Interim Chief of Staff Tai Arnold has been at Empire State College since 1998. As Chief of Staff, Arnold works with the Officer in Charge, supporting him in the overall leadership of the college as well as providing oversight to the Office of the President and its functions. In addition, she provides leadership in the implementation of the college's strategic plan, working across divisions to ensure cohesion and achievement of objectives. She also continues as co-sponsor of the ERP (Banner ) implementation project.
Previously, as interim Vice Provost, she oversaw academic operations, including the registrar, program development services, partnership services, Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning, governance services and Student Affairs. She also coordinated with Decision Support to ensure that accreditation needs are met. In her role, she restructured the Office of the Registrar to incorporate degree program review functions and curriculum services functions, launched a taskforce to reengineer transfer evaluation for the college, revamped structure and services to support new academic program and partnership development and collaborated with college governance on a successful transition to a new governance model.
Prior to that, she was dean of the School for Graduate Studies, ensuring the quality of the graduate programs, leading planning and securing resources. She also represented the school internally and externally, including as liaison with programmatic accrediting organizations, as well as recommended appointment, continuing appointment and promotion of the graduate school’s faculty and staff. In addition, she implemented academic strategic planning, oversaw successful IACBE accreditation of the MBA in Management and developed a model for faculty teaching and advising obligations. In addition, Arnold launched new degree programs, including a Master of Education, M.B.A. in Healthcare Leadership and M.B.A. in Global Leadership, as well as several combined bachelor’s/master’s programs and several certificates. She also added five graduate programs to the Open SUNY initiative and engaged in assessment of online program effectiveness through Open SUNY to enable continuous quality improvement.
Arnold’s prior roles at the college include assistant vice president for academic programs, director of program development and assistant to the vice president for academic affairs. As a member of the Institutional Steering Committee, she compiled data and co-wrote the college’s self-study for Middle States Association accreditation review, as well as assisted with the evaluation team visit.
Arnold also was a provost fellow for SUNY system administration for a semester in 2011 with SUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs, where she reviewed and approved, on behalf of the SUNY provost, academic program proposals for comprehensive colleges and doctoral institutions, as well as teacher education programs, including proposals developed for the state’s Race to the Top program. She also attended New York State Board of Regents meetings. During that time, she contributed to The Power of SUNY, the strategic plan for SUNY; served on the taskforce responding to new federal regulations regarding authorization to operate in states beyond New York, particularly around distance learning; and contributed to the SUNY response to the draft for the Statewide Plan for Higher Education.
Arnold attended American University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Education, with concentrations in adult learning and higher education; an M.A. in Education, with a concentration in student development in higher education; and a B.A. in Psychology. She also attended Harvard Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, National Center for Post-Secondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and the Outcomes Assessment Institute.