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

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or (518) 248-4555 (cell)
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, April 18, 2005

Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D., today assumed the presidency of Hudson Valley Community College, becoming the sixth president in the college's 52-year history.

Matonak, who previously had served as president of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa, was unanimously selected for the post in November by the college's Board of Trustees; his appointment was unanimously approved by the State University of New York's Board of Trustees a month later.

"I am looking forward to working with an exemplary faculty and staff, Board of Trustees and community leaders who are committed to making Hudson Valley an even greater resource for the Capital Region," Matonak said. "The college has faculty who are passionate about providing a first-class education, and staff who are committed to the success of every student. That is what it is all about."

He joins an institution that has seen record-breaking enrollment for the past three academic years, and is currently the fifth-largest community college in the SUNY system. This year, the college broke the 12,000-student mark for the first time in its history, enrolling 12,316 students in credit-bearing courses or programs. Another 14,000 people take advantage of the college's non-credit and business and industry training offerings annually.

Dr. Robert H. Hill II, chairman of the college's Board of Trustees, praised Matonak's ability to create positive and effective relationships, both on-campus and in the community.

"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," Hill added.

In many ways, Matonak's first day on the job mirrored a visit he made to campus even before he decided to apply for the Hudson Valley presidency: on both days, he spent time exploring the campus, observing interactions among students, faculty and staff, and talking with students, faculty and staff, and community members, about their impressions of the college.

"I was immediately impressed with the commitment of the faculty and staff to truly transforming the lives of our students," Matonak recalled. "The community members I interviewed indicated that Hudson Valley was a jewel for the community, and is a leader in higher education, workforce development, and community service for the Capital Region. This was the type of institution that I was looking for."

Matonak, who has nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, had been president of Northwest Iowa Community College since 2002.

Accomplishments during his tenure at Northwest Iowa include: the creation and implementation of a Strategic Plan; implementation of the Computerized Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Electrical degrees; expansion of the Nursing programs and a new health addition; the transition to a new information system for the college; the passage of a levy vote to generate additional revenue for college operations with more than 82 percent approval ratings from the community; and accreditation from both the Higher Learning Commission and the State of Iowa. He also led a capital gifts campaign and increased the college's endowment.

Prior to serving as Northwest Iowa's president, he was vice president for student development and an adjunct instructor at Lakeland Community College, which is located in Kirtland, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. While at Lakeland, he increased instructional technology in the classroom, and provided leadership for a variety of areas, including enrollment management, financial aid, admissions and registration, athletics, student activities, and career development.

Matonak is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Council for Student Development, an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges. He also has published and presented in the areas of student development, student services, student enrollment services and student records.

Matonak's career has been shaped by his decision to attend Butler County Community College in western Pennsylvania: "I wanted to give back to other students the same opportunity that was given to me."

After earning an associate's degree in liberal arts from Butler, he received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio; a master's degree in student personnel administration from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.; and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University at Houston, in Houston, Texas. Matonak and his wife, Karen, have a 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 served as the college's interim president.

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.