Hal D. Payne is currently Vice President for Student Affairs at the State University College at Buffalo (Buffalo State College), the largest college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  He previously served as senior associate for the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., and as administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes of Ohio.  He spent most of his professional career at Oberlin College as dean of developmental services and as acting dean, associate dean, and assistant dean of students.  He served as director of academic support services at Case Western Reserve University.  He currently serves as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education.

Hal Payne completed the Millennium Leadership Institute of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in August, 2000, and the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) at Harvard University in August, 1999.  He earned a Juris Doctors degree from Cleveland State University in May, 1970, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Western Reserve University in May, 1966.

After serving as president of the Ohio Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, Hal Payne became president of the Mid America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel.  In 1981, he was elected first president of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a Washington-based education association, which he currently serves as convenor of its council of past presidents.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations, president of ArtsAction for New York, which advocates for funding of the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA).  He is vice-chair of the Erie County Cultural Resources Advisory Board and vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Buffalo and Erie County.  He is a member of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 1995, a member of the Alpha Kappa Boulé Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and a member of The Buffalo Club.

Hal Payne is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oberlin Medal, the highest individual honor awarded annually by Oberlin College; the Walter O. Mason, Jr. Award from the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE); the Alumni Award from Case Western Reserve University and the Outstanding Educator Award from the Urban League of Lorain, Ohio.