Scott Nostaja: A Look Back
by Buck Quigley - posted 11:26 am, July 16, 2010
Checking my email this morning, I found a correction to the blog post I put up yesterday. It was sent by UB Senior Director of Media Relations, John DellaContrada.
Scott Nostaja is a state employee. He became a state employee on July 1,
the beginning of UB’s fiscal year, when he officially assumed the position
of chief operating officer.
Yesterday, I wrote that he wasn’t a state employee. I don’t like printing incorrect info. Fact is, I called Nostaja yesterday to double check. I left a message with his secretary. She confirmed that he’s the SUNYAB VP and COO, but couldn’t vouch for his “funding source.” He never called me back.
So, I stand corrected. For the last sixteen days, Scott Nostaja has been a NYS employee. Of course, for the last five years he’s been involved with UB. He first came here as a representative of AVCOR consulting, the firm UB “engaged to facilitate the UB 2020 planning process.” Evidently, he was the president and CEO of AVCOR consulting.
Nostaja was listed as the VP of Human Resources at SUNYAB in 2007, three years before he became a state employee. He had a similar job title at his former place of employment in tinseltown, Universal Studios. AVCOR’s offices are located on Sunset Boulevard.
Tax forms indicate he’s already made over a million dollars from UB Foundation Activities, Inc. in the past few years.
Five years ago, UB’s Spectrum newspaper printed this article describing the high level of secrecy surrounding Scott Nostaja and AVCOR’s involvement with SUNYAB.
President Simpson first brought Nostaja on board during his days at UC Santa Cruz. Now, his UB2020 brainchild has morphed into the state-wide PHEEIA initiative that would run roughshod over the original mission of SUNY, which reads:
The mission of the state university system shall be 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.
Nothing about being an “economic driver” for the state. And the damn thing about it is that Simpson, Nostaja, Zimpher and all the rest will be long gone from the area when the region begins to realize that their “big, hairy audacious ideas” ruined the largest public university system on Earth.
We wouldn’t be the first place to buy into a bunch of empty promises.