Dear colleagues at St. Cloud State University,
It is with tremendous sorrow that I write to share the tragic news that Earl H. Potter III, President of St. Cloud State University, died Monday evening in an automobile accident en route to the Twin Cities for a meeting with the Foundation Board Chair. Earl’s passing is a huge loss to SCSU, to the state of Minnesota, and to higher education. His leadership, on so many fronts, will be missed. Earl was a colleague and a friend – a thoughtful, insightful leader – who cared deeply about the university, its students, and the St. Cloud Community. I know he was deeply respected on your campus, as well, and my condolences go out to you all.
At this time of grief and transition it is important that there be continuity in leadership. For this reason, I have asked Provost Ashish Vaidya to serve as Acting President and will bring to the board next week for its consideration, his appointment as Interim President. I have complete confidence in Ashish’s ability to lead the university over the months ahead. He is singularly equipped to do so. I ask that you lend your support to Ashish and to the university’s leadership team as they work through this untimely transition.
I will be in St. Cloud today to help the campus community through this tragedy in any way I can, lend my support to Ashish, and be available to the St. Cloud community. I also hope to have the opportunity to spend time with Christine Potter and family.
Once again, my condolences to the entire St. Cloud State University and the greater St. Cloud community.
Steven J. Rosenstone
Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities