Stony Brook University has named Wendy Pearson Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, effective November 1, 2023. Most recently, Pearson served as the Senior Advisor to the Provost at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Pearson will report to President Maurie McInnis and work in close partnership with campus leaders and partners to identify and advance Stony Brook’s institutional priorities. Important goals include ensuring implementation and assessment of the recently completed strategic plan, taking the lead in developing an overall plan for the Southampton campus, and assisting in supporting the university’s work as anchor institution for The New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island in New York City.
“Wendy has a proven track record of both convening key stakeholders on and beyond campus while connecting them to accomplish the wider strategic vision that moves priorities forward,” said President McInnis. “We’re so pleased to have her leadership involvement with the New York Climate Exchange, and her extensive experience in higher education will help us focus and align our planning on the pillars that the university needs to best commit resources to benefit our community.”
“I am honored to join this dynamic community of scholars and innovators,” said Pearson. “Leaving Hawai‘i for New York represents an exciting new chapter, and I am eager to contribute to the remarkable progress and bold initiatives of Stony Brook University. I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to turn shared vision into reality, to drive positive change, and to make a lasting impact.”
Pearson has dedicated her career to higher education, recently serving as senior advisor to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s provost. In this capacity, she provided strategic guidance and support and helped drive the provost’s agenda in policy and program development, communications, and complex analyses of new campus programs and initiatives. She successfully led a collaborative, four-year effort to reaffirm the campus’ accreditation from the Senior College & University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, resulting in an impressive 10-year reaffirmation.
Other successes include her work with the university’s Strategic Investment Competition, a campus-wide initiative to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration. In this capacity, she was responsible for soliciting and selecting proposals alongside campus leaders, ultimately awarding $3 million in start-up funds to deserving projects. Pearson worked closely with the president, provost, and cabinet members throughout the pandemic on strategic budgeting, hiring, and aligning academic programs to address budget challenges.
Her previous roles at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa include academic affairs program officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, where she managed program review and the development and modification of academic programs, and special projects manager for the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies. She also served as program coordinator in the Center for Peace & Conflict Studies/Detroit Council for World Affairs at Wayne State University, coordinating curriculum development and Japan study tours for public school teachers.
Pearson earned her master’s degree in Asian Studies (Japan) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa through a degree fellowship with the East-West Center and a bachelor of arts in Journalism from Michigan State University.