University Update

November 15, 2017

Dear UAlbany Community,

As part of my commitment to strengthen and enhance communication within our campus community, this email is the first of what will be regular updates about major initiatives and key issues affecting the University. It is my hope that this will improve our ability to work collaboratively and effectively toward our shared goals.

Over the past two months that I have been on the job as UAlbany’s 20th president, it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to get to know our three campuses and our amazing people. Every day I learn more about our talented students, world-class faculty, dedicated staff, and high-achieving alumni—and I become even more optimistic that UAlbany’s future is bright, promising, and exciting.

In late September I began a “Listening and Learning Tour” across campus, visiting our schools and colleges as well as key administrative units, governance groups, and other important stakeholders. These conversations have been extremely valuable for understanding the challenges and opportunities before us and to set the institutional priorities that will guide our work over the next several years. Based on many interactions and experiences, five core priorities have emerged:

  • Student Success
  • Research Excellence
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Globalization
  • Public Engagement and Community Outreach

To accelerate our progress in these areas, we are moving swiftly to complete the strategic planning process that started during the 2016-17 academic year. Our work will be focused on these five priorities, and driven by three imperatives that emerged from the first phase of strategic planning: Excellence, Innovation, and Discovery.

As I described in a strategic plan update earlier this month, this work is being carried out by an expanded Strategic Planning Committee, made up of 100 highly diverse representatives of the campus community. It is critical that we have broad input and investment throughout this process, because this is our plan—the roadmap to our future.

At the same time, I am working closely with academic and administrative leaders on numerous critical issues that must be addressed in the near term, particularly a financial model that will ensure UAlbany’s fiscal health.

With all of our work, strong communication will be essential. To improve the flow of information, I am convening a President’s Council, made up of representatives from UAlbany’s academic enterprise and administrative offices. Our goal is for the Council to meet twice each semester to share information and input from every area across the University.

As we continue to build on our past achievements and explore new opportunities, I believe we are positioned for even greater success. I want to thank each of you for the hard work you have done—and for the contributions you will continue to make—as we write the next chapters of UAlbany’s history together. 


Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez