SUNY Board of Trustees Announces Interim Leadership at University at Albany, Sullivan County Community College

September 14, 2016

Cortland, NY – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. James R. Stellar as interim president of the University at Albany and together with the Sullivan County Community College Board of Trustees approved the appointment of John Quaintance as interim president of Sullivan County Community College.

About Dr. James R. Stellar

Dr. Stellar has served as provost and senior vice president at the University at Albany since February 2015, overseeing all academic operations. Among his key accomplishments are the launch of two colleges—the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity—and the revitalization of UAlbany’s applied learning program and expansion of internationalization efforts.

He previously served as vice president for Academic Innovation and Experiential Education from 2013 to 2015, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at CUNY’s Queens College from 2009 to 2014. He held prior faculty appointments at Harvard University and Northeastern University.

Dr. Stellar earned his doctorate in biological psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa.

Dr. Stellar’s appointment will remain effective until further action by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He will receive an annual state salary of $390,000 and an additional $110,000 from the SUNY Research Foundation. The appointment is effective September 24, 2016.

About John Quaintance

John Quaintance has served as the officer-in-charge at Sullivan County Community College since July 28, 2016. Prior to joining the campus, he was assistant secretary to education for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for approximately two years and assistant vice chancellor for community colleges as well as assistant vice chancellor and assistant provost for community college policy and programming at SUNY.

Quaintance has a long history of working with community colleges, beginning with his assignments in the field of student services, where he served as an instructor in Upward Bound and then as the director of TRIO Student Support Services. In addition, Quaintance has work as an instructor, department chair, and assistant dean of academic affairs at the community college level.

Quaintance received both his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Master of Arts in rhetoric and the teaching of writing from New Mexico State University.

His appointment is effective immediately and for one year or until a permanent president is appointed. He will receive an annual salary of $150,000.

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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