D. Bruce Johnstone

Donald Bruce Johnstone, also known as D. Bruce Johnstone, (born January 13, 1941) is an American educator who served as Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY),[1][2] headquartered in Albany, New York; and President of Buffalo State College,[1][2] in Buffalo, New York. Johnstone is also Professor Emeritus at the University at Buffalo (UB).[1] He was named SUNY Chancellor Emeritus in 2014.[3]

D. Bruce Johnstone
Chancellor, State University of New York
In office
August 1, 1988 – February 28, 1994
Preceded byJerome B. Komisar (Acting)
Succeeded byJoseph C. Burke (Acting)
President, Buffalo State College
In office
August 16, 1979 – July 31, 1988
Preceded byE.K. Fretwell, Jr.
Succeeded byF.C. Richardson
Personal details
Born (1941-01-13) January 13, 1941 (age 78)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Spouse(s)Gail Johnstone
Alma materHarvard University
University of Minnesota
ProfessionHigher education
Academic administration


Background and educationEdit

Johnstone was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and earned degrees in Economics[1][2] and Education[2] at Harvard University.[1][2] He also earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education[1][2] at the University of Minnesota[1][2] in 1969. He is married to wife, Gail, and has two adult children, a son and daughter.[1]

Honorary degreesEdit

Johnstone also holds honorary doctoral degrees[1] from American institutions of higher education, including:


In Westport, Connecticut, Johnstone worked as a high school economics and American history teacher.[2]

After working as an administrative assistant to former United States Senator Walter F. Mondale[2] and a project specialist at the Ford Foundation,[2] Johnstone took academic and administrative positions at the University of Pennsylvania.[2]

At the University of Pennsylvania, he was Executive Assistant to the President[2] and Vice President for Administration.[1][2]

In 1979, Johnstone became the President of Buffalo State College.[1][2]

Johnstone was chosen to head the State University of New York System (SUNY) in 1988.[1][4]

Johnstone resigned as Chancellor in 1994 after experiencing pancreatic cancer,[5] and later, returned to education at University at Buffalo.

Accomplishments as SUNY ChancellorEdit

Johnstone was the first SUNY System president to be named as a SUNY chancellor.[2]

As SUNY Chancellor, Johnstone oversaw the largest and most comprehensive university system in the United States.[2] In 1993, the SUNY System included 64 college campuses[1][2] with an enrollment of more than 400,000 students,[1][2] as well as a budget of $4.5 billion.[2]

Johnstone commissioned an influential support to spur lawmakers to enable the SUNY System to adapt to the changing needs of New York State, specifically, the need to educate older and more ethnically diverse students and to supply the State healthcare system with an ample supply of healthcare workers.[6][7]

International endeavorsEdit

Johnstone currently serves as Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Higher and Comparative Education and Director of the International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project at UB.[1][8] The Project examines the worldwide responsibility change in higher education costs from taxpayers and governments to students and their parents.[1] The Project has been active in sponsoring or co-sponsoring higher education financing conferences, internationally, in Moscow, Russia; Prague, Czech Republic; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Nairobi, Kenya; Wuhan, China; and Arusha, Tanzania.[1]

Johnstone has been a consultant to the World Bank in Kenya, Romania, and Morocco.[1] For Kenya, he headed a team on university finance reform there.[1]

Following 2007, Johnstone has been an Erasmus Mundus lecturer at the Universities of Tampere, Finland and Oslo, Norway, speaking on topics in higher education administration.[1] During 2007-2008, he was also the Distinguished Scholar Leader of the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program.[1] This group is composed of 32 international and 12 American scholars who examine access to higher education through international viewpoints.[1]

Professional interests and scholarshipEdit

Johnstone's interests include economics and finance in higher education.[2][8] Additional interests are in the areas of student finance and loans; governance and leadership in higher education; international comparative higher education finance and governance; federal and state policies for higher education; college-level learning in high school; and learning productivity.[8]

Johnstone has authored several books and many articles, mostly in the area of student finance.[1][2][8] He has also written or edited books, book chapters, articles, and/or monographs.[1] Other authorship topics have included student financial assistance policy; international comparative higher education finance; learning productivity; higher education's financial condition; and system governance.[1]


  • Johnstone, D.B., & Marcucci, P. (2010). Financing higher education in international perspective: Who pays? Who should pay? Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Johnstone, D.B, d’Ambrosio, M., & Yakoboski, P. (Eds.), (2010). Higher education in a global society. New York, NY/Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Johnstone, D.B. (2006). Financing higher education: Cost-sharing in international perspective. Boston, MA: Boston College Center for International Higher Education; and Rotterdam, Holland: Sense Publishers.
  • Texeira, P., Johnstone, B., Rosa, M.J., & Vossensteyn, H. (Eds.), (2006). Cost-sharing and accessibility in Western higher education: A fairer deal? Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Johnstone, D.B. (1986). Sharing the costs of higher education: Student financial assistance in the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Sweden, and the United States. New York, NY: College Entrance Examination Board.
  • Johnstone, D.B. (1972). New patterns for college lending: Income contingent loans. New York, NY, & London, England: Columbia University Press.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Brief biography, University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education, Buffalo, NY: University at Buffalo, 2013, Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u University Convocation and Inauguration of William R. Greiner: Thirteenth President of the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY: University at Buffalo Inaugural Program, 18 September 1992.
  3. ^ Campus news: Johnstone appointed chancellor emeritus. Buffalo State: 1300 Elmwood, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State College Alumni Association, Spring 2014.
  4. ^ Butterfield, Fox (April 22, 1988), "SUNY Selects a Chancellor from Within", The New York Times, retrieved 2008-04-12
  5. ^ Newman, Maria (February 8, 1994), "Illness Is Forcing Chancellor of SUNY to Resign from Post", The New York Times, retrieved 2008-04-12
  6. ^ The State University of New York (1991), SUNY 2000, a Vision for the New Century, Albany, New York: Office of the Chancellor, SUNY, OCLC 24535234
  7. ^ "D. Bruce Johnstone Chancellor's Leadership, Vision Put SUNY on Track", University at Buffalo Reporter, March 10, 1994, retrieved 2008-04-12
  8. ^ a b c d "Faculty Details: D. Bruce Johnstone". [UB Graduate School of Education]. Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-04-12.

External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
E. K. Fretwell, Jr.
President of Buffalo State College
August 16, 1979 – July 31, 1988
Succeeded by
F.C. Richardson
Preceded by
Jerome B. Komisar (Acting)
Chancellor of the State University of New York
August 1, 1988 – February 28, 1994
Succeeded by
Joseph C. Burke (Acting)