ALBANY, N.Y. - For the ninth time in its nearly 100-year history, The College of Saint Rose has inaugurated a president.
Dr. David Szczerbacki was formally inaugurated as President today in a ceremony at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Szczerbacki has served as president of the College since July 1, 2012, succeeding Dr. R. Mark Sullivan.
In his inauguration address, Szczerbacki defined the challenges that Saint Rose faces and his vision for tackling them.
He pointed to what he called the "false dichotomy" about the value of higher education today and implored the audience not to lose faith in the power of education to provide the next generation with the skills and knowledge needed to survive in an increasingly complex world.
Szczerbacki laid out the three priorities of his administration: diversifying the mix of degree programs and majors, especially at the graduate level; diversifying enrollment to increase the mix of students coming from out-of-state and abroad, with a goal of quadrupling within three years the number of international students; and developing and expanding alternative learning options.
Addressing the issue of college affordability and accessibility, Szczerbacki called for development of a comprehensive fundraising campaign that aggressively builds scholarship capacity to support the cost of attending Saint Rose.
Szczerbacki also took time out to pay tribute to his family, especially his parents and his wife Susie and daughter Kate.
He noted that his mother, seated in the audience, was always there for her five children, including four rather active boys – going to ball games and dance recitals, cooking late meals, driving them everywhere and managing the household, all while working as a nurse and caring for her own mother.
Szczerbacki expressed his gratitude with a simple "Thank you, Ma."
Past presidents attending today's inauguration were Dr. Louis Vaccaro, who served from 1983 until 1996, and Dr. R. Mark Sullivan, who led Saint Rose from 1996 until 2012.
Szczerbacki came to Saint Rose in 2004 from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., where he served as provost and vice president of academic and statutory affairs.
In addition, Szczerbacki served as chief executive officer at the State University of New York College of Ceramics, which is located at Alfred.
He also held positions as dean of Alfred's School of Business and acting dean of the College of Engineering and Professional Studies.
Szczerbacki joined the Alfred faculty in 1981 as an instructor of management and twice received the university's outstanding teaching awards.
Szczerbacki earned his doctoral degree in policy studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and he holds a master's degree in urban systems and a bachelor's degree in political science from Gannon University in Erie, Pa.