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Is President Hall the right Choice for Atthletics?


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I was on another board and Dane 96 got me thinking. I asked why at FIU, FAU, and Costal Carolina was such a smooth and successful transition to full scholarship football. He stated, and I agree that these Presidents and AD's are on the same page for athletics.


Is Hall and McElroy on the same page? If Hall does for Albany what he did at Uthah I say yes. So far I have seen nothing that indicates he is planning the same. I know where McElroy stands, he is in bigtime favor of fully funded athletics, football in particular. Is Hall another state bootlicker for the Presidency or is planning on a real "ramping up" of our programs. Lets face facts the money is there to spend...they just need to do it. Taking butt kicking against teams we would like to be equivalent to is not the smartest way unless they are being compensated for it. even then I question it.


If a move up is not done and soon (plan is 2 more years) they will eventually fold because this level of football is not long for this world.


I would be intrested in everyone's opinion

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I haven't seen Hall say much that was really exciting or encouraging about athletics. On the other hand he watched Saturday's lacrosse game from the front row. Too bad the teams were across the field. The view thru the benches might have given him a real clue as to how much we need at least a new grandstand for the football field.

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In my opinion, no President Hall is the worst person possible at this time of our athletics. He has enthusiasm but he thinks he is building a Patriot league school...something we cannot, nor ever will be.


I am very dissapointed with his support thus far.

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I think it is way to early to judge the new president. He has not been here nearly long enough to make any major decisions on any areas including athletics. His talk with faculty and staff are encouraging as it indicated a willingness to make decisions and follow through on recommendations that has been lacking in the past. I choose to be optomistic, at least, for the short term.

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Back when Hall was hired I polled Utah State fans about him. Most agreed he was generally pro-athletics. During his time there the Aggies moved up to the WAC and did major renovations to their football stadium-all steps we'd like taken. I'd give him more than 3 months or so to see what he's going to do.

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Hall has publicly said that athletics is important and he supports it.


This is a post that I made back in February after listening to Hall at the halftime of a hoops game:


The halftime interview was interesting. Wyland went right to the football stadium questions, Hall deflected saying the challenge was raising private funding. Hall went on to say how great McElroy is, Wyland went back to the stadium and asked about timing... Hall deflected a bit again and said that it's TBD, the timing will depend on a lot of factors including raising $ - he went on to say that academics were first and foremost. Wyland went back and asked about the future of athletics at UA. Hall said that a reasonable goal was to be like William and Mary. I don't know much about William and Mary but Hall clearly was not going to provide specific answers to those questions.


If the goal is to move to scholarship football, build a stadium and focus primarily on athletics, then Hall is not the right person.


If the goal is to improve the athletically profile of the University while focusing primarily on academics, he is the right person.


All this said, I see UA having scholarships in '07 after the NEC agreement expires. They can improve the facilities at a relatively small cost and I believe they will be forced to do so if it is to be achieved with Hall's academic focus.


There was also an article recently about AD's where Hall's comment was something like one of the traits of a good AD is to have a vision much grander than the University can achieve - I think that is where McElroy is.

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I think our new recruit Siggers is exactly the type of player that Pres. Hall is looking for at UAlbany. While he is certainly a very talented player who has been attracted to our school because of our promising and growing programs, he was also just as much drawn to here because of our strong academic reputation.


Each time that I have chatted with Pres. Hall about our athletic program and/or college sports in general, he has proved to very knowledgable and engaged with the topic. While I too agree that it is too soon to see exactly what goals Pres. Hall will persue with our athletic program, it certainly pleases me to see him aware and educated on the situation, showing he realizes its significance by taking a definite interest in it.

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Being knowledgable and being ready, willing, and able to execute is two different things.

Lets face facts Albany is a 3rd tier academic institution, I believe we are ranked by US News and World Report 150th...that is awful. Students when I went to school as well as students now think its on par with schools like Michigan and Florida....newsflash, IT ISIN'T, unless of course drinking counts. It used to have an outstanding reputation. All of this proposed spending and monies spent on weather stations, and academic buildings etc has been a waste. Someone on the board said it best "Hall is trying to run Albany like a Patriot League school" It will never happen. We are on par with Delaware, UMASS, and Maine...not athletically, just in stature.


I did not appreciate the smart a$$ remark Hall made about University Field. I am glad they hired a clown to run the #1 party school in the nation.

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I think my post is OT, but Ruler posed issues that are near and dear to me as a parent of two.


I don't know where Albany ranks.


I do know that schools like Michigan, Virginia, UCLA, Berkeley, University of Texas are at the highest tier of Public Universities. What's interesting is at Michigan, they run it a lot like a private school. I went to Business School there and they charge private school prices if you are out of state, each school has an aggressive fundraising plan that allows them to hire top faculty...


Those are probably the only other state schools that have national reputations - Many others have very good regional reputations (the states frequently define that as they designate a single school as it's flagship). I think Albany fits into that category.


Lastly, I think there are many ways to improve the university's image. One is athletics but I don't think you do that being a mid-major or a 1-aa football team. You become like Buffalo and go all out (rather they have been successful or not is a different question). The other way is academics. I think the University of Georgia has been great at that. Georgia has a Hope scholarship that gives 100% tuition to students that have a B average in HS, the result has been a significant increase in SAT's from about 1100 to 1300 with an average gpa of about 3.8. Many of the kids from the state go to Private schools in the Northeast when they cannot get into the school.


All of this said, it is appropriate for Hall or whoever the president is to aspire to be a great institution - that's his job.

Edited by reeder
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First off, none of this is meant to be a personal inslut or slap to you, but your last post is exactly the negative kind of crap that demoralizes students and anyone looking to have some kind of a relationship with this University, as you can see from Reeder's post. You have hit something that is near and dear to my heart (the University that I spend $10-15k per year to attend). So, let's look at the issues:


I'll pick the most absurd thing first, our #1 Party School Ranking this past year. Now, I don't know how far removed from this school you actually are (assuming you even went here) but you can ask any student (even the "big partiers") and they know that the #1 ranking was a complete JOKE. Sure, there's partying here if you want it as with any college across the country, but to say we are ANYWHERE near #1?..hell, I could even name a handful of SUNY schools, not to mention out of states, that are even much bigger party schools than we are, or will ever be.


Second, academics. 3rd tier?..please. SUNY Geneseo and Brockport (no knock on them as I grew up right next door) are even 2nd tier, schools that we BLOW OUT of the water academically. Now I agree, we are not a UMichigan or a UFlorida, but as Reeder points out, these are flagship institutions. SUNY has 64 (soon to be 65) campuses, including 4 University Centers, to fund and they must (by law) be funded with no "flagship" type preference.


THAT SAID, lets take a look at our academic programs:


School of Criminal Justice, one of the first founded in the country, is the 2nd rated program in the NATION. In fact, this past weekend on campus we hosted the Crime and Justice Symposium which brought together the greatest minds in the field from all across the world. Information and Technology Management is rated 4th in the country, Public Management and Administration is 6th, Public Finance and Budgeting is 9th, the Public Policy program is 10th, Counseling/Personal Services is 13th, Library Science is 15th (and all of our 3 libraries rank in the top 100 reasearch libraries in the country), Social Welfare is 19th, and Public Policy Analysis and Sociology are both ranked 25th. And yes, those all come directly from the most recent US News and World Report's grad program rankings issue. And this does not even mention all of our ranking seperate undergrad programs and individual program concentrations that are nationally ranked, including the Africana Studies program.


I came here to UAlbany right out of high school after graduating 8th in my class with a 3.7 unweighted GPA and a 1290 SAT score on my first and only take of it. Even with that, there are students here that blow me away with their intelligence and make me feel as if I'm still in elementary school with the things they know. Sure, we have room to grow and I hope we do everything we can to continue to grow, but calling the University academically "awful?" I invite you to come to some classes with me, or even look into the simple facts of the school, before you make such rediculous claims.


Again, this is in no way meant to be personal Ruler, I just ask you to realize what you're saying and thinking before you post it on this board. Especially with something as serious as the academic integrity of this University.

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GDG - Very good post. I wanted to respond similarly, but did not have all the facts you presented(I hope they are facts). UA is well regarded in many areas and improving.


Reeder also responded with some good points. I feel positive about the university and athletics in general. I still have some concerns (Brown's contract and lack of assistants is one) about the future, but I choose to see the glass as half full.

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What does US News and World Report rank Albany? ... 150th! It is THEIR breakdown, not my personal assessment of Albany, which is considered a 3rd tier school in their report...go look it up. Its ranked right there with Brockport and Geneseo. Buffalo, Stony Brook, and Binghamton (ranked highest SUNY) are all ranked ahead of Albany.


All I am saying is that Albany is a cheap alternative for students who can't get into the schools I have listed below. It is credible and well known. That doesn't make it one of the TOP STATE SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY like everyone likes to say.


Yes I attended Albany. Then we had a ranked business school. Thats all anyone spoke about was our business school. I went through it and it was not that taxing.


With 1290 SAT and 3.7 GPA coming out of HS, you should of gone to a better school with a more well known reputation. Hamilton, Colby, Bates, Trinity, Union, etc. they are small private and have better reputations. Employers will speak to someone at an IVY League school and a "Jr Ivy" before an Albany student. You will understand when you get out and your purple glasses begin to fade and see things for how the "real world" sees it! BTW Those grades are not Ivy League but are still excellent.


I do not dislike Albany. I think students think more of it then they should.


The point is that Hall is trying to run it like James Madison when it is an A-10 school in disguise. All I care about is if he helps the athletic programs at Albany. If they have the #1 ranked nano science dept or Police Academy does not mean a thing to me. I already work on Wall Street and found all of this out the hard way from people who have actually graduated from Duke, Stanford, Harvard etc.


Albany did not prepare me for this battle for supremacy down her in NY where the big boys play....BOB FORD DID! If Albany has a national powerhouse hoops program and a full scholarship football program that makes the 1AA playoffs on a consistent basis, that means something to me!


I am sorry if I offended anyone, but I call it like I see it!

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First let me say this...Go Danes Go....you better watch that tongue of yours and start respecting the people that came before you. You absolutely disrespected a man that did more for UA than you could ever hope to do...from an athletic standpoint. Further, Ruler has been out in the workplace for years making sure that your degree would be worth something.

I never met the man, but from years on this board I can say to a man, he has been nothing but an ambassador.


Your apology to him is waiting to be written.


Second, you need to get your emotions under control and read. Ruler did not rip the university, in fact he stated my quote, which is we will never, ever, be a Patriot school. Neither will Michigan, niether will Duke. Patriot schools are on a whole other level. They are considered liberal art elitist schools, a place you attend after years of prep school or, if you are lucky, a solid academic ranking at a public school and your parents having enough money to pay for you; yes they reject you if they have to give out financial aid.


Should we aspire to be with UMaryland, UDelaware, UFlorida....YES...of course. But there is a ceiling. Until the state makes the right decision and picks one flagship, which in my opinion should be Albany simply because of the size of our research (which Buffalo in all honesty dwarfs us in) and our location (where UB fails), the SUNY system schools will not be on par with UNC. What people dont understand is all these schools are equal however three things seperate the schools mentioned and our own University: TRADITION, ATHLETICS, PUBLIC AWARENESS. The third is supplemented by the first two. Until UA increases its profile in the first two...the third will be moot and our rankings will be low.


The problem with faculty is that most faculty are nerds...yes academic geeks. In general, most faculty (and I have dealt with faculty in my prior job at over 500 schools) is that they are so focused on their work (and that's what makes them great) that they dont see the big picture. The big picture comes down to this: UNIVERSITIES ARE JUST LIKE A BIG ADVERTISING FIRM.....they need to market themselves with a brand identity. Fact is.....the smartest kids are always going to go to the Top 20 schools. So, you need a broad based approach which includes athletics.


This thread was a question, one that asked about the direction President Hall has taken with athletics. Yes, he has shown at events and met students. However, I am sorry, this is not enough. We will not be a Top 20 school....ever, and we will not be a Patriot or Ivy. We can be a Syracuse, a UNC, a U Maryland. This is achieved as stated above. What President Hall has done in his short tenure shows nothing about broadening the reach of our school. He has publically downplayed the stadium and what needs to be done facility wise. You know what...he is a piss poor visionary if he doesnt think he can pressure the state. Let me tell you, I worked in the state legislature and I happened to work on the Higher Ed committtee. If President Hall used his leverage he could easily get the money necessary. Fact is, there have been budget cuts more extreme in the past, including when I marched on Pataki's front doorstep at the Capital. Schools still got what they need via back door channels. The fact is, Bing, Cortland, Oneonta, and SBU all got improvements, not to mention the 15000 expansion at UB. The U at A gives 1 billion...yes 1 billion dollars in revenue to the state coffers both publically and privately every year. In negotiations, that gives you leverage. Asking for 15-20mm on top of the prior requests on return that is nearly 85 times that is not asking much.


However, when a President publically speaks out against certain things...you reduce leverage. The things that happened at UTAH STATE were well in the makings before he got there. Further, President Hall's apparent quietness over a variety of issues that have occured publically in the A Dept is not encouraging. The fact is, there are definately two different visions going on at UA right now b/w the A Dept and the President's office. Unfortunately for UA, there are no such visionary problems at UB, SBU, and Bing where they are all forging ahead. In my opinon, President Hall has stunted a mercurious rise by our sports programs and he needs to re-evaluate what he has here on Washington Ave. The fact is....you cant built academic stature in today's day in age without marketing, research, ingenuity (sp?) and athletics.


Want to know why kids want to go to UNC? Because it is hard to get into. Why? Because UNC allows only 1% of out of staters in each frosh class. That is a hard fact. They take 5 more percent and defer them to the soph class. Why can they do this? Because the state, much like in VA mandates that all students of NC have access to the school. So what happens, it makes it more difficult to get in. Further, the out of staters want to go there because why? Partying...and because they hear about UNC all the time...why? Athletics. Not because of some research going on, though there are kids who do go there for that reason, they are a small percentage however.


You make UA a national name by all the above. That happens and more kids apply...more kids get rejected....academic profile goes up...and everyone is happy.


This ain't rocket science.


Now...you can apologize to Ruler who continued my initial remark to the question; President Hall is not the right choice for athletics at the current time.


And one other thing...dont spout off bull$iena you dont know about...there are many on this board who have much more insight then you; THERE IS NO LAW STATING A SCHOOL CANNOT BE A FLAGSHIP. In fact, U MICHIGAN ISNT DEEMED THE FLAGSHIP OF THEIR STATE.


And finally, we are a third tier school. SCREW US NEWS...that is garbage. We are actually ranked in the top world research universities. Why are we third tier? BECAUSE THERE IS IVY, then the next group which would included UVA, Michigan, et al, then there is the UDelewares and UALBANY's...then the lower schools follow in a fourth and fifth and whatever tier.


That is a fact jack....when you graduate and you are an interviewer you will learn that is how the piles get broken down into.

Edited by Dane96
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I'm glad to see that people are insulted for their opinions on this board. I thought we had managed to by-pass that type of stuff that the AE Board has. I started and ended my post by saying that it in no way was some type of personal insult to Ruler. So again, it simply was not meant to be.


I happen to agree with the vast majority of the things posted after my last post. Specifically about how the University could "promote" its name more. But unfortunately, I was not talking about the majority of it. I was addressing the fact that UAlbany was called academically "awful." I truly am sorry that Ruler's business degree from here was not what he expected. But there are plenty more programs here than just business and the majority of students that come here do not attend for business. And with the majority of degrees, real world experience is essential as a partner with the degree to succeed in any field.


True, President Hall MIGHT not be the best choice for athletics right at this time. But, as I posted earlier, I believe it is too early to tell, and we must remember that a University President (especially at UAlbany) is chosen for things other than just athletics, something that I believe we can all agree on.


And again, addressing some more of the personal bits Dane96..I do know just a bit about SUNY funding and administration as a whole. I happen to be Vice President (and was just recently re-elected) of all 413,00 SUNY students in the state-wide student government, the Student Assembly. I work closely with the SUNY Board of Trustees, the Legislature, and other relevant organizations and groups on exactly these issues. I agree, there is no law saying that one of the SUNY schools cannot be officially called the flagship (as Tom Golisano tried to get UB to call themselves (University of New York) by way of offering a large financial donation), but, if you read exactly what I wrote, SUNY schools by law currently cannot get flagship type funding. That is not addressing any official flagship "names" that a school might want or have.


Without personally knowing him, I certainly do appreciate any and all that Ruler has done for UAlbany through our athletics program and by bringing our name down to work on Wall Street. But, I happen to be VERY proud and happy with my choice to attend UAlbany. It was between American Univeristy, George Washington University, and here, and I am glad I made this choice.


And although I have actually been an interviewer in a number of on-campus and off-campus positions Dane96, I continue to look to learn more and more from everyone and anyone and take all posts on here not as insults like some, but as valuable opinions backed by years of personal knowledge and experience.

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