SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints Leadership at Three Campuses, Executive Staff at System Administration

June 11, 2013

Albany — The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Howard Cohen as interim president of SUNY Buffalo State and Dr. Robert E. Geer as acting president of SUNYIT, and approved the appointment of Dr. Cory L. Duckworth as president of Jamestown Community College.

Additionally, the Board appointed Dr. James J. Malatras as vice chancellor for policy and chief of staff, and Dr. Elizabeth L. Bringsjord as interim provost at System Administration. Dr. David K. Lavallee, the current SUNY provost, was appointed university professor at SUNY New Paltz, effective Aug. 1, 2013. A national search for SUNY’s next provost is underway.

The Board also welcomed two new members: Binghamton University Professor Peter Knuepfer, who was recently elected president of the University Faculty Senate and will begin his term July 1, and UAlbany student Tremayne Price, who was recently elected president of the SUNY Student Assembly and began his term June 1.

About Dr. Howard Cohen
Dr. Cohen, chancellor emeritus and professor of Philosophy, Purdue University Calumet, served as chancellor of that institution between 2001 and 2011, and as provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay between 1995 and 2001. Dr. Cohen holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr. Cohen's appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2013, and will continue while President Aaron Podolefsky is on sick leave. Cohen will receive an annual salary of $225,000.

About Dr. Robert E. Geer
Dr. Geer has served since 2007 as vice president of Academic Affairs and chief academic officer, as well as professor of Nanoscale Science, at the UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and has taught at UAlbany since 1996. Dr. Geer holds a B.S. from Miami University (Ohio), and Ph.D from the Univeristy of Minnesota.

Dr. Geer's appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2013, at an annual salary of $220,000.

About Dr. Cory L. Duckworth
Dr. Duckworth currently serves as vice president for student affairs at Utah Valley University, a post he has held since 2003. He previously served as vice president for university advancement and marketing at Ferris State University, associate vice president for institutional advancement at Utah Valley State College, executive director of the St. Cloud University Foundation, executive assistant to the president for planning and development at Minot State University, and assistant director of development, instructor of political science, and pre-law advisor at Southern Utah University. A member of the Utah Bar Association, Dr. Duckworth earned a juris doctorate at the University of Utah College of Law. He earned a master's degree in political science at the University of Utah, and a bachelor's degree in political science and psychology at Utah State University.

Duckworth's appointment is effective Sept. 3, 2013 at an annual salary of $185,000, as previously appointed by the Board of Trustees at the JCC campus. Duckworth will succeed Gregory T. DeCinque, who is retiring from JCC's after a 19-year presidency at the college.

About Dr. James J. Malatras
Dr. Malatras is currently the Deputy Secretary for Policy Management for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. He has also served as Deputy Director for Policy, and Executive Director of Legislative Affairs and State Policy under the Cuomo Administration. He has served as an adjunct instructor at the University at Albany and Hudson Valley Community College. Dr. Malatras received his B.A. in Political Science, his M.A. in Political Science, and his Ph.D. in Political Science, all from the University at Albany.

Dr. Malatras' appointment is effective July 1, 2013 at an annual salary of $170,000.

About Dr. Elizabeth L. Bringsjord
Dr. Bringsjord is Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Assessment and Vice Provost. She oversees the review of SUNY's academic developments, spanning more than 6,500 credit-bearing programs across the 64-plus campus system. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, as a faculty member and administrator at both public and private institutions, including 14 years at SUNY System Administration, Dr. Bringsjord has led many efforts to enhance academic quality and ensure accountability while promoting access and success. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Educational Psychology and Statistics from the University at Albany, a Master's in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Nursing from Boston University.

About Dr. David K. Lavallee
Dr. David K. Lavallee has an extensive record in higher education administration as well as international education, science education, and research. Before assuming his current position at SUNY, he was provost of SUNY New Paltz for 10 years. Dr. Lavallee earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., and his Master of Science and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in Chicago, Ill.

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, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 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 opportunity, visit

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