November 29, 2011

Stenger ’79 Appointed Binghamton University President

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Harvey Stenger Jr. ’79 will be the next president of Binghamton University, the SUNY Board of Trustees announced Nov. 23.

“I’ve always wanted to help students achieve their goals, and there’s no better place to do that than being the president of a university,” Stenger said.

Stenger will replace current interim president C. Peter Magrath, who has held the position since the previous president, Lois B. DeFleur, retired in July 2010. Magrath previously served as president of Binghamton from 1972 to 1974.

“We think he’s going to be a tremendous fit for Binghamton as well as our entire Southern Tier community,” said Kathryn Madigan, chair of Binghamton’s Presidential Search Committee and the Binghamton University Council.

Stenger said his first goal as president will be to “learn what Binghamton is” by familiarizing himself with the university at a grassroots level.

“I’m going to spend a lot of time talking to the faculty, staff, students and the community. It’ll take me about a month before I can start to formulate an idea of where Binghamton is going to head,” Stenger said. “They already have a great base and a great trajectory.”

Binghamton’s governing board formed the Presidential Search Committee in the spring of 2010. Madigan said the committee worked with two search consultants over the course of a year and a half before ultimately identifying Stenger as its candidate of choice.

According to Madigan, the school looked for potential nominees who would bolster the university’s doctoral research program while maintaining Binghamton’s legacy as the top public university in the Northeast.

“There was no question that Harvey met all of those goals,” Madigan said. “He’s very approachable and a truly inspirational type of leader.”

Prof. Patrick Regan, political science, Binghamton University, a member of the committee, described Stenger as “smart, personable and vibrant.”

Madigan said the president’s goals for Binghamton should include enhancing the university’s research and graduate programs through strategic hiring, continuing the growth of opportunities for economically disadvantaged families and expanding the diversity of its students, faculty and staff.

Stenger’s term is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2012. He will receive a salary of $385,000, with an additional $50,000 in supplemental compensation and $60,000 in annual housing allowance, a Binghamton University press release stated.

Stenger graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He called his time at Cornell “the greatest experience of anyone’s life.”

“My professors in engineering were some of the greatest people I’ll ever know. I think the student life around Cornell is great, and the hard-working attitude of the students made me competitive and hard-working,” Stenger said.

He said that he hopes to establish collaboration between Binghamton and Cornell in the future.

Stenger has served as a professor of chemical engineering and the dean of the engineering school at Lehigh University. He has also been dean of the engineering school at the University at Buffalo, where he helped create a new biomedical engineering program and led a fundraising campaign to support the construction of a new engineering building.

Stenger is currently interim provost at the University at Buffalo, a position he has held since April.

Stenger said his experience around the Upstate New York region will help him “understand the economic issues that are happening” and add to his work as president of a SUNY university.

“I’m going to be enthusiastic, thoughtful and encouraging, and try to work toward a better Binghamton,” Stenger said. “I’m going to bring Harvey.”

Original Author: Dennis Liu