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Contact: Jon Sorensen 518 443-5311 Immediate Release: February 29, 2000
Cornelius Murphy Named President of SUNY-ESF

The State University Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy Jr. as thenew president of the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

"I am convinced that Dr. Murphy, with his leadership skills, creative thinking, environmental and scientific background, and strong ties to the campus and the community, will prove to be an excellent ESF president," Chancellor Robert L. King said in recommending Dr. Murphy to the board.

photo of Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy Jr.Dr. Murphy is president and director of O'Brien & Gere Limited, a large design, engineering and consulting firm in Syracuse specializing in environmental remediation. He began his career with O'Brien & Gere 30 years ago as a laboratory technician, and worked his way up through a succession of increasingly responsible senior positions in the firm's subsidiary companies.

He was selected from among four finalists forwarded to Chancellor King by the ESF Board of Trustees following a national search that involved more than 40 candidates.

"Dr. Murphy is ideally suited to lead the College of Environmental Science and Forestry," said Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas F. Egan. "His professional experience and his long association with the college make him uniquely qualified to lead this outstanding college."

Dr. Murphy, whose appointment takes effect May 15, will succeed retiring President Ross S. Whaley, who has served in that position the last 16 years. Dr. Whaley will continue to serve as a University Professor. Dr. Murphy will be the college's third president. Dr. Murphy received his Ph.D. in Chemistry as a NASA Fellow from Syracuse University, and earned a BA in Chemistry from St. Michael's College, graduating magna cum laude. Dr. Murphy has studied at the Syracuse University School of Management, and was a National Science Foundation trainee at Clark University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Clarkson University.

Dr. Murphy's professional affiliations include: American Chemical Society, Environmental Chemistry Division; American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Water Pollution Control Federation; New York Public Consultation Panel of the International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes "Pollution from Land Use Activities" Reference Group; Mid-Atlantic Industrial Waste Conference; and American Management Association.

He is the author of 45 technical publications and presentations. He also has served as a technical editor on two textbooks and has been an invited lecturer at Syracuse University, Cornell University and ESF. He also serves on the ESF President's Council, a group of chief executives from major Central New York firms that regularly explore environmental issues with the college.

Dr. Murphy's civic and community associations also have included: Success by Six; State University Health Science Center Foundation, board member; Boy Scouts of America, Hiawatha Council, executive board member; Metropolitan Development Association, Vision 2010 Steering Committee; and Syracuse University, College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board.

Dr. Murphy is the father of four children. He and his wife Joanne reside in Marcellus.

Founded in 1911, ESF is respected internationally as a pioneer in developing academic, research and service programs centered on natural resources and the human environment.

The college serves some 1,800 students on its Syracuse and Wanakena, N.Y. campuses in nine academic program areas. First-year ESF students rank in the top 10 percent of all college students attending the more than 230 colleges and universities in New York. And although ESF faculty members represent only 1 percent of the total SUNY faculty, the college's sponsored programs account for some 6.1 percent of the total number of grants to all of SUNY.