Dr. Havidán Rodríguez
President, State University of New York at Albany
Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was named the 20th President of the University of Albany by the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees on June 21, 2017, effective mid-September 2017. He is the first Latino/Hispanic President of any of the four-year campuses in the SUNY system. Prior to this position, Dr. Rodríguez served as Founding Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
Before UTRGV, Dr. Rodríguez served as President, ad Interim, at The University of Texas – Pan American (the institution’s final leader); Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at UTPA; and Deputy Provost as well as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & International Programs, and Professor, at the University of Delaware. He was also a core faculty member and former director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. Dr. Rodríguez held faculty positions and several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) for over a decade, and served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association (1995-1998). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan’s Population Fellow’s Program (Summers, 2001-2003). He earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Rodríguez has received numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career, including: the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Spring 2002); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Outstanding Achievement Award (2004); being honored as one of the Hispanics of the Year in the State of Delaware, for which he received the Professional Achievement Award (2007); the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015); being the featured cover story of the national publication, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education (June 2015); being highlighted in the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (September 2015); the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity; and Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award, by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine (2017).
Dr. Rodríguez has served on a number of committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ford Foundation. He was also the Chair of the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Dr. Rodríguez has received funding from NSF, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the UPRM Sea Grant Program, among others, for a number of research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and for projects aimed at providing hands-on research training and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students. He has also been the principal investigator for the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers; and the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty (particularly Latinas) in STEM fields.
Dr. Rodríguez has led and participated in a number of field research projects, including trips to Honduras, following Hurricane Mitch; India and Sri Lanka, following the Indian Ocean Tsunami; and the Gulf Coast, following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Rodríguez has a significant number of publications in the area of disasters, as well as Latinos/as in the United States. He is co-editor (with Quarantelli and Dynes) of the Handbook of Disaster Research (2006); co-editor (with Sáenz and Menjívar) of Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América (2008); and co-author (with Mora and Dávila) of Population, Migration, and Socioeconomic Outcomes among Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans: La Crisis Boricua (2017).
His role in community engagement and service to the community at the local, regional, and national levels has been extensive. He has served on numerous community, professional, and university boards, organizations, and committees.