The Vision for Harpur College
Supporting World-Class Faculty
The interaction among bright, highly motivated, creative students and top faculty is the heart of a Harpur education. Since its inception, Harpur has recruited world-class faculty, a tradition that continues today. Because we attract such outstanding scholar-teachers, we often face competition for our faculty from other institutions — many of which have far greater resources than Binghamton. If we are to sustain Harpur’s tradition of excellence, we must find the additional resources to enable us to recognize and support our faculty and keep them here.
To do so, we seek to add substantially to the Jean-Pierre Mileur Faculty Development Fund for Harpur College, a non-endowed pool of money we use to provide faculty with the resources necessary to support their teaching and scholarship as well as to develop packages to prevent competing institutions from luring away star faculty members.
To augment the Faculty Development Fund, we also seek to establish endowed funds that would allow departments and programs to support the work of their faculty and students and also to sponsor speakers, conferences, visiting scholars and artists — things that enrich the intellectual life of Harpur.
The caliber of students in Harpur College is impressive. They have high SAT scores; most were in the top ten percent of their high school classes. But they have much more: curiosity, boundless ambition, a strong work ethic and a love for learning.
To ensure that these students are able to stretch themselves and make the most of their gifts and talents, we seek support to enrich the Harpur student experience. We hope to expand the Harpur Fellows program, which offers competitive fellowships to students to support self-designed projects that will enable them to pursue a passionate interest. Designing and conducting these projects will contribute to students’ personal and intellectual growth in ways that go well beyond traditional academic programs.
Many of our undergraduate students participate in experiential learning opportunities such as independent research, shadowing programs, internships, and competitions such as speech and debate and mock trial. Additional funding will help us open these transformative experiences to more undergraduate students.
Because graduate education is a central part of Harpur, we seek support for graduate student travel, research and speaker series. Such investments will ensure that the outstanding graduate students who come to Harpur are prepared to compete with those earning advanced degrees from the most distinguished universities here and abroad.
Academic programs are communities of scholars and students where knowledge is created and learning takes place. Creating and sustaining strong, contemporary academic programs is vital to the future of Harpur and its students and faculty.
To build on Harpur’s tradition of excellence in the humanities and ensure that the insights of current scholarship in the humanities continues to inform the curriculum, we launched a new interdisciplinary center, the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, in 2009. The institute will promote interdisciplinary collaboration, support faculty and student research; sponsor speakers, conferences and visiting scholars; and partner with community organizations to develop programs for the public. The University is providing seed funding to launch the institute, but we must raise support from friends, alumni and foundations to make it self-sustaining.
Recognizing the pivotal role of Asia in the 21st century, Harpur recently created a Department of Asian and Asian American Studies. Highly interdisciplinary and innovative in design, the department supports teaching and research that contribute to better understanding Asia and the Asian diaspora. While the department has been highly successful in attracting significant financial support from foundations, private giving will enable us to support scholarship and programs that will help it take its place among the most influential centers of Asian Studies in the nation.
Points of Pride
- Harpur students and faculty are making significant contributions to the study of such topics as Parkinson’s, the effects of alcohol on the brain, Islamic law and politics, water quality, historical trends in American families, biofilms, cancer, civil wars, biosensors, autism and peacekeeping.
- Harpur is home to the Binghamton University speech and debate team, which has consistently ranked among the best in the nation.