August 6, 2019

SUNY Empire State College Names Meg Benke Permanent Provost

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Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Meg Benke.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York – Aug. 6, 2019) SUNY Empire State College announced the appointment of Meg Benke as the college’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Benke first joined the college in 1991, and previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, 2011-12, as a member of the faculty and a department chair with the college’s School for Graduate Studies. Most recently she has been serving as provost on an interim basis.

She is nationally and internationally recognized for her expertise in individualized learning, educating adult students, online learning, and as an award-winning scholar.

Benke held several leadership positions with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting organization that assures academic quality and integrity in higher education.

Her state service includes participation with the Board of Regents Advisory Council, the Department of Education, and the SUNY system, in programmatic quality assurance, online learning, and other initiatives.

“Dr. Meg Benke is a national expert and leader in individualized learning, adult education, prior learning assessment, and online learning,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “Meg’s continuing leadership on a permanent basis assures the college’s students of the high-quality education – online, face-to-face at one of our campuses across the state and in seven countries, or a combination of both – they have come to expect and deserve. At the same time, Meg will support the college’s world-class faculty and staff and the vital academic mission of SUNY Empire. My congratulations to Meg and I look forward to working with her for years to come as we move forward together.”

“My congratulations to Meg Benke on her appointment as permanent provost at SUNY Empire,” said Anastasia Pratt, chair of the Empire State College Senate, which, together with the College Assembly, engages with the college administration in shared governance. Pratt also is an associate professor in Humanities and the college’s archivist. “Meg’s experience, history of success, and dedication to our mission, provides us with the leadership we need to continue our forward momentum in improving the excellent education we provide to our students.”

“Educating adults, who comprise the majority of students enrolled in higher education nationally, is a passion I can best pursue with my colleagues at SUNY Empire,” said Benke. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be of continuing service to SUNY Empire State College. I look forward to working with Jim Malatras, my colleagues in the Office of Academic Affairs and the faculty and, most importantly, the students as we work to improve the education we provide them each and every day.”

As SUNY Empire’s vice president for academic affairs and provost, Benke oversees all facets of the academic enterprise of SUNY Empire, including more than 500 faculty and an annual budget of $42 million.

About Meg Benke

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awarded Benke a grant as a Fulbright fellow to conduct research on vocational training and the use of technology and blended learning with Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, where she continues to be a visiting researcher.

Her other national and international awards and recognition include:

  • Recipient of the Noflett Williams Service Award from the National University Technology Network.
  • Induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.
  • Named to the inaugural class of Sloan-C Fellows, now known as the Online Learning Consortium.
  • Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, Sloan-C.

First elected in 2012, Benke’s leadership roles as a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education include serving as:

  • Corporate secretary to the commission.
  • Membership on the executive committee.
  • Chair of the committee on substantive change.
  • Commissioner.

Her other state service includes:

  • Membership on the Regent’s advisory council on institutional accreditation.
  • Advisor to the Department of Education on competency-based programs.
  • Member of the SUNY chancellor’s online advisory group.

As a full professor, she chaired the college’s Graduate Division of Education. Benke’s previous experience with the college’s School for Graduate Studies includes coordination of the college’s online Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies programs.

Benke co-authored two chapters in “Leading the e-learning Transformation of Higher Education,” (Stylus, 2013), a second edition of the book is forthcoming. She co-authored the chapter, “SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning,” in a digital book, “Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies,” (EDUCAUSE, 2012).

A native of Pennsylvania, Benke holds a doctorate in Student Personnel, Higher Education, and a master’s in Student Personnel, both from Ohio University. She completed a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Youngstown State University.

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

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 17,000 students in person, online, and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs his or her own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates his or her schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, 87,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

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