ALBANY — The State University of New York Board of Trustees have appointed SUNY Provost Tod A. Laursen as acting president for SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SUNY’s high-tech learning and research center based in Albany.
Laursen’s appointment, announced Tuesday, is effective immediately. He will lead the Utica and Albany campuses in preparing for the return of students in the spring, in accordance with SUNY guidance to reopen safely, according to SUNY. A search for a permanent SUNY Poly president will begin shortly.
Laursen replaces Dr. Grace Wang, who was interim president of the school, which has a campus just west of the University at Albany and a campus in Utica.
Laursen has been the senior vice chancellor and provost of the SUNY system since September 2018. He came to SUNY from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, where he was the founding president and served as its leader since 2010.
Prior to becoming president of Khalifa University, Laursen was a member of the faculty of Duke University in North Carolina from 1992 to 2010, teaching civil engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
He served as senior associate dean for education in the Pratt School of Engineering from 2003-2008, overseeing all undergraduate and graduate engineering programs at Duke.
Laursen is a graduate of Oregon State University, with masters and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. He has published over 100 refereed articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and has authored or co-edited two books.
SUNY Poly has an enrollment of about 2,200 students. It offers degrees in nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs.