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Meeting of the Board of Regents | August 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 8:30am

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P – 12 Education Committee


Rebecca H. Cort 


Appointment of Superintendent at the New York State

School for the Blind


signature of Commissioner SteinerDATE:

August 5, 2010


Goals 1-6





Issue for Decision:     

Should the Regents approve the appointment of Mathis Calvin III as Superintendent at the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia?

Reason for Consideration:    

The Superintendent position was vacated by Erin Meehan-Fairben on July 28, 2010.  A search for a new Superintendent has been conducted, resulting in a recommendation to appoint Mathis Calvin III.

Proposed Handling:


Procedural History:

              Education Law requires that the Board of Regents appoint the Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind.  The recommendation before you for consideration was made by the Board of Visitors and approved by the Commissioner of Education consistent with Section 4307(1) of the Education Law.

Background Information:

The Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind provides on-site management for all 5-day resident programs, school programs, and operations at the School and leadership in communicating, facilitating and implementing P-12 priorities.  The Superintendent is responsible for achieving and maintaining compliance with appropriate State and federal regulations and State Education Department policies, both fiscal and programmatic; assuming a leadership role in developing and implementing curriculum and assessment based on learning standards established for all students; and promoting positive program changes to improve student achievement.

The search committee invited six candidates to interview for the Superintendent position.  At the conclusion of this process, three candidates were referred to the Board of Visitors for a second interview.   Both the search committee and the Board of Visitors were unanimous in their recommendation of Mathis Calvin III as their candidate of choice, indicating that Dr. Calvin is highly qualified to serve as Superintendent.  In his most recent position, Dr. Calvin held a leadership role within the Letchworth Central School District as Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Programs, overseeing the educational programs of approximately two hundred students and providing instructional guidance to teachers, teacher assistants, school psychologists, nurses, and counselors.  In addition to residential experience, Dr. Calvin possesses excellent management, organizational, problem solving, and writing skills.  He has been described by his supervisors as a committed and visionary leader with superior knowledge of special education.  Appointment of Dr. Calvin at this time will allow for a smooth transition and will make a proven leader available to staff and students at the beginning of the school year in September.  His resume is attached.


              I recommend that you take the following action:

VOTED, that Mathis Calvin III be appointed as Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind effective August 30, 2010.               

Timetable for Implementation:

              If the Regents approve the recommendation, the appointment will become effective August 30, 2010.