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Institutional Priorities for 2017-2018

President Nancy Kleniewski

Since announcing my retirement last spring, one question that understandably has come up several times is how I plan to spend my final year at SUNY Oneonta. In broad strokes, while some new tasks will be unique to the lead-up to my departure, much of my work will continue unchanged.

For example, I intend for the college to make progress toward completion of our strategic plan. As a complement to this, I have developed a list of nine institutional priorities for this year. These initiatives will receive greater attention in the weeks and months to come:

Bulleted List ItemImplement and publish an enrollment management plan.

Bulleted List ItemForm a data, insights, action, learning (DIAL) working group and engage with the Strategic Planning Council and other groups to deploy insights from Civitas Illume.

Bulleted List ItemSet priorities for campus groups to act upon student success insights from the Civitas engagement.

Bulleted List ItemReview services for transfer students; define “transfer student” and examine data related to transfer student success.

Bulleted List ItemIncrease post docs from underrepresented groups, contingent upon funding from the SUNY Performance Investment Fund.

Bulleted List ItemAdopt college-wide essential learning outcomes.

Bulleted List ItemBuild the annual operating reserve to $1.4 million in recurring funds.

Bulleted List ItemDevelop a robust academic advising system.

Bulleted List ItemRevise the general education program with an eye to improving first-year student engagement and cultural competencies.

We have accomplished much and have gained momentum in so many areas. Sharing my last list of priorities for SUNY Oneonta is bittersweet. Nevertheless, I look forward to the challenges ahead and will focus on the items above right up until my successor comes aboard next July.

U.S. News Recognizes SUNY Oneonta Among Region’s Best

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has named SUNY Oneonta a top-50 regional university. According to its "Best Colleges" rankings released today, the college stands at No. 48 in the "Best Regional Universities—North" category, which includes institutions in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and all of New England that offer a full range of undergraduate and master's degrees, but few, if any, doctoral programs. Among public institutions in the region, SUNY Oneonta is ranked No. 13.

Best College Scorecard Pie Chart

Join Me for Coffee (or Tea)

My schedule of morning coffee hours resumed last week. I set aside this time to learn what's going on across campus, hear about new ideas, and chat informally with members of the campus community. This semester, coffee hours will take place in the Fitzelle atrium, with complimentary beverages from Seasons Café. The schedule is as follows:

Sept. 15, 8:30-10 a.m. | Sept. 28, 9-10:30 a.m.
Oct. 13, 8:30-10 a.m. | Oct. 27, 8:30-10 a.m.
Nov. 2, 9-10:30 a.m. | Nov. 16, 9-10:30 a.m.
Dec. 6, 8:30-10 a.m.

I hope to see you there.

Highlight: College Website Nominated for Award

SUNY Oneonta website improved layout for all devices

Those returning to campus this fall after a summer away likely already have noticed a revamped institutional website. Beyond aesthetic changes, the site also includes an improved layout for mobile devices and better tools for those who are responsible for maintaining departmental pages.

The site overhaul is the culmination of a two-year project spearheaded by Jennifer Smith of the Office of Communications. The web development vendor that Jennifer guided to complete the project nominated it in the Education category of the Acquia Engage Awards, which recognize websites for an advanced level of visual design, functionality, integration and overall experience.

Next month, Jennifer will represent SUNY Oneonta at the Acquia Engage conference, where award winners will be announced. Our site is one of just six finalists in its category. Win or lose, Jennifer’s leadership has placed our college's website among some high-caliber competition. The other finalists are Yale, Princeton, USC, UVA and Bennington College.

- In this Edition -

Presidential Search Update

Campus to Host the 2018 SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference

SUNY Oneonta Receives 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award


Presidential Search Update

Kathy Webster
Assistant to the President

RPA Inc., the firm assisting with SUNY Oneonta’s presidential search, visited campus at the end of last month to develop a deeper understanding of the college community and better understand what constituencies view as priorities for a new leader. RPA President Richard Allen and Vice President Dana John Cohick conducted a position assessment, public listening sessions and stakeholder meetings on Aug. 31.

Allen and Cohick also report strong early interest in the position. The college and RPA released the advertisement and prospectus last month. The presidential search website launched in late August, as well.

This month, the Presidential Search Committee will begin its review of candidates. Neutral-site interviews will take place in October.

The Committee appreciates the time that stakeholders invested with RPA during the consultants’ visit. Broad participation in finalists’ on-site interviews later in the semester will be invaluable as the search moves toward its conclusion.

Campus to Host the 2018 SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference

Kathy Meeker
Director, Grants Development


Mark your calendars now for April 20, 2018, when SUNY Oneonta will proudly serve as host to the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC). Now entering its fourth year, SURC is an annual, multidisciplinary event that brings together hundreds of undergraduate students and faculty mentors from across the SUNY system for a full day of activities, including student presentations (poster sessions, oral presentations, performances, readings, artistic displays), a keynote speaker and luncheon, a SUNY graduate school and career fair, and professional development sessions for students and faculty.

SUNY Oneonta is one of two campuses chosen to host SURC in 2018. SURC at Monroe Community College will take place April 21, 2018.

Original research and creative activity are widely recognized as high-impact educational experiences that positively affect undergraduate students’ completion rates, career prospects and readiness for graduate study. SURC creates opportunities for learning, engagement, collaboration and discussion outside of traditional classroom settings.

In addition to recognizing student talent and innovation nurtured by our outstanding faculty, hosting SURC @ Oneonta elevates our college as a hub for undergraduate research and creative activity that supports ever-growing applied learning opportunities. The conference will also showcase our beautiful campus, facilities and resources.

It will “take a village” to make SURC @ Oneonta the most successful SURC yet. Many will be called upon to help with its myriad organizational and logistical tasks. And, we hope for huge representation by our own student scholars, since SURC will supersede Student Research and Creative Activity (SRCA) Day as our student showcase for 2018.

More information will be disseminated in the coming months, including the call for presenters and requests for help with various SURC-related tasks. Let’s do this!

SUNY Oneonta Receives 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Terrence Mitchell
Chief Diversity Officer

INSIGHT Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Logo

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has announced that SUNY Oneonta is being honored with the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. At the annual Opening Breakfast earlier this month, President Kleniewski shared the good news and commented, "One of SUNY Oneonta’s enduring values is inclusive excellence, the belief that all students, faculty, and staff bring assets to the campus because of, not despite, our differences.”

Oneonta is one of only two SUNY campuses to earn a HEED Award this year, and it is the second time this decade the college has received this prestigious honor. Since the college last received the award, it has shown a continuing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as core values necessary to foster a living and learning environment where all individuals can thrive. The college has made great strides in increasing the diversity of our college community and ensuring that individuals of different backgrounds feel safe, appreciated, and included. These goals were again formalized in last fall’s Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Plan (SDIP), a collaborative effort of countless students, faculty, and staff.  The full SDIP is available for review on the webpage of the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

The HEED Award process consisted of a comprehensive application with questions relating to many facets of institutional operations. Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, explained, "We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus."

The Office of Equity and Inclusion greatly appreciates the efforts of the many individuals and groups who have worked to promote these values and to create a welcoming and inclusive campus at SUNY Oneonta. Congratulations and thank you to all involved.

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