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UAlbany Teams Make Progress Toward Strategic Goals

Launched in 2011, the University at Albany's Strategic Plan defines six key goals and articulates a vision for an innovative contemporary university ready to meet new challenges and a world of opportunities. Over the past year, the Strategic Planning Implementation Steering Committee and seven Working Groups have been working on the “first up” priorities recommended by the Strategic Planning Committee and selected by UAlbany President George Philip. 

"With many thanks to the over 150 faculty, staff, and students participating, it has been quite a year, and one with tremendous progress," said UAlbany Provost Susan Phillips, who is chair of the Strategic Planning Implementation Steering Committee.

Comprehensive information about the strategic plan and implementation is available on the UAlbany Strategic Planning Process website.

Below is a summary provided by Provost Phillips of some of the major accomplishments from the past year, organized by strategic goal.

To enhance the quality of undergraduate education at UAlbany and attract and serve a highly qualified and diverse group of students, we  [1]

  • Created and adopted a new General Education program -- recommended by the University Senate, and signed by the President on June 13, 2012 (Bill No. 1112-15).  It now moves into implementation over the next several years.
  • Launched a pilot program to provide upper-division students with academic training and experience as a preceptor or peer mentor.
  • Developed a set of principles to govern excellence in teaching.
  • Developed a program enhancing the engagement of part-time faculty.
  • Increased the diversity of our highly qualified undergraduate students, raising both the number of international students and students of color.
  • Created and implemented a new “Community College Connections” collaboration between the Office for Undergraduate Education and Undergraduate Admissions, to enhance the opportunity for highly qualified undergraduates to transfer from community colleges to the University.
  • Developed new opportunities for students considering UAlbany to interact with current students, faculty and staff.
  • Created a program to highlight the academic achievements and excellence of our undergraduate students.
  • Increased the full-time faculty by 45, beginning Fall 2012, with plans for recruiting several hundred more over the next 5 years. This new cohort of faculty is the most diverse to come to UAlbany—just under half are women, and just under half are persons of color.

To create an excellent student experience that integrates academic and co-curricular experiences, engages the surrounding community and the world, and fosters lifelong pride in the University, we 

  • Created and launched “Advising Plus” – a new unit to connect students to the resources needed for their academic success.
  • Enhanced our advisement services—in the central Advising Services Center, in the academic departments, and online in DARS tutorials and videos about our majors.
  • Redesigned and launched “Food for Thought”—a faculty and undergraduate student lunch program in the resident hall dining rooms.
  • Added nearly 40 sections of discipline-based first year courses connecting new freshmen with faculty.
  • Launched 17 new Living Learning Communities for incoming freshmen.
  • Developed and launched a new website for new students (“U A – U Know!”)
  • Expanded faculty mentoring, orientation to the campus and the community, and participation in the Candle Lighting, Torch Night, and Commencement campus traditions.

To advance excellence in graduate education in support of the University’s reputation, role, and stature and the preparation and competitiveness of graduates, we 

  • Developed a new set of consensually derived external and internal criteria for evaluating doctoral programs.
  • Designed a new program of professional development for graduate students.

To increase UAlbany’s visibility in, and resources for, advancing and disseminating knowledge, discovery, and scholarship, we

  • Increased the number of full-time tenure-track faculty by 35, beginning Fall 2012, with plans for recruiting hundreds more over the next 5 years.
  • Created three new units to address faculty pre- and post-award issues, with another three yet to come.
  • Established a new problem-solving process to detect and prevent disruptions in the smooth management of post-award management.

To add to, and reconfigure, our teaching, research, student life and support spaces in a manner compatible with our contemporary mission, we 

  • Completed the conversion to “smart” classrooms in 100% of the uptown teaching spaces.
  • Upgraded Blackboard and provided new mobile access.
  • Completed the decennial Facilities Master Plan, mapping the renovation, expansion, and reconfiguration of our spaces over the next 25 years.
  • Added 3 new outdoor recreation fields dedicated exclusively to our intramural and club sports programs.
  • Received our first LEED Silver certification (Husted renovation), and are on track for two LEED Gold certifications (Liberty Terrace and the new building to house the School of Business). 

To engage diverse communities in strategic partnerships to increase public, scholarly and economic benefits, we 

  • Achieved designation on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
  • Recognized three University-Community partnerships in the inaugural President’s Award for Community Engagement.
  • Held a campus forum on community-engaged scholarship models and methods, and completed a white paper on how to incorporate these ideas for UAlbany researchers.

[1]  represents an area of particular convergence with the SUNY strategic plan, The Power of SUNY

[1]  represents an area of particular convergence with the SUNY strategic plan, The Power of SUNY