Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath
Read Dr. Horvath's complete curriculum vitae here.
Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath has been appointed by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) as the 13th president of SUNY Fredonia.
Dr. Horvath was previously the Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Fredonia, a position she has held since joining the campus in 2005. She was officially appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees at a board meeting held April 29, and officially assumed office as president on July 1. In doing so, she will become the first female president in the Fredonia campus’ 186-year history.
A Western New York native, Dr. Horvath was born and raised in Amherst, N.Y. She is a SUNY graduate, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University at Buffalo before continuing on to Kent State University for both a master’s degree and Ph.D., also in English. She joined the faculty at Kent State in 1985 and became Dean of Academic and Student Services for the regional campuses, a position she held from 2001 to 2005. Even as a full-time administrator at Kent State and SUNY Fredonia, she has continued to teach courses on a regular basis.
Upon her appointment, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher stated, “Dr. Horvath’s proven commitment to improving higher education in Western New York will serve her well in her new role as president of SUNY Fredonia. She has an impressive legacy of leadership that I am confident she will continue to build upon at the college, and I know she will exceed the expectations of students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike.”
Dr. Horvath’s scholarship includes more than a dozen critical articles and books, in addition to numerous poems and reviews. She has presented and given workshops at more than 70 regional, national and international conferences. Her service to her profession and the campus is also well known. She was the driving force behind the creation of the Fredonia Academic Community Engagement (FACE) Center, which connects student learning and pedagogy with opportunities to serve and positively impact the Western New York community. Under her leadership, SUNY Fredonia also added the Office of Student Creative Activity and Research, the Professional Development Center and several new academic programs.
Having served as the chief academic officer at SUNY Fredonia for seven years, Dr. Horvath is uniquely aware of the campus’ strengths and recent successes as well as its opportunities for growth and improvement. She played a major role in many of the campus’ most critical processes, including Fredonia's new, five-year strategic plan. She has also directed and overseen various accreditation reviews, collaborated on budget and staffing planning initiatives, lead assessment processes across the campus, hired more than 100 new or replacement full-time faculty, and supported various fundraising and alumni, media and government relations initiatives.