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SUNY Chancellor Zaps BU Presidential Candidates

As the secretive search for the next SUNY University at Buffalo President stumbles on, SUNY Chancellor Zimpher has put the kibosh on the Presidential search at SUNY Binghamton University. As a result, they have to begin their search for a new president from square one. Read about it here.

You can get more of the back story by clicking here. Lots of intrigue like leaked documents. And check out how the presidential search was conducted in Binghamton:

Over eight months, the Council narrowed the candidate pool down to five individuals, each of whom participated in on-campus forums, which averaged between 150 and 200 attendees. The Council further narrowed down the list of candidates, and just two were put up for Zimpher’s review.

Then, after all that, she gives a thumbs down to the university’s choices. She doesn’t even have to publicly say why she disapproved of them.

Enquiring minds also want to know why such a seemingly open process in Binghamton, but not in Buffalo?

Remember how the whole thing started? Here’s how it’s going down as of March 2, according to the Buffalo News:

UB’s search, under the direction of Jeremy M. Jacobs, chairman of the UB Council and Delaware North Cos., has been on a fast track since last September.

In January, Jacobs told UB faculty and staff by e-mail that a national and international pool of 69 applicants had been pared down to a short list of a half-dozen or so candidates.

Public colleges and universities commonly introduce a few of the presidential finalists during the end stages of a search, but the selection process at UB has been much more confidential.

Names also were withheld throughout UB’s last presidential search in 2003 to ensure privacy for candidates employed elsewhere.

Kinda makes you wonder what’s going on over at that big old public “economic driver of  the 21 century.” The last SUNY at Buffalo presidential search yielded lumber heir John Barclay Simpson. That time, according the Buffalo News and the Chronicle of Higher Education, UB spent $220,000 on the search. That included $161,000 to a private search firm, and $39,000 for travel and expenses incurred by the search committee. They also spent $15,000 on travel, lodging, entertainment, gift baskets, and other incidentals for the candidates themselves.

Do you wonder what they just spent in Binghamton? And do you wonder why Zimpher so blithely flushed all that time, money, and effort down the toilet?

Or are these not the sort of questions that New York state taxpayers should be allowed to ask?


  • Jim Holstun

    I’m so glad that the Billionaire Archduke of Greyhounds and Stadium Nachos is protecting the tender privacy of candidates for the UB presidency. One wouldn’t want them to be exposed to the gaze and the questions of the students, faculty, and staff of the university they might be running. That would smack of DEMOCRACY, and that’s just not the Delaware North way.

  • al

    UB policies have a huge influence on the quality of life for home owners attempting to live near the South Campus. Leaving the tax payers out of the loop guarantees continued “town, gown” problems.

  • UBProfessor

    For the sake of us all Chancellor Zimpher, hit the reset button and lay out a transparent process for UB to recruit a new president. In the interim, appoint an interim president who you see eye-to-eye with. The current provost is a nice enough person, but he has the unfortunate association and ties to Simpson. UB needs a fresh start with fresh ideas, not the same-old-same-old dead end approach of Simpson, Jacobs, and Co. . SHUT DOWN UB INC…. before we turn into the next Wisconsin!

  • Jim Holstun

    Many, many thanks to The Spectrum for reminding the UB Presidential Search Committee of the Board of Trustees guidelines for its own operation. Now if only Jeremy Jacobs could read!

    Way to go SPECTRUM!

  • Peter A Reese

    I thinks we should all thanks Gawd that Mista Jacobs is doin all the thinkin for us po community folks who just ain’t got the brains fo that stuff.

  • Jim Holstun

    Gee, if UB Council Chair Jerry Jacobs actually has neglected to follow the state guidelines yet once more, this makes three major bobbles in his undistinguished tenure as UB Presidential Search Committee Chair:

    1. Taking it upon himself to cut out the Trustees and Chancellor and trying to name Scott Nostaja as interim.
    2. Denying UB faculty the right to elect six representatives to the search committee.
    3. Denying the campus the right to meet and interact with finalists.

    How stupid/incompetent/devious do you have to be to lose this job? Do you actually have to be caught on video eating a rat during a UB Council meeting? That seems not altogether impossible with this genius.