Mauro transitions into president at Alfred State College



Steve Mauro, Gannon University’s vice president for Strategy and Campus Operations, is leaving to become the new president of Alfred State College.

Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

Steve Mauro, Ph.D., Gannon University’s vice president for Strategy and Campus Operations, has been appointed president of Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y.

The appointment, announced Jan. 25, came approximately two months ahead of Mauro’s start date, as his presidency becomes effective March 28.

Mauro started at Gannon in 2013 as the dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, a position he held for about two years.

From there, he held several roles in the nine-year time frame he has worked at Gannon.

He served as the interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs for a year, then moved on to be the vice president of Academic Administration for approximately four years. He has held his current role as vice president for Strategy and Campus Operations since September 2020.

In his multiple roles, Mauro has helped steer the university in a direction that nourished success, Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., said.

“When Dr. Mauro came, he helped us into the transition of what Morosky College could look like and where we should be going relative to the health professions and sciences,” he said.

“He has helped us through multiple transitions and the way we think, and he helped us think differently. The most recent example of this is his work with COVID-19, but overall, there was a trend there.”

With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mauro and the university saw a need for COVID-19 surveillance and the ability to test for the presence or absence of the virus. To fulfill this need, Mauro used his background in biology, read the CDC manual for how to test for viruses and devised a plan to test for COVID-19 on campus.

“I understood the technique, the methods, and I thought we could do this,” he said. “This was at a time when not a lot of labs across the nation were equipped for it, so when we were looking at alternatives to outsource our testing, they were really expensive and hard to find, and the turnaround was really poor.”

Mauro said that in the labs at Gannon, he developed the protocol currently used at the university for testing and COVID-19 surveillance.

“This involved a lot of validation with certified labs and a lot of testing over that summer prior to our return last fall,” he said. “But through that, we came up with a very reliable, accurate and quick way to test for the presence of COVID-19 in nasal samples.”

Mauro currently runs the COVID-19 testing and surveillance lab at Gannon, which employs a lab technician who oversees daily operations and five students who are gaining research experience.

Mauro’s role in developing the COVID-19 testing lab and testing and surveillance protocol speaks to his focus on students in the work he does, Taylor said.

“He has been intimately involved in retention by designing and implementing a retention plan, as well as getting the campus to think about student success,” he said.

“He pushes that student success is the most important thing and the reason why we’re here. He works directly in research, labs and operations with students to help them develop as leaders, develop their skills and develop their humanity.”

Austin Hertel, a senior biology and public health major, has been working with Mauro since the summer of 2020, when he joined the project to establish Gannon’s COVID-19 surveillance program. Without Mauro, Hertel said there will be a hole in the workplace.

“It will be hard to imagine not having Dr. Mauro involved in our work,” he said.

“It’s an impossible pair of shoes to fill. I have never met a person so dedicated and impassioned with their work, and he will be greatly missed.”

Still, Hertel feels the team in the COVID-19 surveillance lab is in good shape.

“We have an amazing team led by our lab technician, Madison Heeter, who has become an invaluable asset to Gannon,” he said.

“With her guidance, our work at Gannon is in great hands.”

The sentiment is similar for Taylor, who said that Mauro’s achievements at Gannon have left an impact on those who will take over his work.

As for the future of Mauro’s position at Gannon, Taylor said that it will not be filled.

Rather, the responsibilities that went along with Mauro’s role of vice president of Strategy and Campus Operations will be taken over by several people. Who exactly those will be has yet to be decided.

“He has done a great job of setting up plans and putting us in a good position so that those roles can be handled elsewhere,” Taylor said.

The plan is to eliminate Mauro’s position, a move supported by the strong management and leadership that has been formed across the university over the last several years, Taylor said.

“Over the next month or so, we’ll vet some ideas we have and continue the discussions we’re having with some of the key people who will be taking over those responsibilities,” he said. “For the community meeting at the end of February, we will be in a position to let everybody know who’s ending up where.”

This change comes at a good time, according to Taylor, as there is a very strong leadership team that is able to take on this change as an opportunity to improve.

“I’m looking forward to the future and am very hopeful and optimistic about who we are and where we are going,” he said. “Dr. Mauro has been a huge part of us being in a good place, and we’ve been blessed to have him with us. I’m sure Alfred State will be blessed to have him with them, as well.”

Alfred State is a public institution that is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Mauro’s appointment as president was made by the SUNY Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of SUNY Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. Mauro is a graduate of the SUNY system, having received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

From his time at Gannon, Mauro has gleaned leadership skills and understanding that he said will carry him to the next level.

“I’ve learned a lot here at Gannon, and I really have this comprehensive view of how an institution works and is run,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to apply the lessons and strategies I have learned over the years to be able to work with a new group of people who are also doing great things.”

With this leadership came exposure to new people at Gannon, which he cites as what he will miss the most about being at Gannon.

“I’ll miss the people, at the end of the day,” he said. “This is just a fantastic family, and there are so many really good people. The outpouring has been overwhelming since we made the announcement last week. I really will miss working with such fine people.”


[email protected]