SUNY Old Westbury — President

SUNY Old Westbury, a dynamic and diverse public liberal arts college and member of the State University of New York’s comprehensive system of higher education, seeks an innovative, inclusive, and collaborative leader who is committed to student equity and success, academic excellence, fundraising and resource development, as well as visionary and courageous leadership to serve as the College’s next President. The State University of New York (SUNY) and the SUNY Old Westbury College Council invite applications from leaders eager to build on the success of a campus with unique potential that, over the past ten years, has grown to the largest enrollment in its history and has the right foundation in its faculty, staff, and community relations to take the campus to a new unchartered level of success.

The Position: The President of SUNY Old Westbury, working with a team of passionate faculty and staff as well as committed College Council members, provides leadership in an environment committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity; shared governance; and student success. Directly reporting to the President are the Provost, the Senior Vice President of Business & Finance, the Vice President of Communications & Chief Communications Officer, the Vice President for Student Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and the Assistant to the President for Administration. The President engages the students, faculty, administration, staff, and College Council around a collective and shared vision for the future of the institution, with a focus on fundraising and increasing awareness of the institution’s profile as a College that provides broad and transformational educational opportunities to students. The President is a fierce advocate for social justice, internal and external community engagement, transparency, collaboration, and the overall mission of the College. The President reports to the SUNY Chancellor, maintains a working relationship with sister SUNY campuses, partners with the local community, and engages at the state and national level. This individual develops and directs strategic plans related to institutional goals, the student experience, academic programs and vision, teaching, research, public service, financing, enrollment projections, and physical plant development.

The Institution: Chartered in 1965 and located on 604 acres, SUNY Old Westbury is one of the youngest of the 64 SUNY campuses and has grown into a regional higher education institution that fosters academic excellence through meaningful interaction among students, faculty, and staff. SUNY Old Westbury has a historic mission of social justice that weaves the values of integrity, community engagement, and global citizenship into the fabric of its academic programs and campus life. In an environment that cultivates critical thinking, empathy, creativity, and intercultural understanding, the College endeavors to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. The College is a community of students, teachers, staff, and alumni bound together in mutual support, respect, and dedication to the mission. U.S. News & World Report has listed SUNY Old Westbury in its rankings related to Campus Diversity, Graduating Students with Lowest Debt, and 10 Colleges that Lead to Graduate School. The College, originally founded on the philosophy of innovative pedagogy and interdisciplinary learning, has expanded to include the School of Business and the School of Education, while maintaining a strong interdisciplinary focus in the liberal arts. Today, the College enrolls more than 5,000 students in nearly 70 majors and degree offerings leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Professional Studies, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Science degrees. Students are taught by more than 350 faculty members, including four Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Service Professors. SUNY Old Westbury offers its students an engaging college experience, including close interaction with faculty and more than 60 student organizations and 13 NCAA Division III athletic teams. Approximately 800 students live on SUNY Old Westbury’s campus. To learn more about the College, please visit

Qualifications: The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to the College’s mission, support diversity, and reinforce a student-focused environment. The new President must also demonstrate strategic planning and implementation skills, decisive management that values input and also responds effectively to emerging opportunities, familiarity with accreditation processes, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an appreciation for technology trends in higher education. The successful candidate will provide effective leadership by exhibiting innovative and creative approaches relevant to the College’s mission of fostering academic excellence through close interaction among students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the successful candidate must possess experience in sound financial management; exhibit business acumen; prioritize engaging alumni, donors, and the regional community in fundraising and partnerships to garner external resources; value collegiality, collaboration, and shared inquiry; and be politically savvy and able to engage policymakers at the state and national levels. A personal desire to engage with and be visible to students is critical. This person will be part of an environment committed to shared governance and transparency. The consistent ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with campus constituents, SUNY System administration, other SUNY institutions, and community leaders is vital. The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of Presidents that is fully engaged in dialogue and planning at a national level during a critical time that requires SUNY’s unparalleled commitment to student success, academic excellence, leadership, research, and economic and community engagement. A doctorate is preferred, as is progressively responsible executive experience in higher education programs, campuses, or related enterprises.

Location: Located just 22 miles from New York City, SUNY Old Westbury lies on a wooded 604-acre rural campus on the north shore of Long Island. Long Island has more than 200 miles of coastline, with dozens of beaches, boardwalks, and parks available to the public. Residents have access to some of the world’s finest cultural and entertainment opportunities at Long Island’s major performing arts venues, theaters, and museums. Long Island has a vibrant and very active business community, with numerous software companies, specialized manufacturers, and major national and international corporate headquarters. The Long Island Rail Road provides its riders ready access to three of New York City’s five boroughs including Manhattan.

About SUNY: SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 1.3 million students, including 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs on 64 college and university campuses, as well as online through Open SUNY. Students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. The mission of SUNY is 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. SUNY was established in 1948 and today employs 90,000 faculty and staff and connects nearly three million alumni worldwide. The System influences nearly every community in the State of New York, with 93% of the state’s population living within 15 miles of a SUNY campus. The Chancellor increasingly looks to the campus Presidents to work collaboratively with other SUNY colleges, administrators, faculty and staff, and surrounding communities to lower costs, enhance productivity, and elevate the importance of degree completion at each institution.

Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resumé/CV to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President, at the email above. The first review of candidates will begin on May 18, 2020, and first round interviews will commence thereafter. The search process will be confidential.

The State University of New York College at Old Westbury is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.