Sep. 08, 2010

Convocation address launches 2010-11 academic year

President Christopher C. Dahl speaks at Opening Convocation on Aug. 27.

President Christopher C. Dahl speaks at Opening Convocation on Aug. 27. PHOTO BY SARAH KOSLOSKI


Another academic year began last week with a sobering convocation message from President Christopher C. Dahl titled "The Paradoxes and Perils of Excellence." The president praised the achievements of faculty, staff and students that continue to bring distinction to the college, but provided details on the challenging fiscal woes facing all SUNY institutions, including Geneseo.

"Here is the paradox in its starkest form: Even as we succeed, we are faced with a fiscal situation as dire as any Geneseo has encountered in 50 years," he said. "We must carefully consider everything we do. We will need to invest in those things that are at the core of our mission and exemplify our shared values, but we must also decide what things we must do differently or can no longer afford to do. The perils are great if we fail to act now."

The president urged the campus to not lose sight of the college's mission of retaining Geneseo's fundamental quality as a public liberal arts college, and re-emphasized the importance of the work of the college's Six Big Ideas task forces to develop prudent strategies for the college's future.

"The work these groups have done becomes all the more important in the coming year because of the severity of the budget crisis," said Dahl. "We must make a series of short-term decisions about the college budget while keeping our eyes on the long-range future of the institution."

The president promised to keep the entire campus informed about budget decisions through monthly presidential forums, website postings and other venues.