Student Numbers, GROSS Project, Campus Climate, College Updates, Hey Heidi Questions, Did you know?

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President’s Newsletter

Friday, August 30, 2019
September 2019 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Every year, the College submits an annual report to the Chancellor, Trustees, and our academic community. To read the latest report, which details progress made against the goals of our strategic plan, Building a Better Brockport, please follow this link: Brockport Annual Report 2018-19.

As noted in The Daily Eagle, I will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on October 16, from 2:30-3:20 pm in the McCue Auditorium, LAB to offer further updates on the progress made on Building a Better Brockport.

Student Numbers

As you are likely aware, our student numbers will not be finalized until after week three of classes (our “census date” for official numbers). However, we were required to submit an estimated headcount to SUNY by September 6, and I wanted to share with you what we submitted. Based on previous trends, we are estimating that our enrollment will look something like this, with a comparison to last year’s actual data to the right:

  Fall 2019, census date estimate Fall 2018, census date actual        
Full-time Part-time Total Full-time Part-time Total  
Undergraduate 5,963 707 6,670 6,343 714 7,057
Graduate 353 910 1,263 353 877 1,230
Total 6,316 1,617 7,933 6,696 1,1591 8,287

In relation to new students only, the comparisons between the years are below:

  Fall 2019, census date estimate Fall 2018, census date actual        
Full-timee Part-time Total Full-time Part-time Total  
First Time Undergraduate 1,079 11 1,090 1,270 11 1,281
Transfer Undergraduate 649 138 787 800 121 921
New Graduate 143 237 380 171 246 417


If these figures are accurate (and they are likely to be close, based on historical trends), then overall college enrollment for fall 2019 will be significantly behind last year (7933 vs 8287). As you can see, the predicted (and welcome!) increase in graduate enrollment (1263 vs 1230) will not compensate for losses in the undergraduate enrollment (which includes both incoming and returning students). These figures make it even more imperative that we begin working in earnest on cost-savings projects and budget models.

If you would like to learn more about the budget, I would encourage you to attend the Joint Planning Budget Committee meeting on September 12 between 8:30-10:30 am in Seymour Union 220. A small group has been working over the summer on the components of good financial models, and Administration and Finance VP Jim Wall will be unveiling their proposed principles at the meeting, as well as a timeline for reviewing divisional budget trends, institutional reserves, and investments. The budget planning and review process will begin this year to build and implement a new budget model for Fiscal Year 2020-21. This open meeting would be your first opportunity to hear about these plans. There will be other opportunities to hear about our budget this fall. The budget town hall I announced in the August newsletter has a slight change of date and will now take place on Thursday, November 7, 11 am -12:15 pm in the Seymour Union Ballroom. This will be an additional opportunity to hear more about the current state of the budget and future plans.

GROSS Project

Thanks to everyone who has already submitted their thoughts and ideas to the Get Rid of Silly Stuff (GROSS) project, and thanks to those of you who have volunteered to work on a small task force: I will be getting back to you shortly. In the meantime, if anyone else has any further ideas, please do continue to submit to: The GROSS Project.

Campus Climate

Our Campus Climate reviewer, Curtis Lloyd, who was formerly the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources at SUNY, has had his first trip to campus and will be coming back in early October for further meetings. As noted previously, I will share a summary of his recommendations with campus after he completes his work.

College Updates

  • Our MS in Instructional Design has just been approved by NYSED, along with our Advanced Certificate in Instructional Design. These programs will launch next fall. As we add additional programs, I will be sure to keep you updated. I am grateful to all of our colleagues who work to develop and then support new programs, and I’m very pleased to see the increase in graduate and online programs that will likely become even more crucial in future years, especially with the turn in student demographics at undergraduate level. You may not be aware that we have the largest number of online graduate programs of all of the SUNY comprehensive colleges, and this is something of which we are justifiable proud. Moreover, we also have the largest number of graduate students of any SUNY comprehensive (the next closest are Empire State at 1097 and Buffalo State with just over 1000 students). We should be proud of our commitment to graduate education on our campus, something that, along with our strong focus on transfer students, makes us stand out amongst our peers.
  • SUNY regulations require that the College appoints an Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Officer. I’m pleased to announce that Bob Cushman has agreed to take on this role. He will be representing the College at the SUNY Community of Practice Group.
  • All of our summer facilities and maintenance projects were completed in a timely manner, and the Allen Building renovation is ahead of schedule. We are moving forward with plans to renovate Tuttle and Holmes Hall.
  • Brockport Homecoming & Family Weekend is coming up September 26-28 and will include a huge range of events and activities for students, families, and alumni, including a BAWAFAS Luncheon; 50th class reunion activities; the planting of trees for the classes of 1969 and 2019; the dedication of a new plaque commemorating the 40th anniversary of the College hosting the 5th International Special Olympics; the Alumni Awards and Hall of Fame dinners, including recognition of Don Murray’s 50 years as wrestling coach; a pancake breakfast; the annual parade through the Village followed by the BSG-sponsored Homecoming Festival; numerous sporting events, including the football game against Alfred State; and so much more. Go to for the full schedule of events.
  • As noted in last week’s The Port, we have another fun event coming up with the screening of Cold Brook, an independent film that stars alumnus Bill Fichtner (’78), who also directed and wrote the film. Bill Fichtner has also starred in the Prison Break series and most recently was seen as Adam Janakowski in the CBS sitcom Mom. You can also see him in Armageddon, The Dark Knight.
  • The Lone Ranger, and many more films. 
  • As I have mentioned recently, we are in the early stages of our next Comprehensive Campaign. The consultant, Graham-Pelton, will be engaging in “Strategic Conversations” with numerous internal and external stakeholders over the next three months. While we have a strong sense of direction and support from the Brockport Foundation, these discussions will help us set the goals – both financial and programmatic – for the Campaign.

Hey Heidi Questions:

I’m often asked why our police leave their vehicles running (especially since we have a goal to be a Sustainable Institution for the 21st Century). Since it is a frequently asked question, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer it here.

The most important reason is that the large amount of electronic equipment installed in a patrol vehicle (laptops, radios, sirens, lights chargers, etc.) requires that engines continue to run to power them. When our officers start their shift, they are required to log into several software programs with their username and passwords; these are used to receive calls, issue citations, create reports, etc. Each time the vehicle is shut off, an officer must turn off all equipment or run the risk of draining the vehicle’s battery. Repeated startups inflict a lot of wear and tear on the internal electronics and actually use more energy, and having to re-enter all of that information at each startup of the vehicle would mean that officers are not able to respond quickly to calls that come in. In the winter months, there is the added requirement to keep the vehicle interior warm in order to protect the equipment. Equipment carried in patrol cars such as AEDs and preliminary breath test devices have batteries that will not function in extreme conditions if the battery is too hot or cold. Of course, where is there is a K-9 unit, vehicles must be kept running in order to control climate for the dogs inside. Ultimately, for campus safety reasons, and to ensure that equipment is maintained, patrol vehicles need to be kept running even when officers are not inside.

There are likely many other Hey Heidi questions that campus would benefit from knowing the answer to, so I will endeavor to put a selection of responses into my monthly newsletter.

Did you know?

I also thought the monthly newsletter would offer a good opportunity to highlight some interesting facts and figures regarding our College’s history and programs. Today’s spotlight is on the McNair Program. For 30 years, The College has hosted the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program whose mission is “to provide disadvantaged undergraduate students with preparation for doctoral study.” More than 871 students have been served by this program, with 301 going on to earn their MA, 26 their JD or MD, and 53 their PhD. Between 2013-2018 we graduated 99 McNair Scholars and 62% of them went directly into Master’s or Doctoral programs, exceeding the 55% goal set for the program.

My thanks go to Barbara Thompson and her team for their exceptional work with our undergraduate students!

Finally, I’m pleased to note that that two of our alumni are being honored by the Rochester Education Foundation for their excellence in teaching and service in Rochester: John Haag (1985) and Armando Ramirez (1991).

Thank you, colleagues, for the work that you do to Build a Better Brockport.

Dr. Heidi R. Macpherson, President
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SUNY Brockport
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Brockport, NY