St. Cloud State University’s President, Earl H. Potter III died on Monday night in a one-vehicle crash, according to a statement from Steven Rosenstone, Chancellor of MNSCU at approximately 1:00 am on Tuesday morning. Potter was on his way to the Twin Cities to meet with the Foundation Board Chair.
“Earl’s passing is a huge loss to SCSU, to the state of Minnesota, and to higher education,” said Rosentstone. “His leadership, on so many fronts, will be missed. Earl was a colleague and a friend – a thoughtful, insightful leader – who cared deeply about the university, its students, and the St. Cloud Community. I know he was deeply respected on your campus, as well, and my condolences go out to you all.”
Rosenstone released that SCSU Provost Ashish Vaidya will serve as Acting President and consideration will be brought to the board next week of his appointment as Interim President.
According to the report from Minnesota State Patrol, Potter was driving east on I-694 when his Toyota suddenly went off the road and hit a guard rail. The vehicle over corrected into the center lane and almost hit another car. The vehicle then over corrected to the left side, causing it to flip multiple times until it hit against the cable barriers, coming to a stop, as the report said.
“The tragedy we are all experiencing right now with the death of President Earl H. Potter III, is profound,” said Provost Ashish Vaidya in a statement. “Like every member of the St. Cloud State University community, my first and foremost concern is for the wellbeing of his wife Christine Potter and the entire Potter family. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family at this time.”
Vaidya and Rosenstone will be holding a press conference and campus gathering at 11:00 am on Tuesday morning, in the lobby of the Administration Services Building.
More information will be released from the university in the coming days on funeral services for Earl H. Potter III and opportunities for the campus and community to come together in celebration of the former St. Cloud State University President’s life.