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SUNY at Buffalo Provost Named SUNY at Binghamton President

After a long and complicated process that included SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s rejection of the first choice for SUNY Binghamton president back in March of this year, Zimpher and the SUNY Trustees today approved SUNY Buffalo interim provost Harvey Stenger to take over the job at BU.

According to today’s letter from UB President Satish Tripathi…

Dear University Community:

I am writing to share a very important announcement regarding our university and SUNY communities.

This afternoon, upon the recommendation of SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, the SUNY Board of Trustees approved the appointment of our own Dr. Harvey Stenger as the next President of Bi nghamton University, effective January 1, 2012.  While he will be missed tremendously by our entire university community, this prestigious appointment is richly deserved recognition of his remarkable vision and the depth and breadth of his leadership and expertise.  These are all qualities that we have come to know very well during Harvey’s service at UB, and I am confident that they will distinguish him as an exceptional president at our sister SUNY institution.

As you know, Harvey has been serving with great distinction and dedication as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs since April 2011.  Under his leadership, UB’s academic enterprise continues to make impressive strides forward as we pursue our long-range institutional vision of excellence.  I am deeply grateful for Harvey’s wise counsel, clarity of vision, and impressive leadership-both throughout his outstanding tenure as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 2006-2011, and in his most recent capacity as Interim Provost.  While I am very sorry to see him leave UB, I am thrilled to continue working with him as a presidential colleague at our fellow University Center at Binghamton.  I know I am joined by all of Harvey’s colleagues and friends at UB in expressing my heartfelt thanks for his exemplary contributions over the years, and my warmest wishes for every success in this important new leadership role.

As UB continues its international search for our next Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Harvey’s leadership has left us very well positioned to build on our strong academic foundation.  The work of the Provost Search Committee is progressing well, and we continue to anticipate that we will conclude this search by the spring semester to allow the new provost to be in place starting summer 2012.

In the meantime, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Bruce McCombe has agreed to serve as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs throughout this transitional period.  Bruce has played an integral leadership role in our academic community, as illu strated through his outstanding contributions to our faculty as SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and through his exemplary service in a number of administrative leadership roles-including his role as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2006-2011 and his service as Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education from 2005-2006.  I am grateful for his willingness to serve in this important leadership role on an interim basis.

I look forward to working with Interim Provost McCombe-and with our entire university community-to continue our forward momentum as UB moves further up the ranks of the nation’s leading research universities.


Satish K. Tripathi

The announcement of Stenger’s promotion follows a national search that took over a year to complete.

  • James H. Burnette

    I’ve never met Prof. Stenger, and he may be a great guy, but isn’t it strange how after a “national search that took over a year to complete”, one of the good ole boys from UB ends up in charge? The same can be said about his replacement. Prof. McCombe is the only guy way up in the admin layer of the UB Physics Dept bureaucracy who hasn’t “messed” with me (the other four guys have — a 5th guy, very reasonable, has unfortunately passed, and a former Dean, again quite reasonable, has jettisoned and moved to another school). The problem lies in the vertical consolidation of power enjoyed by the UB Physics Dept; an incestuous mutual admiration society.

    If you look at the brag sheet that UB posts on-line, you’ll notice frequent reference to their departments climbing the ladder in US News and World Report college rankings. Yet, oddly, their miserable #80 ranking in Graduate Physics Departments in the US (there are only 50 states in the United States of America) is obfuscated and replaced with an obscure, dead-end link, claiming a #16 national ranking. — “16th in the country?”
    What country? The SUNY archipelago?

    This sort of navel gazing is deleterious to the health of the department, and is a tremendous disservice to the rest of the faculty, most of whom seemed like pretty nice people during my two years as a grad student there.

    It all boils down to the problem of breaking up the ole boys network and putting outsiders — fresh faces from a real national search — in charge, but I don’t see that happening with the threat of a Zimpherian veto. The real question is “From whom do the President of UB and the SUNY Chancellor take their marching orders?”

  • AL

    Harvey gets a $510,000 salary package that includes a $60,000 a year housing allowance and handouts from the SUNY Foundation. A few trustees even refused to vote for it –
    SUNY Trustee Joseph Belluck: Given the economic climate, “I don’t see my role as a trustee as helping people ascend to the 1 percent.”

    But of couse the usual suspects get rewarded everytime. Its almost worth the price for Buffalo to be rid of clean coal dude. Good luck Albany, you’ll need it.

  • NCD

    The Binghamton region is going to be NY’s “Heart of Darkness” with regards to fracking. Shale gas reserves around there are not only among the best in NY State, they are also quite often seriously radioactive, too. Mr. Stenger (alias “Coal Dude” from his efforts to get the Huntley 2 coal complex built and/or the Jamestown platinum plated turkey of a new coal burners (combined with CO2 sequestration, sort of)) placed in that region does look like a really ugly combination. He is s ceaseless promoter of fossil fuels and nukes, and believes firmly in the divine right of the sub-urbanites to limitless fossil fuels, even if it does trash our global climate control system, for good measure. And he is also a big promoter of coal to “Sinfules”.

    As for Peak Oil, he chooses not to “get it”, even though he should understand both the math behind it as well as the empirical facts behind it. But, he lets his own religious-like belief system trump science when it comes to fossil fuel depletion. Wow, that’s just what we want to fork over close to $600,000/yr plus perks so that another SUNY Bureaucrat can act like a corporate lord of the manner and yet get paid by the state and get protected by civil service rules and also scarf up a humongous pension package.

    If he’s the best they can do, that says a lot about Zimpher. Why does SHE still have her overpaid job? Shouldn’t the unemployment equivalent of the Grim Reaper also harvest what passes for her souless self? Can’t we just hire a robot at 10% of the price, or maybe a cute little muppet for that window dressing job?


  • Former UB Student

    Hey that’s weird. The UB Physics Dept website is down. Routine overhaul, or embarrassed cover-up?