Seneca’s Board of Governors voted to rename the former Finch campus in honour of the retiring president William Newnham in 1984. That year, McCutcheon, then vice-president academic, was named his successor.
In Newnham's last President's Bulletin, he described McCutcheon's appointment as "a most worthy choice."
Throughout his time at Seneca, McCutcheon believed that, "If you have the right goal and the right people committed to that goal, you will get the job done regardless of any obstacles."
Under his leadership, Seneca was the first college in Ontario to enter into a joint articulation agreement with a secondary school in 1988. The agreement with Georges Vanier Secondary School offered academic and skills upgrading programs as credit courses for high school students.
In 1989, an expansion connected Phase 3 of Newnham Campus to the Sports Centre. The Student Federation Council and alumni groups pledged more than $600,000 for its construction.
McCutcheon announced his retirement in 1991.
After spending a career as an educator, including 23 years at Seneca, McCutcheon had said he wanted to be remembered as a leader who brought out the best in people.
"To me there was nothing more rewarding than seeing our students and staff succeed," he said. "The most rewarding part of my job as president of Seneca always came when I got to watch a class of graduates proudly accept their diplomas."