President’s Letter to the University Community

November 17, 2023

Dear UAlbany Community, 

As we approach Thanksgiving, Rosy and I want to wish you, your family, and friends a healthy and happy season. Amidst the festivities, please remember to take care of yourself and your well-being and enjoy the holidays. Use this time to recharge, appreciate the moments that bring you joy, and take time to reflect on the things for which you are grateful. 

I say this recognizing that this year this may be very difficult for many in our community. The tragic events in the Middle East continue to impact our Jewish and Palestinian communities here at UAlbany. Our community has dealt with this trauma, tension, fear, and worry by coming together through acts of education, empathy, and service. In other words, by doing what we do best.  

Further, let me be clear, the University at Albany stands strongly against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and any and all forms of prejudice and discrimination. 

We must continue to support our friends and colleagues who are in pain, and each of us must do our part to ensure that every member of our community is aware of the resources that exist to support them. As I stressed in my Fall Address, we must continue to engage with each other with a heightened measure of patience, grace, empathy and understanding, which I know to be a hallmark of the Great Dane family. 

We are also approaching the end of a very busy fall semester, thanks to the contributions of our entire University community, and this is an appropriate time to celebrate our accomplishments.  

A few weeks ago, I delivered the Fall Address and presented the awards and accolades the University and our scholars have received in the past six months. We discussed the return of CNSE to UAlbany, and the astounding, groundbreaking growth of our AI Plus initiative.  

At the address, we honored the recipients of UAlbany's named professorships and directorships. Six new named professorships were announced, thanks to the philanthropy of our donors. Honoring the best of our faculty signals the importance of world-changing scholarship and teaching at UAlbany.  

We also announced the completion of our prior strategic plan, Authoring Our Success, which covered the years 2018-2023, and distributed a publication, Marking Our Milestones, that reported on the success of that plan and UAlbany’s achievements over the past five years.  

We launched our new strategic plan, Great Danes Rising: Unleashing Our Potential, that covers the years 2024-2029, and this plan, with your help and input, will power the University at Albany’s momentum, scholarship, and rising reputation for the next five years.  

Over the next few months, we will distribute more information about this strategic plan to the campus community, and we ask for your engagement in making the University at Albany one of our nation’s premier research institutions through our five pillars: student success, research excellence, diversity and inclusion, internationalization, and community engagement.  

As we move from fall to winter sports, I would like to congratulate our football team for rising in the FCS rankings to No. 12 in the nation as we go into the final home game of the season, against Monmouth, this Saturday. Please join us! 

Later this year, we will celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Broadview Center. Please join us for one of our opening basketball games, take a well-deserved break and experience this fantastic new facility. Our men’s basketball home opener is Wednesday, November 29, and the women’s home opener is on Saturday, December 2. More information about all games can be found on our Athletics website. Come out and cheer on the Great Danes! 

In closing, let us in these final weeks of the semester re-commit to educating ourselves and others, challenging prejudice wherever we encounter it, and extending a hand of friendship and compassion to those who need it. Together, we can make the world kinder, more accepting, and more inclusive. This is who we are and who we should be as the Great Dane family. 



Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez