Presidential Search Advisory Committee Recommends Four Candidates For Genesee Community College Presidency

Genesee Community College’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee today named four community college leaders as finalist candidates for the Genesee presidency. Candidates are: Brent E.

Genesee Community College’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee today named four community college leaders as finalist candidates for the Genesee presidency.

Candidates are:

  • Brent E. Betit is currently Executive Vice President and Provost of Landmark College in Vermont. He has held various positions at Landmark since 1995. He has also owned and managed his own businesses. Dr. Betit has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Dartmouth and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. He will visit campus on Monday, March 21.
  • Ronald G. Cantor is currently Associate Vice President and Dean at Mohawk Valley Community College in Central New York where he has been since 2004. Previously he was Associate Dean for Liberal Arts at Jefferson Community College. He has held other positions in various institutions. Dr. Cantor has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. from the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education/History from Syracuse University. He will visit campus on Thursday, March 24.
  • Natalie J. Harder has been Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation in Virginia since 2006. Previously she was Executive Director of the Erie Community College Foundation and was associated with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. She has a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Buffalo, an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Old Dominion University. She will visit campus on Tuesday, March 22.
  • James M. Sunser is Vice President for Continuing and Extended Learning at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. Previously he was Vice President of Finance at Onondaga where he has been since 1989. He was Associate Bursar at Syracuse University from 1985 to 1989. Dr. Sunser has an A.A.S. from Onondaga Community College, a B.S. in Communications from Syracuse University, an M.S. from SUNY Brockport, and an Ed.D. from the University of Rochester. He will visit campus on Friday, March 25.

The selection of four finalist candidates means that the search for Genesee’s fourth president is nearing a close.

The new president will replace Dr. Stuart Steiner, who will retire at the close of the current academic year. Dr. Steiner has served as Genesee Community College president since 1975. He arrived at Genesee prior to the opening of the College in 1967 as Dean of Students. He later served as Dean of Instruction/Executive Dean of the College. He is believed to be the second-longest serving community college president in the United States.

An eleven-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee conducted a national search last fall that produced a roster of 42 prospective candidates for the position. After reviewing the qualifications and experience of the candidates, the Committee identified 13 candidates for intensive review, including detailed reference checks. The Committee then conducted confidential interviews with eight of the candidates, from which the four finalists emerged.

Members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee included Diane D. Torcello, Secretary of Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustee and Search Committee Chair; Michael A. Crittenden, Professor of Physics; Norbert J. Fuest, Human Resources Manager, Morton International, Inc.; Norman R. Gayford, Professor of English; Ada K. Grabowski, retired Superintendent of Schools, Albion Central School District; Laurie J. Miller, Trustee; Glenn R. Morton, Trustee; Lori A. Mould, Student Trustee; Michael S. Stoll, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Math, Science and Career Education; Raymond J. Strzelecki, Building Maintenance Supervisor; Charles N. Zambito, Genesee County Attorney. Ex-Officio (non-voting) members included Robert J. Bausch, Genesee County Legislator and Liaison to the Board of Trustees and Charles R. Ruffino, Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. Aimee Bernstein and Denise Bukovan of the State University of New York assisted the Search Committee.

The four finalists will visit Genesee during the week of March 21, each candidate spending a full day on campus, meeting faculty, staff, community residents, and members of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees hopes to name Genesee’s fourth president shortly after the campus visits.

Trustee Diane D. Torcello, who chaired the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, said that the Committee was pleased by the number and quality of candidates for the position. “We searched across the nation to identify candidates we believe will best embrace the traditions and values of Genesee Community College. We believe that our four finalists represent the top tier of emerging community college leaders in the United States, and we believe that each of these four candidates would be an outstanding president,” she said. “We believe our next president will build on Dr. Steiner’s extraordinary legacy, and lead Genesee Community College in meeting the new and exciting challenges of the decades ahead.”

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