The State University of New York College at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta), a public, comprehensive higher education institution within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, seeks a passionate, engaging, and student-focused leader as its next President. The College Council and SUNY invite applications from highly collaborative individuals who will build on the accomplishments of the College.

The Position: The President of SUNY Oneonta, working with a team of dedicated faculty and staff as well as committed College Council members, provides leadership in an environment focused on student-centered academic excellence, co-curricular engagement, faculty scholarship, and professional development. The President is a committed advocate for social justice, internal and external community engagement, transparency, collaboration, and the overall mission of the College. The President engages the students, faculty, administration, staff, College Council, and external Oneonta community in a shared vision for the future of the institution, with a focus on increasing awareness of the institution’s profile as a College that provides broad and transformational educational opportunities to students. The President reports to the SUNY Chancellor, maintains a working relationship with peer 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 vision, mission, value and goals, the student experience, academic programs, teaching, research, learning, public service, financing, enrollment management, and physical plant development. The President’s Cabinet includes the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Vice President for Finance and Administration; Vice President for Student Development; Chief Diversity Officer; Vice President for College Advancement; Vice President for External Affairs; Chief Communication and Marketing Officer; Vice President of Strategy, Planning, and Effectiveness; Chief of Staff; Chief of Police; and Presiding Officer of the Faculty Senate.

The Institution: SUNY Oneonta is a comprehensive, public, liberal arts and sciences college with 6,700 enrolled students in bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate programs. The College’s mission fosters a community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially, and live purposefully. Currently operating with a sustainably balanced budget and enjoying a campus with minimal deferred maintenance, the College has built its reputation on a consistent, collective, and conspicuous investment in students’ interests, well-being, and success. SUNY Oneonta is a welcoming campus where faculty, staff, and students are made to feel accepted. From its beginning as the Oneonta Normal School in 1889, the values of inclusivity, service, and sustainability have been woven throughout the fabric of the institution.

The student-faculty ratio at SUNY Oneonta is 17:1, and 41.6% of the College’s course offerings have fewer than 20 students. The average class size is 21 students excluding internships, independent studies, practicums, and partial-term courses. Teaching has always been SUNY Oneonta’s priority, and faculty work closely with students both in the classroom and through co-curricular activities. The College has embraced the SUNY focus on experiential learning and is a leader in this area across the System. The institution continues to build on its 83% first- to second-year retention rate, placing it among the best in the country.

The College ranks #21 on the 2021 list of “Top Public Regional Universities” in the North published by U.S. News & World Report, and #119 on Money magazine’s “Best College’s 2020” list. The College was recently named one of the “Most Affordable Colleges” in the U.S. for 2021 by It was named to The Princeton Review “Guide to Green Schools” every year since the Guide’s inception in 2010 and, in 2020, was awarded the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification. The College at Oneonta Foundation currently has $76 million in endowment and net assets, the largest endowment, and the largest endowment per student, among the comprehensive SUNY colleges. The College Foundation is in the public phase of a five-year campaign to raise at least $25 million; it has raised $19.2 million to date. To learn more about the College, please visit

Qualifications: The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to the College’s overall mission of intellectual inquiry and academic excellence, promote a student-focused environment, and be an effective and forceful advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity. The President must equally support SUNY’s PRODiG initiative to diversify the faculty. The President must show an ability to engage with and be visible to students, faculty, and staff as well as a commitment to the success of SUNY Oneonta graduates. The next President must show a knowledge of and passion for public higher education and a commitment to shared governance and transparency. The successful candidate will demonstrate a history of ethical and accountable leadership. They must have crisis management skills and experience in strategic planning and implementation. The next President will provide effective leadership by exhibiting innovative and creative approaches to advance the College’s mission. The successful candidate must possess experience with budgets and be able to establish priorities and policies to promote sound financial management; an ability to further an effective enrollment strategy; and the leadership to enhance a feeling of collegiality, transparency, and shared inquiry. Additionally, they must engage alumni, donors, and friends of the College in fundraising through the Alumni Association and College Foundation. The President will communicate and collaborate effectively with senior campus administration, all campus constituents, SUNY system administration, and other SUNY institutions. Additionally, the President will be committed to developing and maintaining a strong, collaborative, respectful, and transparent relationship with community leaders, organizations, and residents. The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of presidents who are 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 demonstrated record of professional experience is required to lead this public institution of higher learning. Qualified candidates will possess an earned doctorate, terminal degree, or commensurate executive-level leadership experience.

Location: SUNY Oneonta’s 250-acre campus, nestled in the foothills of the Catskill mountains, overlooks the scenic Susquehanna River Valley in central New York, halfway between Albany and Binghamton. The College is located on the outskirts of the City of Oneonta, a welcoming community with approximately 14,000 residents. In addition to being an educational center, the city offers diverse housing, shopping, cultural, and recreational opportunities. The College contributes significantly to the cultural and intellectual life of the community and region. The city works in partnership with dynamic community organizations in promoting diversity and social justice.  Also, the city is home to a vibrant community of both visual and performing artists. Major cultural activities featured on campus include theatrical productions and musical events offered by student groups, community organizations, and national touring acts as well as art exhibitions in the College galleries. Throughout the academic year, an array of speakers address important and timely topics. Other highlights of the region include the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, the Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta, and many choral, vocal, and instrumental ensembles. Along with the Baseball Hall of Fame, nearby Cooperstown hosts the Graduate Program in Museum Studies and Biological Field Station, which offer study and research opportunities for graduates and undergraduates; the NYS Historical Society; the world-class Glimmerglass Opera; the Cooperstown Art Association; the Fenimore Art Museum; and the Farmers Museum. Residents and visitors to the area enjoy its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and many historic sites. Two state parks (Glimmerglass and Gilbert Lake) and several popular ski areas are located nearby. Oneonta is about a four-hour drive from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Montreal.

About SUNY: The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide were more than $1.0 billion in fiscal year 2020, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. SUNY’s leadership structure consists of a Board of Trustees, led by Dr. Merryl H. Tisch; the Chancellor, Dr. Jim Malatras; System Administration Senior Staff; and Campus Presidents, each official working together to advance the mission of the state university system: “…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.” The Chancellor increasingly looks to the campus Presidents to work collaboratively with other SUNY colleges, administrators, faculty and staff, and surrounding communities to lower cost, enhance productivity, and elevate the importance of degree completion at each institution.

COVID-19 Response: SUNY Oneonta’s priority is the health and safety of the campus community, including its students, faculty, and staff. Information regarding SUNY Oneonta’s COVID-19 response can be found at

Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please email Kira Heath, Search Manager; Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant; or Dana John Cohick, President at the email address listed above. The first review of candidates will begin on March 31, 2021 and first-round interviews will commence thereafter.

SUNY Oneonta values a diverse college community. The College is committed to equal employment and educational opportunity for all qualified people without regard to age, disability, marital or parental status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion or religious philosophy, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, or veteran status.

Please visit the College’s website on diversity at: