Restructuring Plans in Enrollment Management, Provost’s Office and Graduate & Extended Learning

The following information was shared with all campus employees via email on July 21, 2021.

Dear SUNY New Paltz Faculty and Staff,

We write to share some restructuring decisions in Enrollment Management, the Provost’s Office and Graduate and Extended Learning that will go into effect Sept. 1.

The pandemic brought into sharper focus the need for institutions like ours to examine how we recruit and serve our student population.  Many of our current structures and processes have served us well in the past, and the new structures will help us thrive in a changed future.  Even while the College is in the midst of a major leadership transition, we face an imperative to continue to make the most effective use possible of existing financial resources. The changes outlined below include both the reorganization of existing resources and new investments deemed essential for growing enrollment and generating revenue.


Organizational Changes in Enrollment Management

Graduate Admissions will move to the Division of Enrollment Management. This provides better alignment with the human and financial resources allocated to the work of new student recruitment. Under the auspices of Enrollment Management, this realignment better utilizes shared resources and creates greater opportunities to apply emerging best practices and strategies that will keep us competitive and support revenue generation.

Summer, Winter and Special sessions will also move to Enrollment Management.  Increasing the number of students—both those currently enrolled at SUNY New Paltz as well as those who would enroll as visiting students—during special sessions represents a significant opportunity to augment efforts related to new student recruitment, retention, and net tuition revenue generation.  We will develop further summer and winter offerings to grow these special sessions more strategically.

These changes can be effected only with the development of current employees and investment in the future. The changes described include redesigned roles for some existing members of Graduate and Extended Learning and Enrollment Management.  We are fortunate to have great talent within these areas, and this is a tremendous opportunity to invest in that talent and to support their professional growth. We will also search for the newly created position of Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management. We will seek someone with deep knowledge of this dynamic field’s best practices and impactful strategies. This position will provide oversight to these key initiatives and optimize organizational balance in the division.   With some initiatives already well underway, Vice President Jeff Gant will continue projects that improve student services to drive increases in retention and student satisfaction, identify opportunities for expanded external partnerships, and maximize our use of data and technology to support recruitment and retention.


Organizational Changes within Academic Affairs

Graduate and Extended Learning is reorganizing into the two units of a) Graduate, Professional, and Interdisciplinary Studies and b) Continuing and Online Education. The move of Graduate Admissions to Enrollment Management creates the opportunity for these newly designed units to direct greater attention to graduate, online, and continuing education program development and delivery.  Shala Mills’ position is being broadened in scope under her new title of Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Learning Innovation, and her portfolio will include leadership and support for the following areas:

Graduate, Professional, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Continuing and Online Education

Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH)

In addition, she will provide support and oversight for the Faculty Development Center (FDC) and for the Digital Arts, Sciences, and Humanities (DASH) Lab as well as for Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives, in consultation with key constituents. These are areas that show promise for growth and offer opportunity for exciting innovation. In this new role Shala will also assume responsibilities to address a widely acknowledged need, reflected most recently in our Middle States Self-study, to streamline the reporting structure and workload of the Provost, long identified as a major challenge for that position.  This will create more opportunity for the Provost to have sustained time with direct reports and to devote more attention to big-picture academic strategic thinking and planning with the deans.

Associate Provost Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney’s portfolio will also be rebalanced.   Laurel will continue to provide leadership and support for the Strategic Planning and Assessment Council with responsibility for recommendations regarding

Institutional Strategic Planning

Institutional Effectiveness Assessment

Laurel’s Institutional Effectiveness Assessment responsibilities will continue to encompass not only Middle States accreditation, General Education assessment, and academic program review but also newly incorporated oversight of program-specific accreditation.  Added to her broader portfolio of responsibilities will also be providing leadership and support for the Center for International Programs (CIP).

In addition, Associate Provost Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney will continue to serve as liaison with the General Education Board.  She and Associate Provost Shala Mills will work in concert, relying on broad and inclusive consultation, in serving as the Provost’s designees for advancing New Paltz’s implementation of SUNY’s revised General Education Framework, which is to undergo further development under an extended implementation timeframe of 2023. She will also provide support for other administrative functions within the Provost Office.

Financial constraints have forced us to rethink how to meet a previously stated objective to search for an additional Associate Provost line.  We are fortunate to be able to draw on the proven capacities of talented and experienced colleagues in our midst and to further develop future leaders in this work.

These ideas for these organizational changes grew out separate strategic assessments of processes in Enrollment Management and in Graduate and Extended Learning.  The separate assessments became a great exercise in how collaboration and planning across divisions will create room for innovation, sound investments and more effective planning.  This type of strategic thinking is critical if we are to be successful and competitive in a post-pandemic higher education environment  in which we are fast approaching an impending demographic cliff in high school graduates in the Northeast.


Donald P. Christian, President
Barbara G. Lyman, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jeff Gant, Vice President for Enrollment Management