Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees as the 20th president of the University at Albany in June 2017. He took office in September 2017 after more than 25 years as a leader in higher education.
Dr. Rodríguez served as the Founding Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). He also served as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA). Dr. Rodríguez played a key leadership role in the creation of UTRGV - which resulted from the consolidation of UTPA and the University of Texas Brownsville - and the creation, from the ground up, of UTRGV’s School of Medicine.
Prior to arriving at UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served as the Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. He was also a core faculty member and director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world.
Dr. Rodríguez held a faculty position and several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) for over a decade, and served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association (1995-1998). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan’s Population Fellow’s Program (Summers, 2001-2003).
Dr. Rodríguez has received numerous recognitions and awards, including the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2002); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Outstanding Achievement Award (2004); was recognized as one of the Hispanics of the Year in the State of Delaware for which he received the Professional Achievement Award (2007); the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015); was the featured cover story of the national publication, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine (2015); was highlighted in the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (September 2015); received the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Cesar Estrada Chavez Award (2016); was selected as a 2017 Top Latino Leader by the Council for Latino Workplace Equity; received the 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award by the INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine; and was awarded the Presidential Medallion by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Dr. Rodríguez has served on a number of committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ford Foundation, and was the Chair of the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Dr. Rodríguez has received funding from NSF, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the UPRM Sea Grant Program, among others, for a number of research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and for projects aimed at providing hands-on research training and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students. He was also the principal investigator for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers. Dr. Rodríguez was the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty in STEM fields. In addition, he was the Project Leader(with Kristin Croyle) for the AASCU Frontier Set Project, which focuses on student success, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Rodríguez has led and participated in a number of field research projects, including trips to Honduras, following Hurricane Mitch; India and Sri Lanka, following the Indian Ocean Tsunami; and the Gulf Coast, following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Rodríguez has a significant number of publications in the area of disasters, as well as Latinos/as in the United States. He is the co-editor (with Donner and Trainor) of the Handbook of Disaster Research (2018) and co-author (with Mora and Dávila) of Population, Migration, and Socioeconomic Outcomes Among Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans: La Crisis Boricua (2018), among other book publications. He is also a co-author of a book currently under contract focusing on implementing effective warning systems.
His role in community engagement and service to the community, at the local, regional, and national level has been extensive. Dr. Rodríguez has served on numerous community, professional, and university boards, organizations, and committees.
Dr. Rodríguez obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.