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October 25, 2012

SUNY Empire State College Acting President Benke elected Middle States Commissioner

Provost Meg Benke portrait

Acting President Meg Benke

‌(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Oct. 25, 2012) SUNY Empire State College Acting President Meg Benke has been elected a commissioner of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Her term begins Jan. 1, 2013 and runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

Middle States, a nonprofit membership organization of colleges and universities, assures academic quality among member institutions through a rigorous process of accreditation.

“Serving as a Middle States commissioner is an honor and I am grateful to my peers for providing me with the opportunity to be of service,” said Benke. “Today, models of education once considered experimental are expanding access and becoming more prevalent. As a nontraditional and innovative institution, Empire State College’s experience and expertise will benefit Middle States' work going forward and it is important that the college is at the table during substantive discussions. After all, quality assurance is at the core of all we do in higher education. I look forward to working will my fellow commissioners and the staff of Middle States to assure quality and value in higher education.”

Benke has been active with Middle States, serving as a member of the Substantive Change Committee and as a peer evaluator.

As a commissioner, Benke serves on a voluntary basis without compensation. Along with the other members of the 26-member commission she will be responsible for the commission’s various accreditation activities.

Benke will serve on the committee on evaluation reports, which reviews the institutional decennial self-studies, team reports and team recommendations.

Joining Benke as recent commissioners-elect are Nancy Malkiel, a professor of history at Princeton University; Dario Cortes, president of Berkeley College; and Joseph Connolly, U.S. commissioner for the Bilateral U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission.

Benke, Malkiel, Cortes and Connolly were elected by the presidents of MSCHE member institutions during balloting in late summer and early fall. This followed an open-nomination process, review by the commission’s Committee on Nominations and development of an official slate of candidates during the spring.

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.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.

About the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education currently accredits more than 525 degree-granting colleges and universities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and selected international locations.

The commission consists of 26 members, including administrators and faculty representing a cross section of institutional types, plus several public members who are not affiliated with a specific institution. Additional information about the commission and its operations can be found at www.msche.org.

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