Saying that he's focusing on his job here, State University of New York Chancellor John King is downplaying a report that lists him as one of 10 potential candidates to become the next president of Harvard University. 

King, a 1996 Harvard graduate, is being considered to run the Ivy League institution, according to a report in the Harvard Crimson last week. 

Asked about the story, King downplayed any interest in running Harvard, where he serves on its Board of Overseers.

"I love my job at SUNY and I'm totally focused on the work that we're doing to advance student success, to ensure that every New Yorker knows there's a place for them at SUNY and to double research across the SUNY institutions," King said Wednesday. 

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned last month amid accusations of plagiarism and criticism that she did not speak out more forcefully about anti-Semitism. 

Before taking over SUNY in January 2023, King served as U.S. secretary of education and was previously the state education commissioner until 2014. He also unsuccessfully ran for governor in Maryland in 2022.

"The SUNY system is amazing. Sixty-four campuses and an incredible engine of opportunity for New Yorkers," King said Wednesday. "Having grown up in Brooklyn, I really believe in New York's commitment to public higher education and I love being part of a system that is really delivering for this state. Whether it's the semi conductor industry or it's artificial intelligence, or health care or education, you name the industry, SUNY is critical to making that industry thrive in New York and I love what I get to do every day."

SUNY reported its first increase in overall enrollment in 10 years this past fall, but still faces financial concerns. Last week, King asked the state Legislature for more aid in the state budget to help offset a growing deficit the state university system is facing. SUNY is on track to have a $1 billion deficit by 2033. The governor and state lawmakers have until April 1 to finalize the budget.