John R. Ryan’s Fall Report to the Faculty
Thursday, October 28, 2004
|Interim President John
Thank you, Carolyn…and good afternoon everyone.
I am glad to see so many of you today during
a very busy time in our crowded semester, and
at a time when we have important challenges and
opportunities that will frame our efforts for
It is customary for the President's fall faculty
address to focus on an update and report of the
University's enrollment, sponsored funds performance,
and budget condition. Before moving to these topics,
however, I want to recognize a number of University
faculty and staff.
First, let me thank the faculty who have provided
the critical leadership for our University as
departmental chairs, advancing the important work
of their units as well as the teaching and knowledge
of their disciplines. Please, would all those
who have recently completed their service, and
would all chairs who are continuing or commencing
your terms, please rise so we can acknowledge
and thank you for your service. Our deep thanks
to all of you.
This fall we are pleased to welcome 35 new faculty,
a wonderful group that will enrich the academic
life of our institution and advance our many goals.
Please stand and accept our welcome to our community.
There will be a reception and formal introduction
of all our new faculty and staff following this
meeting in the Fireside Lounge. I hope you will
join us to extend your personal welcome to all
our new colleagues.
Next, I am pleased to introduce several new
senior officers of the University. They are Lynn
Videka, interim vice president for research;
Vesna Gjaja, interim
vice president for advancement; Paul
Leonard, dean of the School of Business;
and Janet Riker, director
of the University Art Museum.
I also wish to welcome two new staff to key
posts in our Student Affairs Division. Dr.
Peter Vellis joined us this summer from
Seton Health as the medical director of the Student
Health Center. Mr. Philippe
Abraham, who has over 20 years of service
to the University at Albany, recently accepted
the position as director ofthe Career Development
Center. And two good colleagues are retiring this
semester. Mr. Carl Martin,
associate vice president for student affairs,
is retiring next month after 34 years of dedicated
service to this university. Mr.
Dennis Tillman, the director of Financial
Aid, will also be retiring at the end of this
calendar year. He has served this university and
its students for the past ten years. Thank you
both - we will miss you.
Congratulations are due to our colleagues who
were promoted and/or tenured over the past year.
We are honored by your exceptional involvement
with the University. For 2004-05, more than 50
faculty are listed on this year's promotion review
roster, the largest number in years, and further
evidence of the outstanding accomplishments of
UAlbany's faculty. Schools and colleges have already
posted a number of searches for new faculty for
2005-06. The subject areas have been carefully
and strategically defined. While our ability to
close these recruitment efforts is always dependent
on budgetary conditions, we are committed to growing
I am also delighted to acknowledge and congratulate
three of our colleagues who have been promoted
by the SUNY Board of Trustees to the highest rank
within the State University of New York…that of
Distinguished Professor, a rank that recognizes
exceptional achievements and contributions in
research and teaching. Please join me in congratulating
Distinguished Professors Edna
Acosta-Belen, Latin American and Caribbean
and Women's Studies; Lance
F. Bosart, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences;
and Ronald Bosco, English.
I must note that Edna and Ron were previously
honored by SUNY as Distinguished Service Professors.
Thank you for all you have done to help make the
University at Albany such a special place.
Several UAlbany faculty will be recognized at
the Chancellor’s Recognition Dinner on November
4, 2004: Excellence in the Pursuit of Knowledge,
Kajal Lahiri, Department
of Economics; First Disclosure Awards, Michael
Carpenter, College of Nanoscale Science
& Engineering and Ben Szaro,
Department of Biological Sciences; and First Patent
Award, James Castracane,
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
In addition, several UAlbany faculty will receive
certificates from the Chancellor for First Disclosure
Awards: Bai Xu, Gregory
Denbeaux, and James
Raynolds, College of Nanoscale Science
& Engineering; Dmitry Belostotsky
and Sho-Ya Wang, Department
of Biological Science; Li Niu,
Chemistry Department; and Carolyn
MacDonald, Physics Department.
Additional members of the University at Albany
family who have been recognized recently for outstanding
achievements include Distinguished Professor Judith
Langer, School of Education, who will receive
an honorary doctorate from University of Uppsala
Thomas Begley, a UAlbany
alumnus, now with the Department of Biomedical
Sciences in the School of Public Health, has received
the prestigious NYSTAR’s James D. Watson Investigator
Award for promising early career scientist.
Department of Biomedical Sciences in the School
of Public Health and Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence
in Cancer Genomics, recently won the Samuel Waxman
Cancer Research Foundation award.
Sandeep Shukla, an
alumnus of UAlbany’s Computer Science department,
is the recipient of the prestigious Presidential
Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
from the National Science Foundation.
Great faculty are integral to the success and
attraction of the University’s rich spectrum of
academic and professional programs. UAlbany offers
54 bachelor’s, 84 master’s, and 39 doctoral programs,
each of which is academically strong and presented
by a high-quality faculty of teacher/scholars.
Our programs at all levels of the curriculum continue
to be informed by inquiry and discovery, the hallmark
of a research university. Recent new programs
and emphases have been added in broadcast meteorology,
materials science, forensics, functional genomics
and molecular structures, the life sciences, and
information technology. Active discussions are
also under way to develop and introduce new programs
in a variety of areas. I’ll mention just three:
- Honors options for undergraduates to attract
and retain greater numbers of high-achieving
students. This includes an exciting new Honors
College within the College of Arts and Sciences,
as well as new or much strengthened honors options
in several undergraduate majors.
- A new Information Technology initiative –
called the IT Commons initiative – that will
involve the infusion of new information technology
into existing disciplinary studies. As many
as 1,000 students may be enrolled in “IT-intensive”
undergraduate programs by 2010. Several new
faculty were funded and appointed through this
initiative this past September.
- Finally, new or enhanced offerings are being
planned in subjects as diverse as communication,
journalism, neuroscience, and art history.
Students can also discover a varied and rich
cultural menu at UAlbany, one that complements
their studies and expands their intellectual and
artistic horizons. Albany’s reputation as a dull
campus environment is unjustified. There are lots
of opportunities for enriching experiences. These
opportunities certainly include but are not limited
to all our athletic events. I’ll highlight just
- This fall semester, the Writers Institute
is bringing an unprecedented lineup of high-quality
speakers to the campus. The New York State Writers
Institute is an incredibly important and valuable
cultural asset to our community and region.
We thank Bill Kennedy,
Don Faulkner, and
the Institute staff for their outstanding work
in putting Albany “on the map” as a place that
knows and values great writing.
- Our University Art Museum is another important
venue. If you have not already done so, I urge
you to take in the Museum’s fall exhibit, First
Happiness, curated by our own Corinna
Schaming. Our thanks to Janet Riker,
our new Museum Director, for all she and her
staff are doing to support and encourage the
arts on our campus.
- Lastly, because time is short, I want to
encourage everyone to take full advantage of
the rich menu of concerts, recitals, performances,
and student exhibitions offered by our arts
departments now through the end of the fall
semester. A production of Tartuffe
will open November 5th.
We are seeking to promote these programs more
energetically to our students. I also ask each
of you, indeed all the University’s faculty and
staff, to join us in encouraging higher levels
of awareness and participation in the institution’s
Now, on to a report on sponsored funds. I am
pleased to report that our funded research profile
has continued its consistent upward expansion.
In FY04, over $132 million in sponsored program
expenditures were generated through the Research
Foundation; 22 percent were from federal sponsors.
Let me cite a few projects.
The School of Education recently received a
grant that will enable the Department of Special
Education to increase the number of doctoral candidates
and prepare them to assume leadership roles in
Through collaborative efforts of the College
of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School
of Social Welfare, and School of Public Health,
NIH/National Center on Minority Health and Health
Systems awarded a $1.24 million grant over a three
year period, titled EXPORT
Center on Health Disparities in Smaller Cities.
The School of Public Health has received a $5
million grant from the Centers for Disease Control
to fund the University’s Center for Public Health
The Center for Social and Demographic Analysis
and the Lewis Mumford Center received a $1.0 million
grant over a three-year period from National Institute
of Children's Health and Development (NICHD),
titled, The Albany Population
The newly established Northeast Regional Forensic
Institute, in collaboration with the New York
State Police, received a grant of $1.5 million
from the National Institute of Justice.
The Center for Legislative Development has successfully
competed for a renewal of its program in Lebanon,
titled Strengthening Foundations
for Governance. Funds in the amount of
more than $17 million over a three-year period
are provided by the United States Agency for International
The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
has been established officially and recently received
more than $1.5 million in public and private funds
to establish nanotechnology education and training
programs for under-represented social classes
in science and engineering. Additionally, Albany
NanoTech, Infineon, and Genus have entered a $12
million research and development partnership to
create an atomic layer deposition center of excellence
at UAlbany. Finally, Albany NanoTech and NanoQuebec,
a consortium of five Canadian colleges and universities,
signed an agreement to form an educational, research
and development, and technology commercialization
partnership in the rapidly emerging field of nanotechnology.
The University will soon be offering newly established
awards for undergraduate student research. The
funding will be provided from alumni endowments.
I am confident that sponsored funds, a critical
measure of our excellence as a research university,
will show another marked increase this year.
Now, turning to enrollment, we experienced both
success and some serious challenges with our enrollment
for this year, an area that also has important
The successes include welcoming a freshman class
of 2,022 students, of whom 40 percent boasted
academic credentials that place them in the “Group
1” category –the category defined by the State
University of New York Mission Review for top
This is the third consecutive year in which
we have seen an increase in the percentage of
Group 1 students choosing the University at Albany
and continues a longer-term trend that has changed
the character of the incoming freshman class.
Since 1998, the number of Group 1 students in
the entering freshman class has grown from 470
to 651, a 35 percent increase. In addition, the
fall 2004 freshman class boasts the following
- There are more than 180 Presidential and
23 Frederick Douglass Scholars and two National
- There are also 15 valedictorians (up from
12 last year) and 10 salutatorians. One interesting
note: UAlbany enrolled both the valedictorian
and salutatorian of South Seneca High School
in Ovid, NY.
- We have maintained the student diversity
of which UAlbany is justifiably proud – with
African-American, Asian American, Hispanic American,
and Native American students constituting 24
percent of the class.
- Overall the average high school average of
the freshman is 90.9 and average SAT is 1166
average SAT (Last year’s averages were 90.1
GPA and 1168 SAT)
However our freshman class did come in below
our target of 2,100, a result that was driven
in large part by the ambitious selectivity goals
we have pursued in recent years. As we move forward
for next year, we will continue to pursue such
selectivity goals, while ensuring that we set
and achieve enrollment targets that reflect the
best possible overall outcome for the University.
In addition to the shortfall in the freshman
class, you may be aware that we experienced sizeable
enrollment shortfalls (compared to our plan) in
two other categories: namely, continuing undergraduates
and graduate enrollments. These combined to contribute
to a headcount shortfall of some 631 students
overall – 432 at the undergraduate level and 199
at the graduate level.
We were short on our continuing student enrollment
particularly at the senior year and beyond. We
are investigating this trend in order to better
understand the patterns of retention and graduation
of our upper division students.
At the graduate level, we experienced enrollment
shortfalls in virtually all areas. Certainly,
the trend in international student enrollment
throughout the US is one contributor, and economic
influences have adversely affected our local part-time
professional market some as well.
International enrollment, as you are undoubtedly
aware, has seen a nation-wide decrease particularly
at the graduate level, and our experience has
mirrored the national trend. Comparing fall 2004
to fall 2003, international applications to UAlbany
were down 24.4 percent; admissions were down 18.8
percent and enrollment was down 15.8 percent.
There is some evidence on the horizon to suggest
that this trend may be beginning to reverse itself
in the coming year; nevertheless, we must be careful
and strategic in our graduate enrollment planning
to ensure that we don’t continue to suffer unduly
from its impacts.
Regardless of the reasons, this enrollment shortfall
has economic effects that complicate our already
tight fiscal situation. So we must do all that
we can by generating as much enrollment as possible
in spring 2005 enrollment to offset the fall shortfalls,
which we will do. And we must continue working
to improve our recruitment and retention efforts
for fall 2006. We must strive to achieve the very
highest quality student body we can enroll and
retain at all levels of the institution, in keeping
with the University’s overall enrollment plan.
This fall's Princeton Review
projected a much discussed and, unhappily, misleading,
summary of UAlbany students and faculty. I have
spoken and written at length of my strong disagreement
with this faulty assessment of our students and
university. The negative behavior and dysfunctional
attitudes of some of our students can never be
condoned and must be challenged at every instance.
We are taking active steps to provide a student
environment that is safe, healthy, and focused
on positive growth and learning and is acceptable
to our entire community. I want to thank Vice
President Doellefeld and all the student
affairs staff for their concerted efforts in this
area. Thanks, also, to our faculty who understand
the importance of setting high expectations in
the classrooms and laboratories.
Nevertheless, our students today are confronted
with many serious personal challenges that did
not exist decades ago. The problems associated
with high-risk drinking present one of the most
serious threats we face on U.S. college and university
campuses. Examples abound of injuries and student
deaths. Recent findings from the National Institute
of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Task Force
on College Drinking suggest that each year 1,400
college students die from alcohol-related unintentional
injuries. In addition, alcohol is involved in
500,000 unintentional injuries, 600,000 assaults,
and 70,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance
When we look at data collected from our own
undergraduate students, we know that we are not
immune to the challenges that student alcohol
and drug abuse bring to us.
Our best strategy to address the challenges associated
with alcohol and other drug abuse is to continue
our commitment to the programs we have developed
to educate our student body, continue our zero-tolerance
position regarding substance abuse, continue our
active development of programs to reduce such
behaviors, and keep our students, their parents,
and the media well-informed about all of these
proactive and constructive approaches to enhancing
the quality of life at the University at Albany.
I am pleased to announce that the National Institute
on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has awarded
the University at Albany $849,057 to research
interventions that prevent or reduce alcohol-related
problems among college students. Dr.
M. Dolores Cimini of the University Counseling
Center and Dr. Matthew P. Martens
of the Department of Educational and Counseling
Psychology in the School of Education will engage
in the study, which is entitled “The Effects of
Peer-Facilitated Alcohol Interventions."
This award underscores UAlbany’s long-term commitment
to addressing a nationwide problem related to
college-age drinking. I hope you will all join
with me in supporting our alcohol and drug prevention
programs and initiatives as we continue to address
this very important issue.
Let me update you on an issue that dismayed
all of us last April – the Fountain Day misbehavior
of some students. The Fountain Day Task Force
has concluded its work. This group included students,
faculty and staff from across the campus who met
to review the history and purpose of Fountain
Day, discuss observations and reactions to last
April's event, and offer recommendations for next
spring. Given the varying points of view within
the campus community it was clear that a strategic
objective of this committee was to find a reasonable
balance between the expression of school spirit
and the maintenance of a University environment
that is conducive to intellectual development
and personal growth.
The committee recommended to me that we give
this event another chance in spring 2005, but
also that the event be redefined. That is, the
Committee proposed that this event be held on
a weekend afternoon in order to prevent interference
with classes and that it take place in conjunction
with a range of other activities to be planned
for that same afternoon. I have authorized Vice
President Jim Doellefeld to proceed with a revised
plan for spring 2005.
Increasingly important components of school
spirit are our constantly evolving athletic program
and facilities. I am pleased to announce that
the consulting firm of Sasaki Associates, Inc.
recently completed the development of a plan that
studies the future growth of the University’s
athletic facilities with regard to intercollegiate
athletics, recreation, intramurals and community
activities. The six-month study identified priorities,
provided cost estimates and looked at ways to
utilize the athletic complex’s current space.
The project was accomplished in consultation with
the overall campus master plan and took into consideration
site planning, traffic flow and campus aesthetics.
As the first part of that long-range plan, renovations
to the Recreation and Convocation Center began
September 1. The RACC's three playing surfaces
will be completely changed over to biochannel
flooring and a new synthetic surface will cover
the 170-meter indoor track. In addition, the facility's
sound system, wiring, telecommunications and data
will be upgraded to meet the standards of a Division
I program and to better serve the requirements
of institutional ceremonial and cultural events.
The entire University community will soon find
this much-used building substantially more user-friendly
and congenial to both participants and spectators.
Additionally, with the help of a $250,000 donation
from John Fallon, an
alum of UAlbany and a four year lacrosse player,
a new all-weather synthetic turf field will soon
be built for the use of our men’s and women’s
teams. Other proposed enhancements to our athletics
facilities will be announced in the future.
I hope many of you will join me at the Pepsi
Arena on November 23 as UAlbany takes on Siena
in the annual rivalry basketball game. Since many
of our students will already be departed for the
Thanksgiving holiday, we need all the collective
moral support we can muster to encourage our men's
and women's teams to victory. Like the Red Sox,
maybe this will be our year!
For any university president, it is always a
great pleasure to cite some of the achievements
of students. Here are a few of ours. The 2004
Voter Registration Drive coordinated by the Office
of Student Activities, and supported by many of
our student groups including NYPIRG and the Student
Association, recently concluded a successful campaign
where over 1,700 students were registered for
the first time. On October 9th, the 2004 Race
for Literacy was well supported by our campus
as part of our Homecoming Weekend celebrations.
Over 270 students, faculty and staff participated
in this most worthy cause to raise funds for literacy
and literacy awareness.
UAlbany’s honor societies contribute to the
development of a campus environment that celebrates
learning and helps to attract and retain academically
strong students. We now have a new honor society.
Last year UAlbany became the 289th institution
to be awarded a charter in Omicron Delta Kappa,
a national honor society founded in 1914 to recognize
and encourage superior scholarship, leadership,
and exemplary character.
Last March, seventy-four student leaders received
the President's Awards for Undergraduate Leadership
for their outstanding contributions to the campus,
including ten outstanding seniors who represent
the ideal UAlbany student with their outstanding
academic excellence combined with leadership and
service to the community. In addition eight of
our students received the Chancellor's Award for
Student Excellence - the highest award in the
Terrific students and faculty deserve superb,
modern facilities. I am delighted to provide you
an update on our aggressive program to renovate
and upgrade facilities, a program absolutely essential
for us to continue to move this university forward.
First, the classroom renovation project for summers
2003 and 2004 completed work on 8 Lecture Centers,
28 Humanities classrooms, and a Business Administration
classroom. (This phase represents 57 percent of
the seats scheduled by the registrar.) We rehabbed
the main Humanities 1st floor corridor, including
new furniture, flooring, lighting, window treatments,
white boards, paint, and acoustical treatments.
Fifteen classrooms now have advanced technology.
Future projects for intercession 04-05 and summer
2005 will be identified by a committee formed
to evaluate teaching lab improvements and scope;
all remaining classrooms will be “re-graded” for
Residence Hall renovation projects for summer
2004 involved Oneida Hall in Indian Quad at a
cost of $3 million. For the summer of 2005, we
will rehab Melville Hall in State Quad; Hamilton
Hall in Colonial Quad is scheduled for 2006.
Downtown Campus facilities improvements continue
on schedule. Modernization and restorations of
the first and second floors of Milne are completed;
planning for the third floor is under way. The
Draper entrance beautification project is in progress.
The design for the modernization of Husted Hall
is done and includes a central A/C plant in Richardson
and a temporary kitchen in Draper. Page Hall's
lounge and auditorium are being upgraded also.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred on October
13, 2004 for the new Life Sciences Research Building.
The building has 194,000 square feet of state-of-the-art
research space; its occupancy will be phased in
from fall 2004 through fall 2005. If you haven't
visited this remarkable new facility, I urge you
to go…I am bringing Assemblyman
Canestrari there tomorrow. I think you
will be truly impressed by its beauty and its
potential to advance our research mission.
The emerging Entry Building, the new “signature”
building for the campus, is transforming the area
just north of the Art Museum. It will be the primary
point of orientation and entry to the main campus
and is a distinct sculptural counterpoint to our
existing, late modernist campus. Scheduled for
a summer 2005 completion, it will house administration
functions and a visitors' center.
The East Campus Gen*NY*Sis Cancer Research Center
being built for the University by the University
at Albany Foundation is moving smartly ahead.
Scheduled for a summer 2005 completion, it is
a 120,000 square-foot state-of-the-art cancer
research building funded primarily through a Gen*NY*Sis
grant from Senator Bruno.
It will house the University’s Center for Functional
Genomics, the Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence
in Cancer Genomics, and other biotechnology tenants.
Yesterday Senator Bruno and I announced the
formation and membership of the Honorary Committee
for Memory and Hope to support the Center's commitment
to research into the genetic origins of cancer
that will lead to finding cures for this disease
that will strike one of every two men and one
of every three women in their lifetime. The initial
fundraising goal is $25 million and the centerpiece
of the Center building will be the Wall of Memory
Let me now take up the topic that dominates
so much of our planning and administrative efforts
each fall. There is a lot of information, and
some uncertainties, regarding the 2004-05 budget.
Here is a brief overview of what we know at this
time and our plans:
- 2004-05 NYS/SUNY Operating Budget
- Every state agency except SUNY experienced
- SUNY got $50M increase;
- Budget Director impounded 2/3 of the
- UAlbany got $2.9M increase.
- 2004-05 UAlbany Condition – Operating Budget
- Rolled over annual operating deficit ($3.2M)
from 03-04: ($3.2M).
- 04-05 Strategic Investments ($3.9 M) including:
- Faculty recruitment
- Graduate Student Support
- Undergraduate scholarships
- Facilities/infrastructure support
- IT investments
- Library Acquisitions inflation.
- 04-05 Budget Increase from SUNY: $2.9M
- 04-05 Enrollment Shortfall: ($3.5M)
- 04-05 Campus Challenge: ($7.7M)
- 2004-05 UAlbany Budget Planning
- Selectively increase enrollment in spring
to partially mitigate the revenue shortfall.
- Institute certain energy cost savings.
- Use cash reserves for the balance of 04-05
- 2005-06, 2006-07 UAlbany Budget Planning
- Underlying assumption that the enrollment
shortfall will be entirely corrected by
- Vice Presidents and deans have been asked
to submit budget plans for various scenarios
from modest strategic increases to reductions
as high as 2.75% for each of these two fiscal
- Plans will be reviewed in conjunction
with strategic campus priorities.
- URPAC/Senate will be consulted.
- Principles for Budget Planning
- Maintain health and safety;
- Continue to invest in strategic instructional
and research programs;
- Protect and increase revenue streams;
- Continue to improve and maintain campus
facilities and infrastructure;
- Focus on increasing external funding through
research and philanthropy.
- NYS 2005-06, 2006-06 Budget Forecasts/Issues
- Multi-billion dollar deficit projected;
- Future year funding for negotiated salary
- New 5-Year Capital Budget
- Governor’s budget included $79M for UAlbany;
- Did not include several campus priorities,
including LSRB FF & E - $14 million.
- Campus lobbied heavily with the legislature
to add this and other critical needs to
the capital budget.
- Legislative budget included an add of
- Several economic development projects
- LSRB still not included.
- Governor vetoed all legislative additions
to the capital budget.
- Campus continues to work with the Senate
and Assembly on campus critical needs, primarily
the LSRB, & Entry Building.
- The $79 million from the Governor’s budget
includes funding for the construction and
furniture, fixtures and equipment for Husted
Hall, to commence in March 2005 as well
as several other critical maintenance projects.
As you can see from the above summary, this
promises to be an another difficult budget year,
one that will challenge all our skills, talents,
and mettle…and our ability to continue to advance
this University consistent with our goals, priorities,
and aspirations. But this campus has met tough
budget years in the past, and we will collectively
do it again.
While we're on the topic of finances, let me
update the status of some of our Advancement efforts.
The Bold.Vision. Campaign to date has received
nearly $286 million in total University support.
And over the past year, the University has learned
that it will share in future bequests from 23
alumni and friends. Once realized, these documented
bequest intentions will provide UAlbany with $2.2
million. In addition, we received documentation
of three new charitable remainder trusts with
an estimated future value of $232,000.
Finally, the Life Sciences Research Building's
beautiful auditorium is named for Dr.
Thomas D'Ambra and his wife Constance
who have pledged $1 million for the Life Sciences
Research Initiative. Tom has chaired our campaign
to raise private support for our life sciences
initiative, and that campaign has raised nearly
$6 million so far. I'm sure that Vesna will have
even more good news to provide for the spring
2005 address to the faculty.
The University has continued it tremendous outreach
and service to the local Capital Region and the
greater community. I am so very proud of you for
your projects, your research, and your passion-an
outpouring that has resulted in so much benefit
to so many in our community, our region, and our
state. I spoke in Cobleskill this morning at a
breakfast for community and college leaders and
highlighted much of your outstanding work. Thank
you for all you do to improve the lives of those
beyond our campus.
Furthermore, in addition to the University's
teaching, research, and service contributions
to our external communities, it also is a tremendous
economic engine to the region and state. That
fact was made clear by the Economic Impact Statement,
released in June.
- According to a study by the Capital District
Regional Planning Commission, using the latest
model of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,
the University’s Economic Impact upon New York
State climbed to $1.1 billion per year.
- The study indicated that just over one billion
dollars of the $1.1 billion economic impact
was absorbed right here in the Capital Region.
- Overall, the University returns to the state,
and largely to the Capital Region, $8.85 in
economic impact for every $1 provided it by
New York’s taxpayers - by any measure, a remarkable
- And, of course, as our Impact Statement stressed
and the Commission concurred, this report cannot
even compute the value of the University’s programs
that enhance K-12 education, plan more attractive
urban neighborhoods, draw spin-off companies,
and enhance the cultural life of the region
-- all, real aspects of economic growth as well.
Here are some other examples of the University's
impact on others:
- Regional Center on Autism – formerly the
North Country Autism Technical Assistance Center
Pilot Program. It expanded this year from three
to six counties, and from 30 to 50 school districts;
new districts in Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady
counties have joined those in Warren, Washington
and Saratoga counties. School districts have
cumulatively saved nearly $2 million dollars
to date because of this program. It was achieved
through the support of Senate Majority Leader
Joseph Bruno and State Senators Hugh Farley
and Elizabeth Little.
- Capital Region Cybercrime Partnership was
created in March of this year and is a consortium
of eight district attorneys from Capital Region
counties, the New York State Police, the New
York Prosecutors Training Institute, and the
University’s Center on Information Forensics
and Assurance. Once operational, the University
will provide expertise, coursework, and instruction
and training in computer/network forensics and
cyber security to local law enforcement throughout
the Capital Region.
- The New York Latino Research and Resources
Network, or NYLARNet, was formally launched
on Sept. 29th. This pioneering project will
impart a greater public understanding of the
concerns and experiences of Latinos in New York
State – particularly in four target areas: health,
education, immigration, and politics/public
policy. It is a dynamic partnership that includes
our Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean
Studies, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies
at Hunter College, and the Institute for Urban
and Minority Education at Columbia University’s
- The Northeast Partnership for Literacy was
established this past summer and links the University’s
National Research Center on English Learning
& Achievement (CELA) with 25 school districts
in a nine-county region, where one out of every
two students fails to meet state and national
- Just for the Kids announced last month (September)
is a national research-based school improvement
program dedicated to embedding “best practices”
into the teaching fabric of schools. This is
a partnership of our School of Education, the
New York State Business Council, and the National
Center for Educational Accountability and New
Looking ahead to new initiatives, we are working
on several exciting new ventures to expand our
service portfolio. They include:
- Reinventing Retirement, a project of our
School of Social Welfare, that addresses the
problem that too many retirees are leaving New
York State. It promotes economic, social, and
psychological benefits for new retirees, and
implements alliances to help the elderly earn
certificates and degrees, become peer leaders,
and provide their own support for neighborhood
and community non-medical personnel.
- The Center for Health Disparities in Smaller
Cities. This Center will build on the efforts
of Associate Dean and Professor Larry Schell
of the Department of Anthropology, who just
received a grant of $1.2 million to study healthcare
disparities of the disadvantaged populations
in small cities. It will extend the research
effort Dr. Schell is now conducting in this
region to the numerous small cities of Western
and Central New York.
The University continues to expand its broad
effort to forge increasingly strong inter-university
and community partnerships.
Clearly we are developing the promise of Tech
Valley as a thriving high-tech center through
Albany NanoTech, the East Campus and many research
initiatives. But equally important are the ways
we build regional and state strengths whether
in education and higher education, social welfare,
government, arts and culture, public health, the
environment and many other examples. Talking about
all areas would keep us here too long but I will
mention some examples.
One partnership that promises a significant
impact on the region and the state is our evolving
role within the Harriman Campus Development Corporation
and our partners, the City of Albany and the New
York State Office of General Services. UAlbany
is poised to expand its R&D collaborations
with business, industry, and entrepreneurs at
this new Research Park.
The "new" Harriman Campus also will
provide a direct boost to economic development
for the region and the state. It will be an R&D
showpiece that will attract high-tech industry
to the area and accelerate the Campus' redevelopment
process. I believe UAlbany's prominent and central
role in this enterprise will be a transforming
benchmark in the evolution of our university and
its status among research universities. Stay tuned
for regular updates.
UAlbany continues its commitment to co-leading
the Business Higher Education Roundtable of the
Capital Region. The Roundtable is an alliance
of 25 college and university presidents and business
executives collaborating to support the region’s
growth and quality of life.
A major initiative among the 16 local universities
and colleges that will come to fruition early
in 2005 will market the region as both a great
place for the college experience and for a career.
The goal is to do our part in helping to address
Other Roundtable work has led to the creation
of a regional workforce partnership for health
care at the Iroquois Healthcare Association. Further
the Roundtable has a highly talented regional
group of CIOs looking at what other parts of the
country are doing to build information infrastructure
and what model might work here to support our
growth in the information economy.
The SUNY Board of Trustees is holding its annual
Town/Gown conference at the University at Albany
on December 3 from 10:30-3:30. We hope many of
you will attend. UAlbany is one of four academic
institutions that the conference will focus on
this year. Our other colleagues are Schenectady
County Community College, Hudson Valley Community
College, and Empire State College. These conferences
serve to explore the role and impact of SUNY higher
education institutions within their "communities,
economies and social conditions." This is
an opportunity to both raise awareness of our
roles and also identify new ways to aid the region.
The paired issue of assessment/accountability
is certainly among the top three or four challenges
facing colleges and universities across this country,
and even increasing on the global stage. In 2004-05,
the University is actively immersed in two major
evaluation/assessment projects that will engage
the entire campus-one regional and the other state.
First, through this fall term, the Provost’s Office
will be drafting, with necessary input from other
University offices and officials, an initial campus
response to the requirements of the Middle States
Periodic Review Report, which is due in June 2005.
Beginning in January 2005, we will conduct a campus-wide
comment period throughout the spring term so that
various campus constituencies will have ample
opportunity to provide comment and input into
the final campus report. An important component
of Middle States accreditation, and the Periodic
Review Report, is the development of an institution-wide
assessment plan that demonstrates the institution
meets the standards by which the Commission reaffirms
or denies accredited status. The official PRR
document, informed by campus discussion and input,
will be finalized in May 2005.
The second evaluation is the State University
of New York Mission Review II Process. SUNY and
each campus develop agreed-upon goals and priorities
for that institution for the next five years,
which are then detailed in a Memorandum
of Understanding signed by the Chancellor
and the President. Our Draft University
Self-Description is being widely reviewed
on campus; and I am grateful to all who have shared
their reactions to this document thus far. We
expect to complete this phase of the Mission Review
process within the next month or so, after which
we expect a campus visit from a System Administration
group for dialogue before the preparation of the
final Memorandum of Understanding.
The new University governance system provides
many expanded opportunities for input and consultation
in decision-making and the formulation of policies
and procedures. We are off to a good start this
year in all these substantive areas and I look
forward to working further with Chair Carolyn
MacDonald, Chair-elect Steven
Messner, and all the new councils, committees,
and task forces in forging a strong governance
collaboration in the months ahead.
The SUNY Board of Trustees created the College
of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering with an
independent governance system in the areas of
budget, faculty promotion and permanent appointment,
research agenda, and curriculum design and approval.
This action also motivated the University to conduct
an on-going exploration, through UAlbany’s Senate
Ad Hoc University-wide Committee on Governance,
of the possibility of similar structural governance
changes for other existing academic units of the
University. That committee is chaired ably by
Distinguished Professor Jim
Acker of the School of Criminal Justice;
and both the Senate and I expect a full report
from the Committee on Governance in November.
As I hope you know, four or five finalists for
the presidency of UAlbany will be on campus, starting
next week, to get a firsthand look at us and to
enjoy the experience of interacting with many
different parts of our University family. The
Presidential Search Committee has done a terrific
job of recruiting a number of outstanding candidates.
I urge you to plan on attending the open sessions
to meet them and to share your impressions of
them with the Search Committee.
Let me close by thanking each of you for all
you do to ensure that the University successfully
meets the demands of its critical mission and
consistently advances its important programs and
goals. This report echoes that success and progress.
I am also most grateful for the support, encouragement,
and goodwill that you, our colleagues, and our
students have bestowed upon me during my Interim
Presidency. This is an opportunity that I shall
always remember most deeply and fondly.
Now, at the conclusion of this meeting, I hope
that all of us will retire to the Fireside Lounge
where we can meet and welcome the new faculty
and staff who have recently joined the University
at Albany family.
Carolyn…the podium is yours again.