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UAlbany President Appoints New Chief of Staff

                                Chief of Staff Leanne Wirkkula, Ph.D.
ALBANY, N.Y. (January 29, 2014) – President Robert J. Jones today announced the appointment of Leanne Wirkkula, Ph.D., as his new Chief of Staff. Dr. Wirkkula will join UAlbany on February 3.

With this hire, President Jones is strengthening his leadership team to better support excellence across the university – in teaching and learning, research, community outreach and engagement, student recruitment and development.

“This campus epitomizes the best of public higher education, but we have work to do if we’re going to reach the top echelon of public research institutions,” President Jones said. “Our vision includes expanding our portfolio of degree-granting programs, recruiting more out-of-state and international students, engaging with the community like never before, and growing our resources so we can get all this done. As Chief of Staff, Dr. Wirkkula will be integral in making this happen. I’m delighted Leanne is joining the UAlbany team and I know that when our faculty, students, staff, friends and neighbors meet her, they’ll be as excited as I am,” President Jones said.

Dr. Wirkkula holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development - Higher Education; a Master’s in Educational Policy and Administration - Higher Education; and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, all from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Over a 20-year career, she has served in multiple capacities with the University of Minnesota. These positions include: Assistant Dean for Strategic & Academic Initiatives at the Carlson School of Management; Assistant to the Provost; Program Advisor & Coordinator for Education Student Affairs in the College of Education & Human Development; Program Director for the University of Minnesota Alumni Association; and Director of Marketing for Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics.

For the past year Dr. Wirkkula has served as an organizational consultant at AKA Strategy in New York City. She is moving to the Capital Region from Brooklyn.

She has also served as a volunteer with the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery and as an election judge for the City of Minneapolis, and formerly served as Vice Chair & Commissioner on the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights.

“I am enthusiastic about joining President Jones and the UAlbany family and supporting his ambitious and achievable vision for the University,” Dr. Wirkkula said. “From meeting the students to working in the community, I can’t wait to get started.”

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 17,500 students. An internationally recognized research university with 50 undergraduate majors and 125 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit http://www.albany.edu/. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.