The report from Middle States following their visit to campus this past spring was, simply put, glowing. Both Provost Madden and I, each having served on several different evaluation teams, cannot recall ever having seen a better report for an institution of higher education. SUNY Potsdam received 26 commendations, including one general commendation highlighting the self-study report and the self-study process, a very unusual commendation. Two recommendations require a written response by April 2014. I am in the midst of appointing a small subcommittee from the members of the Self-Study Steering Committee who will work with co-chairs Jim German and Chip Morris to draft this report. Once again, I extend my deep appreciation to all those who worked toward this very positive review for our College.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all those employees of the College who received promotion in rank or permanent or continuing appointment last year (July 1, 2011 through June 31, 2012). A list of all those who received a promotion or continuing or permanent appointment is available on the website at http://www.potsdam.edu/about/administration/president/upload/emplpromotions.pdf.
Congratulations to each and every one of you!
The bicentennial of the College is now only a few short years off and we are moving from the brainstorming phase to the organizing phase. A Bicentennial Organizing Committee has been established and will be chaired by Jenica Rogers, Director of Libraries. In addition to Jenica, the organizing committee is comprised of the following individuals:
Discussions on shared services with Canton are proceeding, especially within the division of Business Affairs. Areas where collaborations are occurring include Human Resources, Institutional Effectiveness, CTS, Libraries, and Purchasing and Payables. We are establishing a Steering Committee for the Institute for Arts, Sciences, and Technology consisting of the two Provosts, a dean from each campus, and a representative from the faculty senate/assembly from each campus. This group will begin to evaluate how best to explore areas of academic cooperation. The President’s Council from Potsdam and the Executive Cabinet including the academic deans, from Canton met on Monday, Sept. 24 to further explore areas of possible cooperation.
For the second year in a row, the Crane Opera Ensemble has earned first place for one of its productions. The American Prize in Operatic Performance awarded first place in the colleges/universities category to the ensemble for its Fall 2011 production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Crane beat out two other finalists for the 2012 award, including the University of Houston's Moores Opera Center and the University of Connecticut School of Music -- both doctoral-degree granting institutions. In addition, Dr. Kirk Severtson earned second place for The American Prize in Conducting for 2012 as well. Congratulations to Dr. Carleen Graham, Kirk, and the hardworking students whose immense talent and hard work earned The Crane School of Music this prestigious honor.
It is the people at SUNY Potsdam who make it the special place it is. Every year, our faculty and staff face challenges, and sometimes the only chance we have to interact with employees from other areas is in meetings and more meetings. Beginning this fall, we are scheduling time for everyone to stay connected to colleagues and co-workers across campus. The College is sponsoring a monthly social hour, to provide an opportunity for all the interesting individuals on our team to unwind by joining colleagues for drinks and snacks. The first "Whine and Jeez" social hour was held on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Dexter's Cafe, with a respectable turnout of faculty and staff from different areas of the campus. The next “Whine and Jeez” hour will be held on Wednesday, October 24, with a cash bar and complimentary light snacks. Mark your calendars for all of the semester’s social hours by visiting http://www.potsdam.edu/faculty/whineandjeez.cfm.
In partnership with the United University Professionals, Human Resources is launching a year-long Civility in the Workplace initiative, featuring workshops, a book club, panel discussions and outreach. Please join me in reaffirming the Potsdam Pledge and a commitment to a positive, polite, productive and professional workplace by taking part. This parallels an initiative of the Student Affairs Office of Campus Life: the Community Civility Initiative. The initiative uses the motto Be Ethical And Responsible, or BEAR. On Oct. 18, BEAR will host a Civility Sit-In/Stand-Up at noon in Minerva Plaza. This event will be hosted simultaneously along with SUNY Canton's CARES Project, so that faculty, staff and students can stand up for what they believe in at the same time on both campuses. To find out more about BEAR, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/studentconduct/bear.cfm.
We had an extremely busy season for construction on our campus this summer, with some of our most exciting projects still underway, including a complete renovation of the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena, and the continued construction of the Performing Arts Building. We recently celebrated the completion of a new state-of-the-art lounge addition, as well as upgrades to rooms and facilities, in the Bowman Hall complex. To compensate for the loss of parking spaces in Lots 7 and 9 during the Performing Arts Building project, spaces in Lot 17, located east of Knowles Hall, are now designated for use by faculty, staff, commuter students and visitors. We appreciate your patience as we enter another academic year with major construction projects underway across campus. For more information about the status of capital projects, visit the Physical Plant page at http://www.potsdam.edu/about/physicalplant/capitalprojects.cfm.