Chancellor Zimpher To Recommend Dr. Zvi Szafran As President of SUNY Canton

March 21, 2014

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that she will recommend Dr. Zvi Szafran to be appointed as president of SUNY Canton. Dr. Szafran is currently the vice president for academic affairs at Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia.

The SUNY Board of Trustees will consider Dr. Szafran’s appointment at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 3.

“Dr. Szafran is an ideal candidate to be SUNY Canton’s next president,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Throughout his career, Dr. Szafran has developed a keen sense for the needs of students and an ability to enhance academic programs and services to meet those needs. Having served for nearly a decade as a member of the leadership team at a technology college within a state system of higher education, Dr. Szafran’s experience and vision align well SUNY Canton’s mission as well as SUNY’s strategic priorities. I look forward to working with him.”

“I’m very excited about SUNY Canton’s future,” said Dr. Szafran. “Their career-driven, hands-on mission is critical to America’s and New York’s growth, and they have an excellent strategic plan. I look forward to helping them to achieve the success they deserve.”

Chancellor Zimpher also thanked Dr. Joseph C. Hoffman for his leadership of SUNY Canton since June of last year. The college has been without a permanent president since Joseph L. Kennedy stepped down from the post in 2012, following a 19-year tenure.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Szafran will be joining the SUNY Canton family,” said Dr. Hoffman. “We were very impressed by his experience and insight during his campus visit, and it is clear that he is the right choice to continue the College’s forward momentum.”

Ronald M. O’Neill, Chair SUNY Canton College Council and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said, “We are delighted to learn that the Chancellor  will recommend the appointment of Dr. Zvi Szafran as the next president of SUNY Canton. His background, experience, and leadership are perfectly suited to our campus. All of us at the college look forward to his arrival  and to working together with Dr. Szafran.

About Dr. Zvi Szafran

Dr. Szafran is currently the vice president for academic affairs and professor of chemistry at Southern Polytechnic State University in the University System of Georgia, a position he has held since 2005. From 1998-2005, he served as the vice president for academic affairs at New England College in New Hampshire. Previously, he held several positions at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, including dean of science and engineering, chairman of the chemistry department, assistant to the dean of arts and sciences, and professor. 

Dr. Szafran earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree, also in chemistry, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

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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