Academic Catalog 2019-2020 
    Jul 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Support and Services

Academic Affairs

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, Olin Building, (518) 388-6233

Dean of Studies: Michele Angrist, Olin Building, (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 Athletics, Information Technology Services, Institutional Research, International Programs, the Office of College Grants and Sponsored 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:  Kristen Fanfarelli, 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 to help students develop the academic skills and strategies needed as they work towards their academic and career goals.  Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides academic support for some of our traditionally challenging courses by offering optional, collaborative, peer-led study sessions. The Academic Recovery Program focuses on helping students on academic warning design and implement a plan to improve their academic standing.

Academic Opportunity Program/Higher Education Opportunity Program

Director: Philip Poczik, Olin Center 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 fifty 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 summer program; individualized and group tutoring; academic, career, and financial counseling; and a peer mentoring program.


Dean Michele Angrist, Olin Center 210,  (518) 388-6234

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.



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 Center 110, (518) 388-6300

Director of Leadership in Medicine & Combined Health Degree Program: Joanne Fitzgerald, Olin Center 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, 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 2,700 College-owned computers and workstations on campus, with over 700 available for student use. Research requiring high performance computing is now supported in the cloud via Amazon Web Services (AWS). 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.

There are 80 smart electronic classrooms across the college that 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. Through Union’s G Suite environment, students have access to Google Mail, Calendar and Drive. Wireless network access is available in all buildings on campus in addition to outside wireless access 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.

Language Center

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/classroom, a collaborative workspace, and a reception/social space. The main lab contains a Smartboard, 10 PC’s with Windows 10 and USB headsets with microphones. The collaborative workspace area contains 5 iMacs and 2 multi-zone DVD players. 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 and Language Mentors (skilled in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish) are available during their office hours to answer question and to help with practicing your language skills, reviewing vocabulary etc. This is a free service for all Union Students. The Center is open during Union College academic terms. Consult the Language Center website for more information.

Prelaw Advising

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, Old Chapel, 201C, (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: 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’s Office

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. 

Schaffer Library

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.

Undergraduate Research

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.

Writing Center

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 at the Writing Center.