Key Messages

Eight Faculty & Staff Recognized by SUNY for Excellence

I am proud to announce that the SUNY Board of Trustees and the Chancellor have recognized seven members of our faculty and staff with Chancellor's Awards for Excellence and one faculty member with a Distinguished Rank this year.

George Hovis

Dr. George Hovis
Distinguished Teaching Professor

Dr. George Hovis, Professor of English, has been conferred with a Distinguished Teaching Professorship. This is SUNY's highest academic rank and recognizes outstanding teaching competence and mastery consistently demonstrated over many years at SUNY Oneonta. Dr. Hovis has been a member of the faculty in our English department since 2006, has served on numerous committees, advised student organizations and been a sponsor for the Student Grant Program for Research and Creative Activity for several years. In 2017 he was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Read more about Dr. Hovis and his accomplishments.

Phil Bidwell, Lynda Craft, Mark English, Dr. Maria Cristina Montoya, Dr. Marius Munteanu, Dr. Mine Ozer and Sarah Rhodes have been named among the 2023 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence honorees.

Phil Bidwell

Phil Bidwell
IT Specialist, Facilities

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service

Lynda Craft

Lynda Craft
Janitor, Maintenance - Custodial

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Mark English

Mark English
Director of IT Services Customer Support

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service

Maria Cristina Montoya

Dr. Maria Cristina Montoya
Associate Professor of Spanish

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Marius Munteanu

Dr. Marius Munteanu
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship & Creative Activities

Mine Ozer

Dr. Mine Ozer
Professor of Management

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Sarah Rhodes

Sarah Rhodes
Senior Assistant Librarian

Chancellor's Award in Librarianship

Please join me in congratulating these leaders. Learn more about them and their accomplishments.

George, Phil, Lynda, Mark, Maria Cristina, Marius, Mine and Sarah are most deserving of this distinction. They will be recognized during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 20. These recognitions acknowledge their superior achievement in their disciplines and service to the institution, and I am honored to have them as a part of our university community.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

2023 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence Winners & Honorary Degree Recipient

Three members of the senior class have been named 2023 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recipients: Jamie Crique, Melissa Rose Garrecht, and Robert Lang.

Jamie Crique

Jamie Crique is a senior from Bronx, NY, majoring in Criminal Justice.

Melissa Rose Garrecht

Melissa Rose Garrecht is a senior from East Northport, NY, majoring in Adolescence Education and Spanish.

Robert Lang

Robert Lang is a senior from Schoharie, NY, majoring in Business Economics.

These exceptional student-leaders and scholars with outstanding achievements have served as role models for their peers here at SUNY Oneonta. As three of only 193 students from across the SUNY system who received the award this year, they were honored at a ceremony in Albany yesterday. Read more about Jamie, Melissa Rose, and Robert and their accomplishments.

Dr. Mitchell Olman photo

Dr. Mitchell Olman

I am also pleased to announce that we will award an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree to Dr. Mitchell Olman during commencement next month. Dr. Olman graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. He went on to earn a master's degree in Anatomy from Columbia University and an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine.

After beginning his career in internal medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, he became a research fellow in their Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care. He then held a pulmonary medicine subspecialty fellowship at the University of California at San Diego and became a visiting investigator at the prestigious nonprofit biomedical research organization, the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. From 1993 - 2009, Dr. Olman worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a member of the faculty and senior scientist in several research centers and attained the rank of Full Professor of Pathology and Medicine. In 2009, he joined the renowned Cleveland Clinic as a physician-scientist. Today, he leads a pulmonology laboratory in the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Olman's and The Mitchell Olman Laboratory's work focuses mainly on pathogenesis and treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Among his many other accomplishments, Dr. Olman has served as a primary or co-investigator on grants supported by the National Institutes of Health, has co-authored publications in several prominent scientific journals, and is a member of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Peer Review Committee.

Dr. Olman remains very connected to the university. He returned to campus to give the Student Research and Creative Activity Day keynote address in 2011 and was recognized as an Alumni of Distinction by the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association in 2014. He also established the Dr. Mitchell Olman and Dr. Candace Gladson Scholarship in honor of Professor Bruce Knauer for students who major in Chemistry and have financial need.

Dr. Olman will receive his honorary degree and give the commencement address at the commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 20. We will also recognize Jamie, Melissa Rose and Robert during the ceremonies. Please join me in congratulating all four Red Dragons on these well-deserved honors.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear Colleagues,

The site visit from the Middle States team has concluded, and we would like to extend a university-wide thank you to all who prepared for and participated in this effort. The reaccreditation process, though long and demanding, is essential for our continued success in supporting students and helping SUNY Oneonta remain a great place to learn, live and work.

As noted in the site visit team's report this morning, there are many things to celebrate at SUNY Oneonta. We look forward to the Commission's official accreditation decision this summer.

Contributions to the reaccreditation efforts came from all corners of campus: from people who shared their facilities; provided IT and web support; worked on the weekends to facilitate the visit; provided transportation; served meals; served on the working groups; read and revised self-study drafts; provided evidence; rallied students and colleagues; attended meetings; or provided moral support. This process was truly a community effort.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle, President
Eileen Morgan-Zayachek, Senior Associate Provost, AVP for Academic Affairs & Middle States Reaccreditation Steering Committee Co-Chair
Theresa Russo, Assistant VP for Academic Affairs & Middle States Reaccreditation Steering Committee Co-Chair
Andrew Kahl, Professor, Theatre Department & Middle States Reaccreditation Steering Committee Co-Chair

Dear Red Dragons,

Welcome to the Spring 2023 semester! I hope that you are looking forward to classes beginning on Wednesday and were able to enjoy restful and relaxing moments over the past several weeks. There is much to look forward to this spring.

SUNY Oneonta's designation as a university instead of a college officially begins today! I hope you will attend the celebration of this momentous occasion this Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. in the International Lounge of the Hunt Union.

More than 190 new students are joining the Red Dragon family this semester. Welcome! Additionally, students looking to enroll for Fall 2023 will be on campus throughout the spring for visits. I am sure they will be impressed by the enthusiasm and accomplishments of our welcoming and talented community. Please watch for information from the Office of Admissions regarding admitted student events and opportunities where the university community may be able to assist.

SUNY's new chancellor, John B. King, Jr., began at the beginning of this month. He has embarked on a tour to visit all 64 SUNY campuses this spring. We do not yet have information on when he plans to visit Oneonta, but the details will be shared when they become available.

When sharing the many great things happening at SUNY Oneonta with alumni and friends of the university, I am met with enthusiasm and excitement. I am always inspired by the work you are doing in the classroom, in meetings, in offices, in artistic venues, on athletic fields, in groups and in our local community. I encourage you to stay informed and capitalize on opportunities to get involved and strengthen our community. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and your fellow Red Dragons. I look forward to continuing to support your work and activities and seeing all that is achieved.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Spring 2023 semester! I hope you are looking forward to classes beginning on Wednesday and were able to enjoy restful and relaxing moments over the past several weeks. There is much to look forward to this spring.

SUNY Oneonta's designation as a university instead of a college officially begins today! I hope you will attend the celebration of this momentous occasion this Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. in the International Lounge of the Hunt Union.

More than 190 new students are joining the Red Dragon family this semester. Additionally, students looking to enroll for Fall 2023 will be on campus throughout the spring for visits. I am sure they will be impressed by the enthusiasm and accomplishments of our welcoming and talented community. Please watch for information from the Office of Admissions regarding admitted student events and opportunities where the university community may be able to assist.

SUNY's new chancellor, John B. King, Jr., began at the beginning of this month. He has embarked on a tour to visit all 64 SUNY campuses this spring. We do not yet have information on when he plans to visit Oneonta, but the details will be shared when they become available.

We are in the final stages of our re-accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a process of self-study and peer review to examine our institution, help us demonstrate accomplishments, highlight areas of excellence and identify opportunities to better serve students. An advanced draft of the self-study will be posted tomorrow on the university's self-study webpage. We have three weeks until we submit this self-study to the evaluation team that will conduct a site visit in April. The result of their three days on campus will be a report on their perception of our institution's progress and work toward meeting the seven standards set forth by Middle States. Details about the site visit will be shared as the date approaches. Please share any questions or feedback about the self-study by emailing

Lastly, I look forward to seeing the creative and productive ways the university community makes use of the new common meeting time (3 - 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). Continue to monitor the Oneonta Bulletin and CampusConnection for information about events, both during the common meeting time and otherwise. The common meeting time is just one example of the progress being made toward the opportunities listed within the Regaining Momentum agenda. Many additional efforts are underway in departments, schools, divisions, clubs and committees across campus. A more complete update on initiatives related to the agenda, funded projects and more will be shared later this semester.

When sharing the many great things happening at SUNY Oneonta with alumni and friends of the university, I am met with enthusiasm and excitement. I am always inspired by the work you are doing in the classroom, in meetings, in offices, in artistic venues, on athletic fields, in groups, in our local community and all across the region. I encourage you to stay informed and capitalize on opportunities to get involved and strengthen our community. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and one another. I look forward to continuing to support your work and activities and seeing all that is achieved.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Warm Wishes from SUNY Oneonta Video

During this season, we hope you are able to reflect on all that you have

accomplished throughout the year and enjoy time with those you love.

Happy New Year from SUNY Oneonta!

Alberto Cardelle & Rachel Frick-Cardelle

Following the approval of Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley and the SUNY Board of Trustees, SUNY Oneonta will be designated as a university instead of a college beginning Jan. 23, 2023!

In Jan. 2022, the New York State Board of Regents changed its regulations related to the number of graduate-level degrees an institution must offer to qualify as a university. Because we offer a range of registered undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, including at least three master's degrees in the disciplines of agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences or social sciences, we now can be classified as a university.

You may be wondering, "What does this mean and what is changing?" In short, only our name will change. Instead of "State University of New York College at Oneonta", our official name on record will be "State University of New York at Oneonta." Our moniker and branding will still be "SUNY Oneonta," and the type logo used on the web, publications and signage will not change.

This is a significant moment in our history. Designation as a university will strengthen the future of our institution and boost prospects for enrollment, especially among international and graduate students. It showcases our commitment to progress and more accurately reflects the structure and rigor of our distinguished academic offerings. While our mission and commitment to academic excellence and a student-centered teaching and learning environment remain unchanged, this designation sets us up for exciting opportunities like further development of online graduate degrees and creation of new partnerships and continuing education programs to serve our local community and regional workforce.

All students and employees are invited to gather for a reception to commemorate this new designation on the first day of Spring 2023 classes. Please mark your calendar for cake and refreshments on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at 3 p.m. in the International Lounge in Hunt Union. I look forward to seeing you there and celebrating this new chapter for SUNY Oneonta.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear SUNY Oneonta Community,

Veterans Day presents a time for us to recognize the sacrifices of those who have served our country in the armed forces. Let's reflect on the dedication and selflessness of all who have served, and express special gratitude for the members of our college community, employees, students, alumni and friends who are current or retired military personnel. Their leadership and experiences enrich our college and their dedication to our country is honorable. In addition, we recognize many members of the extended Red Dragon family like parents, grandparents, friends and other relatives who have served. We should be forever grateful for their selfless sacrifice and courage.

I encourage you to participate in the events planned to honor our veterans tomorrow, Nov. 11. You can stop by the Hunt College Union from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to fill out a thank you card to be sent to veterans. At 3 p.m., all veterans in our college community and those who wish to thank them are invited to attend a reception at the Craven Lounge in the Morris Conference Center. It is also worth noting that the City of Oneonta is a Green Light for Military Service City and is encouraging community members to display a green light in windows to honor our current service members and veterans through Nov. 13.

We are proud of veterans for their service to our country and their belief in and willingness to protect our democracy.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Presented Oct. 14, 2022, to an assembly of college and university delegates, elected officials, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members

Good Afternoon!
¡Buenas Tardes!

I would like to recognize our distinguished guests today: Chancellor Deborah Stanley, Trustee Eunice Lewin, Senator Peter Oberacker, Assemblyman Brian Miller, Mayor Mark Drnek, chairperson Patrick Brown, delegates, alumni, students, fellow administrators, faculty, staff, honored guests, my wife Dr. Rachel Frick Cardelle, and friends. All of you here are sharing a very special gift, that is the gift of your time, your presence, and your support. So, I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude to each of you here today. I can only think to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It is more than a privilege to stand before all of you and share in this moment of history for SUNY Oneonta. Since the day I arrived 13 months ago, I have been honored to be part of this remarkable community.

I have been on a college or university campus as a student, researcher, faculty, Chair, Dean, Provost and now President for more than 30 years.

The last 23 years, I have been exclusively at regional public comprehensive universities. These years are filled, for the most part, with stories and memories about instances of success, some of failure but most importantly, those of the remarkable collective work I’ve experienced and accomplished with colleagues and students alike.

But along with those very energizing recollections, there are also memories of the times that that I fell short of espousing the mission of the great institutions at which I worked and the mission of public higher education, namely equitable access.

There was:

  • The graduate student that I considered leaving off a grant because they had not completed an analysis on time;
  • The meeting I cancelled with a student mentee because he had not shown up for two previous meetings;
  • The student that I assigned to a lower quality internship because we did not believe they could perform and would embarrass the program; and
  • The community-based organization I did not agree to work with because of rumors of poor financial management.

In each of these times I did exactly the opposite of what Gregory Boyle, a missionary working with gang members in the inner city of L.A., says are a sign of healthy community.

Instead of standing in awe of those in unfortunate circumstances and what they must carry, I judged them and how they carried it.

  • In the first case I did not stand in awe of how the graduate student was both managing their schoolwork and trying to decide what to do about an unexpected pregnancy;
  • With my mentee, I did not ask about their family life, because if had I, I would have learned that they are an orphan and the family they were living with was moving out of state and he was not sure what he was going to do;
  • With the third student, I should have been in awe of his resiliency in reaching the point of completing an internship despite his learning disabilities caused by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and;
  • Finally, I should have been in admiration of what that small community-based organization was doing to help the population of indigenous people in a predominantly white community which did not understand its customs.

At the core of my actions there was a lack of caring, but the actual root of the problem was a lack of curiosity, awareness and attentiveness. I had fallen into my academic silo and, unlike prairie dogs that at least peak out of their burrows every so often, made decisions in the darkness and confines of that silo. I was not aware of the challenges faced by the communities from which our students come from or where our institutions are housed.

Yes, these were individual shortcomings, but they happened within a system whose reward systems are not always in line with the missions that they profess.

As faculty and staff at a college or university, we are rewarded and celebrated for personal accomplishments, our teaching, our advising, our student services, where we get published, how are recognized by professional organizations, etc. etc.

We have created a system in which it is easier to get noticed through insular and parochial pathways, and disciplinary and professional purity than because of collective action.

In this chronic hardening of the silos, we easily lack the attention required for, and the curiosity about, the broad comprehensive actions and perspectives that are more likely to positively impact the communities where we are located, and therefore improving the structures that influence our students.

This institution has the history, the assets and most importantly, has adopted a mission to overcome these problems. We must find ways to make our stated mission which reads, “We nurture a community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially and live purposefully,” a reality.

A mission that is relevant to all.

We want an institution that will be as relevant 150 years from now as it was 133 years ago when it was founded.

However, institutions cannot simply will their relevance into existence. To be relevant, institutions must engage with the challenges. To be relevant, we must propose solutions. In short, institutions must get dirty in the messy world and jump into the trenches of our social, economic, scientific, and moral debates. We must be critical collaborators in improving the human condition.

As former SUNY chancellor Ernest Boyer argued, “We need to shape our institution from the outside in and surpass the boundaries between the academy and the world.”

For this goal of becoming relevant to happen there are three intertwined areas of work.

  • First, our campuses must be a vehicle of social and economic mobility for all students.
    • We must not only open our doors to all students, we must give them a relentless welcome so that they feel supported and secure and can attain their aspirations right here at SUNY Oneonta. We must provide our students with the opportunity to establish a rich web of relationships through instruction, advisement and mentorship so that they learn, grow and thrive from not only books and lectures, but through conversations and discussions, with not only instructors and advisors but with people who can be life-long mentors.
    • However, we must also ensure that these students are reflective of the communities we are supposed to serve, our student body must resemble the diversity of the state. So too, is it necessary for our faculty and staff members to be diverse. Students must be able to see themselves among those they work with and learn from.
    • To state it simply, our institutions must be beacons of representation.
  • Second, we need to respond to the needs of our communities and region by offering the relevant research and creative endeavors that our communities demand. We must champion publicly-engaged scholarship. Higher education’s goal of advancing knowledge nationally or globally cannot leapfrog our local needs. If we are not advancing knowledge for the benefit of the communities in which we reside, who will?
  • Third, we need to be premier stewards of place. We must cultivate more than sustained partnerships with our communities, our relationships must be in a “symbiotic collusion” - that in which the host region’s future and the future of the institution are inextricably linked. SUNY Oneonta should strive not only to be in Oneonta but to be of Oneonta. We must not only be in Otsego County we must be of Otsego County.

Interestingly, this vision is really nothing new - it is a case of going back to the future, let me explain.

In 1887 as SUNY Oneonta was being established as the Oneonta Normal School, the local newspaper wrote,

“The establishment of this school in Oneonta is an event of supreme importance in the history of this community and of this locality. It means advantages not to be estimated, not merely to those who now are, but to those who should follow; not merely to those who will be within the circle of its immediate influence, but to those unnumbered who are destined indirectly to feel its impulse.”

This 135-year-old expression of hope and prediction for the impact of this institution is our continued purpose — to be relevant to those here and beyond.

We have an opportunity to understand, heal, and strengthen our communities. You here as educators, students, and citizens, and you all have the opportunity to pull away from our sometimes deficit-minded present and be part of an optimistic future.

I ask us to reflect on the generations that came before us in times of in times of war, in times of disease, in times of economic hardship and in times of civil unrest, and realize that there is strong evidence that this optimistic future is not a Sisyphean task, but an attainable aspiration that this institution has been conquering for more than a century.

And if you are asking yourself, "What is it that I can do?"

I want to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite Latinx authors, Sandra Cisneros.

“Cuanto mayor me hago, más consciente soy de las formas en que cosas muy pequeñas pueden hacer un cambio en el mundo. Pequeñas cosas, pero el mundo está hecho de pequeñas cosas, ¿no es así?"
“The older I get the more I am conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made of tiny matters, is it not?”

As a real manifestation of this belief, before concluding I would like to announce that, as a result of the commitment of over 9,000 donors who have contributed to our Grow.Thrive.Live The Future of Oneonta fundraising campaign, we have now endowed our Student Emergency Fund with more than one million dollars so that we can assist students experiencing an emergency who require assistance to offset temporary financial difficulty and be relevant in their lives.

Thank you very much.

View Inauguration Ceremony Recording

Welcome back. hope you had a great summer. I am thrilled we are able to be back together and hosting this breakfast again. We are starting this year in a stronger position because of the excellent work over the last year and this summer.

We are only five days into the academic year and already we’ve had:

  • An army of volunteers making the experience of moving in for every student special and fun.
  • 1400 students come together with faculty and staff to celebrate the beginning of their academic journey here at SUNY Oneonta.
  • Students with their laptops studying in nooks across campus. This is because of IT’s hard work upgrading WiFi access.
  • Students who are recounting the amazing experience they had in a camping trip one week before classes started through the GEOFYRST program.
  • New students who’ve already made good friends because of the summer AEOP program.
  • Employees saying hello to returning students as if they were family.
  • Academic Advisement, the Registrar’s Office and Financial Aid were out under the tent helping students in a friendly environment.
  • A more hospitable temperature in IRC because of the work of facilities
  • Faculty meeting outside talking about general education curricula.

These are just a few examples of what has happened over the past few days.

I understand that many times it is easy to find yourself working on projects by yourself or with a small group of your peers and wondering if it makes a difference. Believe me it does.

Last week, I walked by Student Accounts and overhead staff working with a family and explaining their aid package and what to expect. They were patient as the family expressed some confusion about the process. Later on, I heard the same family downstairs in Netzer commenting on how much better they felt after speaking to the staff person.

The truth is that many of you may never encounter all of the students that you help because you are not there when they come into a clean classroom, are working WiFi, are processing something in their file behind the scenes, etc. Or, you may see them only once as you help them with a question or pass them in the hallway. What you don’t see is how that encounter played an impact on whether they could stay in school, or whether they felt at home and decided to stick it out after a tough day.

Last year I used the analogy of a puzzle - that we were all like puzzle pieces that, when put together, make up the full picture of this institution. I think a better analogy is one with bricks. We are all individual bricks that, if not part of bigger enterprise, are just pieces sitting in a pile. But, put together, we provide a base - a steppingstone for a whole generation of students to have the opportunity to dream and accomplish things they would not otherwise.

I told the students at convocation that they were following the path that students who have come to this institution for the last 133 years. Those students had been here in times of war, in times of disease, in times of economic hardship, and in times of civil unrest. The same is true for all of them.

We are building on what four to five generations of professionals have done. You are not just processing a file or a check, you are making sure that this institution remains vibrant and effective for another 133 years and for another four to five generations of students. You are playing a critical role in creating opportunities our students may not have otherwise.

And, most Importantly, providing our students with a relentless welcome. So, I ask that we use this vision as we continue with our work this year.

We will soon be announcing the next round of funding for projects related to the strategic opportunities and Regaining Momentum Agenda. We have already had one dialogue session this year, and it is my goal to have one per month. Keep an eye on the bulletin for announcements about each, and please join to be a part of the conversation. We have also submitted the letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees requesting designation as a university and should hear back soon.

There are many events and activities planned for this year and I encourage you to take advantage of all that is happening. It invigorating to attend so many social events and activities. There will be several events surrounding the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Black List, the Common Read and Mills Distinguished Lecture with George Takei, other well-known speakers and many community building events.

And by the way, because of your hard work we have been ranked in the top 200 by money magazine and top 500 in the country (out of 4000) by Forbes.

Lastly, we haven't had a breakfast since 2019, and it has been traditional to recognize employees who are new or in new roles, so I would like to ask everyone who has joined the college since August 2019 to stand, and anyone who is in a new position or received a promotion since Aug. 2019 to stand and be recognized.

The work that each and every one of you do makes a difference in the life of our institution and therefore the lives of our students and your co-workers. Thank you for your effort and dedication. And I also want to let you know how very happy I am that I am here, and I am proud to be working alongside all of you to continue to make SUNY Oneonta a place founded in honor and good faith.

Thank you.

Dear students,

It gives me a wonderful feeling that I have the privilege of welcoming students to another academic year at SUNY Oneonta. I am very excited for this year, my first full academic year as a Red Dragon.

The college is ready for move-in and for classes to begin. It is going to be an active and invigorating year, as evidenced by the number of events and activities happening during the first few weeks of classes. Later this semester, we will have events where all members of the college community can engage in activities and discussions regarding our Common Read book, "They Called Us Enemy" by George Takei. Please mark your calendars to hear this renowned actor, author and activist talk about his life and the book as he delivers the Mills Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 24. We will also welcome award-winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones on Nov. 3, when she will speak about the 1619 project in commemoration of the occurrence of the Black List. Additional information about these events will be shared as the dates get closer.

As everyone returns to school and our routines, I want to remind you of the special opportunity you have as part of an academic community. This means being part of a community that engages in discussions about many different topics and issues and, most importantly, engages with the world around us. This summer has certainly provided issues with which to engage. Recent Supreme Court decisions have altered the role of government and impacted our college, region, nation, and world. The dramatic shift in the governance of abortion rights through the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision and the overturning of Roe v. Wade is momentous and calls for institutions of higher education like ours to do what we do best – inform, debate and engage. It is important to remember that here in New York, our laws distinctly outline that residents of our state have the right to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, which includes the right to make choices about their healthcare and future. However, we cannot discount the greater impact this decision will have on public health and our society. Other decisions further strengthen this call to become involved in national deliberations. The Court's decisions on concealed weapons, overturning a century-old New York law, and the Environmental Protection Agency's authority over carbon emissions bring bearing on our college's hard work to provide a safe living and learning environment and core value of sustainability. The importance that all members of our college community engage in constructive conversations, carry out our role and responsibility to be informed and engaged citizens, and participate in elections cannot be understated.

I hope that you enjoyed time with loved ones, favorite activities or special places over the summer. I also hope you are excited to either begin your journey at SUNY Oneonta or reunite with your fellow Red Dragons and reconnect with faculty and staff. I know I am excited for you to be here, and I look forward to seeing you across campus and at the many great events that we have in store.

Have a wonderful start of the semester.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear colleagues,

I hope your summer has provided a season for replenishment and revitalization through time off or time to reconnect with loved ones, favorite activities or special places. We will, very soon, be back in the excitement of a new academic year, so reloading our energy reserves and enthusiasm is critical. As we approach the new academic year and fall semester activities, I want to highlight a few significant items and updates.

Although many outside of higher education may think that after commencement work is done here at the college for a few months, the reality is that we are very busy during the summer. The vice presidents provided me with an extensive list of the work carried out (and still ongoing) this summer. The list is too long to include here, but please know that the work is both recognized and sincerely appreciated - not only by me, but by the students and their families, both new and returning. They will observe and experience that we are prepared to meet expectations, support them and help them achieve their goals.

If you have been on campus, you have likely noticed the work to keep our grounds and buildings in pristine condition thanks to the excellent work of our grounds crew, facilities and maintenance staff. Facilities has also been busy overseeing multiple projects including, but not limited to, a major multiyear site project for ADA accessibility, continued work on the Alumni Hall project, renovations in Hays and Matteson Halls, the installation of a new sign at the West Street campus entrance, the addition of pedestrian crossing safety equipment and, in coordination with OAS/Sodexo, development of a new dining venue, Simple Servings, an allergen-free zone opening this fall in Wilsbach Hall. Academic Affairs has been hard at work block-presetting schedules for the incoming first-year students, refining the division's work on student success, planning for our next general education program, and continuing our Middle States self-study. We saw a return to faculty-led global programs and had over 40 students participate in undergraduate research and creative activities. Information Technology Services has been completing projects to improve our WI-FI network, data security and classroom technology, and reallocating computer lab resources based on trending demands. Colleagues in Student Affairs resurrected our summer orientation program, in which over 700 new students completed the Day One orientation session in July. The reviews for the summer Day One sessions clearly show a deep appreciation of the college-wide welcome. We also welcomed back summer camps, and Athletics was busy with various summer programs. The Division of College Advancement, in collaboration with over 20 other departments and offices, started the summer with a very successful Alumni Weekend in early June. The event brought about 750 alumni and friends back to campus, and their positive observations and sentiments about their experience and everything happening at the college were universal.

We begin this semester seeing progress on several initiatives related to the Regaining Momentum Agenda. We have:

  • established a Student Success Leadership Team with the goal of purposefully coordinating our retention efforts;
  • begun the first training of the Faculty Academy - a faculty professional development program about inclusive pedagogies;
  • expanded the number of experiential learning opportunities - with the highest number of summer undergraduate research participants ever this year;
  • raised 90 percent of the funds needed to meet the goal of endowing the Student Emergency Fund;
  • held two meetings of the new Regional Innovation Council;
  • provided preliminary funding to several projects designed to support student success and community building, both on campus and off;
  • and begun the process of adjusting the course schedule so that, beginning in Spring 2023, the college will have a couple of hours when classes are not scheduled and designated as common meeting times. This is a strategic initiative to strengthen the opportunities for us to come together as a community and engage in collective discussions on critical college issues, as well provide additional opportunities for events and activities that celebrate our college community.

As a way to continue building on the momentum from last year’s dialogue sessions, we will aim to have at least one session per month this year.

Several times last semester, I indicated that the New York State Education Department Board of Regents changed the criteria for institutions to qualify for status as a university in the fall of 2021. Under the new criteria, SUNY Oneonta already qualifies to be recognized as a university. There are over 10 private institutions in the state that have already made this change, and all but two of our sister institutions (SUNY regional comprehensive colleges) are requesting university designation. This issue will likely be taken up at the SUNY Board of Trustees meeting in September. Designation as a university will strengthen the future of our institution and we are already operating as one according to the Board of Regents’ guidelines. I will present about our intentions to request university designation from the SUNY Board of Trustees during my report at the Aug. 29 Senate meeting, and then at dialogue and open forum on Aug. 31. I invite all employees to attend either meeting to learn more about what this means and provide feedback. Our moniker and branding would still remain “SUNY Oneonta,” but our official name on record would no longer contain “College at Oneonta.”

I would like to conclude by advising the campus about recent re-organizations and assignments intended to strengthen our operations. The first is the addition of Dia Carleton to the President’s Cabinet where she will provide representation of, and input regarding, personnel matters during discussions. Second is an expanded role for Karen Brown who is now serving as our Senior Enrollment Officer and Executive Director of Admissions and will oversee the Student Success Leadership Team. Lastly, to better represent her everyday work and responsibilities (which will still include internal communications), Karyn Wendrow’s title has been changed to Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Executive Communication.

SUNY Oneonta is a community that we should all feel proud to be associated with and part of. This does not mean that there is not work to do – there always will be, so that we can continue to realize a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But it is also a place that, because of everyone’s hard work and commitment, stands in a very strong position to flourish and continue being a source of pride for generations to come.

I look forward to our continued collective work this coming year.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Today, we recognize the significance of Juneteenth in our nation's history and celebrate freedom and equity.

Opal Lee, known as the grandmother of Juneteenth, says that, "Juneteenth means freedom for everybody."

Opal is credited with helping to initiate the movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Between Sept. 2016 and Jan. 2017, she walked from Fort Worth, TX to Washington D.C. in a symbolic act calling for Juneteenth to become a national holiday. She walked 2.5 miles at a time, representing the 2.5 years it took Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger to arrive in Texas to inform some of the last enslaved people of the end of the Civil War after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in Jan. 1863. He arrived in Galveston, TX on June 19, 1865.

Opal was 90 years old when she completed her walk to Washington, and was a special guest at the signing ceremony when the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday was signed into law by President Biden last year. She has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is a driving force behind the planned National Juneteenth Museum in Texas.

Opal's story is a reminder that it is never too late, and no actions are too small, to make a difference. I hope everyone takes time to honor and celebrate this meaningful holiday.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear SUNY Oneonta Community,

Our state experienced a horrendous tragedy yesterday with the loss of ten New Yorkers as a result of a racist act of violence in Buffalo. The SUNY Oneonta community stands in solidarity with everyone who has been affected by the shooting and grieves for the victims and their families. We denounce not only the violence, but the hateful motivation and prejudice that fueled it.

As we support one another through this upsetting time, let us also stand together to condemn the intolerance and brutality displayed by this criminal act and others like it across our nation and the world. Our community’s commitment to valuing diversity, equity and inclusion is a critical antidote to bigotry and extremism.

For anyone who may be experiencing distress and would like support, or those who may simply want to talk through thoughts and feelings surrounding this terrible event, please reach out to the resources available to you at the college. Staff from the Counseling Center are available to talk with students and provide assistance. Faculty and staff can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program for referrals and resources.

Please also remember that the SUNY Oneonta Bias Acts Response Team and University Police are available to respond to incidents within our college community.

Today, I ask for us all to commit to contributing to a community, not only within our college, but also in our town, our region and our society, that fosters justice, kindness and peace.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Five Faculty & Staff Receive SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

I am proud to announce that five members of our faculty and staff have been named recipients of the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Simona Giura, Rebecca O'Donnell, Dr. Sarah Portway, Dr. Sasha Ramlal and Dr. William Wilkerson.

These members of our college community are leaders in their disciplines who have excelled in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service to the institution. Read more about them and their accomplishments at the link below.

Learn More About Our Recipients

Simona Giura

Dr. Simona Giura
Associate Professor of Management

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Rebecca O'Donnell

Rebecca O'Donnell
College Accountant

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service

Sarah Portway

Dr. Sarah Portway
Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Sasha Ramlal

Dr. Sasha R. Ramlal
Associate Professor of Education

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

William Wilkerson

Dr. William R. Wilkerson
Professor of Political Science

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

This is the highest honor for faculty and staff in SUNY, and our recipients will be recognized during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 21. Simona, Rebecca, Sarah, Sasha and William are most deserving of receiving this distinction, and I am proud to call them colleagues.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

As we wrap up the 2021-2022 academic year, I want to extend my best wishes for finals and the end of the semester. We have had a productive year, and I thank you for your contributions in helping it to be a safe and successful one. Have a healthy and energizing summer.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Read Transcript: Spring 2022 End-of-Year Message

May is here and we have just a few days before classes and finals are over and the 2021-2022 academic year is in the books. It is hard for me to believe that I joined the SUNY Oneonta community just eight months ago. My deepest appreciation for being such a welcoming community.

After attending many meetings, competitions, productions and ceremonies, I feel genuinely connected to both the on and off campus community. The opportunity to see first-hand what makes SUNY Oneonta such a wonderful place has been inspiring.

While this is the time of year we often look ahead to plans for the summer and the next year, I encourage you to take a moment to look back on all that we have accomplished this year.

The careful attention to COVID protocol and consideration for your fellow Red Dragons helped us have two successful semesters with in-person instruction, events and activities. I remain very much in awe by both the resilience and the flexibility demonstrated by everyone on campus. It was hard, but it has meant giving our students an experience that had been missing for over a year.

A few of the many bright spots we’ve seen this year include:

  • welcoming the class of 2020 back to campus for an in-person graduation celebration, a return to scholarly events like the Mills Distinguished Lecture the Student Research and Creativity Showcase, and co-curricular events such as musical performances, theatre productions, athletic competitions and entertainment events like O-Fest.
  • The college also served the region by serving as a community COVID testing site for several months during the winter.
  • We saw outstanding collaboration and community mindedness and that helped us through an unexpected power outage this spring.
  • We broke a record during the Powered By You giving challenge which generated more than 221 thousand dollars in donations to support students and the college community.
  • I’m especially grateful to all who participated in the institutional dialogue sessions that helped form the Regaining Momentum Agenda which will help guide our collective actions over the next 18 months. It was a privilege to hear from everyone and learn more about what makes our college a great place and about the opportunities we have to advance.

It has been a privilege getting to know all of you, and my appreciation goes to every student, staff, and faculty member for your effort and contributions this year. I hope you can fill your summer with activities that energize you and I thank you again for a wonderful year.

Four Students Receive 2022 SUNY Chancellor's Award

I am proud to announce our 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recipients, Alyssa Carbone, Gabrielle Cecere, Alexa Laska, and Teresa Lopez-Long.

These scholars have excelled academically, been exemplary leaders and dedicated extensive amounts of their time and energy to several organizations, committees and initiatives during their time at SUNY Oneonta. Read more about Alyssa, Gabrielle, Alexa and Teresa and their accomplishments at the link below.

Learn More About Our Recipients

​​​They were four of only 180 students across the SUNY system who received the award this year and were honored at a ceremony in Saratoga Springs today.

Alyssa Carbone

Alyssa Carbone is a December 2021 graduate from New City, NY, who majored in Spanish.

Gabrielle Cecere

Gabrielle Cecere is a senior from Smithtown, NY, majoring in Psychology and Child and Family Studies.

Alexa Laska

Alexa Laska is a senior from Lancaster, NY, majoring in Economics.

Teresa Lopez-Long

Teresa Lopez-Long is December 2021 graduate from Scotia, NY, who majored in Political Science and Communication Studies.

Please join me in congratulating Alyssa, Gabrielle, Alexa and Teresa on this well-deserved honor.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the agenda that has resulted from our collective efforts during the dialogue sessions this spring. "Regaining Momentum: An Agenda for SUNY Oneonta" outlines the integrated approach and cross-cutting principles that will steer our actions over the next 18 months as we agree on and accomplish some or all of the strategic opportunities listed within the document.

The full agenda, background information and links to the notes and materials from the dialogue sessions are available on the Regaining Momentum webpage.

Information about applying for funding to support efforts related to the strategic opportunities will be distributed soon. I encourage everyone to think about ways that you and your department can contribute to accomplishing the opportunities and resulting plans or projects. Updates and information will be shared as we proceed through the next year-and-a-half.

Yesterday I gave a brief presentation about the agenda and would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who dedicated attention and energy to this important process over the past 10 weeks. As the agenda indicates, we are approaching these opportunities from a position of strength, and I am excited about what lies ahead. With collaboration and consistency, endeavors both big and small will have a positive impact, build trust and help keep us moving forward.

Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Over the last week and a half we have watched the Russian government continue with an unrestrained invasion of Ukraine.

As a community, our thoughts are with all who are directly impacted by this act of aggression and all forms of aggression across the world. As an institution of higher education that values and works toward global interconnectedness, we echo these words of the Dalai-Lama: “We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity…. this is how we will build a more peaceful world." As a group of educators and learners, we ask all members of our community to engage in conversations with one another about these current events and other conflicts across the world that minimize any person’s humanity.

In order to further our mission of open discussion and debate, an event supported by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs will be held on Wednesday evening. All are invited to attend the conversation titled "Making Sense of the Unthinkable: A Roundtable Discussion of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine," on March 9 at 7 p.m. in the atrium of the Physical Science building. The program will feature the expertise of faculty from SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College and opportunities for all to examine and engage. Special thanks goes to the Political Science department for organizing this important conversation.

Counseling, mental health services and other resources for support in processing all that we are hearing and seeing about the conflict are available to students through the Counseling Center and to employees through the Employee Assistance Program.

There are also many in our community who would like to support those in need due to this crisis. The U.S. State Department has information on its website on how to help.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Dear colleagues,

As we are all busy preparing for the beginning of another semester, I want to welcome you all to Spring 2022. Please watch the video above and review the Planning Dialogue Lib Guide, which houses a copy of the invitation to the upcoming dialogue sessions and corresponding planning documents. I look forward to seeing you throughout the upcoming weeks and months.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Read Transcript: Spring 2022 Welcome and Dialogue Session Reminder

Hello. First of all, I'd like to wish you all a happy New Year. I, as you, hope that this new year brings us continued optimism for the future of our college. I also hope that you were able to enjoy the break in a way that helped you replenish your energies as we begin a new semester.

As you know, our plans are to start classes on Wednesday in an in person format. The current trends in the state's COVID incidents and the re-entry plans that we have instituted, which includes required boosters, testing, and masking - sets us up well to have a successful opening of the semester. It will continue to be all of our responsibility to ensure that we all abide by our guidance and prevention policies so that we can have a safe completion of the spring semester. I look forward to attending the wide array of events planned for the semester starting with the speakers that have been scheduled to commemorate Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month. I look forward to seeing you at these events and others throughout the semester.

As I begin my second semester here, I've invited the campus to a series of campus dialogues to help me set an agenda for the next 18 months. Included in the email that I sent with this video is a link to the electronic site that has the invitation as well as the background information. As I say in the invitation, the college needs a strategic plan. However, we as a campus are not in a position to engage in such a process at this time. So the hope is that through these dialogues, the campus collectively can assist me as well, as the whole campus, in completing a list of the strategic opportunities that can guide the colleges work until we initiate a strategic planning process in about 18 months.

I thank you for your continued commitment to our students and I look forward to seeing you soon at one of the dialogues, or all the dialogues, and at other campus events. Have a wonderful weekend.

Dear colleagues,

Let me first wish you and your families a happy new year.

As we approach the beginning of the spring semester, we are all clearly concerned with the current state of the pandemic. I want to assure you that the COVID Response Team (CRT) continues to regularly monitor the trends in the state as well as guidance emanating from SUNY, the Department of Health and the Governor’s office. Please continue to watch for and review messages from the CRT as we prepare for our in-person start on Jan. 26.

In addition to responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, it is critical that we continue to prepare the college for the coming years, as higher education faces new and continuing challenges.

I want to invite you to take part in a collective dialogue about strategic opportunities that the college should focus on over the next 18 months. You can review a more in-depth invitation and document that provides additional information about the dialogues and planning process, or you may go directly to the Planning Dialogue Lib Guide, which will give you access to the invitation and all other corresponding documents.

As we begin the new semester, we as a college and as part of the higher education sector will not only face challenges but also, more excitingly, opportunities to strengthen our institution. In a time of national uncertainty, SUNY Oneonta can be a source of continuity, an example of determination and a beacon of optimism.

Let us engage collectively and not merely as a community of individuals. Thank you for your continued commitment to our students.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle, PhD MPH

Reflecting on Jan. 6, 2021, One Year Later

As a college, we are a cornerstone of educational opportunity and are committed to educating future generations of our society. This means making sure we partner with, and respond to the needs of, our local communities, and it also signifies a responsibility to strive for a truly open democracy. We will accomplish this by continuing to ensure that our graduates are informed, analytical and engaged members of our cities and towns, states, country and world.

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at our nation's Capitol, let us all recommit ourselves to the objectives listed above. This responsibility is not new, and many before us saw the danger of what can happen by not committing to these objectives. In 1947, President Truman's Commission on Higher Education stated that a college education provides "the means to a more abundant personal life and a stronger, freer social order." As an institution of higher education enveloped in the liberal arts, it is particularly important for us to use the events of last year to remind ourselves that the actions we — faculty, staff and students — take are the building blocks of our country’s continuous efforts toward a more perfect democracy.

Today is a day to not only reflect, but also to dedicate ourselves to what we can be: a more inclusive and freer democracy.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

SUNY Oneonta Type Logo & Snowflakes

This festive season brings the opportunity for us to express our warmest wishes

to you and yours for a happy and healthy new year.

Alberto Cardelle & Rachel Frick-Cardelle

Happy New Year from SUNY Oneonta Video

As of today (Nov. 22, 2021), I have been on campus 73 days - a flash of time in comparison to the institutional timelines that govern the life, culture and character of an institution, especially an institution with the rich history of SUNY Oneonta.

During my interviews with the search committee, campus community, SUNY Board of Trustees and the Chancellor’s office, I made it clear that I believed the college stood on strong foundations. Over the last 10 weeks, this has become even more evident to me after completing the following actions:

  • ​​​​​reviewing the institution’s historical enrollment data,
  • visiting high school counselors across the state,
  • having conversations with dozens, yes dozens, of alumni I have been able to encounter,
  • hearing stories from students and faculty of how funds from our donors distributed through our foundation have helped them advance their education and careers,
  • attending art exhibitions, plays, dance performances, cultural events and athletic competitions,
  • sitting in on academic and scholarly lectures,
  • interacting with students at the summer research showcase and during the visit with the Chancellor to our Counseling, Health and Wellness Center and Experiential Learning Center,
  • holding dialogues with recent retirees,
  • listening to faculty and staff during multiple forums and, most importantly,
  • listening to students throughout the different meetings and forums held this semester.

I list these not as evidence of me being busy but as tangible indicators of the talent, capacity and commitment generated by all of you.

The pride every student and employee I spoke with has in being a member of the Red Dragon community was unmistakable. Those conversations made it evident that this community understands the value of public education and the transformational role that SUNY Oneonta has the opportunity to play in every student’s future.

I have, throughout my career, had the privilege to be closely involved with three other state systems of higher education, and just last week I was at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Presidents and Chancellors meeting. Using perspectives from these experiences, it is very clear that this institution is in a stronger position in terms of enrollment, finance, academic reputation and student experience than many regional comprehensive colleges across the country.

Therefore, the question to ask ourselves is not, “Does our institution have the assets to address the challenges facing us?” Nor is it, “Do we have to restructure the institution so we can prepare for the future?” It’s a much easier question: “How do we remind ourselves of, refocus our efforts on and recreate what was already here - a strong community of educators working collectively to serve our students and the broader community in the aspiration of a brighter future?”

Of course, there are national and regional challenges ahead of us that will require us to assess some of our practices, some of which include:

  • a public that is more skeptical of the benefits of public higher education,
  • a decline in the population of high school students, particularly in the northeast,
  • incoming students who are more diverse and have taken novel paths to higher education,
  • K-12 school systems that perpetuate an opportunity gap among under-represented student groups, and
  • for the next several years, incoming classes of first-year students who lost over 18 months of in-classroom instruction during their high school careers.

My style as a higher education administrator has been to approach complex problems such as these through a collective impact approach. The concept of collective impact hinges on the idea that in order for organizations to create lasting solutions to large-scale problems, they must coordinate their efforts and work together around a common agenda using a structured form of collaboration and strong, continuous communication.

I believe our institution is well placed to engage in collective endeavors.

The high-impact opportunities provided to our students through the Experiential Learning Center, the broad range of student development programming we offer, governance bodies such as the College Senate and its committees and, most importantly, our strong academic programs all demonstrate that the college already knows how to collaborate.

In terms of communication, last year a taskforce on internal communication was created which has since become a presidential advisory committee. This group, along with my office, has been actively working to strengthen the institution’s internal communication practices.

Finally, the common agenda. I am aware that the institution does not currently have a strategic plan, which I believe is important in order to form the foundation of a common agenda. However, I am also aware that there is institutional fatigue with the implementation of new initiatives and plans. Therefore, I do not believe it is wise to engage in a strategic planning process at this time. Instead, there are a series of documents and plans in existence that I believe can serve as the foundation for what I would like to call "a process of institutional priority checkup." The idea is to use all the existing plans and documents to collectively identify a set of institutional priorities that can help us align our work for the next 18-24 months until the institution is prepared for a new strategic plan.

Over the next few weeks, before we depart for the winter break, I plan to discuss this idea with the appropriate governance groups, but I do not envision a heavy lift or an overly-structured process or product. Instead, the process could be a continuation of the presidential transition process - the creation of forums and spaces where the different constituent groups, taking the priorities already set out in the existing documents as a starting point, can provide feedback and input to establish a broad set of institutional priorities.

Out of these talks, I hope we can identify areas of focus that build upon three main themes. These themes recur across various existing documents and are key for us in facing and prevailing over the external challenges I previously mentioned.

  • First, prioritizing the strengthening of a student-centered teaching and learning environment. As our incoming students not only change demographically, the pre-baccalaureate experiences of all students will have had an 18-month curtailment that will impact their college readiness. We must be prepared with a renewed focus on professional development in teaching and learning, so that we all may serve as effective educators to these students. This development and practice must always be based on a bolstered culture of inquiry, service and scholarship.
  • Second, continuing our unwavering commitment to ensuring that institutional goals for diversity, equity and inclusion are integrated into all plans and efforts. On a personal level, I want to make it clear that I am committed to making SUNY Oneonta, and the broader Oneonta community, a place where there is no space for hate, discrimination or bigotry of any kind.
  • Third, facilitating an increase in students’ engagement throughout their collegiate experience. This is what Peter Felton of Elon University calls a “relentless welcome” (The Relationship Rich Education, 2020). Felton’s work demonstrates the importance of providing students with a welcoming environment where they can make connections. The literature shows that the greater the number of connections made by a student, the greater the likelihood for the student’s success in terms of retention, progress toward graduation and post-graduation outcomes.

I am looking forward to further conversations that will help us continue to align our work over the next 18 months.

As a way to initiate activity and advance movement around these identified institutional priorities, we will use them to help guide a process for funding strategic initiatives. The funding will be provided for up to three years. Like similar processes previously enacted, this will be guided by the College Budget Committee. Information about the priorities and funding process will be available in the middle of the spring semester.

I understand that many individuals in our community are feeling disconnected and weary, and that there are many factors that contribute to this. Clearly the exercise of returning to in-person work and learning has been taxing, but there are also other challenges. There is the pressure of trying to find a sustainable balance between work and a personal life; growing economic pressures of an increased cost of living coupled with income that is not keeping pace; a constant level of uncertainty related to the path of the pandemic, and finally, changes in the way we teach, work and learn.

As president, I want to work with other college administration leaders, college governance, our bargaining units and the student body to collectively identify solutions. The issues I’ve discussed are structural issues that will not be resolved by just one of us. We must all become enfranchised in finding the solutions. The college leadership has already made commitments to begin this process.

First, we have been approving, and will continue to approve, searches for positions that will help alleviate the growing workload in many areas. Two I want to highlight are the searches for two counselors for our Counseling, Health and Wellness Center, and the searches for 22 faculty positions.

Second, we are proposing the creation of a taskforce in collaboration with the bargaining units that will begin in the spring to evaluate the starting salaries of faculty and staff as well as address issues of salary inversion and compression.

Third, the divisional leaders and I will be assessing our current telecommuting pilot program and identifying ways it may be able to grow and provide a mechanism for greater work flexibility and effective outcomes.

Fourth, the Health and Wellness Committee will be proposing various initiatives to continue to apply a comprehensive level of attention to the wellbeing of our entire campus.

Finally, if our college is going to help counter the growing skepticism of the value and benefits of public higher education, we must strive to be good stewards of place. This means that we must leverage SUNY Oneonta’s values of service, scholarship and sustainability to strengthen ties with our host communities and serve as a vital anchor institution in the continued development of our region. Our external partners will be part of forums in the spring so that we can begin to bring these key external voices into the discussion and discern the areas of coordination, collaboration and integration. SUNY Oneonta should strive not only to be in Oneonta, but to be of Oneonta. The relationship between the institution and the community is, I believe, not merely a partnership, but rather a symbiotic collusion in which the host city’s future and the institution’s future are inextricably linked.

I want to thank you for the time allotted to me and thank you for listening, and I want to conclude by also thanking all of you and the broader community for welcoming my wife, Rachel, and me to Oneonta. We have found ourselves feeling at home very quickly, so much so that just yesterday we added a new member of the college community – Yeobo, a five-month-old puppy.

Thank you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and end to the semester.

Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Giving Thanks

This week, many of us will take time to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones, and it is also a time to reflect. While managing new routines and overcoming challenges in our studies, work and personal lives, we have persevered toward a successful semester. I thank you for your dedication and hope you can find time to pause and relax.


Alberto J. F. Cardelle
Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Read Transcript: A Thanksgiving Message from President Cardelle

Hello Red Dragons. Before the beginning of the holiday season and before the frenzy and excitement of the end of the semester I want to share with you a few reflections about this past semester.

At a personal level, I want to let you know that I am incredibly thankful to have become a member of the SUNY Oneonta college community -- a group of talented students, engaged faculty, committed staff, and supportive friends. I feel privileged to have found a community committed to the dissemination and creation of knowledge, and to the development of a transformative learning community.

I also want to encourage all of you to consider the impact you as individuals, and our collective efforts, have had on the lives of those who call SUNY Oneonta home. This college, which encompasses the passion, commitment, and efforts of all, returned from a year like no other. While many challenges still lie ahead, this community overcame obstacles and capitalized on the underlying benefits and opportunities that can only be found in an academic community.

I can tell you that I have heard from many students about how grateful they are to be back learning, growing, thriving and living together on campus. I encourage you to think about this gratitude and more importantly about the strength of spirit that achieved it.

You should all be proud of contributing to the well-being of every Red Dragon and I offer you all my warmest wishes for a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving.

First Generation

Today, SUNY Oneonta is participating in a very special nation-wide event, the annual National First-Generation College Celebration. Members of our college community who are the in the first-generation of their family to earn a bachelor’s degree are being spotlighted on our website and social media all day long. I encourage you to take a moment to read about our first-generation students, faculty, staff and alumni and their hard work, resiliency and incredible achievements.

Meet First-Generation Red Dragons

To support current and prospective first-generation students and families, the college has created a webpage with academic and financial aid information and resources, and short profiles of more than 25 SUNY Oneonta first-generation students, faculty, staff and alumni. I am also pleased to announce the establishment of our own chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha, the national first-generation honor society. Our first group of honorees will be inducted in the spring. Lastly, you can stop by one of the celebration tables in Hunt Union, Fitzelle Hall, Wilsbach Hall, or the quad today to get a celebration button, refreshments, and information on resources for first-generation students.

My thanks goes to those who organized our celebration as well as the many Red Dragons who shared their stories. Your experiences are inspiring and help to better educate us on what it means to be first-generation, the systemic barriers plaguing higher education, and the supports needed for first-generation students to access, and succeed at, college.

As you know, ensuring equitable access to a quality education is of the utmost importance to me and many others at SUNY Oneonta. I hope you will join us in celebrating our first-generation Red Dragons today.


​​​​​​Alberto J. F. Cardelle

Alberto J.F. Cardelle


Dear Red Dragons,

As we approach the October break, I thank you all for your efforts to follow COVID guidelines and help keep the number of cases among our campus community low. These efforts are working, so the COVID Response Team is in the process of reviewing the campus and residence hall visitor policies and will provide details on any updates next week.

If you are planning to travel or gather with others over the break, please use caution and your best judgement. Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask in social situations, and get tested if you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID.

If you begin to show symptoms over the break, get tested immediately. The Counseling, Health and Wellness Center will be closed over the weekend and on Monday, Oct. 11, but will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, Oct. 12. You should contact your primary care provider or get tested at a local pharmacy or testing site if you need a test while the Health Center is closed.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the on-campus surveillance testing upon your return to campus in case you came into contact with COVID and to prevent spread by any asymptomatic spread. The on-campus testing center in Morris Conference Center will have adjusted hours due to the break:

  • Sunday, Oct. 10: 4 - 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12: 4 - 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 17: 1 - 8 p.m.

Next week we will be halfway through the semester, and I am confident we will all continue to work together to help our community remain safe and healthy. I hope you enjoy some well-deserved time off!


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

SUNY Oneonta's 9/11 memorial sculpture

This Saturday will mark 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the attacks, including seven members of our SUNY Oneonta alumni family. Many of us still remember the shock, grief and sadness of that day. It is hard to believe that two decades have already passed.

As we witnessed tragedy on 9/11, we were also witness to acts of selflessness, cooperation, unity and love. Those who responded to the scenes of the attacks, and countless others who supported victims and their families over time, remind us that there are heroes among us and that, by working together, we are stronger.

The SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association will host the college’s annual remembrance ceremony tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 10, at 9 a.m. at the 9/11 memorial sculpture on the upper quad outside of Fitzelle Hall. The event is open to everyone and will feature special music, the University Police Department's honor guard, and a presentation of a wreath and flowers. Masks and social distancing are encouraged for all who attend.

Milne Library is also hosting an educational exhibit, September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World, featuring archival photographs and images of artifacts from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. This exhibit is available to view through Sept. 30 on the third floor of the library, outside of the Alden Room.

I encourage everyone to reach out to a friend, family member or colleague who might need extra support as we approach this significant anniversary. Collectively, we can honor the memory of those we lost and commemorate the resiliency of our communities and our nation.


Alberto J.F. Cardelle

Read Transcript: SUNY Oneonta Presidential Transition

Dennis Craig: Hello, Red Dragons! August is here and the college is gearing up to welcome our new and continuing students in just a few short weeks. That also means that my time as acting president is winding down. As you know, a new president has been named to begin in a permanent role starting in September.

Dr. Alberto Cardelle and I have already begun meeting and I believe his passion and commitment to student success, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and public health are among many characteristics that will serve our college well for years to come.

Serving as acting president for the last ten months has been a privilege and I am proud to have been part of such a resilient community. Students, faculty, staff and alumni all banded together to support one another during a tenuous time by remaining true to the supportive community that Oneonta has always been. My sincere thanks for the hard work put in by everyone across the college.

I will continue to serve as acting president until September 3. Until then, we have much that we will accomplish together in the weeks ahead as we prepare for the fall semester. Our work continues to move forward on improving communication, planning graduation activities for the classes of 2020 and 2021, and focusing on enrollment initiatives that bring Oneonta back to the environment we enjoyed prior to the pandemic. Please stay tuned for important updates and ways you can support these efforts and stay informed in the weeks ahead.

After my departure, I will continue to be invested in the success of SUNY Oneonta and offer my continued support as a colleague and friend.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Dr. Alberto Cardelle, who is very eager to officially arrive on campus next month.

Dr. Alberto Cardelle: Hello SUNY Oneonta! I am so pleased to have a chance to introduce myself, express my gratitude and briefly present my plans for when I arrive on campus.

First, I would like to thank Acting President Craig for those kind words and to acknowledge how very appreciative I am for his willingness to generously share of his time, counsel and support as I prepare to join the Red Dragon family next month.

It is very clear that this community has been working hard over the past year to overcome significant challenges. Most importantly it is clear that you have been supporting one another to stay on track and remain a strong academic institution. Your strength of spirit is admirable, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with individuals who are so kind, committed, and passionate.
I pursued this role because of my belief in the transformative role of public higher education, a commitment to equity and a strong sense of optimism about the potential future generations hold to continue to improve our world.

And I plan to use those principles to direct my work with you in achieving the collective vision of this institution. During this first year I hope to first of all implement the thorough plans already developed to ensure that we complete the academic year safely. I will also want to spend time meeting with all of you listening. This will help me better work with you in setting out a plan for rebuilding a sense of community both on campus and in the city and town of Oneonta.

I can’t wait to meet you all in person and introduce you to my family – my wife Dr. Rachel Frick Cardelle, and my daughters Marianela, Catalina and Josephine.

I have heard a lot about the vibrant student life, quality academic programs and the many campus traditions. It is an honor to be joining your community and I will continue to stay in touch throughout the next month and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together.

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