ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The SUNY Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Suzanne Smith as SUNY Potsdam’s next president.

Dr. Smith’s role as the 18th president of SUNY Potsdam will begin on April 17, 2023.

“Dr. Smith is a phenomenal leader who is well-known for her expertise in academic programming and strategic planning,” SUNY Chancellor King said.

“While at Georgia Southwestern University, Dr. Smith led the school’s Post-Pandemic Strategic Task Force, which helped guide the university back from the pandemic. She is well poised to build on Potsdam’s longstanding history of excellence. I thank Officer-in-Charge Philip Neisser for manning the helm after the passing of Dr. Graham and commend him for an excellent job steering the college through the process of selecting its 18th president.”

Smith has served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southwestern since July 1, 2018. Prior to that, Smith served in roles at Washington State University Vancouver from 1997-2018, where she most recently served as the director of academic planning and special assistant to the vice chancellor of academic affairs.

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Smith is a tenured professor in Georgia Southwestern’s Department of Psychology and Sociology. Smith has more than 25 years of experience teaching sociology and human development at the university level. She has received many awards for excellence in teaching and has written several journal articles and books including her latest co-authored textbook, “Exploring Family Theories (5th ED),” published in 2021.

Smith is an active member of the National Council of Family Relations and the Family Science Association.

“We are excited that Chancellor King and the SUNY Board of Trustees have recommended and appointed Dr. Smith as the next president of SUNY Potsdam,” said June O’Neill (Hon. ’99), the chair of both the SUNY Potsdam College Council and the Presidential Search Committee.

“I am grateful to my fellow search committee members who worked so hard on this successful search. We were impressed by Dr. Smith’s dedication to applied learning, and her commitment to making sure every graduate is both competitive in the marketplace and empowered to become their authentic selves. We have every confidence that Dr. Smith is the right person to rally our campus and the broader community to secure SUNY Potsdam’s future and continue to build on our strong legacy.”

Smith received her Ph.D. in child and family development from the University of Georgia, her Master of Science degree in family and child development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in behavior science from Erskine College. Smith has completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Program and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute.

“I am deeply honored to have Chancellor King and the SUNY Board of Trustees charge me with leading the oldest institution in the SUNY system,” Dr. Smith said.

“Potsdam has stood the test of time and educated the next generation of learners for over 200 years. The college in the foothills of the Adirondacks has a lot to be proud of, including the world-renowned Crane School of Music. I am excited to build on the college’s longevity and use that as a tool to drive it forward to attract new students while enhancing the already successful programs Potsdam offers.”

SUNY Potsdam is the oldest SUNY institution and currently enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.