Schoharie County

SUNY Cobleskill gets its own president

SUNY Cobleskill, will be getting its own president June 1, ending 21 months of sharing a president w

SUNY Cobleskill will be getting its own president June 1, ending 21 months of sharing leadership with SUNY Delhi.

The State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved elevating Debra Thatcher from vice president for academic affairs to acting president at SUNY Cobleskill effective June 1, according to SUNY.

Candace S. Vancko, who was placed in charge of both Cobleskill and SUNY Delhi in 2011, will return to SUNY Delhi full-time starting June 1.

Thatcher’s appointment is the first step in plans to begin a search for a new SUNY Cobleskill president expected to be in place by the summer of 2015, according to the announcement.

Vancko’s two most recent predecessors served relatively short terms.

Donald P. Zingale, the college’s 11th president, appointed in January 2008, served for about 44 months before announcing plans to retire.

That was roughly three months longer than Thomas J. Haas’ tenure from 2003 to 2006.

Vancko said in a statement that the agriculture and technology college has made strides despite sharing services.

“By working together, we’ve made impressive progress toward achieving our goals of positioning Cobleskill for enrollment growth, improving the campus appearance and infrastructure and securing Middle States re-accreditation,” she said in the statement.

A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Thatcher holds master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of South Carolina. She arrived at SUNY Cobleskill in 2011 following four years as provost and dean of faculty at Lees-McRae College in North Carolina.

She’s served as Cobleskill’s chief operating officer, provost and vice president of academic affairs since then.

In a prepared statement, Thatcher said the new job will be an honor.

“I love SUNY Cobleskill, and our future is very bright. We are entering an exciting era marked by hiring new faculty and staff and building modern facilities to support academic and student life programs that will move SUNY Cobleskill to the forefront as the Northeast’s leading college of agriculture and technology.”

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