SBU - Medical Humanities

'He has taken this university to great heights'

Dr. Samuel Stanley is the Village Times Herald's Man of the Year

Dr. Samuel Stanley takes pride in his students’ athletic and academic achievements. File photo

December 27, 2012 | 10:23 AM
As president of Stony Brook University, Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., has worked hard to make the medical school, hospital and the university the best facilities of their kind on Long Island. The staff has credited Stanley with being an innovator and has said he is the person making them push the boundaries of medicine and education.

Whether his colleagues are calling him smart, focused, easy to work with, detailed, or remarkable, it's clear the Seattle native and biomedical researcher has followed through on his goals for Stony Brook. Dr. Stanley received his bachelor of arts degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago and after earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1980, he went on to complete a fellowship in infectious diseases. In 2006, Dr. Stanley was appointed vice chancellor for research at Washington University, in 2009 became the fifth president of Stony Brook University and since then has been named to many prestigious boards in the health, science and research fields.

For bringing top-notch researchers and funding for that research to SBU, and for expanding the school's programs and the hospital's services, Dr. Stanley is The Village Times Herald's Man of the Year.

Stony Brook University's Athletic Director Jim Fiore said it is Dr. Stanley's background that makes him a great leader.

Dr. Samuel Stanley has grown the university and hospital. File photo
"I like to say your job is only as good as your boss — and I have a great boss," Fiore said. "He makes Stony Brook an incredible place to work and grow and I love being a part of his team."

Dr. Stanley has also devoted time to helping economically disadvantaged students, becoming an advocate for Stony Brook's Educational Opportunity Program. He has travelled to Albany and Washington, D.C., to request that legislators increase state and federal education funding.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health sciences at Stony Brook University, agreed with Fiore, saying working with Dr. Stanley has been a delight and said nothing is better than having a physician as a leader. "He is a scientist, so he really understands what a medical school is about. He understands the impact that a medical school, a hospital, and a clinical practice can make on a university. He has been very supportive of the health sciences and that has made my job that much easier."

Dr. Kaushansky said it is because of Dr. Stanley's attention to detail that the hospital is getting so much buzz about its new staff and a letter of intent with Southampton Hospital to join the Stony Brook Medicine health care system.

Stanley, a holder of three patents for his work in infectious disease research, was also a champion of the NY-SUNY 2020 legislation, which will help Stony Brook hire more than 240 new faculty over the next five years.

"All of those things that we are able to accomplish bring world-class chairs and it has been made that much easier because Sam understands what we are about," Dr. Kaushansky said.

Dr. Kaushansky believes Dr. Stanley is a "great recruiter" because of his positive attitude and the enthusiasm he expresses about the SBU community.

It was Dr. Stanley who came up with the idea to build a 25,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translational building, or MART, which focuses on cancer research, advanced medical imaging and cancer care.

Dr. Stanley has also served on the SUNY Strategic Planning Steering Committee, which played a pivotal role in shaping the development of SUNY's new strategic plan that will help guide the university over the next 10 years.

"Sam has been great at setting a goal here at Stony Brook," Dr. Kaushansky said. "It's one thing for me to say, 'I want to be in the top 20 medical schools in the country.' When the president of the university also says it and says it widely, it sets an agenda for the entire campus."

Craig Lehmann, a professor and dean of the School of Health Technology and Management, said Dr. Stanley has also had a great impact on his department, the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

"He is well-versed in what we do and I think he is very proud of the school. I think he is the right person to take us where we need to go. I think Sam came and said, 'We have the potential to be the best,' and I really feel he is going to take us there. He makes decisions based on facts and not politics, and that's very important."

Lehmann said Dr. Stanley makes decisions without wavering and feels the university has the building blocks in place to go to the next level.

"He has made it possible for us to reach out and do more research by getting out into the clinical world to understand it better," Lehmann said. "He is a workaholic, but it's all for the benefit of the students and this institution. He is a very driven man. I am excited for Stanley to lead us on this new journey."

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