SUNY Potsdam & SUNY Canton Hire Joint Chief Financial Officer

06.04.12

SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam have appointed the first chief financial officer to serve both campuses, as part of their ongoing shared services strategy.

Natalie Higley has been selected as the Vice President of Business Affairs and Administrative Services for both institutions. She will begin service on July 1.

“The position presents a unique and innovative opportunity to join the SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton teams,” Higley said. “I look forward to working closely with both campus communities.”

In the newly created role, Higley will serve on the administrations for both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton. This hire continues the implementation of shared services between the campuses, through the SUNY Campus Alliance Network.

Reporting to the President on each campus, the CFO is responsible for maintaining both colleges’ fiscal health and smooth administrative functioning. Areas reporting to the position on both campuses include financial and business services, budget, internal controls, physical plant and facilities, purchasing, payables, human resources, payroll, Research Foundation operations, and auxiliary services.

Higley will play a key role on each campus as a member of both colleges’ management teams, setting the overall direction for the institutions.

“I would like to welcome Natalie Higley as the newest member of our President's Council. I expect that her experience from working at other campuses will provide us with insights leading to innovation in shared services and continued growth for our two institutions, which in turn benefits the greater North Country community,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller. “Our campus has led the charge for financial transparency and resource accountability, and I am confident that Natalie is dedicated to continuing that commitment.”

SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy added: “The hiring of a joint position at the vice presidential level is a significant step toward reducing our combined administrative costs to the benefit of the collective student body. We are making commendable efforts to meet SUNY’s goals. Natalie Higley is highly capable and suitable to meet the needs of both colleges. I’m confident she will enthusiastically present us with opportunities that will help both colleges continue to grow and thrive together.”

With more than 14 years of experience in executive management, Higley has demonstrated diligence in her work overseeing finances at both private manufacturers and public universities.

Originally from Scottsville, N.Y., Higley earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational management and master’s degree in management from Roberts Wesleyan College, going on to work as controller for Nationwide Precision Products and CFO at the First Allied Corporation, both of Rochester.

Higley began her higher education career as the accounting coordinator/ manager for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., before moving on to the University of Georgia system, where she worked as vice president of business affairs for Bainbridge College in Bainbridge, Ga., for five years. She was most recently the chief business and financial officer and assistant director at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Ga., which is also part of the University System of Georgia. Higley is currently working toward her doctorate in higher education administration at Georgia Southern University.

Previously, the colleges worked together to hire a joint veterans and military service coordinator to extend educational opportunities to former and active armed forces members at both campuses.

About SUNY Canton:

The State University of New York at Canton offers 22 career-driven bachelor's degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 190 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. The College is home to a brand-new athletic facility, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites, offering students single rooms in apartment-style settings while they live on campus. To learn more, visit www.canton.edu.

About SUNY Potsdam:

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. For more information, visit www.potsdam.edu.