Dr. Timothy Sams, SUNY Old Westbury President

Dr. Timothy Sams, SUNY Old Westbury President

Currently serving as the sixth president in the history of SUNY Old Westbury, Dr. Timothy E. Sams has spent the last 30 years driven by the principles of access, excellence, success, and impact. 

His trail of accomplishments attests to his unwavering commitment to delivering on higher education’s promise of using excellence to achieve student transformation and social progress.

Dr. Sams’ impressive career has taken him to an array of selective institutions around the country and around the world. 

As he moved from learning the fundamentals of building student success programs to innovating new ones as a senior leader, Dr. Sams’ commitment to educational justice by inclusive excellence, praxis, and purpose-driven education, has come to characterize his work of elevating the student experience and transforming liberal arts education. 

Dr. Sams never lost sight of his opportunity program roots as an Upward Bound and Educational Opportunity Program student.

As a Higher Educational Opportunity Program Counselor early in his career, Dr. Sams held fast to the belief that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

Prior to Old Westbury, he served as vice oresident of Student Affairs for Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. His work there was built on past experiences at respected institutions across the country, which include Morehouse College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Raised by his paternal grandparents, Dr. Sams grew up on the south side of Syracuse, New York, where he was an avid Boy Scout, basketball player, and student activist.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Sociology from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and his Master of Arts degree in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany. He earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University. 


  1. Our institution is evolving to meet the changing times by emphasizing STEM education and workforce development. We recognize the importance of preparing our students for the shifting job market. We are committed to providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers. We are also focused on providing exceptional training for teachers to meet the dramatic reduction in teachers. We understand teachers’ pivotal role in shaping young minds and guiding their students toward a bright future. To this end, we continually develop innovative teaching curriculums and programs incorporating modern technology and pedagogy. Finally, we recognize the growing need for medical professionals in our society. We are committed to providing our students with the education and training needed to succeed in the healthcare industry, including fields such as nursing, healthcare management, and medical research. Our goal at SUNY Old Westbury is to continue providing our students with the highest quality education possible while adapting to the changing times and the needs of our society. 
  2. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I can offer is the importance of pivoting your business strategy when necessary. The world is constantly changing, and as a business owner, it’s critical to stay nimble and adapt to new circumstances. Whether it’s a shift in customer needs, a change in market conditions, or a sudden disruption like the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting your business strategy can make all the difference. It’s essential to be proactive and anticipate potential changes in the market so you’re better equipped to make necessary adjustments when the time comes. 

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here