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SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning

Posts: 37
Darren Chase 2022-03-21T17:37:37-04:00

3/1 Dialogue Session Notes, President's Office

March 1 Dialogue Session Notes:


  • National trends are working against us. Like the economy, population decline in upstate NY.
  • Grade inflation and declining academic rigor
  • Our population of international students is small compared to other colleges
  • Student clubs are having a hard time revitalizing after the COVID shut down.
  • Economic vibrancy of downtown Oneonta. Families want a safe and fund downtown – how can we contribute to that?
  • Transportation issues are a hindrance to easy accessibility like bigger cities have.
  • Our brand is not positive right now.
  • Staff are rooted here, faculty are not.
  • Pay structure needs to reflect housing costs to get employees to stay.
  • Over the past 10 years there has been a fundamental shift in how people evaluate their college experience because of social media.
  • Recruiting and engaging students – where can we find the students?
  • We’ve discounted the impact of student engagement on retention.
  • Gender imbalance among student body locally & nationwide.
  • Students have different interests and expectations than they did 10 years ago – especially students coming to a more rural area from a larger population center.
  • Reasons why colleges were developed has changed – this has affected alumni buy-in.
  • Employee morale is low.
  • 4-5 years ago there was a change in momentum because we were riding the success from the previous 4-5 years and we failed to plan – we discussed more than we did. The momentum loss has resulted in the challenges we’re facing now and morale issues.


  • Reinstate an honors program for students.
  • Consider an Oneonta-specific gen-ed programs. Two or three classes/experiences beyond the SUNY gen ed program
  • Review articulation agreements – we need more pipelines to our programs from other colleges or for our students to easily get a degree from another institution.
  • Review departments and reporting structures to help break down silos.
  • Curricular advisory boards for academic departments.
  • Measure alumni feedback in more meaningful ways.
  • Every employee can be a source of positive contagion for our areas of expertise.
  • Our campus specialty could be inclusivity. – referring to SUNY’s new push for campuses to have areas of distinction.
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of our community to change our brand. Higher level story telling is needed to feature alumni, faculty, staff and student successes.
  • We have amazing resources available to students that stand out compared to competitors – D’Antonio Travel Fund, Student Research & Creative Activity grant for example
  • Life of the Mind and SRCA day are also points of pride – lots of stories there.
  • Could we invite members of the community and internship hosts to see what we are doing?
  • Collaborate with downtown to instill community pride in our students & vice versa – we have 5,000 alumni living locally.
  • Let’s not focus on things we can’t control, like Stoneonta. Let’s put more energy into how we’re going to re-engage our students so they want to stay.
  • How can we get students more excited about what is happening academically?
  • Work with students to help them engage across the board and not sit back and spectate.
  • Give students from other areas reasons to come to Oneonta – remind them that they are valuable to our community even though they aren’t from here or may not be like members of the local community.
  • How can we adapt more purposefully and strategically to expectations of modern students?
  • Let’s be decisive and make some decisions to move forward now – take a few chances.
  • We have human, cultural, and other resources to come at these challenges from a position of strength, not desperation.


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