Acting Interim President Dr. Susan Barr
Dr. Susan Barr was named Interim President of Five Towns College by the Board of Trustees on May 21, 2014. President Barr succeeds Dr. Stanley G. Cohen, who stepped down following the 40th Annual Commencement Exercises.
In announcing the appointment, Board of Trustees Chairwoman Rachel Andoscia said, “We have every confidence in Dr. Barr’s ability to lead the institution and to carry the torch of leadership forward as she takes the reins of the College. We know that she is committed to excellence, and that the College will continue its tradition of service to students and the Long Island community.”
Dr. Susan Barr has a long and distinguished record of service to Five Towns College and its students, which has prepared her well for this responsibility. She first joined the faculty in 1990, teaching courses that engender student development and success. Her affable demeanor quickly led to her appointment in 1992 as Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Assistant Director.
In 1998, Dr. Barr was named HEOP Director, following the untimely passing of HEOP Director Dr. Douglas Jones. She served in that capacity, representing the needs of opportunity program students to the New York State Education Department for nearly 16 years. Because of her competencies and demeanor, she was also appointed to serve as Five Towns College Dean of Students in 2006 - a dual appointment that she carried until recently.
With the support of the entire Five Towns College community, following the retirement of College Provost Dr. Roger Sherman, in January 2014 she was named Dean of the College and Provost. As Provost, Dr. Barr is responsible for providing academic leadership, assuring the institution’s various constituencies of the faculty’s commitment to student learning and high quality learning outcomes.
During her career, Dr. Barr has accomplished much. She organized the College’s Academic Support Center, authored both the Five Towns College Peer Mentoring Handbook and Tutoring Handbook. She is also responsible for increasing retention rates for academically and economically challenged students, resulting in one of the highest graduation rates for HEOP programs anywhere in New York State.
Dr. Barr has served on work groups addressing accreditation standards for both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). She has served on the Five Towns College Disciplinary Committee, Doctoral Review Program Committee, Curriculum and Instruction Committee, and Graduation Committee, among others. She has also presented at professional conferences on the topics of student retention and success, including at the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) Annual Conference.
Dr. Barr earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Cappella University, a M.S. in Special Education from Hofstra University, and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Hunter College (CUNY). She holds permanent New York State certification in Regular and Special Education. For her work on behalf of students, she was inducted into the Phi Sigma Eta National Honor Society, and is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education.
While serving as Acting Interim President, Dr. Barr continues to serve as College Dean and Provost. She has an affable demeanor and an “open door” policy for students, faculty, and staff. Next time you pass the administrative wing of the College, stop in and say hello. You’ll be glad you did.