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Archive Notes - April 2012


As the days get longer and the semester reaches a fever pitch, we are
heading into one of the busiest months of the year here at SUNY
Potsdam.

I can?t help but think that this is what it?s all about.
Many of the following exciting upcoming events showcase the campus
community at its best. I look forward to seeing faculty, staff,
students, visiting scholars and artists and members of the community as
we enjoy all of the myriad educational experiences that the College has
to offer.

Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts

Through the
generosity and artistic vision of Kathryn (Kofoed) ?54 and Donald
Lougheed, the inaugural Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts will be
offered from April 20 to April 28. The first-ever event will celebrate
creativity with a broad array of events encompassing all forms of
artistic expression. A number of guest artists and authors will travel
to campus for the first Festival, while student talent will be in the
limelight, with dance recitals, theatre showcases, poetry performances,
music masterclasses and art openings all in store. As one of the premier
arts campuses in the SUNY system, Potsdam prides itself on its strength
in all of the fields of creative expression. This Festival will bring
together the entire campus to be inspired in ways we never dreamed
possible. Take LoKo-Motion, for example: Every week day during the
Festival, there will be impromptu dancing and music in the academic quad
as we break between classes. For more information, pick up a schedule
available in campus news racks or visit www.potsdam.edu/artsfestival. I invite you to take part in this exciting new campus-wide event.

Crane 125th

The
celebration of the 125th anniversary of The Crane School of Music will
continue with some special events in store. Crane will welcome the 2012
Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor, Ann Howard Jones, to campus
from April 23 to April 28. This renowned conductor will lead
masterclasses and rehearsals with our students, alongside a whole slate
of events, leading up to the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra
performances of Verdi?s Messa da Requiem along with four guest
soloists. The Potsdam performance will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday,
April 28 in Hosmer Hall. This event is free but tickets are going fast;
reserve them by contacting CPS at (315) 267-2277. Then, on May 1, thanks
to the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Performance Tour Fund, the chorus
and orchestra will travel to New York City to perform the Requiem in
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. We would like to thank Dorothy
Albrecht Gregory ?61 and Dr. Gary Jaquay ?67 for making this possible.
In keeping with Crane?s long tradition of excellence in performance and
education, the College has offered free tickets to 800 NYC high school
students so they can enjoy this historic performance as well. For more
information, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/125years.

Earth Week

SUNY
Potsdam will celebrate its fifth annual Earth Week from April 21 to
April 28. The College will reaffirm its commitment to sustainability
throughout the week with activities open to all. Highlights include a
concert/barbecue, mountain yoga, clean-ups downtown and at the Cecile
Garden in Lehman Park, a low-impact camp-out and the annual Rock and
Fossil Fair. Charles Fishman, author of ?The Big Thirst: The Secret Life
and Turbulent Future of Water,? will speak on April 25. To find out
more, visit www.potsdam.edu/about/sustainability.

Spring Fest

Student
Entertainment Services also has an array of upcoming events slated,
from April 14 to April 21, including the Black Student Association
Fashion Show, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and a nearly non-stop series
of outdoor concerts planned for April 20 and 21. Barrington Drive will
be closed to traffic between Watertown and Massena Drives on those days
to allow activities outside the Union. Visit the schedule of events page
for more information: http://www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/clubs/ses.cfm, and all events are free.

Multicultural Weekend

The
Admissions Office and Center for Diversity are gearing up for the
annual Multicultural Weekend scheduled for April 26 to 28. Nearly 60
accepted students will be making the trip from NYC and surrounding areas
to spend time on our campus. A full schedule of events has been planned
for them, including a hypnotist, mock classes and a talent show. I hope
you will join me in welcoming future members of our Class of 2016 to
the SUNY Potsdam community.

Greek Week

This year?s Greek
Week will be held from April 21 to April 28. The annual event is an
opportunity for our recognized Greek chapters to celebrate their four
common values of friendship, scholarship, community service and
leadership. This year?s events include the Greek Olympics, an
information and fundraising campaign for drunk driving awareness, the
Greek Awards Ceremony and a barbecue.

Performing Arts Building Progress

We
are nearing the mid-point of construction on the College?s $44 million
Performing Arts Building. The College will celebrate the symbolic
placing of the last steel beam on April 27. All are invited to sign the
last beam from 3 to 5 p.m. at the site, and there will be a brief
ceremony at 5:00 p.m. to commemorate the halfway mark in this momentous
project. You can view the live webcam of the project anytime, at pabcam.potsdam.edu.

Middle States Visit

In
looking back at the Middle States visit, I am so proud of the entire
campus and how well the visit went. The visiting team members were very
impressed with our College. The self-study was so well done and
thorough that after one day of meetings the visiting team felt
comfortable enough to eliminate some of the scheduled meetings on the
second day. In the end, the preliminary report produced only five
recommendations for the campus, all focusing on various aspects of
connecting more explicitly institutional assessment, planning, and
decision making. We have been asked to provide a preliminary report back
to Middle States tentatively for 2015. In all, we received 21
commendations for things we do exceptionally well, and 23 suggestions on
how we might improve on what we do. Taken as a whole, this is a very,
very good report. I want to congratulate all those who served on the
Self-Study Steering Committee, especially Dr. Jim German and Dean Chip
Morris, the co-chairs. A special thanks also goes to Provost Madden for
guiding the entire process.

2012-2013 Budget

We are
awaiting final details of the allocation of the SUNY budget to the
campuses. We anticipate no major change from our allocation last year.
We will have just under $1 million in new tuition, but need to begin to
back away from approximately $3 million in countermeasures we have used
to help us through the worst of the crisis. The President?s Council will
begin to discuss any new allocations that might be made to the
divisions in the coming weeks. Provost Madden and I have been seeking
guidance on how to prioritize various needs, especially within Academic
Affairs. This will help to illuminate our decision making process.

CFO Search

Two
of the three finalists for a new Vice President for Business Affairs
have visited campus, and we expect the third soon. Chancellor Zimpher
has made it abundantly clear that this position is to become a shared
position with SUNY Canton. President Kennedy and I met with the
Chancellor and Provost Lavallee recently, and discussed how to
accomplish this. In the interim, we will be hiring a Vice President for
the Potsdam campus from the pool developed for the Chief Financial
Officer search, and are now working with SUNY Canton in this search. I
hope that our new Vice President will be able to join us over the
summer, on or about July 1.

Commencement

The
Commencement Committee has recommended, and I have approved, an outdoor
Commencement ceremony regardless of the weather conditions.
Consequently, except for a situation in which the weather is
life-threatening, we will hold Commencement outdoors on the Quad. This
is a glorious celebration of the accomplishments of our students. It is
made even more festive by the participation of a large number of faculty
members. I encourage all faculty members to attend the ceremony. It
means so much to our students and their families to have the faculty
members recognize student success. And remember to dress for the weather
conditions.

Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) Report

According
to the FY2011 VSE report, SUNY Potsdam continues to excel compared to
its peers. Although we are one of the smallest in our peer group of the
13 SUNY Comprehensive Colleges (larger only than SUNY Purchase), SUNY
Potsdam ranks:

  • #1 in total amount given by alumni (up from #4 in FY2010)
  • #1 in percentage of undergraduate alumni who give
  • #2 in total funds raised per student (up from #3 in FY2010)
  • #3 in endowment per student
  • #3 in percentage of total alumni who give (undergrad + grad)


SUNY
Potsdam also ranks #15 (up from #18 in FY2010) in the nation in alumni
participation in giving for public masters universities. MANY, MANY
thanks to the faculty and staff who create such an inviting and
enriching College experience, which directly impacts the willingness of
our alumni to give back.

Reunion Registration

I encourage
the entire campus community to participate in Reunion Weekend, from July
12 to July 15, 2012. Our alumni often comment that the best part of
their Reunion experience is being able to catch up with the faculty and
staff members who made their college years so special. Likewise, faculty
and staff who attend events or volunteer during the weekend find it
extremely rewarding to see their former students and hear of the impact
that their efforts made in the lives of those students. Please register
and let us know that you can be here. You can register online at https://secure.potsdam.edu/alumni/.