College President Dr. Donald P. Zingale Announces Retirement

July 28, 2011

SUNY Cobleskill President Dr. Donald P. Zingale has announced his retirement, effective August 3, 2011.


Zingale was appointed the 11th president in SUNY Cobleskill history in January 2008, and was officially inaugurated on May 29, 2009. A contemporary scholar with broad ranging expertise in higher education, Zingale’s career spanned more than 40 years and was 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.


“We are deeply grateful for Donald Zingale’s service to SUNY Cobleskill and the State University as a whole,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “He has served as a true ambassador for The Power of SUNY, positioning SUNY Cobleskill as an invaluable partner in the economic revitalization of the local community. His efforts to bring Cobleskill to the next level will have a lasting impact on the campus, and alumni around the world can thank him for lifting the College’s profile, in turn increasing the value of their degrees. We wish Dr. Zingale the best of luck in his future endeavors.”


The Chancellor also said that immediate consideration will be given to appointing an officer-in-charge upon Zingale’s departure.


At SUNY Cobleskill, Zingale oversaw a wide range of advancements and innovations. A new strategic plan will guide the College into its second century, major facilities improvements have enhanced the experiential academic offerings within the curriculum, and a devotion to community-centered endeavors has helped revitalize the village of Cobleskill. Zingale is credited with improving the College’s professional development and salary structures, expanding internationalization and national visibility, and guiding the profitable growth of sponsored projects and extended learning portfolios.


As a result of these efforts, SUNY Cobleskill’s 2011 charter centennial celebration has brought increased focus and acclaim to the institution, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the campus’ founding in 2016.


“SUNY Cobleskill has provided a particularly rewarding opportunity to work with dedicated professionals who have embraced the need for ‘new normal’ change,” said Zingale. “The combined efforts and accomplishments of SUNY Cobleskill’s faculty, staff, students and dedicated alumni have brought increased national recognition to an institution with niche excellence that greatly deserves the attention.”


Under Zingale’s leadership, SUNY Cobleskill earlier this year finalized The Second Century Enterprise strategic plan, taking great care to ensure the College’s future aligns with the strategic goals of The Power of SUNY plan. The Second Century Enterprise also arranged its outcomes and priorities in conjunction with the accreditation standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). SUNY Cobleskill completed an extensive self study in accordance with MSCHE policies during the spring 2011 semester and maintains full accreditation.


The College’s new Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST), opened in fall 2010, is home to teaching, learning and research in green technology. The research includes converting agricultural and cafeteria waste to clean energy through gasification. In addition to the construction of CEST, a complete renovation of Frisbie Hall, the College’s first building, and the construction of a new science wing in Wheeler Hall, aid SUNY Cobleskill’s mission to produce informed and empowered graduates.


At Zingale’s direction, SUNY Cobleskill centralized its community efforts under its Communiversity initiative in 2008, expanding work that had been conducted in the past. Striving to be a resource for the community on multiple platforms, the College has directed additional resources toward community involvement while attempting to link the campus whenever possible with Capital Region communities.


As part of SUNY Cobleskill’s effort to participate in the rebuilding of downtown Cobleskill, the College, in conjunction with Cobleskill Auxiliary Services, opened a coffeehouse, Coby’s, in September 2008. In addition, SUNY Cobleskill faculty and staff were instrumental in the building of a new Community Plaza, which opened on Main Street in May 2010.


For its efforts, SUNY Cobleskill was named to President Barack Obama’s Community Service Honor Roll in 2009 and 2010.


In celebration of its charter centennial year, SUNY Cobleskill welcomed acclaimed autism activist and livestock handling facilities designer Dr. Temple Grandin to Albany Palace’s Theatre in May. The College hosted the STIHL Timbersports Northeast Qualifier at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds, and the New York State FFA Convention was held on campus in 2010 and 2011.


SUNY Cobleskill is also entering its final year of provisional membership as an NCAA Division III institution, with successful completion of the reclassifying process leading to acceptance as an active Division III member for the 2012-13 academic year.


Prior to arriving at SUNY Cobleskill, Zingale served as vice president for academic affairs at the California Maritime Academy. As the chief academic officer, he 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 was 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. An engaged public servant, he has held appointments to the Police Commission of the City of Richmond, Calif., 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.


Zingale earned a B.S. in health and physical education from Brooklyn College, an M.S. in physical education from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in physical education at The Ohio State University. While a professor at California State University, Sacramento, he completed a M.S.W. program at that institution in 1984.

Dr. Donald P. Zingale