(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Starting this July, the faculty and staff of the Academic Affairs division at SUNY Buffalo State will be reorganized and University College will be eliminated as a distinct entity.
The moves are part of an effort to streamline the administration and improve efficiency, as the school faces a $4.7 million budget deficit due to losses in enrollment.
The staff of University College, which provides academic support to first-year and undeclared students, will be reassigned to new positions.
“There were all sorts of studies and assessments about the effectiveness of different programs,” said Melanie Perreault, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “The numbers and the surveys all sort of came together and said we need to try something different here.”
The faculty and staff of University College are working hard to implement these changes and maintain resources for students, according to Perreault.
A number of students, including Michael Trzepkowski, an undeclared freshmen say they have had a positive experience with University College.
“My adviser has been really hands on with what I want to do with my life,” said Trzepkowski. “She recommends classes I should take, she recommends different majors that I might be interested in, she gives me different career test programs that I can do to see what I might like.”
Students like Trzepkowski will not be directly affected by the changes, Perreault said.
“I think that the people working in University College certainly care about students and are hard workers but I think that the structure over time started to move away a little bit from direct support for students,” said Perreault.
Buffalo State is also conducting an internal search for a new interim associate provost who will help to lead Academic Affairs.
“The associate provost is the person on the ground who can really dig in and get at the meat of any individual program. It’s a lot of work but it can be rewarding, so I hope (to find) somebody who is willing to work really hard on the behalf of our students,” said Perreault.
The anticipated start date for the associate provost is July 1.