By Matt Calamia

President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. announced Project 50 Forward – an initiative to better the school, along with its students, faculty and national reputation–via video message on the university’s website.

The project, which simultaneously celebrates Stony Brook University’s 50th anniversary and looks forward to the school’s next 50 years, is “dedicated to operational excellence, academic greatness.” The message goes on to say that the Project 50 Forward is “designed to enhance the fundamental teaching, research, and service mission of Stony Brook University, while building a platform to support the future growth of the University and strengthen Stony Brook’s role in the economic renewal of New York State.”

The multi-faceted plan is directed at operational excellence, academic excellence and developing a facilities master plan.

The university is hoping to acheive operational excellence through the use of management consulting firm Bain & Company to analyze and streamline operations.  During a September 10 press conference, Stanley said that the amount of money that could be saved through Bain & Company’s advising remains unclear at this time.  The administration is looking to save between 7 to 10 percent of its addressable budget through implementing Bain & Company’s recommendations.  In a rough estimate, “We would love at some point in time to be able to save somewhere around $30 million dollars a year but we’ll see whether we can reach that goal,” Stanley said.

The Strategic Plan, developed with input from faculty, student and university leadership, focuses resources on fields where Stony Brook can set the benchmark for excellence.  Apart from a committee including students to address student life, each of the university’s schools is developing its own strategic plan within this framework. “They’re being driven by the schools so each of the schools is developing its own academic strategic plan that deals with research and their academic mission,” said Stanley.

A best use model for existing facilities will also be developed, according to Stanley. This Facilities Master Plan will be developed by “many campus-represented groups designated as part of an advisory committee.”

These plans aren’t just focused on the main campus, as the message also mentions the Medical Center, Research and Development Park, Manhattan and Southampton.

Collectively, these elements of Project 50 Forward are intended to push Stony Brook into the ranks of the United States’ top 20 public research universities.