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SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Utica, New York
Commensurate with qualifications
Posted Date
Feb 15, 2023

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Position Type
Executive, Chancellors & Presidents
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


SUNY Polytechnic Institute seeks a visionary and highly accomplished leader who can advance the mission of the Institute: to combine academic excellence, cutting-edge competitive research, and economic development in the service of creative and innovative education. SUNY Poly is a vibrant, primarily undergraduate institution in central New York and a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) comprehensive system of higher education. The Institute has an excellent record of accomplishment in education, technology innovation, research and development, and is currently seeking to expand its graduate offerings and competitive research imprint.

The State University of New York (SUNY) and the SUNY Poly College Council invite applications from skilled and experienced academic administrators who are committed to student success and research excellence.

The Institution:
SUNY Polytechnic Institute, in Utica, NY, grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, professional studies, and selected liberal arts disciplines. SUNY Poly enrolls nearly 2,000 undergraduate and more than 750 graduate students in 47 total degree programs across four colleges. SUNY Poly has emerged as the most dynamic and distinctive research institution in the SUNY System by offering exciting, relevant courses and majors that enable students to achieve success in growing 21st century fields. Disciplines include engineering, business, entrepreneurship, natural sciences, nursing and allied health professions, mathematics, communication and information design, social sciences, cybersecurity, humanities, computer science, and more. As a leader in the growing regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, SUNY Poly recognizes it is critically important to foster and empower a fast-evolving culture of discovery and innovation in today’s knowledge-driven global economy.

The faculty, administration, and staff at SUNY Poly are dedicated to ensuring that students take full advantage of not only the resources of the University, but also all that New York State has to offer. Students come from varied locales and together make the campus community diverse, dynamic, and highly energetic and energizing. The region offers employment possibilities in burgeoning industries such as the semiconductor industry, advanced materials, nanotechnology aerospace, and national defense, among others. SUNY Poly’s 400-acre 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. SUNY Poly is within moderate travel times to major international destinations such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.

The year-over-year rankings by U.S. News & World Report continue to soar as the institution has been named 9th in the “Best Regional Universities-North” category. Additionally, SUNY Poly earned a top 20 spot in “Social Mobility” and 2nd for “Top Public Schools” in the same category.

SUNY Poly is in close proximity to both the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, New York, and the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum military reservation. SUNY Poly is proud to be ranked 3rd in “Best Colleges for Veterans,” up two positions from its previous ranking in the Regional Universities-North category. Through collaborative efforts, SUNY Poly is leveraging academic and research opportunities near its campus and throughout the Mohawk Valley. These opportunities include Wolfspeed (formerly Cree) as it builds the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility; Danfoss Silicon Power, which develops customized power modules; and the region’s new multi-million-dollar talent and tech accelerator, Innovare Advancement Center, in partnership with the Griffiss Institute and the AFRL.

The Position:
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 the unique mission of the Institute and securing its far-reaching impact. The next President must have the imagination, courage, and capability to develop and advance an innovative vision and provide ideas to move the institution forward; they must manifest an appreciation for the unique qualities of the Institute to sustain and promote its position as a polytechnic with a focus on experiential learning for students in all fields of study.

Reporting to the SUNY Chancellor and serving at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees, the President is the Chief Administrative Officer of the University and who has overall legal responsibility for the operation of the University. Among the duties assigned, the President is responsible for the preparation and recommendation of the annual University budget request and the allocation of resources. The President makes policy decisions with respect to the mission, plans, and development of the campus. The President promotes the development and effectiveness of the University through the supervision of the academic and nonacademic staff and has legal responsibility for the appointment, reappointment, promotion, and separation from services of all staff members. As Chief Administrative Officer, the President assigns duties, powers, and responsibilities to other administrative and academic officers and/or to special committees. Directly reporting to the President are the Provost, Vice President for Finance, Director of University Marketing & Communications, Vice President of Human Resources, Assistant Vice President of Development, Associate Counsel, Vice President for Student Affairs/Vice President for Enrollment Management, and the Chief Diversity Officer.

SUNY Poly seeks a fierce advocate for the Institute 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 in education and knowledge creation. The ideal candidate will integrate intellectual, enterprising, and conscientious approaches to advance opportunities for faculty scholarship and creative activities, as well as active learning experiences for students, providing new ideas to move the institution forward and incorporating the unique qualities of SUNY Poly into that vision to preserve and enhance/expand its position as a leading polytechnic university. The President will have the highest integrity, a demonstrated commitment to and appreciation for the mission of SUNY Poly, and a leadership style built on transparency and collegiality.

In order to successfully lead SUNY Poly, they must bring a proven commitment to diversity and inclusion, broad experience with diverse students, faculty, and communities, and tangible demonstration of the capacity to embrace diversity in all aspects, including the ability to recruit, welcome, retain, and build an integrated, inclusive, and diverse campus culture. Additional characteristics include an understanding of and commitment to shared governance and working in a unionized environment, the willingness to engage with the academic community; superb communication skills and the ability to effectively and productively represent the Institute and its interests; leadership and team-building experience coupled with the ability to mentor existing leadership at the institution; and a confirmed commitment to the student experience.

The new President will demonstrate their understanding and commitment to internationalization and globalization through support for international programs and international students; their capacity to form alliances and partnerships with industry; and their ability to advance and support an innovative research agenda that will enhance the reputation of SUNY Poly and attract and retain high quality faculty and staff.

The successful candidate will have the academic background in teaching, research, and scholarship to lead a dynamic and growing academic institution or offer compelling reasons to consider an equivalent background; demonstrated success at progressive levels of leadership and the experience and skills to manage and guide a dynamic polytechnic university; a strong record of aligning budgets with strategic goals, allocating resources effectively, and setting financial priorities; the capacity to inspire others to elevate their contributions to SUNY Poly’s mission; and a balance of confidence, humility, optimism, passion, and approachability. Candidates must have earned a terminal degree from an accredited institution and show 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, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-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 reached nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, 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. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please email Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President, at the email address listed above. The first review of candidates will continue through April 3, 2023.

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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