Interim Plattsburgh president named
From the Plattsburgh Press Republican:
Banker interim president
Dr. John Clark named Plattsburgh State head
By STEPHEN BARTLETT, Staff Writer
PLATTSBURGH - Plattsburgh State's new interim president says he'll work toward a renewal of spirit at the college.
Dr. John B. Clark is saving his ideas for unifying the school and paving the way for a permanent president for his initial briefings here, but he said he's excited for this next step in life, which has been a long time coming.
On Tuesday, the State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously approved Clark as interim president of Plattsburgh State as of June 1, 2003.
He replaces outgoing and often controversial president Dr. Horace Judson, who was recently not chosen for a position in Florida.
"I am very impressed with John Clark," said Trustee Celine Paquette in a press release. "His academic training, financial background and his experience with educational and charitable organizations will serve the college well as we seek a permanent president."
Clark is currently senior vice president of public finance for a New York City investment banking firm.
His Wall Street career is a strength he's bringing to Plattsburgh State, as well as "a love and enthusiasm for higher education."
He earned a bachelor's degree from Providence College in 1972, and a master of public administration from John Jay College in 1977. He also earned master's degrees in economics and philosophy from Fordham University in 1980 and New York University in 1984.
Clark obtained a doctor of education from Columbia University in 2001.
"People always ask me why I have five degrees."
But his educational pursuits have been served with interruptions that include military service.
This appointment is something he's hoped for.
"Now it has happened."
Clark is arranging briefings with faculty and staff that will occur as soon as he arrives on campus. He plans to familiarize himself with the issues here and work toward a "renewal of spirit at Plattsburgh," while preparing the way for a permanent president.
"First, and most important, is to set a positive tone on campus."
He'll quickly set short-term goals to show Plattsburgh State is "marching forward."
When asked how he plans to unify a campus, often divided over the past few years by controversies surrounding Judson, Clark said he's been advised of the difficulties and will leave that for his briefings.
Judson, who announced his resignation Dec. 5, was accused by some faculty members of a lack of shared governance. That and administrative appointments that were later either forced out or dismissed, were largely behind no-confidence votes against him in 2000.
In September 2002, the faculty union voted to seek an end to Judson's presidency, accusing him of mismanaging the college.
Judson was a finalist for a provost job at Florida A&M University, but the school recently hired someone already working there.
Judson has cited increased enrollment and support for the College Foundation among his accomplishments at Plattsburgh State.
On Tuesday, SUNY Chancellor Robert King thanked Judson for "many years of fine service to SUNY and Plattsburgh State."
King said Clark's financial background and academic training will "enable him to effectively lead" Plattsburgh State.
Clark also has experience as a board member with various non-profit organizations providing educational, health care and housing services, with responsibilities that include fund-raising, staff oversight, financial management, strategic planning and program development.
His hobbies include reading, swimming and running.
His wife and two daughters plan to come to Plattsburgh this summer, while Clark will return to New York City some weekends, though "any weekend I am needed, I will be here."
His family has spent much time visiting Lake George, and Clark said "It's wonderful there, and I am going to like Lake Champlain even better."
He'll earn $135,000 yearly as well as a housing allowance and vehicle, but won't be a candidate for the permanent position.
The Presidential Search Committee is seeking community input at an open meeting 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Angell College Center. The new president could be named this fall or winter and start work sometime prior to the fall 2004 semester.
"I am honored to be appointed interim president of the College at Plattsburgh and would like to thank the Board of Trustees and Chancellor King for their support," Clark said.
"I appreciate the opportunity to be of service to the Plattsburgh students, faculty and staff. I am eager to get started, and I look forward to working with the campus community for the benefit of all."