Kermit Hall was President of the University at Albany when he died unexpectedly on August 13, 2006, while on vacation. He was a natural and highly effective higher education leader and an admired and respected professional friend. I met him when he was a dean at Ohio State and was later honored to accept his invitation to serve on the Board of Visitors both at Utah State and more recently at the University at Albany. Serving on these short-term boards of external advisors provided an opportunity to observe and respond to his leadership. I remember his vivid statements and determined actions on behalf of students and their success. His dedication to student success and the highest ideals of the academy dictated his energetic, engaging, and successful campus leadership and management style. He was quick to make internal changes to help students meet their goals with newly enhanced university support. He changed the status quo with a sense of urgency wrapped in a habit of openness and fair play, each time resulting in a nearly perfect approximation to the unachievable goal of campus consensus. I add my voice to the chorus that is now celebrating his life and sadly bidding him a fond and heartfelt farewell.
You can learn more about Kermit L. Hall from the University at Albany’s webpage, Commemorating President Hall.