May 18, 2012

Deborah P. Amory to be SUNY Empire State College Acting Provost

Deb Amory(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – May 18, 2012)  SUNY Empire State College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Meg Benke today announced that effective Sept. 1, 2012 Vice Provost Deborah P. Amory will become acting provost.

The timing of Amory’s new responsibilities coincides with Benke beginning her role as acting president following the departure of college President Alan R. Davis to Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia.

“The strong and effective leadership of the college cabinet and in the Office of Academic Affairs provided me with confidence in accepting my new role,” said Benke. “The college’s academic plan and open learning initiatives are critical to the long-term success of our students and with Deb Amory serving as acting provost and additional leadership contributions from Vice Provost Marjorie Lavin, the college will experience a seamless leadership transition as we move forward with these and other important inititatives.”

"I am extremely honored by this appointment, and look forward to working with Acting President Meg Benke to further the goals of the college in the coming year,” said Amory. “I believe that Empire State College's mission and areas of excellence are not only relevant today, but are critically important to the future success of higher education.  It is Empire State College’s ability to blend online and face-to-face teaching and learning; the college’s appreciation of prior and emergent learning; and the dedication and creativity of our faculty, professional and support staff, at locations across New York and online everywhere, that makes this college so very great."

About Deborah P. Amory

Deborah P. Amory, who earned her doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University and her bachelor's degree in African Studies from Yale University, has served with the college for nearly a decade.

As vice provost Amory oversees half of the college’s regional learning centers, which are located throughout upstate New York and comprise more than 5,000 students, 75 full-time faculty hundreds of part-time faculty and support staff.

She also supervises three college offices that focus on key partnerships, including those with community colleges, corporate and community partnerships, and the college's Office of Veteran and Military Education, serving approximately 2,000 military and veteran students and their families across New York state and through the college's Fort Drum location. 

Amory was first appointed dean of the college’s Central New York Learning Center, located in Syracuse, in 2003. The Central New York Center comprises seven locations serving 1,200 students annually.

Previously, Amory served at the State University of New York at Purchase where she was first hired as an assistant professor and was subsequently promoted to academic and leadership roles of increasing responsibility and complexity.  She attained the rank of associate professor in anthropology, and served both as faculty presiding officer and as the director of instructional technology at Purchase College.

Amory has an extensive scholarly record in cultural anthropology, and is an internationally recognized expert on gender and sexuality in East Africa.  She is the recipient of several awards for her scholarship, teaching and service.

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 at


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David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
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