Academic Affairs

Meg Benke

Provost Meg Benke portraitDr. Meg Benke is Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. She has worked at SUNY Empire State College since 1991. Her roles have focused on college wide programs and on distance learning, building the college’sCenter for Distance Learning into one of the foremost and most innovative open and online systems in the United States. She also has taught for the college regularly in its School for Graduate Studies in areas such as Adult Education and Social Policy, Organizational Change and Human Resource Management

Prior to being appointed provost, Benke was interim vice provost for global and online learning, where she has been working closely with her colleagues on implementing the first stages of Vision 2015, the college’s strategic plan.

She was previously dean of the Center for Distance Learning. Dr. Benke has been in distance learning for 25 years. She has been at the college for the past 17 years overseeing the Center for Distance Learning, which is the largest provider of online education in New York state, and one of the largest programs in the country.

Dr. Benke has worked with Empire State College to build partnerships with unions, corporations and the military to promote college degrees for employees. She has been instrumental in programs with the military and organizations such as the AARP employee program, and several other programs to increase access to college educations for technical employees.

She was recognized for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, by Sloan-C, a national consortium for distance learning providers in 2007. In Oct. 2010, Benke was honored by the board of directors of the Sloan Consortium, by being named to its inaugural class of Sloan-C Fellows, for her extraordinary qualifications, significant experience, distinguished service and leadership in the field of online learning. Her other awards include Outstanding Administrator from Ohio University, and Outstanding New Professional by the Ohio College Personnel Association. 

She has been actively involved in various ways with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and has served as an external evaluator for many institutions and programs in higher learning.

Dr. Benke began her career at Ohio University and Antioch College. Benke’s early work was dedicated to increasing access to higher education for adult learners through distance education. Benke was particularly interested in increasing employability of graduates, and worked to ensure that the outcomes of an online education matched traditional education from a quality perspective. She also consults nationally on how universities provide student services in online education programs, and has served on a variety of national efforts to create standards for quality in online education. In the business area, Dr. Benke has done research employability and on downsizing in organizations and the impact on mid-level employees. 

Benke holds a Ph.D. in student personnel from Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Youngstown State University. In the graduate and undergraduate programs of Empire State College, she teaches in the areas of human systems and behavior, performance measurement, learning organizations, organizational change and training and development. 

Dr. Benke serves on the board of directors for Sloan-C, and for the 2007 and 2008 years served as the national conference chair. She previously directed the Best Practices area in student satisfaction for Sloan. In New York State, Dr. Benke serves on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.