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April 30, 2010

SUNY Empire State College Names Three Vice Provosts

~New Positions Created~

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – April 26, 2010) As part of a major reorganization of its administration, SUNY Empire State College President Alan R. Davis has created three new vice provost positions. Marjorie Lavin, of Malta, was appointed vice provost for academic development and will continue in her central role in the operations of Academic Affairs and as a member of the Cabinet. She was formerly associate provost. She will be joined by two interim vice provosts. The first, vice provost for regional centers and networked learning, is Deborah Amory, former dean of the college’s Central New York Center in Syracuse. The new position of vice provost for global and online learning is now held by the Center for Distance Learning’s former dean, Meg Benke, of Saratoga Springs. The college’s fast-growing Center for Distance Learning will be overseen by former Associate Dean Thomas Mackey, of Albany, who will take over from Benke as interim dean.

Marjorie Lavin Prior to her appointment as associate provost, Dr. Marjorie Lavin served as interim dean of the college’s Northeast Center during the 2006 - 2007 academic year. From 1988 to 2000, she served as assistant and associate vice president for academic affairs, and then as acting vice president for academic affairs (VPAA). She was VPAA at Granite State College (formerly the College for Lifelong Learning) from 2000 to 2005. Earlier, she was a tenured faculty member and department chairwoman at the SUNY Institute of Technology. During her administrative career, Dr. Lavin has gained significant experience with regional accreditation, including co-chairing the college’s self-study in 1999, resulting in a 10-year reaccreditation, as well as co-chairing the last self-study steering committee, which led to a reaffirmation of the college’s accreditation this year. She also has worked with external regulatory agencies, high-level personnel functions, planning, program review, outcomes assessment and external partnerships. Dr. Lavin holds a B.S. in psychology from Loyola University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Boston University.

Deb Amory Dr. Deborah Amory, who lives in Syracuse, came to SUNY Empire State College as dean of the Central New York Center in 2003. Prior to that, she spent seven years on the faculty of SUNY Purchase College. She has an extensive scholarly record in anthropology, and spent 20 years studying Swahili and conducting research in East Africa. She is an internationally recognized expert on gender and sexuality in Africa, and she is the recipient of many awards for her scholarship, teaching and service. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Meg Benke Dr. Meg Benke joined Empire State College in 1990, first serving as adjunct faculty in the graduate program and moving on to become an assessment professional with the Center for Distance Learning (CDL). She served as assistant dean for Collegewide Programs and as director of the Alliance College Program. In 1996, she became director of CDL and for the past 12 years has served as dean. She has taught continuously for the graduate program since 1990 and served as a member of the international program Lebanon/Cyprus faculty for two years. Professionally, Dr. Benke has been a leader in online education, now serving on the executive board of Sloan-C. In 2007, she received the national award for Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning. Among her many other college and external roles, she currently serves as a member of the Middle States Association Committee on Substantive Change. She holds a B.Sc. in business from Youngstown State University and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in education from Ohio University.

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. Students learn through independent studies, seminars, residencies and online courses. They also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide with 34 locations in New York state and online. For more information, visit www.esc.edu.