SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints Dennis Craig as Purchase College Interim President

April 30, 2019

Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson Congratulate President Thomas Schwarz on 17 Years of Service to the SUNY Campus

Albany – State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dennis Craig as interim president of Purchase College. His role is effective on August 1, 2019, following the previously announced departure of President Thomas J. Schwarz after 17 years of service.

"We offer our thanks to President Schwarz who successfully built on the academic excellence of Purchase College making it a campus of choice for thousands of students," said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. "Dennis Craig was an effective officer-in-charge for the SUNY campus while President Schwarz was on study leave, and we are confident to have him serve as interim president."

"Over the past ten years, Dennis Craig has been a key member of President Schwarz’s leadership team focusing on increasing enrollment at Purchase College and encouraging students to excel," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "My thanks to President Schwarz and Dennis Craig for their commitment to the faculty, students, and staff of Purchase College, ensuring a smooth transition for the campus."

"It has been my pleasure working with President Schwarz, and I wish him the best in the next chapter of his life," she said.

President Schwarz will step down at the end of July. He will continue to be a member of the board that is directing the work for Broadview, a senior living community to be built at Purchase College. The college will be beginning the process of searching for a new, permanent president.

President Schwarz said, "It has been gratifying to work together with my colleagues at Purchase College to foster student success and to obtain financial health for the institution. During my tenure, we were able to significantly increase retention and graduation rates through several student-centric programs, as well as our endowment, and to implement innovative ideas that will benefit the college’s budget for years to come. Although it is bittersweet to leave the presidency of the College, Purchase is a stable, healthy institution and the time is right for a passing of the torch. I have every confidence that the college will continue to flourish under the steady leadership of Dennis Craig during this time of transition."

Interim President Craig said, "It has been an honor to work closely with President Schwarz and to witness first-hand how the college has thrived under his leadership. We’re inspired to carry forward his strong belief in the mission of the college. I’m proud to provide continuity and to support the continued success and well-being of our students. I look forward to leading efforts in collaboration with my colleagues as we work together to search for our next president."

About Dennis Craig

Chancellor Johnson appointed Dennis Craig as officer-in-charge of Purchase College while President Schwarz was on assigned leave. Craig currently serves as vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. overseeing all nonacademic student engagement and focusing on the student’s experience from initial inquiry into applying to Purchase College through to commencement. Craig joined Purchase in 2006 as the vice president for admissions and associate provost for enrollment.

Prior to joining Purchase, Craig served as university director of admissions at Montclair State University for five years, where he implemented an enrollment marketing and recruitment plan that resulted in a 27 percent increase in applications. He helped establish Montclair’s reputation as the second largest and fastest growing university in New Jersey.

He also served as director of admissions at the Culinary Institute of America, where he directed all aspects of pre-enrollment programs and events for prospective students, and managed a staff who were responsible for national recruitment, enrollment marketing, new student orientation, telemarketing, and database management.

Craig holds a bachelor of science in business and economics from SUNY Plattsburgh and a master’s in history from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned a certificate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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