Stenger's Plans for Binghamton University

By Haley Burton

November 28, 2011 Updated Nov 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) SUNY's Chancellor calls him a "visionary" and the perfect fit to lead Binghamton University in to the future.

Dr. Harvey G. Stenger Jr. is formally announced as the University's seventh President.

"This was easy. When the name came to us and we had the opportunity as Board members to meet with Harvey Stenger, it was just clear to us, this was the leadership that was needed to move Binghamton forward," said H. Carl McCall, SUNY Board of Trustees President.

McCall and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher officially introduced Stenger as Binghamton University's incoming President. His contract begins January 1, 2012.

"I believe Harvey is a visionary and since he's such an engaging and inclusive visionary, I know that with your help in the community, you together will craft a vision for Binghamton's future," said Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Chancellor.

Stenger is Interim Provost at University of Buffalo and a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

He spent Monday on the Binghamton University campus meeting with students, faculty and administrators, including current President Peter Magrath.

"When a Search Committee member asked me early on why are you interested in Binghamton? I said Binghamton, Binghamton gets it. They looked at me like they were wondering what I mean by that. And I said, You're probably wondering what I mean by that? I said Binghamton is about the success of their students," said Stenger.

Stenger earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also worked as a Professor at Leigh University.

Stenger says a lot of people have asked him about his vision for Binghamton University. He says he'll know when he meets with every department at Binghamton University.

"I'll be at every unit on campus at least one full day to meet with people during the month of January. February and March will be deciding a plan," said Stenger.

He says it will be later in the spring semester when that vision is put into place. But Stenger does have goals in mind, which include building on the academic strengths at the University, research and scholarship and fundraising.

"One of the things we'll have to do is enhance our financial position. I believe that that is critical to have a healthy University," said Stenger.

He says that will happen in part to NY SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program.

"We will have strategic development of new degree programs and investment in current programs of high quality and demand," he explained of other goals.

Also, Stenger says he wants to expand diversity campus-wide and build on research and industry partnerships, "We will continue to ensure that Binghamton University remains a catalyst for action in the region and New York State by driving economic development," he said.

Zimpher said that one hundred and six candidates were identified, 25 were interviewed, and Stenger was selected from the final five.

Current President Peter Magrath was already scheduled to end his term on December 31st.

Stenger's full compensation package will be $510,000. That includes salary, benefits and a housing allowance.

A group of about eight students, some from the Graduate Students Employees Union,. held signs outside the press conference on Monday. The students told Action News they were protesting Stenger's future paycheck, which they believe is too high.

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