SUNY Orange Vice President to Assume Leadership Post at North Carolina College

PHOTO: Catherine ChewMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Following a successful three-year stint as SUNY Orange’s vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Catherine Chew has been named the fourth president of Craven Community College, a school of 3,000 students with campuses in the eastern North Carolina cities of New Bern and Havelock.

Chew, who will remain at SUNY Orange through August and assume her new post Oct. 1, is eager to accept the challenge of leading Craven’s administration. Her formal hiring is contingent on official approval by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges, which could come at the panel's July 18 meeting.

“I think Craven has great people and great promise,” Chew said. “It’s in a dynamic community that is very similar to Orange County in that the county and governmental leaders are very supportive of the College. Becoming Craven’s next president is an awesome responsibility, but one that I’m very excited about.”

Chew will replace Dr. R. Scott Ralls, who in May assumed the role as president of the North Carolina Community College System. Ralls had served as Craven’s president since 2002.

“We will miss Catherine’s leadership and vision,” said Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange president. “She’s accomplished so much during her short time at the College. She is the most creative and productive academic leader I have ever known, and I’m certain she’ll be a tremendous asset for Craven Community College. We are sorry to lose her, but we know this move is perfect for her both professionally and personally.”

Chew’s mother, sister and son all reside in the Charlotte area, a four-hour drive from Craven County.

During her tenure, Chew has helped invigorate SUNY Orange’s academic curriculum, encouraged continued professional development by faculty and staff, developed programs to promote student success, established collaborative relationships across campus, and built or strengthened relationships between the College and community.

In 2005, at about the same time she arrived at SUNY Orange from New Jersey City University, the College unveiled a Strategic Plan that called for development of an Academic Master Plan. Chew, along with her academic affairs leadership team and academic vice presidents, oversaw the creation of the Academic Master Plan, which revitalized the College’s programs and established a road map for future academic development.

She also worked alongside Paul Broadie, vice president for student services, to create a vibrant and collaborative alliance between the College’s academic affairs and student services divisions, establishing a working relationship that had not existed between those areas for many years. A significant product of their collaboration was the creation of a First-Year Experience program that seeks to improve student retention by linking academics with college skills, career goals and support services.

PHOTO: Global Initiative logoOver the past three years, the College has also created a Center for Teaching and Learning where faculty and staff can expand their professional horizons; unveiled its Global Initiative, a college-wide interdisciplinary focus on a topic of global importance; and formed the Office of Educational Partnerships to further develop and enhance the College’s relationships with community organizations, local school districts and other post-secondary educational institutions.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with so many talented people at SUNY Orange; people who have been willing to work together to build a better College. I think we’ve laid the foundation and are now ready to move to the next level,” Chew added. “I can’t say enough about how appreciative I am about having had the opportunity to work at SUNY Orange. I’ve learned so much from so many people and will always treasure my time here.”

Prior to arriving at SUNY Orange, Chew had been the assistant dean of the College of Professional Studies at New Jersey City University. Before that, she was the Dean of Business, Technology and Allied Health at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.

Chew holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tennessee Tech University. She received her master’s degree and her doctorate in education at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.

The College has begun its search for Chew’s replacement. Richards will appoint an interim vice president for academic affairs and hopes to have the position filled permanently by January.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940