After SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner announced his imminent retirement for the end of the academic year, it was only a matter of time before a search for his successor would begin.
Those first steps in the search were announced at the College Council meeting Wednesday.
Hefner has been president at the university for 16 years and has the longest tenure in SUNY Fredonia history.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Pictured is Associate Vice Chancellor and System Liaison for the Presidential Search Aimee Bernstein, who will assist the presidential search committee in finding a replacement for President Dennis Hefner.
In his remarks section of the agenda, Hefner said it was a pleasure serving as president and he is proud of his 16 years of accomplishments including the "Fredonia in 4" program and the creation of the College of Education, School of Business and the Technology Incubator.
"It has been a pleasure and an honor serving as president of this university. It's been comforting to know that I could always count on the strength and resilience of the faculty and staff to help weather any storm, keeping the focus on meeting our important educational mission. Your willingness to go above and beyond has been a primary reason why I have become the longest serving contemporary president in Fredonia's history," he said.
President of the College Council Frank Pagano announced he had selected the 15 candidates for the President Search Committee from the council, faculty, staff, administration and students, alumni and college foundations.
The members are as follows: Frank Pagano, Michael Robert Cerrie, Dr. Robert Heichberger and JoAnn Niebel from the College Council, Dr. Linda Hall, Dr. Keary Howard, Dr. James Hurtgen, Dr. Michael Jabot, Dr. Sandra Liggins and Prof. Thomas Loughlin from the faculty, Jeremy Corrente from staff, Dean John Kijinski, Student Association Pres-ident Michael Baker, Fredonia Alumni Association President Dr. Greg Gibbs and Fredonia College Foundation board member Deborah Kathman.
The presidential search will be a nationwide, confidential search, so committee meetings are not made public.
The committee was approved by the board, but will also receive assistance from the Associate Vice Chancellor and System Liaison for the Presidential Search Aimee Bernstein.
Bernstein said she had been conducting presidential searches for eight years and has been successful. She also said there is a defined process and set of search guidelines to follow and the search is expected to conclude by the end of the academic year with the new president starting with the new semester in September.
The Council went into executive session to pick a search firm, but did not release the name of the firm after because they still needed to be notified. The firm is expected to be announced today.
In other business:
The council announced that its budget book has been released and is available online at www.fredonia.edu/admin/budget. The college was able to save $25,000 in the budget by going paperless on this publication and a couple others. The 2011-12 budget totaled $99 million with more than $1 million cut in positions and a shortfall of $6.6 million which was compensated for with salary and energy savings, funds and reserves as well as a tuition increase.
Several capital projects were completed over the summer including rehabilitation of Erie Dining Hall exterior, Alumni Hall bathrooms, Grissom Hall lobby floor and Eisenhower Hall elevator, replacement of Reed library roof, Kirkland Quad windows and Gregory Hall doors as well as updates to the campus fire alarm system, emergency generators and security cameras on Mason Hall. Currently under construction are the new science center, Williams Center, Fenton Hall, Maytum Hall, the Field House and Rockefeller Arts Center. Many other projects are in design phases including work on an addition at Rockefeller, construction of townhouses and rehabilitation of Dods Hall.
Pagano will attend the ACT Conference which will likely take a position on whether the smallest of SUNY schools should share a president for cost savings. This does not directly affect Fredonia's presidential search.
The next College Council meeting will be in December.