Dr. Merodie A. Hancock was appointed the fourth president of Empire State College on May 9, 2013 by the State University of New York Board of Trustees on the recommendation of Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. She is widely recognized for her expertise in the delivery of innovative education across campuses and international borders. In her role as president, Hancock will continue to lead Empire State College in new initiatives, while maintaining its dedication to academic quality and cutting-edge educational research, innovation and delivery.
As chief executive officer, Hancock is responsible for the overall operation of Empire State College at 35 locations throughout New York state, the worldwide Center for Distance Learning and eight international sites. She oversees the teaching and learning of the college’s 20,000 students, as well as the employment of 1,700 faculty and staff and active engagement with 70,000 alumni. Hancock also is responsible for the financial health of the institution and management of its $95 million all-funds budgets.
Hancock has dedicated her career to expanding access to higher education for nontraditional students and has extensive experience serving the education needs of veterans and active members of the military. Prior to joining Empire State College as president, she had been vice president at Central Michigan University Global Campus since 2007, responsible for delivering academic programs at CMU’s remote campuses, military and community college locations and online programs. While there, she served on the Strategic Planning Committee, Online Learning Executive Committee (chair), University Brand and Image Committee (co-chair), Strategic Plan to Advance Diversity, Council of Deans, Academic Senate, Executive Technology Planning Board, Senior Staff Budget Advisory Committee and University Budget Advisory Committee. She also oversaw tuition pricing and discounting strategies, compliance with accreditation and licensure regulations, partnerships with community colleges and increased diversity recruitment.
Previously, she held both teaching and administrative leadership positions at the University of Maryland University College, joining that institution in 2000. UMUC serves more than 90,000 students through online and face-to-face programs. She significantly reduced the university’s operating expenses across the U.S., European and Asian divisions and coordinated early testing of hybrid e-books. Prior to that, for a decade beginning in 1990, she served Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, both on the faculty and as director for three military education centers.
Hancock has been involved in professional organizations, including the Distance Education Commission Advisory Group, Inside Track Advisory Board, Council of College and Military Educators, League for Innovation, National Association of Institutions for Military Education services (president) and the National Commission on Online Learning Benchmarking Study. She served as an external reviewer for several universities and participated in numerous self-studies, reports and evaluation visits for agencies such as regional accreditors, the Department of Defense, state approving agencies and specialized accrediting organizations. She also has made presentations at professional conferences and meetings on topics such as strategic partnerships, pricing models and innovative teaching best practices.
Her recent community service has included serving on the board of Special Olympics Michigan and United Way Isabella County, Mich.
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.
Additionally, she has a certificate from the Institute of Educational Management from Harvard University, a certificate from the University Professional Continuing Education Association Leadership Academy at New York University, a certificate in Process Design and Implementation: Reengineering and Change Management from Michael Hammer and Company and a certificate in Nonprofit Board Leadership from the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.
She succeeded the college’s former presidents, Alan R. Davis, Joseph B. Moore and James W. Hall.