Kelting named to replace recently appointed Hunt-Bull
By James M. Odato
Three months after appointing its 13th president, the board of Paul Smith’s College is hunting for a 14th.
The board announced it is returning Nicholas Hunt-Bull, named president in August, to his previous post as provost while it conducts a nationwide search for the top job.
The board promoted Professor Daniel Kelting, 57, to interim president. An educator at Paul Smith’s since 2003, Kelting, one of the school’s most recognized researchers, is executive director of the school’s Adirondack Watershed Institute and is a member of the state’s Adirondack Road Salt Task Force.
Kelting teaches in the Department of Forestry & Life Sciences. “I am thrilled to be able to lead this institution I love during this exciting time of transition and growth,” he said in a statement issued late Friday. He thanked Hunt-Bull, saying he looks forward to “continuing to work with him.” He did not respond to messages from the Explorer.
The appointment comes as the enrollment-challenged and financially precarious Paul Smith’s attempts to merge with Fedcap, a Manhattan-based nonprofit organization focused on training underserved individuals. The college, with a capacity for 1,200 students, may have fewer than 700.
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Based 12 miles from Saranac Lake along the shore of Lower St. Regis Lake, Paul Smith’s is the only four-year college in the Adirondacks and has a major role in the park’s economy and culture.
Hunt-Bull had been appointed interim president in April. The board dropped the interim and made him full president in August to replace the 12th president of the school, who lasted parts of a couple of semesters.
Hunt-Bull refused to talk to a reporter about his job status and Board Chairman Mark Dzwonczyk would not provide an interview. In a statement, he thanked Hunt-Bull “for providing stability during the previous leadership transition.”
Sarah Wheeler, the school’s marketing and communications director, referred inquiries to Hunt-Bull. However, the statement about the abrupt position change came from Kathleen A. Keck, executive assistant to the president and trustees, who did not return a call.
The college has had a series or leaders since Cathy Dove retired after 65 months in the fall of 2020. An interim, Jon Stauss, was named to provide the board time for a search that led to the appointment of Scott Dalrymple. He quit the presidency last spring with less than a year of service.