President gives 'State of the College' address
In his "State of the College" address,
college President Steven Poskanzer outlined
some of the colleges' principal
accomplishments in the recent past; where
the institution currently stands; and what
the campus community must do together
to realize its aspirations.
The president began by explaining that
the college was poised to be "the site of
the finest and most intellectually engaging
undergraduate education in the State
University of New York and a worthy rival
to fine liberal arts colleges across the
nation." He reported that the college has:
- Recruited its most academically-talented
freshman class this fall, with an average
SAT of 1160, and a high school average
of 90. In addition, he said that he was
proud of the diversity of the entering class,
with more than 21 percent coming from
historically under-represented groups.
- On the faculty front, the president
reported that the Provost's Office recruited
23 new full-time faculty this fall, and has
25 new and continued searches already
underway for next year.
- This year, through a collective effort on
behalf of the students and the administration,
he also reported that campus secured
a $10 million line item in additional state
funding to renovate and build an addition
to the Student Union Building;
"As a reference point," said Poskanzer,
"until 2005, New Paltz's historical total of
special appropriations from legislators was
- Finally, he reported that in 2005 the
college set a new record for fundraising --
more than $2.5 million, including a $1million
bequest for recruitment scholarships
for high-achieving students.
In the midst of this good news, Poskanzer
pointed out that New Paltz also has some
- First: The college has for years relied
too much on part-time faculty to teach
both general education and major courses.
He said that the remedy is simple: "We
need more full-time faculty and we need
to reduce the proportion of key courses
taught by adjuncts."
- Second: The college must raise the profile
of the entering classes even further.
- Third: Graduation rates too low-especially
the four-year rate that is the norm at
other selective colleges.
- Fourth: New Paltz does not garner
enough external research funding, particularly
given the quality of the faculty.
- Fifth: Assessment efforts lag behind
those of other campuses.
- And last: While the college's balance
sheet is in the black, it does not have
enough money to do all that it needs and
wants to do.
Vision of the Future:
The president spoke about how the campus
should address what lies ahead, which
he then outlined in eight items:
- First: Continue raising the academic
quality and selectivity of the students,
while remaining a very diverse institution
in terms of student ethnicity, socioeconomic
status, geography and intellectual
- Second: Hire and retain faculty who are
serious about both their scholarship and
- Third: Teach a curriculum that prepares
students for their careers and lives.
- Fourth: Link student intellectual growth
with faculty scholarship. "Connections
between undergraduate learning and faculty
scholarship will be an important part of
what makes New Paltz different from
community colleges, research universities
and less-distinguished comprehensive and
liberal arts colleges," said Poskanzer.
- Fifth: Residential character must reinforce
the college's educational goals.
Poskanzer said, "To realize our ambitions,
most of our undergraduate students will
live on campus and many faculty and staff
will live in close proximity to campus."
- Sixth: Meeting student needs. He said
that this included updating the administrative
computing system that allows the college
to keep records, generate bills and
calculate financial aid. He said that New
Paltz will now begin to implement to the
Banner system, which is currently used by
11 of the 13 comprehensive colleges.
- Seventh: The college must address
regional economic and schooling needs by
being a willing partner and supplier of talent
in the form of graduates and faculty
expertise to local business and industry,
school districts and social services.
- Eighth: New Paltz will be a cultural and
intellectual hub for the mid-Hudson region
through its arts events, athletic contests
and public lectures.
He concluded by saying that New Paltz
can and should be an elite, highly selective,
residential public college. "That is
our overarching objective," he said.
For a complete copy of the "State of the
College" address, visit
SEPTEMBER 26, 2005
Volume 3, Issue 19
News Pulse is published
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