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Bold thinking, planning key to University’s future

Nearly 500 members of the University community listened as President Lois B. DeFleur and the five vice presidents outlined Binghamton’s achievements and vision for the future during the University Forum on Jan. 15.

“We have a unique combination of the nation’s best undergraduate education combined with world-class academic and research programs,” DeFleur said.

To build on its strengths and take advantage of new opportunities, Binghamton must mobilize its supporters to advocate for the University, she said. The new Web site at will be crucial to that effort, and she urged faculty and staff as well as their friends and neighbors to visit the site and sign up as Think Tank advocates.

Mary Ann Swain, provost and vice president for academic affairs, spoke after DeFleur.
She emphasized Binghamton’s history of bold initiatives, from the founding of Harpur College to today&rsquo

Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur addresses nearly 500 faculty and staff members during the annual University Forum, held Jan. 15.
;s growing Winter Session.

This “legacy of creativity” will serve the University well as it begins work to establish a law school, Swain said.

“The law school is exactly the right next step for Binghamton,” she said, and closely tied to the University’s strengths in the liberal arts.

She and DeFleur both addressed the vast differences in tuition between public and private law schools.

“If a young man or woman would like to practice law in the public sector, they have got to emerge from law school without a huge debt burden,” Swain said.

The provost also mentioned plans for a new Pan-Asian Studies initiative that would broaden Binghamton’s existing Asian and Asian American Studies program to include Russia and Turkey.

Brian Rose, the new vice president for student affairs, highlighted several new efforts, including plans for an I Live NY summer internship. The concept calls for

An artistís rendering of the new Science V building.
the University to provide housing for students who secure paid internships with area agencies. Lloyd Howe, associate vice president for student affairs, will head up the program.

Gerald Sonnenfeld, vice president for research, said harnessing the region’s brainpower is a key to creating opportunities for New York State, and harnessing our students’ brainpower is an important part of that effort.

He discussed plans for Science V and expansion at the Innovative Technologies Complex. New laboratory space on campus is being designed with flexibility in mind, he noted.

James Van Voorst, vice president for administration, emphasized that the campus will be transformed in the coming years through an aggressive construction program.

The Science V and ITC projects are part of these changes, as are new East Campus housing and renovations to the University Union and East Gym.

Marcia Craner, vice president for external affairs, highlighted pl

An artistís rendering of the new East Campus housing project, to include Newing College and Dickinson Community.
ans for deeper engagement with parents and alumni, improved internal communications on campus and the University’s branding campaign.

She also noted that athletics is increasingly an important way that Binghamton builds visibility and support.

In addition, Craner said, the Binghamton Fund’s mission has been more clearly defined. It now offers donors more options for directing their gifts.

Twenty-one percent of faculty and staff contribute, she noted, the highest among the university centers. And, Craner added, online donations have nearly doubled from a year ago.

Power Point slides from University Forum


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Last Updated: 10/14/08