Kermit L. Hall Takes Post
as UAlbany's 17th President
Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (February 1, 2005) -- Kermit
L. Hall today formally assumed the presidency
of the University at Albany. Hall, approved
by the State University of New York Board of
Trustees on Dec. 29 after a nationwide search,
is UAlbany's 17th president.
Hall was president and professor of history
of Utah State University from 2000 until his
arrival at UAlbany, and previously served as
the provost and vice president for academic
affairs and professor of history at North Carolina
State University. At Ohio State University,
he was executive dean of the College of Arts
and Sciences and professor of law and history.
He has held several academic and administrative
positions at the University of Tulsa and the University of Florida.
"It will be a privilege to lead the campus to a new level of academic excellence," Hall
said. "The University at Albany community clearly understands that academics
come first, and that the best prescription for continued growth in the stature
of the institution is to become even more competitive as an academic enterprise."
Within days of the SUNY trustees’ approval, Hall visited the UAlbany campus
to meet with faculty, staff, and students, as well as state and community leaders,
to establish a smooth transition to the presidency. With an enrollment of 11,000
undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students, UAlbany is the flagship SUNY campus
for research and education in nanoscale science and engineering, atmospheric
sciences, criminal justice, public affairs and policy, demography, clinical psychology,
literacy and writing, education, public health, information resources management,
and social welfare. In addition to nine schools and colleges, UAlbany has a Division
I athletics program.
"The University has an exquisite combination of strong arts and sciences
programs, great public and human service programs, and cutting-edge initiatives
in technology, notably in nanoscience and biotechnology," Hall said.
Hall emphasizes the undergraduate academic
experience as essential to the intellectual
life of a university. During his tenure as
president of Utah State University, he continued
to teach undergraduate and graduate courses
in history, law and political science. He plans
to continue to teach at UAlbany.
At Utah State, a land grant university of
Utah with 23,500 students and a $600 million
budget, Hall led efforts to improve freshman
retention rates, attract better prepared undergraduates,
and increase the number of doctoral students.
He also implemented a program for students
seeking nationally competitive scholarships
and worked to raise endowed dollars for scholarships,
increase resources for graduate fellowships,
and boost sponsored research. He attracted
$10 million for a new recital hall, the largest
single individual gift in Utah State’s
Hall has written and edited twenty-one books
on the American legal and constitutional system,
including The Law of the
Land: A History of the Supreme Court (Prince Frederick, Maryland:
Recorded Books, 2003, fourteen 35-minute lectures
on the history of the Supreme Court of the
United States), The Magic
Mirror: Law in American History (New York, Oxford University Press,
1989; 2nd revised edition forthcoming in 2006).
He is also the editor-in-chief of the award-winning
Oxford Companion to the
Supreme Court of the United States (New York, Oxford University
Press, 2nd revised edition, 2005), and the
Oxford Companion to American
Law (New York,
Oxford University Press, 2002). His books have
been main and alternate selections of the History
Book Club and the Book of the Month Club.
He was one of five Americans appointed by
President Bill Clinton to the Assassination
Record Review Board in 1992 to review and release
to the public documents related to the assassination
of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. For his
commitment to openness in government, the American
Library Association bestowed its James Madison
Award on him in 1999.
Hall received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the
University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron, a master’s degree
in 1967 from Syracuse University and a master of studies in law degree from Yale
University in 1980. He is a graduate of two Harvard University professional education
programs: the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents in 2001 and the Harvard Institute
for Educational Management in 1993.
Hall’s selection capped a process that began in October 2003 when then-President
Karen R. Hitchcock announced her resignation. Hall, the unanimous choice of the
Presidential Search Committee, took over from John R. Ryan, president of SUNY
Maritime College, who served as UAlbany’s interim president from February
2004 until Hall’s arrival.