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1. What kind of institution is the University at Albany?
The University at Albany is a medium-sized public research university with all of the characteristics of that kind of institution:
The University at Albany is the product of more than 150 years of change reflecting the evolving needs of New York State. It began as a distinguished College for Teachers, and the story of how that College was converted into an aspiring University is instructive. By the late 1950s it was becoming apparent that private colleges and universities would not be able to expand sufficiently to meet the educational needs of the state in the 1960s. A state problem produced a state solution: the rapid expansion of the State University of New York system of higher education, including the creation of four university centers (the University at Albany being one), with leadership provided by an aggressive governor, Nelson Rockefeller.
The modern University at Albany came into being in 1962 when it was assigned the mission of becoming a “university.” Albany adopted the conventional model of a broad-based public research institution charged with providing a liberal arts education for large numbers of undergraduates, developing graduate programs and professional schools, building a research effort, and serving the state which provided financial support. The 1960s was a decade of exuberant growth for Albany. Baby boomers crowded the Albany campus and enrollments quadrupled between 1962 and 1970. The numbers of undergraduate liberal arts majors and master’s, doctoral, and professional programs multiplied. In the late 1960s the University added about 100 new faculty members each fall.
Students who choose the University at Albany are some of the brightest students in the nation. The University received 20,250 freshman applications for the fall 2007 semester. Fifty-two percent were offered admission. Over 2,400 freshmen from 26 states and 13 foreign countries started classes in September 2007. Nearly 90% of new students were ranked in the top half of their high school class, and the middle 50% of the entering class scored between 1070 and 1210 on the new SAT exam.
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