Canton, NY, Sep 07, 2011 — The State University of New York surprised the Canton-Potsdam communities last month with the news that it will put one president in charge of SUNY Canton and Potsdam colleges as part of a new initiative to share services. The plan is for SUNY Canton president Joe Kennedy to resign at the end of the academic year, with Potsdam President Jon Schwaller presumably holding the new office.
Canton leaders were dismayed that Kennedy, who's led an 18 year resurgence of the former Ag and tech school, was forced out. At a stormy meeting in early August, college council members at both schools challenged the decision, and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher's authority to merge the presidencies.
There's been push-back from local and state politicians. A week ago the SUNY Canton chapter of the United University Professions organized a public protest that drew some 200 people in support of Kennedy.
Martha Foley sat down with Kennedy recently to talk about the new plan. He said it's hard to see how the shared presidency will work. And he said the news took him by surprise, too. Go to full article