Mid-Term Spring Message!

March 9, 2023

Dear UAlbany Community,

As we approach the midpoint of the semester, I wanted to update you on a few important topics and highlight what we are doing to advance the University at Albany community.

There is much going on here and much to be proud of at the University at Albany. The reunification with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, advanced by the SUNY Board of Trustees in December, is proceeding on schedule. We are working with our partners at SUNY Poly to ensure a smooth transition of CNSE back to the University at Albany during the fall semester. The work going on at CNSE, especially regarding this nation’s growing semi-conductor industry, is groundbreaking.

Our transformative AI initiative is also underway. Searches are in process for some 49 new faculty positions, 27 of them in disciplines related to artificial intelligence – the largest cluster hire in UAlbany’s history.

People are taking notice. For the 26 AI faculty lines embedded across each college and school, the University has received more than 700 applications, a testament to the innovativeness of our approach. Bringing in new faculty will ensure that UAlbany students are exposed to and understand how artificial intelligence will impact us in the sciences, in business, in the arts and humanities, in the social sciences, through policy and in public life; and the research these faculty conduct will make Albany a nationally recognized center for artificial intelligence.

As the State budget process continues, we are visiting with elected officials to make the case for a strong University at Albany and to lobby for parity with the other University Centers for capital funding to expand our research capabilities, especially in AI and in public health.

This fall we are looking forward to welcoming our first cohort through the Dream.US initiative, a scholarship program for highly motivated students without permanent legal status. This is one small example of the University’s efforts to create pathways for the students that we serve and to assist students in changing the course of their lives.

On campus, you may have noticed a few construction projects. Thank you for your patience as we work to make our beautiful campus even more livable for our community. Renovations to the Alumni Drive area will be complete this summer, on schedule, and our new Garden Way will provide students with much-needed community recreational green space. Around campus, in the P.E. Building and Colonial Quad, renovations are being made to create more and better recreational and fitness space for students, and during the next academic year, we will be back in the newly upgraded SEFCU arena for University and community events and basketball.

And on the Downtown Campus, a multi-million dollar renovation, funded by New York State, is transforming the former Albany High School into a state-of-the-art facility, including classrooms, labs, offices and maker/tinker space for our growing College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  The south wing of the building is on schedule to open this fall.

These are just a few examples of how campus and academic facility renovations will enhance our campus life and benefit students, faculty and the community.

Once you are back from Spring Break, the countdown begins for our inaugural UAlbany Showcase on April 27. I hope you will support your peers and join us for this University-wide event, where more than 1,500 students will present their scholarship, art and performances, across all disciplines. This will be a day on which the great work of our faculty and students will be open for all to see and to celebrate, a day where we will demonstrate what it means to Unleash Greatness.

And I encourage you to come to the Spring Address on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, to hear our vision for the University at Albany’s future and to join a celebration of what makes our community great. It will take place in the Campus Center West Auditorium at 3:30 p.m., and there is a reception immediately following in the Campus Center Great Hall.  All are welcome.

Finally, please do not forget to support our Women’s Basketball team, in person or in spirit, as they battle the University of Vermont at the America East final on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. in Burlington. Go Great Danes!

I hope that you will take advantage of the upcoming break to recharge and that you return from Spring Break ready to make the most of the rest of the semester. There is much to celebrate here at the UAlbany. Please get engaged in our community, and I will see you on campus this spring!


Havidán Rodríguez