February 20, 2013

Media Advisory - SUNY Empire State College Presidential Search Update: Semi-finalists to Visit the College

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Feb. 20, 2013) The search for a permanent president for SUNY Empire State College has progressed to the point where five semi-finalists have been selected to visit the college beginning the week of Monday, Feb. 25.

The meetings and activities of each of the visits are not open to the general public and are closed to press, except that candidates may be made available at 11 a.m. at the college’s offices at 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, on the day of their visit for a face-to-face interview.

Below are the names of the semi-finalists, the dates of each of the visits and brief descriptions of their backgrounds.

Detailed information about each of the semi-finalists and the overall process can be found on the college’s Presidential Search website.

Fred Hurst - Monday, Feb. 25

Hurst holds a Ph.D. in arts and sciences from Union Institute and University, an MPA from Wichita State University, an M.S. in education, instructional systems technology from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications, also from Indiana University. Hurst has expertise in distance learning and with learning systems and 20 years of experience with adult and nontraditional students. Hurst is the senior vice president for extended campuses at Northern Arizona University.

Merodie A. Hancock - Tuesday, Feb. 26

Hancock holds a Ph.D. in urban services and education administration from Old Dominion University, an MBA from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College. She has dedicated her career to expanding access to higher education for adults and has extensive experience educating veterans and active members of the military. Hancock is vice president for Central Michigan University Global Campus.

Meg Benke - Wednesday, Feb. 27

Benke holds a Ph.D. in student personnel from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Youngstown State University. Benke’s experience includes adult and nontraditional education and she serves on several national boards and committees that help shape policy to support access and success of adult learners in higher education, and to implement best practices in online, blended and nontraditional adult programs. Currently, Benke serves as acting president of SUNY Empire State College, and was previously provost and vice president for academic affairs.

David Schejbal - Thursday, Feb. 28

Schejbal holds a Ph.D. and an M.A., both in philosophy, from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Iowa State University. Schejbal has extensive experience in adult, online and independent learning. He currently serves as dean of continuing education, outreach and e-learning in the University of Wisconsin Extension.

Alan G. Walker - Friday, March 1

Walker holds a Ph.D. in higher education policy and administration from the University of Kansas, a Master of Education in Vocational/Adult Education and a B.S. in trade and industrial technical education from the University of Idaho, as well as an Associate of Science in Fire Science from the College of Southern Idaho. Walker has nearly 30 years of experience in the teaching and administration of postsecondary adult learners. Walker is president of Upper Iowa University.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918


518-321-7038 (after 5 p.m. and weekends)