Tony Collins to step down as Clarkson University’s president in June 2022

Anthony G. Collins, president of Clarkson University since 2003, will step down as Clarkson’s 16th president at the conclusion of the 2022 academic year.  A Clarkson faculty member since 1982, President Collins has been a booster for economic development in the North Country and throughout New York State, and a national advocate for higher education.

Tony Collins has advanced the reputation of Clarkson University, a nationally ranked institution whose 44,000 living alumni are well represented in the leadership ranks of American business, where one in five serves as CEO, president, vice president, founder or owner of a company.  During his tenure as president, student outcomes including retention, graduation rate, placement in field of interest, starting salaries, and return on educational investment have been outstanding.

Under President Collins’ leadership, the Vision of a Clarkson Education and Clarkson@125 have guided strategic initiatives which have been substantially realized over almost two decades.  Clarkson’s Potsdam hill campus has been expanded both physically and in academic reach, while the downtown campus has been repurposed to advance interdisciplinary entrepreneurship, the recently added Lewis School of Health Sciences, and the economic revitalization of the Village of Potsdam.  Outside of Potsdam, Clarkson has expanded geographically in recent years, with new graduate and professional programs accessible at its Capital Region Campus in Schenectady and at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries on Dennings Point.

“President Collins’ contributions to Clarkson University have been extraordinary and will prove to be enduring.  He has exceeded the broadest measure of success, leaving the institution in far better shape than when he accepted the role of president.  In addition to advancing many of the metrics typically considered in assessing institutional success, Tony’s leadership throughout the challenges wrought by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 has been outstanding”, said Tom Kassouf ’74, chair of the Board of Trustees.  “We are exceptionally appreciative of his long service as president, as well as for the supportive and engaging student environment unceasingly nurtured by Tony and Karen Collins, amplifying what has always been one of Clarkson’s greatest strengths – direct personal connection amongst students, faculty, and administration.”

“It has been an honor afforded by the trustees to lead Clarkson University as the President, motivated by the commitment and dedication of our faculty, staff and inspirational students.  Beyond the campus constituents, the communities surrounding our multiple campuses have joined us in working to propel Clarkson forward,” said Tony Collins.  “Clarkson has a unique character that attracts this support.  I am grateful to our federal, state and regional representatives, as well as our donors, often alumni, who have provided the resources necessary to build this great university.”

A native of Australia, President Collins earned an undergraduate civil engineering degree from Monash University.  He then worked for Australian Consolidated Industries and the Utah Development Company before earning masters and doctoral degrees from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.  After receiving his Ph.D in 1982, he launched his career at Clarkson, progressing from assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering to full professor, department chair, dean, vice president for academic affairs, and provost.  During that time, he received awards for outstanding teaching, research, and advising, as well as lecturing internationally, and authoring more than 90 publications.

He currently serves as chair of the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), is emeritus chair of New York’s Commission for Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), serves on the board of the Business Council of New York State, is president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation, and was previously nominated to serve on the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, and has served on a number of New York State advisory task forces as well as co-chair for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.

A search committee, to be co-chaired by Trustees Georgia Keresty ‘83, board secretary, and Sanjeev Kulkarni ‘84, chair of the Academic Mission committee, will be formed to identify a successor to Tony Collins.  It will include trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, representing Clarkson’s core constituencies.  The search committee will provide details on the full committee membership and the process guiding the search for Clarkson’s 17th president when available.

For further questions and information, please contact Kelly Chezum ’04, Vice President for External Relations and Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees, at 315-268-4499 or

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