Upstate New York College Collaboration (UNYCC) has hired its first-ever executive director, Suronda Gonzalez, Ph.D. who will be hosted at Nazareth College. Gonzalez will serve UNYCC as it increases its capacity to develop collaborative solutions to shared problems, and enhances the professional and economic impact of higher education throughout the region and New York State.
The UNYCC is an established consortium of 19 western and central New York-area institutions of higher education including community colleges, state operated institutions, and independent colleges and universities. Its current membership has a combined annual spending of over $1 billion across 400 buildings on 5,000 acres serving over 83,000 students and 13,000 full and part-time faculty and staff.
“Our collaboration’s members share a commitment to affordability and access to a diverse set of higher education offerings,” said Patrick Richey, Nazareth College vice president of finance and administration, and president of UNYCC’s executive committee. “Suronda’s experience will help take UNYCC to the next level so that our organization can better leverage collective strengths to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of all member institutions.”
“Securing support for an executive director position signals deep institutional commitment to what we can accomplish together,” said Hezekiah Simmons, CFO and Vice President of Administrative Services for MCC and UNYCC At Large Member of the Executive Board. “It is a reaffirmation of our belief that we are ‘better together’ and that shared initiatives can strengthen each member school.”
Gonzalez’s background as an educator and administrator is broad and includes rich experience leading nearly a 30-campus consortium around common curricular priorities. Most recently, she led the University of Rochester OnCampus program, a partnership across departments and divisions to support international student success while ensuring compliance with institutional, Middle States, as well as state and federal governmental regulations. For more than a decade, Gonzalez worked at Binghamton University where she spearheaded high-impact global learning initiatives. Her background includes experiences that support both academic and student affairs, professional development design and delivery, and a strong commitment to access and inclusion. Gonzalez holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Binghamton University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from West Virginia University.
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