Message from President Robert J. Jones
In my Inaugural Address in September, I outlined four key "stakes in the ground"--expanding our portfolio of degree programs; recruiting more out-of-state and international students; broadening our role in the community, local and global; and growing our financial resources. These stakes will help us become the university of choice for students nationally and globally.
The third stake, to better define and further expand our role in the community, will improve the educational experience for our students and the scholarship opportunities for our faculty. It is more than a strategy--it also a core value, dating back to the University's founding in 1844 as a school to prepare New York State teachers. Our role as a public research university is to work on many fronts to address the critical needs of our communities.
In an effort to have an even greater impact on our region and world, I have issued a challenge to UAlbany's students, faculty, staff, and administrators--to invest 2.5 million hours in community engagement activities each year. With this challenge, my goal is to further open our campuses to our neighbors and partners. I also want to flood the area with purple shirts, extending our assets where possible to address areas of greatest need.
By matching our assets to the needs and resources of the community, we can create true partnerships that are mutually beneficial--partnerships in which we learn from each other and work together effectively. We need the knowledge of scholars, practitioners, and citizens to solve our communities' most pressing problems, whether closing the achievement gap or addressing global public health issues.
My vision is to build on UAlbany's remarkable accomplishments and embed community engagement even more deeply in its culture. The University is developing new initiatives and programs to highlight the importance of community engagement and recognize the exemplary engaged work of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners. As we strive to reach these goals, we will work hard to bring our campuses and communities together to have an impact that benefits our region and our world.