Campus News

Cartwright named SUNY provost, executive vice chancellor


Published July 31, 2014

Alexander N. Cartwright, vice president for research and economic development, has been appointed provost and executive vice chancellor of SUNY by the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

Cartwright, who also serves as professor of electrical engineering and adjunct professor of physics, has been a UB faculty member since 1995. 

His appointment, announced today by SUNY, is effective on or about Sept. 18. As SUNY provost and executive vice president, he will coordinate the system’s vast academic enterprise in close collaboration with SUNY’s 64 college and university campuses.  

Alex Cartwright

Alexander Cartwright

President Satish K. Tripathi congratulated Cartwright on his new position and commended him for his tremendous contributions and dedication to the university.  UB’s research endeavors are well positioned for continued success because of Cartwright’s innovative leadership, Tripathi said.

“I am delighted to see Alex receive this well-deserved recognition and I know I am joined by all of his colleagues and friends throughout the university and community in expressing my deep appreciation for all that he has achieved and contributed over the past several years,” he said.

“As vice president for research and economic development, he has lifted the entire UB research enterprise to new heights of excellence and, importantly, has worked to more closely integrate our research mission into our undergraduate education mission.

“At the same time, Alex has built valuable linkages with the university’s partners in science, business, government and industry, as well as across the global scholarly community. It’s certainly no easy task to bid farewell to such a deeply valued university citizen and integral member of our senior leadership team. But the good news for all of us is that Alex’s extraordinary perspective, vision and energy will now be extended across the SUNY system as a whole. I very much look forward to our continued work together as he takes on this vital leadership role.”

Provost Charles F. Zukoski also noted Cartwright’s success in leading the university’s major research initiatives and in encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration throughout the university.

“Alex Cartwright is a wonderful colleague, and because of his leadership we have been tremendously successful in integrating UB’s research mission with the broader activities of the university and with our region’s economic development efforts,” Zukoski said. 

His leadership has greatly increased the impact of our scholarship regionally, nationally and globally. From shaping major campus research and academic initiatives like RENEW and the Communities of Excellence to expanding entrepreneurship opportunities for our students, faculty and community, he has built significant momentum across the research enterprise and has positioned the university strongly in garnering highly competitive grants.

“As a university community, we are grateful for his many contributions and wish him continued success as he brings his academic vision and leadership to bear system-wide.”

Cartwright’s tenure at UB is notable for his many accomplishments as a researcher, teacher, department chair and administrator. As vice president, Cartwright refocused UB’s research infrastructure to provide greater support to faculty and strengthened the connections between research, education, knowledge transfer and economic development. His efforts were instrumental in launching UB’s Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics in 2012 and in securing $47.5 million in funding for UB’s leadership role in the Genomic Medicine Network launched this year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Cartwright’s efforts also have positioned UB to continue the successful implementation of Cuomo’s START-UP NY program, with 16 companies partnering with the university to pursue new business opportunities and creating more than 800 new jobs in the region.

As a faculty member, he served as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and inaugural chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and earned a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.  

An internationally prominent researcher, Cartwright is a fellow of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

His interest in combining research and education is demonstrated by his serving as principal investigator on the NSF IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) program in Biophotonics, as co-PI on two undergraduate education grants and, more recently, as a co-PI on a prestigious NSF Math and Science Partnership Award to UB and the Buffalo Public Schools.  

“This new chapter in my career is a natural progression, as my interests have broadened to include academic strategic planning in the pursuit of academic excellence and the impact of our scholarly and creative activities on the community,” Cartwright said.

“SUNY is an incredible academic institution with tremendous diversity. I am looking forward to applying on a larger scale some of what we accomplished together at UB for the benefit of the entire system and all of New York State.”

Tripathi said the university anticipates naming an interim vice president for research and economic development by the end of August.