Presidential Search

SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Albany, New York
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Presidential Search


The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) invites applications and nominations for the next President of one of the nation’s most unique and innovative institutions. SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational and research institution. SUNY Poly seeks a highly accomplished leader who can embrace the Institute’s mission of combining academic excellence, world-class research, and economic development to continue SUNY Poly’s reputation of being a catalyst for creative and innovative education.


The Institution:SUNY Polytechnic Institute was formed on March 19, 2014, when the State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendation to merge the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) in Utica. The transformative merger was the result of New York State’s effort to create an entity rooted in academia and capable of driving significant and sustained industrial and economic growth across the State of New York. As a result, SUNY Poly has emerged as the most dynamic and distinctive institution in the State University System. SUNY Poly’s five colleges offer exciting, relevant courses and majors that enable students to achieve success in growing 21st century fields, including nanoscience, engineering, business, natural sciences, nursing, nanoengineering, mathematics, communication and information design, social sciences, nanobioscience, cybersecurity, humanities, computer science, and more. SUNY Poly recognizes and respects the traditional academic enterprise while fostering and enabling the fast-evolving culture of discovery and innovation in today’s knowledge-driven global economy.


SUNY Poly now enrolls nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 57 different programs across its four colleges on the Utica campus and one college in Albany. These campuses feature cutting-edge equipment and facilities, including the recently opened Hilltop Hall, a zero-net carbon-certified building—the first-ever on a SUNY campus. Together these provide students with a highly distinctive living and learning experience.


SUNY Poly’s faculty, administration, and staff are dedicated to ensuring that students take full advantage of not only the University’s resources, but also all that New York State has to offer. Students come from varied locales and together make the community diverse, dynamic, and impressive. The region offers employment possibilities and burgeoning industries such as nano-technology and aero/astronautics among others. SUNY Poly’s 400-acre Utica campus is ideally situated near extensive recreational opportunities in the nearby six million-acre Adirondack Park as well as diverse urban amenities in historic Utica and Rome. Among Utica’s varied cultural jewels is its world-class mid-century modern art museum designed by renowned architect, Philip Johnson. The Albany campus, located within New York’s capital city, boasts world-class entertainment venues, historic museums and architecture, and an urban oasis designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead. Underpinning New York State’s high-tech ecosystem, it also supports technology acceleration, business incubation, pilot prototyping, and test-based integration support, with corporate research partnerships, including with IBM, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron Limited, ASML, and LAM Research, among others. Both campuses of SUNY Poly are within moderate travel times to major international destinations such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.


SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s year-over-year rankings by U.S. News & World Report continue to soar as the institution has been named 12th in its “Best Regional Universities-North” ranking. SUNY Poly was also ranked in the top five for “Best Value Colleges” for Regional Universities-North in 2021. Additionally, SUNY Poly climbed 45 places to rank 10th in “Social Mobility” while also earning 2nd for the “Top Public Schools” Regional Universities-North category.


SUNY Poly’s Utica campus is in close proximity to both the Air Force Research Laboratory—Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) in Rome, New York, and the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum military reservation, reasons why SUNY Poly is also proud to be ranked 5th in “Best Colleges for Veterans,” up one position from the institution’s 2020 ranking in the Regional Universities-North category. SUNY Poly is leveraging academic and research opportunities near its Utica campus and throughout the Mohawk Valley. These opportunities include Cree as it builds the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility; Danfoss Silicon Power, which develops customized power modules on the Utica campus; and the region’s new multi-million-dollar talent and tech accelerator, Innovare Advancement Center, in partnership with the Griffiss Institute and AFRL/RI. The Albany campus is located within the Albany Nanotech site, a vibrant innovation ecosystem anchored by major semiconductor industrial research efforts, and complemented by the College’s business incubation efforts, alongside prototyping facilities for small start-up companies. There, CNSE provides a unique setting for students and faculty to take part in this world-class fully integrated research, development, and educational facility.


The Position and Qualifications: As the leader and chief executive officer of SUNY Poly, the President exercises broad responsibilities for all aspects of the institution, inspires and guides members of the campus community, and serves as its chief representative externally, championing SUNY Poly’s unique mission and far-reaching impact. The President will primarily reside at the Utica campus, but will be expected to be active and visible in Utica and Albany. The next President must have the imagination, courage, and capability to develop and advance an innovative vision, provide new ideas to move the institution forward, and leverage the unique qualities of the University to sustain its position as a leading research institution with a focus on experiential learning in all fields of study.


SUNY Poly seeks a fierce advocate for the University at the local, state, and national levels who is committed to raising the resources to carry out the strategic plan and keep the institution focused on outcomes and impact. The ideal candidate will have, among other qualities:

  • an entrepreneurial approach to advancing innovation and research, providing new ideas to move the institution forward, and leveraging the unique qualities of SUNY Poly to preserve and enhance its position as a leading polytechnic university;
  • a demonstrated commitment to and appreciation for the mission of SUNY Poly;
  • the academic or equivalent background in teaching, research, and scholarship to lead a complex and dynamic academic institution;
  • proven commitment to diversity and inclusion and broad experience with diverse students, faculty, and communities, with a proven capacity to embrace diversity in all aspects, including the capacity to recruit, welcome, retain, and build an integrated, inclusive, and diverse culture;
  • an understanding and commitment to shared governance;
  • the ability to engage with the academic community;
  • a demonstrated understanding and commitment to internationalization and globalization through support for international programs and international students;
  • a leadership style focused on transparency and collegiality;
  • the demonstrated capacity to form alliances and partnerships with industry;
  • superb communication skills and the ability to effectively represent the University in a compelling manner;
  • the ability to advance and support an innovative research agenda that will enhance SUNY Poly’s reputation and attract and retain high quality faculty;
  • leadership and team-building experience coupled with the ability to mentor current leadership at the institution;
  • a demonstrated commitment to the student experience;
  • demonstrated success at progressive levels of leadership and the experience and skills to manage and guide a complex and dynamic polytechnic university;
  • a strong record of aligning budgets with strategic goals, allocating resources effectively, and setting financial priorities;
  • the highest integrity;
  • the capacity to inspire others to elevate their contributions to SUNY Poly’s mission; and
  • the balance of confidence and humility, optimism, passion, and approachability.


Candidates must have an earned terminal degree from an accredited institution and credentials consistent with earning tenure in the appropriate academic unit at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.


About SUNY:The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers with each having a medical school, three hospitals, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry and college of maritime studies, as well as one U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide were more than $1.0 billion in fiscal year 2020, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. SUNY’s leadership structure consists of a Board of Trustees, led by Dr. Merryl H. Tisch; the Chancellor, Dr. Jim Malatras; System Administration Senior Staff; and Campus Presidents, each working together to advance the mission of the state university system: “…to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational postsecondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary.” The Chancellor increasingly looks to the campus Presidents to work collaboratively with other SUNY colleges, administrators, faculty and staff, and surrounding communities to lower cost, enhance productivity, and elevate the importance of degree completion at each institution.


Information for Applicants: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please email Dana John Cohick, President or Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant at the email address listed above. The full review of candidates will begin on July 16, 2021; however, applications will be reviewed by the committee as they arrive. The first-round interviews will commence the middle of August.


As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, SUNY Polytechnic Institute will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant's race, creed, religion, color, citizenship, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, gender identification or expression, genetic information, familial status, marital status, pregnancy, status as a domestic violence victim, criminal conviction, disability, military status, disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Armed Forces Service Medal veteran, active duty or wartime campaign badge veteran, or other characteristic as protected by law.




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Presidential Search

SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Albany, New York

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