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Bea Gonzalez named dean of University College
Bea Gonzalez named dean of University College June 22, 2007Kevin C. Quinnkcquinn@syr.edu
Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina announced today that he has appointed Bea Gonzalez as dean of University College (UC) effective July 1. Gonzalez was named interim dean of University College in 2004 and has since served in that capacity.
“Bea’s leadership at University College has had a positive impact on the University as a whole and its relationship to the community,” says Spina. “Her dedication and commitment to education are evident in her long tenure in the field, especially her advocacy for area residents who are both economically and educationally disadvantaged. Bea’s strong ties to Central New York and her service to the public make her an ideal candidate to contribute to our Scholarship in Action initiatives.”
“I’m honored by Vice Chancellor Spina’s confidence in me and the support he has shown University College,” Gonzalez says. “Access to education is one of my passions, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen University College so it remains a valuable asset to Syracuse University, our community and the Central New York region. UC understands the needs of the non-traditional student and lifelong learner and will continue to ensure that we advance Scholarship in Action by bringing the best of our community to campus and the best of our campus to the community.”
Spina has also announced that University College will soon begin a multi-year transition process that will strengthen and enhance the University’s focus on serving part-time, non-traditional students, with the special expertise of UC staff in program development and student services being applied in partnership with SU’s schools and colleges to improve offerings and services for all students. The intent is to connect part-time students much more closely to SU’s schools and colleges, aligning the part-time student experience with that of full-time students and opening access for these students to the same degrees and credentials.
In addition to providing strong support for part-time students, University College will build on its long tradition of creating programs that benefit the local community by further connecting the University’s academic programs with the many Scholarship in Action community engagement initiatives under way and in development–such as The Warehouse, the Connective Corridor, the South Side Innovation Center and the Near West Side Arts, Design & Technology Quarter.
This effort follows the recommendations of a University-wide task force Spina created in January to review and evaluate the mission and focus of University College. A number of UC programs will be evaluated to determine whether they will be moved to schools/colleges where there are natural connections. Spina has asked Assistant University Provost Roberta Jones to oversee the review process, based upon her long experience at UC and her collaborative experiences with the University’s many academic units.
“Part-time students are an important constituency for Syracuse University. Many of them live in the greater Syracuse community, which has contributed to the strong relationships SU has had with the community. Demographically, part-time students have also added diversity of age, background and perspective in our learning environment,” Spina says. “With this in mind, the schools and colleges of Syracuse University will forge stronger partnerships with University College to focus on strengthening the entire University’s commitment to part-time students. These are high expectations, but we have collaborative and effective leaders within UC, in the schools and colleges and in support units such that we fully expect success.”
Gonzalez joined Syracuse University in 1984 as an academic counselor in the Office of Opportunity Education and Research. Much of her tenure at SU was spent working in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). She was named executive director of HEOP and executive director of community and public services at University College in 1991, while continuing to serve as director of student administrative services.
Gonzalez received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Binghamton University in 1978 and a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School in 2004. She also earned a certificate in public administration at the Maxwell School.
Gonzalez’s service to the community includes serving as commissioner of education for the Syracuse City School District and an elector of the New York State Electoral College. She is currently president of the Syracuse Common Council and president of the board of The Gifford Foundation.