The State University of New York Board of Trustees on Monday June 29, 2020 voted to name a Liberian born, Stephen H. Kolison Jr., Ph.D., currently Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Indianapolis, as the new president of the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Dr. Kolison’s appointment was announced officially by the SUNY Board of Trustees following a meeting Monday afternoon, according to a statement from the University. He will become the 14th president of SUNY Fredonia.
“It is as important as ever to support our campuses with talented and dedicated leaders that will guide our students on a path to a world class higher education,” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Merryl H. Tisch.
“Dr. Kolison has proven just that during his impressive career and we welcome him as SUNY Fredonia’s new president. My thanks to Frank Pagano for leading the search of such an outstanding individual.”
“SUNY Fredonia led a stellar, rigorous search with system administration, and it is my pleasure to join the campus in celebrating Dr. Kolison as the 14th president,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson.
“As the campus prepares to welcome Dr. Kolison in August, I also want to thank Interim President Dennis Hefner for his service. He graciously came back last July, and he is to be commended for his leadership during this transition, as well as steering the campus during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Frank Pagano, chair of the Fredonia College Council and chair of the Presidential Search Committee said, “Dr. Kolison brings a wealth of experience to this position and is well prepared for this role.
I look forward to working with Dr. Kolison as we begin a new chapter in Fredonia’s history.”
“Thank you for this tremendous opportunity and confidence,” Dr. Kolison said.
“To the students at Fredonia, I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be of service to you all. Regardless of your background, the State University of New York at Fredonia is your university.
You belong! So, embrace it, love it, and take full advantage of all that it has to offer. I will work hard each day to ensure that you are successful in your endeavors.”
“I am pleased that Dr. Kolison will soon be leading this exceptional university,” said Interim President Dennis Hefner.
“His experience with public and private universities, his extensive grant record, his intimate knowledge of higher education systems, and his strong academic background give him the knowledge and experience necessary to assume this important leadership position during these very challenging times.”
Dr. Kolison has served in his role as Executive Vice President and Provost for the University of Indianapolis since April 1, 2017. In this capacity, his wide range of responsibilities included providing leadership for achieving the academic mission of the university.
He was instrumental in the planning of 10 new degree programs. He also secured overwhelming faculty support to establish three new types of faculty tracks in response to the needs of faculty across the university.
Dr. Kolison also planned, launched, and completed the development of an intellectual life vision and an academic master plan for the university.
Throughout his career in higher education, Dr. Kolison has been the principal investigator on grants totaling in the millions of dollars, the statement noted.
Dr. Kolison received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Liberia, and his Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Economics from Iowa State University at Ames.
The appointment of Dr. Kolison as SUNY Fredonia President by the Board of Trustees is effective on or about August 17, 2020, the statement concluded.