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Hudson Valley Community College Names Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D. as its Sixth President \"Photo

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or (518) 248-4555 (cell)
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D.

Hudson Valley Community College Names Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D. as its Sixth President

Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D., who currently serves as president of Northwest Iowa Community College, has been named the new president of Hudson Valley Community College.

Matonak, 50, was unanimously chosen for the post by the college's Board of Trustees. He will become the sixth president in the college's 51-year history. Dr. Robert H. Hill II, chairman of the college's Board of Trustees, announced the selection at a meeting for members of the campus community today in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center auditorium.

"Dr. Matonak has the ability to create positive and effective relationships, not only within the college community but in the external community," Hill said. "He understands that Hudson Valley is a very successful college with a wonderful reputation as one of the top community colleges in the state. Dr. Matonak wants Hudson Valley to be at the top of that list; to be the best."

"He is dedicated to transforming lives – the lives of students and the people who work at the college," Hill added.

Matonak, who has nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, has been president of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa, since 2002. Prior to that position, he served as vice president for student development at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. He visited Hudson Valley before deciding to apply for the job, and immediately liked what he saw.

" When I walked around campus, I watched how the staff was serving students, and saw the passion the faculty brought to the classroom. It immediately struck me that this is a special place," Matonak said. "It is a perfect fit."

Matonak said his career has been shaped by his decision to attend Butler County Community College in Butler, Penn: "I didn't have the greatest high school experience, and my option for higher education was Butler County Community College. If it wasn't for those individuals at the college who supported me and kicked me in the tail at the same time, I would not be where I am today."

"I decided, because of that experience, that my career would be community college education," he continued. "I wanted to give back to other students the same opportunity that was given to me."

After earning an associate's degree from Butler, Matonak received a bachelor's degree from the College of Wooster; a master's degree from Michigan State University; and a doctorate in education from the University at Houston. (Additional biographical information here).

Matonak and Dr. Edna L. McBreen, associate vice provost and chief executive officer of Tri-Campus at the University of Connecticut were the finalists for the job. Another candidate, Dr. Casey Crabill, president of College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif., withdrew from consideration after being named a finalist.

The college's Board of Trustees selected Matonak after both he and McBreen each spent a day on campus, meeting with all campus constituencies, including faculty, students and community leaders. The finalists were recommended to the college's Board of Trustees by a Presidential Search Advisory Committee, the membership of which represented faculty, staff, alumni, community members and the student body. The search committee was 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.

"The search committee did a wonderful job in selecting the finalists," Hill said. "They were all highly qualified and had great credentials."

The State University of New York Board of Trustees must approve the selection, and is expected to do so at its meeting on Dec. 14. Matonak also will meet with SUNY Chancellor Robert King prior to that meeting. The terms of Matonak's contract, including his annual salary, are being negotiated, Hill said.

Matonak is expected to join Hudson Valley in four months. He and his wife, Karen, have an 11-year-old daughter, Taylor.

The college 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: "Mark Silvestri and his administrative staff raised the bar so high that the number of qualified candidates to go over that bar was limited."

Matonak 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.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.