Presidential search team has been formed

Howard Zemsky, president of the Buffalo State College Council, presented the plan to create a search committee for a new president during a special Senate meeting, held Friday in Bulger North.

The committee will feature 20 voting members and four non-voting members in the search and decision of appointing a new president to succeed Buffalo State’s eighth president, Aaron Podolefsky, who died in August. The committee features five more members than the SUNY template requires.

The largest group making up the committee is composed of eight faculty members, two chosen from each major school at Buffalo State.

Zemksy said four common council members, two administrative members, an alumni representative, a representative from the Buffalo State College Foundation, and the president of SUNY Fredonia will round out the first 18 slots in the committee.

Two students will be on the committee, one more than the SUNY template necessitates. One undergraduate representative and one graduate representative will also be chosen to participate in the voting.

During the last presidential search four years ago, the student body nominated members and the representatives were picked from the nominations.

There will also be on-campus forums for students to express their opinions broadly.

Zemsky’s presentation put a lot of emphasis on the desire to create a “diverse search to reflect Buffalo State,” not only in the actual presidential selection, but in diversity in the actual committee.

“We want to have diversity,” Zemsky said. “Diversity in experiences, in gender, in race … I just want a robust, diverse search committee.”

Though SUNY has a strict criteria set, there is some flexibility in the individual schools.

In the four years since Buffalo State last searched for a new president, the desired credentials and experiences of the school haven’t changed much, said David Carson, Senate chair.

Barbara Sherman, school of professions representative, asked if Interim President Howard Cohen was interested in making his position permanent. However, Zemsky responded that Cohen taking over is not a possibility; Cohen came to do a job for a limited amount of time.

Buffalo State will do everything it can to attract candidates with the highest caliber, academic credentials and track records. The school’s positive reputation and third-party endorsements from Cohen and Buffalo State’s seventh president, Muriel A. Howard, aim to get the best candidates, according to the presentation.

Zemsky said it will take a few weeks to form the committee itself, but it should be ready to begin its search by the first or second week of December.


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