SUNY Chancellor Names Betty Capaldi Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff

Release Date: December 2, 2003 This content is archived.


ALBANY -- State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King today announced he will recommend that current University at Buffalo Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi be vice chancellor and chief of staff at System Administration.

"Betty Capaldi's service as provost at the University at Buffalo and previously at the University of Florida provide her with campus experience and far-ranging skills, which will enable her to succeed as vice chancellor and chief of staff," said State University of New York Board Chair Thomas F. Egan.

"I am very pleased Betty has agreed to take on this important assignment," said King "Her experience as provost at the University at Buffalo and at the University of Florida will enable her to manage and coordinate elements of an institution of higher education with an annual all-funds budget of $7.6 billion and an enrollment of more than 410,000 students. I am confident she will excel in her new role as my vice chancellor and chief of staff."

Capaldi will be responsible for managing and coordinating the following staff functions: legal, audit, state government relations, community colleges, business and industry relations, system strategic plan implementation, and liaison to the State University Construction Fund.

She will handle specific campus issues and will advise the chancellor on important matters brought by campus presidents and senior officers.

"I am honored Chancellor King has selected me for this important assignment," said Capaldi. "I am eager to help the chancellor and the board of trustees to continue to move the university to the very front rank of public higher education in America."

Chancellor King explained that following the announced departure of Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Dick Miller to the presidency of Hartwick College in July, he determined replacing Dick's position with a vice chancellor and chief of staff would strengthen overall university management and improve coordination among the major areas of responsibility headed up by SUNY vice chancellors.

"In July, I asked Betty to consider a new challenge," said King. "However, Betty was interested in being considered for the UB presidency, we deferred our conversation over the summer months. Recently, with the naming of a new president at UB, I reopened our conversation and we discussed her taking a leave from her UB post to come to the System Administration."

Appointed provost and professor of psychology in July 2000, Capaldi came to the University at Buffalo from the University of Florida where she served as provost (July 1996 to November 1999), special assistant to the president for the Florida Quality Evaluation Project (1991-1996), and director of institutional research (1994-1996). She previously held an appointment on the faculty at Purdue University (1969-1988) and served as head of its Department of Psychological Sciences (1983-1988), and assistant dean of Purdue's Graduate School (1982-1986).

Capaldi's research is concerned with how motivation can be learned. She has contributed over 60 chapters, articles and books, co-authored an introductory psychology textbook, and edited two books on the psychology of eating.

She is past president of the American Psychological Society (2000-2001). Capaldi has been elected to fellow status in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and served as President of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Born in New York City, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester in 1965, and her Ph.D. degree in experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969.

Capaldi's appointment is subject to the approval of the State University of New York Board of Trustees. Subject to the approval of the board, Capaldi would begin on Feb. 1, 2004.

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States educating more than 410,000 students in 6,650 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit