President Christopher Dahl announced his retirement on March 14 to a group of faculty and students during his All-College Meeting, as well as writing a later statement to the college community. Dahl will begin a nine-month sabbatical on Oct. 1 and will retire officially on June 30, 2014.
According to Dahl, he has recommended to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher that Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Carol Long be appointed interim president. In a statement released to The Lamron, Long said she is “honored” that Dahl recommended her to be interim president next year.
“I hope to be a strong leader during this transition time, and I look forward to joining with our accomplished cabinet and our remarkable faculty, staff and students to make sure that we do not miss a beat,” Long said.
Dahl has served as president of the college for more than 18 years, the longest of any president in the SUNY system. He moved into the position in February 1996 after spending a year as provost and occasional professor of English in 1994, then spending eight months as interim president. Dahl said during the All-College Meeting that he will take his sabbatical to continue his research endeavors, and to remain available to the college administration during the transition period.
“It's been just a great joy to work with [Dahl],” Long said. “He's very generous, a great leader, has a good vision for liberal arts and it's been a pleasure to share the working environment with him.”
Looking forward, Long said her work as interim president will involve continuing the work and values Dahl set in place during his time as president.
“I think the most important thing for us is to talk together about what the next step is … what kind of person we would like as the next president,” she said. “It's a chance to take stock and think together about our direction. I don't foresee any huge changes in values for the college, but the world around us is certainly changing, and we need to take account of that and adjust our course as we look for the next president and find the person who will lead us through the next decade.”