Presidential Gallery

11th president Donald P. Zingale Donald Paul Zingale  |  2008-2011

Donald Paul Zingale assumed his role as president of the State University of New York at Cobleskill May 1, 2008, the 11th president of New York State's premier public polytechnic college.

A contemporary scholar with broad ranging expertise in higher education, Zingale's career for more than 30 years has been devoted to the preparation of professional practitioners in an eclectic mix of health, human service and technologically oriented disciplines at public comprehensive and polytechnic institutions. His previous post was vice president for academic affairs at the California Maritime Academy. As the chief academic officer, Zingale focused on expanding the curriculum, including the introduction of graduate programming, and expanding the sponsored projects portfolio while raising the campus' rankings among peer institutions.

Most of Zingale's professional life has been spent on multiple campuses of the California State University including eight years as the founding dean of the College of Health & Human Services at San Francisco State University. Widely respected as a servant leader and proponent of reconsidered scholarship, he is recognized for his efficacy in strategic planning, budget management and academic stewardship, and for his extensive knowledge of academic programming, including learning assessment, enrollment management and institutional studies.

President Zingale's personal portfolio is noteworthy for transformational change in collegiate startups, reorganizations and complex community partnerships with multiple stakeholders. In addition, he has been the principal investigator or executive producer of numerous grants, contracts and capital planning projects with private and governmental support approaching $100 million. An engaged public servant, Zingale has held appointments to the Police Commission of the City of Richmond, California and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Board of Education. He was a principal in the establishment of San Francisco's Lake Merced Task Force and in the development of a multi-agency proposal for an aquatics center at Ferry Point on San Francisco Bay.

The SUNY Cobleskill president grew up in Brooklyn and is the first in his family to have attended college. He earned a B.S. in health and physical education from Brooklyn College in 1967 and a M.S. in physical education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1969. At The Ohio State University, Zingale earned a Ph.D. in physical education in 1973. While a professor at California State University, Sacramento, he completed a M.S.W. program at that institution in 1984.


10th president Thomas J. Haas Thomas J. Haas  |  2003-2006

SUNY Cobleskill's 10th president, Dr. Thomas Haas, came to the college from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), where he had previously served as dean of academics. During his tenure at SUNY Cobleskill the college opened a new equestrian center, received its first federal appropriation for biowaste-to-bioenergy research, and as approved for awarding of its first Bachelor of Science degree, a B.S. in Child Care and Development.

A 1973 honors graduate of the USCGA, Haas earned a Master of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Environmental Health Science from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut.

A USCG officer until his retirement in 1996, Dr. Haas also served as vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and dean of faculty at William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. His awards include the Silver Medal from the US Secretary of Transportation, Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Commandant's Letter of Commendation ribbon, three Coast Guard Meritorious Team Awards and other unit awards.


9th president Kenneth E. Wing Kenneth E. Wing  |  1992-2002

The 9th president of SUNY Cobleskill, Dr. Kenneth Wing came to the college from a prior position as associate dean of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. During Dr. Wing's eleven year presidency, the college continued its transition to a comprehensive college, adding additional bachelor's degree programs, including the college's first Bachelor in Business Administration degrees. The college opened a new 200-head dairy facility with a computerized milking parlor and state-of-the-art waste handling system in 2001, constructed a new child care center, and began construction on an addition to the Bouck Hall student union.

Wing holds a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics, a M.A. in Agricultural Education and a bachelor's degree in General Agriculture from Cornell University. Prior positions also included service as dean of the University of Maine's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, director of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station. He was a faculty member in the University of Maine's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, where he served for several years as department chair.


8th president Neal V. Robbins Neal V. Robbins  |  1985-1992

Dr. Neal Robbins was deputy to the chancellor for community colleges for the SUNY System before becoming the eighth president of SUNY Cobleskill. Under his leadership, SUNY Cobleskill began awarding its first bachelor's degree, the Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Science and constructed the field house that now bears Robbin's name.

Robbins earned a B.A. in Political Science and a master's degree with a dual major in Economics and Political Science from the University of Delaware. He earned his Ed.D. in educational administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Previous positions held by Robbins include president of Genesee Community College, acting president of SUNY Potsdam, dean of instruction at Ocean County College, dean of the Community College of Delaware County, Penn. and senior associate and college division director of McManus Associates in Washington D.C.


7th president, Walton A. Brown Walton A. Brown  |  1966-1985

SUNY Cobleskill's seventh and longest-serving president, Dr. Walton Brown, oversaw a period of significant change during his 19 year tenure. These milestones included the establishment of the Educational Opportunity Program, and the opening of the college's American Heritage Restaurant. Many of the buildings on campus were constructed during Brown's presidency, including Van Wagenen Library and several dormitories.

Dr. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in History-Political Science from the University of Vermont and a master's in Guidance at Purdue University. He received an Ed.D. in Student Personnel Administration from Columbia University. Prior to his presidency at SUNY Cobleskill Dr. Brown served as president of Atlantic Community College in New Jersey. His previous experience included teaching in public schools and at Orange County Community College. He served as that college's director of admissions and testing services and as director of student personnel services before being named dean and vice president of Adirondack Community College.


6th president, Edward J. Sabol Edward J. Sabol  |  1961-1966

Edward Sabol, our sixth president, lead the college through a period during which the first dormitories for male students was built, enrollment reached 1,000,the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was established, and the college was renamed State University of New York Agricultural & Technical College at Cobleskill. During Sabol's tenure, Vroman and Wieting residence halls, Prentice Dining Hall, Bouck Hall and Wheeler Hall opened.

Prior to serving at SUNY Cobleskill, Sabol served as the director and dean of Albany College, a coeducational division of Russell Sage College. His previous experience included a long tenure at State University College at Albany, where he serving in several capacities including registrar, coordinator of field services, director of admissions and public relations officer.


5th president, Ray L. Wheeler Ray L. Wheeler  |  1947-1961

SUNY Cobleskill's fifth president, Ray Wheeler, came up through the ranks at the college. He arrived in 1923 to serve as an instructor of Dairy Science. Throughout the next 23 years he served as athletic director, advisor to students and basketball coach. During his tenure as president, the college establishing a Business Division and was approved to confer associate's degrees. In 1957 the college was renamed the State University of New York Agriculture and Technology Institute at Cobleskill. Wheeler was the first to be named president of the college in 1959. Wheeler was the first leader of the college to bear the title "president," previous leaders having been known as "director."


4th president, Carlton E. Wright Carlton E. Wright  |  1944-1947

The college's fourth leader, Carlton Wright became director of New York Institute of Agriculture and Home Economics on January 1, 1944. Because of decreased enrollment the college had to fight to prove to the budget and finance office that it should remain open. A community canning center was established to help supplement the food rations. The college became a member of the State University system in 1946, and with the end of the war, programs were created and academic buildings and residence halls were built because of the G.I. Bill. Dr. Wright accepted a position with the American Vocational Association in Washington D.C. , leaving the college in 1947. He later worked in New York City and at Cornell University.


3rd president, Archie E. Champlin Archie E. Champlin  |   1936-1942

Archie Champlin served at a time when the school was known as the New York State Institute of Agriculture and Home Economics at Cobleskill. In 1939 enrollment was at approximately 250. Due to World War II, throughout the early 1940s enrollment dwindled. The college was granted post-secondary level status, ultimately making all of the academic programs into two-year programs. The college's name was changed to the New York Institute of Agriculture and Home Economics in 1937 and a high school diploma was necessary for admittance. Champlin left the college to serve as president of Alfred.


2nd president, Lee W. Crittenden Lee W. Crittenden  |  1923-1936

The institution's second leadersaw 119 students enrolled from across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and two students from Egypt. The three additional buildings in what is now known as the Old Quad-the Old Gym, Home Economics and Alumni Hall-were built. In 1929 the one-year and the two-year teacher training programs were phased out, being replaced by the Normal Schools. The first campus nursery school opened to provide practicum experience for the new Child Care program and the football team was disbanded in 1933.


1st president, Halsey B. Knapp Halsey B. Knapp  |  1916-1923

Halsey B. Knapp arrived in Cobleskill, New York in 1914 charged with establishing the Schoharie State School of Agriculture, which was chartered by the state legislature in 1911. He oversaw the purchase of the necessary land and the construction of the college's first building, Frisbee Hall, named for the local state legislator. He appointed the first faculty members and stood on the steps of the new building in 1916 as the college's first eight students entered. In 1917 the college enrolled the first seven women students and 34 men. The Home Economics division was created and the alumni association was established during his tenure, and The Home Economics and Dairy buildings, farm machinery sheds and a greenhouse were added. The college name was changed in 1923 to the New York State School of Agriculture. Knapp left Cobleskill in November 1923 upon request of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and the Dean of the State College of Agriculture at Cornell to serve as the director of the new State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale.