Archive Notes - March 2008

As the winter months fade away and we look forward to signs of spring, I write to share with you signs of success and achievement from across campus.  From fundraising successes to campus-wide honors, there is much to be excited about at Potsdam. 

One of the hallmarks of an engaged campus is the level of commitment of its students, faculty and staff to the community in which we live.  Recently, we were informed that SUNY Potsdam has been named to the 2007 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.  This honor, from the highest levels of our federal government, recognizes our leadership in helping to build a culture of community service and civic engagement on campus and in our nation.   This distinction, I believe, reflects part of the true essence of this institution and our readiness to give back to our immediate community. 

The programs that were submitted to the review panel included a variety of campus scholarship and activity. These activities provided the opportunity for many Potsdam faculty, staff and students to work with youth from disadvantaged circumstances.  Programs of note include Annette Robbins’ work on the UNICEF Fundraiser; Jay Pecora’s Applied Theatre Service Learning Course; Sarah Mack’s Relay for Life Cancer Walk; Lauren Bruce and Tara Ruchk’s work on the SUNYAC Leaf Raking Project; Lora Lunt’s English as a Second Language Mentor Program; the combined efforts of Mark Huff, Robin Collins, Vicky Levitt and Don Borsch on the BOCES-SUNY Potsdam Arts Program; Mark Huff’s Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club Art Teaching Internship; and Julie Reagan’s work with the Extended Day Program at the St. Regis Mohawk Elementary School.  I would like to extend sincere appreciation to Toby White and Heather Sullivan-Catlin for their efforts in compiling the information and completing the lengthy paperwork related to the application process for this distinction.

The College has surpassed its fiscal year 2007-2008 fundraising goal of $2,554,876.  Through February 15, 2008, the College has received philanthropic gifts totaling $2,618,621.  These gifts will have a direct impact upon Potsdam, most notably our students, as among these gifts are 15 newly established scholarships.  These scholarships will provide financial support to 19 deserving Potsdam students. 

Additionally, Dr. Arthur Frackenpohl, (Hon. ’04) professor emeritus of The Crane School of Music, and Mary Ellen Frackenpohl (’54), established the Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet Endowment.  This endowment will provide annual scholarship support to Crane brass students, while supporting potential travel and guest artists.  

We are so proud of our winter athletic teams.  All three (Women's and Men's Basketball, and Men's Hockey) made it into SUNYAC post-season play. This is a significant accomplishment and one that we hope is merely a harbinger of even more successful years in the future.  As well, our Men's Hockey coach, Aaron Saul, was named the SUNYAC Hockey Coach of the Year.  Aaron assembled a solid team and took it all the way to the semi-finals in his very first year here at Potsdam.  

This spring, I will be asking the campus to reflect on our strategic plan for the next eight years.  The Administrative Cabinet has continued to work from the results of the visioning processes initiated by President Fallon and developed the goals outlined in it and in the Memorandum of Understanding with SUNY, to create a strategic plan for the future.  Unlike previous iterations, this plan has reached a level of specificity that allows us to actually estimate the cost of the various projects. We also are looking to see how much of the funding might reasonably be expected from the state and tuition dollars and what initiatives we might seek assistance in funding from donors.  In addition to this, the Provost will be initiating an academic planning process that will develop those academic initiatives that accompany our strategic plan.  This academic planning initiative will involve the Faculty Senate and other academic constituencies over the next few months.

As we await those signs of spring, I look forward to working with each of you as we move forward on these and other initiatives.