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June 8, 2021
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JP O’Hare

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Board of Regents Unanimously Elects Josephine V. Finn To Serve as Vice Chancellor

The Board of Regents unanimously elected Regent Josephine Victoria Finn to the post of Vice Chancellor at its June meeting. In the absence or inability of the Chancellor to act, the Vice Chancellor serves as the presiding officer of the Board of Regents, which is responsible for the general supervision of all educational activities within the state. Vice Chancellor Finn assumes the position vacated by Vice Chancellor Emeritus Andrew T. Brown earlier this year.

“Vice Chancellor Finn is the perfect person to help lead the Board’s important efforts to assist schools in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, build Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education and to foster equity in education for all children,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “She is a truth-teller and life-long advocate for the children and adults of New York who brings gravitas and passion to her service as Vice Chancellor.”

“Vice Chancellor Finn’s work on the Board has always focused on empowering students from all backgrounds to visualize successful futures for themselves and to provide them with a sense of belonging and self-worth,” State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said. “Her unanimous election is a testament to her accomplishments and it’s with great anticipation that I look forward to building on our great work for all of New York’s students, educators, professionals, libraries and museums.”

“I am honored by the trust placed in me by my colleagues on the Board of Regents,” Vice Chancellor Finn said. “I am personally and deeply devoted to the priorities of the Board and will continue that work with thoughtfulness and dedication as Vice Chancellor for all New Yorkers.”

The Board conducted its election process, including the nomination of Regent Finn, full discussion, and vote in public session. Video of the discussion and vote will be available on the Department’s website in the coming days. Her term as Vice Chancellor is June 8, 2021 through March 31, 2022.

The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor are the two elective officers of the University of the State of New York. Additionally, according to State regulations, the Vice Chancellor serves as the presiding officer of the Board of Regents in the absence or inability of the Chancellor to act.

Vice Chancellor Josephine Victoria Finn

Josephine Victoria Finn was first appointed to represent the Third Judicial District for a five-year term on the New York State Board of Regents effective April 1, 2014 and elected to a second five-year term effective April 1, 2019. Vice Chancellor Finn graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta receiving a B.A. in Psychology and Black Studies and from the University of Buffalo Law School where she received a J.D. She has been admitted to the practice of law for 35 years and is trained in mediation.

In her time on the Board, she served as Chair of the Audits/Budget and Finance, and Ethics Committees while also serving on the P-12 and Professional Practice Committees, and the Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color and the Research Work Group.

Vice Chancellor Finn served as Assistant County Attorney for Sullivan County as well as Assistant Town Attorney and Town Attorney for the Town of Thompson. For over 18 years, she served as legal counsel to the Sullivan County Branch of the NAACP.

Vice Chancellor Finn taught at Sullivan County Community College for 13 years and ran the Paralegal Program for several years. She served on the Sullivan County Community College Board of Trustees prior to her election to the Board of Regents. Vice Chancellor Finn has also served on several other boards including: The Private Industry Council of Sullivan County, the Cultural Diversity Committee of the New York State School Boards Association and the Sullivan County Conditional Release Committee. She was the first voice heard on WJFF, Sullivan County's first public radio station. She is presently on the Sullivan Renaissance Steering Committee, an organization dedicated to beautifying Sullivan County.

Vice Chancellor Finn is in her fifth term as Village of Monticello Justice and is a member of both the New York State Magistrates Association and the Sullivan County Magistrates Association. She has also served as the President of the Sullivan County Bar Association.

The NYS Board of Regents

The Board of Regents was established in 1784 and is the oldest, continuous state education entity in the United States. The Regents, who serve without pay, are responsible for the general oversight of all educational activities within the state, presiding over the University of the State of New York and the State Education Department. The Board of Regents includes 17 members elected by the State Legislature for five-year terms. Thirteen of the Regents represent the State's 13 judicial districts, one from each district, and four are at-large.