In an effort to allocate more funds to student and academic programs, the State University of New York education system has proposed a plan for some of its 64 campuses to share presidents.
The loudest uproar has arisen from the case of SUNY-Canton president Joe Kennedy, whom the SUNY system threatened to revoke an offer that would allow him to serve as president until the end of the academic year, after which he will step down. Kennedy received a letter from the SUNY system stating he could be dismissed from his position at any time this year in order for SUNY-Potsdam president John F. Schwaller to take over both campuses.
But this is not the first time there has been an attempt to dismiss a college prior to contractual agreements. Vice Adm. John W. Craine Jr., who was president of SUNY-Maritime from 2006 up until the end of the last academic year, was demoted to a special adviser for the school on the effort to cut administrative costs last week.
In the middle of the protests, New York State senator Patricia A. Ritchie has proposed a bill that will require each SUNY campus to have its own president. It will be introduced in the state’s lower senate chamber early this week.
SUNY campuses in Cobleskill and Delhi would share presidents under the proposed system, as would Morrisville and Utica-Rome.
The SUNY system says the effort to share presidents does not equate to a merger of campuses, and with Kennedy set to take on an advising role on SUNY Board in July 2012 it is looking less likely that the measures to consolidate presidents will be implemented.