Board of Trustees Approves New MOU with SUNY Orange Foundation
At its meeting Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the College and the SUNY Orange Foundation. This MOU establishes a more formal and comprehensive relationship between the two entities and sets up a new organizational structure for the Foundation.
The College and the Foundation have enjoyed a uniquely successful partnership since the Foundation’s inception in 1987, and I expect that to continue, but it is appropriate for us to develop a more thoughtful, detailed arrangement between our two complex organizations in these changing times.
The Foundation will announce in January the details of its reorganization. At this time, I can tell you that the Foundation will be hiring its own full-time executive director, understandable given the size and scope of the Foundation's work. For the College, this means the era of our Vice President for Institutional Advancement also serving as the Foundation's Executive Director has concluded.
As many of you may know, Vinnie Cazzetta has been our VPIA and Foundation Executive Director since 1999. As VPIA, Vinnie will remain a highly valued member of my leadership team, but with a slightly reworked portfolio of responsibilities reflective of needs I've seen at executive level, especially with respect to external and governmental relations.
Until last week, the College’s administrative leadership at the VP level had been in a state of flux for well over two years. Significant changes have occurred in the past six months alone with the additions of Erika Hackman and Linda Dauer, and the permanent appointment of Gerianne Brusati. Through all of that, Vinnie has been the one full-time constant. His historical knowledge and perspective have been invaluable to me, often times reminding the leadership team of SUNY Orange’s long and rich history, as well as its many wonderful achievements over the previous 65 years.
While adeptly managing his daily VPIA duties alongside his productive role as the Foundation Executive Director, Vinnie has recently become the Executive Director of the College Association (Food Services, Bookstore and Lab Schools) and has assumed oversight of the athletic department. He stepped forward to guide the ITS department during a significant time of transition more than a year ago and continues to manage that area as we move through our current agreement with CampusWorks.
Under Vinnie’s watch, the Foundation has grown its net assets from $1.1 million when he arrived in 1999 to more than $19 million today, thanks in part to the remarkably successful $25.1 million Defining Moments Capital Campaign. A decade ago, he helped orchestrate the $10 million Kaplan Family Foundations gift, to this day the largest gift ever received by the College. In 1999, the Foundation awarded $33,600 in scholarships. In 2015-16, that total was an unprecedented $335,949.
I know we are all grateful to the Foundation for the role it has played in supporting our students and making resources available to the College. You should know that, in his role as Executive Director, Vinnie has provided the Foundation with thoughtful guidance and structure over the past 17 years. And in my estimation, Vinnie has taken the Foundation as far as he possibly could while serving in a part-time capacity.
The operational details of the MOU will be ironed out in the coming weeks, particularly as they pertain to other current College employees, and will be shared as appropriate.
I thank Vinnie for his selfless and dedicated efforts on behalf of the Foundation, and I look forward to continued collaborative success with the Foundation. We will both remain committed to cultivating prosperous relationships that positively impact SUNY Orange students, faculty and staff for years to come.
Dr. Kristine Young