President of St. Cloud State killed in rollover crash Monday night


The president of St. Cloud State University died in a one-vehicle crash Monday night.

Earl H. Potter III was on his way to the Twin Cities for a meeting with the Foundation Board Chair when he died, according to a statement from the school.

The St. Cloud Times says the crash happened in Brooklyn Center at 5:36 p.m. Monday. According to the State Patrol's incident report, which doesn't identify Potter, the driver of a Toyota 4 Runner was going east on Interstate 694 when it suddenly went off the road, hitting the guard rail.

The driver then overcorrected into the center lane, almost hitting another vehicle, before overcorrecting again, causing him to flip "multiple times until it hit the cable barriers, coming to a stop," the report says.

Potter's death is a "huge loss to SCSU, to the state of Minnesota and to higher education," Steven Rosenstone, the chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, said in a statement.

"Earl was a colleague and a friend – a thoughtful, insightful leader – who cared deeply about the university, its students, and the St. Cloud Community," Rosenstone added.

Gov. Mark Dayton also released a statement on Potter's death, expressing his condolences to the SCSU community, as well as Potter's family and friends.

"President Potter accompanied me on all four of my international trade missions, as he sought to find new students for the university and to expand educational opportunities for St. Cloud State's present students," Dayton said, adding "He loved St. Cloud State University, and he loved the students, faculty, and staff with whom he worked."

Earlier this year, Potter had signed a deal to be president of the university for at least three more years. He had been president since 2007, the St. Cloud Times says.

Provost Ashish Vaidya will serve as acting president, according to the school.

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