Genesee President to Receive Special New York State SUNY Faculty Honor

The State University of New York Faculty Council of Community Colleges has named Genesee Community College President Stuart Steiner as its 2007 recipient of the organization’s SUNY Community College Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented at the organization’s spring plenary session in late April.

The Distinguished Service Award is granted annually to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to the betterment of students and faculty within the State University’s 30 community colleges. According to the organization’s criteria, award recipients must have exhibited “dedication beyond any expectation, to the lives of students and the future of both SUNY and its community colleges.”

Stuart Steiner’s positive influence has been felt at every one of SUNY’s 30 community colleges, said Dr. Kimberly Reiser, a member of the faculty of Nassau Community College and president of the FCCC. “While Dr. Steiner may be the president of Genesee Community College, he has worked tirelessly to promote academic quality, innovation, and student-centered learning at all of SUNY’s community colleges,” Dr. Reiser said.

The Council decided to confer the award on Dr. Steiner for several reasons, according to Dr. Reiser. They include Dr. Steiner’s longstanding service to the community college movement, his personal advocacy on behalf of the needs of community colleges in New York State and across the nation, and his willingness to offer help and guidance to other community college leaders.

“Stuart Steiner is well known to every community college president within SUNY, and to numerous faculty members,” Dr. Reiser said. “He is passionately committed to all constituents and forever mindful of the needs of our diverse student population.”

Charley Boyd, Professor of English at Genesee and a member of the Faculty Council, agreed with Dr. Reiser. “When there’s a need or opportunity, Stuart is always there and ready to help,” he said.

Dr. Steiner is completing his 40th year of service to Genesee. He arrived at Genesee in 1967 as Dean of Students, prior to students’ arrival in September of that year. The College’s founding president, Dr. Alfred C. O’Connell, recruited Dr. Steiner for the post. Both Dr. O’Connell and Dr. Steiner were members of the staff of Harford Community College in Maryland, Dr. O’Connell as president and Dr. Steiner as Director of Admissions and Placement. Dr. Steiner went on to become Dean of Instruction/Executive Dean (1968), and in 1975 the Board of Trustees named him Genesee’s third president, succeeding Dr. Cornelius Robbins who served from 1971 to 1975.

Dr. Steiner has long been immersed in service to community colleges across the state and nation. Both SUNY and CUNY (City University of New York) officials have called on him to provide consultation to community colleges facing difficulties and to lead task forces on community college issues. In 1985, he agreed to serve as Acting Deputy to the SUNY Chancellor for Community Colleges during a SUNY leadership transition. In the late 1990s, he agreed to serve for a year as Interim President of SUNY’s world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology during a similar transition period.

For the last quarter-century, Dr. Steiner has been active in the American Association of Community Colleges and the New York State Association of Presidents of Community Colleges. In the late 1980s, following a study of community college leaders by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the University of Texas at Austin’s Community College Leadership Program named him one of the nation’s “transformational leaders” in community colleges. In 1997, he received the Association of Community College Trustees Northeast Region Chief Executive Officer Award. He served two three-year terms as a board member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic States, leaving the board three years ago. He has also been a chair or member of more than two dozen Middle States accreditation teams, charged with reviewing the operations of colleges throughout the region and recommending accreditation decisions. Dr. Steiner is believed to be the fifth longest-serving community college president in the United States.

Dr. Steiner holds the A.A. degree from Community College of Baltimore and the B.S degree from the University of Maryland. He holds the M.A. degree from Columbia University Teachers College and the M.S.W. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds the J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore and the Ed.D. degree from Columbia University Teachers College.

Since the late 1970s, Dr. Steiner has served as a member of the adjunct faculty of the University at Buffalo, teaching courses on community colleges. He has also served as an adjunct or visiting faculty member at Community College at Baltimore, Catholic University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Interestingly, the SUNY Faculty Council has conferred the Distinguished Service Award on two other well-known former officers of Genesee Community College. Dr. Cornelius Robbins, former Genesee president (1971-1975) received the award in 1989 while serving as a member of the SUNY System Administration staff. Dr. Glenn DuBois, former Dean of Campus Centers and Community Education, received the award in 1997 while serving as Deputy to the SUNY Chancellor for Community Colleges. Dr. Robbins currently is a member of the faculty of the University at Albany, and Dr. DuBois currently serves as Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

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Editor’s Note: A photograph of Genesee Community College’s President, Dr. Stuart Steiner, is available at the following Internet address: