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February 12, 2019

Message from Presidential Search Committee Chairman

As chairman of the Empire State College Council and of the Presidential Search Committee, I want to welcome you to the Presidential Search Website.

SUNY Empire State College is engaged in a search for the next leader of the institution, following the resignation of its former president, Merodie Hancock, in the spring of 2018.

Work to date has included meeting with representatives of SUNY administration to review the SUNY guidelines for such searches, selection of a search committee in consultation with college stakeholders and the election of representatives of the college's faculty, professional and support staff by their colleagues.

After a competitive bidding process following state of New York procurement rules, the college retained Academic Search of Washington D.C., an executive search firm with expertise in higher education to assist with the search process, the development of recruitment materials and the identification of appropriate candidates for the position.

The college requested from SUNY permission to expand the recommended membership of the search committee, which was granted. The 20 committee members represent a wide range of campus constituencies, as follows:

  • 4 members of the college council (including the council chairman)
  • 7 members of the teaching faculty, one part-time member
  • 1 professional employee
  • 1 support staff employee
  • 1 academic dean
  • 2 students (one undergraduate student and one graduate student)
  • 1 alumni representative
  • 2 college foundation representatives
  • 1 member of the chancellor's senior staff, as designated by the chancellor

Additionally, in attendance at all committee meetings are:

  • 1 chancellor's liaison (non-voting)
  • 1 campus liaison (non-voting)

The committee received a formal charge from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson at its first meeting in early October, at which time it also had an extensive conversation with the college's chief diversity officer about the importance of considering diversity, equity and inclusion when reviewing candidates and their submitted materials. Since then, the committee has met regularly to help prepare recruitment materials, review applications, and select which applicants were invited for "neutral site" interviews, which took place on February 1 and 2, 2019.

Each committee member has signed a strict agreement of confidentiality. Thus, this section of the college website contains all relevant public information related to the search process.

For questions, contact Mary Caroline Powers, vice president and special assistant in the Office of the President, who is serving as campus liaison to the search committee. She can be reached at marycaroline.powers@esc.edu or 518-580-4765.

For all of you who have participated in various search activities thus far, I want to thank you for your interest and commitment to the college and this process and urge you to take part in the upcoming campus visits.


 Search Committee Chairman Signature

James W. Lytle

Chairman, SUNY Empire State College Council