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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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President Stanley Speaks to the University Senate

Addressing the University Senate Monday afternoon, Stony Brook’s fifth president projected his vision for the campus, international expansion and what role this educational center will play in the SUNY system.

During his first 90 days in the hot seat’ Samuel Stanley has been doing one task repeatedly ‘- listening. He met with university deans and every chairperson in the hospital. Next on the agenda is a ‘department tour’ where he will talk with department heads and faculty to quarry for feedback.

On the top of the priority list is the ‘retention and recruiting of faculty’ Stanley said, speaking from his podium in the Wang Center auditorium. An increase in student applicants is amplifying the need for additional faculty and causing competition to increase among the candidates.

‘I’m not interested in increasing students because there’s not enough faculty,’ Stanley said. According to Stanley, increasing the teaching staff will also give members more time to devote to scholarship and research.

Research and scholarly connections are two reasons behind the new plan to create a satellite campus in South Korea, according to ‘ Provost Eric Kaler, who spoke briefly during the address. According to Kaler, this new campus would help increase study abroad opportunities that he states are lacking and also increase two-way traffic between Korean students, as well as Stony Brook. ‘This has to make sense for Stony Brook in all possible ways,’ Kaler said.

Korea aside, Stanley also chatted with the student body ‘-in the dorms and over dinner ‘- as well as elected officials and staff about campus concerns.

Many students are echoing the same concern –money. ‘Affordable housing around Stony Brook for graduate students who can’t afford Long Island,’ said Stanley who acknowledges this issue does not just pertain to the campus community. He hopes to find a solution within ‘ two separate advisory boards ‘- one for SUNY and one for Long Island ‘- that he now participates in.

The president also wants to ensure stipends for Graduate students. During a question and answer session after the speech Stanley fielded a request from the Research Assistant Union, urging him to meet with them regarding the absence of their contract. Stanley acknowledged the importance of this issue but did not commit to a specific meeting.

Working with the campus community and the information he has gathered, Stanley plans to map out his course of action. ‘The goal here is not to replicate or duplicate what we’ve done in the past,’ said the president, who will apply past research to the current model. While the university jumped at the opportunity to partner with Brookhaven National Laboratory, other academic opportunities have passed by, according to Stanley.

The president’s top priority is to have a clear image of where the campus is headed. While a $28 million budget cut tidal wave looms overhead — $13 million of which still needs to be dealt with ‘- Stanley needs to have clear foresight. ‘Having a vision is helpful towards philanthropy,’ said Stanley.

According to the president, three areas that are usually hit the hardest from Albany’s budget decisions are higher education, health care and K-12 schools. Two of the three affect Stony Brook. To deal with the budget deficit Stanley is increasing the budget committee to now encompass the Provost. ‘I think that SUNY is an important investment’ Stanley said.

For now the best way to generate funds include philanthropy and research grants. The campus received $214,945 from President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is another way. To help cope with some of the universal problems in the SUNY system the chancellor created six thematic areas; including economic development, quality of life, educational pipeline and others that will each turn into a town hall meeting across New York State within the next few months. One of the meetings will be held at Stony Brook in late January.

While Stanley takes on academia, assistant vice president for the Health Science Center Jane Yahil urged the president to recall his medical roots. Said Yahil: ‘I would like you to remember that we are joining both sides of the street.’ ‘

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