0ctober 6, 1999





Fall Report to the Faculty from President Karen Hitchcock

     First and foremost, I know you all join me in thanking Ed Mayer for agreeing to serve as Chair of the Faculty. Professor Mayer, an accomplished scholar and sculptor, has been with us here at Albany for some 16 years. Throughout his tenure as Sculpture Area Chair in the Department of Art, he has been a powerful and effective advocate for the arts; indeed, for the entire University. He has devoted countless hours to assisting in the design of our exciting new sculpture studio, and has been a committed member of our campus-wide Master Planning Committee. Ed, for all your contributions, we thank you. 
     And, I know you will all join me in thanking Mark Durand for his three years of service as Chair of the Faculty. Mark has been up here with me from the beginning of my tenure as President.......and, for that, I am deeply grateful. Mark continues his service to us all as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences — yet one more way that he continually contributes to the vitality of our University. Mark, thank you! 
     And to all of you, thank you for taking the time from your extremely busy, beginning-of-the-year schedules to come together to celebrate the opening of the 1999-2000 academic year. 
     On a beautiful evening just two and a half weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful candle lighting ceremony to welcome our new students. As I looked out on some 2300 young people holding high their lit candles, and as I listened to our student leaders and alumni speak eloquently of the opportunities which lay ahead for each of these new members of the University at Albany community, I was filled with a tremendous sense of pride.....pride in the environment for learning which all of you have helped to create here at Albany...an environment which has fostered the intellectual development and personal growth of thousands upon thousands of students over the years.....which has expanded the horizons of all who study here in ways impossible to imagine. 
     But those feelings of pride were tempered by a deep sense of responsibility.... an ongoing responsibility we all share for each and every one of our students. They have, after all, put their dreams for the future in our hands. 
     The spectacular fireworks at the end of the ceremony reflected well our shared optimism for the future of these bright, new students......and for our University's continuing vitality as a highly respected center of learning. I wish you all could have shared the evening. It was a thought-provoking ....and rejuvenating... experience. 
     My remarks to you today will touch on a number of important developments since last we met, as well as on some major institutional goals for the coming year. 
     However, it occurred to me as I was preparing these remarks that this will be the final President's Report to the Faculty in the 20th century — or, at least, during the 1900's, depending on your "millennial" point of view.....a perfect time, I would submit, to reflect more broadly on the current "State of our University," and what I feel will be required of all of us as stewards of this exceptional institution of higher learning. 
     The University at Albany, since its founding some 155 years ago, has undergone tremendous transformation.....from an innovative, world-renowned Normal School, to a highly selective four-year College for Teachers, to the nationally-ranked research university we have become. A proud heritage, to be sure....and one which grew out of our predecessors' boldness of vision and willingness to embrace change on behalf of their students. We can do no less....and what an exceptional context you have created for moving our University forward. 
     Major advances were achieved during the 1998-99 academic year. These included new degree programs and curricular innovations; the tremendous success of the Irish Semester sponsored by the Center for Arts and Humanities which involved some 4,000 scholars, artists, writers, and students; the substantive progress being made to fulfill our Master Plan — guided facilities expansion and rehabilitation; the unqualified success of our largest faculty recruitment in over a decade; increased national and international recognition of your scholarship; major increases in peer-reviewed sponsored grants and contracts; the establishment of major new research centers; a greatly enhanced undergraduate applicant pool enriched by substantive increases in out-of-state and international students; a 44% increase in the  number of our students studying abroad; and numerous initiatives designed to improve the quality of life of our students here at Albany...from the food service, to residence hall renovations, to safety, to recreational and intramural athletics, to advising and career counseling. 
     Simply put, through the energy and talents of the faculty, staff and students, the goals we established for the past academic year were more than met. Indeed, your accomplishments led to substantially increased investment in our University by the Governor, Legislature, external research sponsors, alumni and friends. 
     This is the rich and vibrant context you have made possible as we look to the coming year.....as we establish our goals for the months ahead.
     Of course, any goals we establish must also include an analysis of our financial resources....obviously a critical component of our context for planning. Unfortunately the SUNY campuses have yet to receive word of their specific allocations for the 1999-2000 academic year. Indeed, it appears that such allocations will not be finalized till the end of next month. 
     But..... this is what we do know at this point in time regarding the SUNY-wide budget: 
     The $32.2 million requirement to annualize negotiated salary increases will be funded.....good news to be sure. 
The Tuition Assistance Program.... or TAP... has been funded; indeed, $2.6 million additional dollars have been allocated to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and some $800,000 in child care funds. 
     And, for the first time since the Graduate Research Initiative, additional funds were allocated for new faculty lines. The major legislative intent behind this new appropriation of $2.2 million was to reduce the needs for adjunct faculty on SUNY campuses. Allocations to specific campuses were made recently by SUNY based on each campus' full time to adjunct faculty ratios; Albany will receive funds for two new junior faculty based on this formula. While this allocation only scratches the surface of our need, I am extremely heartened by this legislative recognition of the critical requirement to replenish SUNY's full-time faculty ranks. The UUP, as well as our own governmental relations staff here at Albany, are to be commended for their successful advocacy. Indeed, I have asked David Gilbert, Director of our Office of Governmental Relations, to make increased funding for faculty lines his top campus-wide priority in the coming year. We must continue the net increase in the ranks of our tenure-track faculty which we enjoyed during this past year. 
     And what better time to ask you all to join me in extending a warm welcome to the 49......yes, 49 new members of the teaching faculty, many of whom are here today, and all of whom are listed in the handouts you received at the door. 
     I ask our new colleagues to rise and receive the welcome of the University at Albany community. 
     The continuing recruitment of such exceptional new colleagues is my top priority for the coming year. While the ultimate level of recruitment possible clearly must await clarification on our overall state appropriation, delaying faculty searches until the end of next month could impact negatively on their success. Therefore, I have asked Provost Genshaft to work with the Deans to commence the recruitment process immediately...subject, as always, to the availability of funds. 
     Clearly, we are facing a number of budgetary unknowns, including shortfalls in the budget allocated to SUNY to meet inflation, revenue challenges at the SUNY hospitals and, perhaps most important, the degree to which SUNY System Administration will implement their new budget process, an allocation methodology which is extremely positive for our University. 
     But, it is also clear that if we continue to be both aggressive and inventive as we strive, together, to achieve our institutional goals, we can be successful in expanding our fiscal resources. Indeed, in keeping with Goal 6 of our Strategic Plan, considerable additional sources of revenue have been tapped over the past year to enable us to move forward in ways commensurate with our mission as a major research university. 
     The list is both impressive and extensive and has been prepared as a handout. The support and advocacy of the Governor and Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Assembly Speaker Silver, as well as our Capital Region Delegation...in particular, our own Senator Farley...have been pivotal, and we are deeply grateful. 
     But, clearly, the support of the State for these special initiatives derives from one simple fact...the quality of your programs of teaching, research, and service. 
     For instance, major advances in our programs in the sciences such as advanced materials, genomics, andenvironmental studies have positioned us well to compete successfully for additional capital and operating funds — including faculty lines — from the newly-enacted Jobs 2000 for New York State Act. Spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and emphasizing the support of university-based, high technology research, this new state-wide program will be administered by a new New York Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research — or NYSTAR. 
     I am also delighted to announce that with the leadership of the Governor and Senator Bruno, and the support of Speaker Silver, the Legislature has committed funding for our $5 million initiative to develop further the facilities on our East Campus — particularly the expansion of our highly successful business incubator and support for our new Center for Functional Genomics — a Center which has recently been named a finalist for a $5 million NIH regional center grant. 
     And, while details are still being worked out, we have just learned that we most likely will be receiving major additional state support for our planned addition to CESTM, an expansion of our infrastructure which will increase the research opportunities for our scientists and students in inestimable ways by creating a facility unique in this country...indeed, in the world. 
     Each of these special initiatives reflects our success in conveying to New York's governmental leaders the importance of our faculty's research and scholarship to the economic vitality and the quality of life in our State. And, though many are science and technology-based reflecting the priorities of the Legislature and Governor, the funding derived will enable us to utilize our base state operating monies in more flexible ways across our entire university. 
     Another important announcement: We have met — in fact, exceeded — our Annual Fund Goal of $2M; indeed, overall private and corporate giving has increased in a major way, exceeding last year's record by some 40%. 
     Whether in the professions or the humanities and arts, social sciences and natural sciences, whether in research-based programs such as Sharon Dawes' major NSF Grant to the Center for Technology in Government, or education-based programs such as Dr. Carson Carr's recent Ronald E. McNair grant to cultivate and encourage undergraduate students from under-represented groups in the sciences to pursue the Ph.D. degree, you have been both inventive and aggressive in obtaining additional support from federal, state, corporate and private sources. 
     During the coming year, we need to build on that success...through reflective planning and aggressive action, all in the context of our Strategic Goals. 
     While Strategic Plans are, of necessity, living documents which will be changed and modified over time, a critical task for the coming year will be to complete the review of the strategic initiatives submitted by the various Colleges, Schools and Divisions of the University. These unit-specific plans will form the basis for resource allocation decisions in this and the coming years in order that we can achieve our institutional Goals; the input and counsel of the University's Resources and Priorities Advisory Committee will be crucial to the process. 
     Further, we will, along with the other campuses in the SUNY System, complete the Mission Review process begun last year at the direction of the SUNY Trustees. This process provides the opportunity to communicate our collective vision for this institution's future to System Administration. It will be one of my top priorities for the coming year. 
     In like vein, a successful Middle State's Accreditation Review is essential. As you know, the Self-Study required for this process has been underway for a year under the leadership of Professor Sue Faerman. I ask you to give her your fullest cooperation as we engage in this time of self-examination and analysis. 
     As I mentioned this past Spring, the Middle States' Review team will be on campus March 26-29, 2000. Let's, together, make this the best accreditation review we've ever had! 
     Our institutional goals for this next year must also include a continuing emphasis on recruitment and retention of students, and we must focus our recruitment...and resources...on students of great promise and excellence. We have, together, committed ourselves to the goal of increased selectivity in our student admissions, both undergraduate and graduate. I urge the faculty to consider this as you develop your strategies for graduate student recruitment...these strategies must involve every member of your departments and be proactive, innovative and nationally-based in keeping with the national stature of your academic programs. 
     Stipend levels, of course, are key...and even as we continue our advocacy with SUNY and the Legislature for competitive graduate student stipend levels, we need your assistance in identifying and working with potential donors of endowed fellowships and aggressively seeking additional federal funding for student support. The current, relatively low percentage of out-of-state U.S. citizens in our graduate programs is simply not reflective of the quality of these programs. We must, together, find ways to attract a larger percentage of the national pool of graduate applicants. 
     In terms of undergraduates, the staff of our Admissions Office will need the full involvement of each and every one of us...in academic and non-academic units alike...as they seek to attract a cohort of students which is not only increasingly talented, but also more geographically diverse, in keeping with our Strategic Plan. 
     While the current incoming class has 20% more out-of-state students, and 12% more international students than last year, we have much more to do if we are to achieve our goal of a truly diverse student body. Currently, our percentage of out-of-state undergraduates is only 5.0%, including our international students. 
     Provost Genshaft, and Vice Presidents Doellefeld, D'Elia, Stec and Ashton have all developed plans for the coming year which will move us toward these goals. From enhanced student services and facilities, to an enriched residential life, to increased instructional technologies, to greatly improved campus safety, to our first year of Division I sports...our various units have developed a number of strategic initiatives to enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of our University. 
     But, without the involvement of each of you...the faculty...we can not hope to succeed. Every survey I have seen, at both national and state levels, indicates that the key reason for student selection of a particular university, and their subsequent satisfaction with that university, is the quality of interaction with the faculty...both within and outside the classroom. 
     We will do everything we can to make the environment for that interaction a positive one...to increase your ranks in order to decrease class size, to continue to modernize, refurbish and expand our classrooms, laboratories, studios and study spaces, to develop creative living/learning environments, to simplify our procedures and enhance student services, to seek additional funding to support innovative curricula, to identify additional resources to provide the scholarships and fellowships necessary to attract the best students. 
     But, in the end, it will be the rigor of your courses, your mentoring, your involvement with freshmen in lower division courses, your independent study and Honors courses, your presence at the many ceremonies which celebrate our students' achievements here at Albany...indeed, your personal engagement with each and every one of your students, that will be the measure of us. We must communicate your commitment to our applicants, and make manifest that commitment throughout each student's tenure here at Albany. 
     These, and all the various initiatives we must develop and implement to achieve the Goals set forth in our Strategic Plan will, indeed, involve every member of our University family — we each have a responsibility and a role to play. 
     As I said at the outset, a rich and vibrant context has been created for the challenges we have before us. Simply put, the current "State of the University" is one in which we should all take great pride: 
     Courses, degree programs and pedagogical approaches are constantly being refined and developed to help prepare a quality student body for a complex global society. 
     Nationally regarded programs of research and scholarship exist across many areas of inquiry which enrich our environment for learning and advance knowledge in fundamental ways. 
     Innumerable examples are present throughout the University of our institution's commitment to its core value of societal responsibility...from the reflective application of new discoveries to practice in the professions; to programs of instruction aimed at the non-traditional, adult learner; to interdisciplinary approaches to the seemingly intractable social and economic problems facing our society; to mutually beneficial public-private partnerships which advance the reach of our research and enrich the economic vitality of our region and State; to programs in the creative and expressive arts which enable us to reach beyond our boundaries to nourish our culture, deepen our insight and elevate our spirit. 
     And, finally, there is a greatly enhanced financial investment in our institution...from new state and federal sources to expand our infrastructure for teaching and research, to constantly increasing financial support from our alumni and friends. 
     This is the current “State of our University” and, yes, we should take pride in these accomplishments. 
     However, when I accepted the Strategic Plan for the University a year ago, I, along with each of you, made a commitment to a vision for the future of this University which, once realized, will represent the next stage of transformation of this exceptional institution of higher learning. If we are to be successful, we each must be as personally involved and as bold as were our predecessors as they transformed our institution from Normal School to College for Teachers to Research University. As I said in my Inaugural Address, “This is not...the time for incremental change...for marginal tinkering. We must be bold as we, together, envision the future of higher education and, in particular, the future of the University at Albany.” 
     Let me emphasize the word “together” The over-arching goal we have set to move the University into the top ranks of our nation's universities will be impossible to achieve without the commitment and full participation of each and every member of the University community. 
     When I assumed the Presidency of this great university, I stressed that we needed to go beyond an institutional culture which emphasizes only individual and disciplinary excellence. In and of itself, this focus on the individual and the discipline is admirable; it has enabled institutions of higher education in this country to move forward as centers of educational and research excellence. However, I would submit, that it is only when each of us also makes a larger commitment to the institution as a whole that true transformation is possible. As each of us takes responsibility for the University at Albany in its entirety, as each of us takes ownership of our shared institution-wide goals, we will create a University in which we can all take pride. Indeed, such individual engagement with the whole of the enterprise will create a synergy which will support both individual goals as well as our shared institutional aspirations. 
     While it is certainly true that the professionalization of the academy and the reward structures we have established have often led to deeper ties to one's guild... or discipline...than to one's institution and its teaching function, I would submit that these loyalties need not be mutually exclusive. In fact, as a number of our departments have learned, national recognition of disciplinary excellence is often tightly coupled to the perceptions of a university as an organic whole across all of its missions. 
     Here at Albany there are many faculty and staff who are deeply engaged in the whole of our institution, who reflect the deep commitment to our students I spoke of earlier, and who epitomize the societal responsibility at the core of our mission. We not only can learn from them, but we must also create additional opportunities for all to feel just as committed to our University. 
     Provost Genshaft and Vice Presidents Stec and D'Elia are developing new orientation opportunities to introduce our new faculty and staff to the University at Albany, its excellent and varied programs, and the rich institutional legacy of which we are all stewards, and in which we should all take pride. 
     Further, I will soon be meeting with the Deans and Vice Presidents to discuss ways in which we can reshape our allocation process and reward structures to make more explicit the necessity for each College, School and Division to address and to meet institution-wide goals. And, in partnership with the University Senate, we will begin a campus-wide dialogue on the role departments can play in engaging all of their members in meeting not just individual but also institution-wide goals. Departmental...as well as individual...accountability may well represent the paradigm for change that will allow us to move beyond simply incremental improvement to true institutional transformation. 
     In addition, our professional staff will continue a critical analysis of the various service units here at Albany. We will establish quality circles involving both staff and users of these services toward the end of decreased bureaucracy and an enhanced...and simplified...environment for learning. 
     And, as we strive to engage each and every member of our community in moving our University forward, you should expect no less of the administrative and academic leadership...your President, Vice Presidents, Deans and Department Chairs. 
     We will support each faculty member who devises innovative ways to attract exceptional graduate students, or to engage their students, or to increase their unit's research productivity; we will support each professional staff member who creates innovative approaches to enhance campus safety, or increase the recruitment of exceptional undergraduates, or improve the quality of student services; we will support each member of the staff who commits to helping to create an environment in which we all can flourish....who beautifies our grounds, or maintains and improves our facilities, or prepares our classrooms. 
     All who are charged with administrative responsibility here at Albany are dedicated to providing such support...dedicated to fostering innovation, creativity and institutional commitment. 
     As you know, this fall we are welcoming a number of excellent new academic leaders. 
     Richard A. Highfield joins us from Cornell to take the helm of our School of Business. Welcome, Dick. 
    And, Dennis P. Rosenbaum joins us from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and assumes the leadership of our School of Criminal Justice. Welcome, Dennis. 
    And, while she will not assume her post as the new Dean of Social Welfare till January, 2000, we also welcome Katharine H. Briar-Lawson, from the University of Utah. 
     And, of course, our own Sue Faerman, our wonderful new Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Congratulations, Sue. 
     Each of these new Deans brings extraordinary talent to the role, as well as a commitment to serve our entire community as we move forward. 
     Please join me in welcoming them! 
I would also like to acknowledge with deep thanks our department chairs, both those who completed their terms during the past academic year and those who will be serving during the 1999–2000 academic year. Service as a Chair is a demanding responsibility and I am deeply grateful to all our colleagues who have assumed this critical position of leadership. 
     The names of all these academic chairs have been provided on a handout, and I ask you all to rise to accept our thanks. 
     All of our academic and administrative leaders have accepted the responsibility to support the initiatives of the faculty and staff. And, even as they pledge such support, each and every member of the University community must individually renew their commitment to the University at Albany. Just as the initial formulation of the concept of tenure by the American Association of University Professors described a mutuality of obligation between institution and faculty member, so must we all recognize...faculty, staff, administrators and students...that the future of the University at Albany will depend on the degree of connectedness we all feel...the willingness of each of us to accept responsibility for the totality of the environment in which we work and learn. 
     A recognition of this mutuality of obligation across all the many parts of our University will, I am convinced, be necessary if we are to move from incremental change to true transformation. 
     And don't we, after all, owe an allegiance to this fine institution which has been the environment for so much of our own personal growth and accomplishment? And should we not take overt pride in all we have contributed to enriching the legacy of this, our University? As we look forward, together, to the next chapter in the evolution of this remarkable community of scholars, let such loyalty and pride motivate us to even greater levels of achievement. 
     Thank you very much. 

University at Albany’s Daniel C. Levy Named SUNY Distinguished Professor
by Carol Olechowski
     Daniel C. Levy has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The designation - the highest a State University educator can attain - is a rank above that of full professor. 
     A leading scholar of Latin American and comparative politics and of higher educational policy internationally, Levy has been a faculty member at Albany since 1981.  He earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his arrival at UAlbany, Levy was a research associate at Yale for five years.
     At Albany, Levy, who resides in Delmar, holds joint appointments in the departments of Educational Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS) and Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), and an affiliated appointment in the Department of Political Science.  He is also a member of the University's Public Policy Program.
     Levy noted that he was “gratified” by the Distinguished Professorship appointment. He added that he enjoys teaching - particularly interacting with students.  “Most of the EAPS students are professionals in their fields,” he explained.  “Together, we tackle the challenge of interrelating practical knowledge and broader concepts.”
    In his 18 years at Albany, Levy has taught politics of education and higher education; social science perspectives on education; Latin American and Mexican politics; comparative politics; and numerous other courses. His other University service includes membership on, or chairing, search committees; the budget panel; and numerous committees at the University, school, and departmental levels.
    In addition to lecturing at nearly all the leading universities in the United States, Levy has lectured in Africa, East Asia, and Europe - all regions encompassed by his comparative policy research. Most of his research, however, has concentrated on Latin America, and has emphasized “discovering and analyzing the surprising strength and resiliency of civil society, where it is typically ignored or underestimated.” Widely published, Levy has written a number of books that have been translated and critically acclaimed. His works include Higher Education and the State in Latin America: Private Challenges to Public Dominance (University of Chicago, 1986); Building the Third Sector (University of Pittsburgh, 1996); University and Government in Mexico:  Autonomy in an Authoritarian System (Praeger, 1980); and Myth, Reality, and Reform: Higher Education Policy in Latin America (with C.M. Castro; Inter-American Development Bank/Johns Hopkins, 1999). He and co-author K. Bruhn have nearly completed Mexico and the Struggle for Democratic Development; Levy is also working on a major historical study of U.S. efforts to export progress, through universities, in the golden age of development assistance. In addition, Levy's articles have appeared in such diverse academic journals as the Comparative Education Review, Contemporary Politics, Current History, the Latin American Research Review, Minerva, the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Studies in Comparative International Development, as well as in foreign journals. 
     Over the years, Levy’s work has attracted international recognition, including visiting professorships and competitive fellowships from organizations such as the Ford, Mellon, and Spencer foundations, as well as three Fulbright awards. Levy has served on many advisory boards of journals and policy organizations, both national and international. His most recent book award was the 1997 prize from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary action for his book on the Third Sector. 
     Levy has conducted special seminars for policymakers and scholars throughout Latin America, as well as in other regions, and has frequently been interviewed by National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and other U.S. and foreign media. In announcing the Distinguished Professorships for Levy and eight other professors statewide Sept. 22, SUNY Chancellor John W. Ryan observed, “The State University is proud to recognize the achievements of these outstanding scholars in fields ranging from astronomy to Native American studies.” Professors from Stony Brook, Brockport, Cortland, Geneseo, and New Paltz were among those honored with Levy.

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