SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian has announced that Stella Deen, associate professor of English, has been appointed Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs beginning August 1. Professor of History Lee Bernstein, the provost’s fellow for interdisciplinary programs and chair of the Academic Advising Council, will serve as Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies.
Bernstein will be the College’s second Associate Provost. He joins Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney, who serves as Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. During his interim year, he will oversee the Dean of Academic Advising, and the directors of the Teaching and Learning Center, the Honors Program, the Scholars Mentorship Program, and Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.
“Stella Deen has excelled as a leader in multiple capacities and levels at New Paltz, including institutional level planning,” said Christian. “I am pleased at her willingness to take the helm of academic leadership during this time of significant transition.”
He added, “As a faculty member, Department Chair, and Provost’s Fellow, Lee Bernstein has demonstrated his calm leadership and ability to think and act institutionally. His work next year will help the College and Academic Affairs advance academic initiatives that are at the heart of our strategic plan priorities.”
She has taught at New Paltz for 19 years and served as Chair of the English Department for four years. Under her guidance, the department, with 25 full-time faculty and more than 50 part-time faculty, completed a five-year self-study and revised the undergraduate major, as well as a number of graduate level courses.
In 2007, Deen was appointed the Co-Chair of the Campus Facilities Planning Task Force, which worked with an architectural planning consultant to develop a campus facilities master plan. The plan now serves as a guide in overall campus appearance, campus circulation, accessibility, sustainability and the desired future location of building projects. In addition, Deen serves on the Organization Committee and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in 2007.
“In recent years, SUNY New Paltz has built on its legacy of academic excellence, especially by increasing students’ engagement in activities that have an enduring impact on their knowledge and skills. These align with our strategic plan and include students’ preparation as global citizens, their research and collaboration with professors and peers, and their opportunities to apply learning in real-world settings,” said Deen. “I very much look forward to working with talented faculty, administrators, and staff to maintain that momentum.”
Deen holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia, a Licence en lettres modernes from the University of Paris III and a B.A. degree (summa cum laude) from Hamilton College.
He served as Chair of the Department of History (2009-2013) directing about 20 full- and part-time faculty and 350 majors in three undergraduate majors and one graduate degree program. During his tenure, Bernstein completed a five-year review of personnel needs, curriculum and programs and sought and received approval for four tenure-track hires to diversify course offerings. He also participated in the overhaul of the M.A.T. in Secondary Education/Social Studies in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Education.
From 2004-2007 and from 2010-2013 he served as Project Director for the Teaching American History Summer Institute, a U.S. Department of Education-funded collaboration between the Department of History and Ulster County BOCES. The Institute provided intensive workshops on U.S. History to K-12 teachers from Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange counties.
Bernstein teaches broadly in twentieth century U.S. history. He is the author of many articles, reference materials, and two books on crime and prisons in U.S. history and culture: The Greatest Menace: Organized Crime in Cold War America (2002) and America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s (2010).
“The past two years as Provost Fellow deepened my appreciation for the many talented and accomplished people at New Paltz,” he said. “I am delighted that this new post will allow me to support their work and contribute to the education of our students.”
Bernstein earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1997, an M.A. degree from Boston College in 1992, and a B.A. degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1989. Prior to joining the faculty at New Paltz, Bernstein held appointments at the University of Colorado Boulder and San Jose State University.