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photo of President Poskanzer in front of the new stone wall at the main entrance


Selection Process for a Presidential Search Committee

Kenneth J. Abt, Chair of the College Council, April 29, 2010 - As you know, it is the responsibility of the New Paltz College Council to conduct the search for a new College President to replace Steven Poskanzer and to recommend a slate of qualified candidates to the SUNY Board of Trustees who has the legal authority to appoint the College President. In order to conduct a timely search, we will need to take care of some important business yet this spring, namely the selection of the Search Committee.

In order to attract the best candidates to lead the College, we need to commence our search as soon as possible. It is my fervent desire that we constitute this committee before the end of the current academic year so that we can select a search firm (as required by SUNY guidelines). The search firm will want to travel to New Paltz and meet with constituent groups in order to understand the campus culture and to ask the community about the qualities and skills needed in a new president. I would anticipate these meetings will take place as early as possible in the fall. This will enable us to start advertising the position nationally in September, allowing us to begin screening and interviewing candidates during the fall.

Per SUNY policy and consistent with past practice in previous New Paltz presidential searches, the Search Committee will consist of the following members:

  • Four members of the College Council (including the chair)
  • Six members of the full-time teaching faculty
  • One student
  • One alumni representative
  • One Foundation Board member
  • One academic dean
  • One professional faculty member
  • One support staff (Classified) member

To that end, I have contacted Dr. Simin Mozayeni, Presiding Officer of the Faculty, and have asked her to commence the selection of the six teaching faculty members for the committee.

According to SUNY guidelines for presidential searches, “To ensure that faculty representation on the Search Committee speaks for a broad spectrum of faculty opinion, the faculty shall elect its representatives to the Search Committee by secret ballot at an
open session of the faculty governance group, at which a quorum of the teaching faculty are present.”

At New Paltz, faculty bylaws state that “the Organization Committee is charged with conducting elections for a college-wide ad hoc committee to work with the Chancellor and the College Council as faculty representatives in the selection process of a new College President.”
Dr. Mozayeni and Dr. Jan Hammond, co-chair of the Organization Committee, will be contacting you soon to steward the faculty selection process.

The guidelines further stipulate that “The College Council chair shall invite the appropriate campus and community groups to submit recommendations for all other positions on the Search Committee, and shall make the appointments to the remaining positions on the Search Committee from the recommendations submitted.”

For all other positions on the Search Committee, I will be inviting recommendations of individuals willing to serve on the Search Committee. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to solicit nominations for the professional faculty and support staff representatives to serve on the Committee.

Interested individuals should send a brief statement describing why they would like to serve. Nominations may be e-mailed or submitted by Friday, May 14th, in writing to Shelly Wright, Chief of Staff, Office of the President, in Haggerty 902 or

I am confident that we will be able to select a strong Search Committee to assist us in choosing the next leader for the New Paltz campus. The College Council believes that New Paltz has progressed and benefited tremendously under Steven Poskanzer's leadership. The College Council is committed to moving swiftly in recommending the next leader for New Paltz in order to continue that forward momentum.