and appreciation of this area of the world, and created a stronger interest in bringing the needed geopolitical harmony to the region. As an internationally recognized research university, it is of critical importance that Stony Brook host conferences such as this one to allow for the discussion of international issues that affect people and nations around the globe.

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