Excellence in Teaching
Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Five faculty members received this tribute in 1999 for Excellence in Teaching.
David P. McCaffrey, Public Administration & Policy
In his 18 years in the Department of Public Administration & Policy, David P. McCaffrey has proven himself to be the model of superb classroom teacher and departmental colleague.
He has taught 10 different graduate-level courses at both M.A. and Ph.D. levels, chaired 17 completed Ph.D. dissertations — including several which received national awards — and has been a member of more than 30 other M.A. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation committees. He has also directed both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs.
In the classroom, McCaffrey has clearly earned the unqualified respect of his students, who perceive him as profoundly dedicated and highly effective. While he holds his students to very high standards, he is quite approachable and open, challenging them intellectually while providing a safe atmosphere for discussion and discourse. Ideas are often debated freely and sometimes even vigorously in an atmosphere of organized engagement, to the benefit of all.
McCaffrey maintains a flexible instructional policy, experimenting with techniques at times, but also using straight lectures when they seem most appropriate. A teacher/scholar who keeps abreast of his field, he uses relevant contemporary data and related disciplines in his teaching. His own portfolio reveals numerous external grants to support his research, and his publishing of three books and well over 20 book chapters, articles, and book reviews.
The department's teaching program as a whole has benefited greatly from his contributions. He has stepped in to teach a course that needed to be filled when its regular teacher was unavailable. And he has even taught an overload on his own schedule when a needed course would not otherwise be offered because a colleague was on sabbatical.
McCaffrey has also played critical roles in curriculum development, such as with that of the Master of Public Administration degree. He also played a vital teaching role in the Organizational Studies Ph.D. program, whose infrastructure he helped design.
Excellence in Teaching