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Advancement chief at SUNY Geneseo leaves suddenly

K. Johnson Bowles has suddenly left her position as chief of advancement and the director of the Geneseo Foundation at the State University College at Geneseo.

College President Denise Battles announced the departure Friday morning in a campus community email, saying it was effective immediately. Bowles apparently left Thursday.

“I appreciate Ms. Bowles’ service to the College and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” Battles said.

By Friday afternoon, the college’s web site had been edited to remove several mentions of Bowles’ employment there, including listings on the pages for president’s cabinet and for the board of the foundation.

K. Johnson Bowles
K. Johnson Bowles

Gail Glover, chief communications and marketing office for the college said, “It was a leadership decision. But out of respect for a former colleague, I’m not going to discuss a personnel issue.”

Battles announced that Bowles’ interim successor will be Justin Johnston, assistant vice president for the department.

Bowles was hired as vice president of College Advancement in July 2016, about a year after Battles became president of the college. Bowles came to Geneseo from a job in advancement she held for a little less than two years at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C. With an education including master’s and bachelor’s degrees in fine arts, Bowles was director of the Longwood Center for Art and an assistant professor of art for 12 years at Longwood Univiersty in Farmville, Va.

She moved into administration and advancement after a year-long fellowship with the American Council for Education, serving for a little more than a year as an associate vice president at Longwood.

Battles had also been a fellow of the American Council for Education, but some years earlier than Bowles was in the program in 2012-2013.

Bowles is the sixth vice president or dean to leave in Battles’ tenure, with five of those departures happening in the last 16 months.

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