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SUNY names acting president of SUNY Poly

By Eric Reinhardt (


The SUNY board of trustees has appointed Tod Laursen as the acting president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which operates campuses in Marcy, near Utica, and in Albany. Laursen has been serving as SUNY’s senior vice chancellor and provost since September 2018. (Photo credit: SUNY website)

MARCY, N.Y. — SUNY board of trustees on Tuesday appointed SUNY Provost Tod Laursen as acting president for SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly).

Laursen’s appointment is effective immediately. A search for a permanent SUNY Poly president will begin shortly, per a Tuesday news release.

Laursen assumes the duties previously held by Jinliu (Grace) Wang, who had been serving as interim president of SUNY Poly for more than two years. Wang stepped down from her position Nov. 30 to become executive VP at Ohio State University.

In her new role, Wang joins former SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson who became the 16th president of Ohio State University at the start of this academic year.

Laursen will work with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras to ensure a smooth transition of his current responsibilities as senior vice chancellor and provost of SUNY system administration. Malatras has appointed Fatemeh (Shadi) Shahedipour-Sandvik as provost-in-charge, SUNY said.

Laursen has served as senior vice chancellor and provost since September 2018. He joined SUNY from Khalifa University (KU) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he was the founding president and served as its leader since 2010.

Prior to becoming president of Khalifa University, Laursen was a member of the faculty of Duke University between 1992 and 2010, during which time he had appointments in civil engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

He served as chair of Duke’s department of mechanical engineering and materials science from 2008 to 2010. He also served as senior associate dean for education in the Pratt School of Engineering from 2003 to 2008. In the latter capacity, he had oversight responsibility for all undergraduate and graduate engineering programs at Duke, SUNY said.


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