May 14, 2019

Lynne Dodson named Associate Dean of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies

Dodson served with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and was a Member of the Seattle Central College Faculty for 17 years

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Lynne Dodson has been appointed associate dean of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies.

(NEW YORK CITY – May 15, 2019) Lynne Dodson has been appointed associate dean of the SUNY Empire State College Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies.

“I am delighted to welcome Lynne Dodson to SUNY Empire State College’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies,” said SUNY Empire State College Officer in Charge Mitchell S. Nesler. “Lynne’s numerous accomplishments and depth of experience as a labor leader and in higher education make her an ideal choice to lead the college’s Van Arsdale Center.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to come to The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Labor Center and SUNY Empire State College,” Dodson said. “Our program, and SUNY Empire’s mission of serving the higher education needs of working students, are essential to the health of our democracy now, and for the future. I’m so inspired by the commitment and dedication of the faculty and staff and the hard work of the students. I look forward to learning more, engaging fully and building on the strengths of the program and the college with new labor and education partners.”

As the Labor Center’s associate dean, Dodson will collaborate with senior Office of Academic Affairs leadership to expand student success with high-quality labor studies programming that promotes innovation in teaching, mentoring and learning.

As an academic and administrative leader, she will work closely with labor faculty, professional employees and support staff to develop student and academic services to meet the needs of working adults.

Her day-to-day responsibilities include supervision of faculty, professionals and staff, as well as recruitment, hiring and evaluation of full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty.

Dodson is responsible for faculty development related to mentoring, teaching and scholarship, as well as college and community service.

Dodson will collaborate with the college’s vice president for enrollment management to strengthen recruitment and enrollment strategies and work closely with both the associate vice president for programs and partnerships to grow partnerships with labor organizations across New York and the U.S., and the executive director for international education to assess the potential for international partnerships.

About Lynne Dodson

A long-time labor leader and activist and an educator and advocate for worker rights, social, racial and economic justice, Dodson most recently served as secretary treasurer for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC).

The WSLC represents more than 450,000 union members and over 300 affiliated organizations in the state of Washington. The WSLC strengthens and builds ties among union affiliates and with the community, conducts statewide strategic planning, and runs labor’s legislative and electoral campaigns. As the chief financial officer and the second of the two top officers, Dodson’s primary policy areas were  education, workforce development and apprenticeship, international trade, racial and gender equity, community engagement and worker arts and culture, as well as the day-to-day management of a large statewide organization.

Her prior labor experience includes serving as president of AFT Seattle Community Colleges, Local 1789, AFL-CIO, the faculty union of the Seattle colleges. The sole paid staff for 1,200 members, Dodson developed Local 1789’s mission as a values-driven organization.

Her responsibilities included leading all solidarity efforts, collective bargaining, grievance proceedings, labor management relations and fiscal management and leadership development.

Dodson holds a Master of Science in Community Clinical Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Washington.

Joining the Seattle Central College faculty on a part-time basis in 1993, then hired full time to a tenure-track position, Dodson taught psychology courses, including general, developmental and abnormal psychology, statistics and social psychology. She also helped develop curriculum for the first applied behavioral sciences B.A. program at Seattle Central and taught social psychology in the program.

About the SUNY Empire State College Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies

The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies is one of the founding programs of Empire State College and educates approximately 1,900 students through partnerships with several trade unions in New York City, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 1, the United Federation of Teachers Paraprofessional Chapter and others.

The Labor Center also enjoys a partnership with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

SUNY Empire and its Labor Center provide liberal arts programs at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels, with a strong labor foundation that was inspired by Van Arsdale Jr., the son of a union electrician who joined Local 3 in 1925 and became its business manager in 1933. He went on to serve as national treasurer for IBEW.

A visionary and committed labor leader, Van Arsdale Jr. was responsible for establishing the first multi-employer pension plan in the construction industry in 1941; paid holidays; paid vacation; the establishment of annuity funds for workers; and the founding of the Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry. He was elected as the first president of the merged New York City Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.

SUNY Empire State College is committed to continuously growing and improving its Labor Center by expanding labor-centered programming through new curriculum and program development and by pursuing partnership opportunities with unions throughout New York, across the country and around the world.

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