The View from Here

with President Darren Reisberg

President Reisberg laughs with students

It is with a mixture of emotions that I write this, my final “View from Here” letter to the Hartwick community. As many of you know, I will be transitioning to a new position as senior counselor to the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University at the end of the fall semester. This decision was not made lightly and while the change will mark the beginning of a new chapter in my career, it also means saying goodbye to a place and community that has meant so much to me.

Hartwick College has been more than a workplace; it has been my home, and you all have been my extended family. It is with deep gratitude and a sense of pride that I look back on our collective accomplishments during my tenure here. Hartwick College has grown and evolved in remarkable ways, and the progress we have made together is a testament to the dedication, hard work and unwavering support of our community – both on campus and beyond. 

One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is the significant increase in new enrollment by nearly 10% year-over-year. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to providing a top-tier education and the growing recognition of Hartwick as a destination for outstanding academics.

We also took bold steps to meet the ever-changing needs of our students by introducing five new majors and six new minors in high-demand areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing, game development, sports management, and web design. Enrollment in these programs has already exceeded our expectations and showcases our agility in adapting to the evolving demands of the job market.

Our athletics programs have soared to new heights, with nearly every team making it to the Empire 8 2022-23 postseason, and that success has carried forward into and through the Fall 2023 season. The dedication of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff has brought a renewed sense of pride to Hartwick College.

We successfully resumed January term – or J Term – offering life-enhancing experiences outside the U.S., enabling our students to broaden their horizons and develop a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity.

The College has also strengthened its relationship with the region through the HartLand Promise, a program that makes the Hawk experience more accessible and affordable to students from Otsego and its seven contiguous counties – and, more recently, adding Onondaga.

Through one of the various partnerships with SUNY Oneonta, we developed the One-Hart program to allow for a pipeline of nursing students into Hartwick’s storied School of Nursing. And then, from that strong foundation, we worked closely with the Bassett Healthcare Network to develop the Bassett CARES program. The initiative provides career development opportunities and loan forgiveness for students interested in a wide range of careers within the Bassett system, further enhancing the impact of a Hartwick education on the health and well-being of our community.

I am also proud of the initiatives we undertook to engage our students and faculty with government leaders at the local, state, national, and global levels. The Institute for Public Service and the Diplomacy Lab have broadened our students’ horizons and empowered them to be active citizens.

Our commitment to philanthropy has been unwavering, raising over $7 million in philanthropic support from corporations, foundations and government sources. These funds have allowed us to invest in campus vibrancy, improve infrastructure, provide student scholarships, and enhance academic programs.

While I take great pride in these achievements, I am also confident that Interim President James Mullen, a seasoned and visionary academic leader, will guide Hartwick College toward an even more promising future. Jim brings 21 years as a college and university president and over 30 years of experience in leadership positions in public and private higher education to this role. He served for 11 years as the President of Allegheny College, as well as the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville and the President of the College of our Lady of the Elms. Most recently, he served as Transitional President of Saint John’s University. 

Jim steps into his interim role, already intimately familiar with Hartwick’s mission, having served in 2019 as the external liaison in the College’s successful re-accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. I am confident that, under his stewardship, Hartwick College will strive to meet the evolving needs of our students and the world they will shape.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your support, dedication, and shared commitment to the mission of Hartwick College. My time at Hartwick has been an honor and a privilege, and I am grateful to have been part of this extraordinary community.


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