SUNY gives Zimpher emeritus honor; chooses new campus presidents

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The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher as chancellor emeritus in recognition of her eight years of dedicated service and continuing partnership with SUNY. This is only the fifth time in SUNY’s history that the title has been conferred, and the first time the appointment immediately follows a chancellor’s active tenure. As well, the Board voted in a new campus presidents.

In addition, the Board named the large courtroom at SUNY Plaza the “Nancy L. Zimpher Boardroom” and released a commemorative video in which cross-sector leaders in education, business, government, and the media discuss the impact of Chancellor Zimpher’s career and leadership. 

“From her first days as chancellor as she completed her signature 64-campus tour, Nancy has always recognized the inherent strengths within SUNY and helped to bring them out for all to see,” said Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Nancy’s leadership has elevated our university system to unprecedented heights of academic and research excellence, student and faculty service, community engagement, and economic development. Her tenure will have a lasting impact on SUNY, New York State, and all those we serve.”

“Serving as SUNY chancellor has been a highlight of my career, and there is no system whose name I would more proudly carry in an emeritus title,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “I am deeply honored and grateful to the Board for today’s recognitions. Indeed, none of what we have accomplished together would have been possible without the Board’s consistent and unwavering dedication to the students, faculty, staff, and communities that SUNY serves across New York State and around the globe.”

Watch the commemorative video here.

The State University of New York Board of Trustees today also appointed Dr. Havidán Rodríguez as president of University at Albany; and, together with the Boards of Trustees at the campuses, appointed Dr. Dan Hocoy as president of Erie Community College and John “Jay” Quaintance as president of Sullivan County Community College.

About Dr. Havidán Rodríguez
Dr. Rodríguez, founding provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley since September 2014, is the first Hispanic president of a four-year college in SUNY history. He has also served as president, ad interim, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA). Prior to arriving at UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served as the deputy provost, vice provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, and professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware in addition to servings as a faculty member and former director of the Disaster Research Center, the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world.

Dr. Rodríguez held a faculty position and several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez for more than a decade, and served as director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan’s Population Fellow’s Program. Dr. Rodríguez has served on a number of committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ford Foundation; and was the Chair of the Latina/Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

He was also the principal investigator for the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers, funded by NSF. Currently, he serves as the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty in STEM fields.

Dr. Rodríguez earned his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, his Masters in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The appointment is effective on or about September 14, 2017, at an annual salary of $525,000.

About Dr. Dan Hocoy
Dr. Hocoy is currently the associate vice chancellor of advancement for Antioch University System, and previously served as president of Antioch University in Seattle. Over his career, Dr. Hocoy has focused on improving student success, developing new programs, and enhancing institutional sustainability in a number of capacities including provost, chief academic officer, chief operating officer, chief student affairs officer, director of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation, as well as director of International Programs and Diversity. He has designed innovative frameworks for curriculum and modalities for learning that harness the latest pedagogical and technological advancements.

Dr. Hocoy speaks several different languages and is author to numerous articles and book chapters that intersect higher learning, psychology, art and culture. His dissertation was the first study to examine the psychological impact of apartheid in South Africa and was solicited by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to structure its processes. Dr. Hocoy’s publications in art therapy are considered seminal in the field and can be found in the discipline’s textbooks, and his curricular innovations are also widely published.

Dr. Hocoy received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, and a Masters and Ph. D in clinical psychology from Queen’s University in Canada. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education executive program as well as the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents.

His appointment is effective July 1, 2017, at an annual salary of $225,000.

About John “Jay” Quaintance
Jay Quaintance has worked in higher education for the past 20 years. He was recently serving as acting president at Sullivan County Community College. Prior to joining the campus, he was assistant secretary to education for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and before that, assistant vice chancellor for community colleges as well as assistant vice chancellor and assistant provost for community college policy and programming at SUNY System Administration.

He has a long history of working with community colleges, beginning with his assignments in the field of student services, where he served as an instructor in Upward Bound and then as the director of TRIO Student Support Services. In addition, Quaintance has worked as an instructor, department chair, and assistant dean of academic affairs at the community college level.

Quaintance received both his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Master of Arts in rhetoric and the teaching of writing from New Mexico State University. His appointment is effective immediately at an annual salary of $160,000.

About Chancellor Zimpher
Chancellor Zimpher is among the most in-demand thought-leaders in higher education in the United States and around the world. Since 2009, she has served as the 12th SUNY chancellor, following distinguished service as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University.

Throughout a more than 40-year career in education, Chancellor Zimpher has formed a paradigm-shifting vision that rises to meet the expansive responsibilities of public higher education in the 21st century. “To educate more people and educate them better” is the mantra at the center of her collective-impact theory of action, which she exercises in several key areas, including building on university strengths to drive regional and local economic development; creating seamless cradle-to-career education pipelines within communities; and systemically transforming teacher education into a rigorous clinical practice that reliably creates excellent teachers for every classroom and student.

Chancellor Zimpher is co-founder and current chair of StriveTogether, a national network of innovative partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline. Concurrent with her role at SUNY, Chancellor Zimpher served as chair of the National Association of System Heads from 2014–2017, the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences from 2011–2016, and CEOs for Cities from 2012–2013, and led the national Coalition of Urban Serving Universities from 2005–2011.

In Chancellor Zimpher’s eight years at the helm of SUNY, she developed and led a diverse set of initiatives that transformed the system from a loose constellation of 64 campuses into a focused, cohesive whole. Through the disciplined cultivation of its “systemness” under Chancellor Zimpher’s vision and leadership, SUNY implemented groundbreaking new policies that expand college access and affordability; improve degree completion; promote diversity; ensure equity; support world-class teaching, research, and innovation; and much more.