President of SUNY-ESF announces plans to step down

Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr.

The president of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) announced his plans to step down after more than a decade as president.

Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., made the announcement during a campus meeting Tuesday morning. Murphy was named president of ESF in 2000.

The ESF Board of Trustees has started the search process for a new president. Murphy expects to remain in the position until a successor is named, which could take up to a year.

Murphy will focus on teaching and special projects at ESF upon leaving the presidency.

â??I have very much enjoyed my service to ESF and its extraordinary faculty, staff and students,â?? Murphy said. â??I am confident that the college will continue to enhance our national and international service and commitment to our vision of â??A Better World through Environmental Discovery.â??â??

During his time as president, Murphy led the college through an expansion of its facilities with the construction of the collegeâ??s first residence hall, construction of the Gateway Center, rehabilitation of Baker Laboratory, plans to construct a new academic research building at the western edge of the campus, and increased student enrollment.

ESF has been widely recognized as one of the best colleges in the nation during Murphyâ??s presidency, garnering rankings in U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly.

Murphy joined ESF after 30 years with Oâ??Brien & Gere, an environmental engineering firm, where he rose to the position of president and chairman of the board. Murphy has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Syracuse University, where he was a NASA Fellow, and a B.A. in chemistry from St. Michael's College.

â??I was sad to hear the news that President Murphy will be stepping down from his leadership of ESF," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner in a release. "In our time working together, we have developed a close partnership and a shared a vision for a greener, more sustainable community. He fundamentally understands the importance of bringing together our greatest resources: our young people and our natural environment and using both of these to build a better tomorrow."