John L. Graham

Vice Provost for Student Affairs, University Life

John L. Graham headshot

As the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Dr. Graham provides system-wide leadership in furthering SUNY System Administration's academic priorities and campus efforts to improve access, retention, and success of all SUNY students. He is the principal spokesperson for SUNY initiatives and efforts related to student life including policy development, review and consultation with SUNY Administration partners, campus leaders, and Chief Student Affairs Officers. This includes collaboration with the Student Assembly and the Student Life Committee for the Board of Trustees. Dr. Graham facilitates the coordination and sustainability of the Systemwide Student Mental Health and Wellness Task Force and the Food Insecurity Task Force to ensure a safe living and learning community for all students. Dr. Graham serves on the Steering Committee of the SUNY COVID-19 Re-Opening Task Force and Chairs the Student Wellness Working Group and the SUNY System Athletics Working Group. His team provides coordination and support for students with Disabilities, Diversity and Adult Learners, Mental Health, Veteran and Military Affairs Child Care Services, and Substance Abuse Services.

Previously, Dr. Graham served as Associate Provost for Student Affairs and University Life and Provost Fellow for Academic and Strategic Development at System Administration. As Provost Fellow, he supported the implementation of SUNY’s priority Completion Agenda and worked with campus leaders to advance the SUNY Excels Performance Improvement Plan goals and the refinement of the student effectiveness and the strategic Enrollment Planning Process.

Over the past twenty-five years, Dr. Graham has held faculty appointments and senior administrative positions at public universities in both urban and suburban environments. A consistent thread in his work has been a strong commitment to and focus on development of all students. He served as the transitional Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and developed a comprehensive five-year fundraising plan to stabilize the institution for new leadership. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer at the State University of New York – Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center preparing adult learners for college-readiness; Interim Dean in the School of Business at Medgar Evers College – City University of New York; and, Assistant Vice President for International Affairs and Director of Study Abroad Programs, after serving as Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences at Delaware State University.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Graham worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State and served as a member of the Negotiation Team - Commission on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. Dr. Graham has lived abroad for five years and completed his masters and doctoral research overseas. His professional travel extends to more than sixty countries on six continents.

Dr. Graham received his doctorate from Michigan State University and has post-graduate certificates in leadership from the American Association for State Colleges and Universities’ Executive Leadership Academy, State University of New York Executive Leadership Academy, Millennium Leadership Initiative, Institute for Educational Management and Executive Education at Harvard University.

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