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Rig Blog

The Excelsior Scholarship: Expanding College Access and Improving Success.


By Jim Malatras
March 2017

Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras responds to some of the issues raised by Senior Fellow D. Bruce Johnstone in his post about the governor’s proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program. As one of the chief architects of the program, Malatras provides insight on concerns about tuition, the full-time credit requirement, the impact on private independent schools, and the projected cost estimate. He believes that the Excelsior Scholarship may help students stay in school and open the door for more people to consider going to college.



Tuition-Free SUNY and CUNY: Who Benefits, Who Doesn’t, and How Free Is It After All?


By D. Bruce Johnstone
March 2017

Former SUNY Chancellor, and Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow, D. Bruce Johnstone assesses the governor's proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program. Johnstone supports the proposal's goals but writes that it would offer little aid to students with the greatest financial need, that its benefits would go to a relatively small number of students, and that it might hurt the state's independent colleges and universities. He calls for more study and alternative solutions to the problem of access.



Climate Change: Avoiding the ‘Natural Variations’ Pitfall


By Mark Marchand
December 2016
Mark Marchand

Writer and Rockefeller Institute Alum Mark Marchand considers the ongoing debate on climate change presented in a recent Rockefeller Institute/University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences forum on severe weather. The event, held November 10th, was the third in an annual series.




Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Reconsidered 10 Years Later


By Marc Landy
August 2015
Marc Landy
From 2006 through 2008, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government partnered with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana to conduct a regional analysis of the recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Institute and the Council assembled a network of field researchers from throughout the region to examine how local and state governments, as well as the nonprofit sector, were dealing with the many challenges of recovery. In addition, the Institute drew on the reports and other research to examine the role of the federal system in the recovery. At the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Rockefeller Institute researcher Marc Landy revisits a proposal developed by him and a co-researcher, former Institute Director Richard Nathan, for the establishment of a federal officer in charge to coordinate federal response to major disasters.


Cyber Security Crosses Sectors and Levels of Government: Learning from Recent Federal Efforts


By Brian Nussbaum
December 2014
Brian Nussbaum
In this Observation piece, Rockefeller College Assistant Professor Brian Nussbaum looks at how the U.S. government has recently detailed roles and responsibilities for cybersecurity involving the efforts of government players at the federal level (including the military, law enforcement, and other security agencies). It argues a comparable framework for state and local governments, as well as corporations and not-for-profits, would be valuable. Through utilization of various capabilities, often across levels of government and across sectors, the piece argues that we can take advantage of the best of the capabilities of involved actors at the same time we realize the enhanced benefit that results from “cross-sector coordination.”



Solar Power Offers Greater Resilience in Severe Weather


By Richard Perez, Jeffrey Freedman, and James W. Fossett
October 2014

Researchers from the University at Albany Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and Rockefeller Institute researchers explore the advantages of solar power as a means of mitigating long-term power outages resulting from more prevalent severe weather occurrences. This proposed solution, the authors suggest, may be particularly vital in the Northeast, a region identified by climate researchers as a “hot spot” for an increase in severe weather events.


Let’s Stop Improvising Disaster Recovery


By James W. Fossett
July 2013
James Fossett

In this insightful observation piece, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Dr. James Fossett indicates that improved disaster recovery from major natural and man-made disasters is possible through strategic planning, careful coordination between various levels of government, and the development of easily accessible response mechanisms.




New Roles for U.S. Universities in Latin America


By Jason E. Lane
March 2013
Jason E. Lane

Director of Education Studies Jason E. Lane examines the growing role that the United States is playing in the development of higher education in Latin America in a chapter of a new book from the Institute of International Education, Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy: Higher Education, Government, and International Collaboration.




Proposed Changes Will Improve Reimbursement for HIV Testing


By Erika Martin
February 2013
Erika Martin

Proposed changes by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force in HIV testing guidelines will remove financial barriers to receiving HIV tests, according to Institute Fellow Erika G. Martin and Bruce R. Schackman, Weill Cornell Medical College.




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