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Story - Education

Aug 11, 2010 10:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Thiele calls for Stony Brook president to step down

Aug 11, 2010 10:56 AM

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor blasted Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley this week, calling on him to resign his post for advocating increased tuition rates while presiding over “a bloated bureaucracy.”

In a release on Monday, Mr. Thiele blamed Mr. Stanley for Stony Brook’s budget shortfalls and for making the decision to cut all but two programs on the Stony Brook Southampton campus, despite increasing numbers of applications to the school and rising SAT scores of applicants.

“In one short year, Sam Stanley has destroyed his credibility in the community, sought to shut out the middle class from access to public higher education by pursuing increased tuition, and pursued a failed budget strategy that has resulted in a crisis for Stony Brook,” Mr. Thiele was quoted as saying in a release sent out by his office this week. “His ineptitude is only exceeded by his arrogance.”

Mr. Stanley did not return a phone call placed to his office at the Stony Brook campus seeking comment.

Despite massive budget shortfalls, Mr. Thiele said the university’s administration is excessively top heavy, with 22 various grades of vice presidents drawing salaries totaling more than $4 million a year.

Mr. Thiele accused Mr. Stanley of secretly deciding to close the undergraduate programs and housing facilities at the Southampton campus, as well as making steep cuts to the university’s Manhattan campus on his own to avoid criticism. The Shinnecock Hills campus will remain open but will no longer house students, and the academic programs offered there will be reduced to marine science classes and the graduate degree program in writing. The move spurred a lawsuit by students saying that the behind-the-scenes decision violated university and state law.

Mr. Stanley blamed the need to close the Southampton campus, and the university’s financial crisis, on more than $55 million in lost aid from the state. He also defended his plans to institute steady tuition increases as fairer than the past practice of long periods of steady tuition rates interspersed with steep hikes that hit students in the school at that time hard.


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How long has Stanley been in office, and how many years has he been GROSSLY OVERCOIMPENSATED for his position?

Add the amount of fiscal malfeasance over the years, to the gross fiscal malfeasance of his peers into the pot, and the "defiicit" would be paid for, and most likely THEN SOME.
Aug 13, 10 4:23 PM appended by Mr. Z
These people "in charge", created the deficit in question, with their selfishness, and gross ideals of self entitlement, granduer, ego, as well as their pay at the expense of "higher education".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 13, 10 4:23 PM
"How long has Stanley been in office, and how many years has he been GROSSLY OVERCOIMPENSATED for his position?"

He has been in his position for 1 year... Define "grossly overcompensated"?

It's pathetic that Mr. Thiele is grandstanding in the way he is... he is showing how much maturity he has.

I don't know Mr. Stanley, nor am I defending him per se but how much blame can you pile on the guy? He has been there 1 year and was told that he had to cut $55 MILLION! That's ...more
Aug 13, 10 10:34 PM appended by Nature
Oh, and that's $100 million PLUS 9% interest for the last 5 years....
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 13, 10 10:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
OK, I'm being too hard on Mr. Stanley. It's not like he's Obama.

She was viewed as quite the hypocrite, smearing Albany the whole time she was spending like a drunken sailor on leave, on everything from public relations, private contracting, and "beautification". Not only that, she pulled in a salary that would have made a Wall St. regular drool ($427,300 per annum, plus room and board provided) The President of the University not only had a lovely regular salary package just like her, ...more
Aug 14, 10 11:54 PM appended by Mr. Z
As for Mr. Stanley: "As the university's new president, Stanley will receive an annual salary of $400,0000, as well as $150,000 annually from the Stony Brook University Foundation and $100,000 per year from the SUNY Research Foundation. Stanley will also be granted the use of university-owned housing and a car."-----------http://www.sbindependent.org/node/3134
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 13, 10 11:54 PM
Theile used to have fresh, interesting ideas. Now he is just stale.
By StopCorruption (19), Southampton on Aug 13, 10 10:52 PM
In related news, residents of the East End are calling for Thiele to step down.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Aug 13, 10 11:48 PM
Thiele should step down with Bishop,Levy,and LaValle.
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 16, 10 9:35 AM
“His ineptitude is only exceeded by his arrogance.” = look who's calling the kettle black. Thiele , you should be in stand up comedy....could be a new career for you.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Aug 14, 10 12:38 AM

Haw ha,
all these teaparting Repubs have a snit with Fred because he chose to leave their idiocy. Fred is a great assemblyman. I agreed with the Repubs when Fred ran on their line. These Repubs are hacks. Because he can't abide their contradictory, self-serving "don't tax me, I'll take care of myself and spend my money as I want" they suddenly do not like his exemplar work on behalf of the East End. He continues just as before without the tea albatross. Thank goodness we have Fred and I ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on Aug 14, 10 3:09 AM
So, if he steps down, can we adjust his pay pro rata?

It would be nice if the university didn't have to part with the entire $650,000 dollars his contract calls for...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 15, 10 8:46 PM
You bring up an excellent point... talk about a call for wasteful spending! I can guarantee you that guy would manage to escape with his contracted salary if he quit under the pressure of Thiele...
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 10 10:18 PM
By splashdown (21), sag harbor on Aug 14, 10 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm with Mo. If you are a repub, you are bad...freakin' contradictory, self serving hacks. Thank you Fred, for stickung up for the Students. Thank goodness (not God) we have him. One party is mad at him because he went to the other party. Got it! One party is good, the other bad. The bad people are mad because he came over to the good people. Live with it you neocon, Fox watchers!
By package4 (39), hampton bays on Aug 14, 10 10:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
THANK YOU ASSEMBLYMAN THIELE! As a student who has lost my entire college while SUNY administrators rake in big bucks, I want to thank you for bringing this out into the open. My college at Southampton was not a "losing business" - it was growing and thriving with an unheard of 54% jump in admissions. The college did not fail --- SUNY Stony Brook failed the college. It's very hard to swallow that my college was killed to save $6 million over three year when I have to read the NY Comptroller's ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 14, 10 3:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Can you please explain how all of those mistakes are Mr. Stanley's fault after being in office for just 1 year and being handed a $55 million deficit? I'm not saying he is innocent, but he hasn't done anything worthy of requiring him to quit. The SUNY system is broken and Mrs. Kenney was at the wheel for a LONG time... Even if he hadn't closed SBS to solve the $55 million deficit, the decision would have to have been made to help pay the $100 million + interest bill
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 10 5:06 PM
Mr. Stanley's biggest mistake was negotiating, and agreeing to a $650,000 annual contract.

That's a shining example of reining in wasteful spending...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 15, 10 8:48 PM
That's a bargain! (sarcasm).

I'd do it for $50,000 - have you SEEN the estate the president lives in on the water? That place is unreal
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 10 10:18 PM
Stanley is obviously a horrible administrator. Nice going, Fred. Keep kicking...
By rss0246 (23), East Hampton on Aug 14, 10 3:58 PM
who is thiele to talk about a bloated bureaucracy? hey fred focus on albany first then worry about your precious southampton college campus.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Aug 14, 10 8:26 PM
Thiele is standing up for his district, which includes the totally gutted Southampton campus. His district does not include Stony Brook. East Enders deserve a functional college, and to get our share.
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on Aug 15, 10 12:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
Bravo to Thiele for speaking out. According to the latest from SUNY, the undergraduate college in Southampton was shut down because "Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley Jr. would rather be focusing his efforts on partnering with a private developer to build graduate student housing to help take the research school to the next level. Under the existing SUNY guidelines, Stanley said he cannot build housing at a low enough price to support rents that graduate students could afford". (http://www.suny.edu/Files/sunynewsFiles/Pdf/SUNYPower-BusinessReview.pdf)

So ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 16, 10 10:40 PM
the point being that there are a lot of brand new beautiful dorms that were just built and cost millions but now sit empty, while SUNY says the undergraduate college had to go so they could build more new housing for other students. How does that even make sense? How is that not a waste of the millions that were just spent on the new housing? Please. People here making excuses for why SUNY had to kill this college because of budget shortages don't have a clue & are an affront to Southampton's ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 16, 10 11:00 PM
The article doesn't state that Dr. Stanley closed the college so he could 'focus' on finding money for graduate housing. I think we both can agree the article is unclear and there is a bit of a disconnect between closing the college and finding money for dorms.

I believe what Dr. Stanley was saying is that instead of continuing to fight for autonomy (which would have been the best case scenario for SBU in his opinion) he is trying to find private partnerships that can help fund graduate ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 17, 10 11:49 AM
way to be selective js... i mean ts:

The push to give SUNY autonomy comes after a three-year period in which the state cut higher education funding by $623 million, forcing colleges to freeze wages, cut staff and eliminate programs.

SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island is closing most of its four-year-old Southhampton campus to save up to $10 million a year.

Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley Jr. would rather be focusing his efforts on partnering with a private developer ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 10 10:59 PM
yes its js. my daughter posted here, had a problem with the log-in not recognizing my account, re-registered & made a typo. oops. and who are you -- one of those Stony Brook VPs or just one of its lowly administrators? You seem to have inside knowledge. Wouldnt be surprised if you work for them. But Im one of those who are not interested in laments about SUNY's cash flow problem when they have been proven to be throwing money away elsewhere & irresponsible with state funding by wasteful spending. ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 16, 10 11:16 PM
I wish I was a VP or "lowly administrator" making all of that money. I know "so much" about this because I use Google and I'm a graduate of SBU.

I'm not saying the SUNY system is innocent of wanton use of money or that they haven't been wasteful. Of course they've been wasteful and they continue to be wasteful. There are a lot of people to blame for that and the Pres is on that list. I'm not saying that Dr. Stanley is the greatest person alive or that he should be given an award - ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 17, 10 11:42 AM
re: "The students at SBS were not stripped of anything other than their campus and dorms". Thats not correct. They were stripped of everything. Their programs were not just in the classroom - they were in the community and in living sustainability concepts on a daily basis in a fully "green" environment that had a mission and committment to those concepts. None of that is available at any other campus in NY and what they were offered is not comparable to what has been taken from them. It was ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 17, 10 1:27 PM
Actually, LIU handled it better -- they gave students three years on the Southampton Campus to finish up, and were really flexible with course offerings so that Southampton students could do so.

Stony Brook told the kids in April the school would be shuttered by the end of August. Really not enough time for them to transfer to anywhere but Stony Brook or a lesser school (like LIU's CW Post).
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on Aug 17, 10 11:23 PM
" they gave students three years on the Southampton Campus to finish up"

Uh... no they didn't. Everyone had 1 year until the campus closed. LIU worked with some students to accelerate their graduation (so Juniors were able to finish a year early) and students had the option to go to LIU to continue their major (just like SBS students can go to SBU to continue their major).

And, LIU made the announcement at the start of summer when everyone had made a commitment to the school ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 18, 10 9:12 AM
Blah Blah Blah, Just another example of when you spend too much money for something it will eventually hurt. The state pulled funding because it doesn't have money because it is under funded because the state spent toooooooooo much money. The east end deserves only what the east end can afford, and obviously we can't afford the college or is this just another example of its too big to fail! If the management can not properly manage it, then bye bye. Thats life, it sucks and then you die. Why is ...more
By davidcHB (11), southampton on Aug 19, 10 1:48 PM
Right, we're plain flat out of change. And that is supposed to justify cutting students' education, eliminating their academic programs and entire schools first, while still maintaining 22 high-salaried VPs (at just one of the 64 campuses), paying them almost $5 million a year, paying no-show executives a quarter million a year for not coming to work, and paying another quarter million to someone else to do his job while that guy stays home, and paying millions more to lobbyist firms when you already ...more
By ts (71), southampton on Aug 26, 10 12:27 AM
I find it a perfect setting that Stanely's residence is among the Wall Street tycoons in Old Field.
By Kate Navarra (1), Islip Terrace on Aug 31, 10 11:08 AM