Saratoga County

Hancock picked to lead Empire State College

A Michigan college administrator is the new president of Empire State College, a nontraditional SUNY

A Michigan college administrator is the new president of Empire State College, a nontraditional SUNY school in Saratoga Springs.

Merodie A. Hancock will be the college’s fourth president, replacing acting President Meg Benke, who was one of five finalists vying for the permanent position. Benke served as acting president for nine months following a four-year tenure by Alan R. Davis, who resigned last year to become president of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia.

The SUNY board of trustees Tuesday voted unanimously to appoint Hancock, who will begin July 1. She will earn $225,000 a year.

“Dr. Hancock’s experience and knowledge of higher learning and especially the delivery of online programs across campuses and international borders is certain to serve students and faculty at Empire State College and throughout our system very well,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said in a news release.

Hancock is vice president for Central Michigan University Global Campus, where she is responsible for the delivery of academic programs to CMU’s remote campuses, military and community college locations and online programs. She beat out four other candidates for the job — Fred Hurst, Benke, David Schejbal and Alan G. Walker.

Hancock has held teaching and administrative positions at the University of Maryland University College. She earned a doctorate in urban services and education administration from Old Dominion University in Virginia, an MBA from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Scripps College, both in California.

She is now in charge of overseeing a college that serves more than 20,000 students, both online and on campus. She will also work with Zimpher to bring all of SUNY’s online courses onto one shared, comprehensive system so they’re accessible to all SUNY students and faculty.

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