GENESEO – Newly appointed SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles officially began her tenure on Wednesday, and awaits a formal inaugural ceremony on October 22 on campus.
According to a press release from SUNY Geneseo, Denise Battles began her tenure on Wednesday as SUNY Geneseo’s 13th president after being appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees in January following a national search, becoming the second woman to lead the college as permanent president in the college’s 144-year history.
“I am honored and humbled to be assuming the office of President of SUNY Geneseo,” said Battles. “I take seriously the responsibility of leading this fine institution. We have much good work to do and new heights to reach, and I look forward to collaborating with all of you to make our institution even better in the years to come.”
The Geneseo presidency will be the first for Battles. She succeeds Christopher Dahl, who retired in the fall of 2013 after 20 years of service. Provost Carol Long has been serving as interim president since Dahl’s retirement and has returned as Geneseo’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Battles came to Geneseo from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she was serving as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The appointment also marks a return to familiar territory for the Oswego County native and Colgate University alumna.
Battles earned a doctorate in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Colgate University, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She has authored numerous publications and currently serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
Battles served as president of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences from 2008-09. A former Fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE), she remains actively involved with ACE’s Council of Fellows and has served on that entity’s Executive Board and Executive Committee and as chair of its Professional Development Committee.
“Dr. Battles brings the experience, skills and confidence to lead Geneseo to new heights of distinction,”said Bob Wayland-Smith, chair of the Geneseo College Council and the presidential search committee. “We are delighted to welcome her back to her home state and begin a partnership that will not only strengthen our college, but all of New York.”