SUNY Presidents Express Support for Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as Next Chancellor

April 25, 2017

Albany – Presidents from throughout The State University of New York expressed their support for yesterday’s Board of Trustees appointment of Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as the 13th chancellor of SUNY.

Photos from the SUNY Board of Trustees meeting are available online.

University at Albany Interim President James R. Stellar: "I am very pleased to congratulate Dr. Kristina Johnson on her appointment as SUNY Chancellor. We at UAlbany look forward to working closely with Dr. Johnson to offer our students excellent academic programs, extraordinary faculty, and real-world experiences that will prepare them for life and career."

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan: "At Alfred State, we are excited to welcome Dr. Johnson as the new chancellor of SUNY, and look forward to assisting her initiatives. We believe our pioneering work in development of bio-refinery technology is just one example of programs at our college that match Dr. Johnson’s interests in environmental sustainability, alternative energy, and innovation."

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger: "Everyone at Binghamton University is pleased to learn that the SUNY Board of Trustees has chosen Dr. Kristina Johnson to be the new chancellor. She comes into the job with outstanding qualifications as a recognized leader in academia, industry, and politics. She enters SUNY at a time when higher education is undergoing transition, and all of SUNY’s 64 campuses will benefit from her experience and vision. I look forward to welcoming her to our campus."

SUNY College at Brockport President Heidi Macpherson: "Dr. Kristina Johnson brings a wealth of experience, both in the public and private sectors. We’re fortunate to have her steer our system and I look forward to working with her to help SUNY design and lead the future of higher education."

SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm: "The SUNY Broome community is proud to welcome such an accomplished academic, entrepreneur and public servant of Dr. Kristina Johnson's stature as our next chancellor. Her broad experience in academia, business and the government will undoubtedly prove to be a major asset to the SUNY system and the State of New York. We appreciate her lasting commitment to continual innovation and data-driven decision-making, both hallmarks of community college culture as well. We look forward to working with her to move SUNY's community colleges forward."

University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi: "As a faculty member and scholar, dean, provost, business owner, and Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Kristina Johnson comes to SUNY with an incredible range of professional experiences that will position her well to lead SUNY as our next chancellor. I look forward to working with Dr. Johnson as we pursue SUNY’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and creative work, and service to the many communities we serve."

Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner: "The Buffalo State College community congratulates Dr. Kristina Johnson on her appointment as the next chancellor of The State University of New York. Dr. Johnson’s incredible range of academic and professional experience will certainly lift SUNY to new heights. I look forward to working with her as we strive toward academic excellence and student success."

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran: "Dr. Johnson brings an incredibly impressive and broad range of skills to her new position. Her background as a researcher, entrepreneur, educator, public servant, and engineer will be an unbelievable asset to our system and our students. We look forward to working with her to build upon the successes SUNY Canton has achieved in developing new programs, championing diversity and inclusion, and fulfilling New York State’s need for graduates with applied skills, particularly in STEM disciplines."

Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale: "We are excited to welcome Dr. Kristina Johnson as the next chancellor of SUNY and look forward to working with her. Her commitment to higher education along with her extensive experience in both public and private business will make her an excellent leader as we continue to build on making higher education available and affordable to everyone in the State of New York. We look forward to welcoming her to the North Country and Clinton Community College. Welcome to SUNY!"

SUNY Cobleskill President Dr. Marion Terenzio: "On behalf of all of us at SUNY Cobleskill, I am thrilled to see an accomplished scientist, clean energy innovator, and entrepreneur of Dr. Johnson’s stature appointed as the next leader of The State University of New York. Her impressive experience, from STEM advocacy to pioneering higher education-industry partnerships, align perfectly with the mission of SUNY Cobleskill."

SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum: "I heartily congratulate the SUNY Board of Trustees on the selection of Dr. Kristina Johnson as SUNY’s new chancellor. Her career of impressive accomplishments in a variety of fields makes her a perfect choice to lead SUNY, the nation’s largest comprehensive higher education system. I am confident Dr. Johnson will build on the work of Chancellor Nancy Zimpher to strengthen SUNY’s ability to offer an affordable, world-class education and deepen its role as a powerful and innovative economic engine for New York. As president of SUNY Cortland, I am eager to welcome Dr. Johnson into the SUNY family and look forward to working with her in the future."

SUNY Delhi President Michael R. Laliberte: "I am excited to welcome Dr. Kristina Johnson as the next chancellor of The State University of New York. She is a proven academic innovator, entrepreneur, renewable energy leader, and federal policymaker whose expertise ensures SUNY will continue to be the leader in meeting the educational and economic needs of the Empire State and the nation. I look forward to collaborating with her to advance SUNY priorities and strategically position Delhi as an innovative center for applied learning."

SUNY Downstate Medical Center President Dr. Wayne J. Riley: "As a health science center dedicated to health professions education, research, and community service, we at SUNY Health Science Center Brooklyn, Downstate Medical Center congratulate Dr. Kristina Johnson on her appointment as the 13th chancellor of The State University of New York. We look forward to her vision and leadership of the SUNY system as we continue to ensure that Downstate embodies the future of medicine and health care as a leading contributor of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals serving the state of New York."

Dutchess Community College President Dr. Pamela Edington: "Dr. Kristina Johnson clearly embodies all that SUNY is, and aspires to be. She is an academician, entrepreneur, policymaker and visionary who has transformed educational institutions, businesses and lives through collaboration and innovation. We look forward to working with her to achieve shared goals, including enhancing STEM education and increasing student success."

SUNY Empire State College President Merodie Hancock: "On behalf of the entire SUNY Empire State College community across the state, I welcome Dr. Kristina Johnson to The State University of New York. Chairman McCall, the Board of Trustees, and the search committee have done an outstanding job in attracting such a brilliant mind to SUNY, whose proven ability to lead, educate and innovate will surely build on the achievements and legacy of Chancellor Zimpher’s eight-year tenure."

Erie Community College President Jack Quinn: "Dr. Kristina Johnson is a tremendous addition to our statewide college family as SUNY Chancellor. Her diversified experience in both private business and higher education will certainly serve a student population eager for their challenging coursework to translate into a stable and successful career. I enthusiastically endorse the SUNY Board of Trustees’ selection, and am excited for prospective Buffalo-area students who’ll benefit from Dr. Johnson’s leadership and expertise in the coming years."

Farmingdale State College President John S. Nader: "We welcome the appointment of our new chancellor, Dr. Kristina Johnson, who has such an outstanding career in STEM fields and in STEM education. Dr. Johnson will be a real advocate for precisely the type of experiential learning that Farmingdale State College provides to its students. Her background and focus on students are ideal for SUNY at this time. SUNY’s ability to attract the best candidates to its leadership positions speaks volumes about its quality and stature. We look forward to working with Dr. Johnson."

Fashion Institute of Technology President Joyce F. Brown: "On behalf of the entire FIT community, I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Johnson to The State University of New York.  Dr. Johnson’s extensive experience as an innovator in both the public and private spheres, and as an academic leader, make her an excellent choice to lead SUNY.  FIT shares Dr. Johnson’s focus on passion- and purpose-driven career education, global engagement, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, and we look forward to introducing her to our creative community -- and our community to her. We are confident that Dr. Johnson will continue the impressive work of Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, ensuring that SUNY's recognition as an economic engine for New York State and the pathway forged to excellent higher education is supported for all New Yorkers."

SUNY Fredonia President Virginia Horvath: "Dr. Johnson brings a variety of experiences and expertise to the role of SUNY Chancellor, and I look forward to hearing her ideas about the next steps for public higher education in New York. I hope that she visits Fredonia soon to learn about our campus and programs, and I look forward to welcoming her and working with her."

SUNY Geneseo President Denise A. Battles: "We at Geneseo are delighted at the selection of Dr. Kristina Johnson as the next SUNY Chancellor. She has a distinguished background as a faculty member, administrator, entrepreneur, and inventor and is admirably positioned to assume this important role. As the only New York State member institution of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), SUNY Geneseo has a terrific story to tell and we look forward to sharing it with Dr. Johnson."

Herkimer County Community College President Cathleen C. McColgin: "On behalf of Herkimer County Community College, I would like to congratulate Dr. Kristina Johnson whose impressive and vast experience in academia, government, and private industry positions her well to lead the largest university system in the nation. I would also like to express our gratitude to Chancellor Zimpher for her vision and leadership to strengthen The State University of New York and create a world-renowned brand."

Monroe Community College President Anne M. Kress: "We are excited to have Dr. Kristina Johnson as SUNY’s 13th Chancellor. She brings to SUNY a career built on innovation, a history of data-driven decision-making, an understanding of the global economy and its intersection with higher education, and a deep commitment to the individual success of each of our students—values that directly align with MCC’s. I look forward to working with her to fulfill the promise of an affordable, high quality higher education for all New Yorkers."

SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian: "I look forward to meeting and working with Dr. Johnson. She has made significant contributions through her rich and diverse academic, business, and government experience, and is well positioned to lead SUNY, the largest integrated public higher education system in the country and high-quality master’s level institutions like SUNY New Paltz."

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski: "I am delighted that the Board of Trustees has selected such an accomplished scientist, entrepreneur, and educator as our next chancellor. Dr. Johnson has been a leader at the highest levels of government, business, and academia. I am confident that she will build on Chancellor Zimpher’s initiatives to make The State University of New York the most successful system of higher education in the country. I am looking forward to meeting her this afternoon and working with her in the coming year."

Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill: "On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of Onondaga Community College, I am very pleased to welcome the appointment of Dr. Kristina Johnson as the next SUNY Chancellor. As a community college serving nearly 12,000 students from Central New York and beyond, OCC looks forward to working with Dr. Johnson to meet the needs of the thousands of students, families, employers, and communities across our state who depend upon the strength of New York’s public higher education system. We also extend our profound appreciation to Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, whose leadership over the past eight years has been instrumental to SUNY’s transformational success and has laid a robust foundation for the future."

SUNY College of Optometry President David A. Heath: "Dr. Kristina Johnson’s combination of experiences in academia, public service, and the private sector is inspirational. She certainly personifies our institutional commitments to excellence, leadership, inquiry, innovation, professionalism, and service to diverse communities. The SUNY College of Optometry welcomes our new chancellor and looks forward to working with her to move SUNY into the future."

SUNY Old Westbury President Calvin O. Butts, III: "Congratulations to Dr. Kristina Johnson on her appointment as the next chancellor of SUNY. Her deep and varied experience in engineering, education, research, public service, and business offers great opportunities to our system and our students as we together work to prepare for the changing nature of our global economy. Thank you and congratulations also to Chairman McCall, the SUNY Board of Trustees, and the search committee for its efforts to find in Dr. Johnson a leader who can build upon the strengths that lie within our system and all of New York State."

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley: "The SUNY Oswego campus community joins all of SUNY in welcoming Dr. Kristina Johnson as the next chancellor to lead The State University of New York. She brings a wealth of leadership, entrepreneurship acumen, business and research innovation, and a working knowledge of higher education—as a teacher and administrator—to our system. We look forward to working with Dr. Johnson to continue to deliver the incredible value and excellence of a SUNY education across our state and worldwide."

SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling: "Dr. Johnson combines a wealth of academic experience and pursuits with ground-breaking, impressive business success. The system as a whole will benefit greatly from her perspective and abilities, as will campuses like SUNY Plattsburgh. We look forward to working with her."

SUNY Poly Interim President Bahgat Sammakia: "On behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, I am honored to congratulate Dr. Kristina Johnson who was selected as SUNY’s 13th Chancellor. She has the wide-ranging experience to provide the type of leadership that will undoubtedly pave the way for an even brighter future at SUNY’s 64 campuses, including at SUNY Poly, as we look forward to continuing to strengthen our academic and research mission. An engineer, accomplished inventor, and entrepreneur who has served as an academic leader at well-respected institutions, in addition to serving as the U.S. Under Secretary for Energy, Dr. Johnson has also been a strong advocate for women in leadership, STEAM opportunities, and higher education-industry partnerships. We are excited that Dr. Johnson’s background aligns well with so many areas that are not only important for faculty, students, and staff at SUNY Poly, but also for society as a whole."

SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg: "SUNY Potsdam is delighted to welcome Dr. Kristina Johnson as the 13th chancellor of the SUNY system. She is a distinguished scholar, public servant, inventor and entrepreneur. We look forward to working with her as we pursue SUNY’s commitment to excellence in higher education."

Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz: "On behalf of Purchase College, I congratulate Dr. Kristina Johnson on her appointment as chancellor of SUNY. With her wide range of experience in higher education, the private sector, and in the government, I believe that Dr. Johnson will be the ideal person to lead the largest state system in the country during this exciting time of transition. I am confident in Dr. Johnson's ability to be an innovative leader who will continue to focus on the academic excellence that is the hallmark of SUNY as we work together to expand accessibility, affordability, and completion."

SUNY Schenectady County Community College President Dr. Steady Moono: "We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kristina Johnson as SUNY’s 13th Chancellor, and know that her distinguished commitment to the pursuit of innovation and advancement will mean great things for the SUNY organization as a whole. As a firm believer in the collaborative nature of academia, she has consistently worked to bring together higher education and business in an effort to develop programming which will prepare students for in-demand careers—something we also prioritize at Schenectady County Community College. We know that Dr. Johnson will continue to build upon Chancellor Zimpher’s considerable efforts to ensure that SUNY schools can continue to offer groundbreaking, forward-thinking, affordable programming."

Stony Brook University President, Samuel L. Stanley Jr.: "I am excited about the appointment of Dr. Kristina Johnson as SUNY's new chancellor and I look forward to working with Dr. Johnson as she gets to know our students and faculty, and as she undertakes her journey at the helm at SUNY. Her background in academia, economic development and in the public arena should contribute greatly to her ability to work across the myriad levels of the SUNY system."

SUNY Sullivan Interim President Jay Quaintance: "Dr. Kristina Johnson brings a wealth of educational, entrepreneurial and business experience with her to lead The State University of New York. Her breadth and depth of knowledge about higher education will surely be beneficial to each SUNY campus and to all of our students."

Tompkins Cortland Community College President Carl Haynes: "Dr. Johnson appears to be an incredibly good choice to lead SUNY into the future. She can operate well at the intersection of higher education, public policy, and business, drawing upon her research skills and extensive connections and experiences on the international and national scenes. I’m excited about what she brings to SUNY and the entire State of New York."

SUNY Upstate Medical University President Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena: "On behalf of students, faculty and administration at SUNY Upstate Medical University, I want to congratulate SUNY on its selection of Dr. Kristina Johnson as the system's 13th chancellor. As Central New York's only Academic Medical Center committed to excellent education, care and research from the laboratory bench to the bedside to the community, we welcome Dr. Johnson's leadership and success in many areas, from the private sector, government and academia, coupled with her innovative and entrepreneurial acumen, will serve SUNY well into the future, especially as she builds on the many successes of Chancellor Zimpher."

Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles: "Dr. Johnson reflected a real understanding of the role community colleges play in providing broad access and opportunity for individuals entering the higher education pipeline. Her vision for expanded innovation in teaching and learning will engage and inspire learners as they seek opportunities to transfer or earn credentials for entry to the workforce."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York 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 2023, 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

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