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From the President's Desk

October 2017

It is with a heavy heart that I write to the campus community this week. The tragic events in Las Vegas have shaken America, but we must not falter. Senseless violence and hate have no place in America. Likewise, in the wake of three hurricanes, the devastation we have seen in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and Louisiana over the past month also weighs heavy on our hearts.

Over the coming days, weeks, and months, I ask that you extend a generosity of spirit to all those around you. As students and colleagues turn to you and try to understand the unfathomable, I also want to ask that you remember to take care of yourself. Our Counseling Center has emergency appointments for students who need support, and our Employee Assistance Program is available for employees.  

As our Potsdam Pledge so clearly states, SUNY Potsdam strives to be a community that is united in our pursuit of common goals, unified by a vision of what we are seeking to become, and all that we share in common. And while recent events both on and off campus may test that vision, we must continue to make our community a supportive place for all by respecting and caring for one another.

Personnel Changes

I would like to share the following personnel changes with the campus community:

Computing & Technology Services: Kyle Brown has transitioned back to SUNY Canton full-time, and I have asked Romeyn Prescott to serve as Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO) for SUNY Potsdam. I am extremely grateful for Kyle’s leadership. I would personally like to thank Romeyn for taking on this new role, and for his willingness to join the President’s Council to share his expertise.

College Advancement: Vicki Templeton-Cornell has retired from her position as Vice President for College Advancement/Executive Director for the Potsdam College Foundation. I am grateful for the many years of dedicated service that Vicki has given to this institution, including her leadership through two successful comprehensive campaigns. I will be notifying the campus community shortly about interim leadership, and the search process for her replacement.

Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nimo Sugulle has been promoted to Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives within the Center for Diversity. I am grateful for her continued dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Potsdam.

President’s Office: We have transitioned Government Relations from under the umbrella of College Communications to the President’s Office. I have asked Nicole Conant, who joined my office in June, to oversee Government Relations for our campus. Nicole has been a tremendous asset to my team and I know that she will excel with this new responsibility.

CSTEP: I am pleased to announce that Tammy Snell has accepted a new position with the College as Director of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program.

Open Q&A/Open Hours

I invite faculty and staff to join members of Faculty Senate and President’s Council at the Fall 2017 Open Q&A session which will be held on October 5 at 4 p.m. in the Barrington Student Union Multi-Purpose Room. Faculty and staff will have an opportunity to ask SUNY Potsdam administrators questions on a variety of topics.

Also, I would like to remind you that I will continue to have open office hours. Information can be found on my webpage

Days of Reflection

I ask the campus community to join me at the Days of Reflection which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17 and 18, from 3 to 8 p.m. More information can be found on the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage. This will be an opportunity for the entire campus community to come together to reflect and discuss ways that we can together move forward.

Campus Drill

I would like to thank members of the Emergency Response Resource Group (ERRG) for their efforts in coordinating and leading the recent Shelter in Place Drill. Additionally, I would like to thank members of the Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department, Potsdam Village Police, and the Potsdam Rescue Squad for their time during the drill and their commitment to the safety of our campus. Although we hope that we never need to utilize these emergency procedures for a real-life situation, it is important that we are prepared. Please send any feedback on this drill to errg@potsdam.edu.  

Chancellor’s Award

I encourage you to nominate one of your colleagues for a 2017-2018 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in one of the following five categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Teaching. Additional information including policy and procedures, eligibility, and the nomination form are available on the Human Resources website. The nomination deadline is November 2, 2017.

I would like to congratulate many of our Department of English and Communication faculty who served as editors and those who wrote submissions for the very well-done edition of Blueline this year. The publication received an excellent review that stated, “it is grounded in a love of place.”

This phrase resonated with me as I think about SUNY Potsdam and our region. For many of us, Potsdam is home, a place we love, nestled in the Adirondacks and the St. Lawrence Valley. As we grapple with events going on in our world, I encourage you to take a moment to pause and appreciate this place we call home.

I wish you a safe and relaxing academic break.

President, Dr. Kristin Esterberg