December 10, 2010

Meg Benke, of Saratoga Springs, Appointed Provost of SUNY Empire State College

Dr. Meg Benke

Dr. Meg Benke

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Dec. 10, 2010) – State University of New York Empire State College President Alan R. Davis today announced the appointment of Meg Benke, P.h.D., as provost and vice president for academic affairs effective Jan. 1, 2011.

“Meg is an award-winning educator, administrator and leader recognized across the country and around the world for her success in achieving academic excellence and innovations in high-quality student services particularly in online education,” said Davis. “Meg’s ability to solve immediate problems, while thinking and acting strategically for the long-term success of the college are valuable assets on which the college can depend. I am very pleased for her and anticipate more outstanding work from her going forward.”

Benke’s appointment concludes a national search, which attracted a large number of applications from across the United States.

“I am honored and grateful to the search committee and to President Davis for their confidence and for the opportunity to lead the college’s Office of Academic Affairs as provost,” said Benke. “Empire State College’s tradition for innovation is due to the work of a talented, dedicated group of learners, faculty and staff and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to advance and improve all aspects of education at the college.”

The president praised and thanked the Provost Search Committee and staff for conducting an inclusive, open process, for their tireless efforts and, most importantly, the outstanding result.

Benke takes over from Dr. Hugh B. Hammett, who has been acting as interim provost for the last year.

About Meg Benke

Benke has worked at SUNY Empire State College since 1991. Her roles have focused on college wide programs and on distance learning, building the college’s Center 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

In April 2010, Benke was appointed 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 has been recognized by her peers at the Sloan-C Consortium who conferred on her the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual in 2007 award, and named her an inaugural Sloan-C Fellow in 2010. Her other awards include Outstanding Administrator from Ohio University, and Outstanding New Professional by the Ohio College Personnel Association.

Benke 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.

A native of Pennsylvania, her formal education includes a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Youngstown State University, and a master’s in Student Personnel and a doctorate in Student Personnel, Higher Education, both from Ohio University.

Benke lives in Saratoga Springs and is active in the community, currently serving on the board of the Northeastern Girl Scouts of New York.

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. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies.

They also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students and 60,000 alumni worldwide with 34 locations in New York state and online. For more information, visit www.esc.edu.

-30-