State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson is resigning to become president of The Ohio State University, according to a press release by the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 3.
“Dr. Johnson has led SUNY with a deep commitment to providing access and opportunity, while ensuring a premier high-quality education for all our students and propelling our university system to new national heights and recognition,” SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Merryl H. Tisch said. “We join all New Yorkers in thanking Dr. Johnson for her service and her tireless commitment to issues of equity and excellence, and we wish her the very best on her new opportunity as president of Ohio State University.
Johnson succeeded the previous Chancellor Nancy Zimpher in September 2017. Before becoming the chancellor, Johnson was an engineer, inventor and Under Secretary of Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy under former President Barack Obama. In her educational career, she was provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. Johnson also served as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.
Johnson led SUNY’s 64 campuses through the coronavirus crisis and the transition to remote learning this spring. SUNY campuses like Stony Brook University are locations for temporary hospitals and testing sites during the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson was appointed president of Ohio State on June 3. She will continue as chancellor throughout the summer and assume her new position on Sept. 1. An interim leadership structure will be decided by the SUNY Board of Trustees with Johnson’s help for the upcoming fall semester, according to the press release.
“Leading SUNY has been an honor, and throughout my term I have been energized by the students, our esteemed faculty, and the brilliant leaders I have come to know and value,” Johnson said. “New York State has been welcoming to me and my wife Veronica Meinhard, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to build on SUNY’s strength as a diverse and inclusive higher education system.”
In a press release responding to her resignation on June 3, SUNY Student Assembly President Austin Ostro praised Johnson’s leadership, but pointed out that the transition comes “at a difficult time for the SUNY system.”
“Since arriving at SUNY in 2017, Chancellor Johnson has been a champion for students across the system’s 64 campuses,” Ostro wrote. “Chancellor Johnson’s inclusive, student-centric, and results-oriented approach to leadership have left an indelible mark on the system. While we are sad to see her leave, SUNY students wish Dr. Johnson all the best in her new role at Ohio State.”