PLATTSBURGH — It took two offers, but this time, Plattsburgh State has a new provost.

Dr. Jay Stein, who was unanimously recommended by the Search Committee, starts July 1. He is founding director for the Center for Health and the Built Environment, College of Design, Construction and Planning at the University of Florida.

Stein replaces Dr. Robert Golden, a highly respected Plattsburgh State administrator who is retiring and returning to the classroom part time.

“We are incredibly pleased that Jay has agreed to serve as our next provost,” said Plattsburgh State President Dr. John Ettling. “He brings a wealth of talent not only in his field of study but most importantly as a leader in academia.”

Stein is eager to tackle his new role.

“In my visits to Plattsburgh, I have met many outstanding faculty, staff and students,” he said. “Indeed, my major reason for accepting the position is the quality of the people in the community and the opportunity to work with President John Ettling. I think we can be a very effective team in enhancing the quality of an already first-rate college.”

His wife, Rhonda Phillips, will join Plattsburgh State’s faculty as a visiting professor for one year in the Department of Hotel, Tourism and Restaurant Management.

Ettling hopes that from that appointment something more permanent will develop for her.

“She’s sharp,” he said.

Golden retires in June, though he is returning to the classroom as a part-time faculty member at Plattsburgh State’s Adirondack Community College branch campus in Queensbury.

About 80 people applied for the No. 2 position at Plattsburgh State, with 10 chosen as finalists and then four as semi-finalists.

The Search Committee interviewed candidates in March and initially recommended Dr. William McKinney for the position. But the dean of the College of Humanities and Performing Arts at Slippery Rock University declined the offer due to personal reasons.

So the search continued. Plattsburgh State officials said then that they were confident they would find a new provost within a “strong and deep” candidate pool.

“In our meetings with Jay, he left a positive impression on our campus, and we are excited to work with him,” Ettling said.

College officials refused to share details of Stein’s contract.

“Dr. Stein has verbally accepted our offer,” said Brendan Kinney, associate vice president of the Office of Institutional Advancement. “Until we receive his formal written reply, we are not comfortable sharing details related to salary and contract terms.”

At the University of Florida, Stein worked as a professor and chair in the College of Architecture’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, later becoming dean of that school.

He most recently served as founding director for the Center for Health and the Built Environment, College of Design, Construction and Planning.

Before the University of Florida, Stein served as interim dean for the School of Architecture and Planning at SUNY Buffalo. He also served as professor and chair of the Department of Planning and Design and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Binghamton.

“I look forward to returning to New York, where I have strong roots both in the state and the SUNY system,” Stein said. “This will be my third time in the SUNY system.”

He views his appointment at Plattsburgh State as a chance to give back to the system and community that helped shape his own life.

Stein earned his master’s degree in political science from York University and his doctorate in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan.

Plattsburgh State’s provost is responsible for the management of the academic enterprise, working closely with the president, deans and faculty leaders, and sits on the President’s Cabinet as vice president of academic affairs.

Stein praised Golden for his service to Plattsburgh State, saying he has “big shoes to fill.”

“It is my understanding that Bob Golden has been a great provost for SUNY Plattsburgh. I hope to be worthy of the task and look forward to working with Bob in transition.”

Stein further praised Plattsburgh State’s commitment to being a student-centered college and said he comes to the university with some ideas and initiatives of his own that he would like to explore.

“My academic discipline of urban and regional planning is an inherently interdisciplinary field, and I have always enjoyed being involved in educational experiences that span the traditional boundaries of our disciplines.

“I have also been very involved in green, sustainability issues at Florida. I know that Plattsburgh has a rich tradition in environmental studies, and, as provost, I would encourage a stronger focus on sustainability in the curriculum, the campus and our community.”

E-mail Stephen Bartlett at:

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