General Campus Meeting, Friday, August 24, 2012
Remarks by President Virginia Schaefer Horvath
Welcome, everyone, to the beginning of the 2012 – 2013 academic year! It's been a summer of transition not only for me as I began last month as Fredonia's thirteenth president but for a number of areas across campus. Although Aristotle noted long ago that "change in all things is sweet," our pace this summer has sometimes felt more like this sentiment from nineteenth-century scholar Havelock Ellis: "What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance."
From the moment the Commencement crowds drove off in May, faculty and staff have turned their attention to preparing for the fall. Some of this work has been visible, with excavations for new chiller lines, intense activity in and around the Williams Center as that building was transformed, and many other projects across campus. Some of the other efforts this summer —although not as noisy and dusty — are likely to have just as much impact: successful summer orientation programs; residence hall and athletics preparations; research and creative activity that boost departmental reputation and benefit students; technology upgrades; new menus and venues for dining; course preparations; placements for internships, clinical, and field experiences; camps and special programs for EDP and international students; and professional development opportunities. The power is on, the parking lots are starting to fill, and — ready or not — most students move in tomorrow.
In this, my first all-campus address, there is so much that I'd like to say, but I begin simply with gratitude. Thank you, colleagues, for entrusting me with the leadership of this university and welcoming me in this new role with such generosity and enthusiasm. Although I have worked with many of you since 2005, you have reached out over the past few months to redefine our working relationships, offer your ideas, and express your interest in future collaboration. It's encouraging and inspiring to see your eyes light up with the hopes you have for Fredonia and to hear the pride and enthusiasm in your voices as you show me what you do here. I'm especially grateful to those who have directly assisted in various aspects of this transition:
- Dennis Hefner, who from the moment my appointment was announced, graciously included me in decision-making and planning and who invited me on "transition visits" to SUNY leaders, legislators, and partner universities in Japan;
- Pam Fabritius, Kevin Kearns, Melinda Karnes, and the rest of the VP Council, who ably stepped in so that I could step away from Academic Affairs;
- Kevin Cloos, Mark Delcamp, Darlene Miller, and the many facilities and grounds staff members who completed or supervised two decades of maintenance on the President's House in about three weeks;
- Chuck Notaro, who has brought his sense of design and historical authenticity to his suggestions for the President's House, and June Miller-Spann, who is working with Chuck to select art works from Fredonia's permanent collection to feature there;
- Rob Deemer and the University Senate Executive Committee, who began an effective process of shared governance by working with me on ideas for moving forward on a number of initiatives, and student leaders Jordan Nicholson and Alex Ives, who have shared their visions for the Student Association;
- Frank Pagano, the Chair of the College Council, who has generously offered support and advice;
- Karen Porpiglia, Dave Herman, Kevin Kearns, and Dave Tiffany, who have been meeting regularly as a Cabinet since mid-May and brought patience, good will, and great ideas to our work together;
- Jefferson Westwood and the committee members who have surprised me on a regular basis with their creative approach and hard work in planning the presidential inauguration week in September;
- And especially Jayme Delcamp and Denise Szalkowski, the talented staff of the President's Office, whose institutional memory, willingness to try new things, and good humor have made every day (so far) go smoothly.
Thank you, everyone.
In my biweekly President's Letters, I've tried to share information and perspectives on events and initiatives that extend well into the future, and I plan to continue these regular communications with the campus community. For a few moments today, I'd like to mention briefly a few of the areas that we'll be focusing on this year. The convocation theme for 2012-2013 could not be more fitting: "Time for Change: Shifting Paradigms, Creating Possibilities." Attention to the emerging budget process in SUNY, continued efforts in fundraising and external support, and our own enrollment efforts are highest on my list, as we want to continue to recruit academically talented students and have the resources to provide them with a quality education in a welcoming and dynamic campus environment.
Several other topics should be mentioned here, as you're going to be hearing about these quite a bit over the next months. The Vice Presidents and Senate Chair Rob Deemer will provide additional ideas and perspectives on these and other initiatives in a few moments.
The Power of Fredonia Implementation
The strategic plan developed in an inclusive process and approved by the Senate last spring offers a valuable blueprint for the next few years. Implementation teams will soon be formed to define metrics and guide our work in four key areas: Community of Learning, Engaged Community, Sustainable Community, and Global Community.
Baccalaureate Goals Implementation
Last year, a dynamic task force engaged the campus in articulating the qualities that we agree all Fredonia graduates should demonstrate: they are skilled, creative, connected, and responsible. This year, a task force will consider how we, as a campus community, work together to assist students in developing these capacities.
General Education Revision
A subcommittee of the General Education Committee will be working this year to begin the daunting but exciting process of revising the general education program.
Mission Statement Revision
For several years, there has been strong interest in revising the campus mission statement, which currently reads more like a long description of programs and features than a concise statement of our shared mission. A task force will work this fall to engage faculty, staff, and students in developing such a statement. Especially as we continue to recruit academically talented students, we need to be able to say—in just a few words—what we do that distinguishes us from other institutions and helps us focus our efforts. Such a process may be the first step in other important processes of making our campus even better known, such as revising our logo/visual identity and considering what we would like to call ourselves.
The Facilities Master Plan completed last year provided valuable perspectives on the physical environment of campus buildings and grounds, as well as data-based rationales for growth and renovation. In addition to the work in progress on the Science Center, Fitness Center, and Rockefeller Arts Center additions, there will be a number of facilities projects and opportunities to seek funds for future capital projects.
With several searches in key areas, we have a unique opportunity to build on last year's discussions on diversity. Interviews are underway for a new Director of the Intercultural Center, and soon we will begin a search for a Chief Diversity Officer for the university. Although Fredonia has made great strides as a community that values and learns from the diversity of its members, there is much more we could do to be welcoming and to learn from one another about our differences and common ground.
Fredonia currently has five committees that address aspects of safety from different perspectives. Ann Burns chairs the Personal Safety Committee; and Anne Podolak chairs the Campus Environmental Health and Safety Committee; Julie Bezek chairs the Violence Prevention Committee, and Mike Daley chairs the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee. The Behavioral Intervention Team is chaired by Lisa Newell. So that these groups can communicate, collaborate, and assist the campus in emergency preparedness training exercises, Gary Bice and Judy Langworthy will be leading a Campus Safely Committee.
I hope that by coordinating these groups, we will reduce overlap, improve communication among the groups, create a more efficient planning process for ensuring campus safety, and encourage meeting on a regular basis to keep projects and training programs moving forward collaboratively.
Improving Air Quality and Health
As you may have heard, in June, the SUNY Board of Trustees approved a ban on tobacco use on all SUNY campuses by January 1, 2014. This policy reflects the SUNY and a Healthy New York idea in the Power of SUNY plan, and it is intended not only to discourage tobacco use among students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors, but to improve air quality on campuses. Fredonia will need to consider how to implement this policy and promote other healthy habits, perhaps in relation to the Fitness Center that will open next spring. In my next letter, I'll also be encouraging greater attention to minimizing or eliminating the use of fragrances in shared spaces, such as offices, classrooms, studios, dining areas, and performance halls. People with asthma and allergies can suffer mild to severe effects from scented personal and cleaning products. We can work together to promote a healthier environment for all.
President's Book Dialogues
A few years ago, the Red Balloons Book Dialogues gave us a chance to hear summaries of some important new books in higher education and to discuss the ways those books challenge and support our work in Fredonia. I would like to continue this practice by sponsoring two such dialogues each semester. My next President's Letter will give details about the first of these book dialogues on Simon Sinek's Start with Why, a book that the Cabinet read for our retreat this summer.
As you can tell, there will be considerable activity, conceptualizing, and collaboration in the months ahead, and I am eager for your involvement and contributions in these processes. We can think big, but as American statesman Dean Acheson once said, "Always remember that the future comes one day at a time." I'm glad to be spending these exciting days with you.
Recognition of Promotions
Before I ask the Vice Presidents to come forward, it's my pleasure now to invite those who have been promoted over the last year to stand and be recognized.
- Several people known at Fredonia have assumed new administrative leadership positions on campus:
Kevin Kearns, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jennifer Cinque, Internship Coordinator, Career Development Office
Dawn Eckenrode, Director, Professional Development Center
Matt Snyder, Associate Executive Director and Controller, FSA
Christopher Taverna, Coordinator of Technology Training, Professional Development Center
Kay McDonough, Communication
Peter Reinelt, Economics
- Faculty promotions include
Distinguished Teaching Professor: Julie Newell, Music
Distinguished Service Professor: Jack Croxton, Psychology
Professor: Linda Brigance, Communication; William Brown, Biology; Joe Dan Harper, Music; Keary Howard, Mathematical Sciences; Christina Jarvis, English, Paul Mockovak, Theatre and Dance; Helen Myers, Theatre and Dance; Dale Tuggy, Philosophy.
Associate Professor: Jonathan Chausovsky, Political Science; Jonathan Cox, Mathematical Sciences; Teodora Cox, Mathematical Sciences; Andrew Cullison, Philosophy; Laura Deen Johnson, Communication; Jill Johnston, Visual Arts and New Media; Gregory Seigel, Music; Erica Snow, Physics; Susan Spangler, English; Birger Vanwesenbeeck, English; Tai Yi, Business Administration.
- Other promotions include
Secretary 1: Karly Davis, Debra King
Keyboard Specialist: Donna Lee
Agency Program Aide: Cynthia Haase
Head Piano Technician: Graham Howes
Maintenance Assistant Refrigeration: Timothy Branden
Janitor: Jeffrey Deering, Darlene Miller, Steven Peters
Head Grounds Supervisor: Richard Newton
Senior Grounds Worker: Gerald Polvino
Plant Utilities Engineer 1: Stephen Carutis
Refrigeration Mechanic: Randall Grant
Plumber and Steamfitter: James O'Connor
Administrative Aide: Mary Jo Rusch
Manager of Centre Point: Mike Raimondi
Assistant Manager of Centre Point: Casey Mazurek
Assistant Manager of FSA Cafes: Hilary Villafranca
Supervisor of FSA Cafes: Loretta Dean
Assistant Manager of Tim Hortons: Heike Peck
Assistant Manager of the Commissary: Jeff Keddie
Congratulations to each of you!
Presentation of SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence
Before presenting the Chancellor's Award medals to four recipients, I'd like to congratulate and recognize Dale Tuggy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, who received a Chancellor's Award for Internationalization to teach a new course, "Global Philosophy of Religion," to students in India next J-term. Although there is no medal for this, he is one of only five professors throughout the SUNY system to receive the highly selective award. Congratulations, Dale, and best wishes for your course and your continued international work!
The SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are state-wide recognitions of "faculty and staff who serve their campus and students with absolute excellence." This year, after a process that involves review and selection on campus and in SUNY, we recognize four Fredonia recipients:
- Diane Bohn, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service
- Linda Hall, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching
- Adrienne McCormick, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and
- Julie Williams, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service
Mrs. Bohn, will you please join me here on stage? Diane is joined today by several special guests:
- Son Michael and daughter-in-law Joanne
- Son David
- Family member Jeanne Pagano
- Friends and colleagues in the English Department and across campus
- 1988 – Keyboard Specialist
- 1998 – Secretary 1
As the department secretary, Mrs. Bohn is the first person one encounters upon entering the English Department. With her cheery disposition, she greets campus guests, students, faculty and staff with courtesy and respect. She has been lauded by supervisors and colleagues for her professionalism and efficiency, mentoring of new classified staff, and enthusiastic service to faculty and students.
A colleague wrote, "Mrs. Bohn's institutional memory is a treasure-trove of information. She knows the workings of the department as well as campus operations. She develops a strong rapport with student workers and creates a community amongst them. Work study students return years later to visit Mrs. Bohn as they see her as a mentor and supporter."
Another colleague wrote, "Mrs. Bohn exemplifies efficiency. She has systems for completing sensitive and timely tasks that are second-to-none in ensuring on-time submission of important documents. Her organizational skills are top notch. Yet she is always open to ideas for further streamlining routine operations. . . . The support and knowledge that she offers are keenly felt on the days – even the lunch hours – when she's not present. "
Finally, a colleague wrote, "Mrs. Bohn contributes to the strong collegial bond in the department and on campus. She takes a personal interest in the well-being of each staff member, and is often the first-responder when it comes to reaching out to faculty and staff in the department. The Department of English is known for its collegial environment, and Diane Bohn is the heart of it."
Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service, Mrs. Diane Bohn.
Dr. Hall, will you please join me here on stage? Linda is joined today by several special guests:
- Husband Mark Hall
- Daughters Elizabeth, Alison and Gina
- Best friend Cindy Dorminy
- Friends and colleagues from the School of Business and across campus
- B.S., Fredonia
- M.B.A. and Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
- Post-Doctoral Bridge Program, Accounting and Finance Concentration, Hough Graduate School of Business, Warrington College of Business Administration
- 2001 – Assistant Professor
- 2007 – Associate Professor
Dr. Linda Hall, a Fredonia alumna, is an associate professor of accounting in the School of Business. A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, she has served on many committees, including appointments to the Academic Affairs Administrative Review Committee, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Assurance of Learning Steering Committee, and the Fredonia Presidential Search Committee.
A colleague wrote, "Dr. Hall's genuine interest in her students' education never ends in the classroom. Her dedication [as faculty advisor to the Business Club] has made it one of the most active student organizations on campus, [one that] provides a service to community residents as well as a valuable educational experience to accounting majors."
Another colleague wrote, "Dr. Hall is an excellent teacher, and she provides service to our students and the University at a level well beyond expectations. She is a dedicated, conscientious, and caring teacher. Fredonia is fortunate to have such a high-quality professional on staff."
A student offered this comment: "No matter how complex the subject, Dr. Hall can engage her students. . . . Dr. Hall has played a major role in helping me choose a career in accounting and continues to play a major role in my decisions to further my education in the hope of one day teaching at the university level. She is highly dedicated and knows how to motivate her students to strive for excellence. "
Another student wrote, "Dr. Hall is a dynamic and powerful communicator who possesses the gift of being able to make complex subjects understandable. She is humble and approachable and loves to share her extensive knowledge with others, especially her students and fellow staff."
Finally a student wrote, "As our faculty advisor, Dr. Hall helped our organization greatly. Not only did she help with fundraising ideas, but she attended every fundraising event including a bake sale at a local business on a Saturday morning. She has influenced me greatly. I never would have had the courage to run for my first leadership position if it were not for her support and encouragement. "
Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Linda Hall.
Dr. McCormick, will you please join me here on stage? Adrienne is joined today by several special guests:
- Husband Brian Davis
- Oldest children - Kai McCormick and Indigo Davis
- Father Robert McCormick
- Friends and colleagues from the English Department and across campus
- B.A. - Queens College
- M.A. - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Ph.D. and Graduate Certificate - University of Maryland, College Park
1998 – Assistant Professor
2004 – Associate Professor
2010 – Professor
Dr. McCormick is a Professor of English and has been chair of the Department since 2007, previously serving as associate chair. She served as interim director/director of the Women's Studies Program for over five years, and organized the Literary London study abroad program. She also has served the campus as an associate of the Professional Development Center and as a mentor in the PDC Connections program.
A colleague wrote, "Dr. McCormick has spearheaded and facilitated many different campus-wide initiatives that have enriched our campus and community in permanent and immeasurable ways. Through her scholarly endeavors and her critical pedagogy both inside and outside the classroom, Professor McCormick embodies the best of what the humanities represent."
Another colleague wrote, "Professor McCormick is an outstanding campus and community citizen, a role model for her peers, and a tireless advocate for her students. Students see her as a model of professionalism, a leader who empowers those around her. Her commitment to diversity and fairness cut across all the work she plunges into. She continually finds new avenues in which to effect positive change and give generously of her personal time. Her combined excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, moreover, has made her widely respected by her students, colleagues, and members of the local community."
Finally, a former student wrote, "Dr. McCormick's commitment to activities outside the classroom greatly enriched my experience as a student. I was amazed at her ability to juggle her multiple roles and responsibilities while always having time for her students, both current and former. Dr. McCormick serves as a role model and inspiration for me as a successful professor and a member of a university community. I hope to one day be even a percentage of the professor, scholar, and person she is. "
Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, Dr. Adrienne McCormick.
Mrs. Williams, will you please join me here on stage? Julie is joined today by several special guests:
- Mother Nancy Odebralski
- Husband Jeffory Williams
- Children Brandon & Brianna
- Mother and father-in law Jeffory & Janice Williams.
- As well as other family members, friends, and departmental colleagues
B.S. and M.S., Fredonia
Adjunct Instructor – 2002
Senior Staff Assistant – 2006
Ms. Williams is clinical supervisor for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences. A Fredonia alumna, Ms. Williams has organized the annual Stroke Awareness Walk and coordinates the Stroke/Head Injury Support Group in the department's Henry C. Youngerman Center for Communication Disorders.
A community member wrote, "A testimony to Mrs. Williams' dedication to serving the community is evident during the semester breaks when students are not available to treat their patients. Mrs. Williams has taken it upon herself to treat these patients without compensation. She maintains excellent working relationships with both the campus and local community. Her professionalism and dedication to the department, university and students is highly valued. She is motivated, goal driven and frequently goes beyond her assigned duties."
A colleague noted that "Mrs. Williams is a devoted Clinical Supervisor. She puts forth tremendous amounts of effort in molding her students into professional SLPs. She is devoted, caring, respected, intelligent, and a talented instructor, supervisor and clinician. She exceeds the required amount of continuing education for licensed speech/language pathologists and has earned several awards from the American Speech and Hearing Association. Her genuine passion for her discipline is demonstrated by her continued presentations and lectures on clinical topics."
A former student wrote, "Mrs. Williams' former students frequently express their gratitude for having her as their instructor. She leaves a lasting positive impression on her students and represents the campus extremely well. She is admired not only by her students and colleagues for her exemplary work ethic, professionalism, compassion and expertise, but is also well respected within the community. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to learn from her."
Finally, a parent wrote, "We first became acquainted with Mrs. Williams six years ago when our adult daughter suffered traumatic brain injury and a stroke as a result of a car accident. As supervisor of graduate student clinicians, Mrs. Williams has helped to rehabilitate our daughter. She encourages students in training to think outside of the box, and to determine functional treatment that will make a difference in our daughter's life. Whether it is to give a student a different technique to use to help our daughter or to be supportive to us as parents, Mrs. Williams has been actively involved. Mrs. Williams has a special gift, and we feel fortunate to have met her."
Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, Mrs. Julie Williams.
Recognition of Distinguished Professors
Today we also recognize two members of the faculty who have been promoted to the highest academic ranks in the State University of New York: Dr. Jack Croxton, Distinguished Service Professor, and Professor Julie Newell, Distinguished Teaching Professor. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says that "In bestowing our highest faculty honor, we proudly recognize the extraordinary achievements of these individuals and thank them for their continued commitment to excellence."
Dr. Croxton, will you please join me here on stage? Jack is joined today by several special guests:
- Wife Mary Croxton
- Son Joshua Croxton
- Daughter Jessica Mallon
- Son-in-law Daniel Mallon
- Daughter Jennifer Branden
- Son-in-law Timothy Branden
- Grandson Timothy Branden Jr.
- Granddaughter Alexis Branden
- As well as other family members, friends, and colleagues
B.S., M.A., and Ph.D., Miami University
1979 – Assistant Professor
1985 – Associate Professor
1993 - Professor
Dr. Croxton, who also is director of the Office of Student Creative Activity and Research, has been promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in recognition of his extraordinary service at the community, regional, state, and international levels. Dr. Croxton served as chair of the Department of Psychology for 17 years and as interim dean and assistant dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences for two years. His expertise is in the areas of social psychology and attribution processes. Dr. Croxton is the recipient of the Fredonia President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and two Fulbright Awards for work in Bulgaria and Russia. Dr. Croxton also has co-chaired Fredonia's Middle States Review and was the founding Director of Campus Assessment.
A colleague wrote, "Dr. Croxton's service activities have been both numerous and varied. Over the years, he has developed an outstanding record as a contributor to the campus, his profession, and the community. Furthermore, his service work has helped the campus move forward in our efforts to allow more Fredonia students to have an international experience and to bring more international students to our campus."
A former student wrote, "Dr. Croxton truly represents everything I aspire to be as he possesses several estimable qualities that serve him well both professionally and personally. First, his dedication and commitment to his students is commendable. Despite his multitude of commitments, he always made time for me and made me feel as if my learning, intellectual pursuits, and academic advancement were a priority and of the utmost importance to him. Secondly, his record of service locally and globally is amazing. He balances all of his roles and responsibilities, yet remains humble in the midst of all of his accomplishments. Dr. Croxton's sincere interest in the welfare of people is what motivates him to take on leadership roles, continue with learning quests, and serve the community."
Another student wrote, "Dr. Croxton tackles areas of service and responsibilities with the same passion and vigor in which he approaches teaching. He gives back to people in all facets of his life."
Please join me in congratulating Distinguished Service Professor Jack Croxton.
Professor Newell, will you please join me here on stage? Julie is joined today by several special guests:
- Mother, Caroline Newell
- Brother, Bill Newell
- As well as other friends and colleagues from the School of Music and across campus
Bachelor of Music – Fredonia
Master of Music – Syracuse University
Lecturer – 1989
Instructor – 19