SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s new interim president plans to concentrate his energy on academics once he starts in the post, before spending energy on the school’s economic role. This appears to be a change from SUNY Poly’s previous priority for its linked Albany-Utica campuses.
“I want to assure everyone that our primary focus is on the academic mission,” Bahgat Sammakia told POLITICO New York after being appointed to the leadership role by the SUNY Board of Trustees Thursday. “We want to do the right thing for the students. The students’ success is our top priority.”
The school’s former president and CEO Alain Kaloyeros resigned in October amid corruption charges, though he is seeking to retain his ability to serve as faculty with SUNY. Kaloyeros has pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges stemming from allegedly rigging bidding processes for SUNY Poly’s facilities.
Kaloyeros was instrumental in the creation of the school originally at UAlbany, helping to bring in multi-million-dollar research contracts.
Sammakia, a former IBM engineer and current vice president for research at Binghamton University will begin his new role Dec. 1.