Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty: Strom Thacker, Feigenbaum Hall, (518) 388-6102
Dean of Academic Departments and Programs: Jennifer Fredricks, Science and Engineering S-100, (518) 388-6233
Dean of Studies: Mark Wunderlich, Science and Engineering S-100, (518) 388-6234
Director of Academic Planning and Finance: Greta Donato, Feigenbaum Hall, (518) 388-6033
Academic Affairs is responsible for the formulation of educational policy, matters involving the faculty, and all academic related processes. The Academic Affairs Office includes the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs, the Dean of Studies and the Director of Academic Planning and Finance.
The Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs has responsibility for all Academic Affairs areas, including academic matters related to faculty and students, the curriculum and academic budgeting. Supervisory responsibilities include Information Technology Services, Athletics, International Programs, Registrar’s Office, Schaffer Library, the Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL), Common Curriculum (General Education), the Director of Engineering and the Director of Assessment.
The Dean of Academic Departments and Programs oversees all academic departments and interdisciplinary programs, playing a key role in faculty recruiting, faculty development, curriculum development and advising the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs on matters associated with the review and promotion of faculty. Supervisory duties include Interdisciplinary Programs, Faculty Development, the Leadership in Medicine program and department chairs and program directors.
The Dean of Studies has responsibility for the implementation of the Honor Code and has academic policies and has supervisory responsibilities of the Academic Achievement program, Academic Advising, the Academic Opportunity Program, the Health Professions Program, the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, National Fellowships & Scholarships, the Scholars Program, Undergraduate Research, and the Writing Center.
The Director of Academic Planning and Finance manages academic finances and facilities, supervises the Engineering Machine Lab and supports the Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, faculty members, administrators and staff within Academic Affairs on various resource matters.
Academic Achievement Office
Director: Gale Keraga, Becker Hall 104, (518) 388-6493
The office provides academic support for all students at Union to help them reach their full academic potential. A variety of programs are available to assist students in becoming stronger, more independent learners. Individual consultations are available with the Director of Academic Achievement to help students develop a plan for success and provide support as they work towards their goals. In addition, academic coaching and study skills development through peer mentoring is available through the Minerva Mentors program. Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides academic support for some of our traditionally challenging courses by offering optional, collaborative, peer-led study sessions. The SI program is jointly sponsored by the Union Scholars Program. The office also supports the academic progress of sophomores and returning students on academic warning.
Academic Opportunity Program/Higher Education Opportunity Program
Director: Philip Poczik, Olin Building 112, (518) 388-6115
The Academic Opportunity Program (AOP) and the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) have a long and proud tradition of academic excellence, serving students for over forty-five years. These talent search programs offer support services to ensure academic success for a select group of students. Services include: an intensive five-week pre-first year student summer program; individualized and group tutoring; and academic, career, and financial counseling.
Director: Professor Mark Walker (History), Lippman Hall 216, (518) 388-6994
Academic advising is central to the mission of a liberal arts college such as Union and is a key faculty responsibility. Union students enjoy a close working relationship with the faculty advisors who encourage and assist their advisees to make informed choices that maximize the benefits of a liberal arts education. First-year students are assigned advisors by the Dean of Studies while upper-class advisors are chosen by the student. Students may request a change of advisor at any time through the Dean of Studies office. Additional information on advising can be obtained on the advising website.
The College also has a peer mentoring program, Minerva Mentors. For more details, contact Gale Keraga (Director of the Academic Achievement Office), (518) 388-6493.
Students interested in support services for learning disabilities should refer to “Disability Services ” in the Student Services section for additional information. Students are also encouraged to consult with the Director of Disability Services, in the Dean of Students office.
Health Professions Program
Director of Health Professions Program: Professor Carol Weisse (Psychology), Olin Building 110, (518) 388-6300
Director of Leadership in Medicine & Combined Health Degree Program: Joanne Fitzgerald, Olin Building 212, (518) 388-6836
The Health Professions Program at Union College is designed to advise students who are planning a career in medicine (including osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, and other allied health professions). In addition to providing academic advising, the program works closely with students to help them identify the kinds of experiences on campus and in the community that will foster personal growth and the development of interpersonal skills necessary for a successful career in healthcare delivery.
Professional schools give no preference to any particular major when seeking candidates; therefore, Union College does not offer a “premedical” major. Although many major in the natural sciences, students are encouraged to choose a major in any field in which they are interested. Today more than ever, professional schools are searching for students who have not only mastered the sciences but who also have backgrounds that are well-rounded and diverse. Most professional schools require students to complete and do well in the following courses:
Note: Introductory Psychology or Sociology and statistics are also recommended. Some health professions programs (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing) also require additional courses such as Microbiology and Developmental Psychology as well as Human Anatomy and Physiology, the latter of which is not offered at Union but can be taken through the Hudson Mohawk Consortium at neighboring schools.
Information Technology Services
Chief Information Officer: Ellen Yu Borkowski, Peschel Computing Center, (518) 388-6293
Housed in the Stanley G. Peschel Center for Computer Science and Information Systems and the first floor of Steinmetz, Union’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) manages the College’s distributed network and the many computing and technology resources on the network along with voice transmissions from any College-owned location. There are more than 2,100 College-owned computers and workstations on campus, with over 700 available for student use. A high-performance computing cluster, which consists of 88 different servers and more than 1,000 individual processors, was installed in the summer of 2011 and supports research at the college. The network is the backbone for much of the computing on campus, including academic, research, and administrative work; linking classrooms, offices, laboratories, and all College-owned residence hall rooms.
More than 60 smart electronic classrooms are used to enhance the academic program. Other facilities on campus include several departmental computer labs running a variety of Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computer systems. Information Technology Services maintains a 24/7 computer lab along with computers that are fully equipped for the development of multimedia projects located in the Learning Commons (first floor of Schaffer Library). In addition, several departments and programs have installed computer facilities for specialized use by faculty and students.
Union College and Information Technology Services make computing resources available to all students. All students are entitled to an account on the academic computers, including full access to the Internet. Each student is also provided with space for a personal website and for file storage. Wireless network access is available in most buildings on campus. Additionally, all classrooms have wireless access. Outside wireless access is available in Library Plaza and the College’s outdoor classroom. Union College has partnered with Apogee to provide high-speed internet access through the residential network with 24/7 customer support. There are also many other resources dedicated to assist students. Assistance with hardware and software problems is provided by USTAR, the student-run technical support program providing assistance to students by students. Full-time Help Desk personnel are also available to provide assistance. Additional information including network access, assistance, training, computing policies & forms can be obtained from the ITS website.
Director: Audrey Sartiaux; Schaffer Library 217, (518) 388-6216
The Language Center is open to all students with a valid Union ID. The Center is divided into a main lab, a collaborative workspace, and a reception/social space. The main lab contains a Smartboard, 8 computers with Windows 10, all with integrated webcams. The collaborative workspace area contains 5 iMacs and 2 multi-zone DVD players. Headsets with microphones are available upon request. Language methods for self-study are available for the languages taught at the college (to be used in the center only). All computers have East Asian, Slavic, and Arabic languages enabled as well as Romance Languages. Language Assistants (skilled in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish) also hold their office hours in the collaborative workspace. The Center is open during Union College academic terms. Consult the Language Center website for more information.
Advisor: Associate Professor Bradley Hays (Political Science), (518) 388-6227
Union College provides prelaw advising to students interested in graduate legal education. As a general rule, law schools do not require a specific major but instead look for academic success in a student’s chosen academic discipline. Given the many available academic paths to law school, prelaw advising is inclusive of general curricular and extracurricular guidance, insight into the Law School Admission Test and the application process, and aid in targeting appropriate law schools for admissions.
National Fellowships and Scholarships
Director: Lynn Evans, Schaffer Library 203, (518) 388-6643
The Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships provides support to students and alumni applying for prestigious, external undergraduate and postgraduate awards. Students are recruited to apply for fellowships and scholarships months before their national deadline. During the recruitment period, the director works closely with students to understand their goals and to match opportunities to their strengths and needs. The office then oversees the application process for the appropriate awards. Union regularly supports students for awards such as the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship, the Fulbright programs, the Watson Fellowship and many more.
Permanent Collection and Mandeville Gallery
Curator of Art Collections & Exhibitions: Julie Lohnes, Schaffer Library 212, (518) 388-8360
The Union College Permanent (Art) Collection and Mandeville Gallery are responsible for stewarding over 2,900 artworks and items of material culture held in the collection, and for producing contemporary art exhibitions in three campus locations.
The Union College Permanent Collection (UCPC) holds significant visual art resources from internationally recognized artists, as well as Eastern and ancient cultures. Our strongest collections consist of historic 19th century scientific instruments, ancient Asian ceramics, fine art prints on paper, and 19th century portrait paintings. Many artworks from the UCPC are installed around campus in departmental buildings, administration offices, and throughout the library, and include informational labels. Images and details of a number of sub-collections can be found on our website: https://muse.union.edu/mandeville/permanent collection/
The Galleries are comprised of the Mandeville Gallery on the 2nd floor of the Nott Memorial, the Wikoff Student Gallery on the 3rd floor of the Nott, and the Castrucci Gallery located in the Peter Irving Wold Center. Additionally, the annual Art Installation Series, featured in the library’s first floor Learning Commons, is curated and produced by our staff. All exhibitions, as well as our events programming which includes artist talks, receptions, and demonstrations, are open to the campus and the community during academic terms.
The offices are located on the second floor of Schaffer Library in rooms 212 and 241.
Registrar: Penelope Adey, Silliman Hall, (518) 388-6109
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for overseeing the functions of online registration, maintenance of student schedules, creation of each term’s course and final exam schedules, creation of the academic calendar, assignment of classrooms, grade entry, Webadvising, rank in class, Dean’s List, academic records, certification for graduation, transcript processing, certification of eligibility for veterans’ benefits, and the maintenance of the online Academic Catalog. The Registrar’s Office also coordinates the reporting of student enrollment status and degree verification to the National Student Clearinghouse, which in turn, reports to the National Student Loan Data System. For additional information, please visit our website.
College Librarian: Frances Maloy, (518) 388-6739
Schaffer Library provides print and electronic information resources in a comfortable environment for reading, writing and research. The library is open extended hours during the term and 24 hours per day, 7 days per week during exams. The friendly and knowledgeable staff assist students with all phases of their research. The library provides a variety of spaces for quiet study, collaborative learning as well as production areas furnished with both Apple and Windows workstations, software, scanners, printers, and other hardware. The Adirondack Research Library, located 4 miles from campus in the Kelly Adirondack Center, houses an extensive collection on the 20th century wilderness movement in New York State’s Adirondack Park. The Special Collections and Archives Department houses rare and unique materials that document the College’s history along with rare books and prints available for research upon request. Refer to the Schaffer Library website for additional information.
Director: Associate Professor Chad Orzel, Science and Engineering N326, (518) 388-8053
Students are encouraged to explore the many different ways that student-faculty collaborative scholarly activity is promoted at Union. All students complete a Sophomore or Scholars Research Seminar as part of the Common Curriculum. There are generous funds available to students for research opportunities including the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund, which provides funds to students who work on independent projects with a sponsoring faculty member. The Student Research Grant program provides financial support for students for sophomore research project, practicum and senior thesis/project expenses. In addition, Union annually sends students to professional society meetings and to local and national undergraduate research conferences to present their research results. More than 500 students take part in the annual Steinmetz Symposium, a celebration of student scholarly work, held in early May. Students communicate the results of their scholarly efforts through oral presentations, exhibits, posters, and performances.
Director: Joseph Johnson, Schaffer Library 221, (518) 388-6680
Located in Schaffer Library Rooms 226 & 227, the Writing Center helps Union students with all forms of writing: essays, reports, research papers, theses, personal statements, etc. Trained Union undergraduates are available to help students plan, organize, revise, or edit their writing to improve its structure, style, clarity, or overall effectiveness. Supporting the College’s mission to improve students’ writing and critical thinking skills, the Writing Center provides assistance to students of all ability levels and within all disciplines. Open Sunday through Thursday, 3-11pm. Closed Friday and Saturday. Make an appointment online.