Stephen Ortiz, collegiate professor of College-in-the-Woods and associate professor of history, will step down as collegiate professor and start his new role as assistant vice provost for academic enrichment and executive director of the Binghamton University Scholars Program in January.
For nearly six years, Ortiz has called College-in-the-Woods home, helping undergraduate students with the possible woes of college life as a collegiate professor.
As assistant vice provost for academic enrichment, Ortiz will be tasked with hiring two new collegiate professors, one as his replacement in College-in-the-Woods and another for the retirement of Al Vos, former collegiate professor of Hinman College and associate professor emeritus of English. In addition, Ortiz will be the head of the First-year Research Immersion (FRI) program, the Undergraduate Research Center and the Office of External Scholarships.
One of Ortiz’s first goals as assistant vice provost for academic enrichment is to establish a tenure limit to collegiate professors, only allowing professors to hold the position for six to eight years. Ortiz said this model, while not flawless, would be a benefit for campus life as a whole.
“It is something we have talked about for a while, but a rotational model is only as good as the pipeline feeding it,” Ortiz said to BingUNews. “One benefit of long-standing collegiate professors is that they become symbols of the residential communities for alumni and others, but we hope we will continue to have fresh voices, new personalities and be ready to connect with undergraduates in new ways.”
As head of the BU Scholars Program, Ortiz believes though the program is running smoothly, new personnel and perspectives are important to continue its success. Ortiz hopes to conduct both an internal and external review of the program and find new ways to improve upon it.
Students like Luke McNamara, a senior majoring in history, have had a positive experience with Ortiz both in the classroom and residential life and now look forward to seeing his impact throughout BU with his new role.
“Not only is he a great teacher, [but] he helped to make [College-in-the-Woods] a fun and engaging place to live,” Mcnamara wrote in an email. “While I was in student government, he was always involved, helping students and making sure he was present for our events. I am lucky as a history major to have met Ortiz, as he has also been a great resource and mentor for me.”