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Governor Cuomo Appoints First Hispanic President in any SUNY Campus in New York State History

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of Dr. Havidán Rodríguez as the 20th President of the University at Albany, making Dr. Rodríguez the the first Hispanic president of any four-year SUNY campus in New York State history. The appointment follows Governor Cuomo’s launch of the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute designed to recruit and prepare next generation of Latino leaders.

The Puerto Rico native, Rodriguez, 58, has been a leader in higher education for the past 25 years. He is currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Professor of Sociology. He is known for his work studying the socioeconomic impact of disasters and the economic well-being of minority populations. Most recently, Dr. Rodríguez’s honors and awards include being recognized as a 2017 Top Latino Leader by the National Diversity Council and the 2016 Cesar Estrada Chavez Award by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity.

In response, Voto Latino issued the following statement:

“Voto Latino congratulations Dr. Rodriguez on this achievement and thanks him for being an exemplary leader and Latino role model. Voto Latino also applauds Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the next generation of Latino leaders. Dr. Rodriguez spent 10 years growing up in the Bronx as a young boy watching his single mother work as a taxicab driver in order to give him a better life. Now he will serve as the first Hispanic president of any four-year SUNY campus in New York State history. He has always been a believer in the motto ‘Si se puede’ (Yes we can) and now he serves as a living example of what that motto stands for and can represent to future Latino generations to come.”

Dr. Rodriguez will take over on or around Sept. 14 from Interim President James Stellar.