SUNY Ulster has named Alan Roberts of Indian River, Fla. as the college’s sixth president, effective July 27. Roberts’ appointment to a three-year contract was approved by SUNY leaders on Monday.
Roberts, 52, succeeds Donald Katt, 68, who will retire on Aug. 15 after 47 years with the college. The new president will draw an annual salary of $175,000, compared to the $135,000 paid Katt. The outgoing president will be feted at a cocktail party at The Chateau (formerly Hillside Manor) in Kingston Thursday, June 18 from 5-7 p.m.
Roberts is currently vice president of applied science and technology at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla. In his 24 years at the school, he was dean of health sciences and dean of business and industrial technology. He also was a full-time professor and faculty chair of the college’s business and accounting department. During Roberts’ tenure, Indian River completed $60 million in new construction and was named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation based on “exceptional student success,” according to a press release from SUNY Ulster.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, in confirming Roberts SUNY Ulster president as required by law, predicted he would be “an excellent leader for students, faculty and staff as well as the surrounding community.” Zimpher also cited Katt for his “widely successful” 15 years as college president.
SUNY Ulster board chairman William Spearman noted Roberts’ “track record of developing community partnerships, which are vital for SUNY Ulster to achieve its mission and vision.”
Roberts’ selection was the culmination of a five-month nationwide search by a 27-member selection committee of college personnel and community leaders. Four finalists toured the campus last month.
Meanwhile, the college board of trustees is putting the finishing touches on a revised budget for the coming year that was withdrawn only hours before a scheduled public hearing this week.
According to Spearman, two days before the new budget was to go to a hearing the county executive raised questions about healthcare projections and a proposed lease between the county and the college for operation of a college adjunct facility at the former Sophie Finn school on Mary’s Avenue in Kingston. “We’ve been working around the clock to get them the documentation they requested,” Spearman said.
According to Katt, the proposed budget will call for a 3 percent reduction in spending in the fiscal year beginning July 1, owing to a projected decline in student enrollment and a staff reduction of up to 10 positions. The original budget did not include an increase in tuition.
Spearman expects the revised budget to be presented at public hearing at the college on July 15. It is scheduled to be voted on by the county legislature at its July 22 regular meeting.