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SUNY Chancellor names officer-in-charge at SUNY Potsdam as school president prepares to step down

By Eric Reinhardt (


John Graham (Photo credit: SUNY website)

POTSDAM, N.Y. — SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Wednesday announced the appointment of John Graham as officer-in-charge at SUNY Potsdam.

Graham currently serves as SUNY’s student advocate and senior advisor to Malatras, SUNY said. He’ll “provide a smooth transition for the campus” as current school president Kristin Esterberg prepares to step down in August.

Esterberg will become the next chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell, per its website.

As part of the leadership transition, SUNY Potsdam’s search for a permanent president will be announced soon.

“As we work to broaden what it means to be student-centric at SUNY, Dr. Graham has been our students’ direct contact here at system, taking feedback and advice to make changes that matter most in helping them achieve their degrees,” Malatras said. “He will do the same at SUNY Potsdam and at a time when we look toward a full reopening of our campuses. My thanks to Dr. Esterberg for her service to SUNY Potsdam’s students, faculty, and staff, and her final work with John to ensure a smooth transition.”

Graham said Esterberg has been a “sound leader” for SUNY Potsdam — and a “staunch advocate” for the students, faculty, and staff — throughout her tenure.

“I am honored to continue this legacy,” Graham said. “SUNY Potsdam is known for promoting an inclusive academic community and training our future educators, and I am thrilled to be able to work with the faculty and staff of SUNY Potsdam to continue to carry out this important mission. This fall semester will be a busy and exciting time for our campuses — as we welcome students back and resume in-person learning across SUNY system, my top priority is to ensure a smooth transition occurs and to be an advocate for every member of SUNY Potsdam’s campus community.”










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