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. Four faculty members received this tribute in 2002 for Excellence in Teaching.
Paul A. Leonard, Finance
According to Professor David Smith, chair of the Department of Finance, Professor Paul A. Leonard helped revitalize the School of Business at the University. “In the early 1990s, as department chair, he held two faculty retreats to develop a shared sense of purpose. These meetings resulted in a renewed commitment to student service among the faculty and more consistent standards across the courses,” wrote Smith.
Leonard has received numerous teaching awards. He was twice recognized within the School of Business as the recipient of the Harold Cannon Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and the Dean W. Warren Hynes Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. He was also voted the best workshop instructor and course instructor in the University’s M.B.A. Dual Degree Program, taught in cooperation with the Graduate School of Business Administration, Zurich, Switzerland.
Leonard earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1980. He served as an assistant professor at UAlbany from 1979 to 1984. After teaching briefly at Union College, he returned to UAlbany as an associate professor in 1987 and was promoted to professor in 1996. Known as an innovator, Leonard was not afraid to experiment with his teaching techniques. He began to provide comprehensive lecture notes to students in the executive development programs, allowing students to substitute thinking time for writing or note-taking time, and he used the WebCT to allow evening and weekend students more access to the classroom environment.
Leonard wrote or co-wrote four books, monographs, and book chapters, along with 18 articles. He has written 12 consulting reports for government agencies and private companies and has published approximately one article per year in refereed finance journals. He has been an editorial board member of Municipal Finance Journal for the last six years.
Leonard has served in several administrative positions, including chair of the Department of Finance (1989-92); associate dean of the School of Business (1989-90, 2000-present); and acting dean of the School of Business (1990). He is also accessible to students. “Professor Leonard makes himself available outside the classroom and reminds us of his willingness to provide extra help almost every class,” one student observed. “I have gone to him to discuss assignments on a number of occasions, and have always left in better academic shape than when I arrived.”
Excellence in Teaching