Dr. Timothy E. Sams Headshot

Dr. Timothy E. Sams


SUNY Old Westbury

Dr. Timothy E. Sams began his tenure as the sixth full president in the history of SUNY Old Westbury on January 11, 2021. Across a career spanning three decades, Dr. Sams has demonstrated leadership in improving student success, particularly for students from disadvantaged and marginalized communities. He brings to the College an emphasis on institutional excellence, inclusive innovation and strategic change management.

Now a member of the board of directors of the Long Island Association, Dr. Sams served as vice president of student affairs for Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, prior to arriving at Old Westbury. At Prairie View, he has showcased his deep commitment to excellence, student support, and inclusivity through the creation of the university’s residential college, emergency resource center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center. His work there built on past experiences at respected institutions across the country. As the senior vice president for student development at Morehouse College, he held a portfolio that included Student Services, Enrollment Management, Campus Safety and Athletics, among other units. As vice president for student life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he led such services as Residential Life, Health and Mental Health Services, the Campus Center and Career Services. He is also credited as inaugurating the Student Life Office at New York University-Abu Dhabi and, for 13 years, led the Black Cultural Center at Swarthmore College.

Dr. Sams’ career accomplishments include widespread efforts to increase student and staff diversity, and elevating residential college models at three institutions. Among his career achievements are the creation of the nation’s first ROTC Center of Excellence, two major LGBTQ support initiatives, and an experiential learning and cultural immersion program in Ghana, West Africa

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