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Saranac Laker to retire from Jefferson CC

Thomas Finch

WATERTOWN — Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas J. Finch will retire on Aug. 31, after nine years of dedicated leadership and service to Jefferson Community College.

Finch, of Saranac Lake, came to Jefferson with 25 years of experience in higher education, both as an administrator and an educator. He joined the college in July 2011 and was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of all academic programs and for the overall supervision of instructional personnel. He served as the liaison to the Office of the Provost at the State University of New York and chaired the college’s academic council. He served as a member of SUNY Association of Chief Academic Officers.

College President Ty A. Stone said: “Tom Finch has been integral to Jefferson’s success in recent years. His commitment to our students and to maintaining the highest standards for education have been unwavering throughout his years of service. His influence can be felt throughout programs and initiatives that will carry on into the college’s future. We wish him the best in his retirement.” Finch played a key role in development of the college’s collaborative learning center, Center for Professional Excellence for staff/faculty professional development, and 2020-2025 strategic plan.

Finch’s steadfast commitment to academic rigor and assessment helped pave the way for Jefferson’s successful reaccreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 2015. Finch also served as a Middle States Commission evaluator. He was instrumental in the advancement of Jefferson’s goal to implement SUNY’s Guided Pathways model for higher education and in 2019 Jefferson was accepted into SUNY’s second cohort of the Guided Pathways program.

Several new academic programs were implemented under Finch’s leadership including degrees in agri-business, chemical dependency, homeland security and health care management. Additionally, Finch worked to offer an Associate of Occupational Studies program, the first of its kind at Jefferson that awards college credit for military and work experience in Applied Business Studies, earlier this year.

Previously, Finch was the executive vice president of academics at Utica School of Commerce and vice president for academic affairs at North Country Community College. Finch holds an associate of applied science degree in accounting from SUNY Cobleskill and both a bachelor of science and Master of Science degree in business education from SUNY Albany. Finch also serves as a trustee of Herring College Memorial Educational Trust, is a Kiwanis member and supports the Jefferson Foundation at Jefferson Community College.

Finch announced his plans to retire in April 2020. Dr. Maryrose Eannace joined the college on July 1 as interim vice president of academic affairs, to work alongside Finch and ensure a smooth transition of academic leadership at the institution.

Finch looks forward to spending more time with his wife Teresa, his daughters, and grandkids. He is excited to be able to spend more leisure time in the Adirondacks and looks forward to getting back into boating.

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