Public Invited to Meet Presidential Finalists

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After launching a national search earlier this year for its next college president, the SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees announced today that three finalists have been selected whom will each participate in on-campus activities next week.

The finalists are:

Each of the finalists will meet with campus constituent groups, as well as participate in a Meet & Greet, hosted by the Board of Trustees and open to the public, in the Kaplan Student Union from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on the following days:

Dr. Irene Rios

Dr. Irene Rios

Dr. Irene Rios is currently the Dean of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer for Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Connecticut. She leads the faculty of the College’s four academic divisions: Allied Health, Nursing and Physical Education; Liberal Arts & Behavioral and Social Sciences; Business and Professional Programs; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math toward supporting and achieving the goals of the NVCC Strategic Plan. 

Rios has served higher education for her entire professional career and has acquired a deep and broad understanding of the challenges and rewards of participating in the leadership of major educational institutions. Highlights of her work include enhancing student success through academic advising initiatives, developing partnerships with public schools to build early college opportunities, managing distant campuses, and strengthening transfer pathways from two-year community colleges to four-year universities.

Prior to joining NVCC, Rios served as the Academic Dean for the Division of Evening Adult Undergraduate and Graduate programs at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. Her career includes service to students at a variety of institutions including Rochester Institute of Technology (New York) where she served as the Director of Academic Advising; at Saint Joseph University (Connecticut) where she served as the Registrar; and at Springfield College (Massachusetts) serving as the Executive Director of Academic Affairs. In addition to holding leadership positions in academia, Dr. Rios has taught in business management, student development, and education programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rios graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a baccalaureate degree in business administration and a master’s degree in curriculum development and instructional design. She received her doctorate from the University of Hartford where her research focused on academic advising in higher education, and she is a recipient of the National Academic Advising Association Doctoral Student Research Award.

Rios has delivered numerous lectures and presentations for colleges and regional and national organizations. She also serves on the Academic Deans’ Council for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, and she has held leadership positions in a variety of higher education associations, including the National Academic Advising Association, the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, and The University of Hartford Higher Education Think Tank.  She has served on the Board of Directors for the Consortium for the Advancement of Adult Higher Education, and the Board of Directors for Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven.

Dr. Rick Miller

Dr. Rick Miller

Dr. Rick Miller serves as Executive Vice President at SUNY Potsdam. Miller has nearly 35 years of administrative experience in higher education in the areas of enrollment management, student affairs, and institutional research. His professional interests include student recruitment and retention, research and evaluation, planning, and policy. He has presented at national and state-wide professional conferences in the areas of institutional research and assessment.

Miller earned his bachelor's degree in education from SUNY Oswego and his Master’s degree from St. Lawrence University. In May 2005, he received the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Higher Education and Student Affairs Program) at Virginia Tech University. His dissertation topic and research is Degree Completion Among College Students and Astin’s Student Typology Framework.

Prior to his appointment to SUNY Potsdam, he served as the Associate Provost for Institutional Research at SUNY System Administration from 2012-2014. He also served at Paul Smith’s College (1991-2001) in the following capacities: Dean of Admission, Vice President for Enrollment Management, and Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students; and SUNY Canton (1982-1991) as Director of Admission.

John “Jay” Quaintance

John “Jay” Quaintance

John “Jay” Quaintance currently serves as SUNY Sullivan’s acting president. Prior to joining SUNY Sullivan, he served as Assistant Secretary for Education in the Office of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo since September 2014. His work in the Executive Chamber included Statewide P-12 and Higher Education budget, policy development, and implementation and touched on policy areas as diverse as economic development, health, labor, public safety, agriculture and cultural enrichment. Immediately prior to this, Jay served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Assistant Provost for Community College Policy and Planning at the State University of New York. In that role, he provided system support to the 30 SUNY community colleges for the implementation of the SUNY strategic plan. His portfolio included coordinating efforts to advance many of SUNY’s critical efforts within the community college sector to ensure student access and success with a focus largely on improving outcomes in the areas of college readiness, remediation reform, and workforce and workplace development.

Quaintance came to this role following 18 years of higher education experience in New York and New Mexico.  He served as the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at Schenectady County Community College and was Professor and Chair of the Department of Developmental Studies.

Quaintance served as president of the Board of Directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County, the Open Stage Media Advisory Committee, and was a past member of the Town of Niskayuna Planning Board and Zoning Commission.

Quaintance received both his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Master of Arts in rhetoric and the teaching of writing from New Mexico State University.

For more information on the public Meet & Greet sessions, contact Charissa Gonzalez at (845) 434-5750, ext. 4270 or