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STATE UNIVERSITY: An important process begins

First and foremost, there is tremendous gratitude and appreciation at the university and in this community for the return of interim President Dennis Hefner. Since taking the reins in the summer, Hefner has been on a mission to reduce the State University of New York at Fredonia deficit and strengthening its relationship with Albany.

By all accounts, he is doing a great job.

But Hefner’s stay, we must remember, is not to be a long one. When he retired in 2012, Hefner had the institution upbeat and building for a future.

His hope — as well as that of the College Council — is a new leader is in place by the summer. At last week’s council meeting, strides were taken in finding someone to fill that role.

“I can tell you it’s going well. … We’re kind of working undercover,” said Frank Pagano, College Council chair, at the meeting.

Though in the early stages, the search will be kept confidential — meaning that those who apply will not be publicly named. That could be beneficial in finding candidates who best fit the position.

While leaders on the council and university say there is no timetable, there is an urgency. Fredonia, like all institutions, is facing a changing educational landscape. This decision is vital for its future.

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