ALBANY, N.Y. (June 20, 2007) -- The State University of New York Board of Trustees has named University at Albany faculty members Jeffrey Berman and Sue Faerman to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor, a designation for eminent faculty in the SUNY system.
The Distinguished Teaching Professorship honors and recognizes outstanding work in the classroom. Candidates must have a record of consistently superior performance in teaching skills, scholarship and professional growth, student services, academic standards and requirements, and evaluation of student performance.
"We're enormously proud of professors Berman and Faerman," said University at Albany Officer in Charge and Provost Susan Herbst. "As exemplars of dedication to teaching and to the principles of higher education, they are among the best the University can offer its students."
Jeffrey Berman joined the faculty of the Department of English in 1973; he received both the campus President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Advising and the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1987. A prolific scholar and committed citizen of the University and the profession of English Studies, Berman's nomination to Distinguished Teaching Professor is the outcome of his transformation of the classroom into a site where students actively join him in creating knowledge about the personal impact literature exerts on them, about how their experience shapes their reception of literature, and about how teaching, learning, and writing are most productively accomplished. Berman's recent books, Diaries to an English Professor: Pain and Growth in the Classroom (1994), Surviving Literary Suicide (1999), Risky Writing: Self-Disclosure and Self-Transformation in the Classroom (2001), Empathic Teaching: Education for Life (2004), and Dying to Teach: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Learning (2007), have drawn national attention and acclaim to him and his students -- to his students as his scholarly collaborators, and to him as an accomplished practitioner of the scholarship of teaching and as a pioneer in the field of empathic teaching.
Berman has made an extraordinary commitment to the classroom, having taught 30 different courses at every curricular level during his career. The courses cover the full topical range of English offerings, from introductory and advanced non-fiction writing to creative writing, specialized American and British literature, and advanced theory on psychoanalytic criticism. His outstanding record of work with individual students includes serving on 20 doctoral dissertation committees (chairing 14), and 38 master's level thesis or examination committees, of which he chaired 25.
Sue Faerman joined the faculty of the Department of Public Administration and Policy in 1987. In 1996 she received the President's Award for Excellence in Academic Service and, in 2000, the President's and Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Teaching. In 1998 she was named a Collins Fellow, a designation that "recognizes faculty members who, over a sustained period of time, have exhibited extraordinary devotion to the University and the people in it."
Faerman has served since 1999 as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and, since 2005, as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, yet has continued to teach at least two courses per year. Her teaching has revived the Rockefeller College's undergraduate major in public policy and management, and she also continues to teach at both the master's and doctoral levels. Faerman is an extraordinary mentor of students outside the classroom. From 1996 to 2006 Faerman chaired or co-chaired 21 completed doctoral dissertations, with several of those students winning campus and national dissertation awards. Through her twenty-year career she has chaired or co-chaired a total of 25 completed dissertations and been a member of 35 other completed dissertation committees. In 2003 the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the principal professional association of such schools, gave Faerman the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award, the most prestigious national award for teaching in her field. She is the first State University of New York faculty member to receive the award.