UAlbany Mourns the Loss of Dean of School of Education Ralph Harbison
Contact: Heidi Weber (518) 437-4993
Ralph Harbison, dean of the University at Albany's School of Education,
died Saturday following a heart attack while skiing with family and
friends in the North Country.
Dean Harbison joined the University in January 2000, following a distinguished
career with the Ford Foundation and The World Bank. Over the past two
years Harbison has been at the forefront of the institution's collective
effort to strengthen the University's academic and research programs,
to expand the University's involvement with surrounding communities
and to reform UAlbany's planning and management systems. In addition,
Harbison oversaw the School of Education's response to new Regents requirements
for teacher certification. His accomplishments in the School of Education
were many, including the promotion of a more decentralized budgeting
and management framework, the establishment of new distance learning
initiatives that stand as campus models, the growth of students and
faculty and engagement with the wider community through his support
of the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA).
"Dean Harbison was a passionate advocate for leadership, for generalized
citizenship, and for excellence throughout the University. He believed
deeply in the power of education to improve living conditions and to
increase mutual awareness and appreciation among individuals and societies
throughout the world. He will indeed be sorely missed," said University
at Albany President Karen R. Hitchcock.
Born in Washington, D.C. and brought up in Chicago and Princeton, Harbison
received his bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University.
He earned an M.P.A. in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1973 in modernization and
development economics from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School
of Public and International Affairs.
During his 20-year tenure at The World Bank, Harbison served in numerous
capacities including senior education economist for Latin America; operations
advisor for the Bank's worldwide education program; chief of the human
resource technical staff for Europe, Middle East and North Africa; chief
of human resources sector operations for Central and Southern Europe
and education sector director for South Asia. In addition, he co-authored
two books - Labor Markets and Social Policy in Central and Eastern
Europe: The Transition and Beyond (1994, Oxford Press); and Educational
Performance of the Poor: Lessons from Rural Northeast Brazil (1992,
Oxford University Press) - and directed or contributed to many other
Bank reports and publications on educational development.
Harbison is survived by his wife, Margaret Irene, their two adult children
and a grandchild.
Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University
of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence
in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service
engages 17,000 diverse students enrolled in eight degree-granting schools
and colleges. For more information about this nationally ranked University,
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