Dr. Havidán Rodríguez is the 20th president of the University at Albany, one of the nation’s most diverse research universities. The first Hispanic/Latino president of a SUNY four-year institution, he took office in September 2017. Under Dr. Rodríguez’s leadership, UAlbany has opened a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility, won $75 million in state support for the UAlbany-led Albany Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Initiative, and became the first R1 institution in the northeast to earn the Seal of Excelencia for its commitment to Latina and Latino student success. Most recently, under Dr. Rodríguez’s leadership, the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering returned to the University at Albany, and merged with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences to become the College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering, solidifying UAlbany as an essential partner in semiconductor and nanoscale research and economic development in New York State.
During Dr. Rodríguez’s tenure, UAlbany has extended the reach of its globally significant research while also becoming a national leader for educational equity and social mobility. Dr. Rodríguez has over 30 years of experience as a leader in higher education and is a respected social scientist and scholar in the area of disaster response and resiliency. In addition, Dr. Rodríguez currently serves as Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), is the co-chair of the New York State Capital Region Council for Economic Development (CREDC), and was recently appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.
Before coming to UAlbany, Dr. Rodríguez served as the founding provost & executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) after having served as president, ad interim, and provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA). Prior to UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served in various leadership roles at the University of Delaware, including deputy provost, vice provost for academic affairs and international programs, and director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. He also served as director of the Minority Affairs Program at the American Sociological Association, and held several administrative positions while on the faculty at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) for about a decade.
Dr. Rodríguez has earned numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career, including the 2022 Higher Education Power 100; 2021 Empire Whole Health Heroes Award’s Honoree; The Power of Diversity: Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by City & State New York, 2021; inaugural Higher Education Power 50 by City & State New York (2019); Man of the Year by the New York League of Puerto Rican Women (2018); Cesar Estrada Chavez Award by the American Association of Access, Equity, and Diversity (2016); and the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015). Dr. Rodríguez was also the Executive Director of SUNY’s Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI).
Dr. Rodríguez has received extensive funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the UPRM Sea Grant Program, and the State University of New York (SUNY), among others, for a number of research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters; the differential impacts of COVID-19 in New York State; and for projects aimed at providing hands-on research training and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty.
In addition to Dr. Rodríguez’s numerous books, journal articles, and book chapters in the areas of disasters as well as Latinos/as in the United States, his most recent publication is Severe Weather Warnings: An Interdisciplinary Approach (with Donner, Brotzge, and Diaz, 2022), among many others.
Dr. Rodríguez earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a PhD in sociology from the University of WisconsinMadison. Born in Puerto Rico and raised on the island and the U.S. mainland, Dr. Rodríguez is fully fluent in English and Spanish.