As a new academic year gets underway, President Dr. Skip Sullivan encouraged all faculty and staff to be the very best they can be during his Opening Remarks speech Thursday.
“As I look at Alfred State now and Alfred State in the future, my desire personally is to ensure that the college is even better than when I arrived, and that it can sustain the great culture and caring nature that those of us have worked so very hard to preserve,” Sullivan told the employees in attendance.
In some respects, Sullivan said, Alfred State can argue that it is the best, noting that a 99 percent employment and continuing education rate is hard to beat. He then asked faculty and staff to consider whether their division or department is the best it can be.
“You might say, ‘Well, how do we measure this?’ There are plenty of measures,” Sullivan said, “from meeting goals, to timeliness of reporting, pass rates, student success, our budget position, partnership with industry, technology, growth, all of the metrics we have within SUNY Excels, the list goes on.”
The president also asked employees to ponder whether Alfred State graduates’ personalities and characteristics reflect “who we are as a college and the people who have been instrumental in their education.”
“In other words,” Sullivan said, “are they now the most excellent, effective, desirable folks that they can be as a result of spending time with our employees and the behavior they have modeled? Just as our kids mimic our behavior, students during their formative years model the behavior they see, whether it’s mine, yours, or somebody else’s.”
Sullivan concluded by pointing out that the best are always striving to be better, and urged all employees to do the same.
“Be the best. Help make Alfred State the best,” he said. “We’re proud to be Pioneers and we’re really good at a lot of things, but strive to be the best. I want Alfred State to be the very best it can be.”
Prior to his speech, the president awarded Mark Amman, chair of the Physical and Life Sciences Department, with the Innovation Award for his dedication, commitment, and creativity in advancing Alfred State.
While completing his regular administrative work as department chair, Amman has also managed the development and approval of three new academic programs within the past year: health sciences, radiologic technology, and diagnostic medical sonography. Though these new programs were the creation of many hands, Amman provided exceptional initiative and leadership in coordinating and directing work, keeping various teams on task, and ensuring each step is completed within the necessary time frame.
In addition to his central message, the president also spoke about recent projects, accomplishments, new programs and those in development, the college budget, admissions figures, and more. Keeping with the theme of Sullivan’s presentation, faculty and staff upon departing the auditorium were each presented with blue ribbons similar to those given for “Best in Show” prizes at fairs.