SUNY New Paltz director of institutional research to retire after 16 years
NEW PALTZ -- For 16 years, Carl Bacon has been the "right hand" of the vice presidents at the State University of New York at New Paltz. As director of institutional research, his number crunching has provided administrators with important data about New Paltz' students and alumni.
"He is the center of institutional planning, strategizing where we want to go and gauging whether we are successful," said Steven Poskanzer, interim president of SUNY New Paltz.
The institutional research director's job at New Paltz includes researching application and enrollment data, student and faculty opinions, along with results of alumni surveys to measure how well New Paltz is servicing its mission, accomplishing strategic plan goals, and its future course.
Together with several other departments, the director's job is to enhance New Paltz' reputation, recruit high-caliber students, and implement high-quality academic and support services to improve student needs.
"Everything we get from Carl is reliable," said Poskanzer. "He understands the culture of the institution and how it works."
Prior to joining SUNY New Paltz, Bacon was a career officer in the U.S. Army. He retired as a colonel, and was last stationed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he held the institutional research position.
"The position is a lot more complicated at New Paltz because the student body is so large," said Bacon. "Here we have undergraduates, graduates, continuing education students, on-campus and off-campus students. At West Point, there was only one student body - undergraduate. However, the two institutions are both student-centered and very dedicated to academic life."
Through the years, there have been changes to the position and the institution. "With the advent of the computer age, we can do more at our desks, than ever before," said Bacon. "Our office mission has been redirected to support departments," with a greater focus on how a department is operating and how students perform in specific areas of study.
Currently, an assessment task force is developing methodology to better gather information about students and alumni, related to the services New Paltz provides.
"With alumni, our goal is to see how well prepared they were for the real world" when they graduated from New Paltz, said Bacon.
That work will continue after Bacon leaves New Paltz. A search committee is now working to fill the position.
"Mr. Bacon has contributed much to the campus community and will be sorely missed," said L. David Eaton, vice president of Enrollment Management and chair of the institutional research search committee. "The real challenge for the committee is finding a replacement to fill his shoes, and it won't be easy."
Bacon's projected date of retirement is June 30; however, he will remain in the position until "they feel comfortable with my leaving," said Bacon. "I'll miss everything about New Paltz . . . the marvelous people I worked with and the interaction with students."
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.