Presidential Search 2021

Clinton Community College (CCC), located on a 100-acre campus overlooking Lake Champlain in upstate New York, seeks an entrepreneurial and collaborative leader with strong financial acumen to serve as its next President. The College is a publicly supported community college providing educational access and opportunity in a student-centered environment.  Founded in 1966, Clinton Community College is a unit of the 64-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system. Operating under the approval of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, it is one of 30 locally sponsored community colleges in New York State. The College is a cornerstone of the Plattsburgh community and the North Country more broadly. Plattsburgh is located on the outskirts of the Adirondack mountains and is less than an hour from Burlington, Vermont and Montreal, Canada.

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has 30 community colleges, four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state's only college of optometry, and manages one U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide were more than $1.0 billion in fiscal year 2020, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum.


The President will work with the campus community to implement and evolve the College's strategic plan that leverages the College's academic and professional programs, our recently constructed Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, the strength of area industry, and existing strengths of the faculty and staff at the College. Having just completed a 28-million-dollar renovation to our historic main building, the new President will lead Clinton Community College at a time of stability and opportunity. The incumbent will lead by example, creating a strong sense of shared community and commitment while recognizing and celebrating the success of all College stakeholders. As the chief ambassador for Clinton Community College, the President will build on the partnerships and relationships with area businesses, industry, local government, alumni, and other educational institutions and civic organizations established by our outgoing president. The President will also continue the practice of providing strong and transparent leadership in managing the College's budget while acquiring necessary financial resources from diverse sources.

Clinton Community College offers 23 academic programs in business, criminal justice, liberal arts, nursing, social and behavioral sciences, and technology. Shorter length certificate programs are also offered, as well as continuing and professional education courses and workforce training. 

The College prepares students for immediate employment in fields such as business, computer information systems, law enforcement, electrical technology, industrial technology, human services, and nursing while also serving as the first step towards bachelor's and advanced degrees in science, fine arts, the liberal arts, business administration, and many other disciplines. The Nursing program, which is one of Clinton's most sought-after degrees, has accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing for the nursing program. CCC has an Open-Door Policy to make education accessible to all motivated students, regardless of previous experience or performance.

Clinton Community College is sponsored by Clinton County and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College offers numerous transfer agreements with campuses across the SUNY system and beyond, including a partnership with Cazenovia College to offer a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and a 2+2 agreement with Clarkson University as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Institute. Students have the option to earn both an associate's and bachelor's degree in Nursing via a 3+1 program where students complete three years at Clinton and their final year at SUNY Plattsburgh. The College's academic offerings include an online instructional program through which students are able to complete three-degree programs fully online. There are additional online course offerings including blended, in-person and online courses which continue to be expanded. CCC's College Advancement Program (CAP) offers high school students the opportunity for local students to advance their college academic career before they leave high school by taking college level courses at one of 10 schools across the county. The objective of this program is to provide high-performing students an affordable opportunity to experience college-level courses at their high school, and, as a result, improve their chances of being successful in their transition from secondary to post-secondary education.

Students are engaged in extracurricular and co-curricular activities including 18 student clubs, five intercollegiate sports teams (with the possibility of expanding to Esports in spring 2022), and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

The Center for Community and Workforce Development (CCWD) at CCC offers innovative instructional programming to everyone in the community and provides access to life-long learning to improve the quality of life for the county's residents. CCWD currently offers courses and programs, earning credentials or completion, including areas but not limited to, industrial training, computer training, corporate education, and allied health. CCWD also offers online professional development, career skills, and hybrid/flex training towards EMT Basic and AEMT credentials. CCWD has achieved the framework design and function with micro-credentials an effort to support students move from non-credit to credit pathways seamlessly. The launch of Advanced Manufacturing Essential Skills was the first non-credit micro-credential, targeting training developed in partnership across educational institutions, the workforce system, and area employers to give students the hands-on training or flexibility they need to be successful in the field. 

Assembling Industry Manufacturing Education (AIME) training program is one of the dynamic collaborations between public and private entities that seeks to provide a broad overview of entry-level manufacturing skills, including professional credentials and certificates, in a short amount of time.

CCWD has achieved the framework design and function with micro-credentials to support students move from non-credit to credit pathways seamlessly. Advanced Manufacturing Essential Skills is the first non-credit micro-credential targeted training developed in partnership across educational institutions, the workforce system, and area employers to give students the hands-on training or flexibility they need to be successful in the field.

In September 2014, Governor Cuomo announced Clinton Community College as one of five colleges to receive funding from a SUNY 2020 grant. Clinton Community College, along with local business and economic partners, received the second highest award of $12.7 million dollars for the construction of a new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) on campus. The North Country Regional Economic Development Council identified aerospace, transportation equipment manufacturing, and manufacturing as a priority cluster for economic development in the region, and IAM expands the capacity of the North Country to serve both existing businesses while strengthening the region's ability to attract new businesses to the area. The North Country Partnership includes CCC, SUNY Plattsburgh, Clarkson University, CITEC, The Development Corporation, the North County Chamber of Commerce, North Country Workforce Investment Board, CVTEC (BOCES), and a number of area manufacturers including, but not limited to, Novabus, Prevost, Georgia Pacific, Bombardier, Fujitsu and Johns Manville. The new facility is the North Country's first advanced manufacturing institute, serving as a regional hub for manufacturing education, with flexible teaching/learning space and courses available to advance the workforce. Beyond access to the new technology facility, CCC students also benefit from partnerships with SUNY Plattsburgh and Clarkson University, with opportunities to take courses and further their education right on Clinton's campus.

The college currently serves approximately 1300 students annually with about 30% of the student population coming from the concurrent enrollment program.

The College employed 33 full-time faculty and approximately 50 regular staff members during the 2020/21 academic year.

The College has an operating budget of $10 million.  The operating funds of the College come from three principal sources: students' tuition and fees, county contributions, and state aid.

The Clinton Community College Foundation is an active board of business leaders and community benefactors from Clinton County. The College Foundation provides direct support to Clinton Community College for equipment, activities, and services to support educational excellence.

Since its founding, CCC has issued over 11,600 earned degrees, certificates or diplomas. Our alumni have gone on to accomplished careers in the region and far beyond, contributing their talents and skills in many industries.

The President plays a prominent, visible leadership role both within the College and across the community. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President is in charge of the administration of the College and managing and generating financial resources. The President must be a respectful and transparent leader; an open communicator; collaborative and inspirational and possess an entrepreneurial mindset. As an external advocate, the President must promote community college higher education, engage in statewide educational finance debates, and build strong working relationships and partnerships with government, businesses, industry, and other educational institutions and organizations. In collaboration with the Clinton Community College Foundation leadership and administration, the President will be the chief fundraiser for the College, articulating its needs and its contributions to the community.

The President positions the College to strategically act on opportunities which leverage existing areas of strength and provide growth for new areas of excellence. This will allow CCC to continue to be an indispensable provider of reliable, accessible and affordable instruction, helping students have the best training for relevant employment opportunities in the community, while also continuing as a provider of quality liberal arts education that prepares students for further study. The incumbent will build and diversify student enrollment and strengthen retention. While the College has been facing lower enrollment numbers due to a decreasing high school population that is mirrored across the nation, the College is well-positioned to provide opportunities to diversify enrollment beyond the traditional student population. The President will work closely with businesses and other industry partners to leverage the IAM, CCWD and our academic programs as a resource for the local community, the broader region, and current and future students.  Given the breadth of industry in the area, CCC must serve as a resource and workforce developer for the county and broader region. Mutually beneficial partnerships should be developed with the potential to match learners with appropriate programmatic and experiential learning opportunities.

The new President must support the creation and continued development of college-wide systems, policies, procedures and communication networks that support the recruitment, retention, and success of students, faculty and staff. This includes:

  • Manage the budget strategically and with transparency: while CCC continues to maintain a positive funding relationship with Clinton County, there are challenges in maintaining financial health. State appropriations have not kept pace with inflationary pressures. This factor, coupled with statewide decline in high school student enrollment, poses significant financial challenges in the future. The President, working closely with the Board and the senior leadership team, will be responsible for leading the development and prudent execution of the College's operating budget and for working to ensure financial stability through a transparent process. This will necessitate systematically making strategic choices, managing budgets with care, and allocating resources to their best and highest use.
  • Generate and steward financial resources: in order for CCC to continue offering affordable, quality education to the community, the President must work to ensure funding from a diversified range of sources. The incumbent will diligently work with elected and appointed leaders at the municipal, county, and state levels to advocate for the College's economic needs. In addition, the President will work with the Clinton Community College Foundation in helping the College raise money through philanthropic donations and generation of corporate sponsorship through partnerships with the area's businesses, industries, and public-sector enterprise.
  • Provide fair, respectful leadership for the CCC community: CCC's students are hardworking and dedicated. The College's faculty and staff are genuinely committed to providing quality education and services to their students. As a leader of the administration, the President must recognize and encourage the accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff; as well as foster an organizational culture that embraces collaboration, trust, and respect. Essential to this effort is the empowerment of faculty and staff in their roles and the availability of professional development and growth. To this end, the President should inspire a culture of collaboration and integration among students, faculty, administration and staff across the College. Particularly, the President should develop a strong and positive relationship with the heads of the organized labor workforce, and members of the faculty union so that all discussions, formal and informal, are carried out in a productive and respectful manner.

The successful candidate for President should possess many, if not all, of the following experience and qualifications:

  • Demonstrated capacity to provide visionary leadership and strategies that inspire students, faculty, and staff;
  • A history of building strong relationships across various stakeholder groups at a multitude of levels on campus and off; an ability to develop relationships with business leaders in the community and convey the story of CCC in a compelling manner;
  • Successful experience as a strategic and inclusive leader; the ability to build strong management teams, delegate responsibility and authority, and execute plans with fiscal responsibility;
  • Fiscal and budget experience that combines both the understanding of public finance and the realities of enrollment-driven budgets;
  • A strategic understanding of the programmatic and demographic trends that impact enrollment and retention;
  • An ability to make decisions that are data-driven and evidenced-based;
  • An ability to bring campus constituencies to actionable consensus; the ability to energize and inspire students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, Board members and external stakeholders;
  • A personal commitment to and record of success in advancing diversity;
  • An understanding of shared governance and a collaborative union environment;
  • A commitment to and enthusiasm for personally undertaking in fund seeking activities, engaging foundations, corporations and individuals;
  • Approachability and the desire for involvement in campus life and engagement with students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community in which the College resides;
  • The ability to serve as a strong advocate for CCC at the System, County and State levels;
  • An understanding of and experience in operating in a competitive environment;
  • Resilience and flexibility in the face of unexpected constraints; a proven ability to implement change and manage conflict;
  • Experience in Community College leadership preferred
  • Master's degree required, earned doctorate, terminal degree, or commensurate executive-level leadership experience preferred.

September 1, 2021:

We are currently reviewing applications and beginning our selection process.  We are no longer accepting applications.  Thank you for your interest.  If you applied before August 31, 2021, we will be in touch with you shortly.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact: Sarah Potter, HR Director, at

Bernie Bassett Board of Trustees, Search Co-Chair
Dave Favro Board of Trustees, Search Co-Chair
John Borner Dean of Students; Management Confidential
Bernie Bushey CSEA Union
Jarrod Cone Teaching Faculty - Social and Behavioral Sciences Department
Maggie Courson Teaching Faculty - Mathematics Department
Patricia Garrow Board of Trustees
Carey Goyette Teaching Faculty - English Department
Serena Jalbert Student
Patti LaDuke Non-Teaching Faculty
Mike Lawliss Non-Teaching Faculty
Tom Mandeville Teaching Faculty - History, Political Science, Economics and Geography Department
Robert Trombley Coalition Union
Mayor Chris Rosenquest Alumni
Mike Zerrahn Teaching Faculty - Business Department 
Mike Zurlo County Administrator; Clinton County Sponsor
Sarah Potter 

Committee Liaison 
May/June 2021 Board of Trustees starts planning for search
June 18 SUNY representatives meet with Board Chair
Week of June 21 Search Committee named* 
By June 25   Position description reviewed and approved by Clinton Board & SUNY; Clinton Board selects a search firm
July Search Process Roles Outlined for Clinton, Search Firm and SUNY
Week of August 30

Search Committee Launch and Kick-Off

(Chancellor Charge, Implicit Bias & Confidentiality, Overview of Process and Timeline) 90 minutes

July 12- August 30 Position advertised (7 weeks)
Week of September 13   Application review of top candidates by search committee; search firm to provide list of top candidates for discussion at meeting
Week of September 20/27  Search Committee Meeting #2: Select 8-10 semi-finalists (3 hours)
October TBD  Interview semi-finalists (2 days; with time on the second day to pick 4-5 finalists)
October/Nov TBD Background and Reference Checks for Finalists  

Finalist Public Campus Interviews and Clinton Board Interviews

(one day per candidate with various stakeholder groups)

Nov/Dec TBD Finalists meet with SUNY Chancellor/ Clinton Board appoints candidate subject to SUNY BOT approval; selected candidate name forwarded to SUNY   
Nov/Dec TBD SUNY Board of Trustees approves local board appointment
January 2022 New President starts at Clinton Community College