SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints SUNY Oneonta President, Interim Dean of the New York State College of Human Ecology at Cornell University

January 23, 2018

Albany – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Barbara Jean Morris as president of SUNY Oneonta and Dr. Rachel Dunifon as interim dean of the New York State College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. In addition, SUNY’s Board appointed Teresa A. Miller as senior vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and chief of staff, Joseph B. Porter as senior vice chancellor for executive leadership and employee development, and Elizabeth C. Garvey as vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel at SUNY System Administration.

About Dr. Morris

Dr. Morris served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado since 2011. In this role, she reported to the president and served as chief academic officer of the rural regional public arts college and was responsible for all academic matters including oversight of educational policy and programs of instruction; the development and assessment of academic programs; and faculty recruitment and development. She also had broad oversight of internal operations, including strategic planning, data-driven modeling, budgeting, fundraising, and state and legislative policy.

Prior to joining Fort Lewis College, Dr. Morris worked for 16 years at the University of Redlands in southern California. She held many leadership roles, leaving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Morris also served the Colorado Commission of Higher Education (CCHE) as the elected representative from the Academic Council. She served on the Colorado State Remedial Education Task Force, the Supplemental Academic Instruction Sub-committee, the General Education Council, the Prior Learning Assessment Committee, and the P-20 Alignment committee.

Dr. Morris received her bachelor of arts in political science from San Diego State University, and a master of arts and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The effective date of her appointment is on or about July 1, 2018.

About Dr. Dunifon

Dr. Dunifon is professor of policy analysis and management and senior associate dean in the New York State College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. She joined the Cornell faculty in 2001 with responsibility for research and extension. Her research focuses on child and family policy, examining the ways in which policies, programs, and family settings influence the development of less-advantaged children. She is also co-director of Project 2GEN, which combines research, policy, and practice to address the needs of vulnerable children and their parents.

In addition to her role as professor at Cornell, Dr. Dunifon served as associate dean of the College of Human Ecology, and as senior associate dean, with responsibility for research, faculty development, graduate education, and outreach. She previously served as director of graduate studies and as department extension leader in policy analysis and management.

As a principal investigator, Dr. Dunifon has won numerous externally funded research grants, including from the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the William T. Grant Foundation. Her work has been published in top journals in developmental psychology, public policy, and family demography.

Dr. Dunifon received her bachelor of arts in psychology from Davidson College, and a doctorate in human development and social policy from Northwestern University. The effective date of her appointment is July 1, 2018.

About Teresa Miller

As senior vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and chief of staff at SUNY System Administration, Teresa Miller will report to Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and assist her with leadership and direction of strategic initiatives. She will be responsible for overseeing and managing the Office of the Chancellor, and serve as the Chancellor’s liaison with the System Administration executive team and campus leaders. Miller will also coordinate and collaborate with staff at each campus, as well as with affiliated SUNY entities, government agencies, college councils and board of trustees, professional associations, and business partners.

Already an employee of SUNY, Miller joins from the University at Buffalo, where she was tenured and promoted to the rank of full professor of law. Her most recent role was vice provost for Inclusive Excellence and chief diversity officer at UB, SUNY’s largest campus, with a student body of 30,000 and a faculty of 2,400.

Previously, Miller worked as a securities litigation associate at Davis, Markel & Edwards; a judicial law clerk to the Honorable William M. Hoeveler at US District Court, Southern District of Florida; and as a visiting associate professor, and lecturer at the University of Miami School of Law.

Miller has a bachelor of arts degree from Duke University, a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School, and a master of laws degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her appointment is effective January 29, 2018.

About Joseph Porter

As senior vice chancellor for executive leadership and employee development at SUNY System Administration, Joseph Porter will oversee presidential searches, the SUNY Academic & Innovative Leadership Institute (SAIL), and operations of the offices of Human Resources and Employee Relations, as well as the University-wide and System Administration Police functions. Porter will serve as a key member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team and cabinet with overall responsibility for the management and development of SUNY’s workforce.

Porter will also be responsible for assisting the chancellor and provost in the recruitment, onboarding, and evaluation of presidents at state-operated campuses. Other responsibilities include leading a president’s leadership initiative that will provide the professional development, mentoring, and support necessary to foster the retention and success of presidents.

The SUNY Board of Trustees previously appointed Porter senior vice chancellor for legal affairs, general counsel and secretary of the university system. Prior to joining SUNY, Porter served as vice president for legal & government affairs, and general counsel at Excelsior College, a leading national provider of online and distance education services to over 37,000 working adults.

Porter earned bachelor degrees in history and American studies from Manhattan College, and a juris doctor degree from Albany Law School of Union College. His appointment is effective January 25, 2018.

About Elizabeth Garvey

As vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel at SUNY System Administration, Elizabeth Garvey will be the legal adviser to the university system, and provide legal advice and opinions for the SUNY Board of Trustees and officers of the university on matters concerning university legal affairs.

Garvey brings with her 13 years of public service employment, providing legal advice and management oversight for the New York Senate. Most recently, she served as lead counsel for the New York State Senate Majority and managed a team of legal and support staff of 36 employees.

Before becoming lead counsel, she was first assistant counsel to the majority for the New York State Senate. She also held the roles of assistant counsel to the minority and assistant counsel to the majority for the New York State Senate, and was a Richard A. Weibe Fellow for the New York State Senate Graduate Fellowship Program.

In addition to her experience with the New York State Senate, Garvey worked as an associate for Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, and Dicker, LLP.

Garvey earned a bachelor degree in communication from Mary Baldwin College and a juris doctorate degree from Albany Law School of Union University. Her appointment is effective January 25, 2018.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications