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College Announces Record Number of New Faculty

 College Announces Record Number of New Faculty

08/29/2011 

SUNY Cortland will begin its 2011-12 academic year with 35 new full-time faculty members, a record number of new professors and lecturers that demonstrate the College’s commitment to quality student instruction.

 “Obviously, this is very exciting for the College,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “It adds new perspectives in the classroom, which we desperately needed. … “It’s nice to have new buildings, and you’ll notice quite a few of them being renovated and going up in the next few years,” he said. “But it really is the people who make a difference for us at this College.”

In addition to the 35 new full-time faculty members, the College this year added more than 20 new professional staff members and 43 new classified staff members.

The College administration last year decided to take on new faculty and staff despite years of funding cuts from the state. For several years, hiring was frozen on all but essential personnel  creating staff vacancies that were often filled by adjunct professors.

The State University of New York Rational Tuition Policy, which raised SUNY tuition by $300 per student to $5,270 for the academic year, will help SUNY Cortland pay for the positions and maintain its student-first focus.

Several other SUNY schools are likely to increase staffing because of the tuition increase, but SUNY Cortland made this decision early, and is about a year ahead of those institutions.

“When I talked to other presidents about hiring faculty, most of them waited,” for the state funding picture to become clearer, he said. “They asked me: ‘How can you gamble in this environment?’”

The gamble paid off for SUNY Cortland students, according to the president. The College initially sought to create 15 new tenure-track positions. Instead, it hired 27 new tenure-track faculty, seven new full-time lecturers and one new visiting professor.

The 27 new tenure-track faculty members are:

• Jill Murphy, an associate professor of health.

• Linda Pickett, an associate professor of childhood/early childhood education.

• John Aerni-Flessner, an assistant professor of history.

• Helena Baert, an assistant professor of physical education.

• Genevieve Birren, an assistant professor of sport management.

• Katrina Bratge, an assistant professor of educational leadership.

• Brooke Burk, an assistant professor of recreation, park and leisure studies.

• Christina Caravella, an instructor of literacy.

• Christa Chatfield, an assistant professor of biological sciences.

• Nikki Lyn Curtis, an assistant professor of communication disorders and sciences.

• Flavia Dantas, an assistant professor of economics.

• Natalie Dopso, an assistant professor of foundations and social advocacy.

• Laura Gathagan, an assistant professor of history.

• Guiseppe Getto, an assistant professor of English.

• Sarah Hobson, an assistant professor of English.

• Richard Hunter, an assistant professor of geography.

• Mona Ivey-Soto, an assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education.

• Li Jin, an assistant professor of geology.

• Judith Johns, an assistant professor of health.

• Erik Lind, an assistant professor of kinesiology.

• Cathy MacDonald, an assistant professor of physical education.

• Mary-Jo Morse, an instructor of literacy.

• Dwight Pfennig, an assistant professor of educational leadership.

• Lynn Sebastian Purcell, an assistant professor of philosophy.

• Sonia Sharma, an assistant professor of mathematics.

• Codruta Temple, an assistant professor of mathematics.

• Jeffrey Werner, an assistant professor of chemistry.

The new visiting professor is Erika Fowler-Decatur, an assistant professor of art and art history.

The seven new full-time lecturers are:

• Valerie Behr, of childhood/early childhood education.

• Myriam Benincore, of modern languages.

• Carie George, of biological sciences.

• Thomas Heidt, of mathematics.

• Christine Lemchak, of English.

• Quincy Loney, of mathematics.

• Deborah Rogers, of English.