July 5, 2012

Dr. Robert Clougherty and Dr. Tai Arnold Appointed to New Posts

Dr. Robert Clougherty Jr., acting vice provost for research, innovation and open education

President Alan Davis has made two presidential appointments.

Dr. Robert Clougherty Jr., left, dean of the School for Graduate Studies since 2007, has been named acting vice provost for research, innovation and open education. Dr. Tai Arnold, below right, assistant vice president for academic program development, will become acting dean of the School for Graduate Studies.

Prior to coming to Empire State College, Clougherty was the founding director of the Institute for Technological Scholarship and the director of the Tennessee Advanced Computing Technologies Institute, both at TennesseeTechUniversity, where he also founded and directed the Web design program. He was a tenured full professor in the English department, where he spent seven years directing the graduate programs.

Clougherty was a Fulbright Hayes Senior Scholar at the University of Uppsalain in 1997; both his academic writing as well as his poetry have been translated into multiple languages. He has published in many disciplines including literature, engineering, chemistry, Web design and online learning. He earned his B.A., cum laude, at Villanova University; his M.A. in English at Texas Woman’s University and his Ph.D. in modern letters at the University of Tulsa.

"I take great pride in working for Empire State College, and this position offers me the opportunity to serve the institution in new ways," Clougherty said.

“Dr. Clougherty both has an impressive track record of winning and administering grants, and is rapidly becoming a nationally known figure for his work within the open-education movement,” said Provost Meg Benke. “Creativity and innovation are two of Bob’s greatest strengths, and I believe the college will benefit from his advocacy on behalf of our institution.”

Dr. Tai Arnold, acting dean of the School for Graduate Studies

Arnold, whose career in higher education spans 25 years, 14 of which have been at Empire State College, most recently has been working with faculty teams to develop several master’s degree and certificate programs. During her tenure at the college, she has managed a variety of projects and functions in the Office of Academic Affairs, including major collegewide academic affairs technology initiatives, budget management, policy and procedures development, coordinating college governance services and the college’s student-problem resolution.

Prior to joining Empire State College, Arnold held positions at American University in Washington, D.C. She coordinated enrollment management, academic advising, curriculum development and general operations for the School of Education and oversaw information services and operations for the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead the School for Graduate Studies and the wonderfully talented and creative faculty and staff,” Arnold said.

Arnold's academic interests include adult learning and prior-learning assessment, as well as educational policy. She received her B.A. in psychology, M.A. in student development in higher education and Ph.D. in education with concentrations in adult learning and higher education from American University in Washington, D.C.

“For more than 10 years, Arnold has worked tirelessly and creatively for the college within the office of academic affairs. She has played a key role in the successful development of several new programs within graduate studies,” said Benke. “Her vision for the future of graduate studies is also impressive and I look forward to her leadership in this key role.”

The appointments are effective Aug. 1.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout her or his college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

Additional information about the college is available here.