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SUNY Poly gets interim president after scandal resignation

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SUNY Polytechnic Institute
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A New York-state research institute has a new leader after its last president resigned in the wake of bid-rigging charges.

Trustees for the State University of New York on Thursday tapped Bahgat Sammakia to be the interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Sammakia has been vice president of research at Binghamton University since 2010.

Former president Alain Kaloyeros  resigned last month. He faces state and federal charges that he steered lucrative state contracts to hand-picked companies. Kaloyeros is one of several men charged in an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development programs.

His attorney says Kaloyeros is innocent and resigned because he didn't want his criminal charges to become a distraction to SUNY Poly.

He is the founding director of the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, a New York State Center of Excellence located at Binghamton University. He was the founding director of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) on Energy Smart Electronic Systems, in collaboration with Binghamton University Professor Kanad Ghose. He was the co-founding director of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing in collaboration with Binghamton University Professor Mark Poliks and Cornell University.

Prior to joining Binghamton University, Sammakia held various management positions at IBM, having oversight of thermal and mechanical analysis groups, the surface science group, the chemical lab, the company’s site technical assurance group and as manager of development for organic packaging in the IBM Microelectronics Division. He began working for IBM in 1984 as an engineer.

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Alexandria and earned his Master of Science and Doctorate degrees at the University at Buffalo. All of his degrees are in mechanical engineering. After completing his Ph.D., Sammakia was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sammakia’s appointment is effective on or about December 1, 2016 and will continue until a permanent president is appointed. He will receive an annual state salary of $425,000 - about half what his predecessor earned until June 2016.

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