Hartwick Academic Affairs Reorganizes to Bolster Student Success

June 5, 2012

The Division of Academic Affairs at Hartwick College is pleased to announce a reorganization of several non-instructional areas as part of the College's efforts to bolster student satisfaction and improve retention and graduation rates. The affected areas include the Office of Advising and Registration (OAR), the Office of the First Year Experience (FYE), the Center for Professional, Service, and Global Engagement (PSGE), and the Office of Academic Affairs.

The reorganization was prompted by a number of critical studies, most notably the recommendations of the 2009 Middle States self-study and visiting team reports; task force reports that addressed first-year students, retention, and academic advising; two Title III federal grant applications; and an analysis of high-impact practices in higher education correlated with student success.

"The President and Vice Presidents are committed to doing whatever is in our power, individually and collectively, to significantly improve the student experience at Hartwick so that all students feel supported and challenged in equal measure," said Dr. Michael G. Tannenbaum, provost & vice president for academic affairs. "Current research indicates that effective academic support services are an essential piece of the teaching-learning dynamic."

Effective July 1, 2012, the College will establish the Center for Student Success (CSS) under the leadership of Robin Diana, the newly-appointed Dean of Student Success and Retention. To be wholly located in the Yager Loft by the end of Summer 2013, the Center will house the offices and programs of the First Year Experience, Learning Support Services, and Tutoring Services, as well as retention initiatives, programming, and reporting. CSS also will house the Second-Year Experience and Transfer Transitions Experience, both of which are under development.

"I am excited and honored to lead the team that will bring the Center for Student Success to life for our students, faculty, and staff," said Diana. "It represents what I most appreciate about Hartwick - its openness to change and innovation and commitment to progress."

In Golisano Hall, the PSGE Center will welcome the addition of academic advising into the PSGE Center suite, with an additional presence in the CSS once it transitions to the Loft.

Noted Tannenbaum, "Given the confluence of a number of factors, now is the time to markedly improve academic advising from the current model, which is more prescriptive and transactional in nature, to one that is more developmental and holistic. The new model will better address the unique academic and professional needs of our students while providing our faculty, the primary advisors, with enhanced training and support as they guide students through their college experience."

Teresa DiMagno, the newly-appointed Assistant Dean of Academic Advising and Experiential Learning, will oversee the alignment of academic advising and experiential learning in addition to the coordination of pre-professional advising and prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

"Hartwick is remarkable in the extent to which it celebrates the intersection of the liberal arts and the worlds of work and practice. This new alignment only serves to reinforce that learning is an asset to the individual, the community, and the profession," said DiMagno.

In addition to Bob Drake, the newly appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Assessment, the Office of Academic Affairs will be joined by Matt Sanford, who in addition to continuing as Registrar has been named Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. Along with overseeing the Office of the Registrar, Sanford will direct the Three-Year Degree Program, provide oversight for departmental course scheduling and the academic calendar, oversee academic data management and requests, assist the Provost with academic policy review and development, and serve as liaison to the Committee on Academic Standards and the summer pre-baccalaureate program. He also will help the Provost with new program development. Both Sanford and the Office of the Registrar will remain in Dewar Hall.

"I look forward to this expansion of my role in Academic Affairs, especially with regard to helping to refine academic policies and in developing new programs," said Sanford. "This new position also will help provide clarity and leadership to our growing Three-Year Degree Program."

"Summer 2012 will give Academic Affairs much needed time to focus our efforts on implementing the reorganization and several related transitions," continued Tannenbaum. "These transitions include a reallocation of duties in the Academic Affairs office, which we will communicate to the College community as the summer unfolds. Furthermore, Academic Affairs has assumed oversight of both Awakening and Challenge Education, under the leadership of Brian Hagenbuch, Director of the Pine Lake Institute. We request your patience as we realign programs, services, staff and positions, and communicate these changes to you. I have every confidence that the benefits of these changes will be evident as early as Fall 2012. Until then, I welcome the community's thoughts and feedback as we embrace this new direction."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030