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Two appointed to SUNY Canton College Council

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CANTON — Two new members have been appointed to the SUNY Canton College Council, filling vacancies that have remained open for several years.

Potsdam Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan and Joseph L. Rich, founder of Watertown’s Disabled Persons Action Organization, were appointed to the council this week.

Members of the nine-person board are appointed by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The governor’s office allowed one of the council’s vacancies to remain unfilled for more than three years, but this week’s appointments bring the council back up to full strength.

The College Council oversees the operations and affairs of SUNY Canton, and reports to the SUNY board of trustees. Perhaps most importantly, it is responsible for proposing candidates for college president.

Having a full council is especially important now, as the search for a new college president is expected to begin this fall.

“There’s been some controversy in the last two years now, whether we’re going to share a president between SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam,” council Chairman Ronald M. O’Neill said.

SUNY has been pushing further shared services between the two campuses for some time, although both campuses are expected to begin independent presidential searches in September.

Mr. O’Neill said the new appointments were needed badly on a council that has struggled to meet quorum.

He said he worked with Mrs. Regan during her years at the college, and that Mr. Rich’s status in the north country will be a welcome addition to SUNY Canton.

“He’s very well known in Northern New York,” Mr. O’Neill said.

Mrs. Regan was a SUNY Canton professor for more than 25 years, until her retirement in 1996. For much of her tenure she served as the chairwoman of the English and humanities department, and was one of the faculty representatives during the search for college President Joseph L. Kennedy, who served from 1993 to 2012.

“I really love the school, and I’m delighted to work towards its continued success,” she said.

Mrs. Regan said her name was submitted to the governor’s office more than a year ago, but her selection was approved only Tuesday.

Although she supports some shared services, she said she agrees with the rest of the council that the college needs its own president and its own identity.

“I’ve taught at both institutions. I know that their goals are different, and their students are different,” she said.

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