A Message from Officer in Charge Dr. Andrew Russell
December 16, 2022
To the SUNY Poly Community:
I write with humility and excitement after my appointment by SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah Stanley as SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Officer in Charge (OIC), effective Thursday, December 15, 2022. I am grateful to Chancellor Stanley, as well as the SUNY Board of Trustees, for this opportunity, and I look forward to serving SUNY Poly in this expanded capacity and working with SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr., as we seek permanent leadership.
As the SUNY Poly Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences since 2016, I have had the pleasure of working with many of you. I’m eager to meet and hear from the campus community, and especially to welcome those who have joined SUNY Poly recently. I look forward to working with all of you across our institution now and during the coming months until a permanent president is appointed for the Utica campus. I’m fortunate to step into this role in a time where we have enjoyed widespread success, including strong enrollment, student achievement, innovative research, and the growth of opportunities made possible through collaborations with our corporate and community partners.
For those of you who may not know me, I thought a brief introduction would be useful. My scholarly interests are in the history of technology and business, where my research includes subjects such as the history of the Internet, innovation in high-tech monopolies, women in computing, and the importance of stability in complex systems. I have published books and articles in scholarly journals, as well as public-facing essays in venues such as The New York Times, IEEE Spectrum, and Aeon. I have a longstanding fascination with many subjects, including engineering education and government-industry-academic collaborations, that are near the heart of SUNY Poly’s mission.
Before moving to SUNY Poly, I was an Associate Professor of History in the College of Arts & Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. My service at Stevens included roles as founder and director of the Program in Science & Technology Studies, and one year as Interim Dean. Before that, I earned degrees from Vassar College (B.A. in History), University of Colorado at Boulder (M.A. in History), and The Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D. in the History of Science and Technology), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. I grew up in Clinton, New York, and graduated from Clinton High School, which gives me deep personal motivation to ensure the continued vitality of SUNY Poly and the Mohawk Valley region more generally.
The Chancellor gave me two important assignments: to develop plans for the future of SUNY Poly’s Utica campus by working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, community partners, elected officials, and SUNY stakeholders to strategically grow our successful programs on this campus; and to work to ensure that the transfer of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany to the University at Albany is accomplished in a way that allows our faculty, staff, and students to be well positioned to continue their globally recognized research in nanotechnology and semiconductor innovation. I know there have been some confusing news reports about this, but I pledge to keep you updated about the status of both assignments, and I want to express gratitude, in advance, for your collaboration, insights, and good will.
I also look forward to working with Interim Provost Zora Thomova to engage with the faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences to identify interim leadership for the college. Once SUNY Poly has a permanent president, I fully intend to return to my role as Dean.
The future of our region is bright. We have thriving academic programs, a committed group of community partners, dedicated faculty and staff, and, most importantly, brilliant and motivated students. The SUNY Chancellor and Trustees have asked us for a plan to make SUNY Poly a premier public polytechnic institute, and I am honored to work alongside you toward this noble goal.
Until then, I wish you the happiest of holidays—full of joy, time with loved ones, and good health.
Andrew Russell, Ph.D.
Officer in Charge
SUNY Polytechnic Institute