An overhaul of the Saunders Sports Complex brought an upgrade to athletic and recreation facilities; two new campus restaurants, The Palm at Paul Smith’s College and the St. Regis Café support the culinary program; and other improvements and countless other campus improvements have taken place.
“Paul Smith’s, like many institutions, is searching for a new path forward at a time when traditional models of higher education are facing questions of sustainability and value,” the release said, with efforts to attract new students and revenue, including development of such offerings as online classes and industry partnerships.
“An entrepreneurial spirit is needed, and it needs to come from all of you,” Mills wrote the campus community in an email he sent to announce his impending retirement.
“It will be through a combined effort of all at Paul Smith’s College — trustees, administration, staff, faculty and alumni — that we successfully meet those challenges, overcome them and realize our potential.
“And that potential will be reached if we all work toward that goal together and accept the fact that ‘business as usual’ will not be sufficient,” he wrote.
These are challenging times for most small, private colleges, Saunders said, and while Paul Smith’s isn’t immune, he emphasized that the college’s financial future looks strong.
The college’s $22 million endowment continues to perform well, he said, and Paul Smith’s is in a position to make investments that will attract new students.
The Board of Trustee’s Executive Committee will meet Wednesday to finalize search plans for a new president.