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The Search is On

The journey to finding the next permanent president of the University at Albany has begun with the naming of the Presidential Search Committee. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 16, 2016) — Members of the Presidential Search Committee have been chosen, and are ready to get down to the hard work of finding the next permanent president of the University at Albany.

Michael Castellana, chair of the University Council, announced the formation of the 18-member committee, made up of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders.

“The University at Albany is an extraordinary asset for the Capital Region and the entire state,” said Castellana, who serves as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “I am confident that this group of outstanding individuals will do a terrific job of recruiting and evaluating candidates."

In a message to the campus community Wednesday, Castellana said he expects the University Council to select an executive search firm in the coming weeks, and for candidate recruitment to begin in the spring. SUNY guidelines call for the committee to recommend three unranked finalists to the SUNY Chancellor, who makes the final choice. The plan is to accomplish this by June, Castellana said.

Castellana said he received 880 nominations for the committee. SUNY’s search guidelines requires the committee be diverse and broadly representative of the university’s major stakeholders. It includes representatives of the faculty, members of the University Council, student body, academic deans, support/professional staff, the alumni association and the University at Albany Foundation. The committee also includes a SUNY president and a representative of the Chancellor’s Office.

While SUNY provisions call for six faculty members, Castellana decided on seven. Faculty representatives were chosen by faculty vote. They are:

  • Marlene Belfort, distinguished professor, Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
  • James Collins, professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jose Cruz, professor, Political Science Department at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • Richard Fogarty, associate professor, Department of History, and associate dean for General Education, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cynthia Fox, associate professor of French Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Teresa Harrison, professor, Department of Communications, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Janine Jurkowski, associate professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health

Also on the committee:

Jeanette Altarriba, vice provost and dean for Undergraduate Education, represents the University’s professional staff. Brian Straughter, secretary of the Board of Directors of the University at Albany Foundation and vice president of Turf Hotels in Latham, represents the University at Albany Foundation.

Madeeha Khan, a junior Computer Science major, Business minor and member of the Honors College, is the undergraduate representative on the committee. Stanley De La Cruz, a second-year graduate student in the Educational Administration and Policy Studies program, is the graduate student representative.

De La Cruz is also representing the University Council, along with Council Chair Castellana and members Nancy Burton and John Fallon.

The alumni representative is Timothy Murphy, who received a Master’s of Public Administration from the University in 1970 and is a board member of the Alumni Association. Hany Shawky, the interim dean of the School of Business, is the academic dean representative.

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger is the SUNY president representative, and Eileen McLoughlin is the chancellor’s liaison, a non-voting position on the Search Committee.


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