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Three Finalists Chosen for Hudson Valley Presidency, On-Campus Interviews Scheduled for Next Month

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, October 29, 2004

Three candidates have been chosen as finalists for the presidency of Hudson Valley Community College.

The finalists were recommended to the college's Board of Trustees by a 26-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, the membership of which represented faculty, staff, alumni, community members and the student body. Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Robert H. Hill II announced the finalists at the trustees' meeting on Thursday.

The finalists are: Dr. Casey Crabill, president of College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif.; Dr. Andrew J. Matonak, president of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa; and Dr. Edna L. McBreen, associate vice provost and chief executive officer of Tri-Campus, University of Connecticut (brief biographies are attached).

"We have three very qualified, strong candidates, any one of whom would be very capable to lead Hudson Valley Community College," Hill said. "They all are experienced college presidents."

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Conrad H. Lang Jr., vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Andrew Schott, an instructor in the college's History, Philosophy and Social Sciences Department, recommended the three finalists after interviewing five candidates last week; 37 candidates had applied for the post, Hill said.

The successful candidate will assume the presidency of fastest-growing community college in the State University of New York system. Hudson Valley has seen record-breaking enrollment for the past three academic years, and this year, the college has broken the 12,000-student mark for the first time in its history, enrolling 12,316 students in credit-bearing courses or programs, which represents an eight percent increase over the 2003-04 academic year. Another 14,000 people take advantage of the college's non-credit and business and industry training offerings annually.

In addition, more Capital Region students choose Hudson Valley Community College than any other institution of higher education in the region. More than three times as many local undergraduates choose Hudson Valley compared to the University at Albany (9,891 versus 2,637), making the college the first choice for local students to begin their post-secondary education.

Hudson Valley has been searching for a new president since its fifth president, John L. Buono '68, announced in September 2003 that he would retire in December of that same year. Dr. Marco J. Silvestri has been serving as the college's interim president since January; he did not seek the permanent presidency. Upon the appointment of a new president, Silvestri is expected to return to the post of vice president for administration, a job he has held at the college since 1984.

Hill praised Silvestri for his service as interim president: "Dr. Silvestri did a superb job of leading the college during the interim period. Hudson Valley is recognized throughout the state as one of the premier community colleges in the SUNY system. We look forward to working with a new president, who we expect will follow Dr. Silvestri's lead and keep Hudson Valley at the top of its game."

He also commended committee members and the college's liaison to the committee, Anne Minehan for their work, and praised them for keeping to the timeline that was established for the search. For more information about the presidential search process, to view the committee members, or read the timeline and presidential prospectus, visit

The next step for each of the three candidates is an on-campus interview during the week of Nov. 15. During those interviews, each candidate will meet with representatives from campus constituencies and the college's 10-member Board of Trustees, Hill said.

A finalist will be identified upon completion of those interviews, and the Board of Trustees is expected to appoint a new president at its November board meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 19. The SUNY Board of Trustees also must approve the appointment; that action is scheduled to occur at the trustees' meeting in January 2005.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 50 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.

Candidates for the Presidency of Hudson Valley Community College

Dr. Casey Crabill
President, College of the Redwoods
She also has served as acting president of Gateway Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College, both of which are located in Connecticut. She also was a dean at Quinebaug Valley, and a division chair at Dundalk Community College in Baltimore, Md. In addition, she has taught English at the University at Albany and in Surrey, England. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Skidmore College, and a master's degree and doctorate in education from UAlbany.

Dr. Andrew J. Matonak
President, Northwest Iowa Community College
He also has served as vice president for student development and an adjunct faculty member at Lakeland Community College; dean at Horry-Georgetown Technical College; assistant dean at the University of Houston; and admissions counselor at Beaver College. He holds an associate's degree from Butler County Community College; a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the College of Wooster; a master's degree from Michigan State University and a doctorate in education from the University at Houston.

Dr. Edna L. McBreen
Associate Vice Provost and CEO, Tri-Campus, University of Connecticut
She also has served as associate vice chancellor of the University of Nebraska; associate dean of the University of Wyoming; associate professor at the University of West Virginia; associate director of international programs at the State University of New York; and a teacher in the North Colonie Central School District. She holds a bachelor's degree in home economics education from Cornell University, a master's degree from Texas A&M, and a doctorate in philosophy from Cornell University.