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SUNY Board of Trustees and Rockland Community College Announce Presidential Appointment at RCC

SUNY Board of Trustees and Rockland Community College Announce Presidential Appointment at RCC

Dr. Michael A. Baston

DATE: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Garden City – The State University of New York and Rockland Community College today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Baston as president of RCC. Dr. Baston’s appointment is effective July 1, 2017, at an annual salary of $225,000.

“Dr. Baston has precisely the right balance of professional qualifications and strategic vision to lead Rockland Community College into its next chapter,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “I look forward to working with Dr. Baston as we continue to build upon the college’s strong foundation of academic excellence, workforce development, and community service.”

“First and foremost, Dr. Baston is an advocate for students, having dedicated his career to helping them achieve their dreams through quality higher education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “At the same time, he has a proven strength as a convener who recognizes the value of partnership between a college campus and the broader community it serves. It is an honor to welcome Dr. Baston to the SUNY family.”

"Dr. Michael Baston comes to Rockland Community College with impeccable credentials as a visionary and compassionate educational administrator,” said RCC Board Chair Marty Wortendyke. “The Rockland Community College Board of Trustees is confident that he will build upon the extraordinary leadership provided by Dr. Cliff Wood over the last 13 years to make RCC the best community college in the country.”

“I feel elated to have the opportunity to lead Rockland, one of our nation’s finest community colleges and to join the State University of New York, a forward thinking university system widely recognized as a national standard bearer,” said Dr. Baston. “You will not find a more dedicated and stellar performing faculty and staff, thoughtful and aspirational student body, and an administration and Board of Trustees committed to student success and furthering the success of Rockland County. I’m proud to stand on the shoulders of retiring president Dr. Cliff Wood and will work tirelessly to broaden the scope, reach, and influence of RCC in the years ahead.”

About Dr. Baston

Dr. Baston has held executive leadership positions at LaGuardia Community College within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, overseeing programs to enhance academic, personal, and social success of more than 50,000 students. Most recently, Dr. Baston has served as acting provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, where he led the largest student affairs portfolio of any CUNY college. At LaGuardia, he also served as associate provost and associate dean for student affairs and enrollment management.

Prior to joining LaGuardia, Dr. Baston served for 10 years as the dean of student development and campus life for the New York campuses of Berkeley College. He also served as senior associate at Dougherty and Associates, LLP, representing Iona College and other educational corporations.

He has served as chair of the board of directors for the LaGuardia College Association. Additionally, Dr. Baston served as chair of the board for the Early Childhood Learning Center and as a member of the board of directors for the LaGuardia Community College Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Baston is an Aspen Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence and an executive leader recognized nationally for innovative practices and student outcomes, and for his work in the field of student success. An American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Pathways coach supporting the leadership teams at St. Petersburg College, Broward College, Indian River State College, and Tallahassee Community College in Florida, Dr. Baston is helping institutions build capacity as they seek to use guided pathways as a framework to integrate student success strategies.

Dr. Baston earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Iona College, a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, and an Education Doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.

About Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College, State University of New York, one of the 64 institutions in the State University of New York (SUNY), offers an affordable high-quality education enriched by a diverse community and picturesque campus. Graduates are well-prepared for careers or transfer, and most continue at four-year institutions after earning one of the 50 degrees or certificates. Local partnerships amplify the College’s contribution to economic development in the Hudson Valley, with alumni achieving success in fields including law, healthcare, criminal justice, business, and the arts.

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015-16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree are SUNY alumni. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit