This is an especially exciting year for SUNY Oneonta. We began 2014-2015 by re-opening Fitzelle Hall, SUNY Oneonta’s largest academic building, and our first to meet the sustainability standards for LEED Silver certification. In September, we celebrated our 125th anniversary, and hosted our largest ever gathering of distinguished alumni.
The college jumped to No. 9 on U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of public colleges in our region, climbing 10 spots from last year, and was one of five regional universities in the North singled out for our graduates’ light debt load. SUNY Oneonta also was one of 83 colleges nationwide to receive the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine.
I attribute much of our recent success to our strategic plan. Implemented in 2010, it has led to increased investment in instruction, prompted the reorganization of Academic Affairs into five schools, and shaped efforts to further infuse diversity into student experiences.
The strategic plan also shaped the college’s current philanthropic campaign, “Possibilities Full of Promise,” which aims to increase scholarships, research and travel among students. With a goal of $12.5 million, our campaign likely will push the college’s endowment past the $50 million mark.
Our next strategic plan will sharpen our focus on academic quality and emphasize student outcomes. To meet the challenges ahead, we will strive to fulfill four wishes for all of our students:
1. That they study something they love and gain competency in their field;
2. That they grow as people to be thoughtful, creative, confident, and ethical;
3. That they graduate in four years with the least debt possible;
4. That they launch a fulfilling career or go on to further their education.
If you are already part of our campus community, you understand and share in the pride we have in our school. If you are thinking about joining us, I encourage you to visit our campus and meet some of our students, faculty and staff.
Dr. Nancy Kleniewski