Outgoing Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, who announced that she would step down yesterday, will be joining the SUNY system in an executive role at SUNY ESF.
The smallest SUNY branch has oversized problems after a union vote led to the resignation of E-S-F’s controversial last president in March. Then-president Quentin Wheeler fired three department heads last year,causing turmoil among faculty which eventually lead to a no-confidence vote.
Fred Kowal, the president of United University Professions, the SUNY employee’s union, expressed optimism for the appointment.
” Ms. Mahoney has her work cut out for her in her new roles, and we are hopeful that she will do all she can to help SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical Hospital deal with numerous challenges facing these institutions,” he said.
Mahoney will be chief operating officer at ESF as well as a special advisor to Upstate University, which has faced troubles of its own. The former president of Upstate, David Smith, pleaded guilty to three crimes related to increasing his pay without approval.
In light of the leadership problems that ESF and Upstate have dealt with recently, Kowal wants to know a bit more about the specifics of Mahoney’s job.
“Like so many others, we await more details about what her positions will entail, what her compensation will be … I think much more information needs to be forthcoming,” he said.
Mahoney’s position is new and was created specifically for this situation. She will work directly with SUNY chancellor Kristina Johnson as well as ESF president David Amberg.