Ritchie calls for a president at every SUNY campus

This just in from state Sen. Patty Ritchie‘s office, re. the plan to merge presidencies at SUNY campuses in Canton and Potsdam:


Ritchie is the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The legislation, which her press release says has bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, would protect Canton and other SUNY schools with roots on the farm from the university system’s “shared leaders” plan.

She writes:

Our SUNY campuses each are unique, and they’ve been successful thanks to strong, dynamic, independent leadership. But that success is threatened by this plan which would combine colleges with little in common in terms of their mission, history and character.

While I support the goal of maximizing the use of taxpayer and tuition dollars, and finding ways to share services and lower costs, combining the leadership of two colleges with vastly different missions and character goes a step too far.

Ritchie’s bill goes a couple big steps  further, too. It would give each local college council the authority to approve or reject the chancellor’s choice to lead a school.

SUNY Canton President Joe Kennedy’s being forced out of his longtime post by the planned merger of the Canton and Potsdam shared presidency, which has been widely panned(here – and here) in both Canton and Potsdam. In an interview airing today on NCPR, he  said he has a hard time seeing how the shared presidency would work to the benefit of either the campus cultures or finances. He also said he expected the community and politicians weigh in on the shared presidency.

And so she did.

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5 Comments on “Ritchie calls for a president at every SUNY campus”

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  1. Jim Bullard says:

    They could share resources but I think a shared presidency is a knuckle-headed idea. I tried to arrange to teach a Photoshop course through Continuing Ed at SUNY Potsdam several years ago. They didn’t have a computer lab with Photoshop on the computers. I approached SUNY Canton and they had a suitable lab but no Continuing Ed program. Sadly there wasn’t any arrangement for SUNY P to arrange a class at SUNY C. I suspect there are other examples and I don’t think a shared president is the answer. I’m sure he/she would be much too busy to get involved in arranging Continuing Ed classes. What they need is greater coordination at lower levels.

  2. Two Cents says:

    How much is this going to cost?

  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Actually Jim it wasn’t my idea but I do want to know what the savings will be in salary costs. Isn’t it funny that so often when organizations want to cut costs it is the lower level workers who get canned. When a top level person gets canned the solution is to pass a law against it.

  4. Mervel says:

    I don’t think this has to do with costs but I could be wrong.

    How many other SUNY’s are combining presidents? How does SUNY Canton’s financial situation compare with other SUNY’s who are not losing their identity as an institution, because that is what this means. Maybe it is needed, but this is not just sharing costs this is creating a new institution and getting rid of two others, this is a merger.

  5. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Well, isn’t a merger about cutting costs? Otherwise why merge. I believe there are at least a couple of other of these mergers within the SUNY system. My guess is that they are similar situations where schools have developed within close proximity and sharing services may cut costs. But I’m just guessing.

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