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Paul Smith’s President announces retirement

John W. Mills

John W. Mills

— Paul Smith’s, like many institutions, is searching for a new path forward at a time when traditional models of higher education are facing questions of sustainability and value. Online classes, industry partnerships and other efforts to attract new students – and revenue – are under development.

Mills, though, acknowledged that work is likely to take years to come to fruition.

“An entrepreneurial spirit is needed, and it needs to come from all of you,” Mills wrote the campus community in an email he sent to announce his impending retirement.

“It will be through a combined effort of all at Paul Smith’s College – trustees, administration, staff, faculty and alumni – that we successfully meet those challenges, overcome them and realize our potential. And that potential will be reached if we all work toward that goal together, and accept the fact that ‘business as usual’ will not be sufficient,” he wrote.

Saunders acknowledged that these are challenging times for most small, private colleges – and while Paul Smith’s isn’t immune to these challenges, Saunders said, he emphasized that the college’s financial future looks strong. The college’s $22 million endowment continues to perform well, he said, and Paul Smith’s is in a position to make investments that will attract new students.

The Executive Committee of the college’s board met Nov. 6 to finalize plans for conducting a search for a new president.

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