Last week, I was invited to Albany, along with SUNY Canton Interim President Carli Schiffner and joint CFO Natalie Higley, to speak to the SUNY Board of Trustees, following my resignation announcement. Our goal was to discuss our success in shared services so far, and to champion the distinct identities of our respective campuses.
The trustees gave very positive feedback on the hard work that we have done toward exploring administrative and programmatic collaboration. SUNY Provost David Lavallee reported to the board that SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton have embraced shared services and made significant progress, including the hiring of a joint CFO. He said that SUNY System Administration commends the two campuses' efforts toward the full integration of administrative services and IT, as called for in the SUNY Board of Trustees resolution last year.
The administration and the Board of Trustees have not yet made a recommendation regarding the presidencies at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton. SUNY reaffirmed, however, upholding their support for the distinct visions, missions and brands of both campuses. They are eager to see where our alliance progresses, as we work on finalizing our plans for administrative alignment. As I said at the Faculty Senate meeting last week, I encourage all faculty and staff to get involved in this important conversation going forward.
SUNY Potsdam has secured a $40,000 grant in support of a new academic-industry partnership with the Lockheed Martin Corporation, thanks to Haden Land, Class of 1984, who is vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions, Civil Product Line. The partnership will explore the science of creativity, with the goal of developing an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with the arts. This new “STEAM” curriculum (adding the arts to STEM) will be designed to prepare students to be scientists who can engage in the creative and innovative thinking necessary to address the complex problems facing human society in the future.
The “STEAM Team,” led by Provost Maggie Madden, includes Marsha Baxter, Music Education; Heather Beauchamp, Psychology; Kim Bouchard, Theatre; Derek Habermas, Mathematics; Mark Huff, Art; Brian Ladd, Computer Science; and Gordon Plague, Biology. Resource faculty and staff for the project team are: Steve Marqusee, Arts and Sciences/Anthropology; Peter Brouwer, Education and Professional Studies/Secondary Mathematics Education; Jenica Rogers, Libraries; Jill Pearon, Assistant Provost/Music Performance, and Nancy Griffin, College Advancement.
The team’s work will be done primarily in the summer, with the goal of completing their work by August 2013.
You may have noticed that our campus email has been a bit slower that we are accustomed to. Our CTS staff tells me this is most likely volume related, in part due to an increase in commercial spam (related to the holiday shopping season). There is an increase also in emails which have large attachments. This has a tendency to slow things down as well. To keep track of the campus network and systems status, visit http://blogs.potsdam.edu/network/.
As the East Coast continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy, many are still without power, heat, or housing. During the holiday season, we must keep those who are struggling to return to normalcy in our thoughts and actions. To do so, SUNY has established a partnership with the American Red Cross to connect the generosity of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to those still in need. In addition to local efforts, please consider giving blood, donating, or volunteering in the affected areas. Visit www.suny.edu/sandy/ to get involved.
The annual SEFA campaign has run this year from October 23 and will conclude on December 21, 2012 for the calendar year 2013. As of December 11, 2012, 29 employees have contributed to the SEFA campaign, raising $9,704.
If you would like to contribute, please call Diane Brown at 267-2100 for the forms or for more information. Your contributions have the potential to support numerous organizations in St. Lawrence County such as the Potsdam Humane Society, Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, United Way of Northern New York, American Red Cross, and for the first time this year, GardenShare. $1 deducted from your paycheck will help so many people in need. Please consider this very important campaign.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed or is thinking of contributing. All forms need to be returned to Diane by 4 p.m. on December 21, 2012. Many thanks to Diane for coordinating the SEFA campaign again this year.
This fall, SUNY Potsdam submitted an application for the second phase of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, for a project called Raquette Village at Lehman Park. This priority project would fulfill the vision set out in the College's 2010 Facilities Master Plan, in which the development of Lehman Park was one of nine strategic goals. Through a public/private partnership working with the Potsdam College Foundation and an investor/partner, we hope to bring multi-purpose housing, a conference center, a hotel with restaurant, and enhanced green space to Lehman Park. As we continue to seek funding from all avenues for this initiative, I have made this a key priority for the months ahead. None of our state operating money or student tuition would be used for this project.
As we enter into the winter months, please be conscious of weather conditions when you are traveling to and from the campus. Our primary concern is always for the safety and wellbeing of our SUNY Potsdam family. Remember, if you have heard no information about closures or delays, you should assume that everything is running normally. You can find information on the campus policy for extraordinary weather conditions at http://www.potsdam.edu/offices/hr/policies.cfm.
The last “Whine and Jeez” for this semester will be held on Wednesday, December 12 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Dexter’s Café. This special holiday happy hour will include door prizes and live music. In addition, PACES is joining with the Dean of Crane to ratchet up the food offerings for this end-of-the-semester event. Please stop in and enjoy some time with your colleagues.
As the holidays and the end of this semester approach, I would like to wish you a restful, festive and peaceful holiday season and break. May all the joy of the holiday season remain with you and your family throughout the coming year.