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The Division of Academic Affairs

Six academic schools comprise the division: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Education; School of Fine and Performing Arts; School of Science and Engineering; and the multidisciplinary Graduate School. There are 357 full-time faculty, whose excellence in teaching and scholarship is a hallmark of the College, as exemplified by achievements such as recognition as a “Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars.” Of its faculty, 82 percent of tenure/tenure-track faculty hold terminal degrees, 52 percent are female, and 18 percent are faculty of color or other underrepresented groups. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1. Adjunct faculty teach less than 30% of courses, significant progress from the early 2000’s when part-time adjuncts taught more than half of course offerings. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccredited the College in 2011.

The deans of the six schools report directly to and are supervised by the provost; the associate provost and dean of the Graduate School carries additional responsibilities, especially assessment, in addition to providing leadership of graduate programs. Others reporting directly to the provost are the interim associate provost for undergraduate studies, assistant provost for administration and budget, and director of faculty services. Several other programs, initiatives, or academic support units are housed in Academic Affairs. The deans, directors, or coordinators of these programs report either to the interim associate provost or the provost:

  • Sojourner Truth Library
  • The Honors Program
  • Academic Advising
  • International Programs
  • Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Program (undergraduate student research)
  • Multicultural Recruitment Program
  • Scholars Mentorship Program
  • Teaching and Learning Center
  • Turkish Dual-Degree Program
  • Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

While the president has formal authority and responsibility for sponsored programs through the SUNY Research Foundation, the provost has regular, day-to-day operational oversight as supervisor of the assistant vice president for sponsored programs.

THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S) is the largest and most diverse academic unit at SUNY New Paltz, with programs ranging from the traditional disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to more allied health and technical programs such as communication disorders and digital media production. Home to 17 departments and interdisciplinary programs, LA&S offers 21 undergraduate majors, 33 minors, 12 content fields and concentrations for elementary and secondary education, and six graduate programs. Many interdisciplinary programs and departments, including Asian studies, Black studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies, are housed here. More than 40% of SUNY New Paltz students major in a subject found in LA&S, and LA&S courses form much of the core of the campus-wide general education (GE) Program.

New Paltz faculty are experts in their fields who continually hone their skills as teachers and share their knowledge as researchers and writers. Small class sizes allow students to collaborate with faculty in creative and research projects. LA&S is devoted to students’ success as lifelong learners and as engaged global citizens who will collaborate with diverse partners. LA&S students engage in learning experiences beyond the classroom, including study-abroad, practica, and internships. New Paltz students have interned locally in historical and cultural venues, in various human service agencies, at local film festivals, and with international NGOs, such as Human Rights First, the Clinton Foundation, and Doctors without Borders, through the Global Engagement Program. Recently, students have traveled to Israel as part of their trauma studies curriculum and to Guatemala for a service-learning component of a team-taught class. Those majoring in digital media and journalism have received industry recognition. The vibrancy of LA&S is evident in the plethora of conferences, panel discussions, and guest lectures offered by departments and programs.

THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The School of Business was established as a School in 2000, and in 2013 earned AACSB accreditation, a recognition held by less than 5% of the world’s 13,000 business programs. AACSB accredited schools produce graduates who are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools. Organized without separate departments, the School features academic majors in accounting, finance, general business, international business, management and marketing. Students achieve a solid liberal arts foundation to foster the skills and dispositions needed to meet the challenges of today’s business environment.

All majors share a common core of 40 credits that represents about two-thirds of the undergraduate business curriculum. The MBA program has two tracks, the general MBA track and the CPA13 preparatory track; MBA students are both full time and part time, and courses are offered primarily in a seated format with growing online capacity. Business student associations provide students with numerous leadership and educational opportunities in and out of the classroom. Workshops, conferences, a business plan contest, an investment competition, debates, consulting work and many more activities are available for students to gain a broader educational experience. The School of Business has an active and highly engaged Business Advisory Council (BAC), comprising business professionals (some of whom are alumni) from the Hudson Valley and beyond. The BAC works closely with the Dean and faculty, providing advice regarding curricular innovations, acting as judges for various student competitions, and assisting in the development of internship, consulting, and employment opportunities for students.

THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

The School of Education is committed to preparing caring, critical and reflective professional teachers and school administrators who will maximize the success of their students. Working collaboratively with local schools, community agencies, professional organizations, and campus-based programs, the School of Education prepares students to apply a wide range of evidence-based practices that meet the diverse needs of all learners. Students earn baccalaureate degrees in elementary and secondary education, master’s degrees in elementary and secondary education, literacy, special education, and humanistic education, as well as certificates of advanced study in educational leadership. Graduates are well grounded in content, theoretical and historical perspectives, pedagogy, the Common Core Learning Standards and clinical practice. Most programs lead to recommendation for New York State certification. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The School is regional home to the New York State Master Teacher Program, focusing on professional development of math and science teachers; the Center for Innovation in Education, a federal- and state-funded project to expand the clinically-rich preparation and on-going development of teachers and leaders; The Hudson Valley Writing Project; STEP, the Science and Technology Entry Program funded by the State Education Department to enhance math, science and technology skills of minority and low-income students from local high schools; and the Migrant Education Outreach Program that promotes the academic success of migrant eligible youth. The Newburgh Armory Unity Center Literacy Education Advocacy Partnership is one of several outreach projects of the School of Education that provide applied learning opportunities for New Paltz students while supporting literacy and other hands-on learning for youth, especially those who are struggling academically, in nearby communities.

THE SCHOOL OF FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS

The arts have a long and central tradition at New Paltz. The School of Fine & Performing Arts (F&PA) is guided by a belief in the transformative power of art and scholarship. F&PA programs foster intellectual and creative work informed by contemporary sociopolitical and cultural contexts. The School includes the departments of art, art history, music, and theatre arts, each offering multiple areas of concentration or specialty leading to B.S. or B.A. degrees, B.F.A and M.F.A. degrees in many studio arts fields, and master’s degrees in visual art education and music therapy. The Art Department’s metal arts program is ranked #1 nationally. The arts are an important part of the history, culture, and economy of the Hudson Valley; Ulster County, home to the College, has more practicing artists per capita than any area in New York outside of New York City. The proximity to New York City provides students with a wide range of artistic and educational opportunities including summer and academic year internships.

Programs in Fine and Performing Arts represent some of the College’s outstanding areas of community and regional outreach, providing key learning opportunities for students in the process. These include musical performances by the college-youth symphony, symphonic band, college-community chorale, and other groups; two community arts programs that provide students and faculty with special opportunities to engage with underrepresented populations in the fields of art, music and theater; Piano Summer, a 20-year-long piano institute and festival directed by internationally renowned pianist and faculty member Vladimir Feltsman; and a regular program of theatre performances that attract strong college and community attendance.

The broad academic and regional role of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art beyond the School of Fine and Performing Arts is recognized by a reporting line to the provost rather than within the School. Museum exhibitions and art collections regularly enhance courses and the academic mission, and serve the broader community as well. “The Dorsky” is increasingly recognized as a leader and key partner with other Hudson Valley arts organizations working to develop a thriving regional, collaborative network dedicated to the arts.

THE SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

The School of Science and Engineering comprises the departments of biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental geochemical science, geology, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and the division of engineering programs that offers programs in electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. In conjunction with the School of Education, the School of Science and Engineering also offers secondary education programs in the sciences and mathematics that prepare students to become effective inquiry-based facilitators of student learning. The College offers interdisciplinary majors in biochemistry and in environmental geochemical science. Several departments offer masters as well as baccalaureate degree programs. Observatory and Planetarium programs, lecture and seminar series, and sharing of faculty expertise and student talent with local industry represent some of the ways that the School connects with the regional community.

Enrollment in STEM majors at New Paltz has grown by nearly 80% in the past five years; Science and Engineering is now the second-largest of the five academic schools. This growth has been widespread across all majors; the mechanical engineering program, new in 2015, is already attracting many new students. The College is constructing a new $48 million science building and planning an Engineering Innovation Hub, funded by $10 million of economic development funding from New York State.

In collaboration with faculty and students in Fine and Performing Arts, the School of Science and Engineering has co-led the development of a thriving 3-D printing/digital design and fabrication/additive technology initiative at New Paltz. This is one example of many successful interdisciplinary initiatives at New Paltz. This program was designed to build on and blend the creative talents of the arts and the technology focus of engineering and computer science. Through a combination of private grants and funding from the New York State Senate and state economic development agencies totaling $2.3 million, the College has established a first-in-the nation “MakerBot Innovation Center” that provides students in many majors with an opportunity to conceptualize, design, and fabricate items. New Paltz now offers a Digital Design and Fabrication certificate curriculum. The College has established partnerships with two of the leading manufacturers of industry-grade 3D printing equipment, with high-end equipment in the College’s Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center supporting a growing record of outreach and collaboration to regional business and industry. Students, individually and in teams, from art, engineering, and business, gain valuable experience working on these external projects. The School of Education has developed programs that extend use of this technology to K-12 education.

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

The multidisciplinary Graduate School offers more than 50 programs that meet regional and statewide needs for advanced education. Such close connections to the local economy and local schools are an integral part of the New Paltz mission. The largest enrollments are in education programs that prepare many of the region’s teachers and school administrators. Faculty in liberal arts and sciences, fine and performing arts, and science and engineering help educate those future educators in the subject matters that they will teach. The business school fills local demand for strategic managers and accountants. The School of Science and Engineering provides the Hudson Valley with creative electrical and computer engineers and computer scientists. Ulster County is known for its extensive arts community, and the School of Fine and Performing Arts serves as a magnet for existing artists, for art patrons, and for students who aspire to create. Additional programs in music therapy and communication disorders serve the region as well. Some graduate programs have broader reach. The business and engineering schools draw students from around the globe and many of the MFA programs have distinguished national and international reputations.

Graduate enrollments, especially in the School of Education, have declined in recent years and the College is exploring new programs and modes of instructional delivery to renew and expand the advanced educational opportunities provided to the region. For example, an online advanced certificate program in disaster mental health was recently added and several 4+1 programs are in the proposal phase. Enrollments are also anticipated to increase as a result of recently enhanced international recruitment.