James R. Stellar Named Interim President

James R. Stellar, announced as UAlbany's Interim President on Sept. 14. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 14, 2016) -- The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. James R. Stellar as interim president of the University at Albany.

Stellar has served as provost and senior vice president at UAlbany since February 2015, overseeing all academic operations. Among his key accomplishments are the launch of two colleges — College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity — the revitalization of UAlbany’s applied learning program, and the expansion of internationalization efforts.

“Dr. Stellar is the ideal candidate to lead the University at Albany while a national search for its next president is underway,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “As provost and a member of the University at Albany administration for several years, Dr. Stellar’s leadership will ensure a seamless transition for students, faculty, and staff on campus and in the local community. We are grateful to him for taking on this expanded role in the interim.”

“I am honored to be chosen,” Stellar said. “I thank Chancellor Zimpher, Chairman McCall and the Board of Trustees for having confidence in me. I look forward to working with UAlbany’s leadership team to advance the strategic agenda developed under President Jones.

“The University at Albany is a university on the move, and we will keep going.”

Stellar previously served at CUNY’s Queens College as vice president for Academic Innovation and Experiential Education from 2013 to 2015, and provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2009 to 2014. Before joining CUNY, Stellar spent 22 years at Northeastern University in Boston, where he served for a decade as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as well as professor and chair of psychology and associate dean for undergraduate affairs. He began his academic career at Harvard University, serving eight years as assistant and then associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Relations, and as a neuroscience researcher at the McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School.

He earned his doctorate in biological psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa.

"I'm very pleased that Jim Stellar has been appointed to serve as UAlbany’s interim president,” said UAlbany President Robert J. Jones. “He has been an outstanding provost, and will provide continuity and a deep understanding of the critical initiatives underway. I am confident that he will excel in this role."

Stellar’s appointment is effective September 24 and will remain until further action by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He will receive an annual state salary of $390,000 and an additional $110,000 from the SUNY Research Foundation.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.