Albany – SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
today announced that she will recommend the appointment of Dr. Aaron M.
Podolefsky as the next president of Buffalo State College at the March 23, 2010,
meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Podolefsky has led the University of Central Missouri with great distinction as
the campus reached record-setting levels of academic quality and job placement
and is now experiencing the highest graduation rate in its history,” said
a successful higher education leader with strategic planning know-how and a
proven knack for cultivating campus-community partnerships and economic
development, Dr. Podolefsky will be a tremendous asset to Buffalo State
College, Western New York and the SUNY system.”
“The search committee and the College Council are extremely pleased that
Chancellor Zimpher has selected Dr. Aaron Podolefsky to serve as the next
President of Buffalo State College,” said Howard Zemsky, Vice Chairman of the
College Council and Chairman of the Search Committee. “We are hopeful the SUNY
Board of Trustees will ratify this decision at their meeting next week.
“Dr. Podolefsky embraces the importance of so many of our vital missions and
values, including education, research, service learning, accessibility and
diversity. We believe Aaron will continue the record of outstanding leadership
we have enjoyed the past 14 years under Dr. Muriel Howard and Dr. Dennis
Ponton. We all believe Buffalo State College will continue to flourish under
the leadership of Dr. Aaron Podolefsky. This is very good news for Buffalo
State College and our entire community.”
“Ronnie and I are very excited to be joining the Buffalo State family and supporting Chancellor Zimpher in achieving her ambitious goals for
SUNY,” said Dr. Podolefsky. “I was greatly impressed by the faculty, staff and
students that I met on campus — they are clearly a major strength. Special
thanks are owed to the search committee, who represented the campus in a most
positive fashion, and especially to Howard Zemsky and Dr. Bonita Durand, who
worked tirelessly to ensure a successful process.”
Podolefsky was the overwhelming choice of the Buffalo State College
Presidential Search Advisory Committee and College Council following a national
search. If approved by the Board, Dr. Podolefsky’s appointment would be
effective July 1, 2010, at an annual salary of $225,000.
Podolefsky currently serves as President and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Missouri, a position he has held since 2005. His efforts to reach out
to local, state and federal governmental entities and support development of an
Innovation and Energy Park at the University have been recognized as
significantly promoting economic development in the region. In close
collaboration with his campus, he successfully led the development of a new
Strategic Plan and a new Campus Master Plan, and also led the University
through the transition to adopt a new vision, a new name and new crest.
to his tenure at the University of Central Missouri, Dr. Podolefsky served for
seven years as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the
University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Before that, he served for eight years as
Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UNI. From 1986 to 1990,
he was Professor of Anthropology and head of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. Prior to this position, he
served as Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology in the
Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, and was a
Research Associate for the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University.
Podolefsky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from San Jose State University and received two Master of Arts degrees (liberal studies and
anthropology) and a Ph.D. with Distinction from the State University of New
York at Stony Brook. He has authored numerous scholarly books, textbooks and
articles, and he is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and
the Society for Applied Anthropology.
Podolefsky is married to Ronnie Podolefsky (Shapiro), an attorney practicing in
the areas of civil rights, employment law and mediation. Dr. and Ms. Podolefsky
have two sons.
Podolefsky would succeed Dr. Dennis Ponton, who has been serving as Interim President
since August 1, 2009, when Dr. Muriel Howard, who had been President since
1996, stepped down to assume the presidency of The American Association of
State Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC.
Podolefsky would be provided College-owned housing adjacent to the Buffalo
State College campus and would also have use of a campus-leased vehicle during
the term of his presidency.
1871, Buffalo State College offers 152 undergraduate and 61 graduate programs
in the arts, sciences, professions and education. Each year, more than 11,000
students choose Buffalo State College for its superb academic programs, applied
learning opportunities, affordable tuition and metropolitan location.
University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 465,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs
on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.
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