President Collins' Bio

Currently serving as Clarkson's 16th president, Anthony Collins is a regional and national advocate for higher education - industrial partnerships that couple research discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise for commercialization and economic development with a focus on advancing sustainable energy solutions and environmental technology innovation.

In May 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Collins to serve on the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Dr. Collins in July 2011 to serve as co-chair for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. He served in that role until February 2019. Dr. Collins served on a commission established by Governor Cuomo in November 2012 to investigate and study utility companies' storm preparation and management; and to recommend reforms to overhaul regulation of the entire system to better deal with emergencies. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was appointed in 2020 to join the Reimagine Task force to reopen education in New York State. He is also a member of the panel Governor Cuomo has tasked to advise him and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the redesigns of New York’s airports and the supporting infrastructure to attract additional commercial activity. On a local level, he is the president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation that invests in new technology companies based in St. Lawrence County, New York.

In service to the higher education sector, President Collins is the 2020-2021 Chair of the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU) and a chair emeritus and trustee of New York’s Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities. In addition, he was named to City & State New York's "Higher Education Power 50" list, honoring the 50 most powerful New Yorkers working in higher education, and serves on the board of the Business Council of New York State.

Dr. Collins was among the primary architects of the Vision of a Clarkson Education that has guided evolution of the curriculum since 1995. As president, he now leads Clarkson’s Evolution to Excellence, a comprehensive strategic plan elevating the University’s academic reputation, strengthening its financial resources, and increasing the lifetime engagement of alumni and greater Clarkson community.

Growing up outside Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Collins earned an undergraduate civil engineering degree from Monash University, and then master’s and doctoral degrees from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked for both Australian Consolidated Industries and Utah Development Company. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1982, Dr. Collins launched his career at Clarkson, in Potsdam, N.Y., as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Subsequently rising to the rank of professor, he also assumed increasing levels of administrative responsibility, including department chair, dean, vice president for academic affairs, and provost. He was elected the 16th president of Clarkson University in 2003. He has received awards for outstanding teaching, research and advising, lectured globally and is the author of more than 90 professional publications.

In addition to connecting with Clarkson alumni across the globe, Dr. Collins; his wife, Karen; are active in the Potsdam community and have provided volunteer service to numerous organizations and youth programs.


How President Collins Engages Across the University