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Enrollment Cap Expected; Budget Cuts to Blame

In a press conference with student media on Friday, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced a cap on undergraduate enrollment is likely to be established next year. (Frank Posillico / The Statesman)

In a press conference with student media on Friday, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced that amidst continuous cuts to Stony Brook University and with no relief from the state, a cap on undergraduate enrollment is likely to be established next year.

The cap is the effect of an almost 60 million dollar cut in state support and a projected additional 10 million over the next year, according to Stanley.

“If we can’t increase our revenue per student, we don’t want to add more students because this faculty student ratio is going to go down,” Stanley said.  “What happens is we’ve been growing but we haven’t been adding faculty fast enough.  We can’t keep doing that.”

Stanley hoped to receive relief from the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, or PHEEIA, of which he is a fierce advocate.  If PHEEIA had passed, officials at Stony Brook would have been able to set tuition, resulting in what Stanley calls “a modest tuition increase.”

While the act did not pass this time around, Stanley vowed not to stop fighting for it or a similar piece of legislation in the future.

An enrollment cap isn’t the only result of the chaotic economic climate. According to Stanley, there are discussions on the provost side to merge departments as a means of running more efficiently.   Sources tell The Statesman that the Asian American Studies department is amongst those.  Stanley said that no final decisions have been made.

For now, Stanley is focusing on his newest initiative, Project 50 Forward.   The plan will focus on making Stony Brook more productive and efficient by evaluating different services on campus.

According to Stanley, thanks to a significant donation from the Stony Brook Foundation, Bain & Company, a management-consulting firm, was hired to identify inefficiencies in procurement, information technology support and administration services.

Stanley says the first of Project 50’s three phases is close to completion but did not go into too many details.

“We would love at some point in time to save around 30 million dollars a year, but we will see if we can reach that goal,” Stanley said.

And while the cuts show little sign of stopping, Stanley remains optimistic about the future of Stony Brook University.

“Institutions like Stony Brook are really resilient and really capable of surviving many things,” he said.

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  • A

    AnonymousSep 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    How much more are the students going to allow this President to get away with. He closed the door on the 4yr residential campus in Southampton and now he wants to
    limit the number of undergrads.

    I hope Pres. Stanley has learned his lesson, and that he now knows that he should look before he leaps to do anything without the advice and consent of the University Council. His actions are exactly why PHEEIA should not be passed. There needs to be transparency and accountability when it comes to the decisions that affect so many, including the NYS taxpayers.

    The admission ticket to the undergrad programs should not be based on the conditions that PHEEIA gets passed. The students ARE being “used as pawns” and I agree 100% with ONLY IN SUNY!

    Reply
  • O

    Only In SUNYSep 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Don’t the students see that they are being used as pawns with which to threaten the state? Stanley is saying “Give me PHEEIA or I’ll stop taking undergrads.” Stanley keeps talking about state funding cuts but he never mentions the $360 million that fundraising brought in or all the money the SBU Foundation gave him to OFF-SET the funding cuts. Every student should be in an uproar over being used like this. There can’t be any grad students if we don’t first educate undergrads — unless he plans to import them all from overseas.

    Reply