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SUNY Chancellor To Resign For Ohio State Position

SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson
SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson

After three years, SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson is resigning for a new job at The Ohio State University. Johnson has agreed to become president of The Ohio State University starting in September. 

Johnson is leaving the 64-campus university system at a time when many schools are struggling to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and debating how to reopen this fall. SUNY says Johnson will continue her duties as Chancellor to prepare campuses for the fall semester until an interim leadership structure is appointed.

“Leading SUNY has been an honor, and throughout my term I have been energized by the students, our esteemed faculty, and the brilliant leaders I have come to know and value,” Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “New York State has been welcoming to me and my wife Veronica Meinhard, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to build on SUNY’s strength as a diverse and inclusive higher education system.”

“Dr. Johnson has led SUNY with a deep commitment to providing access and opportunity, while ensuring a premier high-quality education for all our students and propelling our university system to new national heights and recognition,” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Merryl Tisch. “We join all New Yorkers in thanking Dr. Johnson for her service and her tireless commitment to issues of equity and excellence, and we wish her the very best on her new opportunity as president of Ohio State University.”

In a statement, United University Professions President Fred Kowal says he's disappointed by Johnson's timing, adding: "SUNY also faces a financial situation that has gone from precarious to critical because of the pandemic...On June 1, UUP released its guidelines to safely reopen SUNY campuses. However, we have heard little from SUNY and almost nothing from the chancellor on this issue."

Johnson joined SUNY in 2017 and earns more than $500,000 a year as chancellor. An electrical engineer and inventor, Johnson previously worked for the Obama administration as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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