Paul Smith’s College appoints Dr. Scott Dalrymple president

Jun 3, 2021 | News

College’s 12th president to assume role in July

Paul Smith’s College announced this week the decision to appoint Dr. Scott Dalrymple its 12th president, marking the end of a months-long effort by the college’s board of trustees to fill the role during an interim presidency carried out by Dr. Jon Strauss.

Dalrymple has most recently served as president of Columbia College, Mo., at which he spearheaded a number of initiatives including a new strategic plan to help guide the college’s future, an innovative and affordable tuition program, and key partnerships. He was also involved in securing the college’s first- and second-largest gifts in its history.

Columbia’s Truition program, or blended combination of “truth” and “tuition,” functioned as a transparent pricing notice for students enrolling at the Missouri-based institution.

“The college is so fortunate to have Scott Dalrymple as the successor to Jon Strauss,” said Mark Dzwonczyk, chairman of the college’s board of trustees. “His previous innovations in higher education underscore his awareness of the new approaches small private colleges must pursue to fulfill their mission. And his personal history coming from modest means in upstate New York to college president speaks to the promise Paul Smith’s makes to each of our students: a practical, experiential education that opens new doors to career opportunities.”

Dalrymple’s educational journey alluded to by Dzwonczyk began in undergrad at SUNY Geneseo, followed by three graduate degrees earned at the University of Buffalo, including a Ph.D. in English and an MBA.

“I was a first-generation college student, like so many students at Paul Smith’s College,” Dalrymple said. “Education changed everything for me.”

While Dalrymple’s resume includes a host of academic accolades, it also boasts area connections—he spent much of his youth frequenting a family camp in nearby Raquette Lake, N.Y. His wife, Dr. Tina Dalrymple, is also from upstate N.Y. and a first-generation college student. She directs an at-home care agency and together they have five adult children, three grandchildren, and as Dalrymple joked, an “ungrateful cat.”

Prior to his time with Columbia, Dalrymple was the dean for the School of Liberal Arts at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., an associate professor at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., and served as department chair and MBA director for Southwestern College (Winfield, Kan.).

Outside of held roles, he has also authored several books, articles, and essays, some of which have appeared in The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. In addition to being featured in the likes of The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and The Washington Post, Dalrymple has also had science fiction stories published and added that his bucket list includes rewriting the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Paul Smith’s effort to fill the presidency role has been carefully planned in the midst of covid-19. Following the retirement of Dr. Cathy Dove a year ago, Strauss was appointed interim president and helped guide the college as it navigated the pandemic and early return to in-person learning.

With Strauss’ leadership, Paul Smith’s students remained on campus and in class through this past May’s commencement ceremonies, limitedly attended by family members.

“Jean [Strauss] and I have had a wonderful experience as the interim presidential couple at Paul Smith’s College this past year,” Strauss said, adding the following words for the incoming president: “Please know that we stand ready to be of assistance in any way, and know, too, of our confidence in what you will be able to bring to help Paul Smith’s realize its full potential as the ‘College of the Adirondacks.’”

Dalrymple’s tenure will begin July 12, about six weeks ahead of the fall 2021 semester and the anticipated return of learning more closely resembling that prior to covid-19.

“I’m so excited to join Paul Smith’s College, a place that truly changes lives,” added Dalrymple. “I look forward to meeting everyone soon!”

At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. We are able to draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. Our community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals collectively provide experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for our alumni. We pride ourselves on research and advocacy on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at »



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