By Kate Morano | October 24, 2022
President Rodríguez addresses the university this past Wednesday
Photo Credit: University at Albany
President Havidán Rodríguez discussed UAlbany’s recent successes and struggles in his Fall University Address this past Wednesday.
Recent honors bestowed upon the university, including millions of dollars in funding for various projects, were praised in the President’s speech, as well as several other achievements. UAlbany was recently named one of the best colleges in the United States for student voting, which Rodríguez stated is a “validation of our commitment to ensure that our students become engaged global citizens.”
Rodríguez celebrated the return of the Citizen Laureates Awards Ceremony, UAlbany’s signature gala fundraiser which has been held for over four decades. This was the first ceremony in two years due to the pandemic. A reception held in the University Museum last week honoring faculty members who were promoted or received tenure was also mentioned in the speech.
SEFCU Arena’s renovation began in August and is well underway, and Rodríguez expressed optimism that the new space will be “outstanding,” while also thanking Hudson Valley Community College and Russell Sage College for hosting UAlbany’s sports teams in the meantime. A timeline for the completion of the arena was not given.
Rodríguez used his address to introduce his new Chief of Staff, Claudia Hernández. Hernández spent the past two years serving as the Director in Residence for the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute, and previously worked for 18 years managing study abroad programs in SUNY’s Office of Global Affairs.
The latter half of the address was dedicated to recent setbacks faced by the university. Enrollment has declined by 7% since 2018, partially due to the pandemic, and retention and graduation rates have dipped as well. Rodríguez asserted that the university is committed to confronting these issues and improving these numbers.
“Whose responsibility is student success?” Rodríguez asked. “It’s everyone’s responsibility, from the president on down to everyone that works at this institution. We are all responsible for the recruitment, retention, graduation, and success of our students.”
A livestream of Rodríguez’s full remarks can be viewed here.