Schenectady County

Ex-Union Graduate College president joins UAlbany

Laura Schweitzer, the former president of Union Graduate College in Schenectady, is taking a leaders

Laura Schweitzer, the former president of Union Graduate College in Schenectady, is taking a leadership role at the University at Albany.

Schweitzer, who recently left Union, will serve as UAlbany’s vice president for health sciences and biomedical initiatives, UAlbany President Robert Jones announced Wednesday.

The position is a new temporary one that will allow Schweitzer to lead the development of a plan to expand and align UAlbany’s health sciences programs at the school’s East Campus in East Greenbush.

Jones said in an email to faculty and staff Wednesday that UAlbany is looking to establish a world-class health sciences and biomedical research center as part of the university’s “largest academic expansion since the construction of the Uptown Campus” in Albany.

“Dr. Schweitzer’s experience as a health care executive and a higher education leader — and her expertise in research, academic programs and workforce development — uniquely positions her to lead this transformative effort,” Jones said in the email.

The focus on the East Campus would create opportunities to partner with institutions such as the Downstate Medical Center, Albany Medical College, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the New York State Department of Health, Jones said.

“I have charged Dr. Schweitzer to work closely with Provost James Stellar in developing and building on strategic alliances to advance the university’s capacity in a host of bio-related disciplines,” Jones said.

Schweitzer served as Union Graduate College’s president for the past six years. Bela Musits, vice president for academic programs and dean of the School of Management, assumed the role as interim president Aug. 1.

Schweitzer oversaw the recent merger of Union Graduate College with Clarkson University. The merger will change the name of Union Graduate College to Clarkson University, Capital Region campus.

Schweitzer serves on the board of the Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council.

She also sits on the executive committee of the Center for Economic Growth and is secretary of the board of trustees at Ellis Medicine.

Before Union, she was vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Upstate and chief academic officer at Bassett Healthcare. Schweitzer, 61, is a neurobiologist by training.

In an interview with a Daily Gazette reporter in October when she announced her retirement from Union, Schweitzer said she always planned to retire in her 60s and was looking forward to spending more time with her family.

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