Alfultis Appointed President of SUNY Maritime

By Eric Haun
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Dr. Michael A. Alfultis

Dr. Michael A. Alfultis, a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain, and the director and chief administrative officer of the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus, has been named as the next president of the SUNY Maritime College.

Dr. Alfultis’ appointment was affirmed today by the SUNY Board of Trustees who met in Buffalo. He will begin his Maritime presidential duties on Monday, July 14.

With more than 20 years of undergraduate teaching experience and 13 years of progressive academic administrative responsibility at both military and civilian institutions of higher education, Alfultis brings a uniquely diverse background to the presidency at Fort Schuyler. His background includes service as an operations officer and navigator on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter; maritime safety and security; Coast Guard Academy faculty member and academic department chair; and senior administrator at a flagship university.

“Dr. Alfultis has more than 20 years of leadership, teaching, and mentoring experience from a distinguished Coast Guard career and several military and civilian institutions of higher education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “He is ideally suited to lead the students, faculty, and staff at SUNY Maritime College. I look forward to working with him.”

As the chief administrative officer of the UConn’s marine and maritime campus at Avery Point since 2010, Alfultis oversees a complex enterprise comprised of undergraduate and graduate programs, offered by four schools within the University of Connecticut: the Department of Marine Sciences and associated Marine Sciences and Technology Center; Connecticut Sea Grant, the Northeast Underwater Research Technology and Education Center; the UConn Technology Incubator Program; and Project Oceanology, a marine education and outreach nonprofit.

Alfultis’ appointment today concludes a six-month, nationwide search for a new Maritime College president. The 18-member presidential search committee was chaired by Timothea Larr, chair of the Maritime College Council.

"Dr. Alfultis brings a unique combination of academic and Coast Guard experience and will provide insightful and inclusive leadership as SUNY Maritime College undertakes the challenges and opportunities to fulfill its vision of being First and Foremost in global maritime education, training and research in the 21st century," said Mrs. Larr.

“I am delighted that Dr. Alfultis has agreed to join Maritime College as our next president,” said Interim President, Dr. Michael A. Cappeto. “His background and experience make him the ideal individual to lead Maritime into the future. We could not have asked for a better person to assume this critically important position,” Dr. Cappeto added.

Dr. Alfultis graduated with honors from the Coast Guard Academy in 1982 with a degree in Marine Science. He later earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Washington (1987) and a doctorate from the University of Rhode Island (1997), both in Oceanography.

"I am honored to serve as SUNY Maritime College’s next President, and look forward to joining the SUNY Maritime community,” said Dr. Alfultis. “I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to lead an institution with the unique and important mission of producing maritime professionals. I would like to thank the search committee, the SUNY Maritime College Council, Chancellor Zimpher, and the SUNY Board of Trustees for the confidence they have placed in me," he added.

Dr. Alfultis returned to the Coast Guard Academy in 1989 as a member of the science department faculty, where he taught marine science courses including Oceanography, Meteorology, Ocean Dynamics, Ocean Circulation and Remote Sensing. He was the Academy’s Marine Science Section Chief from 2002 to 2005, and later headed the Academy’s Science Department from 2005 to 2009. He won the Academy’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2009.

Throughout his career in academia, Dr. Alfultis has supervised extensive cadet research across Coast Guard mission areas, as well as several federal, state, and non-profit agencies. He provided critical leadership to promoting and ensuring academic quality through institutional accreditation efforts at both the Coast Guard Academy and at the University of Connecticut. Those efforts helped him to better understand the value of an open and transparent self-assessment process that involves all constituents, to ensure academic quality.

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