Keuka College names new president

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera

Keuka College has selected Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), to be its new president.

The College’s Board of Trustees announced the selection Saturday, Feb. 26 at its winter meeting in Rochester.

Díaz-Herrera will succeed Dr. Joseph G. Burke, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year. Burke has served as Keuka’s CEO since 1997.

“Dr. Díaz-Herrera has close to 30 years experience in the field of postsecondary education,” said Dr. Melissa Moore Brown, a 1972 Keuka graduate and chair of the Board of Trustees. “His achievements in computing and information technology are well known, and his commitment to integrate liberal arts, sciences and mathematics, and professional programs will further equip our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s global workplace. We are honored to have Dr. Díaz-Herrera serve as our next president.”

“I am confident that Dr. Díaz-Herrera’s presidency will not only continue, but further enhance, the unprecedented momentum created during Joe Burke’s 14 years as Keuka’s president,” said Frank Strong Jr., co-chair of the search committee and former chair of the Board of Trustees.

“I am truly delighted to have been chosen as your next president, and I thank you all for giving me that opportunity,” said Díaz-Herrera. “I’m particularly pleased by Keuka’s hospitality and openness. I thank the many students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees, and the Penn Yan community that patiently shared their thoughts during my visit to campus.

“To the students and their families, I would offer continued excellence and more opportunities by encouraging innovation and student success. To the faculty and staff, I would offer optimism and stability while raising expectations at times of receding resources. To the Administrative Team, Board, and community-at-large, I would offer experienced leadership, strong commitment and successful relationship building.

“These are interesting times for being chief executive officer of an academic institution. We need to understand the long-term implications of current trends and anticipated external forces. We need to build confidence and trust to achieve the solidarity needed to lead change to harmonize the institution’s aspirations with the environmental constraints in which it operates. I am both ready and eager to lead Keuka into its next phase.

“I look forward to getting to know you each and every one of you and to work together toward making Keuka College as great as it can be. Thank you very much indeed.”

Díaz-Herrera, who also serves as professor, came to RIT in 2002. Formerly, he was professor and department head of computer science and Yamacraw project director at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. and member of the executive committee in the Georgia Tech-led Yamacraw project. He was a senior member of the technical staff at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute, taught in the Master of Software Engineering program, and conducted research in product line engineering.

In addition, Díaz-Herrera served as chair of the first-in-the-U.S. software engineering department at Monmouth (N.J.) University and on the computer science faculties at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and SUNY Binghamton.

He also taught at the Universidad Centro-Occidental and was senior software engineer and department head at Empresa Regional de Computación, both in Venezuela.

He has consulted for a number of firms and government agencies including the New York Stock Exchange (SIAC), MITRE Corp., Institute for Defense Analysis, General Electric, Singer-Link, TRW, EG&G, and IBM, among others. He has also provided professional expertise to international organizations including the European Software Institute, Australian Defense Science and Technology Office, Kyoto Computing Gaikum, Kuwait University, Cairo University, and Malaysia University of Technology.

Díaz-Herrera has authored more than 90 publications and is in his third, three-year term of the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor Program. He was a leading writer of the Software Engineering Professional Examination, and co-editor of the Software Engineering volume of the IEEE-CS/ACM Computing Curricula project. He is also an active member of the Deans group of the Computer Research Association in Washington, D.C.

Díaz-Herrera serves on numerous boards, including the New York State Universal Broadband Council Digital Literacy Committee, the Strong National Museum of Play (Rochester) Board of Trustees, and Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.) Board of Trustees. He was co-chair of the Rochester Mayor’s Office IT Steering Committee in 2005-06 and a member of the Puerto Rican Youth Development Center (Rochester) Board of Trustees in 2003-04. He also served three years in the National Science Foundation CISE Advisory Committee, and three years in Carnegie Mellon’s SEI Technical Advisory Group in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Díaz-Herrera completed his undergraduate education in Venezuela and holds a master’s degree and doctorate in computing studies from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. He earned a graduate certificate (management leadership in education) from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He plays the South American folk harp and is learning the pedal harp from Dr. Nan Gallo-Richmond of the Eastman Community School.