INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
University vice presidents outline goals
By : Katie Ellis
An updated strategic plan set the tone for Binghamton University Council’s first meeting of the academic year as President Lois B. DeFleur spoke about recent successes and the vice presidents outlined goals and objectives for the coming year. (For a complete draft of the Strategic Plan, Sustaining Excellence in a Climate of Change: Our Roadmap for the Future, see pages 3-6 or visit
In DeFleur’s look back, she noted several major accomplishments in the past year: establishment of a PhD program in translation studies, re-designation of the Integrated Electronics Engineering Center as a Center for Advanced Technology, completion of the Mountainview College complex, increased opportunities in volunteerism and leadership roles for students; and a 154 percent increase in donor support.
Looking ahead, DeFleur said the new strategic plan will guide the University as it continues to make positive progress.
Mary Ann Swain, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the University’s prior strategic plan underwrote a lot of the progress seen over the past several years, and the new plan will serve the University well.
Swain said goals for academic affairs include coordination of plans with Broome Community College and Empire State College for the downtown Education and Community Development Center; creation of graduate programs in student personnel and educational administration, as well as bioengineering; undergraduate initiatives to fully integrate study abroad into at least two academic units, increase Discovery mini-courses and expand the Discovery program into the apartment communities; coordination of the first winter session in January; increasing the University’s workforce development offerings; creation of a leadership development program for department chairs; and providing development and fund-raising training for deans.
Gerald Sonnenfeld, vice president for research, set enhancement of a multidisciplinary research environment as a primary goal. He said construction on the Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC) is underway with expected completion of the building by January 2006 though some office and a temporary laboratory for bioengineering will be available by January 2005.
As the construction moves along, development of a business plan for the facility is a priority. The division will also pursue strategies to support research innovation and entrepreneurial activities, add to and strengthen community partnerships and refine technology transfer practices.
The Division of Administration will work to physically support the activities guided by the strategic plan, said Anthony Ferrara, vice president for administration. Planning and coordination of a new capital plan will include work on the ITC, research facilities and space on the Library ground floor for Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science and work on the Education and Community Development Center in downtown Binghamton.
The division will also initiate a long-term master plan for facilities, even as it reviews options for the renovation, rehabilitation or reconstruction of Newing and Dickinson housing complexes and the creation of a campus recreation center in the East Gym. Ferrara said efforts to improve operational efficiencies will also be a priority.
Rodger Summers, vice president for student affairs, said his division will continue to keep students at the center of the learning process by working hand in hand with other divisions.
Among the goals for student affairs: continued projects to educate students about areas of concern through programs about alcohol and drugs, eating disorders, rape and sexual assault; improvements to orientation; growth of the Freshman Year Experience Program; continued integration of technology into procedures to become more efficient; and preparation of a divisional strategic plan aligned with the University’s overarching plan.
The Division of External Affairs will build upon its prior record-breaking year in fund raising, said Thomas Kelly, vice president for external affairs.
Planning for the University’s second comprehensive gifts campaign is moving forward with a feasibility study to get underway sometime next year.
Efforts to strengthen ties with alumni will continue and grow, and the University will transition the Alumni Journal to a University magazine to reflect the needs and quality of the University Kelly said building the University’s reputation through enhanced local and national media visibility, as well as web image, will support the division’s and the University’s goals.