INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Former dean appointed to athletics oversight post
By : Katie Ellis
Charles R. Westgate, former dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science and Bartle professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been appointed by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher as special adviser for academics and athletics for the SUNY system.
Zimpher made the announcement at the March 23 meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees, when she spoke of steps the SUNY system will take to strengthen the relationship between athletics and academics at Binghamton University and across the SUNY system.
“SUNY’s ongoing commitment to intercollegiate athletics is important and meaningful to the total student experience and the life of our campuses,” Zimpher said.
“Accordingly, we have taken proactive and deliberate steps to ensure that the academic integrity of the Binghamton campus and the system overall is maintained, while providing our student athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest levels.”
Zimpher said that strengthening oversight of the men’s basketball program is paramount, as is strengthening the Intercollegiate Athletic Board and the Faculty Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.
Westgate will “play a role that moves the Binghamton issues to a system-wide review,” and he “will assist with the identification of outstanding issues and possible remedies on the Binghamton campus,” she said. “His work will serve as a starting point for developing policies and guidelines across the system.”
“I am delighted to help the SUNY System and this very fine campus (Binghamton) in any way that I can,” Westgate said. “I appreciate the confidence of Chancellor Zimpher and Provost (David) Lavallee and my colleagues at Binghamton University. I am confident we will successfully move forward together.”
Noting that Binghamton’s great reputation is central to her concerns, Zimpher said that she has also appointed Interim SUNY Provost David Lavallee as her designee to oversee intercollegiate athletics and its integration with the system’s academic aspirations. Deputy Provost James Ketterer will assist as well, she said.
Lavallee, Ketterer and Westgate will work together to oversee NCAA compliance, monitor the admissions and academic progress of student-athletes and make recommendations to the SUNY Board of Trustees and the chancellor regarding intercollegiate athletic policy and procedures.
“Provost Lavallee has already met with Dr. Westgate and others at Binghamton and is beginning the careful work of putting in place processes for electing a new faculty athletic representative as the first of many decisions that lie ahead,” Zimpher said.
Lavallee has also been tapped to serve on the search committee for Binghamton’s next president. Zimpher said she will announce the appointment of an interim president “in very short order.”