Biography

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez is the 20th President of the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). 

 Dr. Havidán Rodríguez

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was appointed by the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees as the 20th president of the University at Albany in June 2017, and took office in September 2017 with more than 25 years as a leader in higher education.

In addition, Dr. Rodríguez currently serves as executive director of the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute; co-chair of the Capital Region Council for Economic Development; and co-chair of the SUNY Puerto Rico Task Force.

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 over a decade.

Dr. Rodríguez has earned numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career, including being named to the inaugural Higher Education Power 50 List by City & State New York (2019); Man of the Year by the New York League of Puerto Rican Women (2018); Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award by INSIGHT into Diversity (2017); Top Latino Leader by the Council for Latino Workplace Equity, National Diversity Council (2017); Cesar Estrada Chavez Award by the American Association of Access, Equity, and Diversity (2016); highlighted in Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2015); Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015); being recognized as one of the Hispanics of the Year in the State of Delaware for which he received the Professional Achievement Award (2007); and the National Disaster Medical System Outstanding Achievement Award by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004) . Among his extensive national and regional media coverage are feature stories in Hispanic Executive (October 2019); Latino Leaders (March 2018); and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education (June 2015).

Dr. Rodríguez has received funding from the National Science Foundation (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, as well as faculty. He was the principal investigator for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers, and for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty in STEM fields. Moreover, he was one of the project leaderson an AASCU Frontier Set Project focusing on student success, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition to Dr. Rodríguez’s numerous journal articles and book chapters in the areas of disasters as well as Latinos/as in the United States, his publications include Population, Migration, and Socioeconomic Outcomes among Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans: La Crisis Boricua (coauthored with Mora and Dávila, Lexington Books, 2017) and the Handbook of Disaster Research 2nd Edition (co-edited with Donner and Trainor, Springer, 2018), among others. Dr. Rodríguez has also 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 earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.