We are deeply saddened to report that our fifth president Dr. Paul Yu has passed away. He died Dec. 5 after a battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 75. Dr. Yu has been credited with transforming Brockport's academic reputation. "The College at Brockport is a better institution because of Paul Yu,"
President Heidi Macpherson said. Under his leadership, Brockport achieved new levels of excellence and recognition, from acquiring the latest information technologies to improving campus communications to increasing admissions standards. Brockport became recognized throughout New York and within the SUNY system as an innovative and dynamic institution.
Dr. Yu, who received his Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate from the University of Michigan, held previous positions at Butler University in Indiana and Central Michigan University before beginning his tenure at Brockport in the summer of 1997. He introduced and guided mission review and strategic planning initiatives that involved multiple committees representing every area of campus life. A major outcome of the process was the introduction of the Presidential Scholars program that proved instrumental in attracting top students to apply to Brockport and giving them incentives to maintain a high GPA. Such students served as role models to fellow students to improve the classroom environment for all.
The Extraordinary Academic Scholarship Program was initiated during his tenure and aided the College’s rise in to “Tier 2” within the SUNY system’s rankings of academic quality for incoming students. This strong academic culture assisted in an improved recruitment for study abroad programs and international students. The College’s Honors Program grew and prospered during his time. Enhanced computer laboratories added new equipment and services as well as longer hours. These and other changes helped the College attain a stronger public image for the institution. After Brockport, Dr. Yu had a short tenure as President of San Jose State University in California before returning to the SUNY system and Brockport where he completed his teaching career in 2007.
Dr. Yu's areas of scholarly interest were philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. He published a number of papers and made many professional presentations. He was active professionally in other ways, including serving as external evaluator for the Chinese University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University, and National Science Council of the Republic of China. In 1980-81, he was invited to be a Fulbright lecturer at the National Taiwan University. Dr. Yu was active in other professional and civic capacities, regionally, nationally, and internationally. He served on the Michigan Council for the Humanities from 1988 to 1989 and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA). In 1990, under the Visiting Scholars Exchange Program (VSEP), sponsored by the U. S. National Academy of Sciences, he was visiting scholar to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, China.
The College asks that you respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.