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Archive Notes - October 2010


As we approach mid-semester, as usual, SUNY Potsdam is a flurry of
activity with performances, exhibitions, competitions, book series,
lectures and the daily energy of learning. I want to make sure we take
time to acknowledge all the incredible work we accomplish and about
which I am so proud.

It is impossible to mention all the
accomplishments that are occurring among the faculty, staff and students
around the campus, but here are a few highlights to allow you to
discover what amazing things are happening within our community.

Academic Accomplishments
My
congratulations to all of the faculty members who published articles
and books and who saw the completion of other projects of a creative
nature over the last few months. I look forward to reading your
pieces. As each of you sees your efforts reach conclusion, I would
appreciate being informed so that I can recognize you personally.

Faculty Recognitions
Two
of our Crane faculty members have been recognized by their respective
alma maters as outstanding alumni. Donald George was selected as 2010
Alumnus of the Year at Southeastern Louisiana University. Jim Petercsak
was chosen as one of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni at the Manhattan
School of Music.

Additionally, Mike Rygel, Geology, has received
the 2010 Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award from the Geoscience
Education Division of the Geological Society of America. The award
recognizes innovative and effective teaching of earth science among
early career faculty.

Fundraising
I want to
congratulate all of the organizers and volunteers of this year?s Golf
Scholarship Classic. This year?s event was an overwhelming success. We
raised over $80,000 for student scholarships, which was $20,000 more
than last year?s record-breaking achievement. This is one of the
region?s most successful golf tournaments and the money is so very
important in assisting many of our best and brightest students. Thank
you to everyone involved.

Student Services
We
pride ourselves on the individual attention that makes the Potsdam
experience unique in all aspects of college life and are pleased to
announce the addition of Patricia Pielnik, MD, as a full-time member of
our College Counseling Center staff. A licensed psychiatrist, Dr.
Pielnik officially began working at the College on Aug. 23.She will
offer a full range of medical/clinical services to the students of SUNY
Potsdam, including diagnostic evaluations and pharmacological/therapy
treatments. With the addition of Dr. Pielnik, SUNY Potsdam will be able
to offer students a wider array of support services. According to the
Psychiatric Times, only 63 percent of schools provide psychiatric
services on campus. Dr. Pielnik?s addition to SUNY Potsdam?s clinical
team is considered a tremendous asset to providing ongoing comprehensive
proactive and responsive clinical care for students experiencing
psychological difficulties while attending the University.

Enrollment
The
fall 2010 recruitment campaign can be characterized as another solid
year for SUNY Potsdam. As many of you know, in 2006 our Faculty Senate
approved a more holistic application process which included aTest
Optional Admission policy that was subsequently approved by SUNY System
Administration in fall 2009.In general, this policy was developed
largely as a result of SUNY Potsdam?s desire to implement an admissions
process that not only evaluates students? individual abilities but
places more emphasis on using the most reliable measures of student
success. Therefore, high school transcripts, essays, interviews, and
letters of recommendation provide a more holistic view of the student?s
preparation for higher education.

Fall 2010 Results
In
fall 2010, a total of 926 freshmen were registered on the first day of
classes, thus exceeding the fall 2010 budget goal of 825 by 101
freshmen. Additional enrollment information can be found at:
http://www3.potsdam.edu/DailyStats/DailyStatsF10.pdf

In terms of the academic profile of the entering class of 2010, we are pleased to report the following:

Fall 2010 Fall 2009 Change
Applications 5,028 4,525 +503 (11.1%)
% Applications Accepted 62.1% 65.6% -3.5%
% of Applications Denied or Refused 19.8% 19.7% +.10

% of Applications Incomplete (No Review, No Decision)
18.1% 14.7% +3.4%
Enrolled 926 830 +96 (+11.5%)
High School GPA 88.29 88.19 +.10

Average SAT

1177 (N=168)

1070 (N=673)

+107


While we are in the early stages of monitoring and evaluating the
effectiveness of the Test Optional policy, it appears that the academic
profile of our entering freshmen has improved. It should also be noted
that the percentage of applications denied or refused has also
increased.

Overall, the feedback received from guidance counselors, parents, and
prospective students was very positive. As we move forward with
recruiting the class of 2011, we will continue our efforts to assess the
effectiveness of this policy and continue to follow the best practices
and approaches to recruiting students.

Student Accomplishments

Congratulations to director of intramurals and recreation, Bill
Beauchamp and our intramural canoe racing team, consisting of students
Katilyn Gesel, Ryan Brink, Mike Collyer and Emily Stephan. With a time
of one hour, 33 minutes and 22 seconds, the team won the New York State
Collegiate C-4 championships at the Long Lake Long Boat Regatta, a
10-mile race in Long Lake, NY.

SUNY Potsdam student Shawn Hatch from Massena spent his summer
rollerblading across the country in an effort to raise money for wounded
veterans. The criminal justice major became the first person to
inline-skate from New York to California with his 3,107-mile journey,
which took him 66 days. Shawn has raised $10,250 so far for the Wounded
Warrior Project, which honors and empowers severely injured soldiers.

Geology major, Owen Brown, was lucky enough to unearth an extremely
rare fossil from the Cambrian period at a Utah dig site. Just a few days
later, he held in his hands a gold bar worth nearly three-quarters of a
million dollars. Dr. Christopher R. Kelson, assistant professor of
geology, led a group of seven students in his ?Geology of the Great
Basin? class to Utah and Nevada from July 26 to August 6. The group
traveled to see geologic formations, caves and mining operations in an
intensive hands-on learning environment.

Budget Update

As is well known, we have begun the 2010-2011 fiscal year with $7.5
million in restraint on our operating budget. Over the course of the
summer, the President?s Council has recommended, and I have approved, to
relieve various divisions of part of that restraint. As we closed out
the 2009-2010 fiscal year, we had more funds carry forward than we had
expected, due to several different largely unforeseen circumstances. As
a result, I have felt comfortable approving some restraint relief,
while still maintaining a reserve to use in case of further reductions
from the State. A total of $1,099,000 has been restored to the
divisions, for the current year only, in the following manner: $897,000
to Academic Affairs; $90,000 to Business Affairs; $40,000 to
Institutional Effectiveness and Enrollment Management; $37,000 to
Advancement; and $35,000 to Student Affairs. Within Academic Affairs,
the relief will provide courses needed by both first year students and
continuing students in the fall and spring terms. In the other
divisions, the funds will be used to hire essential personnel.