One of the two interim presidents announced today for SUNY campuses in Canton and Potsdam is moving to from SUNY Fredonia in western New York, while the other is a long-time North Country resident.
The SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Dennis L. Hefner as interim president of SUNY Potsdam and Dr. Jeremy D. Brown as incoming acting president of SUNY Canton.
"I am pleased to be asked to serve as interim president at SUNY Potsdam. I look forward to arriving June 1, and to working with faculty, staff, students, and community members in the Potsdam area," said Dr. Hefner.
SUNY Potsdam Pres. Dr. John F. Schwaller announced in November that he would step down from his position following the 2012-13 academic year. Dr. Schwaller's career in higher education spans more than 30 years. He has served as President of SUNY Potsdam since March 2006.
"It has been one of the great joys of my life to serve as President of SUNY Potsdam. I truly believe that the College is prepared for its third century and will continue to be a leader in the region, the state and beyond," said College President Dr. John F. Schwaller. "I look forward to meeting with Dr. Hefner to discuss SUNY Potsdam's long history and bright future."
Dr. Hefner comes to SUNY Potsdam following a 16-year tenure as president of SUNY Fredonia, noted SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "His intricate knowledge of and experience with SUNY and his proven leadership ability make Dr. Hefner an ideal fit for the Potsdam campus. I thank him for agreeing to serve as interim president and I commend the Board for appointing him to this post."
SUNY Canton’s new interim president Dr. Brown has a close familiarity with the college, having previously served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for SUNY Canton from 2003 to 2007.
He also has served as president of both Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Dowling College on Long Island.
"Dr. Brown has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, including four years as provost of SUNY Canton," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "His familiarity with the campus and his experience as a college leader elsewhere will serve SUNY Canton and the North Country community very well and I commend the Board for appointing Dr. Brown to this post."
Interim President Carli C. Schiffner said Brown will bring a great deal of experience that will benefit both the campus and the community. "He will bring energy and enthusiasm to help continue moving the campus in a very positive direction," Schiffner said. "He has a deep knowledge of the College that will allow for a seamless transition."
Schiffner has accepted the position of Vice President of Instruction at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State. She was hired at SUNY Canton in June 2011 as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and became Interim President in September 2012.
Brown, who has maintained a residence in Canton since 2007, said he looks forward to his return to the College and the opportunity for lead SUNY Canton as Acting President.
"SUNY Canton will continue to strive to provide an education of the highest quality to the residents of the North Country, citizens of the great State of New York, and beyond," Brown said. "As the current Dr. Schiffner, transitions to the West Coast, I would like to express my appreciation for her hard work and loyalty that leaves SUNY Canton in such a strong position moving forward."
Both of the new leaders will officially take over June 1.