VALHALLA, NY — Dr. Belinda S. Miles was appointed to the position of President of Westchester Community College earlier today. The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted to make the appointment official during their meeting in New York City today, approving the Westchester Community College’s Board of Trustees proposed selection of the new president. Miles is currently provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). This nationally known academic leader will start in her new position as the leader of Westchester Community College in January. Miles has nearly three decades of experience in higher education, primarily at the community college level.
“I am looking forward to this opportunity to engage with students, faculty, staff, and the community to advance a comprehensive learning and success agenda. Together we will work to expand Westchester Community College’s role in helping students achieve their academic and career goals,” says Miles.
“It is an honor to approve Dr. Miles’ appointment as the next president of Westchester Community College,” says SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “The SUNY community colleges were founded on providing unlimited access to quality, affordable higher education and job training to all New Yorkers, and Westchester Community College has done this with widespread success for nearly 70 years. I am confident that the college will continue to prosper under Dr. Miles’ experienced leadership.”
“Dr. Miles is a passionate leader with precisely the right balance of academic and leadership experience, and she shares in many of the core values expressed in our strategic plan for SUNY,” says SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “I look forward to working with her as Westchester Community College and all of SUNY continues to increase access, completion, and success for students.”
Westchester Community College Board of Trustees Chair David Swope says, “We look forward to working with Dr. Miles to usher in a new era here at the college. Her national standing as a leader in the field of community college administration, her awareness of the role of technology in higher education, and her knowledge of the changing role of community colleges will be important as we continue to expand our resources and add new educational offerings to the community.”
“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Belinda Miles as the new President of the college,” says Michael B. Kaplowitz, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. “Westchester Community College is among the best public educational institutions in the country and Dr. Miles will uphold that standard. It is essential that we have an experienced, talented and dynamic leader for the Westchester Community College community, someone who has a clear vision for the college. I’m confident we’ve found that leader in Dr. Miles. The Board of Legislators looks forward to a long and productive partnership with Dr. Miles”.
The nation’s longest serving community college president, Westchester Community College President Dr. Joseph Hankin, led the college since 1971. He announced his retirement last year. Interim President John F.M. Flynn, Ph.D., the college’s former Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been serving as the Interim President since January 2014. Flynn will stay on in this role until Miles begins leading the college in January.
The new president of Westchester Community College has had a distinguished career, primarily in the area of community college leadership. Her record as a passionate advocate for the promotion of community college accessibility, an administrator who challenged and supported students through high quality academic programs, and a leader focused on improving student success and completion outcomes, was built primarily in Cleveland, Ohio.
She became provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in 2011 with oversight of four campuses and multiple extension sites in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. The institution annually serves 48,000 students in a wide scope of career and transfer degree programs.
Miles previously served Cuyahoga as president of the Eastern Campus, dean of Academic Affairs, and assistant dean of Liberal Arts. She has been affiliated with the institution since 2000. Her prior positions in higher education from 1986 to 2000 include faculty and administrator roles at other institutions including LaGuardia Community College, Nassau Community College, and Columbia University.
Among other accomplishments in Cleveland, she led her team’s effort to secure more than $10 million for college readiness, success and completion, and coordinated STEM initiatives in her role as provost. She completed a $47 million campus master plan physical expansion, and helped achieve Cuyahoga’s second consecutive designation as an Achieving the Dream Leader College and their recent reaffirmation as a League for Innovation in Community Colleges board member based on demonstrated student success outcome improvements.
Miles has served on the faculty at the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Summer Institute for Women at Bryn Mawr College, the Lakin Institute for Community College Leadership, and as a member of the Chair Academy’s International Presidential Advisory Board. Her community service includes leadership roles with the St. Joseph Academy girls’ school, a position on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, and past board chair roles with Cleveland Center for Dialysis Care and the Warrensville Heights Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of Leadership Cleveland, which strives to build a continuum of civic leaders committed to community’ and civic engagement, Miles has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Ohio Diversity Council’s Woman of Power and Influence Award (2013), the Education Award from the Ohio Coalition of National Council of Negro Women (2011) and the YWCA’s Woman of Professional Excellence award (2007).
Originally from Queens, New York, she attended public schools including the City University of New York’s York College, earning a B.A. in Political Science. She attained an M.A. in Educational Psychology and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Organization and Leadership Development from Columbia University Teachers College. She and her husband, Keith, will relocate to Westchester County. Their son Gordon recently graduated from Tuskegee University with a B.S. in Engineering and is employed in this field.
Westchester Community College is more than just the county’s largest educational institution. It is a living, breathing part of Westchester that goes beyond the influence of a typical college and affects the lives of all who enter its doors. Our faculty serve as a community of scholars for an increasingly diverse population of students; as the county has evolved, so has the institution, and our award-winning faculty members educate both new immigrants and longstanding members of the community. Our instructors serve a wide range of students from nearly 200 countries, ranging from teenagers to mature adults.
A State University of New York institution, the college is sponsored locally by the County of Westchester and is governed by the college’s Board of Trustees. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, this educational institution educates more than 13,000 credit students and more than 13,000 non-credit students through day, evening, and weekend courses at various locations and online.