Installation Nov. 8, New Campus Dedication Nov. 1

“Engaging the Future” is the theme for the Inauguration of Karen R. Hitchcock, 16th President of the University at Albany. A week of public Inaugural events will culminate on Friday, Nov. 8, with an Inaugural Convocation and Installation Ceremony at 10a.m. in the Recreation and Convocation Center.

Private, non-State funds will cover the costs of Inaugural events in the week-long observance, which will include the dedication of the University’s new campus in Rensselaer County, a student-sponsored “Rock the Vote” Concert and Campus Block Party, and a University at Albany Student Scholarship Fund Benefit Dinner and Reception.

Plans for some events still are being finalized. As of press time, the schedule of public events is as follows:

•October 31 — Inaugural Seminar Series: “Hyaluronan-Cell Interactions in Morphogenesis and Tumorigenesis” Presented by Dr. Bryan P. Toole, Department of Anatomy and Cellular Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine. Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences. 4 p.m., Room 248, Biological Sciences.

•November 1 — Dedication of the New Campus. Open house and tour of the facilities, 10:00 a.m. Dedication Ceremony, 11:30 a.m., Guest Speaker, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Symposium: “Science and Public Policy,” 1:30 p.m., First Floor Auditorium.

•November 3 — Presidential Concert. Reception open to the public, 6:00 p.m., Futterer Lounge, Performing Arts Center. Concert including the University Chamber Singers, the College of St. Rose Jazz Ensemble, University-Community Orchestra, Albany Pro Musica, and University Wind Ensemble 7 p.m., Main Theater, Performing Arts Center, Tickets $5 adults, $3 students.

•November 4 — Symposium: Social Science and Public Policy. Time, Title, Location TBA.

•November 5 — Inaugural Seminar Series: Extracellular Matrix and Development. 4 p.m., Room 248, Biological Sciences, Speaker and Title TBA. Sponsored by Department of Biological Sciences. “Rock the Vote.” Albany Students celebrate Election Day with a special concert. 7 p.m., Campus Center Ballroom.

•November 6 — Alumni Faculty and Staff Inaugural Breakfast, 8 a.m., Alumni House. Campus Block Party, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Lecture Centers Atrium. Student Inaugural Fireworks Celebration, 6:30 p.m., South Side of Academic Podium. New York State Writers Institute, Reading by Irish Novelist John McGahern, 8 p.m., Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

•November 7 — Symposium: Public Higher Education in the 21st Century: New Dynamism, New Challenges. Keynote Speech 12:30 p.m., Panel Presentation 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., Panelists, Location TBA. Scholarship Fund Benefit Inaugural Dinner and Reception. Reception 5:45 - 6:45 with artist L. F. Tantillo; Dinner, Campus Center Ballroom, 7 p.m.

•November 8 — Inaugural Convocation and Installation Ceremony. Installation of Karen R. Hitchcock as the Sixteenth President of the University at Albany, 10:00 a.m., Recreation and Convocation Center.

Joel Blumenthal


Bonnie Steinbock Weighs Some life and Death Issues

By Lisa James

What are your views on abortion? What will be the impact of genetic engineering? Would you help a loved one who was ill to take his/her own life? These are just a few of the issues dealt with everyday by Bonnie Steinbock, a professor in the Department of Philosophy.

“The issues which confront bioethics today are some of the most important issues confronting the whole country,” she said. Confirming her statement is the fact that one cannot pick up a copy of any newspaper or magazine without seeing articles on the subjects which are addressed in Steinbock’s classes everyday.

Steinbock did her graduate work in ethics at the University of California, Berkeley. When she started teaching, at her first position at the College of Wooster in Ohio, she became intrigued with the subject of euthanasia. The questions surrounding it seemed to be a very good way to illustrate a difference in approach between two theoretical approaches to ethics. She became very interested in the whole killing/letting die issue and tried to write something on it herself.

Finally, it was her husband who suggested that she do an anthology of articles on the topic. Killing and Letting Die (1980), was the result. A second edition, written with Alastair Norcross, was published in 1994. The book had, in addition to philosophical sections, sections on medical and legal background, as well as discussions of neonates (new borns). “The book became well-known and people began to assume that I knew something about medical ethics,” Steinbock said. “So I figured I’d better learn something about the topic.”

She then wrote an article on the case of Baby Jane Doe, an infant on Long Island who was born with spina bifida and the question of whether doctors should use aggressive methods to keep her alive. “I had so much fun writing that article. And suddenly, writing, which had always been kind of difficult for me, became much easier. I found that this was something I really liked doing,” she said.

Steinbock’s latest book is the fourth edition Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine. It is intended as a textbook for use in medical ethics classes, mainly undergraduates, but it is also used on the graduate level. Albany Medical College uses it for their medical students. Her co-author is John D. Arras, a personal friend and colleague. For this fourth edition, Steinbock said, they really needed to overhaul and update the book. “So many things have been happening in the field of medical ethics, for example, the whole changing payer system and the possibility of reform, managed care, genetics, and physician-assisted suicide just to name a few,” she said. The book consists of a collection of articles and most of the authors are philosophers working in bioethics. However, there are some doctors who have contributed, as well as anthropologists, lawyers and sociologists.

Steinbock said she is currently considering writing a book on the right to reproduce and how we should interpret that right. “In particular, I am interested in whether the right to reproduce is primarily a right of genetic replication or whether it intrinsically involves raising children,” she said. Another project she is working on is a collaboration with Dan Beauchamp, a professor in the School of Public Health, with whom she has jointly taught a course on Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Public Health. The absence of a textbook for the course persuaded Steinbock and Beauchamp to write one together. “We think there’s a real need for this book. Not only are there many new schools of public health but the book will have great intellectual value because the perspective one takes in public health is radically different from that of a typical medical ethics course. Medical ethics courses are very individualistic but public health looks at things from a much broader, epidemiological perspective,” Steinbock said.

Steinbock believes one of the hottest coming topics in her field to be genetics, ranging from prenatal testing to insurance companies having information about a patient’s genetic makeup and denying coverage based on what they know. Another area of the field that will be discussed more, according to Steinbock, is the financial aspects of it all. The big question, as she sees it is “How do you, at a time when the population is aging and there are more and more high-tech, expensive procedures, control costs.”

Dealing with such controversial topics does not bother Steinbock. She said she has gotten critical letters from people but they have always been respectful and polite. When she teaches, she tries not to let her students know what her view is (occasionally she will reveal it in the final class) but simply to present both sides as strongly as possible. “That is how the most stimulating discussions occur,” she said.


A New Kind of Supportive Academic Community for Students

Project Renaissance, a new program for freshmen, makes its debut this fall. Said to be the only program of its type in New York State, Project Renaissance offers two groups of 100 freshmen each the chance to live together and participate in a year-long unified course of study covering 12 credit hours of the University’s general-education requirement.

Open to all freshmen and filled on a first-come, first-served basis, the program creates a supportive academic community for those who are usually living away from home for the first time. Project Renaissance combines the advantages of a small college with the opportunities of a major university.

The instructional team for each group of students will consist of three faculty members, two teaching assistants, one faculty adjunct and six upper-division student tutors. Each team will choose its own course readings and projects, but the unifying themes will be “human identity” and “technology,” according to Lil Brannon, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Funded with a $150,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the program will also offer expert guidance in computer use, as well as interdisciplinary explorations in various collaborative learning settings. Outside of the course requirements, students will be able to enroll in nine credits of other courses each semester.

Each team will live in one of Indian Quad’s low-rise residence halls. “By having students living together, discussion and exploration do not necessarily have to stop when the course period ends. Peer tutors can also work with students in their living quarters, where most students study,” said Brannon.

Project Renaissance is aimed at the freshman year because research indicates that the freshman year is crucial to the success or failure of most students. Brannon attributed the successful start of the program to President Karen R. Hitchcock.

“President Hitchcock has been one of our greatest advocates for the program,” Brannon said. “She truly understands that you educate a whole person, that you’re not just educating a student during class hours. She was very supportive in developing the living-learning community.”

Greta Petry


Former U. of Maryland Chief Takes Reins

J. Frank Wiley, a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and former police officer, has been appointed the University’s new Director of Campus Public Safety. He succeeds James Williams, who retired in February.

The position has the primary responsibility of supervising the maintenance of law and order on campus, the enforcement of federal state and local laws, and the rules and regulations of the campus.

The University Police Department (UPD) has 52 professional and support staff and provides 24 hour a day vehicle and foot-patrol protection to all University campus properties as well as nearby facilities rented or leased by the University. UPD Officers are vested with full law enforcement powers and have responsibilities and authority similar to local police in any community.

“Mr. Wiley’s broad experience as a police officer, with ascending levels of responsibility, and his clear vision of a community-focused police department, bode well for UPD and the University at Albany,” said James Doellefeld, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. Wiley begins his new position on August 29.

Prior to his position as a teacher, Wiley was director of public safety for the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. In addition, he served as assistant director of police and as a police officer for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He was also a police officer for the Baltimore City Police Department.

Wiley said he is already extremely impressed with the professionalism of the staff at the University. “I hope to be supportive of the community by presenting a community focused law enforcement philosophy,” he said.

Wiley graduated summa cum laude from Sojourner Douglass College in Baltimore with a bachelor’s degree in human and social resources.


Initiatives For Women (IFW), a fund-raising organization at the University designed to enhance educational and career opportunities for women, announced its 1996 award winners during a special ceremony this summer in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and Futterer Lounge.

IFW has given awards to 25 women and groups this year, giving them the opportunity to do everything from traveling to India for research on women who run their own businesses, to representing Puerto Rico in track and field at the international games.

IFW has been providing a valuable service for students, faculty and programs at the University by awarding grants for the past three years. The awards, of varying amounts, provide these women with the means to advance themselves personally and professionally. This year, more than $17,000 was awarded to women at the University through IFW.

Presidential Awards of $1,000 each this year went to:

Xiomara Davila Diaz, an undergraduate pre-med/biology major, who will represent Puerto Rico in track and field in the upcoming international games;

Nancy Forand, a Ph.D. student in anthropology, to purchase a laptop computer for dissertation research on gender relations in Indian communities;

Claudia Heyer, an undergraduate English major, for financial support for summer child care;

Thirteenth Moon, a feminist literary magazine of the English Department, for purchase of laser printer and scanner; and

Bao-Zhu Yang, a Ph.D. student in biometry and statistics, for purchase of computer for home use.

Other awards, of varying amounts, went to:

Carolynn Akpan, training program coordinator for the Special Education Program in Educational Psychology and Statistics, for research on women of color entering special education;

Barbara Lewis Carman, a Ph.D. student in biology and a single parent with financial need;

M. Dolores Cimini, director of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, for computer equipment to accommodate her disability;

Lorraine Cummings, undergraduate English student who demonstrates outstanding academic accomplishments;

Carrie Curley, an MFA student, for materials for Master&$146;s thesis exhibit which focuses on women&$146;s bodies and pregnancy;

Lynn Davidson, an MSW student with disability who plans to work with others with disabilities;

Nancy Fisher, a Ph.D. student in sociology, to pursue content analysis of self-help books on incest;

Emily Gonzalez, a Ph.D. student in psychology, for supplies and compensation of research subjects for dissertation on psychological resilience in the children of socio-economically disadvantaged mothers diagnosed with an affective or anxiety disorder;

Carolyn Hamilton, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions, for tuition assistance for work toward Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies;

Lynn Hassan, an MFA student, for materials for Master&$146;s thesis exhibit making reference to the human figure and human psyche;

Dawn Knight-Thomas, an MSW student, to purchase textbooks and articles to set up her own non-profit organization for African American and Latino youth who have been in long-term foster care;

Andrea Meldrum Sopko, a Ph.D. student in Counseling Psychology, for remuneration for research subjects for a project on women with eating disorders and how their social expectations are related to body image;

Crystal Moore, a Ph.D. student in social welfare, for remuneration for research subjects for project on factors determining who completes advance health care directives on end-of-life decisions;

Kausiki Mukhopadhyay, a Ph.D. student in sociology, to travel to India for research on women running their own business or working in the service sector with a focus on characteristics allowing them to move out of family subordination;

Ellen Nolan, a senior clerk in the Registrar&$146;s Office, for financial support of undergraduate anthropology major;

Jan Marie Olson, Ph.D. student in anthropology, to travel to Guatemala for research to revisit original research site;

Andrea Purcigliotti, undergraduate in Fine Arts, to purchase art supplies;

Suzanne Rancourt, Ph.D. student in educational psychology and statistics, to publish her poetry and other creative writing;

Secretarial-Clerical Council, for honorarium for a guest speaker at their annual workshop;

Joane Ternier, undergraduate English major, for financial support for child care; and

Suzannah Tieman, senior research associate in biology, for funds to hire a graduate student lab assistant.