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Letter to the Editor: Stony Brook Apology Should Be Open to Public

Letter writer says Stony Brook University is not adhering to the terms of a settlement.

Below is an the email that the students who were plaintiffs in received from Stony Brook University President Stanley. This is regarding — as per the settlement agreement — for illegally shutting down the campus and “transferring” the Sustainability Programs to the Stony Brook campus.

Please join me and members of my senior staff on Monday, September 12 at 2:00 PM for a meeting in the newly dedicated Sustainability Studies Program academic space located on the first level of the Melville Library, adjacent to the Career Center.

At this meeting we will discuss the transfer of the Sustainability Program from the Southampton Campus to the main Stony Brook campus, your continuing transition to Main campus, and some of the developments that are taking place in the Sustainability Studies Program under the leadership of Martin Schoonen.

Please respond to my Executive Assistant ... [redacted by Patch] ... to let her know if you are able to attend.

Sincerely,

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
President
Stony Brook University

I earned my bachelor's degree from and performed all of my studies at the Southampton campus, with the exception of one class in the British West Indies and my foreign language requirement. I am currently a graduate student at Stony Brook University. I asked to attend the September 12 meeting, and this was the University’s response,

"Ms. Klughers, I am writing to let you know that this is a closed, by-invitation-only meeting, and individuals not directly invited by President Stanley will not be able to attend.”

Other people who asked to attend have received similar denial emails. I have since asked for an invitation and have received no reply. Past and present SBU/SBS students and SAVE members (the not-for-profit named as a petitioner on the lawsuit) are not on President Stanley’s "guest list". The six student petitioners, a few politicians, and members of Stanley’s "senior staff" are the only invited guests. The settlement states, “the purpose of the meeting is for the President to have the opportunity to apologize for the disruption to the lives of the student-petitioners and other students caused by the transfer of the sustainability program” Even so, he is refusing to allow students  to attend this meeting. President Stanley is NOT adhering to the settlement agreement.

Please let it be known that President Stanley not only ignored State Education Law, (and was found guilty of such in a NY State Supreme Court) disregarded court orders, (he was also found in contempt of court) he is now ignoring the settlement agreement that he proposed (proposed is putting it politely) to the petitioners. FYI: the University admits no fault or wrongdoing, as per the settlement. President Stanley started this mess behind closed doors and he plans to end it the same way. This is outrageous and this “meeting” should be open to whoever would like to attend. Keep in mind that only a few years ago, 78 million taxpayer dollars were spent on this campus. And now it sits, nearly vacant — due to financial reasons? — and at the same time, Stony Brook is building a brand new Hilton Hotel on the main campus and is opening a new SUNY school in Korea.

Also of interest is the source of the $30,000 payment for the legal fees of the student petitioners. The bill was paid for by the Stony Brook Foundation — not SUNY or SBU or taxpayer dollars. Classified as a public charity, the Stony Brook Foundation is a private, 501(c)(3), nonprofit corporation. They cut the check for Stanley’s $30,000 blunder. "The mission of the Stony Brook Foundation is to advance the mission and goals of Stony Brook University by facilitating, accepting, and managing philanthropic gifts and grants for the benefit of the University, the University Medical Center, and the Long Island State Veterans Home."

Apparently, the Stony Brook Foundation also pays legal bills for illegal actions by the University President.

Thank you,

Deborah Klughers

julie September 09, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Every student who was enrolled at the Southampton campus as of April 6, 2010 should be invited. If they arent, they all should show up anyway & let Stanley dare to have them thrown out in front of the press
Deborah Klughers September 10, 2011 at 12:59 AM
correction- there was a motion not a finding for contempt of court
Marianne Klepacki September 10, 2011 at 01:27 AM
To add insult to injury: "Stony Brook's promise to break ground on the new Marine Sciences Building in Southampton this Fall will NOT be kept." This was a 6.9 million dollar project that could have brought much needed construction jobs to the East End as well as more customers for the Southampton businesses. So will the 7.5 million dollar extension onto the student center not be kept for next year as well? The money has already been appropriated, What is Dr. Stanley waiting for?
Matt LoGuercio September 30, 2011 at 09:12 AM
Great thread Deb and Marianne. As a graduate if LIU's Southampton Campus who was on it's Alumni Board when LIU's President, I applaud your fight. It has become obvious to us all that college and university administrators, In this case Steinberg & Stanley, (sounds like a law firm) seem to have been cut from the same cloth or are graduates of the same school of thought which is to lie and deceive the very people who they are supposed to serve. Now SB is a publicly funded institution, LIU was private and well unless Steinberg broke the law nothing was going to happen to him. Stanley on the other hand is under court order to act and is doing nothing. Question: how did SB legal counsel instruct him to act? Having not read the order I am not in the position to interpret his actions. It appears he flipped the Southampton community, the students and NYS taxpayers the bird with no consequences to his actions? 75 million spent on the campus? That was double the purchase price and more than 10 years of funding the former liu campus. New question I have been to the campus recently and do not see 75 million in improvements. Who on the SB staff now has a home on dune road?
Matt LoGuercio September 30, 2011 at 09:21 AM
Edit: somehow when LIUs President sold the campus did not show up in my note. Hummm funny how that happened?

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