July 1, 2022

Lisa Vollendorf Begins Tenure as President of SUNY Empire

President Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – July 1, 2022) Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, incoming SUNY Empire State College president, begins her tenure today at the college’s Saratoga Springs location.

Vollendorf, who was selected by the SUNY Board of Trustees after an extensive national search, will be SUNY Empire’s sixth president since its founding in 1971.

Prior to SUNY Empire, Vollendorf served as interim provost and chief academic officer at the University of Northern Colorado. She also worked for 16 years in the California State University system at three campuses as a faculty member, department chair, academic senate chair, dean, and provost.

Vollendorf will take over for Officer in Charge Nathan Gonyea, who will continue his work at the college as acting provost.

SUNY Empire State College President Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D. said, "I am thrilled to be part of the SUNY Empire State College community. As a leader in online and blended learning, SUNY Empire fills a very special niche in the higher-education landscape — one that is in more demand now than ever before. I look forward to building upon the college's history of access and innovation and moving the institution forward in ways that benefit and empower our students and the communities in which they live across New York state and around the world."

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lisa Vollendorf as the sixth President of SUNY Empire State College. With a strong foundation of experience in education, we look forward to seeing Dr. Vollendorf take the helm and steer this uniquely innovative and flexible, hybrid campus to even greater heights. A special thank you to Dr. Nathan Gonyea who has led the campus as Officer in Charge and will now serve as acting provost. SUNY Empire has established itself as a dedicated pathway for adult learners seeking higher education in an accessible way, and Dr. Vollendorf is well positioned to build upon this mission."

New York State Public Service Commissioner and SUNY Empire College Council Chairman John Maggiore said, “On behalf of the College Council, we are all very excited for Dr. Vollendorf to begin her tenure as president of SUNY Empire State College. Dr. Vollendorf brings a level of energy, strategic thinking and academic heft that is commensurate to the task at hand. We are grateful for the leadership provided by Nathan Gonyea during his service as officer in charge and look forward to his continued service to SUNY Empire State College. The future looks bright.”

Chair of the Empire State College Foundation Board Marian Conway, Ph.D. ’01, ’04, said, “The members of the Empire State College Foundation are delighted to welcome Lisa Vollendorf as the new president of SUNY Empire State College. We are excited to work together to make an even greater difference in the lives of our current and future students and the college community.”

Vice Provost of Academic Administration Tai Arnold, Ph.D. said, “I am so looking forward to Dr. Vollendorf's presidency at SUNY Empire. She will be able draw on her academic leadership knowledge and experience at multiple colleges and universities around the nation to the college’s advantage. Her impressive scholarship will benefit our college community as we continue to innovate as an institution. I know my colleagues are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Vollendorf as she begins her tenure at SUNY Empire.”

SUNY Empire Student Government Association President Elizabeth Maxwell said, “I want to welcome our new president to SUNY Empire State College. As a fierce advocate for early childhood education, I am impressed with President Vollendorf’s commitment to advocating for public education. The Student Government Association at SUNY Empire State College looks forward to working with her this academic year and beyond.”