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Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus Robert M. Diamond deceased at age 77
Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus Robert M. Diamond deceased at age 77December 27, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Robert M. Diamond, assistant vice chancellor emeritus at Syracuse University, died Dec. 14 as a result of complications from heart surgery. He was 77.
In addition to his position as assistant vice chancellor, Diamond was the founding director of the Center for Instructional Development at SU (now the Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning), which won the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Learning in 1996. He also founded the Institute for Change in Higher Education at SU. He directed the national project on Institutional Priorities and Faculty Rewards. He also conceptualized and helped to implement Project Advance, assisted in the early design of the Teaching Assistant Program, established the Student Academic Support Center and, during the early 1980s, helped to restructure the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
During his career, Diamond held faculty and administrative positions at SU, the SUNY College at Fredonia, the University of Miami and San Jose State University.
After his retirement from SU in 1998, Diamond founded the National Academy for Academic Leadership in St. Petersburg, Fla., to prepare university leaders to work collaboratively to lead and manage change at their institutions.
“Bob’s Syracuse University Center for Instructional Development (CID) was one of my first stops when I joined the Syracuse University faculty,” says Jerry M. Evensky, professor of economics in the Maxwell School. “What I found there was a community of caring that was committed to improving student learning outcomes. It was Bob’s warm heart that made CID a community and it was Bob’s passionate caring and commitment that made it a premiere place among academic institutions for instructional development.”
“Bob Diamond was a champion for innovation in higher education and for promoting instructional practices that kept students and their learning at the very center,” says Leo Lambert, president of Elon University and a protege of Diamond’s. “Bob was an idealist and a passionate advocate for the importance of great teaching at a research university. Bob was also an extraordinarily kind man who gave many young graduate students and young professionals like me wonderful opportunities to become involved in the nationally renowned programs launched at the Center for Instructional Development. I had the opportunity recently to contribute to his volume ‘A Field Guide to Academic Leadership.’ Up until the very end, Bob’s mind was engaged with the questions of how to make American higher education even stronger.”
“Bob had a special spark of enthusiasm that gave us all a sense of the possibilities at SU. The results of his great work are still being felt here today,” says David C. Smith, SU vice president for administrative planning for academic affairs. “Bob was one of the early voices advocating for assessment and evaluation of academic programs nationally, and his work has become a wonderful legacy for us. He’ll be greatly missed.”
“Bob Diamond was known throughout higher education as a ‘pertinent pain in the ass’ who never knew when to say ‘I give up,’ and as a result led Syracuse University to its national recognition as a Hesburgh Award winner,” says Ronald Cavanagh, retired vice president for undergraduate studies at SU. “Upon his retirement from Syracuse University, Bob continued to write and lecture right up to the time of his death. The quality of his commitment to improving the quality of higher education, so inspirational to many of us in this country, will long be remembered.”
Diamond’s published works include “A Field Guild to Academic Leadership” (Jossey-Bass, 2002), “Aligning Faculty Rewards with Institutional Mission” (Jossey-Bass, 1999), “Designing and Assessing Courses and Curricula” (Jossey-Bass, 1997), “Preparing for Tenure and Promotion Review” (Anker Publishing Co. Inc., 1995) and “Serving on Promotion, Tenure and Faculty Review Committees” (Anker Publishing Co. Inc., 1994). Most recently, Diamond worked as an author and consultant in higher education, lecturing worldwide, while maintaining residence in St. Petersburg.
Among his many recognitions, Diamond was named an Outstanding Citizen of Syracuse University in 1998 and was cited by the American Association for Higher Education in 1994 for 25 years of leadership and innovation in the reform of higher education.
A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Diamond was a graduate of the Albany Academy and Union College. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in education from New York University.
He is survived by his mother, Ruth Kling; his wife of 50 years, Dolores; a daughter, Harli Rozental, and husband Israel; a son, H. Gordon; and a grandson, Joshua.