Severe State Funding Reductions Force Stony Brook University to Make Strategic Cuts

(Stony Brook, NY, April 7, 2010) — Faced with a 20% reduction, amounting to nearly $55 million, in New York State financial support over the past two years, Stony Brook University announced today that it has been forced to make strategic cuts and streamline operations at its various locations.

"With no apparent relief from Albany, we must be fiscally responsible and live within our means," said SBU President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. "With so many millions of dollars slashed from our budget, we have to be extremely diligent and prudent, and not stray from the core elements of our missions of research and teaching. Practically, this means we have to target programmatic reductions, eliminate those that are relatively expensive and impact a small number of students, and can be made in the framework of tenure and unionization constraints."

Stony Brook has already reduced its budget by some $20 million in an effort to offset the severe loss in state funding. The remaining budget cuts total about $34 million, the deficit the university is facing in the coming fiscal year. West campus will absorb $27 million, through a variety of measures, including reductions in administrative support and academic programs. In addition, SBU will reduce operations at its external locations and facilities, including closing one of its Manhattan spaces and suspending the residential program and new undergraduate admissions at Stony Brook Southampton. There will also be some still-to-be-determined job losses.

"To continue to be among the top public research universities in the country in these challenging economic times, we need to be as efficient as possible," Stanley said. "This strategic realignment helps us achieve this goal."

Stanley stressed that, despite closing the residence halls at the Southampton location, "we remain steadfast in our commitment to research and teaching at the site," most notably in the Marine Station of the pioneering School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (SoMAS), the world-acclaimed Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree program, and the renowned Southampton Writers Workshop.

Stanley explained that $6 million annually will be saved by making Southampton a non-residential location, and another $1 million in savings will be realized by closing one of its Manhattan spaces.

"We've worked hard to find cost savings that will least affect the academic experience and not interfere with our students' ability to graduate on time," he said.

In fact, he pointed out that the university is enacting a number of immediate measures to ensure that students experience minimal impact as they work towards their degrees and on-time graduation. For example, it is expanding its summer academic programs at West campus and enhancing its student advisement services to assist students at Southampton so that they can continue their studies on West campus without losing credits.

Moreover, academic programs that will no longer be offered at the Southampton location will be offered at West campus. Prospective students who have been offered positions at Southampton will also be able to matriculate at West campus or receive a full refund of their application fee should they choose to go elsewhere.

SoMAS students will continue to take some of their fieldwork and laboratory classes at Southampton, with the remainder of their coursework at West campus. Bus service between the two campuses, which has been in operation since the Southampton location opened in 2006, will continue in order to accommodate these students. Students currently residing in the Southampton dorms will be given priority housing opportunities at West campus.

The move to a non-residential site takes effect this summer. A majority of operations will be consolidated into Chancellor's Hall. The dormitories will remain open for use until the end of August. All buildings will be maintained so that they could be re-opened to meet future needs.

Frequently asked questions are now available on the Stony Brook Southampton Web site.