Choice as Interim President at Buffalo Demurs, For Now

September 10, 2010

The administrator nominated to be interim president of the State University of New York at Buffalo has begged off from the job, at least temporarily, in the wake of criticism from faculty leaders and others about his qualifications, The Buffalo News reported. The council that oversees the Buffalo campus appeared to get ahead of itself last week when it said it had chosen Scott D. Nostaja to replace John Simpson, who said he would retire in January. (SUNY's chancellor and trustees, not UB officials, have the authority to choose an interim president.) In addition to concerns about the process, faculty leaders questioned whether Nostaja -- a vice president, and a former Hollywood executive and management consultant -- had the credentials to be president, even on an interim basis. Acknowledging those concerns, Nostaja said in an e-mail to the campus that "I recognize that some members of the university would like to have given their views as this recommendation was being considered." He said he had asked Buffalo's trustees not to put his name forward to SUNY's regents right now.

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