Letter from President Maurie McInnis
December 15, 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, I’d like to thank you for your hard work this semester and tell you about the strategic planning process that we’ll embark upon together in the new year. It’s called Project REACH, short for Reimagine • Accelerate Change, and with your participation, we will develop a collective vision for what Stony Brook University can be in the coming decade.
Strategic planning is vital to any institution as it sets priorities, allocates resources, creates common goals, and measures progress. At Stony Brook, we’re also reimagining what strategic planning looks like, developing an approach that engages our whole community in crafting a shared vision for the future of this great university.
As the first and most immediate step, please consider applying to join the Visioning Committee, a group composed of faculty, staff, and students who will be the nexus of the entire effort — coordinating campuswide engagement and liaising with the Senior Leadership team. You can find out more about the selection criteria and application process at the new Project REACH webpage.
There you will also find more information about our goals and project plans, as well as other ways everyone can participate. For example, you can join campus reading groups focused on the future challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions, or explorer groups, conducting deep dives into potential areas of opportunity and innovation. Whatever your interest, experience, and passion, there will be many opportunities and ways to engage.
In addition to beginning our strategic planning process, we plan to launch a new approach to our budgeting process. We’ll be developing a strategic, multiyear, all-funds budget that will provide a comprehensive framework to guide our financial decisions based on strategic objectives and measure how well our resources are aligned with institutional priorities. It will allow us to support our shared ambitions and invest more astutely in scholarship, research, and collaboration. While new to Stony Brook, this way of budgeting is fairly common elsewhere and relies on the power of partnership to multiply our strengths, overcome obstacles, and build a strong foundation for Stony Brook’s success in the years ahead. We’ll have more details to share on this early next year along with updated information about our current-year budget.
We understand that there is an acute need for additional support across the university. I have listened closely this year as department chairs, deans, and other leaders have shared their concerns about the need to hire more faculty and staff. Accordingly, we’ve worked to accelerate decisions around new faculty hiring, allowing us to join the market at the usual time when faculty searches are launched. The Strategic Budget Executive Team also then worked on developing plans for all other staff hiring, which will allow us to better meet the needs of our students, patients, and employees.
Based on the savings that we were able to achieve over the past year or so, as well as the all-funds approach, we have some good news: Beginning in January, we will be investing again in our campus community by funding the recruitment and hiring of 89 faculty and more than 100 staff across campus. What is important to note is that this first round of hiring is just that — a first round. There will be more plans and developments to come as we continue to define our vision for Stony Brook’s future. I understand that many areas on this campus have needed support, and all of our budget, planning, and advocacy work is focused on allowing us to make the investments we need to reach our ambitions and build a long-term stake for the people who make Stony Brook truly great.
The power of a public research university is its ability to benefit the greater community and meet the moments that define our culture. We have every reason to believe that 2022 will be a transformative year, thus we must ensure that Stony Brook not only has the will to answer the calls for growth, discovery, and change, but also has the resources to lead the way.
I am honored to lead a university community that dreams big, is driven by our curiosity and creativity, and is tenacious in our pursuit of discoveries that will transform our world. I look forward to your ideas, enthusiasm, and engagement as we define Stony Brook’s future. Seawolves, we have much to look forward to in 2022 and beyond!
Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and very happy new year.