President Zvi Szafran
Dr. Zvi Szafran was inaugurated as SUNY Canton’s fourth President on April 10, 2015, ushering in a new era in the college’s more than 100-year history.
Born in Israel, Dr. Szafran grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina.
In 1981, he joined the faculty of Merrimack College where his 17-year tenure included positions as Professor, Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Chairman of the Chemistry Department, and Dean of Science and Engineering. He served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at New England College from 1998 to 2005 and became Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemistry at Southern Polytechnic State University.
The SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Szafran as SUNY Canton’s fourth president on April 3, 2014. Under his leadership, the college has experienced a remarkable period of growth, which includes the introduction of five new career-focused bachelor’s degree programs. During his tenure, the college also became an official member of the NCAA Division III, which has significantly increased the college’s ability to recruit student-athletes.
Since his assuming the presidency, SUNY Canton has embarked on multi-million dollar residence hall renovation projects, established partnerships with international universities, constructed a state-of-the-art Digital Studio Lab, created a Center for Diversities and Inclusion, and enjoyed record student enrollment for online Summer and Winter sessions.
He was appointed as Co-Chair of the SUNY Chancellor’s Task Force on Social Media Responsibility, which advises SUNY institutions and higher education organizations nationwide on best practices regarding social media. An active leader in the North Country community, Dr. Szafran serves on the Board of Directors for Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (CHMC) in Ogdensburg (including membership on CHMC’s Performance Improvement Committee) and on the St. Lawrence County Economic Development Study Advisory Board. He is also a member of Beth El Congregation’s Board of Directors and the St. Lawrence County Workforce Development Board.
In 2016, he received the prestigious Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association in recognition of his career as a distinguished academic leader.
He resides in Canton with his wife, Jill.