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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


A Promise From the President

Walking into the president’s conference room Wednesday for a campus media meet and greet, his first order of business echoed what he would later discuss as one of his priorities: get to know the students. After going round robin, the mild-mannered man concluded; ‘Hi, I’m Sam Stanley, President of Stony Brook University.’

As the new captain charts his course for the next few months and beyond, he is looking to institute a new University Council, that hopes to bring academics to the same table as the administration, devise his own version of former President Kenny’s Five Year Plan, bring in new faculty, and look for ways to increase revenue.

All the while vowing, he ‘won’t neglect the students.’

Before his appointment,’ Stanley held the position of Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., director of the Midwest Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, and a professor in Washington University’s School of Medicine, according to the university website. He holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago, and an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School.

The president’s dense background in the health and science field is a shift from former President Shirley Strum Kenny’s fourteen year administration, that stressed the importance of the humanities.

Under her supervision, the Charles B. Wang Center highlighting Asian and Asian American studies opened in 2002, the 8,300-seat Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium allowed sports teams to host their competitions in an impressive venue, the acquisition of the Southampton campus created more of a focus on marine sciences, and a new School of Journalism emerged.

‘I don’t think any institution can be great without the humanities,’ Stanley said.

Although the president did not delve into specifics, his new university plan will not follow the exact track as Kenny’s. ‘Times are changing, things have evolved,’ Stanley said. One thing the president emphasized was the drive to obtain more scholarships for research, which will help offset the budget deficit.

In July, Stanley met with SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, on her tour of the campus to address the many budget concerns. ‘I was very impressed with Nancy Zimpher. I think she really gets it.’

In response to one reporter’s question of what is the top priority on his laundry list: more faculty. ‘While we’ve grown in enrollment, we have not grown in faculty,’ Stanley said. He hopes to recruit scholars well versed in more than one area, to help manuever through budget constraints. According to Stanley, recruiting better faculty and students is cyclical.

Before leaving Missouri, Stanley did decide to take one piece of his former campus with him. An idea for a University Council that will ‘really weigh in on the issues.’ The council is made up of vice presidents, deans, and two faculty senate presidents, according to’ Stanley’s letter to the campus. The new president’s goal is for the council to open up communication between departments, and act as a sounding board.

As he forges ahead, he is aware he will hit some roadblocks. ‘We can’t do everything to appease everybody,’ Stanley said.

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