SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler as President of SUNY New Paltz

May 3, 2022

Brings 30+ Years of Research and Community Experience and Partnership in Health and Education Disparities to New Post, Will Focus on Advocating for 21st Century Liberal Arts College

Wheeler’s Photo Available Here

New York, NY
– Upon the recommendation of the State University of New York Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley, the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler as President of SUNY New Paltz. The statement was announced by the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Stanley and is effective July 18, 2022.

"We are impressed with Dr. Wheeler’s abilities and spirit, and all of us believe he will be a great leader for SUNY New Paltz," said SUNY Board Trustee James F. Haddon. "His extensive time dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities for minority groups, serving on the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and creating foster care mentoring programs clearly demonstrates his passion for equity and inclusion. His commitment to improving higher education, along with his history of advocacy, has us anticipating seeing his unique lens unfold at SUNY New Paltz. Our congratulations to Dr. Wheeler and the SUNY New Paltz community."

"Dr. Wheeler is not just an exceptional leader, but has dedicated over three decades of his career to tackling inequities within healthcare and education, ultimately providing a much-needed voice to the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities," said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. "SUNY New Paltz has built a reputation of academic excellence, and being welcoming and inclusive, and Dr. Wheeler is poised to continue that legacy. With his passion for creating more equitable systems within higher education and beyond as well as his professional record of admirable institutional governance, we are pleased to have Dr. Wheeler join the SUNY community. We greatly thank SUNY New Paltz Presidential Search Committee Chair Ron Law for leading the search process and President Donald P. Christian for serving the New Paltz community for over a decade."

Eli Basch, interim chair of the SUNY New Paltz College Council, and Ronald Law, SUNY New Paltz Class of 1974, longtime member of the SUNY New Paltz College Council, and SUNY New Paltz Presidential Search Committee chair, said, "Dr. Wheeler impressed us with his genuine interest in New Paltz and our success as a high-quality public university that advances the social mobility of our diverse student population who then become engaged citizens making their communities and our society a better place. We observed Dr. Wheeler’s keen listening skills and thoughtful and informed responses to our questions, his positive energy and ability to achieve results through leveraging data and building consensus, and the high caliber and success of his academic and administrative accomplishments throughout his impressive career. We were moved by his personal story and his more than 30 years of research and community partnership in healthcare disparities for Black men that has earned him a national reputation and a seat on the US President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He is the right choice to take an already strong SUNY New Paltz to the next level of excellence."

Incoming President Dr. Wheeler said, "It is an honor and a privilege to be named New Paltz’s 9th president and to join a campus community I have already come to respect and admire. I look forward to working together with students and colleagues at New Paltz to advocate for the value of a liberal education tailored to 21st century needs and build upon the institution’s core values of access, integrity, inclusion, social justice, leadership, and excellence. Given its success in advancing the social mobility of its graduates, its geographic distinctiveness, and its stature within the SUNY system, SUNY New Paltz is poised to leverage profound opportunities even in this moment of rapid change. My thanks to the SUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor Stanley, and SUNY New Paltz College Council for this opportunity, and to the community of Iona College for their commitment to my success as an academic leader."

About Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler

Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler currently serves as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Iona College. Prior to that, he served as Dean of the School of Social Welfare and Vice President for Public Engagement at the University at Albany, Dean for the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and has held academic positions at Hunter College, CUNY, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Wheeler has more than 30 years of research and community partnership experience in health disparities research with extensive scholarly work with local and national Black men who have sex with men (MSM) communities. While at the University at Albany, he was Co-PI on the NIMHD S21 Health Disparities Research Capacity and Resources grant entitled Endowment for Community-Based Health Disparities Research and Training, which was administered at UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD), a previous NIMHD-funded P20 and R24 Center.

Dr. Wheeler currently serves on the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA); is on the Executive Management Committee of the HIV Prevention Trials Network; co-chairs the HIV Prevention Trial Networks HPTN Scholars Program, which has become a model for other mentoring programs to foster career development among underrepresented minority scholars; and is on the Board of Directors for the NASW Assurance Services Incorporated.

In 2021, Dr. Wheeler was selected as one of sixteen Westchester County (New York) Health Care Heroes for his work to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the county. He has worked to promote the engagement and success of underrepresented minorities in HIV-prevention sciences. His research, teaching, and community engagement work has demonstrated a deep understanding of the use of data and evidence in developing innovative programs and policy initiatives, especially related to health with marginalized and oppressed groups.

Dr. Wheeler received his PhD in social work and MPH in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh, his MSW in health/mental health from Howard University, and his BA in sociology from Cornell College. He served in the United States Air Force and as an intern officer in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

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

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