Welcome to Fall 2023!

August 25, 2023

Dear UAlbany Community, 

I am incredibly pleased to welcome you to the University at Albany and the Great Dane family for the fall semester. This promises to be an exciting year for all members of the UAlbany community. 

Last week, thanks to our great Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Facilities teams, and especially our fantastic student employees, we hosted a dynamic and energetic Welcome Week program. We welcomed about 2,865 first-year students and 875 transfer students to the campus community, as well as 1,600 graduate students. 

The Class of 2027 is one of the most diverse in our history, with 54 percent of students coming from historically underrepresented groups, and a very accomplished group, with an overall high school average of over 90 percent and 275 students joining the University’s Honors College. 

Last week, we also celebrated the long-awaited reunification of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute with the University at Albany and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Welcoming our colleagues at Albany NanoTech back into the UAlbany fold was a momentous occasion, and we are eager to explore how our academic and research programs align and create synergies across all schools and colleges at the newly named College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering (CNSE). 

We were also pleased to welcome 40 new faculty, including 18 specializing in artificial intelligence. The hires are part of an unprecedented hiring initiative to add 49 new faculty this year, including 27 specializing in artificial intelligence-related disciplines as part of UAlbany’s AI Plus initiative to embed teaching and research about AI across all academic programs. This represents a significant expansion in the number of new faculty joining the University this year and was made possible, in part, by $5.2 million in new state funding.

This year, we were fortunate to see our first increase in direct state operating aid since 2007, in lieu of tuition and fee increases. New funding allowed us to complement our significant investments in new faculty with the necessary administrative resources, in facilities and IT, for example, to support them. 

Finally, as we get back into our classrooms and labs, there are also many wonderful ways to engage our entire University community—from Great Danes athletics, to the Albany Book Festival, to Family Weekend, to theater, music and dance at our Performing Arts Center—not to mention our vibrant array of student organizations and activities. 

I encourage you to join us at events, such as LatinFest this weekend in Washington Park, or donate blood next week at the UAlbany Saves Lives American Red Cross Blood Drive

Please also be on the lookout for information about the Free Speech and Civil Discourse program coming up on Sept. 14 and our first Research and Entrepreneurship Week in October. My Executive Council and I hope that we can meet and greet many of you at some of these events.

Again, I am very pleased to welcome you to the 2023-24 academic year. I look forward to working with you to ensure our students' success and to create a better future for UAlbany, our communities, and our world. As always, thank you for your engagement and commitment to support our students and this great institution.

Go Great Danes!


Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez