AU Press Releases

Alfred University Board of Trustees names Mark Zupan as institution's 14th president

ALFRED, NY (Feb. 10, 2016)  – A world-class scholar and academic leader who can build on the strengths of Alfred University (AU) will become the 14th president of one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Western New York. The Alfred University Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Mark Zupan as the 14th president of the University, effective July 1, 2016.

He will succeed Charles M. Edmondson, who has been president of Alfred University since 2000.  The search process began in May 2015, when Edmondson announced his intention to retire at the end of the next academic year.

“In our search for a new president for Alfred University, we wanted someone who demonstrated scholarly excellence, who has forged successful partnerships within the public and private sectors, and who has developed strong academic programs,” said Leslie J. Gelber, chair of the AU Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

“In Mark Zupan,” he said, “Alfred University is getting someone with a proven track record in scholarship, academic leadership, strategic planning, promoting curricular innovation, fund-raising, and forging partnerships within his community.”

“Alfred University has been very fortunate to have had a number of excellent presidents, most recently Charley Edmondson, who has done a remarkable job during his 16 years as president,” said Gelber. “Mark Zupan will carry on that tradition of excellence.”

            In accepting the Board’s appointment, Zupan relayed four key points:

·                     I am immensely honored to be selected to serve as AU’s 14th president. Founded in 1836, AU has a marvelous tradition of transforming lives—creating opportunity, through education, for tens of thousands of graduates, many of whom were the first in their families to go to college. The impact that these alums have had on New York State and the broader world is significant and their willingness to give back to the university that was the fulcrum for their success is inspiring.     

·                     Academic excellence coupled with faculty and staff who are devoted to providing broad opportunities for student learning and personal growth have been key ingredients behind AU’s winning formula. This demonstrated commitment is palpable across AU’s various distinguished units. For over a hundred years, for example, the ceramics program—which is housed jointly in the Inamori School of Engineering and the School of Art and Design—has been a world leader, and boasts graduates who have founded companies such as Ceradyne and MacKenzie-Childs; contributed to organizations such as NASA, Sandia Labs, Corning, Intel, Apple, GM, Marvel Entertainment, and Kyocera; and had their art displayed at places such as the Smithsonian, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the White House. Graduates from AU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Professional Studies have led organizations as diverse as MetLife, Allied Minerals, the Chilton Fund, and U.S. Trust Corporation and contributed in meaningful ways to scores of prominent non-profit institutions. 

·                     Alfred University has a notable, long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Among other things, for instance, Alfred was one of the first schools in the country to admit women on an equal basis as men and to open the same fields of study to them as their male counterparts. AU was also one of the first institutions to admit African-Americans and Native-Americans.

·                     I am deeply grateful to all who have given so much over the years in contributing to AU’s success—most recently President Charley Edmondson and his team. I look forward to working with Charley and the team to ensure a seamless transition, building on the positive momentum that has been established, and helping AU create an even greater beneficial impact on New York and the broader world through a winning formula of transforming lives, one student at a time.

Zupan served as the dean of the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School from 2004-2014. He is now the director of the Bradley Policy Center, as well as the Olin Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Simon.

Prior to Simon, Zupan was dean and professor of economics at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management for seven years. Before that, he was on the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, attaining tenure there while also serving as associate dean for master’s degree programs. He was a visiting professor in the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in the fall of 1995.

As a member of the USC faculty, Zupan won several awards, including the university-wide Burlington Resources Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Scholarship, and a Golden Apple award for MBA teaching excellence. Over the years, he has served on the editorial boards of such academic journals as Public Choice, Economic Inquiry, and the Journal of Business Economics.

While earning his Ph.D. degree in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Zupan taught in the economics department at Harvard University, where he earned his B.A. degree in 1981, twice receiving the Allyn Young Teaching Prize from the economics department, and also earning the university-wide Joseph B. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize.

His fields of specialization include industrial organization, regulation, and political economy. He has published over twenty refereed articles in leading scholarly journals. His commentaries have appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic,, Huffington Post, Kiplinger, Financial Times of London, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Zupan is the co-author of two books, “Microeconomic Theory and Applications,” published by John Wiley and Sons and “Microeconomic Cases and Applications,” published by HarperCollins. Later this year, the Cambridge University Press will publish his latest book titled “Inside Job: How Government Insiders Subvert the Public Interest.” 

Active professionally, Zupan has served on AACSB accreditation committees for a number of the nation’s top business schools, and has been a member of AACSB’s Board of Directors since 2010.

He is currently a member of the board of directors of HNP Capital, iVEDiX, and Brand Integrity. He previously served on the boards of Constellation Brands, PAETEC Holdings, the Communications Institute, the Farash Corporation, Stocker-Yale, and GMAC.

Zupan also has been involved in regional economic development initiatives. He chaired the Tucson-area United Way campaign while serving as dean of the Eller College. For the past nine years he has been a trustee of The Harley School in Rochester, where he has served as the board’s secretary, treasurer and chair, and co-chaired the search committee that recruited the new head of the school.

Zupan is the proud father of two sons, William and Walker. Will graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in history in 2014 and is now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he is involved with an entrepreneurial startup and teaching English. Walker is a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in theatre, honing his skills in Arabic and French, singing in the a capella group Purple Haze, and looking to go on exchange in the fall to Senegal. Zupan’s partner is a physician and she is on the dermatology faculty at the University of Rochester’s Medical Center.