Dr. Paul G. Bulger assumed the presidency of the college on July 1, 1959. Prior to coming to Buffalo, he had been provost of the Teachers College at Columbia University.
The years of the Bulger presidency were marked by tremendous growth at the college. Student enrollment and faculty employment doubled under Bulger's leadership. The college became a multi-purpose educational institution granting liberal arts degrees in fields besides education. The administrative structure was changed to provide for three vice-presidents, including the first Vice President for Student Affairs at a SUNY campus. Governance councils were formed to give faculty and students a voice in the leadership of the college. During his last year as president, the Great Lakes Laboratory was approved by the trustees.
During his seven years at Buffalo State, he presided over multi-million dollar construction plans that included new buildings for the fine arts and industrial technology, physical education, science, the student union, the library, campus residence halls, and the first renovation of Rockwell Hall as a center for the performing and visual arts.
On January 1, 1967, Dr. Bulger resigned to accept the position of associate commissioner for higher and professional education in the State Education Department. He continued to be active in education circles from the 1970s through the 1990s.
The Bulger Communication Center is named in President Bulger's honor.