President LeBlanc with former President Gustufson at Inauguration. (image credit: SNHU)

This article was originally posted in the SNHU Observer (Volume IX, Issue 8) on April 24, 2003:

President Richard Gustafson is leaving the SNHU Presidency. That fact is sad, but more than that, it’s almost scary. Saying good-bye to our long-time leader is the end of an era; it’s farewell to a man who is responsible for many great accomplishments at SNHU. So who will we turn to when our leader has moved on?

The search committee has recently answered that question. Dr. Paul LeBlanc will be SNHU’s new president. He was introduced to the campus on April 10, and since then there has been a buzz. Certainly there was a lot of talk from faculty and staff, to the local media, who took notice of the event.

We know things like LeBlanc is finishing up his term as president of Marlboro College in Vermont and that, he obtained this Ph.D. from UMass- Amherst. But who is he really? Apparently, he is a president for the students. When contacted via mail with a request to give some information about himself, he responded within hours with an enthusiastic yes. His response to questions regarding his decision to come to SNHU were more than reassuring, they were exciting.

Asked to answer the question “Why SNHU?”, he said:

“It is an institution that dreams big. It has decided to become a university and the implies growth, meaningful scholarship and research combined with its legacy of fine teaching, breadth of disciplines with the required depth of expertise, and a rich cultural, athletic, and spiritual life layered in with the intellectual core that comes with any good university. I love the challenge of helping SNHU realize its dreams. Some presidents like mature, orderly, and satisfied institutions. I like building things, moving things along, solving problems, and helping people reach their goals. That’s why I like where SNHU is as an institution and where it has set out to be in its future.”

Already, president-elect Leblanc has his sights set on the students. In his closing to his e-mail he wrote, “I look forward to reading the past copies of the paper and please know that I’ll always be available to you.”

Suddenly, next year doesn’t seem so scary. At least the person moving in the presidential suite has an agenda that keeps the students at the center of progress.

The Observer would like to welcome the new president Dr. Paul LeBlanc to the SNHU Campus!