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Campus role shapes career in NYC parks

From his office on Randalls Island, Cordell Schachter, B.A. '83, keeps a watchful eye over the vast New York City parks system. Now assistant chief in the centralized technical services division, he oversees support services to city parks in all five boroughs.

"We have a 2,000-vehicle fleet and we have direct responsibility for all the equipment that keeps the city's pools running," Schachter explains. "All the mechanical systems in those facilities, as well as the city's ice rinks, fall under our division." His ten-year career with the parks includes management of individual park operations at Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Parks in the Bronx.

Schachter, who also holds an M.S. in public administration from NYU, says his experience as a student leader propelled his career in parks management. "I consider my involvement at UB the start of my career in public service," he says.

As president of the Student Association in 1982-83 and FSA president in 1980-81, Schachter was able to confer frequently with Presidents Robert Ketter and Steven Sample and with other campus officials. "In my last two years, I spoke with these people just about daily."

Especially remembered are Vice President Emeritus Edward Doty and Len Snyder, now associate vice president and controller.

"I remember pacing around Len Snyder's office, as he and Ed Doty, rather than oppose me, actually worked with me to distill the ideas I was bringing forward from other students, into manageable proposals that were later implemented by the university." Among these was a measure to keep the libraries open 24 hours a day during exams.