Throughout her career, Anne Herron has always been motivated to explore how areas evolve and how they are shaped by change. This inquisitive nature has led her to not only change jobs, but also careers. And it was that passion for being part of a rapidly evolving organization that led her to Cayuga Community College.
Having graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in reading and language arts, Herron used her liberal arts background as the director of reading at Liverpool High School. Then she was spurred into action by the politics of the late 1970s, and headed to Washington, D.C., to serve on fundraising efforts at the Republican National Committee and later on George H. W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign.
Soon after, she transitioned into the director of marketing and programming position for the National Cable Television Association.
“This was at the time when cable television was just starting CNN, MTV, and a number of other basic cable networks,” she said. “I was fortunate to get in on the ground floor of the cable experience. Since cable television programs were not allowed to compete in the Emmys at that time, we started televising the Awards for Cable Excellence (ACE). We always knew that once cable programming reached a critical mass, the Emmys would allow cable programming networks to compete against the major broadcasting networks.”
Motherhood and changing priorities led Herron back to Central New York, where she transitioned into an adjunct teaching and tutoring position at Onondaga Community College and then moved into a full-time position at SUNY Morrisville. There, she reorganized the College Skills Center to enhance student retention, focusing developmental courses and targeted efforts for at-risk populations.
“It is important for anyone to understand how trends and other forces change and shape opportunities,” she said. “And I have been able to adapt my skill set into new careers because of my liberal arts background.”
After working at two public institutions, Herron brought her experience in academic support services to the private liberal arts institution, Le Moyne College, in Syracuse in 1995. She designed and implemented an Academic Support Center for the college’s almost 3,000 students and oversaw services for students with disabilities.
For the past 11 years, Herron served as the associate dean for academic affairs at Le Moyne and was responsible for the creation and assessment of student engagement and learning programs, policies governing academic standing, data collection, and reporting of student success and retention rates.
Last fall, President Barack Obama described the critical role that community colleges play in jump-starting the economy and outlined his vision for the nation to be leading the world in college completion by 2020. Again, Herron felt the momentum building around community colleges and decided to transition into the role as vice president of academic affairs and student development/dean of the faculty at Cayuga Community College.
“Two-year colleges serve a very diverse community of students and that demographic is always changing,” she said. “In fact, change is the constant in higher education. My primary goals will be to improve student engagement and persistence as well as enhance the overall quality of experience for students.”
Herron, who earned an Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania, serves as Cayuga’s chief academic and student development officer, providing leadership in the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of College educational offerings, academic programs, and supporting student services. Part of the Executive Team, she ensures compliance with all academic matters related to the State University of New York, New York State Education Department, and regional, and program accreditations, as well as serves as the primary advisor to President Daniel Larson on academic and student development matters.
“I am very excited by what I’ve seen in my first few weeks here,” she said. “Cayuga is going through tremendous growth and change, and that presents new challenges and opportunities. I feel fortunate to again be part of an organization where I can work to make a difference.”