SUNY chancellor learns about strengths, challenges at Potsdam campus

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 3:22 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - SUNY Potsdam played host Monday to Chancellor John King, who recently took over the reins of the state university system and is visiting each of the 64 campuses.

King’s visit comes as SUNY Potsdam welcomes a new college president, deals with financial strains, and works through an enrollment drop.

Once a campus with more than 4,000 students, SUNY Potsdam now has around 2,500.

“I think the important thing for folks to know is that the SUNY system is deeply committed to Potsdam’s role in the community. We believe that with the right set of decisions, we can ensure the campus’s long-term fiscal health and the opportunity to continue to provide great academic experiences for students,” said King.

Potsdam, the oldest SUNY school, has the newest president. Suzanne Smith is two weeks into the job. Having the chancellor on campus was a chance for Smith to highlight Potsdam’s strengths.

Smith says the challenges facing SUNY Potsdam aren’t unique to her campus.

“I was aware of going into this position, that there would be a few challenges as is true with much of the higher education landscape right now, but I know that this campus will work together to figure things out and come out stronger in the end,” said Smith.

The president and chancellor toured the campus, speaking with students in programs like physical education, environmental science, and music at its Crane School of Music.

“One of my goals this semester is to spend time on each campus talking with campus leadership teams, talking with faculty, with staff, with students, with employer and community partners about what makes each campus special, what are the strengths and assets of each campus. It’s also an opportunity for me to hear what can we be doing at the SUNY system to better support our faculty, staff, and students,” said King.

King says that by the end of the week, he will have visited all 64 SUNY campuses.