President appoints Clemo college's top academic officer


SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley has promoted Dr. Lorrie Clemo to interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Lorrie Clemo.Clemo, who started at the college 18 years ago as an assistant professor of political science and served most recently as the president’s chief of staff, replaces Dr. Susan Coultrap-McQuin, provost from July 2004 until she stepped down this month to take a scholarly leave. Stanley said Coultrap-McQuin would return as deputy to the president for special projects.

Stanley had words of praise for both administrator/scholars. Of Clemo, she said:

“Since 2006 when she joined our college’s leadership team, I have been particularly impressed with Dr. Clemo’s passion for public higher education, her grasp of the trends in education, and her ability to inspire and empower others. Dr. Clemo was instrumental in crafting our current strategic plan, ‘Engaging Challenge: The Sesquicentennial Plan,’
and has led development of the Global Laboratory network for our Possibility Scholarship program.”

Stanley said the college would begin a national search at a date to be determined for a permanent provost and vice president for academic affairs, the officer responsible for leadership in all academic programs.

Meanwhile, Clemo has gained experience managing in challenging times, the president said. “Dr. Clemo has worked with me and with Oswego’s vice presidents and deans to manage the challenging budget situation, spearhead the campus advocacy effort to help restore state support, and garner additional resources through new initiatives,” Stanley said.

Clemo said she believes in the quality of the college’s faculty, students and academic programs—and in her ability to propel the institution to an even brighter future.

“I’m grateful that the president is giving me an opportunity to share my ideas with the campus, an opportunity to work more closely with her management team to move the institution in certain strategic directions that will be important to the institution into the future,” Clemo said.

Coultrap-McQuin stepped down with important college projects in her legacy, including shepherding a new engineering program and restructuring of the academic division with a new School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

“During her tenure as vice president, Susan launched the Metro Center in downtown Syracuse, expanded student-faculty scholarly and creative activities, reinvigorated civic engagement, increased the diversity of faculty and staff, and expanded international awareness and academic experiences abroad,” Stanley said.

A college on the move

U.S. News selected Oswego as a “Top Up-and-Coming School” for 2010, and Clemo said she wants to seize on the college’s future-oriented momentum. A strong believer in creative partnerships to strengthen the academic mission, she said the ivory tower has to come down to earth.

“The institution as a whole has to move in the direction of what I would call intellectual entrepreneurship—a kind of term of art in education—capturing the intellectual energies of a campus,” Clemo said. “Partnering with external organizations, nonprofit organizations, businesses, outside constituencies that can help provide learning opportunities for our students while addressing the pressing challenges of our time.”

As a faculty member, Clemo taught courses ranging from “Race and Gender in U.S. Society” to “State and Local Government,” directed the public administration and policy program, wrote dozens of papers, conference reports and other publications, obtained grants, researched health care policy, and served locally and nationally on intercollegiate athletics boards and associations.

As president of the national Faculty Athletics Representatives Association, she played a leadership role in developing the NCAA’s strategic plan that set into motion academic reform and redefinition of the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education. She received the NCAA David Knight Leadership Award in 2008.

A Camillus native, Clemo resides on Onondaga Hill in Syracuse with her husband, Dr. Steve Nicolais, a pediatrician. They have four children.

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(Posted: Jul 27, 2010)

Tags: political science, leadership, administration, academics