$20.4 million student center now in planning stages
This spring will see Oswego State planting the seeds of a new student center.
Located in the center of campus, the new facility will be a "focal point of student activity," according to a mission statement for the building.
The $20.4 million project gets 85 percent of its funding through the State University Construction Fund and 15 percent from the campus. The Construction Fund money comes from a $17 million state budget member item secured by state Sen. James Wright, an Oswego alumnus. The matching project requires the campus to provide $3,069,000 in non-state funds.
The campus will begin the design portion of the project this spring, acc-ording to Jerry DeSantis, interim vice president for administration and fin-ance. The goal is to have a design com-pleted by the end of this calendar year.
Groundbreaking is anticipated in May of 2001, and the building could open as early as the 2003-04 academic year, DeSantis estimates.
Focus shifts eastward
The Campus Concept Committee, guided by Faculty Assembly Chair David King with expert input from DeSantis, took into account a 1995 architectural study and campus deve-lopments since then in making its recommendation to President Deborah Stanley for a new facility.
Those developments include a shift of campus activity to the east with the renovation of Rich Hall into a home for the School of Business and the reactivation of Sheldon Hall.
They also include the findings of recent archi- tectural studies that Romney Field House needs either much work or to be replaced.
Last spring, Faculty Assembly en-dorsed a new facility that might incor-porate "a new multi-purpose arena to provide an appropriate facility for convocation, graduation, hockey, other indoor sports, conferences, etc."
The Campus Center will be "the primary venue for the events and cele-bration of campus life connecting the learning activities and social activities of students on the campus," the mission statement says.
Top administration is reorganized
Oswego State began the new academic year with a new look in top administration, with the retirement of a long-time vice president and a restructuring of various departments.
Bernie Henderson retired as vice president for finance and budget, after a 30-year career with Oswego State. Jerry DeSantis, who was director of physical plant since 1992, was appointed interim vice president for administration and finance.
Two other vice presidential areas were reconfigured and merged.
Dr. Joseph Grant, who has been vice president for enrollment, marketing and development since 1988, has assumed the duties of vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.
He oversees the offices of admissions, financial aid, campus life, career services, counseling services, residence life and housing, and judicial affairs, as well as Auxiliary Services, Walker Health Center and the Student Advisement Center.
Dr. James Scharfenberger, who headed the Student Affairs Division for a year on an interim basis, is now the associate vice president and dean of student affairs.
This semester a national search is under way for a vice president to head the new administrative division of development. Reporting to this new vice president will be the offices of alumni, development, publications and public affairs, as well as WRVO radio station.
With a successful year of fund raising, which saw the university garner nearly $2.35 million in outright and future gifts, the institution is ready to begin a major gift campaign, President Deborah Stanley said. Raising private funds for the university will be a focus for the new vice president.
Also part of the reorganization is the appointment of Carolyn Rush as deputy to the president. Rush maintains her duties as director of the Center for Business and Community Programs and continues to contribute expertise on administrative systems and external relations.
The University Police Department and offices of human resources and payroll will report directly to the president.
President Stanley said she felt the new reorganization "will help create additional synergies among the units in each division and create new opportunities for strengthening the learning environment." She said the reorganization should help advance new strategic planning initiatives as well.
Oswego State students can now register on World Wide Web
The college began Web registration in time for spring semester registration.
The NICE system for telephone registration has been in place for about three years now. The new system may be easier for some people to use and will have the same capabilities as the NICE and mail systems, according to Associate Registrar Bernadette Krenzer.
"It's more of a visual tool," she says. "Most people are visual, so there's less chance of error."
The Web registration is a dynamic Web site, so registration can be done in real time. Students can tell if they are closed out of a class or if there is a
conflict in their schedule.
"In general there is a whole movement to have student records and access to information on the Web," she says. "This is a first step in that direction. It will give students access in the
Of the SUNY campuses operating under the Banner system, Oswego is among the top 25 percent implementing Web registration, according to Krenzer. The longest any campuses have had Web registration is one year.
Telergy contracts to save money, time
No one on campus goes for long without using electricity, a telephone or a computer network, and soon all that will be provided to the campus by Telergy.
Oswego State entered into two contracts with the Syracuse-based communications and energy company over the summer. Under the first, Oswego will deal with Telergy exclusively for all of its telecommunications needs. The second makes Telergy, instead of Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., the campus's electricity provider.
The contracts are the latest developments in the university's partnership with Telergy, which began with the company's co-sponsorship of the Oswe-go State Fall Classic three years ago. Telergy became a presidential level sponsor in 1999, and its founder and chief executive officer, Brian Kelly, was one of the speakers at the Fall Classic forum Sept. 16.
Telergy started by offering local, long distance and data services over a high-speed, all-digital network and then, as the energy industry headed toward deregulation, began bundling energy and energy management services with its modern communications packages.
Under the telecommunications agreement with Oswego State, Telergy has installed a new telecommunications switch that will replace the current 12-year-old switch in May.
Bill Gruszka, director of telecommunications, said that the new, more advanced switch will make telephone services on campus much more reliable than they have been as the current switch neared the end of its lifespan. It will also increase the speed of data transmission and Internet access.
The energy agreement will save money which can then be put to other uses. The contract locks in "very competitive, low rates" for six months with a further guarantee that if the price of electricity on the open market falls lower, Telergy will beat that price. The contract is renewable.
Oswego is piloting the energy project for the State University of New York.
Campus now engaged in visionary planning
Oswego State initiated a new strategic planning process last fall. The inclusive process is scheduled to produce a comprehensive plan by the end of this academic year that will set the course for continued planning and help assure a bright future for the college.
The Strategic Planning Advisory Board, after gathering information from a broad base of stakeholders, has recommended to President Deborah Stanley a set of strategic goals for the college, which she has approved. The strategic goals address six areas:
• Academic Quality
• Faculty Roles
• Student Life
• Physical Environment
Six action teams were being formed as this newsletter went to press. This spring, each team will develop and recommend a list of strategic initiatives related to each goal. President Stanley will formally approve this strategic plan to lead Oswego State boldly forward into the new century.
New gen ed gears up
Faculty have devised a new general education program to conform with the SUNY board of trustees systemwide mandate.
In December 1998, the trustees approved a set of systemwide core educational requirements to be implemented by fall 2000.
Unlike other campuses, Oswego is already in transition from one general education program to another and is hoping that implementation of the new requirements can be postponed until fall 2001.
Oswego began phasing in its current gen ed program in fall 1998. That prog-ram has required some adjustments to conform with the trustee-mandated program. Added were requirements in American history, Western civilization, other world civilizations and foreign language.
Frederick gets Fulbright
Alfred Frederick, professor of curriculum and instruction, is sharing his insights into multi-cultural education in the west African country of Benin.
Frederick received a Fulbright Scholar award to travel to Benin. He is lecturing in French at the Université Nationale du Benin until August, sharing his thoughts on curriculum development and evaluation.
Frederick hopes to establish a link, or partnership, for academic and cultural exchange with Benin.
"We live in a culturally pluralistic society," Frederick says. "I feel we must be able to interact in a non-formal, social setting if we are to bridge the gaps" between societies.
This Fulbright Scholar award is his second. He received the first award to lecture and research in Brazil in 1990.
In 1992-93, he returned to Brazil as a visiting professor at the Universidade Federal do Piaui in Teresina.
In 1997, he was invited to speak at the United Nations Educational, Scien-tific and Cultural Organization in Paris.
Piper named to council
Gov. George Pataki has appoint-
ed John Piper of Farmington to
the Oswego College Council. A 1975 graduate of Oswego State, Piper is the chief executive officer of the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.
Piper majored in communication studies at Oswego, where he remembers working on broadcasting projects with Al Roker, who was a year behind him. He has worked in the field of association management for nearly 25 years, half of them in Rochester. He previously worked in Syracuse and Colorado Springs.
"I enjoyed Oswego. It was a great place to go to college," he said. "I'd like to take this opportunity to do what I can to help the school."
He replaces Jackie Schell of Watertown, whose term has expired.
Grant funds center
By providing continuing education for working journalists across New York state, the Center for Community Journalism has quickly spread the word about Oswego's young journalism program. Now a $224,860 grant from an anonymous donor will enable the center to expand its campus-based workshop series and to deliver more training directly to news rooms around the state.
Writing Program scores
Esquire's "Best Books of the Decade, Fiction" include two by Oswego alumni. The list in the January issue cited 17 books, including Charming Billy by alumna Alice McDermott and Buffalo Soldiers by alumnus and Assistant Professor of English Robert O'Connor, who teaches in the Writing Arts Program.
Security Escort available
Oswego introduced the Security Escort system this semester. Hand-held devices transmit radio signals to detection units alerting University Police of people in trouble. The $1.4 million system is free to Oswego State as a test site. A recent survey rated Oswego among the top 15 percent of nearly 1,500 four-year college communities nationwide when it comes to safety.
Oswego's School of Education will pursue accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education by 2001. NCATE's Unit Accreditation Board decided not to support Oswego's case for accreditation in this year's round of applications, following a year of preparation and deliberation. Oswego will seek a second on-site review by 2001.
Just in Time
Time magazine ran an ad for Oswego State boasting of Oswego's "365 engaging professors, 109 thought-provoking programs" and "1 Great Lake." The ad ran in copies of the magazine distributed to 320,000 subscribers in New York. It appeared in three issues this fall, for a total of nearly a million impressions.
Off the press
For art Professor Richard Zakin, talking to fellow ceramic artists about their work and lives is fun. It's also the subject of his newest book. Ceramics: Ways of Creation takes an intimate look at 36 ceramists from the United States and Canada.
Fritz Messere, chair of the communication studies department, is a co-author of the fourth edition of Broadcasting, Cable, the Internet, and Beyond: An Introduction to Modern Electronic Media. He helped rehaul the original book completely to incorporate the Internet and developed a Web site to go with it.
Last summer while the state of Kansas was retreating from teaching evolution, biology Professor Peter Rosenbaum was coming out with a new textbook on it. Understanding Evolution is the sixth edition of a text first written in 1967 by E. Peter Volpe. Rosenbaum joined him as a co-author on this edition.
New majors give Oswego State students many more choices
The campus had six new major programs come on line this year — the most in recent memory. The new majors range from scholarly explorations in cognitive science and women's studies to practical training for the fields of wellness management, graphic design and public relations.
For nearly a decade undergraduates have been studying public relations as a track within the communication studies department. Now they can officially major in it. Students who are seniors now and following the public relations track may be able to graduate in May with a public relations degree.
Women's studies has long been a popular program on the Oswego cam-pus, with the first courses offered in the 1970s. Oswego's program is unique in offering an international perspective.
Questions of how the human brain works and interacts with machines and animals are central to the study of cog-nitive science, a multidisciplinary field just coming into its own. Students can go on to industry or graduate study.
Chemists and others who love science can share their interest with school children thanks to the new master of arts in teaching chemistry, approved with cooperation from the chemistry and education faculties.
A combination of art and technology training makes Oswego graduates in the graphic design program attractive to both art directors hiring new talent and graduate schools.
Students graduating with the new wellness management major can seek careers as work site health promoters, directors of fitness and wellness programs in hospitals or consultants on the ground floor of a new movement.
$2.2 million grant biggest in Oswego State history
Oswego State researchers looking into the effects of pre-natal exposure to Lake Ontario contaminants will be able to continue their study with a new five-year $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
A study of "Pre-Natal PCB Exposure and Cognitive Development" being conducted by the Center for Neurobehavioral Effects of Environmental Toxics received the funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
It is the biggest grant the researchers have received and the largest in Oswego State history.
The grant will enable Dr. Paul Stewart, Dr. Thomas Darvill, Dr. Edward Lonky and Dr. Jacqueline Reihman, all of the psychology department, and James Pagano of the Environmental Research Center to continue their longitudinal study of children whose mothers ate Lake Ontario fish during pregnancy.
They published their findings in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
Reihman says those interested in the results of the study include the Department of Environmental Conservation, Environmental Protection Agency, governance structures in each state of the Great Lakes basin, tourism and industry.
"This has far-reaching implications for a great number of stakeholders throughout the industrialized world," Darvill says.
The Great Lakes are a multi-use resource, he says. "Very many people are interested in the study for very many reasons."