AU Press Releases

AU president selected member of Governor’s WNY Development Council

Alfred University President Charles M. Edmondson has been selected as an original member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s WNY Regional Economic Development Council, launched this week.

The Council is charged with redesigning the relationship between state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs.

Satish K. Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo, and Howard A. Zemsky, managing partner at Larkin Development Group, are regional co-chairs for the group, which will coordinate the economic development of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties.

Edmondson joins 19 general members and eight elected officials including Curt Crandall, chair of the Allegany County Legislature.

"It is impossible to overstate the importance of economic development for New York in general and of Western New York in particular," said Edmondson. "It is an honor for me to serve with so many distinguished New Yorkers in this new approach to creating an economic strategy tailored to the unique traits of our region."

He added, "Higher education can contribute greatly to the effort to reverse the economic fortunes of Western New York, and it reflects well on Alfred University that its president was asked to represent higher education in this region."

Most recently, New York State’s economic development efforts were managed through dozens of separate state and local agencies. The Regional Councils will now bring together stakeholders in every region of the state to serve as a coordinated point of contact for economic development.

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will chair each Regional Council. Additional membership is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.

The Regional Councils are charged with creating a plan for the development of their region. The state will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs.

Edmondson has recently completed his 10th year serving as the 13th president of Alfred University. Prior to his arrival in Western New York he was vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, for seven years.

He is currently serving on the NCAA President’s Council and completed a term on the NCAA Financial Aid Committee. In addition, he is president of the Empire 8 Athletic Conference and a member of the Empire 8 President’s Council.

The AU president is a member of the Technology Development Corp. (Southern Tier West), the Rochester Area Colleges group, and a Fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education. He is a past trustee of CICU (Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities) and treasurer of the Independent College Fund of New York.