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Keegan named 7th president of NCCC

He is both alum and employee of the college

May 9, 2019
By JESSE ADCOCK - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - The State University of New York Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Joseph Keegan as the new president of North Country Community College on Wednesday.

"I thank you for the opportunity," Keegan said in a livestream from the SUNY Board of Trustees meeting in Albany on Wednesday. "I thank you for the privilege to serve the college that I love and care deeply about."

Keegan is currently North Country's vice president for academic affairs. His appointment as president takes effect June 16.

Article Photos

Joseph Keegan speaks in March as a candidate for president of North Country Community College. The college's current vice president for academic affairs has been appointed as its next president, effective June 16. (News photo — Jesse Adcock)

"We are entering our 51st year," Keegan said. "While it may be one of the smaller gemstones in the crown of SUNY, what we lack in size we make up in quality and in impact."

The NCCC Board of Trustees chose him from a pool of three candidates that also included Sara Thompson Tweedy, vice president of student access involvement at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, and Ron Cantor, special adviser to the Maine Community College System.

Keegan is also a graduate of NCCC, earning an associate's degree in liberal arts in 1989.

"Our communities have been and continue to be incredible partners and are an important part of our strength," Keegan said. "With all those elements in place, one can imagine all the places we can go. I look forward to joining with all of you to lead North Country into the next 50 years."

Keegan will be the college's seventh president since its founding in 1967. He replaces Steve Tyrell, who has led the college since 2012. During a round of interviews with the community in March, Keegan said he'd push the college to keep doing what it's doing - addressing needs.

An example of this he gave was an emergency medical technician degree program NCCC provided after EMTs from the its sponsor counties, Franklin and Essex, alerted the college of a personnel shortage.

Additionally, he pointed to the college's push to attract nontraditional students through online classes as a viable way to serve the community and boost enrollment.

"Joseph Keegan is a true SUNY-grown leader, having attended North Country Community College, SUNY Potsdam and the University at Albany throughout his academic career," SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said. "His educational background, coupled with his deep commitment to the North Country community, makes him an ideal choice to serve the mission and vision of the campus."

Keegan has held his current job since 2014. Prior to that, he was employed in administrative positions of increasing responsibility, including as the coordinator of Human Services programs and as the grant liaison for the Perkins CTE Grant and the Tri-Lakes Prevention Coalition.

In addition, Keegan has served as an instructor at NCCC in various titles since 1994, most recently as an associate professor.

"At North Country Community College, Joseph Keegan has been a student, faculty member and a key member of the staff, and today he will add president to his list of connections to the campus and to SUNY," said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. "He is dedicated in his service to the campus and to public higher education on the whole."

Keegan is also recognized as a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and has leveraged this training and background to inform his work as the coordinator of the Human Services programs at NCCC. He served on a team that developed NCCC's AAS program in chemical dependency counseling, helping train local students to bring meaningful supports and interventions to individuals and families suffering from addiction.

Keegan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from SUNY Potsdam and a Master of Arts in anthropology from University at Albany. He is a longtime resident of Vermontville, where he lives with his wife Lisa and their five dogs. They have two daughters, both college graduates.



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