About Buffalo State University

Founded in 1871, SUNY Buffalo State University is one of the largest comprehensive institutions in the State University of New York system. As a civic, urban-engaged campus, Buffalo State prides itself on having smaller learning environments coupled with large university opportunities. We are a diverse and inclusive campus committed to the intellectual, personal, and professional growth of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our mission is to change lives, to empower students to succeed, and to inspire a lifelong passion for learning. 

Buffalo State has a long-standing commitment to education and challenges its students to pursue rigorous, transformative learning experiences so they have the means and the resilience to make an impact on their community and the wider world. 

The university currently seeks nominations and applications from qualified candidates to serve as its 10th president.

Campus sign with Rockwell tower

About the Search

With the retirement of current president Katherine Conway-Turner, Buffalo State seeks its next president.

Buffalo State’s 10th president will be an outstanding leader with the capacity and aptitude for collaboration and the ability to communicate, inspire, and reflect the aspirations of the university across multiple audiences.

The search committee is chaired by Linda A. Dobmeier, ’71, chair of the College Council, and is being assisted by Storbeck Search.

Linda Dobmeier headshot

From the Buffalo State Council

We are pleased to announce that the bidding committee has retained Storbeck Search to partner with Buffalo State University in its 2023 presidential search process. 

With decades of experience working with colleges, universities, and university systems, Storbeck Search has successfully led executive-level searches for many institutions, including the most recent presidential searches at SUNY Brockport, Cortland, Empire State, and Fredonia.


StorbeckSearch logo

About the Search Firm

With a deep understanding of the unique challenges of higher education leadership and a strong understanding of shared governance, Storbeck Search brings a collaborative approach to the presidential search process that is based on listening and trust.

Storbeck Search is a part of Diversified Search Group, the world’s largest woman-founded executive search firm. Storbeck identifies and evaluates executives from all backgrounds, treating candidates fairly and with dignity.


Storbeck Search Coordinators

Vicki Henderson headshot

Vicki Henderson

Vicki Henderson's career in higher education recruiting began more than 20 years ago. She has led and managed recruitment efforts for college and university president, provost, dean, and director searches, as well as searches for leaders in development, student affairs, finance and administration, and institutional effectiveness, at both public and private institutions.

Vicki's full bio.
Christopher Lee headshot

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee is widely known as an expert on the Search Committee process, having authored two books and having trained over 1,000 HR professionals on the subject over the past 20 years. While serving at the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Lee led the search process to select over 30 presidents of the 23-college system over his 13-year tenure.

Christopher's full bio.
Steve Leo headshot

Steve Leo

A seasoned search professional with more than two decades of experience in higher education executive search, Steve Leo has conducted searches for presidents, vice presidents, senior development officers, deans, and other executives. Moreover, Leo speaks on issues relating to the future of leadership in higher education nationally and internationally.

Leo's full bio.


March 2023

  • Presidential Search website launched.
  • College Council Chair Linda Dobmeier submitted her recommendations for the remaining members of the presidential search committee to SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. for his review and approval.
  • Chancellor King accepted the elected and recommended members of the Buffalo State University presidential search committee from Chair Dobmeier.
  • Chancellor King appointed his liaison and his SUNY designee to the presidential search committee.
  • Chancellor King charged the Buffalo State University presidential search committee members.
  • The presidential search committee conducted its first meeting.

February 2023

  • The university, in consultation with the Buffalo State Council, retains an executive search firm (Storbeck Search) to guide the work of the Presidential Search Committee.
  • The Buffalo State Council and Senate Chairs hold nominations and elections for the six full-time teaching faculty representatives to serve on the presidential search committee in accordance with the SUNY Guidelines.
  • Storbeck Search begins virtual meetings with Buffalo State stakeholders.
  • The Council Chair recommends the six duly elected members to the Chancellor and the other members for his approval, as per SUNY Guidelines.
  • Search survey released to the campus community.

January 2023

  • The Search Firm Bidding Committee holds meetings and interviews the six executive search firms from which the Foundation received proposals.

December 2022

  • The Buffalo State Foundation Board, on behalf of the Buffalo State Council, disseminates an RFP to secure an executive search firm to support the national recruitment of qualified candidates.
  • The Council Chair selects a search firm bidding committee to review proposals.

November 2022

  • The Buffalo State Council Chair launches the presidential search process.
  • The Buffalo State Council Chair requests recommendations for non-teaching faculty to serve on the presidential search committee, e.g., professional and support staff, alumni, Foundation Board, students, etc.

Search Committee

Linda Dobmeier, Chair
Buffalo State Council Representative

Naila Ansari 
Faculty Representative, Arts and Sciences

Melissa Brinson
Buffalo State Council Representative

Shannon Budin
Faculty Representative, Education 

Pete Grum 
Buffalo State Council Representative

Cheryl Hamilton
Designated Member of the Chancellor’s Senior Staff

Maureen Hammett
Alumni Representative

Andrew Hashey
Faculty Representative, Education

Michael Littman
Faculty Representative, Professions

Chuck Naughton
Buffalo State Council Representative


Wendy Paterson
Academic Dean Representative, School of Education

Ramona Santa Maria 
Faculty Representative, Professions

Tracy Sawicki
Foundation Board Representative

Mark Severson
Faculty Representative, Arts and Sciences

Esmeralda Sierra
Community Representative

Celestine Simmons
Professional or Support Staff Representative

Dylan Williams
Student Representative   

Robert Zak
Buffalo State Council Representative

Howard Zemsky
Business Leader Representative

Non-Voting Members

LeVar Burke
Campus Staff Liaison 

Zulaika Rodriguez 
Chancellor’s Liaison





Search Firm Bidding Committee

Nancy Cox, Buffalo State Foundation Board Member
Lisa Morrison-Fronckowiak, Buffalo State Chief Diversity Officer (Interim)
Charles Naughton, Buffalo State Council Member
Zulaika Rodriguez- Awoliyi, SUNY Assistant Vice Chancellor
Jamie Warnes, Buffalo State Assistant Vice President for Human Resources