New provost describes priorities
SUNYIT’s new provost has been tackling many issues this fall as he gets to know faculty, students and staff across campus.
William W. Durgin began work at SUNYIT in September after holding several positions at California Polytechnic State University; most recently, he was university executive for research and external support after serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before that, he was associate provost and vice president for research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
"The issues we face are similar to those faced by all colleges and universities—faculty recruitment, faculty development, building an institutional reputation, financial management, compliance issues—but we’re a younger institution; we have some good opportunities and some interesting challenges," Durgin said recently. "Increasing enrollment is a top priority; it’s critical. I will be working with the academic department chairs, the faculty, staff—to encourage them to do everything they can to bring in next year’s class."
Completing a strategic plan is a top priority, as is building SUNYIT’s signature academic programs and industry partnerships.
"What I’m hoping for is that nanotechnology will be a signature strength for this region. We can use it as a magnet to recruit students and faculty," Durgin said. "Nanotech-related activities will have broader implications for the area’s economy and for SUNYIT. New, smaller companies will spin off from the nanotechnology activity, and those companies will need people in a variety of fields: business, health care, public education—all stand to benefit."
Durgin says SUNYIT needs to provide an environment in which faculty thrive, with support for excellence in teaching and scholarship, and students grow—academically and outside the classroom as well. And from strategic planning to guiding academic and student affairs, he is excited about SUNYIT’s potential for success.
Note: Provost Durgin will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Bridge.
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