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Utica College appoints its first woman president

UTICA, N.Y. — The woman who currently serves as executive VP and chief advancement officer at Utica College (UC) will be the first female to serve as the school’s top executive later this year.

The Utica College board of trustees has selected Laura Casamento as the school’s 9th president, starting Aug. 1. Casamento will succeed Todd Hutton, who is set to retire as the school’s longest-serving president after 18 years, according to a Utica College news release.

“Eleven months ago, when the board put together this presidential search, we were determined to find a dynamic, future-focused leader who could support and build upon this institution’s current trajectory as a leader in an innovative approach to higher education, and, working together with our faculty and administrative team, lead us into a new era. The board strongly believes that we’ve found such a leader,” Mark Pilipczuk, chair of the Utica College board of trustees, said in the release.

Casamento has more than 20 years of senior executive experience in the private sector and higher education, the school said.

Since arriving at UC in 2004, she has played a “major role” in increasing the institution’s external funding; strengthening its financial position; and “making it possible” to improve the teaching and learning environment.

She also co-led the team that developed the college’s “tuition reset” strategy.

In her current role, Casamento is responsible for three of the school’s operational divisions. They include advancement planning and administration, which involves development and campaign planning and management, marketing and communications, alumni and parent relations, government relations, grants, and sponsored research management.

She also oversees financial planning, administration, and analysis, including the operational areas of financial affairs (controller and budget, payroll, contract and other auxiliary services).

In addition, Casamento’s current role also involves oversight of strategic enrollment planning and management, including undergraduate, graduate, international admissions, online and extended campus admissions, and student financial services.

Prior to joining Utica College, Casamento served as president and COO of Herkimer County Trust, an independently owned, state-chartered bank in Herkimer.

She served as president from April 1998 until December 2002, when the bank was sold to the Savings Bank of Utica, which is now part of M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB).

Besides her role as an administrator, Casamento is also a student.

She is currently pursuing her doctor of education degree in the Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management program at the University of Pennsylvania. She anticipates graduating in May.

Casamento also holds an MBA degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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