ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday replaced the widely respected chairman of the State University of New York board of trustees with former state comptroller H. Carl McCall, a fellow Democrat steeped in Albany politics.
Cuomo said McCall's knowledge of government finances and, as a former state senator, knowing how to get bills passed in Albany made him a perfect match for the job. When asked by reporters, Cuomo gave no specific reason for replacing Carl Hayden, whom Cuomo called "excellent" as he thanked him for his service. Hayden wasn't at the news conference. He will remain on the SUNY board.
McCall says he'll lead SUNY in a "shared vision" with Cuomo to bolster academic standards and help spur economic growth and jobs around the campuses, while keeping tuition affordable. The job is unpaid.
McCall, a leading black politician in New York for 50 years, supported Cuomo in his campaign for governor last year. It was an important endorsement for Cuomo, who won the Democratic nomination after Gov. David A. Paterson, the state's first black governor, dropped his election bid among ethics probes. They included one by then-Attorney General Cuomo.
Cuomo said yesterday he didn't promise the chairmanship to McCall during the campaign.
Hayden is an Elmira attorney. He was the state public schools chancellor and head of the Board of Regents for seven years. He presided over an era of raising standards and greater accountability at schools, in part through more standardized tests.