Presidential Committees

President Stephen H. Kolison, Jr. has appointed the following committees and working groups to advance strategic initiatives for SUNY Fredonia.

Members:  Dr. Michel Kouadio, Chief Information Officer and Chair of the Committee; Dr. Naomi Baldwin, Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the President; Dr. Michael Jabot, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Education Department; Mr. Phil Hastings, Associate Professor, Visual Arts and New Media; Dr. T. John McCune, Academic Technology Services; Associate professor, Roslin Smith, Department of Communication


SUNY Fredonia is working on establishing an Innovation Lab, which will soon be opening in a temporary space in Fenton Hall (Fenton 115) this spring semester. While the final installation will be in Reed Library, in the meantime, ITS will be working on some programming for the temporary lab as well as training sessions on the Innovation Lab equipment, which will be available to the students, faculty, and staff. One program will involve the holding of an AI Film Festival, which will utilize the equipment in the lab to showcase its potential and to take an opportunity to promote Fredonia. In the context of this program and to advance the exploration of AI and film at SUNY Fredonia, this committee will be responsible for:

  1. Discussing and recommending appropriate timing involved for utilization of the lab and holding an AI Film Festival; 
  2. Setting the rules for a competition (e.g. criteria for participation, deadline for film submission, evaluation criteria for judges, guidelines for filmmakers, etc.);
  3. Recommending judges and panel structure;
  4. Recommending appropriate awards for winners;
  5. Setting different film categories, as appropriate for students and the university;
  6. Recommending the festival schedule;
  7. Recommending promotion ideas that can benefit the university reputation and its recruitment effort; and
  8. Organizing the actual event.

Membership: Mr. Ben Hartung, Chief Information Security Officer and Chair of the Committee; Ms. Sarah Cartmill Head Coach for Women’s Basketball; Mr. PJ Gondek, Head Coach for Men’s Soccer and Assistant Athletics Director; Dr. Michael Jabot, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Education, and Faculty Athletics Representative; Mr. Michael Kelly, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Ms. Angela Pucciarelli Rice, Assistant Athletics Director; Ms. Karen Rohr, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation; Ms. Kerrie Wilkes, Director of Reed Library;TBD, Community Member or Donor, to be recommended by Vice President for University Advancement;TBD, Student Athlete (to be appointed later);(Ex-officio) Mr. Jerry Fisk, Director of Athletic


The Athletics Strategic Planning committee should work to develop an Athletics Department Strategic plan in alignment with SUNY Fredonia's Strategic Plan, True Blue Transformation. They will take into consideration that a successful Athletics Department plays a key role in recruitment, retention, and in creating a sense of belonging and a place of distinction. Due to the nature of his role, Mr. Jerry Fisk, Director of Athletics, will be available to the committee for consultation as an ex-officio member.

Given the high travel costs involved in participating in the SUNYAC conference, and with the recent plans communicated from other SUNY comprehensive institutions to withdraw from the conference, the committee should also conduct an evaluation and provide a recommendation regarding the appropriate conference for Fredonia Blue Devil Athletics (NCAA Division III) going forward. 

In addition to the foregoing and through the development of a strategic plan, the committee will demonstrate a clear path forward to be successful in all sports while achieving regional distinction in two or three areas.  The committee may also recommend the addition of new athletic areas for SUNY Fredonia to consider. 

The committee will present a preliminary report of your work at the April 2024 University Senate meeting and a final version of the strategic plan and any report to the president by the first week of May 2024.


Members: Dr. David Starrett, Executive Vice President and Provost and Chair of the Committee; Dr. Scott Ferguson, Associate Professor, Biology; Dr. Matt Fountain, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Dr. Syed Ali Haider, Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Sciences; Dr. Andy Karafa, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Mr. Markus Kessler. Director of Facilities Planning; Dr. Michel Kouadio, Chief Information Officer; Mr. Rich Morrisroe, VanDette Law PLLC, and member, SUNY Fredonia College Council; Dr. Jesse Norris, Associate Professor, Sociocultural and Justice Sciences; Dr. Tracy Stenger, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

SUNY Fredonia has a unique opportunity to work with leaders from New York State and Chautauqua County to explore the possibility of establishing a crime lab on the SUNY Fredonia campus. This committee will be responsible for assessing the feasibility of establishing such a lab in the context of its physical space needs, security logistics, and academic and campus life impacts. 

This committee should complete its work in the next three months. Specific expectations of actionable items (or deliverables) include the following:
Develop a budget for carrying out this feasibility study.  Please note that this work will not include extra service compensation of SUNY Fredonia employees;

  1. Explore funding opportunities that may exist from local, county, New York State, and Federal levels to support this feasibility study. Please submit this information along with the results obtain for item “1” above to the Office of the President ( by February 15, 2024;
  2. Determine the appropriate amount of space/facilities needed for a establishing a crime lab at SUNY Fredonia, in addition, include recommendations about possible locations;
  3. Determine an estimated cost for establishing and staffing the crime lab at SUNY Fredonia;
  4. Explore reliable funding opportunities that may exist from local, county, New York State, and Federal levels for operating and maintaining the crime lab; 
  5. Determine potential outcomes and impacts that a crime lab at SUNY Fredonia would have on academic programs, student experiential learning, and enrollment and retention.  Please be as specific as possible and; 
  6. Please consider other important and relevant matters pertaining to the establishment of a crime lab at SUNY Fredonia, not indicated above, including initial scope of work for the crime lab (for example biological and computer-related investigations), the potential appointment of qualified crime lab scientists to the faculty of SUNY Fredonia, and the necessary partnership that must exist between SUNY Fredonia and Chautauqua County and other entities or agencies to make this initiative successful.  

Final report and recommendations are due by April 30, 2024.

Members: Michael Dunham, Associate Professor, Physics and Co-chair; Charles Holder, Co-chair; Kimberlie Ball, Interim Director of Admissions; Tim Bentham, Interim Co-Director, Facilities Services - Energy and Mechanical Systems; Gordon Carpenter, Chief of University Police; Mark Delcamp, Interim Co-Director, Facilities Services - Custodial Services; Judy Horowitz, Vice Provost; Karen Rohr, Vice President of University Advancement and Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation; Tracy Stenger, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs; Mark Suida, Director of Campus Life; Katie Thies, Special Programs Manager, FSA; Jeff Woodard, Director of Marketing & Communications; 

It has been predicted that on April 8, 2024, around 3:00 p.m., our campus will be almost directly in the path of totality for a solar eclipse. This will be a very unique eclipse in that it will last for three-and-a-half minutes, and if you recall, the eclipse of 2017 lasted only two minutes. The last occurrence of an eclipse of this nature, which we will experience in 2024, was in 1925, and the next one will be in 2144, so this is truly a “once in a lifetime” event. Chautauqua County officials estimate that there could be from 50,000 to 1,000,000 extra people in the county on the day of the eclipse, and due to the potential for transportation issues, many local school districts have canceled school on the day of the eclipse. In view of the foregoing, we will need to be prepared for impacts to our campus and day-to-day operations while also considering the potential to bring thousands of people to campus to view the eclipse and to showcase our campus.

The committee should put together a comprehensive plan for preparing for this event and should consider what campus preparations will be needed for safety and security and how the event can be leveraged for the academic, social and intellectual experience of our faculty, staff and students. The committee will also find ways to establish and cultivate connections to individuals who experience the event on our campus with the potential for recruitment and the promotion of SUNY Fredonia and our fundraising efforts.

Dr. Judy Langworthy, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration and Acting Chair of the committee; Ms. Kimberlie Ball, Interim Director of Admissions; Mr. Jeremy Corrente, Director of Financial Aid; Ms. Teresa Adams, Scholarship/Donor Relations Coordinator; Mr. David White, Veterans Administrator; Vice President of Enrollment Management Services, to be added, once appointed.


I am pleased to appoint you to the Fredonia Scholarship Committee. This summer, I appointed a Fredonia Affordability Council (FAC) to complete a review of Fredonia's model for awarding scholarships, establish a budget for scholarships awarded from state funds, and generate ideas regarding approaches to awarding future  financial assistance and scholarships. As a result of the Fredonia Affordability Council’s work, scholarship awards will be based on an annual budget consisting of a set amount of state funds and the available Fredonia College Foundation funds. The committee also revised the naming, criteria, and maintenance standards of Fredonia’s academic index (merit) scholarships. Soon, the university will add a need-based scholarship (Bicentennial Mobility Scholarship) to the mix of scholarships, which will specifically make access more affordable for students from challenging financial backgrounds.

With a new framework and approach established, I hereby appoint you to the Fredonia Scholarship Committee to oversee the implementation of the Fredonia Affordability Council’s work and continue with the following:

  1. Implement all policies and guidelines established by the FAC;

  2. Serve as stewards of resources that the university makes available for scholarships;

  3. Select students for scholarships;

  4. Coordinate the awarding of all forms of scholarships and financial assistance at the university to achieve the highest impact;

  5. Review and recommend policies related to awarding of scholarships at Fredonia; 

  6. Other appropriate responsibilities as requested by the President.

Given that a new Vice President for Enrolment Management Services search is underway, we will put a foundation in place while allowing flexibility to adapt under new leadership. I will plan a meeting shortly for us to discuss this charge and answer any questions that you may have. I appreciate your willingness to serve as members of this very important committee. Thank you.

Members: Dr. Michael Clarkson-Hendrix, Committee Chair and Associate Professor & Program Director of Social Work; Dr. Naomi Baldwin, Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant; Ms. Amy Beers, Director, Internal Control; Ms. Dawn Eckenrode, Director of the Professional Development Center; Ms. Lisa Eikenburg, Associate Director, Marketing and Communications; Ms. Patty Feraldi, Director of Alumni Affairs; Ms. Kathy Forster, Director of Residence Life; Dr. Neepa Gaekwad Babulal, Assistant Professor, Economics; Dr. Judy Horowitz, Vice Provost; Dr. Michael Markham, Professor, School of Music; Ms. June Miller Spann, Director of Development, University Advancement; Dr. Emeka Okeke, Assistant Professor, Biology

The granting of honorary degrees is the highest recognition the university can bestow. The work of this committee includes identifying, vetting, and recommending to the President a pipeline of three candidates (including one already recommended candidate from 2020-21) for submission to SUNY for awarding honorary doctorate degrees during the period May 2024 through May 2026. 

It is desirable, but not required, that individuals being considered have some affiliation with SUNY Fredonia or the surrounding community. Also, it is desirable, but not required, that the candidates be widely known by the general public and have a sustained record of achievement of lasting significance. Each candidate should be accompanied by three or more letters of nomination and a biographical sketch. 

The campus committee must conduct a rigorous review of the qualifications of the candidates, including confidential consultation with appropriate faculty able to evaluate the accomplishments of the candidate. Throughout the process, the utmost care should be taken to ensure confidentiality. Committee members cannot contact the candidate or in any way communicate to them that they are being considered for an honorary degree. 

Once the committee has completed its recommendation process, the President makes a further review, and then submits supporting materials to the Chancellor for consideration. The Chancellor shall submit the list of qualified candidates, with appropriate recommendations, to the Board of Trustees which shall confidentially discuss the Committee's recommendations and then approve successful candidates via a formal resolution. lf approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees and the Chancellor, one, or up to two degrees will be awarded at Commencement. 

Membership: Dr. Tracy Stenger, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Co-Chair; Dr. Vicki T. Sapp Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Co-Chair; Ms. Ivory Brooks, Counselor; Dr. Jiyong Kim Mai, Assistant Professor, School of Music; Dr. Annette Franklin, Lecturer, Social Work Field Coordinator; Dr. Wentao Cao, Assistant Professor, Geology and Environmental Sciences; Mr. Mark Suida, Director Campus Life

This Commission is charged with developing and implementing annually one-week of programmatic initiatives that will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King during the first week of the spring semester starting in January 2024. I anticipate that the Commission, through its work, will encourage and facilitate volunteerism and celebrate giving-back to the campus and local community. The initiatives for the week should conclude with the commission bringing a  prominent speaker to campus for a campus-wide and local community event. 

Membership: Michel Kouadio, Chief Information Officer and Project Champion/Chair; Amanda Austin, Administrative Assistant II, Student Affairs; Naomi Baldwin, Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant; Maria Carroll, Director of Human Resources; Susan Cortes, Director of Payroll Services, Finance and Administration; Judy Horowitz, Vice Provost; Karen Rohr, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of Fredonia College Foundation; Vicki T. Sapp, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer


Over the past year, various campus stakeholders have offered feedback related to SUNY Fredonia’s hiring process. After discussing with several of the campus stakeholder groups and individuals, I believe it would be to SUNY Fredonia’s benefit to work with an external consultant to conduct a fuller process efficiency study that will help us understand how we might streamline our hiring process and reduce the time it takes between cabinet approval of employment positions and interviewing the candidates.  Let me be clear that this effort is not an indictment of any policy, individual, or office.  Rather, this is an effort to determine whether we can make improvements to our current hiring process, many aspects of which were put in place over an extensive period of time.  

The University at Buffalo hosts The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), and based on their work with other SUNY campuses, I have asked them for their assistance in this matter. You have been recommended to be part of the project team due to the unique perspective your role brings to SUNY Fredonia’s hiring process, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to serve on this project. 

TCIE estimates 48 hours of meeting time for the team to work with the facilitators on the project tasks, with an estimated time of 3-4 hours per week to be scheduled with their facilitators through the summer and Fall 2024 semester. In addition to the meeting time with the team and facilitators, please plan to spend additional time on assigned project tasks between the scheduled meetings. 

With the goal of reducing the time of SUNY Fredonia’s hiring process between approval at cabinet and interviewing candidates,  your charge is to work with the TCIE facilitators to complete the Process Improvement Tasks, which include the verification and recommendation of potential solutions. For your reference and a fuller description of the project, attached is a complete Scope of Work from one of the TCIE project facilitators, Peter Baumgartner, Operational Excellence Director.

As you will notice, this work will require a significant commitment of your time.  It is important that you be able to participate in all the meetings that have been scheduled.  I appreciate your willingness to be a part of this important work. Thank you,.

Members: Mr. Jeremy Corrente, Interim Director of Financial Aid, Dr. Rob Deemer, Professor, School of Music and Interim Chair, Theatre and Dance, Mr. Michael Kelly, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dr. Jae Hee Kwon, Assistant Professor, Education Department, Dr. Judy Langworthy, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, Ms. Karen Rohr, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation, Dr. Vicki Sapp, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Dr. David Starrett, Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Lisa Walters, Associate Professor, Business Administration, Dr. Courtney Wigdahl-Perry, Associate Professor, Biology

The Fredonia Affordability Committee (FAC) is, an important advisory group that will work directly with me in the development of policies and strategies aimed at enhancing the affordability of SUNY Fredonia, and thus expand access and strengthen persistence at this “Well of Knowledge, Discovery, and Success”.  You may recall this intended outcome as the theme for my investiture as President on September 9, 2022.  

The purpose of this committee is as follows:

  1. Annually review Fredonia’s model for awarding scholarships and financial assistance to students to ensure effectiveness and success in aiding the university in meeting its enrollment goals;
  2. Provide ideas and leadership for the development and implementation of policies regarding the awarding of financial assistance to students, including the fair and timely distribution of financial assistance to students;
  3. Have oversight for policy regarding the coordination of the awarding of financial assistance to students originating from various sources;
  4. Have oversight for policy regarding  the strategic leveraging of university resources aimed at making attendance affordable;
  5. Assist in the determination of an annual budget for financial assistance to students while ensuring that financial assistance expenditures are sustainable;
  6. Assist with promoting the “Bicentennial Fund: Enhancing Access and Persistence to the Well of Knowledge, Discovery, and Success.”

The committee will meet in early April and through the end of the semester to ensure that critical decisions pertaining to financial assistance for AY 2024-2025 incoming students are made in a timely manner.  The FAC will be chaired and convened by me as the President of SUNY Fredonia 

Committee's Answer to the Charge:

Recommend items with greatest potential to benefit all/most that can be accomplished by December 2023.

  1. Increase accessibility of campus administrators to interested employees by scheduling and communicating open availability times, located in a neutral space (“office hours outside the office”). This would include individuals such as the President, Provost, VPs, and Deans as well as other administrators.

  2. Set up times for employees to gather and participate in informal, unstructured community building and networking. This would also allow for increased visibility of administrators. There are existing spaces that are suitable for this kind of gathering and the specific locations can rotate depending on availability and a department’s or area’s interest. There are also grants that we are not currently taking advantage of that would be available to financially support this type of activity.

  3. Facilitate a campus-wide culture of expressing appreciation. Examples might include: A resource similar to the Faculty/Staff Recruitment Planning Toolkit that offers ideas, inspiration, and reminders for expressing appreciation to others. Update the content regularly and promote it through campus communications such as The Understory and/or campus news reports. A “strong stars” QR code near office and department entrances. This would allow for people to identify specific individuals who had a positive impact on their experience on our campus. An example is the URMC ICARE Star program.

  4. Whenever possible, post positions internally prior to moving forward with a national search to help offer more advancement opportunities.

  5. Expand mentoring programs and pair new hires together as part of the onboarding process to encourage relationship building and retention. An example of an existing mentorship program is the Connections Mentoring Program, which pairs incoming employees with current employees.

  6. Improve efficiency of processes by: Offering training sessions and ensuring the availability of updated training resources. Updating procedural manuals on key operations such as purchasing and hiring. Requesting that high-use offices (Accounting, Purchasing, HR) offer a session to refresh and update employees during the All-Fredonia Faculty/Staff Conferences in August and January.

Recommend items with greatest potential to benefit all/most that can be accomplished by December 2024.

  1. Establish a common, agreed-upon understanding of shared governance to enhance collaboration among shared governance groups. Take advantage of opportunities for shared governance groups to work toward a common goal and practice collaboration. For example, coordinate advocacy work among the groups to increase state funding to SUNY Fredonia and to influence the allocation to the campus.

  2. Expand available training resources (procedural manuals) with other formats of on-demand training on frequently used/required procedures. Expand training outside of operational procedures and ensure that there are opportunities such as supervisor and chair training so that direct supervisors are positioned to be effective drivers of employee engagement and can help set up employees for success.

  3. Consider creating an Ombudsperson position at Fredonia.Pending Chancellor King’s response to SUNY University Faculty Senate Resolution 194-01-1, “Condemn Abusive Workplace Behavior and Request that SUNY System Administration Establish a System-wide Workplace Conduct Policy,” ensure that SUNY Fredonia adopts a position that aligns with the system-wide policy.

  4. Explore new models of clerical support to help clarify roles and streamline workflows. For example, reconsider the current model in which administrative assistants are asked to provide all-in-one support for one specific area. Review what other models are being used that might offer efficiencies, rebalance workloads, and remain mindful of classification standards within the administrative support unit.


Membership: Naomi Baldwin, Chair and Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant., President’s Office; Maria Carroll, Director, Human Resources; Tracy Stenger, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs; Bruce Simon, Associate Professor, Department of English and Chair of Fredonia University Senate; Lisa Denton, Associate Professor, Psychology and Co-Chair of Planning and Budget Committee; Christopher Taverna, Applications Administrator/Trainer, ITS, and Chapter President for UUP; Stephanie Teachman, Administrative Assistant 2, Provost’s Office and Chapter President for CSEA

This is an informal group to assist the President in assessing, analyzing, categorizing, and prioritizing the many suggestions that I have received from various campus groups regarding improving wellbeing, morale, and residential and intellectual life at SUNY Fredonia. 

Several of the suggestions have already been addressed, some are currently underway for addressing, and some are difficult and/or expensive to accomplish.  Also, there are suggestions that may need assessment for their veracity and followed by a determination of their appropriate actions.  While each of the groups from which suggestions were obtained  represent unique individuals with varied schedules, work assignments, and interests, one thing is clear:  We are all interested in working toward a common goal of ensuring that SUNY Fredonia is a place of destination, not only for students, but also for faculty and staff.  

 The materials that will be provided for review include:

  1. 2021/22 Morale Input from CSEA;

  2. 2022 UUP Morale Survey Summary;

  3. Regular Planning and Budget Message to President Kolison 12_12_22;

  4. Voices of Fredonia -- Planning and Budget survey, Fall 2021.

The committee should first aim to prioritize items that are characterized as having a reasonable degree of veracity.  Then among those items, the committee should categorize them  in terms of practicality, impactfulness, and affordability. Of the practical, impactful, and affordable items, please make recommendations to me regarding five items that might be accomplished by the end of this calendar year, and another five items that might be accomplished by the calendar year 2024.  You may also recommend items that might need to wait indefinitely.   As you make your recommendations, please think about items that have the potential of benefiting all, or most persons at the university in the short-term and in the long-term. 

Rachel Martin, Chair, SUNY Fredonia Commencement Planning Committee and Assoc. Director of Campus Life, Naomi Baldwin, Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the President , Kevin Cloos, Director of Facilities Services, Mark Delcamp, Assistant Director of Facilities - Custodial Services, Lisa Eikenburg, Associate Director, Marketing & Communications, Patty Feraldi, Director, Alumni Affairs, Raleigh Hawk, Acting Ticket and Customer Service Manager, Paula Holcomb, Professor, School of Music, Charles Holder, Emergency Planning Coordinator, Judy Horowitz, Vice Provost, Vernon Huff, Associate Professor, School of Music, Brent Isaacson, Chief of Police, Kevin Lane, Director of Enterprise Services and Information Services, Judy Langworthy, Associate Vice President for Finance & Administration, Timothy Lillie, Head Janitor, Scott Martin, Lieutenant, University Police, John McCune, Director of Academic & Collaborative Technology, Dean Messina, Director of Dining Services, FSA, Scott Saunders, Registrar, Mark Suida, Director of Campus Life, Matthew Sullivan, Learning Spaces Technology Coordinator, ITS, Terry Tzitzis, Director of University Services, Jeffrey Walter, Catering Manager, FSA, Jeffrey Woodard, Director of Marketing and Communications, Christopher Zenns, Director of Retail Operations, FSA

Due to the nature of your position on campus, I am pleased to appoint you to the 2023 Commencement Planning Committee. 

By serving on the committee, you are expected to attend meetings and help plan and coordinate two successful ceremonies. As another result of your planning this year, you will continue to contribute to a SUNY Fredonia Commencement planning guide that can be used for years to come. This guide serves as a “play book” with a planning timeline and calendar, as well as a set of procedures relevant to each of your major roles. It is a foundational reference for the event that we will keep improving upon to ensure the continuation of the legacy of Fredonia’s signature academic ceremony.

I am also delighted that Rachel Martin has agreed to continue serving as Chair of this committee after her overwhelmingly successful leadership as co-chair during the 2022 Commencement ceremonies. This is a wonderful team, and I am very appreciative of everyone’s willingness to contribute to this event.

I appreciate everything that each member of the committee is doing to ensure that we have a wonderful commencement day for our graduates. I look forward to receiving regular updates as the plans progress.

Take the next step