BOARD OF REGENTS
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS
Judicial District VIII -- Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming
201 Millwood Lane
Tonawanda, NY 14150 | Phone: (518) 474-5889
Contact Board Secretary
Robert M. Bennett of Western New York was elected in 1995 to a five-year term as the Regent for the Eighth Judicial District at a Joint Session of the New York State Legislature, re-elected to a second five year term commencing on April 1, 2000, re-elected to a third five-year term effective April 1, 2005 and re-elected to a fourth five year term by concurrent resolution effective April 1, 2010. He was elected Chancellor by his colleagues in March 2002, re-elected in March of 2004 for a three-year term and in March of 2007 for a third term. In April, 2009, Bennett stepped down as Chancellor, continues to serve as a Regent representing Western New York, and the Board of Regents unanimously appointed Bennett as Chancellor Emeritus.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett served as president and CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County from 1985 until his retirement from United Way in December 2000. He was previously Vice President for Administration, Agency Relations and Resource Development. During his 23 years at United Way several initiatives were developed, including: Success-by Six, a comprehensive Early Childhood collaboration program; the Child Advocacy Center, a public-private partnership to treat and protect victims of child sex abuse; Coordinated Care, a county-wide collaboration for the frail elderly; the establishment of Family Resource Centers in Schools; the creation of the local Task Force on the Achievement Gap; and the non-profit Resource Center, a management service for Boards & CEOs of non-profit human service agencies in Western New York. During his time as President, $240 million was raised and allocated for community services.
Prior to his United Way service, Chancellor Emeritus Bennett spent four years in local government positions serving the County Executive and Mayor, each for two years. He began his career with the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce as Director of Public Affairs, representing the business community with local and State Government and community groups.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame, and received a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY-Buffalo. He also completed the leadership program for not-for-profit CEOs at Harvard and the University of Michigan.
Having taught at the graduate level since 1977, Chancellor Emeritus Bennett currently serves as a distinguished lecturer in Policy and Politics in Education at Niagara University and Canisius College.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett is a trustee of the Statler Foundation and the John R. Oishei Foundation. In 2005 he was appointed by Bishop Kmiec as a member of the Buffalo Diocesan Planning Commission. Chancellor Emeritus Bennett also serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Western New York and as a Eucharistic Minister for St. Christopher's Parish. Chancellor Emeritus Bennett also serves on the advisory board of the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Center. He has also been appointed to the Erie County Children’s Coordinating Council by the County Executive.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett has received a wide range of awards and recognition, including being named Citizen of the year, twice, by the Buffalo News; recipient of the One Person Award from United Way; D'Youville College's 2000 Community Service Award; the Bishop McNulty Youth Service Award; Citizen of the Year by the Food Bank of Western New York; the Theodore Roosevelt Award; Association of Vocational Education Leadership Award; Friends of Children Award from the Association for the Education of Young Children; Leadership Award from the National Center for Community and Justice; Parents Anonymous Leader Award and the Rev. John C. Cavanaugh Award from the University of Notre Dame; and the St. Bonaventure University Gaudete Medal.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett has an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Niagara University and Dr. of Humane Letters from Canisius and D'Youville Colleges.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett resides in the Town of Tonawanda and has two children, Maurine and Andrew and four grandchildren, Clare, Alice, Adelaide and Robert.