SUNY Board Executive Committee Names Vice Chancellor John J. O’Connor Officer-in-Charge

The State University of New York Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee voted unanimously on December 22 to name SUNY Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the University John J. O’Connor as officer-in-charge of the university.

As officer-in-charge, O’Connor will fulfill the authority of the Office of the Chancellor. O’Connor retains his current responsibilities as vice chancellor and secretary of the university. He is not a candidate in the search for a permanent chancellor and serves as staff to the chancellor search committee.

It is anticipated that a new chancellor will be considered and appointed in the near future by the Board of Trustees, based on the continued progress of the chancellor search committee.

“During this period of transition, SUNY needs a steady, knowledgeable leader,” said SUNY Board Chairman Carl T. Hayden. “I have great confidence in John O’Connor’s ability. He has more than 25 years of senior level service in higher education and has stepped in to meet a variety of challenges in times of need.”

“I am grateful for the confidence of the executive committee,” O’Connor said, “and I look forward to working with an extremely talented and capable group of senior staff, campus presidents, faculty, students, and staff during this important time.”

O’Connor’s appointment is not without precedent. In 1996 during a similar transition period, William Anslow, then senior vice chancellor of the university, was appointed officer-in-charge following the departure of then-Chancellor Thomas Bartlett.

O’Connor was appointed vice chancellor and secretary of the university in June 1997 after having served in an acting capacity since December 1996. In March 2000, he assumed additional responsibilities as president of the Research Foundation of the State University.

Prior to joining SUNY, O’Connor was president of a Washington, D.C., consulting firm providing management services to not-for-profit organizations in the United States and Europe.

From 1981 to 1996, he served in senior positions at New York University, including vice president for university relations and executive assistant to the president. He was press secretary and special assistant to the majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1981.

O’Connor holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.S. in public administration from New York University. He is a director of the American Ditchley Foundation and the King Juan Carlos I Foundation; a fellow of the British Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce; and chairman of the board of trustees of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Vice Chancellor O’Connor succeeds Interim Chancellor John B. Clark, who stepped down December 31, 2008.

O’Connor will serve until such time that a new chancellor is appointed and takes office, or that the board takes other action. O’Connor’s salary remains unchanged at $245,669 per year.

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 440,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses.