Office of the

The sixth president of SUNY Empire

Office of the President


Strategic Plan

University Leadership

University Council

“SUNY Empire exists to strengthen the very fabric of our society, to bring education to all corners not just of the state but of the globe, as we continue to build on that original expression of faith in the power of public higher education.”

Read Dr. Vollendorf's full inauguration speech


President Vollendorf

Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D., became the sixth president of SUNY Empire on July 1, 2022. A tireless advocate for public higher education, she believes in the power of education to drive social mobility and is deeply committed to access, equity, and inclusion.

Prior to SUNY Empire, she worked for 16 years in the California State University system as professor, department chair, senate chair, dean, and provost. She held faculty appointments at Miami University of Ohio and 
 Wayne State University. She also served as interim provost at the University of Northern Colorado.

Vollendorf has published extensively on women’s cultural history in early modern Spain and colonial Latin America, with a special focus on literature, Inquisition studies, and convent history.

She earned her B.A. in English and Spanish at Colorado State University, her M.A. in Spanish and Latin American literatures, and her Ph.D. in romance languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vollendorf is a fluent Spanish speaker. She is an avid supporter of the arts, as well as a hiker, backpacker, and traveler who is always looking forward to the next adventure. You can write to her — in Spanish or English — at

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