Utica College takes final step toward independence
Utica College takes final step toward independenceSeptember 24, 2008SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Utica College and Syracuse University have announced that the two institutions are engaged in formal discussions regarding the transition of Utica College to full independence by 2016. According to Utica College President Todd S. Hutton, this final stage in achieving independence means that Utica College will offer its own degrees, and UC faculty will have full autonomy to develop their own academic programs.
Beginning with the calendar year 2011, all entering freshman and transfer classes will receive the Utica College baccalaureate degree. Utica College began offering its own graduate degrees in 1999 and selected undergraduate degrees in 2008. The remaining terms of the transition are expected to be finalized by the end of this semester.
UC’s new status will culminate a 62-year process initiated in 1946, when Syracuse University and Utica community leaders founded Utica College with the mutual expectation that the college would one day be a freestanding, wholly independent institution. The fact that Utica College is now prepared to achieve the original vision of its founders, UC and SU officials say, is a reflection of the extraordinary transformation the college has made since receiving its independent charter in 1995, and is the natural next direction in the long evolution of UC-SU relationship.
Says Hutton: “Utica College has been preparing to be a fully independent institution for more than 60 years. It is because of the remarkable achievements, work and dedication of generations of faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends, coupled with Syracuse University’s extraordinary support and commitment, that UC is now prepared to stand on its own and poised to pursue even more rigorously its vision of being one of the finest small universities in the country.”
Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor comments, “Since the founding of Utica College by Syracuse University, it has been the intent of both institutions for Utica College to one day stand as a fully independent institution. The transition to full independence allows Utica College to complete the journey intended by its founders and fulfills the achievement of a goal shared by both the Syracuse and Utica communities. This milestone, in which both of our campuses share extraordinary pride, will allow Utica College and Syracuse University to become even stronger academic partners. The entire SU community applauds our colleagues at Utica College for achieving this remarkable accomplishment.”
In 1946, Syracuse established Utica College and Triple Cities College (which evolved into what is today the liberal arts college of Binghamton University) as two-year, lower-division branch campuses to address the underserved higher education needs of returning World War II veterans and other residents in the Utica and Binghamton areas. In 1949, UC was founded as a permanent four-year college, and in 1978 the college received its own accreditation. Utica College operated as a college of Syracuse University until a 1995 agreement with SU afforded UC governance and autonomy as an independently chartered institution while continuing to offer the Syracuse University undergraduate degree.
In the 13 years since receiving its independent charter, Utica College has undergone a remarkable transformation. Among other important mileposts, the college established an independent board of trustees; created a graduate school that now offers 14 master’s degree programs and two professional doctoral degree programs that grant the Utica College degree; introduced several new undergraduate degree programs, the most recent of which also grant the Utica College degree; significantly expanded undergraduate and total enrollments; established several highly regarded institutes and centers, including a first-of-its-kind national research center focused on identity theft and information protection; completed nine new building projects, including the first two phases of a three-phase state-of-the-art science and technology complex; increased annual giving by nearly 200 percent; and added nine new varsity athletic programs. Furthermore, Utica College is attracting students from a wider geographic area than at any point in its history, has expanded its reputation nationwide and worldwide, and has gained a stronger presence among the American higher education community. This month, UC announced the public phase of a $25 million comprehensive campaign, toward which $25.4 million has been raised to date.