St. Cloud State University President Dies in Highway Accident

St. Cloud State University

On Monday, the president of St. Cloud State University – Earl H. Potter III, dies at the age of 69 in a Twin Cities highway crash.

The spokesperson of St. Cloud State University – Loren Boone, established the truth of Potter’s death.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor – Steven Rosenstone, made it known on Tuesday that Potter died late Monday afternoon in a crash as he was heading for a foundation board meeting in Twin Cities.

The Minnesota State Patrol stated that at 5:30 p.m., Potter was driving east on Interstate 694 in Brooklyn Center, then the university president’s Toyota 4Runner SUV went off the road and hit a guardrail.

The patrol claimed Potter over steered his vehicle, causing it to flip several times and hit some cable barriers.

“Potter’s death is a huge loss to St. Cloud State University,” Rosenstone said in a statement. “It’s a feeling of grief throughout the state of Minnesota. And it’s a loss to higher education. President Potter was a highly respected leader, both here in Minnesota and across the nation, as well as around the globe.”

Rosenstone publicized that Ashish Vaidya (senior administrative officer of the university) will serve as Acting President of St. Cloud State University.

As an Interim President, Vaidya will handle the board next week, for its consideration and his appointment.

However, after Potter spent more than two decades in higher education administration across the country, he took the reins at the school in 2007.

After Potter accepted the three-year extension this winter, Potter was slated to serve the higher education administration through at least June 2019.

Wanda Overland, the vice president of student life and development of St. Cloud State University, credited Potter for spearheading the school’s efforts to increase international student recruitment.

For weaving SCSU into the central community of Minnesota city by helping on various company boards and developing community outreach.

As Overland had already been in the St. Cloud for a year when Potter arrived on campus. She said that Potter’s leadership and friendship were the reason for her long stay in the campus.

“Everyone has witnessed how Earl worked harder than everyone else,” Overland said. “Earl was a phenomenal person and a wonderful university president.”

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton witnessed Potter’s commitment to diversifying St. Cloud’s campus firsthand, as governor Dayton and Potter traveled together on several trade missions abroad.

Dayton said in a statement that Potter loved the St. Cloud State University, and Potter has an intense feeling of deep affection for the students, faculty, and staff with whom Potter worked.

Governor Dayton extend his deepest condolences to all the people of the university and to Potter’s family for their terrible loss.

As St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis was at the university’s most recent graduation, the mayor said that Potter had a natural skill for making connections between the St. Cloud State University and the city, the constituents, the businesses as well as its institutions.

“Potter stated a couple of times that the city doesn’t do well unless the university does well and the university doesn’t do well unless the city does well,” mayor Kleis stated.

“President Potter understood that and he always make sure that I spoke at every graduation, despite the fact that I had terrible jokes. President Potter always asked me back.”

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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