A great advantage of being a small research university is that we can educate the whole student. To us, they are not just numbers such as SAT scores. Our faculty are committed to providing outstanding classroom and research experience. But, important as the academic side of the University experience is, there is more to our students than their scholarship.
Given the global economic crisis that reached historic proportions this fall, it is understandable that many in our University community may be anxious about how this crisis may affect the future of the University.
I have spent my academic career studying financial markets and financial regulation and know that it is unrealistic to make promises about the national economy when so much is uncertain. However, I can state that this country has pulled through worse crises before, such as the stock market crash of 1929–33, and yet, above all else, we learned then that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
I can also state that history teaches the importance of avoiding making irrevocable decisions in times of economic panic. When the economy stabilizes, we will have time to address the ultimate implications of this crisis for our University. My senior leadership team, working with our Board of Trustees, continues to monitor potential significant risks to the University.
Now is the time for careful review. I am confident we will work through the implications of this crisis without panic, without fear, but with the realism that serious economic events require. Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to stay up to date with our planning at the president’s Web site.
At the University, approximately 75 percent of our undergraduates participate in one form or another of athletics. Significant numbers of our students participate in leadership or performing arts.
More than 80 percent of undergraduates in our College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering live on campus. And among juniors and seniors, the majority choose to stay on the River Campus, living in one of more than 20 residential halls and houses. With the addition of our new Riverview Apartments this fall, the number of upperclassmen living on—or in the case of Riverview, right next to campus—is even higher than in the past few years.
Having so many students who want to live in a campus community represents a distinct advantage for Rochester. As a small research university, we are committed to educating students as individual human beings.
Just as in their academic studies, where the Rochester Curriculum allows students the freedom to pursue their scholarly and intellectual interests, the cocurricular structure of the College allows students to pursue their interests outside the classroom in ways that complement their academic pursuits.
They are students like Students’ Association President Eric Sansky ’09 and SA Vice President Tyler Socash ’09 who are leading a new Fill Fauver/Pack the Palestra campaign this year. Eric and Tyler launched the effort not only to showcase Rochester’s pride in its outstanding athletic teams, but also to build upon a spirit of camaraderie and enthusiasm among Rochester students.
They are students like Carlin Getliffe ’09 of the student-run Urban Exploring Club, who led the organization of ArtAwake. The event brought artists, musicians, Rochester community members, and students together in a 100-year-old city building for a daylong festival.
They are students like Mollie Foust ’08, a Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Scholar who this year is studying how education, athletics, community service, and ethics can empower first, second, and third graders in the Rochester City Schools and support them through many different aspects of their lives.
These are just a few examples of the way Rochester students bring a remarkable energy to their lives outside as well as inside the classroom. While students may often see their activities outside of class as non-academic, faculty, staff, and administrators see in those activities an extraordinary range of life lessons that complement the work that students pursue in their studies. Students learn to be leaders, they learn management skills, they learn how to negotiate and appreciate difference, and they learn the satisfaction of seeing an idea become a success.
The University is committed to educating the whole student.