Dear Colleagues,

I am writing with an exciting update on the CAS Shared Vision. Based on the thoughtful work of our faculty working groups last spring, the critical role of centers in supporting the vibrant research, education, and community missions of our College emerged. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that CAS is developing an interdisciplinary Hub for Migration and Mobilities at Stony Brook . This Hub is based on existing faculty interests in the global migration of people and ideas. In our rapidly globalizing world, migration is an ever-present reality, constantly shaping daily lives and experiences across the world in critical ways. By expanding its investment in themes of migration, Stony Brook University will remain relevant, better prepare our students for contributing to the world outside the university, attract and retain skilled faculty and support cutting-edge research, contribute to important policy decisions at the local, state, and national level, open new opportunities for critical engagement with the local community, and also engender multiple broader societal impacts. Increasing Stony Brook’s attention to the global migration of people and ideas offers an important avenue for engaging with and contributing to communities around the University.

Through our process of examining operations across the College and analyzing the existing strengths in CAS, we found that centers need more support to do the essential work they do. There are several centers and institutes in CAS with varying levels of administrative support that touch on cultures across the globe. They have various missions including undergraduate curriculum, research, and community outreach. These centers and institutes will act as spokes from the Hub for Migration and Mobilities. We also need to create a scaffold for our Globalization major that is not within a department but works with departments and that enables better collaboration between centers and the Institute for Globalization Studies. We are creating the Hub to provide umbrella administrative and technical support that will:

  • elevate the Centers’ visibility and their impact
  • provide budget, scheduling, development, and communication support 
  • provide better coordination between Centers, particularly to support the BA in Globalization Studies and International Relations
  • provide a gateway for students and external community to find opportunities in Migration and Mobilities ranging from internships to scholar researchers who can assist with policy development

The Hub, an idea articulated by one of the Shared Vision working groups, will connect and expand what is possible within our centers and our College. An important component of the Hub is a center committed to rigorous intellectual exploration, research and policy analysis while bridging the gap between academia and practice/advocate communities. The rigorous study of social justice and inequality with an eye to its inherent intersection with gender, masculinity and race studies will positively impact our community, nation and world. Therefore we are reshaping the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities into the Center for Changing Systems of Power.  

The Center will address some of today’s biggest questions and issues, and tackle the interlocking relationships of inequality with multiple systems of oppression and axes of domination defined by class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, geography, in the contexts of wealth, poverty, and power. The scope of this expanded Center will provide a place on campus for discussion and research on activism, social justice, and inequality. We anticipate that the Center for Changing Systems of Power will be a place where the faculty can do their work without increased administrative duties. An important activity of the Center will be to foster research within the faculty. The Center will provide faculty with research funds in exchange for a semester spent in an interdisciplinary reading group around an issue of critical importance for Global Processes, Connections and Flows, one of the three pillars of CAS Shared Vision. The Center for Changing Systems of Power will continue to address questions of toxic masculinity as well as the exciting work done by Stony Brook through its partnership with the HeforShe initiative and the United Nations, and I am pleased to announce that Professor Charles L. Robbins has agreed to serve as Executive Director of the Center for Changing Systems of Power for an inaugural term. Beginning in January 2020, Dr. Robbins will further develop a strategic plan for the Center by working with interested faculty, board members, and community partners to establish a strong foundation on which the Center can thrive for decades to come.

Dr. Charles L. Robbins is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success and the Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges at Stony Brook University. His faculty appointment is in the School of Social Welfare where he most recently served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean at the University’s School of Social Welfare and chairperson of the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness. Dr. Robbins was the Director of Social Work Services at Stony Brook University Hospital and former co-chair of their institutional ethics committee. He is an affiliated faculty member in the Program in Public Health. Dr. Robbins has led Stony Brook’s involvement with UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign for Gender Equality and was appointed the State University of New York (SUNY) coordinator for UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign for Gender Equality. Dr. Robbins is the co-founder and director of the Stony Brook University Freedom School, operated in conjunction with The Children’s Defense Fund. He is a member of the Local Executive Committee of Stony Brook’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. He is on the Board of Directors of MCW, Global where he is responsible for global youth development and represented MCW as a NGO Delegate to the United Nations. He previously represented the International Association of Schools of Social Work at the United Nations. Dr. Robbins actively supports the work of the Long Island LGBT Services Network, The Family and Children’s Association, The Children’s Defense Fund and Young Men 4 Gender Equality. Dr. Robbins was named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He is a frequent speaker at local, national and international conferences.

Dr. Robbins’ research and professional work focuses on issues of social justice, gender equality, men and masculinity, higher education and student success and intimate partner violence. He understands the importance of being a mentor to students and colleagues. Dr. Robbins is a frequent speaker at local, national and international conferences and was thrilled to be a speaker at TEDxSBU. His most recent work has focused on issues around gender, gender equality and masculinity. He is leading an initiative at Stony Brook to close the gender gap in four-year graduation rates. Dr. Robbins has consulted with a global corporation across Africa, North America, Asia and Europe to engage men around gender and to support gender equality of all people.

I wish to thank the numerous faculty who participated in the CAS Shared Vision process over the last three semesters for their hard work that has led to this new vision for a Hub and Center.

Best wishes for a successful completion to your semester,

Nicole S. Sampson
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry