Starrett appointed executive vice president, provost at SUNY Fredonia

Dr. David Starrett

State University of New York at Fredonia President Stephen Kolison Jr. on Tuesday announced the appointment of Dr. David Starrett as Fredonia’s new executive vice rresident and provost, effective Aug. 15.

The appointment includes a concurrent tenured position as professor in the biology department.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Starrett and the faculty and staff as we go forward in the university’s next chapter,” Kolison said. “His background in the natural sciences, and his extensive research, teaching, and academic leadership experience make him highly qualified to assume this role. Also, Fredonia’s potential for future growth throughout the university, especially in the areas of science and technology, made Dr. Starrett’s selection very compelling and highly strategic.”

In addition, Kolison extended appreciation to interim provost Kevin Kearns. “I am very grateful to Dr. Kevin Kearns, who has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs,” he said. “His support and contributions to the university during my first year as president, and during a global pandemic, were invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

Kearns will transition from his position with an appointment as special assistant to the president for strategic initiatives for the 2021-22 academic year, and then return to his tenured position as professor in the department of communication disorders and sciences in Fall 2022.

In accepting the position, Starrett noted, “I am excited to join the SUNY Fredonia community as it continues its path forward. I am impressed with the commitment to outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service, and I look forward to working with President Kolison, the faculty, staff, and campus community as the institution moves into the future.”

A plant physiologist, Starrett earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in Plant Molecular Biology in 1992 and 1986, respectively. His undergraduate studies were at El Camino College and he earned his B.S. at the University of Southern California in Biology.

Following three years as a research associate at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, Starrett spent 20 years at Southeast Missouri State University, where he was promoted to full professor of plant physiology. He later became dean of the School of University Studies and Dean of Academic Information Services.


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