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BU officials offer support for new graduate institute

By : Sarah Lifshin

Garrick Utley, veteran newsman and recently appointed president of SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relation and Commerce, met with BU officials to receive support and advice.
Veteran newsman Garrick Utley, recently appointed president of SUNY’s newly established graduate institute focusing on international relations and commerce, last week met with Binghamton University officials to receive support and advice in the formation of the new academic institution.

Utley heads the Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce of the State University of New York, a graduate institute in New York City, currently employing a staff of four in borrowed office space at the SUNY School of Optometry in New York City.

“It’s been a fast, steep learning curve and it has been more exciting than exhausting,” Utley said. “This has been a tremendous opportunity.”

While on campus, Utley lunched with President Lois B. DeFleur, Provost Mary Ann Swain, Vice Provost and Graduate School Dean Nancy Stamp, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education H. Stephen Straight and Director of International Education Katharine Krebs to seek their advice and support.

The institute will offer masters degrees and could accept its first students this fall.

In anticipation of the appointment of its first provost this summer, the institute is searching for space in Manhattan and putting together a tentative curricular plan in international relations with concentrations in various aspects of commerce.

Programs may eventually include a master of arts in international relations; concentrations in international relations, international commerce, law, international transportation management and public administration; professional development, leadership training and certificate programs in a variety of international fields, accelerated track masters degrees and certificate programs; specialized training in foreign language and culture; and specialized training and certificate programs in translation and interpretion.

Eventually, the institute aims to obtain degree-granting authority for certificates and master degrees. Beginning as soon as fall 2005, its credit-bearing offerings may include only courses offered under the academic auspices of other SUNY units, either for continuing-education or students pursuing degrees at those units.

However, even when fully operational, the institute will not seek to hire a full complement of full-time faculty but will capitalize on New York City’s rich array of knowledgeable and well-qualified experts for part-time employment as adjunct faculty and also on the faculty and student resources of the SUNY system. In particular, SUNY faculty and graduate students could teach and study at Levin for a year, a semester, or shorter periods of time, such as semester breaks, to the benefit of their scholarly and educational goals and the curricular needs of the institute.

Utley sought details regarding the logistics of such arrangements from his Binghamton colleagues, who expressed interest in contributing to the academic success of the new institute and encouraged Utley in his efforts to create a truly distinctive business-oriented curriculum suffused with global perspectives and in-depth knowledge of languages and cultures. Binghamton’s success in the deployment of “languages across the curriculum,” they told Utley, serves as an award-winning model of how to integrate such perspectives and knowledge into courses regardless of their subject matter.

Utley said that the institute would now seek to introduce a set of non-credit courses during the 2004-05 academic year, possibly including courses taught on contract to the employees of international corporations and other interested businesses in New York City, among other locations.

During his visit, Utley was given a 45-minute tour of the campus, which he said he admired for its layout and the beauty and efficiency of some of its individual buildings.

Utley later met with Ottoman expert Donald Quataert, professor of history, to seek advice for the planning of a few individual events to occur at the institute later this year focusing on Turkey in recognition of its $500,000 gift last year for the establishment of the institute.

Until 2003, Utley was a correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau, reporting on and analyzing stories of national and international significance. Utley provided reports from New York related to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

A former CNN newsman, Utley served three years as ABC News’ chief foreign correspondent. He had previously spent 30 years with NBC News covering international affairs — and reporting from more than 70 countries.

The institute is named for the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who was killed at the World Trade Center during the September 11 terrorist attacks and was regarded as a leader in business, banking and insurance at the state, national and international levels.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08