Dr. Kristine M. Young Biography
About Dr. Young:
Now in her second year as president of SUNY Orange, Dr. Kristine Young can reflect upon a productive initial year that included her successful advocacy for enhanced student support, the initiation of an aggressive overhaul of the College’s lagging information technology infrastructure, the integration of a handful of significant SUNY initiatives, and the completion of several stellar program accreditation reviews.
Additionally, she navigated the College through challenging budgetary constraints in the face of limited increases in support from New York State and challenged her administrative team to seek creative ways to stem current declines in student enrollment.
Since Young’s arrival, the College has accepted a $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant, awarded by the United States Department of Education, to help increase the persistence, retention, graduation and transfer rates of low-income first generation students and students with disabilities. Additionally, a State University of New York grant secured this past February will allow the College to develop an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) that will provide access, academic support and financial aid counseling to low-income and academically underprepared students.
Additional grant awards are helping the College increase peer-mentoring opportunities for students returning to the College after having been separated for academic reasons, and a new part-time veterans coordinator has expanded the College’s burgeoning array of services for veterans.
Young’s pledge to provide students with the necessary resources to succeed academically also includes an expansive upgrade to the IT system. SUNY Orange has partnered with the SUNY Information Technology Exchange Center (ITEC) for technological support and consultation, and is in the process of implementing suggestions from a thorough IT audit. Major projects include an overhaul of the College network to allow for more reliable connectivity, installation of a new firewall to increase data security, and expanding wireless access.
The past 18 months has also seen SUNY challenge its universities and community colleges to unite on initiatives designed to broaden student success system-wide, and Young has embraced that call. SUNY Orange has adjusted many of its academic programs’ course sequences in support of SUNY Seamless Transfer, a program to assure students a smoother transfer between SUNY schools and swifter completion of their degree.
In the first year of the College’s revised Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Young has also spearheaded SUNY Orange’s efforts to embrace SUNY Excels, a series of data-driven performance metrics aimed at improving SUNY’s system-wide outcomes related to access, completion, success, inquiry and engagement. With the SUNY Excels focus areas dovetailing nicely with the College’s new strategic priorities, Young rallied the College community to quickly develop tactical solutions to address lagging completion rates; adapt to rapidly changing student demographics; better serve Orange County with workforce-inspired programs; and make the actuality of anytime-anywhere college more available to students.
Leading a college that has long been recognized for its rigorous curriculum, Young encourages her faculty members and academic administrative team to continually seek creative ways to innovate while at the same time maintaining excellence in the classroom. SUNY Orange received further confirmation of its academic strength this past year as the business, laboratory technology, nursing and dental hygiene programs each were re-accredited. The business and laboratory technology programs received the highest possible ratings from their respective accrediting bodies.
Stemming the tide of dwindling enrollment has been another primary focus for Young in her first year. She has supported enhanced marketing efforts to bring more students to the College’s summer sessions, and she called for creative scheduling solutions that will appeal to students across all demographics. A new layout of course offerings on the Newburgh campus was recently unveiled for the Fall 2016 semester.
One of SUNY Orange’s new strategic priorities calls for expanded access. The College has developed a BRIDGES program to offer a post-secondary educational experience for students with intellectual, developmental, and autism spectrum disabilities within the Hudson Valley. This inclusive, community-based educational framework is yet another example of the College’s attempt to bring academics to heretofore underserved populations.
Young began her presidency at SUNY Orange on June 8, 2015, following a 17-year tenure at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. She first arrived at Parkland as a chemistry instructor in 1998 and steadily rose through the faculty and administrative ranks.
As vice president for academic services 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.
Although Young spent nearly two decades at Parkland, 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.