Viewpoint

Dear School of Business Alumni and Friends:

Viewpoint student authors Lauren Ursaki and Colin Gerner
Professor Donald Siegel
Dean of the School of Business

As I conclude my seventh year as dean, I am amazed at what we have accomplished. I am from Brooklyn, so subtlety is not a strongpoint. That is why we were very clear about our strategic goals as a business school when we identified them in 2008. Given declining state support, our number one goal was resource acquisition. It is clear that we have accomplished this goal, raising almost $17 million in gifts and more than $10 million in grants, contracts and sponsored research.

Another key goal was to secure high national rankings for our business programs. Our rise in the U.S. News and World Report rankings has been nothing short of astounding. According to U.S. News, we are tied with Binghamton and Rutgers and ahead of other key rivals, such as Stony Brook, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Since 2008, we have risen 26 places in the U.S. News undergraduate rankings. At the graduate level, we are the only business school in the U.S. to have placed 100 percent of our full-time MBA students for three years in a row.

I am confident that we will continue to rise in the rankings, due to our recent hiring of 12 new tenure-track faculty members, our outstanding placement, the new $64 million School of Business building, which continues to dazzle and impress prospective students and alumni, New York State’s first undergraduate degree program in digital forensics (the first new undergraduate degree program in the history of the school) or information security applied to any sector of the economy, and the four new concentrations in our full-time MBA program in entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, finance and marketing.

In this issue, we highlight a transformational gift of $5.25 million to the School of Business from the Massry family. This is the largest gift ever made to the University at Albany and will be used to support the upward trajectory of the School of Business and the university. The Massrys represent the best of what we hope our students become: successful business people and entrepreneurs, who also make their community a better place to live.

The Massry gift will ensure that the $64 million School of Business building remains a state-of-the- art resource for teaching, learning and research. In addition, the gift will fund speakers, conferences and entrepreneurship programs that enrich the educational experience for School of Business students. The gift will also establish the Massry Community Fellows Program, based in the School of Business, but offered to all University at Albany students, which will fund internships with local nonprofit organizations. Internships at nonprofits are more difficult to secure than those at private companies because of inadequate funds. The end result is that the Massry donation will enable us to do things for the students that we simply can’t do with the money we have from the state.

This issue also provides another example of how philanthropy is enriching the School of Business. In the last issue, I reported that we had received a $1.5 million gift from philanthropists J. Spencer and Patricia Standish, for an endowed professorship in entrepreneurship. We have now hired William Wales as the first holder of this professorship. Bill is a local product of the Capital Region (with three degrees from Rensselaer) and is excited to return to the area. He is one of the world’s leading experts on measuring entrepreneurial orientation and has also conducted extensive research on social entrepreneurship. In the coming months, you will hear more about a variety of initiatives designed to promote technological and social entrepreneurship.

.I encourage you to provide us with additional feedback on how we can better serve your needs. We listen to our alumni because you are our most important stakeholders. Thanks for your support of the School of Business.

 

Dr. Donald S. Siegel
Dean, School of Business