SUNY Potsdam President John F. Schwaller to Step Aside on July 31


SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller has led the institution since 2006.

SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller announced this morning that he will step down from his position on July 31, 2013.

“The contributions of SUNY Potsdam to the North Country over the last six years have been profound. We can all be very, very proud of what we have achieved together. SUNY Potsdam, the campus that I love so dearly, must continue to capitalize on this success,” Dr. Schwaller said. “In order to do that, for the College to advance in a changing academic environment, I believe the time is right for me to turn the campus over to new leadership. After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of SUNY Potsdam for me to resign my position as President, effective July 31, 2013.”

Dr. Schwaller’s letter to campus can be read here:

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “President Schwaller has been a partner in our shared service initiatives and his contributions have helped make the collaboration between Potsdam and Canton a model for the entire SUNY System. The Potsdam campus has continued to build on its reputation in the performing arts and has developed new momentum in the sciences during his tenure. I thank President Schwaller for his outstanding service and wish him the best as he continues his academic pursuits. Moving forward, SUNY will work to ensure a smooth transition and continued leadership at Potsdam."

“On behalf of the SUNY Potsdam College Council, I would like to commend Fritz for the exceptional progress that the campus has made under his guidance, and look forward to our continued relationship over the next several months. As Chair of the College Council, I will look to take the next steps required to give formal notification to the Chancellor,” said Roger B. Linden ’74, chair of the College Council.

“Over the last six years, the Potsdam College Foundation has experienced record-breaking fundraising achievements, and I want to thank Fritz for his role in our success. Potsdam has always been a leader throughout its 200-year history, and I have every confidence we will continue to lead by providing students with a first-rate ‘handcrafted education’ in the arts and sciences,” said Dr. Stephen D. Immerman ’75, immediate past president of the Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees.

“One of President Schwaller’s contributions to the campus has been to emphasize the handcrafted education, and that will continue to be an integral part of the SUNY Potsdam experience. The most important thing that happens here happens in all of our learning environments, with the interaction between students and professors, and that distinct legacy will continue in the future,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Margaret E. Madden.

The SUNY Board of Trustees will discuss the leadership transition at its December meeting. Dr. Schwaller has not yet indicated his next steps; his focus right now is on the College’s transition.

Dr. Schwaller’s career in higher education spans more than 30 years. He has served as President of SUNY Potsdam since March 2006.

To learn more about his achievements, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.