FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 6, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jane Briggs at (518) 474-1201
ROBERT M. BENNETT STEPS DOWN AS CHANCELLOR
BUT REMAINS AS MEMBER OF BOARD OF REGENTS
Robert M. Bennett, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, announced today that he is stepping down as Chancellor but will remain as a member of the Board and continue to represent the 8th Judicial District in Western New York.
"It has been an honor to serve all New Yorkers as Chancellor of the Board of Regents," said Bennett. "The Board has pushed to prepare New Yorkers to reach ever higher levels of achievement so they can succeed in today’s fiercely competitive global environment. Guided by their parents and teachers, New York’s children are meeting this challenge."
"I thank my current and former colleagues on the Board, the Commissioner and staff of the Education Department and our partners throughout New York’s educational system. A special thanks also to the members of the State Legislature who have supported us in raising achievement for all. I recognize that there always comes a time when a change in leadership is good and that time is here," Bennett continued. "Much more remains to be done and the Board is eager to greatly accelerate the pace of our improvements. We simply cannot allow the gaps in achievement that separate us on the basis of race, disability, poverty, and ability to speak and read English to persist. We will not advance as a society unless and until these gaps are eliminated once and for all."
"Chancellor Bennett has an intuitive grasp of what’s most important: every child must graduate ready for citizenship, work, and further education. He celebrates every gain along that path, then immediately rededicates himself to the work that remains," said Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills. "I never found a better companion with whom to visit a pre-kindergarten or a school. He demands the best for every kid and is impatient with barriers he finds in their way. Chancellor Bennett has been an indispensable partner to me and a fine and thoughtful leader of the Regents."
"I intend to remain on the Board as Regent representing the 8th Judicial District," said Bennett in a letter to the Board of Regents. "I am very grateful to all of you for your confidence and support. It has been a unique and tremendous honor to serve as Chancellor."
Bennett was initially elected to a two-year term as Chancellor by the Board of Regents in March 2002. In March 2004, Bennett was reelected to a three-year term as Chancellor, from April 2004 to March 31, 2007. In March 2007, Bennett was again elected to a third term as Chancellor.
Bennett first joined the Board of Regents following election by the New York State Legislature to a five-year term in April of 1995 and was subsequently reelected in April 2000 and 2005.
The New York State Board of Regents oversees the most comprehensive state educational system in the nation. The system encompasses every education endeavor in the State, including public and nonpublic elementary, middle and secondary education; public and independent colleges and universities; museums, libraries, historical societies and archives; the vocational rehabilitation system; and responsibility for the licensing, practice and oversight of 48 professions.
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