SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian has announced his intention to retire at the end of June 2022, after a 45-year career in higher education and 12 years as president. Christian was appointed as the College’s eighth president in 2011 after serving as interim president in 2010-11, and provost and vice president for academic affairs at New Paltz in 2009-2010.
During the remainder of his tenure, Christian’s focus will be to position SUNY New Paltz for continuing success in a dramatically changing higher education world and to set the stage for the next president’s entry and success. Work will include ongoing planning for a post-pandemic future, additional progress on diversity and inclusion and anti-racist initiatives and guiding campus leaders through the presidential transition.
During the 2021-22 academic year, a search will be conducted for Christian’s replacement consistent with the SUNY-wide Presidential Search Guidelines.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of SUNY New Paltz and to have had such a long and rewarding tenure in this role,” said Christian. “I am pleased and proud of the collective accomplishments of this community during the last eleven years and look forward to what we can achieve in the coming year. Amid budget challenges and more recently a worldwide pandemic that tested all our abilities and stamina, this community and each individual student and employee, has persevered and excelled through it all. The quintessential SUNY New Paltz community spirit I have come to respect and cherish has been especially apparent this past year. I wish for my successor the same warmth and acceptance that Sandy and I received from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of this top-tier public university.”
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “One of my first campus visits after being appointed as chancellor was to see President Don Christian. I have always admired his thoughtful, inclusive and calm leadership no matter the situation. It is his collaborative nature that may be most valued over the years. Don does not work in a silo — he is present, always listening and always questioning if the best laid out plans hold up in practice. His coming retirement will leave a giant hole in the SUNY family.”