Dennis Hefner was appointed Interim President of the State University of New York at Potsdam, the oldest campus in the SUNY system, in spring 2013. His previous administrative positions include 16 years of service as President of SUNY Fredonia; “founding” Senior Vice Chancellor for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, San Bernardino, and Vice Provost, Dean, and Department Chair at California State University, Chico.
He assisted the then-new California State University campus in Monterey to achieve accreditation, and also has held part-time teaching positions at the UC San Francisco Medical Center, Washington State University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Early in his career, he spent two years working at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in Washington, D.C., and one year as the national Director of Research for PAID Prescriptions, Inc.
Dr. Hefner received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from California State University, Chico, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Washington State University. He has published dozens of refereed journal articles, received more than 50 externally funded research grants, most in the area of health economics, and, from 1973 to 1976, designed and administered a pilot project providing outpatient prescription drugs to more than 5,000 seniors, the first external pilot project ever funded by Medicare. He was selected as a “charter” recipient for the Faculty Professional Achievement Award in recognition for outstanding scholarly research by California State University, Chico.
Some of the honors he has received include the Outstanding Alumnus Award from California State University, Chico; the Businessman of the Year Award from the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce; the Outstanding Executive Award for Western New York from the Public Relations Society of America, and the Administrator of the Year Award from the Chautauqua County Association of Educational Office Professionals.
He has been married to Jan Hefner for 46 years, and they have two adult children and three grandchildren.