Utica College

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Utica College (SEE ALSO SUNYIT)

(April 3, 1962, Utica Daily Press) – “U.C.-MVTI Merger Suggested in Report – State Survey Calls It 1 of 5 Ways to Pare Student Costs – (by William Ringle, Press Albany Bureau) – Merger of Utica College and Mohawk Valley Technical Institute is one of five ways Oneida County might meet its need for low-cost higher education, a report to Assemblyman William S. Calli suggests.
The report notes that although the Mohawk Valley is below the state’s average in ‘economic status,’ a college education is of ‘relatively high cost’ in the area.
Existing colleges will fall short in the next eight to 13 years of meeting the county’s needs for low-cost college education, says the document.
Labeled ‘for informational purposes only,’ its title page cautions that it ‘does not reflect official policy of either the Board of Regents, the State Education Department or the State University.’
It was prepared at Calli’s request by Philip A. Cowen, director of the State Education Department’s Division of Research in Higher Education. ….
Planning for Utica College may be adequate to meet the number of students expected, ‘but the cost is almost prohibitive,’ says the report. U.C.’s tuition is now $900 yearly.
MVTI facilities ‘as projected to 1970 are inadequate to meet the need,’ the appraisal adds. Besides, MVTI is a two-year college.
The report deals with Hamilton College in comparative brevity. It notes that it draws ‘few students’ from the local area and has a $1,300 tuition.
Both it and MVTI (with a $300 tuition) are operating at capacity, while Utica College – with more than 90 per cent of its students from the area – is running at slightly more than half, the report notes.
It suggests these alternatives be considered and comments on the advantages of each:
1- Maintain present arrangements. ‘This would have the disadvantage of continuing the relatively high costs to students in the fields of study offered by Utica College.’
2- Shift all programs of the first two years to MVTI and use U.C. as a private third and fourth year college, with a master’s degree as well. This would reduce tuition to $300 during each of the first two years. ‘A disadvantage would be in the high cost to upper division students.’
3- Merge MVTI and U.C. into a four-year community college. This would be the first of its kind. It would reduce tuition and achieve economies in a single administration, but the expense to Oneida County would increase ‘as a result of supporting Utica College as well as MVTI’ under the community college formula.
4- Place all of the first two year programs in MVTI and convert U.C. to an upper division of the State University, with a master’s program. This would reduce the cost to students, but increase the cost to Oneida County and the state.
5- Continue MVTI as a community college with a program chiefly winding up in two years; convert Utica College to a state-operated 3-year unit with a master’s degree program. This would reduce the cost to students, increase the state budget and probably not raise the cost to Oneida County. ….”

(April 4, 1962, Utica Newspapers) – “President Blasts Merger Proposal – Hubbard Calls It Erroneous; Allen Says Student Cost Low – Parts of the state education report suggesting the merger of Utica College and Mohawk Valley Technical Institute were labeled erroneous, incompetent and inaccurate last night by Moses G. Hubbard, president of the board of directors of the Utica College Foundation.
‘We of Utica College and the Utica College Foundation are shocked that a wholly unsanctioned, private and totally unofficial report, which suggests a fantastic merger between MVTI, a tax supported institution, and Utica College, a privately supported institution of higher education, has been called to public attention,’ Hubbard said.
His statement fortified a previous one from Utica College Dean James Harrison expressing ‘surprise and shock’ that a state report on higher education in Oneida County was made without thorough consultation with his college.
Also commenting on the report, which did not reflect official policy, were State Education Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr., and Albert V. Payne, MVTI president.
The merger of the two institutions was one of five possibilities suggested by the newly established Division of Research in Higher Education in its informational report to Assemblyman William S. Calli.
Calli requested the report to analyze the needs for low-cost higher education in Oneida County.
At the times of its publication yesterday, neither Utica College nor MVTI officials had received a copy. Calli said he intended to distribute copies within a day or two.
Calli also said he intended to ask the research division for a local survey….
Hubbard asserted that the report ‘contains glaring errors of fact, and bases its suggestions on incompetent and inaccurate factual background, which could have readily been corrected in advance.’
He disagreed with the particular statement that described Utica College’s $900 annual tuition as ‘almost prohibitive.’
‘On the contrary, as the thousands of students from this area will testify, the college’s tuition charges are from $400 to $600 less than those of comparable, privately owned colleges,’ he said, adding:
‘More than 90 per cent of our students reside at home, limiting the cost of their education to tuition and books. We have abundant night school courses so that our students can work during the day. We award many scholarships to students with limited finances.’
Hubbard said the number of Mohawk Valley high school graduates attending college had become tops in the state since the establishment of UC 15 years ago, testifying to the educational opportunities which has been offered to them.’
He pointed out that UC did not lack in specialized courses and that it was one of the few colleges in the nation operating continuously in the black while at the same time ‘maintaining a faculty second to none.’
The report noted that UC was operating ‘at slightly more than half of its capacity.’
‘This indicates a glaring lack of information on the subject,’ Hubbard countered.
‘We have practically as many students as we can crowd into the college and still operate on a split campus basis,’ he added.
Hubbard explained that funds were not available to build a new science hall, and consequently science students were crowded into the former Francis Street School. This is a grave handicap to science majors and will be promptly rectified, he said.
Hubbard asked:
‘If anyone feels that it would be to the best interests of the educational needs of this area to merge private colleges with MVTI, to be supported at public expense, why does he not include Hamilton College and Colgate University in his suggestion for a merger?’ (The report dealt with Hamilton College in comparative brevity.)
‘This unapproved report dramatizes to those interested in individual freedom the dangers inherent in a state-supported system of higher education,’ Hubbard declared.
He admitted that the college’s physical facilities were ‘still greatly inadequate’ to take care of the increasing number of students, but said this defect would be remedied when financial support made buildings and equipment possible on one campus.
Dean Harrison said that further studies should not be made behind the backs of the institutions concerned.
‘We should like at least to be consulted, if only to prevent the publication of any more misconceptions and erroneous statements about Utica College,’ he said.
Previously Dean Harrison pointed out that ‘Utica College has always been receptive to any suggestions that would help higher education in the area.’
‘The most recent proof of this,’ he recalled, ‘was given last January when Utica College offered to donate its entire assets to the State University when the possibility arose of locating an upstate branch in Utica.’
‘We would like to have the opportunity to examine the report in order to consider any constructive proposals in it,’ Dean Harrison said.
The board of trustees and the administration of MVTI also will give the report careful study, according to Payne.
‘Meeting the projects needs of the Mohawk Valley for collegiate opportunities will require communal and educational statesmanship,’ he said, ‘and MVTI is ready to participate in any and all cooperative studies and discussions toward that end.’
Meanwhile, Commissioner Allen apparently does not agree with portions of the report made by a sub-division of his own department.
In a statement last night, he said :
‘In my opinion, the cost of attending Utica Colleges is not prohibitive. Indeed, the present tuition is well below the average charged by private colleges in the state.’
Commissioner Allen also urged ‘all citizens to support Utica College in its plans for expansion.’
He said the report contained information bearing upon current and projected enrollment in Oneida County, as well as conclusions, and emphasized that it did not represent the official position of the State Board of Regents or the Education Department.
Simultaneous with the merger suggestion was a letter from the office of Governor Rockefeller to Hubbard, stating, in part:
‘There is no question about the very real service performed by Utica College. The Governor was impressed with the initiative and enthusiasm which has sparked its progress in the years it has been established.’
Calli, when asked to comment on the comments, said he did not believe Utica College had any more right to see the report first than did anyone else in the community.
‘The merger was only one of five suggested and received no more prominence in the report than the other four,’ he said, adding:
‘I am not saying this is the avenue we should use, but it should be discussed, along with the others.’
He explained:
‘The Division of Higher Education Planning was instituted by statute in the 1961 Legislature. It is a division of a department whose job is to appraise the educational facilities of a community and give professional advice.’
‘The department is new and its sole purpose is to determine higher educational needs and facilities. That’s why I asked for a study and report.’
‘This ought to lead to a full community discussion with the end in view of having a definite program for higher education at low cost.’
‘This is the proper avenue to take. Along the path there will be a few thorns, but we have to have a blueprint. A study is in the best interests of the community.’
‘It should be remembered that these are not my plans, or thoughts, but were contained in a report to me,’ he said.

(Utica Daily Press –April 5, 1962)

“S.U. Official says Merger of U.C., MVTI ‘Impossible’ ”

“The Chancellor of Syracuse University said last night that a merger of Utica College and Mohawk Valley Technical Institute was ‘ …improbable …and impossible.’
Dr. William P. Tolley said, however, ‘such a move may be entirely possible in 25 years when the roles of the institutions change.’
Utica College is a branch of Syracuse University.
Tolley was here to address 250 business and industrial leaders who were told that Utica College would launch another fundraising campaign.
‘A merger at this time would weaken both schools,’ Tolley said. ‘The two schools now serve separate functions and two separate clienteles. There are good possibilities of cooperation between institutions of higher learning in the future, but they are impossible now. ‘
Tolley made the statement in reply to a recent state report which said the merger was one of five ways Oneida County could provide low-cost higher education. ….
Assemblyman William S. Calli said yesterday that the merger was not his idea. Calli emphasized that the report was made by the State Education Department’s newly established division of research in higher education.
Previous to this, Moses G. Hubbard, president of the board of directors of the Utica College Foundation, called the report ‘wholly unsanctioned, private and totally unofficial.” The merger idea was ‘fantastic,’ he said.”


(10-22-63, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “MVCC Weighs Liberal Arts Program - …Payne, and MVCC trustees, don’t come right out and say they’d like to have a liberal arts program. But more than a page of the most recent annual report are devoted to the question.
The annual report said the issue of liberal arts is ‘perhaps the most important question before the trustees and sponsors.’ It noted that the state had recommended liberal arts programs for all the public two-year colleges (except the Fashion Institute of Technology).
Locally, there had been some feeling that liberal arts courses at MVCC would duplicate, or compete with, Utica College. Without mentioning Utica College, the MVCC report said:
‘Many school officials, students and parents believe strongly that low-cost liberal education should be made available at MVCC. Others point to the existence of such opportunities in the private colleges of the area, and believe that these institutions are meeting the needs….’
So far, the issue has been handled this way: The board of trustees asked the MVCC staff to survey high school juniors, counselors and principals on their opinion on whether liberal arts are needed at MVCC. Survey results are being studied by the trustees.”

(Utica Observer-Dispatch, 9/9/68)

“MVCC Has Fears over ‘State-U.C.’ ”
“The chairman of the board of trustees of Mohawk Valley Community College expressed the feat today that a state-operated, four-year Utica College might relegate MVCC to the status of a ‘second-class institution.’
Thomas S. Kernan, a Utica attorney, expressed his concern in a letter to Dr. Sebastian V. Martorana, the State University of New York’s dean of two-year colleges.
Kernan said state take-over of Utica College’s four-year program would jeopardize MVCC’s student transfer program or force MVCC to lower its academic standards.
The contents of the letter, dated July 2, were made public today. Kernan said his letter reflected his fellow trustees’ criticism of moves to transfer Utica College to the state university.
However, Kernan said MVCC does not object to locating an upper-division college at Utica College.
About seven weeks after the letter was written, Utica College’s Foundation Board approved transferring Utica College to the state university, a move that culminated years of growing public pressure.
In his letter, Kernan said, ‘…were Utica College (under whatever name) to become a unit of the State University and continue as a four-year college, it seems logical to suppose that most students desiring a four-year college education would prefer to attend that college all four years, rather than attend Mohawk Valley two years and then transfer, costs being equal.’
‘This,’ the letter continued, ‘would denude our transfer programs of students or force us to lower standards substantially. The latter in turn would both jeopardize the ability of our students to transfer and have a deleterious effect on the general education programs offered our career students.’
Shortly after UC’s Foundation Board approved the merger, Dr. Donald Gavagan, chairman of the Herkimer County Community College board of trustees, said the trustees ‘strongly opposed’ plans to retain UC’s first two years of undergraduate study.
The upper-division college was proposed by the State University to offer the area third and fourth year undergraduate programs, plus a fifth year of graduate study.
The Foundation Board’s plans call for merging Utica College with the state as a five-year college, thus retaining UC’s four-year status with an additional fifth year for graduate work.
The letter continued, ‘We are, however, concerned with the proposal to bring Utica College into the State University as a four-year unit rather than as an upper-division college. In this connection, we cannot agree with the argument, apparently advanced by proponents of the idea, that the needs of students in our area could not be met unless Utica College, if taken over by the State University, were to continue as a four-year college’
‘We feel that our college and other nearby colleges could meet the needs of those students in our area who do not prefer to attend private colleges.’
‘We have not lost sight,’ the letter said, ‘of our primary reason for existence – to provide two years of post high school education to students who wish further education but who, for one reason or another, feel they cannot, or do not wish to, acquire a four-year college education.’
‘We mean to continue the high quality of our present career programs and to develop others whenever needs shall justify them. But we do not want to become ‘second class’ in any respect. This would, we believe, have an adverse effect on the morale of our present faculty and make it difficult to recruit competent faculty in the future.’ ”

(Utica Observer-Dispatch, 9/11/68)
“2-Year Colleges Facing No Threat, State U. Declares”
“State University Chancellor Samuel B. Gould said yesterday that proposed State University takeover of Utica College posed no threat to the Utica area’s two community colleges.
Dr. Gould made the comment from his Albany office in response to criticism by Mohawk Valley Community College of plans to transfer Utica College to the State University as a four or five-year school.
‘They’re getting a little worked up before they need to be,’ Dr. Gould said.
In a letter made public Monday, MVCC Board Chairman Thomas S. Kernan expressed the fear that the two-year college might be reduced to the status of a ‘second class’ institution if Utica College went state as a four-year college.
He said he move could peril MVCC’s transfer program, whereby some MVCC graduates move on to four-year colleges. Or, he said, it could force MVCC to lower its academic standards.
Similar fears have been voiced by representatives of Herkimer County Community College.
Dr. Gould said he and other State University officials conferred with MVCC representatives before Kernan wrote the letter on July 2. ‘I assured them we would give them every consideration,” Dr. Gould said.
About seven weeks after the letter was written, Utica College’s Foundation Board voted to approve merging Utica College with the State University as a five-year institution.
Kernan said MVCC’s objection was to state take-over of the lower two years of Utica College, not the third, fourth and fifth-year levels.
He said students might prefer to go directly to Utica College all four years rather than attending MVCC for two years and completing the remaining two at Utica College, if it were a State University unit.
According to MVCC statistics, 130 of its 471 graduates last year have transferred to four-year colleges, or about 28 per cent.
Dr. Gould said the community colleges were objecting too early because ‘we haven’t even had a meeting with Utica College people to discuss specifics including what the lower division would be.
‘It seems to me,” Dr. Gould said, ‘they (the community colleges) have an area in which great numbers of students are available. Their responsibility is quite clear; they have a great deal of work ahead.’
‘I see no threat,’ Dr. Gould continued. ‘We’re trying to do what’s best for the Utica area and Oneida County as a whole.”

(Utica Observer-Dispatch, 3/2/69)
“Utica Leaders Open Fire on Tolley and SUNY Trustees”
“Two Utica political leaders yesterday opened fire on Syracuse University Chancellor William P. Tolley and the trustees of the State University for the decision not to include Utica College in the public system.
The board on Wednesday said UC would be ‘incompatible’ with the State University system.
Assemblyman John T. Buckley (R-Utica) in a statement released yesterday called this reasoning “flimsy beyond belief, and seems to be a recent fabrication.”
Mayor Dominick Assaro called on Tolley for an explanation of his role in the decision by the trustees. Assaro charged Tolley was “one of the prime causes of the State’s rejection of a merger with Utica College.”
Buckley argued at length yesterday that the State should have absorbed the local institution for both financial and educational reasons.
The State University Master Plan, he explained, called for a school in this area giving ‘emphasis on’ engineering and teaching.
‘It does not describe an engineering school. Today few technical schools are without liberal arts. There is a realization that engineers and technicians must communicate to be really effective. For that reason, many engineering courses have extended from four to five years to supply liberal arts advantages.’
Buckley held that UC’s background in the liberal arts would lend itself to the inclusion of en engineering curriculum of this sort.
Financially speaking, Buckley despaired that ‘it is beyond me how the university of a state in financial difficulty could afford to turn down $17 million worth of campus and equipment which it could have obtained for $6 million, most of which amounted to self-amortizing mortgages.’ To build a comparable facility from scratch, he said, would cost much more.
Referring to the Development Document of 1968 set forth by the State University, Buckley contended that the state, had it gone through with the merger, could have enrolled 1,000 students before the projected 1975-76 school year.
Plans in the document called for no students before the 1971-72 year in the upper division college sought in this area.
‘Now that the state is one year behind schedule since the release of these figures, I assume that we will have to wait eight full years for these 1,000 students,’ Buckley said.
He added that he could not understand ‘how the concept of merger remained compatible for the past year… and suddenly became incompatible last week. Why did they lead us on?’
He observed that the college has made adjustments in view of the prospective merger – reducing the number of incoming freshmen at SUNY’s request, delaying building a new gymnasium under a huge federal grant then available, and delaying taking bids for new dormitories, the cost of which has since risen.
He concluded that the local college is suffering from competition from Mohawk Valley Community College for night students, and an additional state facility in the area would be more damaging.
Meanwhile, Mayor Assaro declared that ‘it’s time for all those concerned to tell the people of Utica exactly what role Chancellor Tolley played in the merger talks, what role the Syracuse University administration played and what demands were made upon the state for freeing Utica College from Syracuse University.’

(Feb 26, 1975, letter from Russel C. Fielding, MVCC Board Chairman, to Dr. Ronald Goldson, Chairman of the Utica College Foundation) –
“Over the past several months, this Board of Trustees has followed with great interest and sympathy the discussions between the State University of New York, Syracuse University and Utica College.
With respect to the Upper Division College, our position is very clear. We strongly support the fullest possible development of the Upper Division College, both in order to provide transfer programs specially designed for two-year college graduates and also to provide for commuter students at the upper division and graduate levels in this region, which is seriously short of these necessary opportunities. We look forward with confidence to the approval by the various authorities of those programs which in our view, are essential to the mission of the Upper Division College, as originally conceived; that is, specialized programs in engineering, engineering technology, science and other specialized areas related to existing two-year college programs .
With respect to Utica College and its future, we have felt that it would be inappropriate for us to intrude into what we know are very delicate discussions on a most complex problem.
However, we now believe that we would be derelict in our duty as Trustees were we not to draw attention to an aspect of these negotiations which could have a most serious affect on this College, as well as Herkimer County Community College. We refer to the possibility that the freshman and sophomore years of Utica College, might, as a condition of the possible merger, be continued under the aegis of the Upper Division College.
MVCC’s academic standards are well-documented, and the College enjoys a good reputation both in transfer programs and in career programs. Nonetheless, it seems to us very clear that the existence of a low-tuition, four-year state college in Utica would have a very serious impact on our programs. The impact would not only be on liberal arts-related programs, but also on many of our career programs.
The magnitude of such an impact is difficult to estimate, but it would affect most aspects of our operation. The loss of what could be a substantial proportion of local students to a four-year state college could cause a sharp increase in MVCC’s per capita costs to the County of Oneida, especially when compared with the remarkably low operating costs that MVCC has established over the past decades. Any reduction in enrollment would of course have an urgent bearing on the development of physical facilities. The College’s ability to contribute to the retirement of county debt for existing facilities could be damaged. The MVCC Dormitory Corporation could also expect an impact, since many dormitory residents come from outlying parts of our county and region. And of course, any reduction in enrollment could have a direct affect on employment of faculty, administrative and supporting staff.
We do not wish to complicate what is already a most difficult problem. We support the Upper Division fully, and we wish Utica College well, as a distinctive and important part of the higher educational scene in this region. But we must remind all concerned that Mohawk Valley Community College, having built a reputation for service and standards over a history that goes back to 1946, now graduating over 1300 certificate and degree students each year, and with costs that are among the lowest in the State, could be seriously affected if the State University now establishes, by any means, additional public supported freshman and sophomore courses in Utica.”

(Observer-Dispatch, Oct. 3, 1978) – “College Presidents Concerned: Merger Proposal Opposed– The presidents of the area’s two community colleges today expressed opposition to any proposal for a merger of Utica College and the State University College of Technology at Utica-Rome that would create a new four-year college offering competing lower level courses in business, career social sciences and the liberal arts.
Dr. George Robertson, president of Mohawk Valley Community College, said such an institution would draw much of its enrollment from the local area, where the student population is expected to be shrinking during the 1980s because of a declining birthrate, a jeopardize the future of the two-year community colleges.
‘There will definitely be an adverse effect,’ he said, ‘but the situation is too complicated now to predict how large that effect will be. We’ve been approached and briefed to some extent by SUNY officials, but all we really know about how the merger talks are going is what we read in the newspapers.’
Technical courses in the first and second year levels form the educational backbone of the two community colleges, Robertson noted, and so far there has been no suggestions that a new four-year technical college in the area offer them as well.
Robert McLaughlin, president of Herkimer County Community College, said the sore point would arise in any attempt to provide additional courses in business, career social sciences and the liberal arts at the first and second year levels.
‘There would be no need for this kind of duplication,’ McLaughlin said, ‘when MVCC and HCCC are now meeting the needs of area students in these areas.’
Robertson added, ‘It would be very difficult to justify offering such similar services in colleges that are all publicly supported.’
Both, however, had no objection to an upper division college solely – third and fourth years – offering a comprehensive curriculum by, in effect, simply adding on Utica College offerings at those levels….
After abandoning a co-location concept involving Utica College and SUNY College of Technology at Utica-Rome, talks between the SUNY Board of Trustees and officials of UC and Syracuse University, the parent institution, turned to the notion of a merger, but no details have been made public.”

(Rome Daily Sentinel, Oct. 7, 1978)- “MVCC trustees want say – The Mohawk Valley Community College Board of Trustees believe that a takeover of Utica College by the State University College of Technology at Utica-Rome would hurt enrollment and increase costs at MVCC.
Stuart MacMackin, board chairman, wrote to SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Donald Blinken that MVCC wants a say in the current merger talks between the state university system and Utica College, which is privately funded.
MacMackin said the MVCC trustees were concerned that if SUNY takes over the first two years of Utica College’s programs, students would be less likely to enroll at MVCC, which also is a two-year, state-supported school.
‘It would be unfortunate if ‘merger’ is simply a euphemism for the preservation of a private-supported college, at considerable expense to the taxpayer and existing public two-year institutions,’ MacMackin said.
‘We are also disturbed,’ MacMackin said, ‘by newspaper reports that the long-planned and much-delayed MVCC building, having been approved for inclusion in the state’s supplemental budget only this week, may not be built because of the proposed SUNY-Utica College merger.’
‘We therefore urge that if merger is necessary, then it should take a form that not involve a public university takeover of the first two year’s of Utica College’s programs,’ he said. ‘Should such a takeover nonetheless be necessary, then we urge that representatives of this college participate in the merger discussions, to the extent that these discussions will necessarily bear on the provisions of low-tuition, low-cost college opportunities in this community,’ MacMackin said.
MacMackin also noted that a four-year SUNY college on the campus of Utica College would have a serious adverse impact on MVCC, which is only a few miles away.’