President Darrell P. Wheeler will speak about public higher education’s role in our communities on Nov. 13

Darrell P. Wheeler with students at an Office Hours with the President event, March 2023


SUNY New Paltz President Darrell P. Wheeler will deliver the 2023 Dennis O’Keefe Lecture on Monday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. in the Science Hall Lecture Room (SH 181) on the New Paltz campus.

President Wheeler’s talk, titled “Public Higher Education at the Crossroads,” will address the challenges facing institutions like SUNY New Paltz and how public colleges and universities can serve as a value-added resource in their communities.

In just over a year since assuming the presidency, Wheeler has emphasized two key functions of the University: providing an excellent education and credentials to students and working for the benefit of the citizens of New York State and beyond.

“These two pillars must be the backbone that guides our decisions on curriculum, services, finances and critical infrastructure,” he said at the 2023 State of the University address.

His address will expand upon the significance of these priorities in the context of ongoing debates about access and value in public higher education.

The event is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library as the 16th installment in their annual Dennis O’Keefe Lecture Series. This year’s lecture is offered with the cooperation of the Office of the President.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact Thomas Olsen at as soon as possible.


About President Wheeler

Darrell P. Wheeler has worked for more than 30 years as an educator, researcher and community partner focusing on health disparities research, with extensive scholarly work with local and national Black men who have sex with men communities. He has worked to promote the engagement and success of underrepresented minorities in HIV-prevention sciences and currently serves on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), among many other professional and scholarly affiliations. A more extensive biography is available at this link.


About the O’Keefe Lecture

The Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library sponsors the annual Dennis O’Keefe Lecture series, founded in 2007, which honors the memory of Library staff member Dennis O’Keefe and celebrates the breadth of his intellectual curiosity.

The Friends of the Library is an association of SUNY New Paltz faculty, students, alumni and neighbors dedicated to promoting and enhancing the Sojourner Truth Library as a shared resource serving our campus community and the surrounding region.