Buffalo State committee actively searching for new president

SUNY Buffalo State has an active search committee in place to identify the next permanent institutional president.

Howard Zemsky, managing partner of the Larkin District, chairs the search committee. He participated in the last search four years ago.

“We expect to have a new, permanent president in place by Aug. 1,” Zemsky said.  “That’s our objective, and I believe we’ll achieve it.”

Zemsky said that the committee has hired and met with a search consultant from the Academic Search Firm. He said the committee has met several times on campus thus far and have regular meetings.

The search committees are confidential. Meetings get called as needed, and the committee communicates through email venues.

“We’ve had a number of goals that we’ve met,” Zemsky said, “so we’ve drafted and posted our ad online on the Chronicle of Higher Education and about seven other online sites that would appeal to potential presidential candidates.”

Buffalo State last conducted a presidential search four years ago when it named Aaron Podolefsky to the office.

Zemsky said that search took roughly half a year to complete.

“We’ve been through this now in a fairly recent history so I think that is to our advantage in terms of launching another search,” Zemsky said. “Obviously the circumstances that found us having a search so soon after the last one is very unfortunate.”

At the beginning of the search, transparency was declared a priority.

Trivet Jarmond, a student member of the College Senate, said that he has been informed about what is going on with the presidential search.

“It seems like they’re being as transparent as they could be,” Jarmond said. “From what I gather, they are meeting with candidates.”

Zemsky said the committee includes many members of the Buffalo State community with varying roles.

Students, professors and staff all play a vital part, he said.

“It represents a broad array of Buffalo State constituencies so I feel like they’re doing their job very dutifully, very professionally,” Zemsky said.

Zemsky said some schools go through closed searches where the campus community only knows the result of the search.

The search at Buffalo State is open.

“We are doing what you would call an open search,” Zemsky said. “The finalists will basically be presented to the campus community as part of our search process.”

Zemsky said that when candidates are invited on campus, they will meet with different constituent groups, and they will speak to the campus. He said any member of the campus community will be able to participate. He said there will be an evening function as well that will be open to the broader Buffalo State community.

“It’s going to be done in a way that gives everyone an opportunity to meet and hear the potential candidates,” Zemsky said.

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