Excellence in our backyard

A new academic year is well under way. SUNY Fredonia is a cultural and economic powerhouse: exemplar in teaching, creative in research and unique in development with a powerful economic impact on the county, state and beyond.

The university is particularly noted for its innovative teaching protocols, dynamic relevant research, imaginative developmental strategies and initiatives in community service and global initiatives. SUNY Fredonia has become a model class institution of higher education par excellence. Many of these quality indicators have advanced, by the superb academic standing of the student body and their zest for learning, and by the excellence provided by a scholarly, eminently distinguished faculty and staff. These hallmarks of unique excellence are worthy of nurturing, preserving, enriching, and enhancing. No wonder that SUNY Fredonia has once again been ranked as 14th among the top public universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

An exciting era has taken root and a stimulating academic year is underway at Fredonia. President Virginia S. Horvath, the 13th president of this historic institution, is now in her second year as president. Her exemplary skills have set a tone for quality transformational leadership at its best. Her professional expertise, uncompromising integrity and thoughtfully creative, enthusiastic administrative style match well the high quality of expertise and genuine desire the campus has to further Fredonia’s tradition of excellence.

Currently, SUNY Fredonia is in the midst of a new five-year strategic plan – The Power of Fredonia, a campus blueprint and a link to SUNY’s own mission. The plan focuses on Fredonia’s core strengths as it aspires to further its leadership potential as a Community of Learning, an Engaged Community, a Global Community and a Sustainable Community.

To be sure, these are exciting times at our local SUNY campus. It appears that with this strategic plan, when coupled with the university’s new baccalaureate goals, there is a vibrancy of creativity, encouraging exciting interdisciplinary collaboration and furthering the enhancement of teaching and learning outcomes. This institution’s present-day climate of dynamism in vibrant initiatives for quality actions, and this institution’s solid historic underpinnings of a tradition of excellence, serve well as the dynamic, energetic thrust for “The Power of Fredonia.”

SUNY Fredonia is proudly a vital part of this great State University system. Strategically, the university plays a pivotal role in the intellectual climate, cultural advancement and economic vitality of our state and host communities. In so many ways, it serves as the area’s core economic engine. In other words, often the university becomes the magnet which draws in other enterprises, explores emerging possibilities and serves as an attraction for future initiatives. And thus, it has a magnetic pull of attraction for folks individually or collectively and is often central to playing a vital role in anchoring and enhancing the host area’s cultural and economic quality of life.

It was Benjamin Disraeli who so wisely stated, “upon the education of the people of this country, the fate of this country depends.”

And, it was Tapan Monroe, an economist for California who so thoughtfully stated, “Like steel and auto manufacturing during the 1900s, it is quality education which fuels the cultural setting and the economic engines of the current century.” Truly, SUNY Fredonia is just such a powerhouse of culture and an engine of energy, integrity and ingenuity.

In short, SUNY Fredonia: Exemplar of Excellence.

Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia and distinguished professor at Capella University in Minneapolis. All of the past columns can be viewed on www.fromourperspective.net/ Send comments to: Rheich@aol.com