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 Watertowns 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 governors office allowed one of the councils vacancies to remain unfilled for more than three years, but this weeks appointments brings 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.
Theres been some controversy in the last two years now, whether were going to share a president between SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam, council Chairman Ronald M. ONeill 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. ONeill said the new appointments are badly needed on a council that has struggled to meet quorum.
He worked with Mrs. Regan during her years at the college, and he said Mr. Richs status in the north country will be a welcome addition to SUNY Canton.
Hes very well known in Northern New York, Mr. ONeill 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 Im delighted to work towards its continued success, she said.
Mrs. Regan said her name was submitted to the governors 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.
Ive taught at both institutions. I know that their goals are different, and their students are different, she said.