Muriel A. Howard, president of Buffalo State College for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the college to become president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), effective August 1, 2009.
AASCU is the leadership association of 430 public colleges and universities advocating for public higher education, including federal policies and regulations to ensure access, affordability, and opportunity for students. The association is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
“After so many years in this community, I have great affection for Buffalo State College, Western New York, and the State University of New York. Over the past several years, we have accomplished an enormous amount for our students and for the community, and I know there is great momentum for this work to go on. As the AASCU president, I will have a wonderful opportunity to continue to advocate for public policy in support of students at state colleges and universities.”
Howard’s tenure at Buffalo State has been characterized by a prolonged period of stability and growth. The student academic profile improved while enrollment and the number of faculty hires increased. Under Howard’s leadership, the campus experienced numerous capital improvements, including the construction of the new $33 million Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State and culminating in a $350 million construction plan scheduled to begin this spring.
Undergraduate programs at Buffalo State now total 140, with 63 highly regarded graduate programs. Always a leader in teacher education, the college now offers all the traditional liberal arts disciplines, as well as Applied Economics, Art Conservation, Communication Design, Creative Studies, Forensic Chemistry, and Television and Film Arts.
“I wish President Muriel Howard well as she takes on an exciting new challenge as president of AASCU,” said Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor-elect for the State University of New York (SUNY). “Throughout her highly regarded academic and professional career, Muriel has earned a particular reputation for her work in the fields of teacher preparation, public service, and educational leadership. She is committed to developing in all students a life of intellectual curiosity and civic engagement. I look forward to our continued collaboration as we each assume new roles and find new ways to work to strengthen higher education across New York State, the nation, and globally.”
Long-time colleague and SUNY Trustee Carl T. Hayden commented, “Muriel Howard has served the State University of New York with spirit, scholarship, and dedication, both as vice president of the University at Buffalo and for the past 13 years as president of Buffalo State College. A nationally recognized leader in teacher education and public service, Muriel has earned the respect of her colleagues at SUNY and has helped Western New York campuses work together to strengthen their educational programs and services. She has been a mentor to many of our new presidents as well as to presidents nationally. We wish her well as she takes on a major new leadership position in American higher education.”
At AASCU, Howard will be an advocate for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of member colleges and universities; serving as a resource to presidents and chancellors as they address state policy and emerging campus issues; and providing professional development opportunities for presidents, chancellors, and their spouses.
“Muriel has been an outstanding leader at Buffalo State College,” said Howard A. Zemsky, vice chair of the College Council. “The board is committed to continuing her legacy. We will work with SUNY and the Buffalo State College Council and community to identify an interim president and expedite a search process.”