Assumes College Leadership Post Following 17 Years at Parkland College in Illinois

>> Opening Statement from Dr. Young's Introductory Press Conference (May 7)

PHOTO: Dr. Kristine YoungMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The SUNY Orange Board of Trustees reached into the nation’s heartland to hire the College’s ninth president, having unanimously selected Dr. Kristine M. Young, most recently the vice president for academic services at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., to replace the retiring Dr. William Richards this summer.

The Board’s selection of Young was affirmed today by the State University of New York’s Board of Trustees at its meeting in Albany. Young will officially assume her leadership post at the College on June 8. Today’s announcement culminates a seven-month process that began in October and included a national search.

“The Trustees were unanimous regarding who we wanted to lead SUNY Orange into the future,” said Helen Ullrich, chair of SUNY Orange Board of Trustees. “We were extremely impressed with Dr. Young’s accomplishments over a 17-year period at Parkland College, as well as her commitment to the mission of community colleges and the students we serve. The enthusiasm she displayed throughout the search process was contagious, and the Board looks forward to working with her.

“I want to thank my fellow Trustees and the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their remarkable work, and in particular, Trustee Joan Wolfe for providing clear and focused direction to the committee in her role as search committee chair,” Ullrich added. “The committee included representation from all sectors of the College, as well as members of the community-at-large. Committee members devoted untold hours to this important search and they never lost sight of the goal, which was to conduct a thorough and exhaustive selection process.

“This search and selection was a true community effort.”

As chief academic officer at Parkland, a role she accepted on an interim basis in 2007 before being named to the post permanently in February 2008, Young provided leadership for 180 full-time faculty members, more than 400 part-time faculty, and 65 staff and administrators in academic services in support of more than 160 degree and certificate programs and several academic support units. Parkland serves approximately 8,500 credit students per semester.

Over the past eight years, Young has led Parkland’s creation of two college-wide strategic plans, along with the development of multiple strategic plans for career and technical areas at the college. She served as chair of the college’s Diversifying Faculty Task Force; co-created the Parkland Pathway to Illinois, a multi-faceted dual admissions and dual enrollment program with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and established the Developmental Education Council, an advisory group that supports and coordinates the implementation of innovative academic and student support improvements throughout the developmental education program.

Her work at Parkland also included contributing deeply to the development of a comprehensive First Year Experience program for new students, as well as leading the reorganization of the College’s academic services and the creation of an Early College and Career Academy that established dual credit career-technical education programming with local high schools.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the next president of SUNY Orange by the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees, chaired by Helen Ullrich,” Young says. “I am humbled to have been identified for consideration by the 27-person search committee led by Trustee Joan Wolfe.

“While I’ve only been on the campuses a handful of times thus far, it is evident to me that the people of SUNY Orange believe fervently in the power of community colleges to transform lives and communities, “Young adds. “It is electrifying to have the opportunity to pair my experience and aspirations for students with this particular college. The human capital in the staff, faculty, administrators and trustees is exceptional and it shows in the programs and initiatives under way."

Young arrives at SUNY Orange just as its Trustees are putting the finishing touches on a new five-year Strategic Plan that will guide the College through the year 2020. Last November, revisions to the College’s mission, vision and values were approved in anticipation of the new Strategic Plan. The College is nearing completion of a new Facilities Master Plan and updates to academic, technology, enrollment management and institutional effectiveness plans are under way.

The sparkling new Rowley Center for Science and Engineering is concluding its first year of operation and has dramatically enhanced the teaching and learning environment for the College’s STEM-related academic programs, most notably architectural technology, biology, engineering science and the natural sciences.

Completion of the Rowley Center capped an aggressive series of capital improvement projects in which the College poured approximately $140 million into buildings and grounds within a span of six years. When final renovations of Hudson Hall and the Bio-Tech Building on the Middletown campus are complete this year, the College will have fully constructed or renovated six structures on its two campuses, resulting in more than 285,000 square feet of new or renewed educational space.

Thanks to the SUNY Orange Foundation, the College will issue a record $300,000 in scholarships during the 2014-15 academic year and earlier this week, SUNY Orange announced the availability of a New Media degree program.

In two weeks (May 21), the College will host its 65th Commencement ceremony. An estimated 400 graduates are expected to participate in the event, and more than 850 students are expected to have completed their degree requirements within the past academic year (August, December and May), marking the third consecutive year that the College’s graduate tally has eclipsed 800.

“Indeed, President Richards has positioned SUNY Orange as a valued and thriving asset in Orange County. It is my great honor to follow him and to lead SUNY Orange into the future. I look with great anticipation toward June 8. Cari and I are beyond delighted to be coming home.”

PHOTO: Kaplan HallAlthough Young has spent the past 17 years at Parkland College, she is no stranger to the northeast, having been born in nearby Scranton, Pa., and raised in Moscow, Pa. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., in 1996 and her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. Through the Community College Executive Leadership Program, Young completed her doctorate in education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2007.

Young began her tenure at Parkland in 1998 as a full-time chemistry instructor. She steadily progressed through the faculty ranks and accepted her first formal leadership role in 2001 when she was elected assistant to the department chair in the Natural Sciences Department while continuing to teach. In 2004, she was elected as chair of the Natural Sciences Department. Three years later, in 2007, Young was named interim vice president for Academic Services.

She is a past president of the Illinois Community College Chief Academic Officers Organization and recently served as the vice president of the Board of the National Council of Instructional Administrators, an American Association of Community Colleges affiliate council. She has served on the AACC Commission for Workforce and Economic Development and has been active at the state level in Illinois, especially on issues of articulation, workforce, career and technical education, and higher education policy.

Young and her wife, Cari, who was most recently a research data analyst at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois, will reside in Goshen.

» Back to Headlines

Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940