March 15,  2000
Update Archives







University at Albany Foundation Names Citizen Laureates
By Lisa James Goldsberry

    New York State’s Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Arthur J. Roth and University at Albany Professor Shirley Jones have been named recipients of the 2000 University at Albany Foundation Citizen Laureate Awards. In addition, this year a special Millennium Award will be given posthumously to former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908-1979).
    The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize individuals for significant contributions to the academic world and the community. Roth will receive the Community Laureate Award while Jones will receive the Academic Laureate Award. Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr., a Trustee of the University, will accept the Millennium Award for his late father.
    The honorees will be recognized at a dinner Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia. The event is a fund-raiser for the University at Albany Foundation. For ticket information, call (518) 442-5310.

    Arthur Roth became New York State’s commissioner of Taxation and Finance in 1999. He first joined the tax department in 1996, serving as deputy commissioner for tax operations. In this position, he was responsible for numerous organizational, technological and policy-based changes aimed at easing the burdens imposed by the collection and audit process. He is also credited with improving responsiveness to taxpayers, and with helping to  protect honest individuals from those who commit tax fraud.
    Roth was chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM) at UAlbany and has been praised for his guidance in this post. In addition, he served as chairman of the Economic Development Council for the Foundation, and as director of the Center for Economic Growth and the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. 
    A lifelong Albany resident, Roth has given time and effort to numerous volunteer organizations in the area and was an advocate for the veterans memorial in Academy Park. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, 31st Artillery Brigade, Army Air Defense Command, from 1962-’64. Roth earned a bachelor of science degree from Syracuse University.

    Shirley Jones received the Distinguished Service Professor Award from the State University of New York in 1993. A highly regarded professor of social welfare, she teaches courses spanning the study of social welfare policy, practice, human behavior, and the social environment. 
    Jones hosted the first and only national conference on collaborative, interprofessional practices to serve rural communities. The resulting book, Preparing Helping Professionals to Meet Community Needs: Generalizing from the Rural Experience, fosters interdisciplinary research. Her forthcoming book on action research will report the work of a cross-continental scholars’ forum between Africa and the U.S.
    She has served on the University Senate and the University Community Council. Prior to joining the UAlbany faculty in 1988, Jones was dean of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi and a faculty member at the University Center at Stony Brook. She earned her Doctor of Social Welfare degree from Columbia  University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from New York University.
    The Millennium Laureate Award is a special category to be presented only once to an individual of the highest distinction who has profoundly impacted the history of the University at Albany.
    Nelson A. Rockefeller is credited as the driving force behind the expansion of SUNY and the building of the UAlbany campus. He served one term as vice president of the United States under President Gerald Ford and four terms as governor of New York. He inaugurated a dramatic growth in state services in the areas of education, health and welfare, housing, and environmental protection.
    Under Rockefeller, SUNY’s master plan in the 1960s proposed expanding community colleges, converting teacher-training institutions into liberal arts colleges, and creating graduate centers at four locations, including Albany.
Founded in 1967, the University at Albany Foundation is responsible for the University’s fund-raising activities and associated fiscal management. It is dedicated to playing a significant role in supporting programs and research that contribute to the economic development of the Capital Region and New York State.


University of South Florida Taps Genshaft As President
By Christine Hanson McKnight

    Judy Genshaft, the University at Albany’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, has been tapped as President of the University of South Florida, a research university with 35,500 students in Tampa Bay, Fla.
    Provost Genshaft, who came to the University at Albany in 1992 as dean of the School of Education, will assume her new position effective July 1. The Board of Regents for the State University System of Florida voted unanimously in favor of her appointment on Friday, March 10, following the recommendation of Chancellor Adam Herbert. 
    UAlbany President Karen R. Hitch-cock praised Genshaft for her “exceptional” contributions and said she was “an extremely valuable” member of the University’s administrative team.
    “Provost Genshaft has provided outstanding leadership in a number of crucial areas, including the development of the University’s Strategic Plan, which provides an intellectual blueprint for the University’s future; co-chairing the Master Planning Committee, and working with SUNY System Administration on the Mission Review process currently underway,” President Hitchcock said in a letter to the campus community. “She also implemented new admissions policies which have boosted applications and enrollment while maintaining quality, and devoted considerable energy to enhancing graduate student support.”
    President Hitchcock said Provost Genshaft’s efforts have helped to position the University at Albany as one of the nation’s outstanding public research universities, and added, “I am confident that we will continue to maintain our strong forward momentum.”
    The University of South Florida (USF) is the largest metropolitan university in the southeastern United States. It has a student body spread across four campuses, more than 200 academic programs from the undergraduate to the doctoral level and an annual research budget surpassing $160 million. One of the top 50 public research universities in the country, USF was recently classified along with the University of Florida and Florida State University as a Research 1 university. 
    Genshaft said the South Florida presidency represents a unique opportunity. “USF is a university that will be growing in stature and in size, and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping to lead it,” she said. She replaces Betty Castor, who resigned last fall to lead the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. 
    USF was created in 1956 to meet the needs of the Tampa Bay metropolitan area and is now one of the 20 largest universities in the United States. In addition to arts and sciences, USF’s largest college, it has colleges of business, education, engineering, fine arts, nursing, medicine, public health, and architecture, as well as a mental health institute. Its satellite campuses are located at St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Lakeland.
    Provost Genshaft was dean of the University at Albany’s School of Education for four years, then served as interim vice president for academic affairs from August 1995 to April of 1997, when she was named provost and vice president for academic affairs. She came to UAlbany from The Ohio State University, where she was chairperson of the Department of Educational Services and Research and a professor of school psychology. 
    In addition to her responsibilities as provost, Provost Genshaft has served as co-host of the National Public Radio Show “The Best of Our Knowledge,” which is broadcast on more than 100 radio stations in the United States. 
    Provost Genshaft earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Kent State University. She has a B.A. in social work and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in psychology from Kent State. She has published extensively in her research field, including three books and more than 55 refereed journal articles. She is the recipient of many research grants, as well as numerous awards and honors.

Middle States Team Visits UAlbany March 26-29
By Greta Petry

    The Mid-dle States Commission on Higher Education is sending a site team to visit the University at Albany campus March 26-29. The nine-member site team will be chaired by Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
In preparation for the visit, the University has completed a Self-Study Report, which is available on the Internet by going to the University’s home page and clicking on the “Of Special Interest” section. This report represents the input of more than 100 faculty, staff members and students who were involved in 10 committees overseen by Sue Faerman, dean of Undergraduate Studies. The committees did the bulk of their work last spring.
    “Over the next few weeks, we will be seeking to increase awareness about the site team visit and to let the University community know that the Self-Study Report is available,” Faerman said.
During the Middle States visit, site team members will be meeting with University community members. The visit and the report are part of an accreditation process that takes place once every 10 years. The new report takes into account the sweeping changes and tremendous growth that have occurred on the UAlbany campuses in the last decade.
    In a message to the University community, President Karen R. Hitchcock said, “The March 26-29 Middle States Association Evaluation Team’s visit and review of the University at Albany are of critical importance, not only to our essential academic accreditation, but also to the continuing development of our institution, to the national credibility of our achievements and aspirations, and to the expanding recognition and regard that higher education across the country has for this institution. The University’s last 10 years have been truly transformational, and I think you will find that our Self-Study Report is a compelling chronicle of a decade of growth and achievement in which each of us should take pride. Our comprehensive Self-Study Report can be fully accessed through the University’s Web site home page, and I highly commend it to your attention. It, after all, is a chronicle of your accomplishments in teaching, in research and in service.”
A university going through the accreditation process has the choice of a comprehensive or a focused review. A decade ago the University chose to conduct a focused review of the strategic planning and budgeting process then being pioneered by former President Vincent O’Leary, Faerman said. 
    “Given the tremendous progress and growth we have made under former President H. Patrick Swygert and now President Hitchcock, we felt it would be better to do a comprehensive study looking at all areas of the University,” Faerman said. “In addition, we had just completed the Master Plan process and were coming to the conclusion of a campuswide account of a plan charting the future as well as being engaged in the Mission Review process with SUNY Central. We felt it was a good time to take this comprehensive review of the campus.”
The “Executive Summary” section of the report highlights five key themes that emerged as challenges the University faced during the past decade:

1. “To continue, indeed to seek to accelerate, the University at Albany’s development as one of the nation’s premier public research universities at a time when public institutions of higher education, nation-wide, were finding it essential to diversify their funding base.”

2. “To continue to strengthen the University’s research and graduate education programs, particularly in disciplines that are critical for enhancing the institution’s national stature as a center of excellence and for contributing to our region’s and state’s quality of life and economic vitality.”

3. “To establish Albany among SUNY’s most selective undergraduate institutions.”

4. “To address a long-standing disparity between the needs of the academic and research programs and the capabilities of the institution’s facilities.” The report details improvements that have been brought about by the Master Plan, plus the building of four new facilities on campus (the Campus Center Extension, the Recreation and Convocation Center, the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management, and the new library) over the last decade.

5. “To rededicate ourselves as a campus community to socially responsible participation in our larger communities.”

    The Middle States’ evaluation will be based on the Self-Study Report, as well as  the findings and observations the site team members gather from their visit to campus, Faerman noted. “They will be scheduling meetings with key constituencies, administrators, faculty and students, as well as taking the opportunity to simply walk the campus and talk with people,” she said.
The team is made up of people with expertise in the broad areas covered by the report. Faerman said, “Ultimately, if you think of the big picture, they are going to be looking at these questions: Do we have good planning processes in place; do we follow our planning processes; and do we meet the goals that we set in those processes?”
    Those with comments or questions about the Self-Study Report or the Middle States accreditation process may contact Faerman in the Office of Undergraduate Studies at 442-3950, or Robert McFarland in the Office of the President at 442-5400.

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