Aerial view of campus

Presidential Search



SUNY Sullivan President, Dr. Karin Hilgersom    

The SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees’ choice for next SUNY Sullivan president, Dr. Karin Hilgersom, has been confirmed in Albany today by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Dr. Hilgersom will succeed Dr. William Murabito who has been serving as the college’s Interim President for the past 14months. Dr. Hilgersom will leave her post as Vice President for Instruction at Central Oregon Community College (Bend, Oregon) to assume her new role as SUNY Sullivan’s president. The appointment comes as the college approaches its 50th anniversary, and she will assume her new role effective February 18, 2013.

In announcing the appointment of Dr. Hilgersom, Chairman of SUNY Sullivan's Board of Trustees, Nick Speranza, stated "The Board of Trustees has clearly recognized that this selection of a new President is extremely important to our strategic plan to move SUNY Sullivan to the visionary level we would like to achieve. We take great pride in bringing this accomplished educator and institutional leader to SUNY Sullivan. Dr. Hilgersom brings a stellar record of achievement in all facets of college leadership to the position and is committed to building on our reputation as a leader in progressive community college education."

SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said, “Dr. Hilgersom comes to SUNY with years of community college experience and a genuine appreciation of the important role that community colleges nationally have in shaping today’s 21st century economy. We are extremely pleased that she has agreed to be the next president of SUNY Sullivan and highly confident that her leadership will serve the campus, local, and state communities with distinction.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, added, “As a member of the leadership teams at two Oregon community colleges and with many years of experience within higher education nationally, Dr. Hilgersom is certain to enhance our own leadership team at SUNY, and I commend both the SUNY and SUNY Sullivan Boards for securing her appointment. I look forward to working with Dr. Hilgersom as our community colleges continue to drive workforce development and job training throughout New York, and as SUNY Sullivan continues to provide outstanding opportunity for students in Sullivan County and across the globe.”

Dr. Hilgersom’s appointment concludes a search launched in April 2012, which was overseen by a 20-member presidential search committee that included Board of Trustees members, administrative, faculty, staff, and student representatives, and was assisted by consultant Dr. Sean Fenelli of the firm CollegeCEOs. The committee was co-chaired by Board of Trustees members Phyllis “Penny” Coombe and Paul Guenther. The position attracted more than 40 highly qualified, highly motivated applicants. The impressive field was narrowed to nine candidates who interviewed via video conference, leading to a set of four final candidates who each visited campus for in-person meetings with college and community constituencies during November.

Prior to Central Oregon, Dr. Hilgersom served as Executive Vice President of Instruction at Walla Walla Community College. She was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Spokane Community College, where she was also Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Vocational Related Education and a Communications Studies Instructor.

All together, Dr. Hilgersom brings with her five years of executive-level experience, five years of experience as a dean, and 16 years of full-time faculty experience, including time as a department chair. In particular, her experience leading transfer and workforce programs will be an important asset at SUNY Sullivan, as will her work with major and minor capital building projects from pre-design through completion. She spent five years serving as the lead accreditation officer and liaison to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and has also been a professional lobbyist for the Washington Education Association on behalf of association members and academic employees, where she interacted effectively with legislators and board members. Her impressive background ranges from work in governance to grants; policy analysis to research; and the classroom to administration.