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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Remarks Higher Education Leaders Reception

Category: Regional
October, 2018
EMPAC Founders Room
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Hello. I am Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, 18th President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States.

Welcome to Rensselaer and to the remarkable Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, or EMPAC.

My cohost and I, Mr. Jim Barba, President and CEO of Albany Medical Center, and his wife, Rose, are delighted to be able to gather together today so many of the region’s leaders in higher education.

It is a particularly good moment for all of us to join forces, given the common challenges many of us face surrounding…

  • A need, amidst rising costs, to increase financial aid and improve access for students who are not from wealthy backgrounds;
  • A declining number of high school graduates in the Northeast;
  • Campus cultural issues, including those emanating from fraternities and sororities;
  • Declining federal funding for research; and
  • Changing immigration policies and the impact on international students and scholars.

At the same time, we all benefit from the increasing economic and social vibrancy of the Capital Region—much of it due to the intellectual capital generated by our colleges and universities—and the many talented people we educate and employ.

And we may contribute even more in future, if we join forces to address both the challenges and the opportunities before us.

Since there are so many newcomers to this group, it truly is important that we get to know each other.

Please allow me to introduce everyone, beginning with the Chancellor and Presidents of Capital Region universities and colleges:

  • First, my co-host and friend, Mr. Jim Barba, President and CEO of Albany Medical Center;
  • Dr. Kristina Johnson, Chancellor of the State University of New York;
  • Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, President of the University of Albany; 
  • Dr. David Harris, President of Union College;
  • Dr. Phillip Glotzbach, President of Skidmore College;
  • Brother F. Edward Coughlin, President of Siena College;
  • Dr. Christopher Ames, President of the Sage Colleges;
  • Dr. Roger Ramsammy, President of Hudson Valley Community College;
  • Dr. Kristine Duffy, President of SUNY Adirondack;
  • Dr. Marion Terenzio, President of SUNY Cobleskill;
  • Dr. Grace Wang, Interim President of SUNY Polytechnic;
  • Ms. Alicia Ouellette, President and Dean of Albany Law School;
  • Dr. Thomas Gamble, President of Maria College;
  • Ms. Mary-Jane Araldi, Director of The Memorial College of Nursing; and
  • Ms. Patricia Cannistraci, Director of the Samaritan College of Nursing.

Also with us are other academic leaders from universities and colleges in the region:

  • Dr. Prabhat Hajela, Provost of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;
  • Dr. Tod Laursen, Senior Vice Chancellor and Provost of the State University of New York;
  • Dr. Theresa Hand, Interim Provost of the Sage Colleges;
  • Dr. Margaret Madden, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Siena College;
  • Mr. Joseph McDonald, Vice President for Academic Administration at Maria College;
  • Dr. Steven Ralston, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of St. Rose;
  • Mr. Martin Mbugua, Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Skidmore College;

That truly is a daunting list!  Jim and I are grateful to see all the intellect, power, and goodwill assembled here this evening.

We thank you for coming, and we hope that some important new relationships, partnerships, and initiatives will spring from this gathering.