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SUNY Potsdam Names J. Eric Johnston-Ortiz as College's Next VP for Business Affairs

June 29, 2018

J. Eric Johnston-Ortiz has joined SUNY Potsdam as the College’s vice president for business affairs.

SUNY Potsdam has appointed J. Eric Johnston-Ortiz as the College’s new vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer. He brings years of experience as an accomplished finance officer for public higher education institutions.

“I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity to work at SUNY Potsdam. It is truly a welcoming environment. I appreciate the confidence that President Esterberg has in my abilities and I look forward to providing leadership and direction for the campus, as we work to strengthen SUNY Potsdam’s financial position,” Johnston-Ortiz said.

Johnston-Ortiz joins SUNY Potsdam from Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell, where he was the vice president for business affairs from 2008 to 2017. He has also previously held chief financial officer roles at the University of Minnesota Crookston and at New Mexico State University Alamogordo. Prior to that, Johnston-Ortiz was the director of finance and administration at the Alliance for Higher Education. Earlier in his career, he served as an administrator and business manager at Brown University and the Louisiana State University Health Science Centers in Shreveport and New Orleans.

Johnston-Ortiz earned his bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University and completed his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of New Orleans.

Johnston-Ortiz was selected following a national search, and reports directly to SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Kristin Esterberg. The vice president for business affairs serves as the College’s chief financial officer, overseeing the budget and coordinating facilities management and capital planning. In addition to the budget and facilities areas, Johnston-Ortiz will also oversee human resources/payroll, student accounts, procurement, environmental health and safety, Computing and Technology Services, Central Printing Services and Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services (PACES).

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

For Media Inquiries

Jason Hunter, College Communications (315) 267-2114