In Recounting Multiple Successes, Says Students are the “Heart and Soul” of the University
STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 4, 2018 – Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. delivered his ninth State of the University Address on Wednesday, during which he welcomed new administrators, expressed appreciation to administrators, faculty and staff for their dedicated efforts, and reinforced the University’s commitment to excellence.
Acknowledging elected representatives and public officials in attendance, as well as members of the Stony Brook Council, he talked about the most successful fundraising campaign in the University’s and SUNY’s history which brought more than $630 million to Stony Brook, the University’s consistent impact on Long Island’s economy, the consistent increase in student enrollment, and three major additions to the Stony Brook University Hospital landscape.
Dr. Stanley talked about the high quality of the incoming freshman class and how over past 17 years, freshmen enrollment, admittance and applications have all increased, helping drive up the total enrollment to 26,254 this fall with 17,522 undergraduate students. And he said, the Class of 2022 has an average SAT score of 1323, 19 points over the previous freshman class, noting that many alumni have said to him recently that they would not get accepted by Stony Brook if they applied today.
President Stanley also announced that four year graduation rates at Stony Brook have jumped by 17 points, from 45% (class entering in 2007) to 62% (class entering in 2014), and that Stony Brook has closed the graduation gap between male and female students from 16% to 11%. This is a result of a culmination of efforts since President Stanley attended the White House College Completion Summit in 2014 during which he made the commitment, on behalf of Stony Brook, to raise the four year graduation rate to 60%. This was achieved by a collaborative effort by hundreds of initiatives, overseen and driven by a group led by the Office of Undergraduate Education, during which 20-25 key staff members with different areas of expertise, insight and concern addressed the most pressing issues students were facing in their journey to on-time graduation.
“We also have the Finish in 4 Grants Program which was started in spring of 2015 in which we assist a student in good standing who is about to complete but is confronted with personal circumstances that prevent it,” Dr. Stanley said. “This fund is in place to help them complete their studies and to date we have helped 54 students, with a nearly 100 percent graduation rate.”
Moving to new construction, the President said that this winter, Stony Brook Medicine will be cutting multiple ribbons, including for the Medical Research and Translation (MART) building, Stony Brook Children’s and Hospital Pavilion, and the Phillips Family Cancer Center in Southampton. He reported that Stony Brook’s hospitals operate on an annual $2.28 billion budget, with 728 beds, 38,027 inpatient visits and 1,029,289 outpatient visits at its more than 120 outpatient care sites. He also emphasized the value Stony Brook Medicine offers Suffolk County’s 1.5 million residents as the only provider of a Level 1 trauma care, the only children’s hospital, and the County’s only academic medical center, training future doctors and clinical specialists as part of its mission. Indeed, Stony Brook School of Medicine offers 57 accredited residency and fellowship programs for more than 500 medical students and more than 600 medical residents and fellows.
The Campaign for Stony Brook more than met its June 30th goal of $600 million, he said, raising $630.7 million with more than 5,000 faculty and staff contributions among the 47,961 total donors with a $100 median gift amount. Of the $630 million, $52.6 million was raised for the financial aid program for undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Stanley said there were 87 gifts of more than $1 million and the campaign saw a 74% increase in dollars raised compared to the previous campaign.
President Stanley spoke with pride about the University’s growing reputation for excellence in research and discovery among faculty and students and its recent surge in national rankings. He noted, among other accomplishments, a 14 percent increase in the number of faculty-submitted research proposals from fiscal year 2017, as well as a 6.7 percent increase in sponsored research expenditures.
Emphasizing the importance of research, he cited the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya, where Stony Brook archeologists recently announced the groundbreaking discovery of a monumental burial site built by some of Eastern Africa’s earliest herders. President Stanley said that the ideas and research of Stony Brook’s faculty are having an impact on national conversations on key issues. Recently, he said, Stephanie Kelton’s work in fiscal policy made headlines, and Jared Farmer’s research on the overlapping development of science, religion and culture has driven public discourse on climate change.
Stony Brook University consistently contributes to the Suffolk County and Long Island economy, Dr. Stanley said, with 54,600 jobs, $7.2 billion in increased output and $2.4 billion in earnings for 3% of the total GDP.
Dr. Stanley also spoke of the numerous rankings and recognitions recently received by the university, including being ranked among the Top 40 public universities by U.S. News and World Report, among the Top 25 STEM Colleges by Forbes, among the Top 30 U.S. public institutions by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education College Rankings and No. 34 Best U.S. College by Money Magazine. He also mentioned the monumental cemetery discovery by faculty working at the University’s Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya and the recent successes by the Women’s Lacrosse Team, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation for nearly the entire season in 2018.
“The increased rankings are fantastic news,” President Stanley said. “No one number defines the quality of a university, but we know that students and parents pay attention to these numbers. I know we’ve had a lot of challenges in the past year, but I think these rankings and the recognition we receive shows that people are seeing Stony Brook as a vital, impactful institution that is doing things that other institutions are not — and ultimately, that represents the hard work everyone is putting in.”
To see the President’s State of the University address in its entirety, click here.
About Stony Brook University
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 100 universities in the nation and top 50 public universities, and Kiplinger names it one of the 35 best values in public colleges. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. A global ranking by U.S. News & World Report places Stony Brook in the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide. It is one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.
Reporter Contact: Lauren Sheprow, 631 632-6310