Dr. Roger Ramsammy appointed new president of Hudson Valley

Julio Rodriguez
Editor-in-Chief

COURTESY OF SUNY

Pictured from left to right: SUNY Chancellor Katherine Johnson, President-elect Roger Ramsammy, SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl McCall, Hudson Valley Board of Trustees Chairman Neil Kelleher

Roger A. Ramsammy was appointed the seventh president of Hudson Valley this past Wednesday by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Ramsammy has impressive leadership qualifications and an outstanding reputation,” said SUNY Chancellor Katherine Johnson at the SUNY Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 15. “We feel he is immensely qualified and the right person for the job. I’m pleased to move forward with the recommendation to the board.”

Ramsammy has 23 years of experience working in higher education. He previously served as an administrator at three of the largest multi-campus colleges in the U.S.

Ramsammy previously held administrative positions at numerous institutions of higher learning. He served as provost and chief academic officer at Northern Virginia Community College with 70,000 students and held positions as associate dean of STEM and dean of Academic Affairs, as well as chair of the biology department at Palm Beach State College, which serves 59,000 students.

Ramsammy joins Hudson Valley after most recently serving as president of Miami Dade’s West Campus, which serves 165,000 students.

“As a strong supporter of the community college mission, it will be my responsibility, as well as my goal, to build upon the already significant accomplishments and traditions seen at HVCC and continue its legacy with the ultimate objective of creating an even more powerful experience that will endure for years to come,” Ramsammy said. “I, along with the entire HVCC community, look forward to a brilliant and productive future.”

The Hudson Valley Board of Trustees arrived at their final decision to recommend Ramsammy to the SUNY Board of Trustees after a yearlong presidential search.

“This is the culmination of a process we started over a year ago when we first started talking about the search for a new president,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Neil Kelleher. “I’d like to say it was as smooth as glass, [but] it wasn’t. There were some bumps along the way.”

Ramsammy commended Hudson Valley’s efforts in the past.

“HVCC is no ordinary institution, but rather one of considerable achievements and many important aspects of education and public benefit,” Ramsammy said. “[Hudson Valley] can take considerable pride in its reputation — both locally and nationally — as one of resilient commitment to serving its students and its community through successful efforts in enhancing retention, student success, fiscal responsibility, community engagement and innovation.”

Ramsammy also made references to the college’s future under his tenure.

“Over the next several months and years, we will have the opportunity to discuss many strategies, initiatives and programs aimed at further developing and enhancing current accomplishments, as well as utilizing them as the basis for future exciting endeavors.”
At the appointment, Kelleher discussed the process behind the lengthy process to find a new president.

“The Board of Trustees went way out of their way to make sure everyone had a voice in this process,” Kelleher explained. “We wanted our new president to come on campus and be welcomed by everyone on campus and not be nervous about one sector of the campus not being open and excited. I’m delighted to say we pulled that off.”

Kelleher was highly confident in the board’s decision to recommend Ramsammy.

“Dr. Ramsammy — you listen to his resume and you wonder why we bothered to interview anybody else, quite frankly,” Kelleher said.

Kelleher addressed concerns that the newly appointed president is coming from a considerable distance to work as president of Hudson Valley.

“[President Drew Matonak], in a way, paved the way for Roger, in that there has always been a certain amount of doubt about bringing someone from a distance onto campus,” Kelleher said. “There was certainly that trepidation when Drew came from the midwest. He has since been nothing but an outstanding success.”

Ramsammy expressed his gratitude to the board shortly after the appointment.

“At this time, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who devoted considerable time and effort to the election process done by the chair Neil Kelleher and all other members,” he said. “Please know I’m going to do everything I can to dedicate my all and live up to the expectations that this committee have in me.”

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