President Podolefsky announces leave to fight cancer
Provost Ponton to assume presidential duties until initerim is found
SUNY Buffalo State President Aaron Podolefsky has announced to students and faculty that he will be going on indefinite sick leave, effectively immediately.
Podolefsky, who has battled prostate cancer since his diagnosis in 2011, requested and received clearance for the leave from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher to better accommodate the demands of treatment.
Provost Dennis Ponton will assume all presidential duties until Buffalo State and SUNY are able to identify an interim president.
"It's been a challenging journey," Podolefsky said Monday in an email to students and faculty. "I've reached a point with the demands of treatment that I now need to place my entire focus on my overall health and well-being."
A timetable for the college to name an interim president is unknown, though Podolefsky noted in his email to students that a decision will be made "in the near future."
The Buffalo State Council will aid Zimpher and the SUNY office in the search.
Podolefsky was not in attendance for this year's commencement ceremonies because he is participating in a clinical trial. The likelihood of his eventual return to his role as president is unclear.
"The warm, caring and supportive campus community at Buffalo State has been remarkable throughout my illness," Podolefsky said in the email to students. "Your continued thoughts, prayers and encouragement will give me great peace of mind in the time ahead."
Brandon Schlager can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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