July 15, 2019

Dear Maritime College Alumni and Friends,

July 14, marked my 5th anniversary as President of SUNY Maritime College.  I am humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received, beginning on day one, from every corner of the Maritime community – starting with the outstanding faculty and staff on campus, as well as the alumni, industry partners, and friends around the globe.  I am also proud of how much we have all been able to accomplish.  Today, I look to the future with great excitement and anticipation about all we can continue to do together to improve the programs, the student experience, and the level of industry engagement as we draw closer to the 150th anniversary of Maritime College in 2024.

I have spoken at several international and national maritime conferences about how technology and globalization are driving the greatest changes in the maritime industry since the shift from sails to steam.  Disruptors such as digitization and data analytics; systems integration and automation; cyber risks and resiliency; e-commerce; new technologies; and environmental regulations are driving dramatic changes across all industries, including the maritime industry. 

As outlined in our strategic plan, our future and relevancy depend on modernizing Maritime College.

We need to modernize our programs to be more agile and to anticipate industry needs.  It is essential for our students to acquire the skills necessary including leadership, flexibility, and resiliency to prepare for industry changes throughout their careers.  In addition, I envision infusing digital technologies, with an emphasis on data-informed decision making, across all programs.

We will continue to develop close partnerships with the industries we serve that will ensure our programs are relevant and our students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be successful throughout their career. 

We need well-equipped facilities in our classrooms, labs, onboard the ship, and on the waterfront.  I envision building a new Seamanship Training Center; establishing a new Dynamic Positioning Simulation Center; transforming the existing marine engineering lab into a state-of-the-art steam training facility; and creating new Engineering labs centered around digital and smart technologies and control systems, hybrid and LNG propulsion, and systems integration and automation. 

Construction of a new Student Union is needed to serve as a hub for social life and student life programming.  Even our athletics facilities and programs are due for an upgrade to allow for national and regional competition.

With these enhancements to the programs and the facilities, we will attract the best and brightest students and serve as the “supplier of choice” for employers seeking talented leaders who possess the unique combination of technical, analytical, leadership and important soft skills that enable them to succeed from the bridge and engine room, to the office and board room.

In looking ahead, I am excited about working with you to achieve this vision.  I will always hold dear the traditions and customs that make this institution so special, and I welcome your input and support that will kindle new partnerships and help us modernize and advance Maritime College. 

All the best,

RADM Michael Alfultis, USMS, Ph.D.