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Story - News

Sep 5, 2011 2:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Thiele Calls For Transparency From Stanley

Sep 7, 2011 11:53 AM

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor has demanded that Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley issue a public apology, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit, instead of behind closed doors.

Mr. Thiele said the statement should be made publicly “to everyone injured by his ill-considered decision to transfer the Sustainability Program to the Stony Brook campus, effectively closing the Southampton Campus.”

Mr. Thiele said he received complaints from Sustainability Program students and their parents about an email from the university indicating that they would not be permitted to attend the meeting where the apology will take place. Mr. Stanley agreed to apologize to six students who sued the university last year as part of an agreement to settle the suit.

“Stony Brook University is not a private club,” Mr. Thiele was quoted as saying in a press release sent out by his office last week. “It is New York’s public university and is paid for with public tax dollars and student tuition. There is a duty and a responsibility to conduct public university business in public.”

Mr. Thiele went on to explain that there was nothing in the settlement of the lawsuit that states the university should exclude students from the meeting, and that the purpose of the meeting is to apologize for the disruption to the lives of the student-petitioners and other students caused by the transfer of the sustainability program.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” he said. “Dr. Stanley should open up the meeting. The wound he has inflicted on the student body can never heal if those he injured feel as if they have been excluded again.”

The apology meeting is part of a settlement that was signed by six student-plaintiffs earlier this year after the university slashed spending at the Shinnecock Hills satellite campus, shuttered its dormitories, and relocated most of its student body to the main campus in Stony Brook.

In addition to the apology, the university will pay $5,000 toward the cost of a sustainability conference at Stony Brook Southampton in 2013, and $30,000 toward the students’ attorneys’ fees, according to a copy of the settlement, which also states that the accord is not an “admission of liability or wrongdoing” by the university. The university has also committed to continuing sustainability education at the university’s main campus until spring 2014, when the last of the plaintiffs is expected to graduate.

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Doing "the right thing" is not part of Dr Stanley's make-up. He continues to be a self serving ego maniac.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Sep 6, 11 5:44 PM
"the university will pay $5,000 toward the cost of a sustainability conference at Stony Brook Southampton in 2013, and $30,000 toward the students’ attorneys’ fees"

Please read, "the taxpayers will pay". Thanks, Mr. Thiele.
By Richard Blumenthal (13), Westhampton Beach on Sep 6, 11 5:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
no the taxpayers will not be paying for Stanley's screw-up. The Stony Brook Foundation did. So thanks to all the benefactors who so generously donate to that charity. They are the ones privately paying for Stanley's illegal activity. If you dont believe, look at the check. Personally I think that payment should have come out of Stanley's pocket. He was the one solely responsbile for the entire fiasco.
By ts (71), southampton on Sep 7, 11 11:23 PM
FYI to Mr. Blumenthal and anyone else interested in the source of the $30,000.00 legal fee payment. 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 $30,000.00 blunder . Funding for the SBFoundation comes from voluntary donations- not taxpayer dollars. "The mission of the Stony Brook Foundation is to advance the ...more
Sep 9, 11 8:38 PM appended by dklughers
correction- there was a motion not a finding for contempt of court
By dklughers (46), east Hampton on Sep 6, 11 8:38 PM
Mr. Blumenthal's inaccurate comment meant to slight Assemblyman Fred Thiele, reminds me of a quote from The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1.

"I know the Century people and therefore I know that they had no such base intentions as these but were simply making their offer out of their boundless resources of ignorance and stupidity."

By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Sep 7, 11 12:31 AM
Mr. Blumenthal should look into this if he is concerned with how Stony Brook University generates the funds to pay for the legal fees and future sustainability conference at the Southampton campus:

"Another thing of concern has to do with the 2011 MFA Summer Conference that was held on the Stony Brook Southampton campus. Why was payment for these conferences, which included tutition, fees and housing being made payable to the Stony Brook Foundation?

Under SUNY Policies and Procedures ...more
By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Sep 7, 11 12:50 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Binkster, Setauket on Sep 7, 11 10:29 AM
I still struggle with the fact that we had this gem right in our backyard and it was taken from us. Jobs were lost, students were uprooted, and somewhat affordable tuitition with a quality education was eliminated.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Sep 7, 11 10:41 AM
Is it ironic for any politician to call on transparency ? Popular to call on the college to be wise with taxpayer money...just not expedient to actually practice that yourself...this is showmanship plain and simple. To argue that either of these characters is less upstanding that the other is to miss the point that they are both taking advantage of the system in which they operate.
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 7, 11 1:46 PM
kaluss - we actually agree on something!

While I think Dr. Stanley gets more blame than he deserves for this debacle (after all, it was Shirley Strum Kenny who was the brainchild behind all of this and then left right before the students moved in), he is a wimp.

Theile is the king of grandstanders and loves having the support and addoration of the college students that were displaced by this closing. Notice how Tim Bishop kept his distance from this situation. If you remember, ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 7, 11 3:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
are you reading what nature is writing! this guy knows what he's talking about! don't argue with him, learn your lesson like I did! :>)
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 7, 11 4:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By WarriorMom (61), Southampton on Sep 7, 11 9:41 PM
Both facts about the Bishop family are true - but I would argue that he fought for LIU to stay BECAUSE he knew so much about the program, the students and the faculty members. He knew that it was possible for the college to stay (remember, the SAVE Southampton group was organized to figure out a way to financially stabilize the college - whereas the Stony Brook group was aimed at keeping the college in play regardless of cost).

It's my opinion that Bishop stayed away from this whole ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 7, 11 10:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
is it not true that the new person in charge of the school inherited this problem from the previous administration - sound familiar? its time to let it go, the drive to actually hear the apology is unseemly and reduces your credibility
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 8, 11 7:13 AM
Blumenthal, How come your outraged over Thiele putting 30,000 on the backs of taxpayers on the eve of Obama proposing yet another $300 billion jobs package: Seems like selective outrage ? Here we go again. MORE money. First two trillion now 300B more
By They call me (2823), southampton on Sep 7, 11 3:24 PM
An insignificant amount of money has been offered by Stanley as a reward for his "transgression". Clearly, this is a political balm to assuage the sensibilities of the "Sustainability" student body whose interests have been sh*t-canned in the name of (oh, whatever.)

Here's the bottom line, the sustainability discipline didn't have the bodies or the political influence to prevent Stanley from burning them at the stake so they suffered the inevitable end of the politically feckless. Goodbye, ...more
By highhatsize (4213), East Quogue on Sep 7, 11 4:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
The point is pain & simple. That legally binding settlement agreement calls for the president "to apologize to the student-petitioners AND OTHER STUDENTS" who were affected by his illegal closure of their school. He cannot be in compliance with the stipulation if he refuses to allow those other students into the room to hear the required apology. Its amazing how he still tries to worm his way out of his obligations to these students.
By ts (71), southampton on Sep 7, 11 11:32 PM
Now its seems to be up to $400 billion, And the best part is that the WH says Barry will not be explaining how we will be paying for it tonight, That will be in a upcoming speech at an undetermined time. LOL
By They call me (2823), southampton on Sep 8, 11 2:22 PM
The real question is how much money did Stonybrook put into the physical plant to complete the library, rebuild the dorms, rehabilitate the theatre and whatever else was done there following the takeover from LIU? Was the amortization of all this expense considered when the "savings" in gutting the Southampton programs were announced?

Why aren't our elected officials talking about money instead of grandstanding about face-saving stunts by the administration? These are state funds, not ...more
By VOS (1238), WHB on Sep 8, 11 11:25 PM
It’s getting a little clearer now... As per the settlement agreement, which I hear Stanley claims he will follow (to the letter), “The purpose of the meeting is for the President to have an opportunity to apologize for the disruption to the lives of the student-petitioners AND OTHER STUDENTS…" Hey Sam- define OTHER STUDENTS, please.
Stanley’s new email –sent to his updated guest list reads...."Please respond to my Executive Assistant, Carol Londoiro at carol.londoiro@stonybrook.edu ...more
By dklughers (46), east Hampton on Sep 9, 11 2:48 AM
We have all lost something.

The students more so than the community, and the rest of the world they would enter after successful completion of their studies.
By Mr. Z (11811), North Sea on Sep 17, 11 5:03 PM
Stan asked me to specifically say I am sorry, deeply sorry to you for all of your troubles. Now what?
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 9, 11 7:00 AM
Your apology was more sincere than Stans.
By dklughers (46), east Hampton on Sep 14, 11 12:17 AM