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SUNY Canton identifies interim leader candidate

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CANTON — A distinguished professor at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx has emerged as a candidate to be the third leader of SUNY Canton appointed since President Joseph L. Kennedy retired in September.

Joseph C. Hoffman has worked at SUNY Maritime at Fort Schuyler, Throggs Neck, since 1977, serving as a mathematics and computer science professor and was named a distinguished teaching professor in 2001. He also has served as the college’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

If chosen, he would become interim president, replacing Carli S. Schiffner, who will leave that role July 31 to become vice president of instruction at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington state. An interim president is ineligible for the permanent position.

“I can confirm he is a candidate, but no final decision has been reached,” said David D. Doyle, SUNY Central spokesman. “It’s a process. He’s a candidate in the process.”

Mr. Doyle said Mr. Hoffman has met with the SUNY Canton College Council.

Council President Ronald M. O’Neill said Mr. Hoffman was interviewed during an April 16 video conference that was attended by council members, several SUNY Canton administrators and officials from SUNY Central.

“If he is presented to the board of trustees, I will feel good about it,” Mr. O’Neill said. “He came across very well. He was forthright and seemed honest with his opinions. I personally had a feeling with his responses.”

Mr. O’Neill said the College Council has not met or had a video conference with any other candidate and he hopes the SUNY board of trustees makes the interim president appointment at its May meeting to resolve the issue as students leave the campus for the summer.

“We need to restore continuity. I think that’s very important,” he said.

Mr. Hoffman is a 1975 graduate of SUNY Maritime College. He earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Adelphi University in 1977 and received his doctorate in education from LaSalle University in 1998. He was granted the distinguished teaching professor title by the SUNY board of trustees in 2001.

Mr. Hoffman has held a number of positions during a more than 35-year career at SUNY Maritime, including provost and vice president of academic affairs from August 2006 to May 2012.

He served as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve from May 1975 to August 1992.

SUNY Central had announced the hiring of former SUNY Canton provost Jeremy D. Brown as acting president in April. Mr. Brown, however, has accepted the president position at Portland Community College in Oregon.

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