AUBURN | After six years leading Cayuga Community College, school president Daniel Larson announced plans to retire next month.
At a special meeting called for Wednesday night, the Board of Trustees voted 6-2 to carry a resolution approving the president's retirement effective on Nov. 4. Trustee John Klink was absent and trustees John Camardo and Melina Carnicelli voted in opposition but said it was simply due to the terms and wording of the resolution, though they did not elaborate.
Larson said he began thinking about retiring last summer and informed board chairman Jeff Edwards that it was a possibility.
"As a senior leader, this is the time you start to think about retirement and wonder when is the right time," Larson said. "I'm welcoming the opportunity now to move forward with other activities in my life."
As trustees cast their vote one by one, many prefaced it with kind words about Larson and the work he's done for CCC, thanking him for his service. When the resolution was approved, Edwards read from a prepared statement and recognized Larson for the projects he's pushed forward.
"His vision and leadership helped the College establish a new and larger home for our Fulton Campus and laid the groundwork for several initiatives that provide a path of where Cayuga can head in the future," Edwards said. "We wish him a happy, prosperous, and fulfilling retirement."
Larson's retirement comes amid months of financial struggles and faculty layoffs, with seven more employees receiving notice this week that their positions would be cut on Dec. 31. He said that the recent budget problems were a factor in his decision to retire but were not what sparked the thought process.
"It's certainly been a challenge and there's no question it was part of the factors," Larson said, "but the work is never really done and there's never any good time to say, 'it's time to go.'"
CCC's board will search for a replacement. Edwards said the school has started working with a company called The Registry, a national firm specializing in higher education leadership, and hopes to have three candidates ready for interviews by mid-October. He said they are simply looking for someone with strong leadership skills and a background as a college president.
Larson said that as he moves on to the next chapter of his life, he plans to remain in the community and continue to be involved in its projects.
"The future of Cayuga is challenging, yet ripe," he said. "It's been an honor to serve as president of Cayuga Community College."