Chancellor Johnson Announces Retirement of SUNY Fredonia President

April 4, 2019

President Horvath to Retire After More Than 40 Years of Dedicated Service in Public Higher Education

Chancellor Johnson working with Board of Trustees to ensure Interim Leadership for 2019-2020 Academic Year

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson announced today that after more than 40 years of service and leadership in public higher education, Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath, President of SUNY Fredonia plans to retire at the end of the Spring semester on July 1, 2019.

“As a first-generation student herself, Dr. Horvath has a keen focus on an enrollment program that encourages students from diverse backgrounds to pursue a college degree and in doing so, Fredonia has achieved its most diverse applicant pool in its history,” said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. “We thank Dr. Horvath for her service to SUNY and the Fredonia community.”

“I had the privilege of visiting SUNY Fredonia as one of my first campus visits as Chancellor, and truly appreciated Dr. Horvath’s enthusiasm and commitment to providing the highest quality education for our students and leading a dedicated and stellar team of faculty and staff,” said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. “I am grateful for Dr. Horvath’s years of service and my best wishes to her and her family as she prepares for retirement.”

Chancellor Johnson is working with SUNY Board of Trustees to ensure that there will be interim leadership in place prior to the start of the 2019-2020 academic year.

President Horvath said, "I have been honored to work with colleagues and students and take pride in what we have been able to achieve together in academics, research and creative activity, student leadership, shared governance, community service, athletics, student success, economic development, and innovation. I will leave with joy at having served here and with hope for continued success for the next generations of Fredonians and for all SUNY faculty, staff, and students. A part of my heart will always remain here."

During Dr. Horvath's seven years as president, Fredonia implemented an enrollment management plan and achieved major goals of the Power of Fredonia strategic plan, including a Carnegie Community Engagement classification. She was instrumental in key initiatives leading to significant growth in the Fredonia College Foundation endowment.

Dr. Horvath became Fredonia's 13th president July 1, 2012 following a national search. Previously, she was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fredonia for seven years. Key accomplishments during that time included developing HARP (Handbook for Appointment, Reappointment, & Promotion), coordinating Middle States accreditation and eight specialized accreditations, and led academic involvement in the design and construction of two award-winning academic buildings.

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