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President’s Update - Sept. 21, 2023

presidential seal


Dear Members of the SUNY Oswego Community- 
As I reflect on my time at SUNY Oswego thus far, it is hard to believe I began my presidency five weeks ago. I am honored and elated to be a member of the Laker family. I am also delighted by our work together to advance the SUNY Oswego promise as we craft a shared vision for the future of our university. 
First, thanks to the collective efforts of our faculty and staff who work each day to position SUNY Oswego as SUNY’s most mission-critical comprehensive university in Central New York and a national engine of upward mobility. This year’s U.S. News and World Report, released a few days ago, bears this out and ranks SUNY Oswego #39 (15 spots up from the previous year!) on its list of “Best Regional Universities in the North” and #18 in the region on the Social Mobility index for our role in moving large numbers of first-generation students into the middle class. I am thrilled by this recognition. 
Second, I want to thank you for the warm welcome extended to me as the 11th President of this storied institution. Staff members from across the campus, especially those in facilities, human resources, campus technology services, communications and marketing, the President’s office, and the Presidential Transition Committee and Subcommittees, have been phenomenal in ensuring a smooth transition. 
I am humbled by the activities we have engaged in together. It has been filled with meaningful conversations, many meetings and events, as well as warmly welcoming our new and returning students and faculty and staff back to campus for the fall semester.  
Our gatherings have been filled with delicious meals and held in well cared for buildings and outdoor spaces. It was a pleasure to pay an unannounced visit with staff in our Building and Grounds unit to extend my appreciation to them for the extraordinary care they deploy each day to keep our community clean and sparkling. I also visited with the Auxiliary Services team in our bakery facility, and learned of the creative ways in which they engage as they cater to the dining needs of our students. My visit to the Penfield Library, also unannounced, was important to me as it symbolizes our commitment to a learning-centered institution. Our library director, Sarah Weisman, took me on a tour that included the Writing Center, Center for Learning and Teaching, Equal Opportunity Program office, and the James A. Triandiflou ’88 Institute for Equity, Diversity, and Transformative Practice, among others. While I was in the library, I also had a chance to meet with new graduate students, some members of our faculty, and the graduate dean, Kristen Eichhorn, who had assembled on the second floor for one of the new graduate student orientations. 
We are all fortunate to belong to this wonderful community! 
My first five weeks has included attending other meetings and events such as: 

  • Cahill Pier Opening in the City of Oswego, where Mayor Barlow was gracious to introduce me to the community. Afterward, I spent time meeting with members of the community, including several of our students who were in attendance.
  • Residence Life and Housing Student Staff Welcome and Training, where I spoke to students who are Residence Hall Assistants and the staff about my immigrant experience in the United States, and the power of education to transform lives and ignite new possibilities.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics Retreat, along with Vice President for Student Affairs Kathleen Kerr, where I addressed staff, including those who had traveled to Italy during the summer, where our student athletes participated in hockey games.
  • Academic Affairs Retreat, where I joined Provost Scott Furlong in recognizing faculty and staff recipients of service and scholarship awards.
  • Opening Breakfast, where I spoke about the vision for growth and the need to expand what I call the Oswego Promise, consistent with our founding and the mission of our university.
  • Faculty Assembly and General Faculty Meetings.
  • Meetings with Faculty Assembly Chair Liz Schmitt.
  • Laker Launch, where I welcomed and provided the morning address to all new students at the “Saturday Morning Kick-off,” as well as attended the first annual Taste of Oswego event, Student Involvement Fair, Opening Picnic & Torchlight Ceremony, and International Student Welcome.
  • Hosted my first Student Drop-ins session in the food court in the Marano Campus Center.
  • Meetings with the President’s Cabinet on our shared vision, budget, strategic, and facilities planning.
  • Meetings with the President’s Council on our shared vision.
  • Meetings with elected officials and external partners along with Kristi Eck, Chief of Staff & Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives, External Partnerships, and Legislative Affairs: Oswego City Mayor Billy Barlow; State Senator Rachel May; State Senator John Mannion; Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay; Assembly Member William Magnarelli; CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson; Empire State Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Kevin Younis and Deputy Director Daniel Kolinski and Advisor to Chief Operating Officer Brad Willows; Association of American Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Vice President for Leadership Development Kathleen Scott; and Operation Oswego County, Inc. Executive Director Austin Wheelock.
  • Zoom meeting with our Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Meetings in New York City along with Vice President for University Advancement Mary Canale, at the invitation of the following distinguished alums: Emmy Award winner and weatherman Al Roker, PWC Global Chairman Bob Moritz, Wells Fargo Bank retired director Tom Yates, and Paramount Creative & Strategy Vice President for Account Relations and Production Operations Aunree Houston.
  • Meetings in Washington D.C. and on Zoom with numerous alums.
  • Participated in the fall board meeting of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) held in Washington, DC, where I serve as board chair.
  • Led the Zoom meeting of the Oswego County Micron Strategy Steering Committee of which SUNY Oswego is the lead institution facilitating the work of the multiple private and public-sector agencies involved in preparing for Micron’s historic investment in Central New York.
  • Participated in SUNY Presidents and SUNY Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) meetings.
  • Hosted SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Kapil Longani and one of his assistant deputies for a full day on campus in August visiting with Cabinet, eating lunch with me and Mary Toale, Deputy to the President for Strategy and Planning, at Lakeside Dining, and participating in a tour of the campus.

Thank you and the entire SUNY Oswego community for the continued warm welcome. I am excited about SUNY Oswego’s future! I look forward to continuing to meet with you, talk with you, learn from you, and engage with our partners as we plan and advance SUNY Oswego’s future together. 
I hope to see you at the State of the University Address on September 28, 2023, as well as the many events and activities planned for Founder’s Day weekend. 

Remain well,

Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.