John F. Ebersole, LPD, president of Excelsior College, will take an extended leave of absence, effective June 15, to concentrate on his health issues. Ebersole was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in February 2016 and is currently undergoing treatment. James N. Baldwin, EdD, executive vice president, has been appointed acting president by the College’s Board of Trustees.
“John is the absolute leader in adult education in this country,” said Brigadier General (Ret.) Jerry Neff, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “As he concentrates on his health issues, Dr. Baldwin will serve as acting president. Jim joined the College in 2014 and is a highly skilled, credentialed, and experienced education administrator who has demonstrated considerable leadership throughout his time here. He has the full trust of the Board of Trustees, and I am confident he will navigate the College through this period while ensuring that our students continue to remain our top priority.”
“This institution has the most mission oriented commitment that I have experienced over three decades in higher education and its staff, faculty, and leaders are passionate and committed to providing educational opportunity to those who need it most,” said Ebersole. “Jim is a close friend, a gifted administrator, and a trusted leader. As I seek treatment, I know the College is in good hands.”
Baldwin has served as executive vice president of Excelsior College since September 2014. In this capacity he oversees the operations of the Office of the President, provides guidance and support to members of Excelsior’s executive staff, and manages high-priority/high-visibility undertakings of the College.
Previously CEO and district superintendent for Questar III BOCES, an educational service agency, Baldwin was an outspoken advocate for better student engagement in learning. As district superintendent, he led the agency in the development of innovative and cost-saving programs and services. Additionally, he was responsible for the oversight of 23 school districts in the region on behalf of the commissioner of education. He also served as chief of staff and acting deputy commissioner for higher education in the New York State Education Department and as executive deputy secretary of state for New York.
Admitted to the bar in New York State and U.S. District Court, Baldwin has also served as adjunct faculty in the School of Education, the University at Albany. Baldwin earned an EdD in education organization and leadership from Teachers College of Columbia University, a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University, and a BA in political science at Union College.
Ebersole was appointed president of Excelsior College in January 2006, succeeding C. Wayne Williams, the College’s first president. Under his tenure, Excelsior has grown in both size and scope. In January 2006, the College was home to 27,000 students and staffed by 360 employees on its Albany campus. Annual revenue stood at $38 million. In 2016, student enrollment eclipsed 40,000 for the first time and the College is staffed by nearly 600 employees and more than 1,400 adjunct faculty. Annual revenue exceeds $100 million.
“Under John’s visionary leadership, the College has transformed into a global institution, among the most respected adult-serving institutions in the world, and a model for all those seeking to offer a quality credential at a reasonable cost,” said Baldwin. “Our success is the result of putting our students – and their needs – at the forefront of all that we do. That mission will continue unabated.”