PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh’s presidential search has come up empty, as none of three finalists for the job were selected.

No appointment was made, as had been expected, at the most recent SUNY Board of Trustees meeting on May 8.

The finalists, whose names were not made public, were no longer being considered for the position, SUNY Plattsburgh Vice President for Institutional Advancement Anne Whitmore Hanson said in an email dated May 17.

She was campus liaison for the job’s search committee.

The statement, which Hanson made on behalf of Search Committee Chair Martin Mannix, went on to say that the search would continue, with hopes to have on-campus interviews as soon as possible, and that the College Council anticipates an interim president will be hired by July 1.


The search appears to be going back to square one, with Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs Ken Knelly saying that an updated advertisement for the job will be posted on the college’s website soon, and that on-campus interviews and visits with new potential candidates will happen once the fall 2019 semester starts up.

He added that SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling, who is retiring, will be with the school until June 30. 

The process to find the next leader for the college began shortly after Ettling, last August, announced that he would retire in June 2019, and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson formed the search committee.


Candidates Dione Dorsey-Somerville, Mary Alexander, Donna Wilson, Teresa Brown and Lily Hsu visited the campus in March, meeting with a variety of different stakeholders on campus and taking part in public forums.

By late March, the search committee had narrowed it down to three candidates, though Knelly did not release their names, saying that: "The confidentiality is following SUNY policy for such searches."

Had one of finalists been hired, she would have been the first permanent female president in the school’s history.

The recently deceased Dr. Sherry Hood Penney served as interim president for the 1986-87 academic year.

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