Carol Long, new provost and vice president of academic affairs, is taking time to get acquainted with the faculty and students as she prepares to confront the challenges facing the college this year.
Long, whose term officially began July 1, spent a week in the guest apartment in Seneca Hall before moving into a home on Conesus Lake. Over the summer, she met with incoming students, administrative colleagues, visiting alumni and faculty.
Many students are unsure of exactly what a provost does. Long acknowledged the title as "ancient" and said she prefers to be known as the "chief academic officer." She described herself as "the voice for the academic side of the house," as she is principally responsible for the quality of academic affairs on campus.
The Office of the Provost reports directly to President Christopher Dahl and oversees all academic departments, the Dean's Office, libraries, Computing and Information Technologies and sponsored and institutional research programs.
Dahl organized a series of receptions where Long and members of the faculty were able to interact. Long was also recently approved as the advisor to the Academic Affairs Committee, a committee of Student Association that oversees all student academic clubs.
Long said that her top priority this year will be working to maintain the quality of academic programs even as the SUNY system faces budget shortfalls.
"We want to strengthen rather than harm the institution," she said.
Other top items on her agenda include working with the Six Big Ideas task forces, particularly in the area of adjusting the curriculum, expanding international education opportunities and partnerships and working with CIT.
"The digital realm will change us over the next decade in ways that we can't entirely foresee," she said.
Long said that while her strong opinions of Geneseo's faculty and students have been upheld since taking the post, she has been "pleasantly surprised at the weather and the natural surroundings [of the area]. The landscape is gorgeous."
The provost is also holding open office hours on a monthly basis where members of the campus community can ask her questions or just stop by to chat. The first session was held on Sept. 14.
Long comes to Geneseo from Willamette University in Oregon, where she was the dean of the college of liberal arts.