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May 30, 2012

Benke Named to National Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education

Provost Meg Benke portrait

Provost Meg Benke

‌(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – May 30, 2012) Meg Benke, provost and vice president of academic affairs for SUNY Empire State College, has been appointed to the Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, which was recently formed by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

The Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education will invite testimony and information and develop recommendations to address the regulatory costs and inefficiencies faced by postsecondary institutions that must comply with multiple and often inconsistent state laws and regulations when providing educational opportunities in multiple state jurisdictions.

“Appointment to such an important national commission reflects Meg’s ability and her standing nationally in the online learning community,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “I know she will provide significant input in the analysis and subsequent recommendations of the commission.”

“I am honored to represent Empire State College on the commission and I am grateful to both APLU and SHEEO for requesting a member of the college to serve,” said Benke. “The landscape of higher education has shifted with the capability of online learning to deliver education across state borders, leading to complex interdependent issues of quality assurance, the cost of regulation and overlapping issues with accreditation. I look forward to beginning work with my colleagues on the commission in June.”

With more than 500 courses and complete degree programs available online, the college is a leading provider of distance education within the SUNY system and across the country.

Benke, who will become acting president of the college as of Sept. 1, will join former U. S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and 20 other leaders on a commission formed to explore the regulation of postsecondary distance education. The new national commission was organized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

APLU President Peter McPherson and SHEEO President Paul Lingenfelter will both serve on the commission and will assist Riley in leading its work. The commission’s first session will be June 12 in Washington, DC.

More information about the commission, including the full list of members, is available on the APLU website.

A comprehensive directory of state regulatory agencies and practices, several essays discussing the issues, as well as links to other resources are on the SHEEO website.

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 her or his 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 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

Additional information about the college is available here.

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