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Garden Party 2012

June 12, 2012
Joel Seligman

Joel Seligman and slide from speech
watch the video


COVER SLIDEGeorge Walker
I am delighted to announce that the University’s extraordinary musicians have triumphed in a new art form.

          In recent years, the University, particularly our Eastman School of Music and Eastman’s alumni, have been recognized for:

SLIDE 1Eastman Theater
opera (Renée Fleming),

SLIDE 2YellowJackets on the Sing-Off
jazz (Ron Carter),

SLIDE 3Remember Our Name (view of Rush Rhees)
arranging (Jeff Beal),     

SLIDE 4fireworks over campus
composition (George Walker),

SLIDE 5architectural drawing of Golisano Children's Hospital
even architecture (Barber Conable Award for the Eastman Theatre renovation and expansion and, most recently, the Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State).

SLIDE 6Finger Lakes Funding=Awarded 68.8M for 93 projects
Similarly the YellowJackets have achieved national prominence on NBC's "The Sing-Off," and soon will begin film production on their documentary, United We Sing.

SLIDE 7RBJ cover for Supercomputer
Let me now present our latest musical triumph – an Admissions video featuring The Midnight Ramblers in what undoubtedly will become a rap classic – Remember oUR Name!  VIDEO The Midnight Ramblers singing Remember oUR Name, based on original song Remember the Name by Fort Minor.

          This has been a highly successful year for the University of Rochester.

          We have achieved four of the University’s five priorities for this academic year.

SLIDE 8graphic of highway interchange
First, on October 21 during Meliora Weekend, we publicly launched the largest capital campaign in our history.  I am pleased to announce that we have crossed the $800 million plateau in our $1.2 billion campaign.  We also have made notable progress in each key goal – support for faculty, students, programs, facilities, and the annual fund.

SLIDE 9rendering of sidewalk crowded with people
Second, on July 14, Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Brad Berk announced a $20 million gift and pledge from Tom Golisano, who provided the pivotal lead gift for the Medical Center to proceed with the new $145 million, eight-floor Golisano Children’s Hospital.  This is the largest construction project in absolute dollars in University history.  On October 29, the Medical Center launched a $100 million campaign for the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

SLIDE 10admissions data showing admissions growth
Third, on December 14, New York State awarded $68.8 million to projects prioritized by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which University Trustee Danny Wegman and I co-chaired.

SLIDE 11Simon rankings
This included $5 million for the University of Rochester Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI), for what we hope will prove to be an initial New York State payment toward its one-third of a $100 million project combining the resources of the University, IBM, and New York to create one of the world’s best computationally enabled research centers dedicated to health research.  The Center for Governmental Research (CGR) estimates that when the Health Sciences Center achieves full capacity it will generate 880 new jobs and more than $49 million in additional labor income for our region.

SLIDE 12view of Hajim school
Fourth, on February 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly announced his commitment to the $100 million I-390/Kendrick Road Interchange project, including this year’s commitment to $26 million in funding, which will provide the basis for the new exit ramp and widening of the bridge at Kendrick Road.  The I-390/Kendrick Road project ultimately will enable the University of Rochester to create literally thousands of jobs and strengthen our position as one of the leading research universities of the 21st century.

SLIDE 13Dennis O'Brien
A final commitment to College Town is the only one of our five University-wide priorities this year that we have not been able to announce to date.  Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Ron Paprocki and I are optimistic that this will occur later this year.  On April 24, the Rochester City Council formally approved the City of Rochester’s application for a $20 million federal loan to help finance the project.  This is a major step forward.  A recent estimate by Gilbane Development Company calculates that College Town will add 985 construction jobs, 582 permanent jobs, and close to $5 million annually in tax revenues.

SLIDE 14Thomas Jackson
We have much else of which to be proud.  College admissions applications through May 13, 2012 are up 8 percent with 14,788 applications, notably with increases in the two-score SAT and the strengthening of diversity of our student body.

SLIDE 15O'Brien Hall
In the January 30, 2012 issue of the Financial Times, the Simon School rose to 3rd in the world for finance among business schools (up from 6th last year), 4th in the world for economics (up from 5th last year), and 7th in the world for accounting.

SLIDE 16Jackson Court
The Hajim School of Engineering faculty rank 4th in the nation for research and expenditures per faculty member at $930,775 and 28th for total research expenditures at $82.8 million.

SLIDE 17Centennial Sculpture Park
In late February, the University announced that our new dorm on Wilson Boulevard will be named O’Brien Hall after our eighth University president, Dennis O’Brien, and SLIDE 18Fringe Festival logo
the Court – including O’Brien Hall as well as Anderson and Wilder Halls and the Sage Art Center – will be named after Thomas H. Jackson, our ninth University president.  This is a particularly fitting tribute to two pivotal presidents in our history.

SLIDE 19Kevin Puts
O’Brien Hall appropriately faces across the Genesee River toward the greater Rochester community.  Dennis O’Brien was a leader in reaching out to our neighbors.  The construction of the pedestrian bridge across the Genesee is a physical embodiment of his belief that a great university in the 20th century must be linked to its surrounding community.  In the 21st century, it is just as important.

SLIDE 20Christopher Lamb and Robert Ludwig
Tom Jackson played a decisive role in reenergizing undergraduate education at our University.  Under his leadership the College designed and implemented first the Renaissance Plan and later the Rochester Curriculum with its nationally recognized cluster curriculum.  Both Dennis and Tom were instrumental, as Tom put it, in “reasserting the greatness of the University of Rochester.”

SLIDE 21Riccardo Betti
In the fall of this year, the Memorial Art Gallery will begin a yearlong Centennial Celebration that will include the opening of the Centennial Sculpture Park, with four new commissioned works by internationally recognized artists Jackie Ferrara, Tom Otterness, Albert Paley, and Wendell Castle; special commissioned music by RPO conductor and composer Jeff Tyzik; a keynote lecture by Nobel laureate Dr. Eric Kandel, recent author of The Art of Insight:  The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present; a lecture by noted poet Dan Gioio, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts; a special exhibition, Memory Theatre 2012; and a Centennial Gala that will include a formal rededication of the 1913 building.

SLIDE 22Juditth Baumhaier
On February 24, Paul Burgett and Sylvie Beaudette participated in the public announcement of a new Rochester Fringe Festival, scheduled for September 20-23, which will be held in part at the Eastman Theatre with the University as a sponsoring organization.  The Festival, inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will include music, cultural programs, dance, theater, art, magic, acrobatics, and street acts.  It will complement Rochester’s highly successful Jazz Festival and be another step toward making Rochester a city of festivals.

SLIDE 23John Werren
Eastman School of Music graduate Kevin Puts won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts.

SLIDE 24Zvi Zeitlin
In February, two other Eastman graduates received 2011 Grammy Awards:  Christopher Lamb (BM ’81) for Best Classical Instrumental Solo and Robert Ludwig (BM ’66 Music Education and MM ’01 Trumpet) for Best Surround Sound Album.  In all, nine Eastman alumni were nominated for Grammys this year.

SLIDE 25Richard Kreipe
Riccardo Betti, professor of mechanical engineering and physics, was named a winner of the 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for his outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy.

SLIDE 26Ann Dozier and Sheree Toth
Orthopaedic surgeon Judith F. Baumhauer, professor and associate chair of academic affairs in the Department of Orthopaedics, was the recipient of Rochester’s 2012 Athena Award, which honors the achievements of exceptional women leaders.

SLIDE 27Joseph Eberly
In April, Biology Professor John H. Werren, holder of the  Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Professorship and a leading expert in evolutionary genetics, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

SLIDE 28Mary Jane Curry and Judith Fonzi
On February 20, Eastman School of Music Professor Zvi Zeitlin performed a memorable farewell recital.  Two days later Zvi turned 90 years old.  This was his 45th annual recital at the Eastman School, a capstone to a remarkable career.  As Doug Lowry aptly said in introducing Zvi, “the older the fiddle player, the sweeter the sound.”  Zvi died on May 2nd.  He was a dedicated teacher and inspiring instructor who devoted much of his life to his students. Zvi leaves a legacy in the hearts of tens of thousands of listeners to his performances, students, colleagues and friends.  He was our fiddler on the roof.

SLIDE 29Xi-Cheng Zhang
There were many other memorable faculty accomplishments hailed this past year.  Richard E. Kreipe, the Dr. Elizabeth R. McAnarney Professor in Pediatrics received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Adolescent Medicine from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in recognition of his dedication over more than 30 years to advancing research, education, clinical care, and community outreach to address the health care needs of adolescents.

SLIDE 30John Jaenike
On March 19, Ann M. Dozier and Sheree L. Toth were honored as recipients of the 2012 Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards.  Dozier was recognized for more than three decades of community-partnered work to improve health for women and children and Toth for her commitment to reducing the impact of childhood trauma and achieving short- and long-term mental health, developmental, and physical health outcomes.

SLIDE 31Matt Grills
In April, Joseph Eberly, the Andrew Carnegie Professor of Physics, won the 2012 Distinguished Service Award of the Optical Society in recognition of his outstanding service as a founding editor of the journal Optics Express and his leadership as President of the Optical Society.

SLIDE 32Jodie Luther
In May the Warner School was awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the Department of Education for a comprehensive program aiming to better serve immigrant/refugee students who are learning English as an additional language.  Associate professors Mary Jane Curry and Judith Fonzi will direct the new initiative, Project CELLS, which will use the funds to support scholarships for new and veteran teachers, develop curriculum, and provide professional development for teachers, counselors, and school leaders.

SLIDE 33John DiBartolomeo
Xi-Cheng Zhang, director of the Institute of Optics, was in May named the winner of the Optical Society's 2012 William F. Meggers Award, a national honor which recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy.  Zhang was selected for his exceptional contributions to coherent generation and detection of ultra-broadband THz waves for far-infrared spectroscopy.

SLIDE 34Benjamin Fischer
Also in May, Professor of Biology John Jaenike was named a recipient of a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for innovative projects that "break the mold" in trying to solve important problems in global health and development.  Jaenike's project will seek to help protect crops from pests without using toxic pesticides.

SLIDE 35quidditch players
On March 18, Eastman School of Music student Matthew Grills was named one of five winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions.  Nearly 1,500 singers competed for this year’s auditions, which are considered the most prestigious in North America for singers launching an operatic career.

SLIDE 36graphic marks for University units
Senior center Jodie Luther was selected as a First Team All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.  She is the first WBCA First Team All-American for Rochester since the 2003-04 season.  Luther was also selected to two All-America Teams and three All-Region Teams.  She finished her career eighth all-time in scoring and in the top 20 in rebounding.

SLIDE 37Federal Research Funding
Similarly, junior guard John DiBartolomeo was selected to two All-America teams, three All-Region Teams, and First Team All-UAA. He is thirteenth in scoring and sixth in career assists.

SLIDE 38 graph showing rising number of faculty
Our men's squash team had another outstanding season.  Senior player Benjamin Fischer was named the College Squash Association’s 2012 Skillman Award winner.  The Skillman is considered squash’s version of the Heisman Trophy.

SLIDE 39 graph showing rising enrollment
And for all Harry Potter fans, one of the most intriguing sports stories this year is that of our Quidditch team, which is currently ranked fifth in the world by the International Quidditch Association.  The University’s muggle-athletes have mastered this sport of wizards to become one of the world’s leading teams from among 47 official members.



SLIDE 40 photos of new dining halls
Against this backdrop, let me frame where our University is likely to progress during the next few years.  In October 2008, our Board of Trustees approved strategic plans for the University, the Medical Center, and each of the academic divisions.  We have made substantial progress in implementing these plans throughout  the University.

SLIDE 41 Del Monte Neuromedicine
We have strengthened our position as a leading research university, notably in our top 15th rank in federal research expenditures received by our faculty, normalized for tenure and tenure track faculty in FY 09 and FY 10, the most recent years for which data are available. 

SLIDE 42 list of facilities projects
Our faculty and instructional staff has grown from 2,009 in 2004 to 2,557 in 2011, with our nonmedical faculty percentage relative to our peers stabilizing after years of decline.

SLIDE 43 slide showing increased enrollment
Our student body has grown from 8,300 students in FY 04 to our FY 16 goal of 10,000.

SLIDE 44 dining spaces
We have built or benefited from new dorms, improvements in dining facilities such as The Commons and Danforth Dining Center, and we have capital and campaign capital plans for athletics and performing arts.  Since the October Board meeting, we have committed to a plan of major improvements in our River Campus athletic facilities, which includes upgrades to the Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Center in the Goergen Athletic Facility, expansion of the soccer field on Wilson Boulevard, replacement of the lighting at Fauver Stadium, and upgrades to the baseball field, including synthetic turf and lighting.  

SLIDE 45 DelMonte building
We have initiated new programs, including the Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute, the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management master’s program that links the College and Simon, and 13 new majors in the College since 2006,  most recently a new major in Digital Media Studies, which will be available to students beginning with the fall 2012 semester. 

SLIDE 46 facilities projects
We have spent or have planned expenditures of more than $650 million on 20 new major facilities and infrastructure upgrades since FY 06. 

SLIDE 47 building - women's health center
Recently, the Medical Center completed the acquisition of the privately owned clinical facility at 125 Lattimore Road.  This six-acre site near the Medical Center is particularly appealing for locating off-site programs such as our new Women’s Health Center, which opened on April 30th.  The 80,000 square foot building will eventually be fully occupied by Medical Center programs. 

          Currently in construction are SLIDE 48 LeChase Hall rendering
LeChase Hall, which will be the new home of the Warner School of Education when it opens in January 2013, and SLIDE 49 Wilmot Cancer Center expansion rendering
the vertical expansion of our James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, scheduled to be completed next month, which will add 45 beds and 112,000 square feet to our Cancer Center.

SLIDE 50 Digital Media Center rendering
Soon construction will begin on our new Media Arts and Innovation Center building near Wilson Commons.        

SLIDE 51 graph showing rising George Eastman Circle membership
We have doubled annual giving and created the George Eastman Circle, today with 2,193 members, with a reset goal of tripling annual giving by FY 16 to support operating expenses at our schools.

SLIDE 52 bar graph shwoing research funding
During fiscal year 2011, the University received government and private research funding of $398 million, somewhat less than the previous year.  In addition, the University received $17 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  This was our second consecutive year of greater than $400 million in total support.  To put this in different terms, in 2010, the last year for which data are available, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities ranked Rochester third in New York State in R & D expenditures, behind Columbia and Cornell, but ahead, among others, of NYU. 



          Let me place the University progress in a broader framework—that of our region.

The Finger Lakes Region has undergone a fundamental transformation that radically altered the economic landscape within the space of a generation.  For much of the 20th century, the region’s economy was dominated by four large manufacturing-based companies:  Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, and General Motors.  These firms employed nearly one fifth of the local workforce and indirectly had an impact on half of the region’s economy.  In recent years, these companies have lost tens of thousands of jobs.  In 1982, Kodak alone had 60,400 employees in the region.  Today it has about 5,000.

We have changed from an economy based on a small number of large manufacturers to an increasingly successful and diverse knowledge-based economy with a growing number of successful small and medium sized businesses. Despite the significant downsizing of Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb, we have seen substantial job growth in the past 30 years – from 414,000 jobs in 1980 to 503,200 in 2010.  The region’s resilience has been driven, in part, by our rich array of colleges and universities.

Today, four out of the top ten private sector employers in New York State are institutions of higher education and healthcare.

The University of Rochester continues to grow.  Our aggregate direct full-time equivalent employment has increased from 17,926 in 2006 to 20,340 at year end 2011.

This growth has fortified our position as the seventh largest private employer in New York State and the largest higher education and health care provider.

In its 2012 study of the Economic Impact of the University of Rochester, the independent Center for Governmental Research (CGR) described our University as “a vital cornerstone in our region’s economic health.  Bucking the trends observed by most firms and institutions during the recent national recession, the University has continued to add jobs and research capacity that position it for present and future impact locally, regionally and nationally.  Our region’s scorecard for innovation potential ranks us ahead of New York and the nation and it is significantly related to the University and its cutting edge research.”

Specifically, summing up selected economic contributions of the University to the Rochester regional economy, including both those of direct employment and those of the “spillover” or “local and traded” sector, CGR estimated that our University currently is responsible for a total of 47,000 jobs, approximately 9 percent of total employment in the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area, $716 million in purchased goods and services, $2.4 billion in wages, and $143 million in sales, personal income, and local property taxes.

Through our commitment to innovation, the University has been able to translate laboratory discoveries into new technologies that benefit the public.  Since 1996, 52 companies have been created using University-licensed technologies, of which 37 are still active and 28 are located in New York State. 

In an economy in transition, job creation is vital to our community.  But the role of the University in our community is broader than that.  Our hospitals serve as the ultimate safety net for our community, providing a total of $69 million in uncompensated care in calendar year 2011.  Annually our undergraduate College provides approximately $2 million in scholarships to Rochester City School District students.

Let me offer some specific examples of our role in the community.  On May 3rd, 35 students from The Children’s School of Rochester got a behind-the-scenes opportunity to learn about health care careers in physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, and medicine when they visited the School of Nursing as part of a newly created program called “See What You Can Bee.”  Developed by instructor of clinical nursing, Leann Patel and several nursing students, the program supports the Rochester City School District’s efforts to prepare students for success in college and their careers.

The M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, housed at the University of Rochester since 2007, now under the direction of Kit Miller, has been involved for the past 25 months in trying to reduce community violence through an approach called restorative justice.  Restorative justice focuses on the needs of crime victims as well as the entire community. As part of that effort, this past February the Gandhi Institute began a joint project working with juveniles who commit minor property offenses called Restorative Approaches In Neighborhoods.

Another notable aspect of the University’s leadership in the community has been through the United Way.  George Eastman helped create the predecessor to the current United Way nearly 100 years ago.  Throughout most of Eastman Kodak’s illustrious history, Kodak was the leading donor and community leader in the United Way.  This year, for the first time, University of Rochester support exceeded that of Kodak, although Kodak’s employees and retirees were extraordinary in their continuing commitment to Rochester.





Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of 10 regional economic development councils as part of his plan to transform New York State’s economy and to build a New York for future generations.  The councils, which were drawn from the private sector, local governments, state agencies and academic institutions, were empowered to develop initial five-year regional strategic plans that outlined top priorities and were aligned with state resources and policies.  The 10 councils competed for $200 million in competitive grants and participated in supporting local applications for another $800 million or so in state funding.

On July 26, 2011, Danny Wegman and I were announced as the co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which comprised Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties.

We built on considerable strength.  Our region led the state in job creation, had one of the lowest unemployment rates, and ranked as one of the strongest performing economies in the country.  Local job growth in the private sector was more than double the Upstate New York average and Rochester’s jobless rate was among the lowest of any major United States metropolitan area.

As the national economy recovered from the 2007 recession, upstate New York and Rochester had fared better than other parts of the country.  Rochester in particular had gained national recognition:

• SLIDE 68
The Daily Beast, a source, I must admit, I never quoted before, ranked Rochester among the 10 “smartest cities in America.”

• SLIDE 69
The business site included Rochester as one of the 10 cities in America “poised for greatness” in 2012.

• SLIDE 70
Rochester ranked number 1 on’s “most livable bargain market” 2012 real estate list and real estate website listed Rochester as the “best place to buy a home in the United States.”

• SLIDE 71
In Export Nation 2012, a report from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, Rochester ranked 33rd of the nation's top 100 exporting regions. According to Brookings, the value of all the Rochester region's exports in 2010 was $8.1 billion. 

Our region’s strategic goal was to accelerate our transformation to a knowledge-based economy, by outperforming the nation in job growth, retention, creation of new companies, and the formation of minority- and women-owned businesses.

As a region, the plan sought to enhance the quality of jobs created in the region, improve access to low-cost, high-quality healthcare, make this one of the healthiest places in the nation, and increase attendance in and revenue from cultural and recreational activities.

Over the next five years, the Finger Lakes strategic plan intends to leverage its strategic advantages in academic research, workforce talent, and high quality of life to become a nationally recognized leader and innovator in next-generation technologies in energy innovation, medicine, optics and imaging, business services, telecommunication, and food processing.  It will also strive to harness its natural resources, cultural institutions, and vineyards to become one of the state’s leading tourist destinations.

The Council identified 10 priority projects that it recommended for immediate state support.  If fully implemented, these priority projects and additional applications for Excelsior Tax Credits would create more than 7,000 new jobs and add $1 billion to the Finger Lakes regional economy.

The Council considered the maintenance and expansion of Eastman Business Park its top regional priority.  Eastman Business Park is one of the Finger Lakes region’s most important industrial development sites, a veritable “city within a city.”  With the fate of Eastman Kodak uncertain when we drafted our report, we all were aware that there were 4,000 jobs at the Park, including 2,000 in non-Kodak businesses, which potentially could be lost if there were not a sustainable plan for it that addressed all contingencies.  Originally built to house the R&D, manufacturing, and logistical operations of Kodak, the Eastman Business Park encompasses:

• 30 companies located there after more than $200 million in investments and upgrades;
• 1,200 acres;
• over 100 buildings;
• more than 2.5 million square feet of available office, manufacturing, laboratory, clean room, and warehouse space;
• water processing and wastewater treatment plants;
• a 120-megawatt power plant providing electricity, steam, and chilled water;
• 17 miles of railroad track;
• 24-hour fire and safety services;
• Conference facilities and other business services; and
• 100 acres of land suitable for development.

If and when Eastman Business Park makes the transition to a new and stable developer, we have the potential in our region to house one of the nation’s leading incubation centers for new business, likely in cutting edge areas such as alternative energy and 21st century health care.

As a step in that direction, the State funded one of the Council’s priority projects for Eastman Business Park, the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST), which consists of more than 80 members, including industry leaders such as General Electric, BAE Systems, and General Motors, numerous start-ups from across New York State, as well as the state’s leading research universities.  The creation of the NY-BEST Commercialization Center

at Eastman Business Park will provide critical testing and manufacturing facilities necessary to develop the next generation of fuel cells, which could make NYS the international leader in the development and manufacturing of advanced energy storage solutions.

A second priority of the Council was the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute for Technology, which will position New York State in the vanguard of initiatives for sustainable energy and green technology.  The Institute to date has raised 40 percent of its total project cost of $107 million and will serve as a platform for universities, corporations, and governments around the globe to collaborate in the creation of innovative education and technology development systems related to sustainable design, life-cycle engineering, remanufacturing, and pollution prevention.

          Phase I construction of the Golisano Institute is under way and will be ready for occupancy by fall 2012.  The Golisano Institute earlier had received funding from the State, but not in this round.  It likely will again be endorsed by the Council for funding in the second year of funding.

A third priority was to support the University of Rochester and IBM in the agreement to partner to create a $100 million Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, which will be the most powerful computer system dedicated to health research in the world.  This partnership has already attracted as much as $84 million in new research funding and more than 500 University scientists have used the existing supercomputer that IBM gifted to the University in 2008, which is in such demand that researchers have to wait two to three months to access it.

          It is anticipated that the Health Sciences Center will stimulate regional economic activity in the life sciences by generating innovative technologies that can be spun off into commercial ventures and make the region attractive for relocation of existing companies. It will also strengthen and potentially expand existing research partnerships the university has with industry leaders such as CareStream, Bausch & Lomb, Siemens, Samsung, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and many others.

          The University will be one of the first academic institutions in the nation to receive the next generation of IBM’s high performance supercomputers, the Blue Gene/Q, which is one of most powerful and efficient computer systems in the world.  As I explained earlier, the State did provide initial funding for this project.

The recently enacted 2012-2013 New York State budget includes $220 million for a second competitive round of regional economic development.  In addition the Council will play a role in reviewing local projects for application for $530 million in State agency funds. 

In our second year, the Fingers Lakes Regional Economic Council will focus on how most effectively to implement our strategic plan.   We also will review and modify as appropriate our list of priority projects and create a pipeline to identify future projects.

          In April the Council reaffirmed its commitment to Eastman Business Park as our region’s highest priority and many of us will continue to work with state government on evolving plans to repurpose the Park to take advantage of its extraordinary capabilities.


There is a familiar intellectual puzzle.  Is the glass half empty or half full?  Our region is like that.  We have experienced a painful economic transition and are now beginning to enjoy the first years of an economic revitalization.  We are fortunate in Rochester and our community more broadly to have amazingly resilient and determined people.  We do not fail.  We adjust.  We do not despair.  We buckle down.  We do not decline.  We reinvent.

Let me repeat the most optimistic toast I have ever heard, may our future have as many troubles as there are drops in this glass.

And let me add one more toast.  A few days ago it was announced that our very talented Provost, Ralph Kuncl, would be the new President of the University of Redlands.  Ralph has made extraordinary contributions here in both the academic and research sides of our University including leadership of the IBM partnership I earlier discussed.  Ralph also was responsible for what may be the best University mission statement ever written, Learn Discover Heal Create―And Make The World Ever Better.  I know he will make Redlands ever better too.  Here is a toast to Ralph.  Meliora.