River District Assemblywoman Addie Russell says she has assurances that no decision has been made regarding a joint presidency at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.
Speculation arose earlier this week after the unanticipated announcement by SUNY Potsdam President John Schwaller that he would be stepping down at the end of July.
That announcement added fuel to speculation that SUNY Central would implement its plan for one president to lead both colleges, particularly after the retirement this year of SUNY Canton President Joseph Kennedy, who opposed that idea.
“I have spoken with SUNY administration officials regarding the recent resignation of President John Schwaller from SUNY Potsdam. “I have been assured that no decision has been made to proceed with a shared presidency for SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton,” Assemblywoman Russelll said.
“On another positive note, I have been advised that the collaboration between the two campuses to find ways to save money and drive money funding dollars towards student services is working well, and there is optimism about that collaboration moving forward,” the Theresa Democrat said.
“While the departure of President Schwaller may lead to concerns that there is an opportunity to implement a shared presidency, the noteworthy cost sharing progress the two colleges have made without sharing a president provide ample strength to support the argument in favor of continuing that process with separate presidents,” she said.
“I have again expressed my desire to maintain separate presidents to SUNY administration officials. I also asked that a decision about the future of leadership at SUNY Potsdam be made sooner rather than later, even though the timing of President Schwaller’s announcement is so recent.
“Our community has experienced a significant amount of turmoil regarding the two campuses. Having a seamless transition that will provide greater stability moving forward is extremely important,” Russell said.