SUNY Potsdam — President

SUNY Potsdam, a vibrant, four-year, public comprehensive college, and member of the State University of New York’s (SUNY) comprehensive system of higher education, seeks a visionary leader and accomplished administrator committed to student-centered academic excellence, applied learning, career readiness, and faculty scholarship and professional development to serve as the College’s next President. The State University of New York (SUNY) and the SUNY Potsdam College Council invite applications from skilled and experienced academic administrators who are committed to student success and academic excellence.  

The Institution:
Tracing its roots to the St. Lawrence Academy and founded in 1816, SUNY Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges and the oldest institution in SUNY. Located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, SUNY Potsdam is home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music and known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training, and leadership in the performing and visual arts. SUNY Potsdam enrolls over 2,600 students in 138 baccalaureate, certificate, and master’s programs within three academic divisions: The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Professional Studies, and the Crane School of Music. The hallmark of a Potsdam education is the commitment of faculty and staff to a student-centered, creative campus, and applied learning approach to higher education.    

SUNY Potsdam students receive individual attention from the College’s outstanding faculty and staff with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 14 students, rigorous academic programs, top-rated arts environment, and a full range of applied learning opportunities. As a residential College, SUNY Potsdam houses approximately 1,200 students, including 72 international students representing 15 countries. As an NCAA Division III intuition, SUNY Potsdam has 19 varsity teams, and students may participate in more than 100 student organizations, including an active Student Government Association. Potsdam is also a major driver of the economic and cultural well-being of the surrounding community and employs 682 full time and part time faculty and staff. Combined with the Potsdam Auxiliary and College Education Services (PACES), which employs 200 full and part-time employees (not including its student positions), SUNY Potsdam is one of the largest employers in St. Lawrence County.   

Working together within 10 miles of one another are: Clarkson University, SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam, and St. Lawrence University, all of whom are members of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, an independent not-for-profit educational consortium created to expand the number of educational opportunities for students, faculty, and the community. To learn more about the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, please visit and to learn more about the College, please visit 

The Position:
Reporting to the SUNY Chancellor and serving at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees, the President is the Chief Administrative Officer of the College and has overall legal responsibility for the operation of the College. Among the duties assigned, the President is responsible for the preparation and recommendation of the annual College budget request and the allocation of resources. The President makes policy decisions with respect to the mission, plans, and development of the campus. The President promotes the development and effectiveness of the College through the supervision of the academic and nonacademic staff and has legal responsibility for the appointment, reappointment, promotion, and separation from services of all staff members. As Chief Administrative Officer, the President assigns duties, powers, and responsibilities to other administrative and academic officers and/or to special committees. Directly reporting to the President are the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for College Advancement, the Dean of Students, the Chief of Staff, the Regional Chief Financial Officer, the Assistant Vice President for Administration and Human Resources, the Vice President for Enrollment, the Associate Vice President for Communication, and the Chief Diversity Officer.

The successful candidate will demonstrate commitment to the College’s overall mission, support and promote diversity, and reinforce a student-focused environment. They must have strategic planning and implementation skills and be familiar with accreditation processes. The new President will provide effective leadership by exhibiting innovative and creative approaches relevant to the College’s mission. Additionally, the successful candidate must possess; demonstrated experience in leading through change, a track-record of sound financial management; an interest and ability to successfully engage alumni, donors, elected officials, and the regional community in both fundraising and ongoing relationships; and the ability to create a feeling of collegiality and shared inquiry. A personal desire to engage with and be visible to students is critical. This person will provide pivotal leadership in an environment committed to shared governance and transparency. The consistent ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with campus constituents, SUNY System administration, other SUNY institutions, and community leaders is vital. The successful candidate will join a dynamic group of collegial SUNY presidents across the SUNY System that are fully engaged in dialogue and planning at a national level during a critical time that requires the State University of New York’s unparalleled commitment to student success, academic excellence, leadership, research, and economic and community engagement. A demonstrated record of professional experience is required to lead this public institution of higher learning. Qualified candidates will possess an earned doctorate or terminal degree and executive-level leadership experience. 

About SUNY:
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide reached nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae to RPA Inc. at  For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please email Isaac Karaffa, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President, at the email address listed above. The first review of candidates will continue through August 15, 2022. 

For more information and to apply, please visit

SUNY Potsdam EEO Statement
SUNY Potsdam is committed to the principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity in all of its personnel procedures and practices.  The College recruits, selects, hires, trains and promotes staff and provides benefits without regard to race, sex, age, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

We seek others who support these values of diversity and inclusiveness, and candidates of all diverse backgrounds who wish to participate in our cultural aspirations are welcome and encouraged to apply.

The State University of New York at Potsdam is an AA/EOE/ADA employer.