Dear MMC Students, Faculty, and Staff:
I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Michael G. Salmon, M.Sc. as Assistant Vice President/Dean of Academic Excellence and Senior Advisor to the President. In this new position, Michael will advise me on the strategic direction of the College; serve as Ambassador to a wide variety of internal and external constituencies; and partner with the leadership of Academic Affairs, Student Success & Engagement, and Institutional Advancement to move initiatives forward that are of vital importance to MMC’s future. Many of these initiatives are close to Michael’s heart, such as programs in parent/family engagement, alumni outreach, student recruitment, student success, and faculty and staff development. He will also continue to teach Economics, a field in which his specializations include cross-country business cycle transmissions, Caribbean Basin economics, and applied microeconomics theory.
Dean Salmon, as he is affectionately known, is among the most highly regarded members of the MMC community; he is also among the most popular, having even “gone viral” with this year’s new and transfer students after an inspirational speech he gave. Indeed, inspiration is what Michael has brought to MMC students, faculty, staff, families, and alumni for over two and a half decades, having joined our college community in 1993 as a part-time Economics professor. He is a person who truly knows how to inspire people to action.
For over two decades, Dean Salmon has been a passionate advocate of educational equity and access, a commitment shaped by his personal experiences. Read more about Dean Salmon’s history and career in this feature article. To MMC’s great benefit, he not only took his experiences to heart; he put them into action by becoming a beloved advisor to students and colleagues alike.
During his distinguished career at MMC, Dean Salmon has served in a variety of roles under three presidents, most recently as Assistant Vice President and Dean of the Center for Academic Excellence, with oversight of Academic Advisement, MMC’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), and the Center for Academic Support & Tutoring (CAST). His accomplishments are far too numerous to count, but I want to emphasize a few that I think have meant the most to us at MMC:
- He steadily increased the breadth and depth of MMC’s advising offerings and created a space where all students feel cared for and supported;
- He initiated and implemented a Peer Mentoring Program, now known as the Peer Leaders Program, which enriches students’ educational experiences;
- He has been a key member of the team that oversees the implementation of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategic Plan, developed in September 2018;
- He is a devoted advocate and ally of MMC’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which has welcomed students since 1969, and has been a source of inspiration for generations of HEOP student;
- He has contributed to the development of the College’s First-Generation Program, which provides opportunities for students who identify as first-generation college students to build community with one another, receive academic support, gain access to resources; and
- He has provided extraordinary leadership of initiatives that support students’ success at MMC, encouraging first-year students in particular to continue their studies and complete their undergraduate educational journeys and attain a college degree.
In light of all that Dean Salmon has accomplished, it will come as no surprise that his work has been widely recognized: he has been the recipient of the College’s annual Outstanding Administrator Award a record-breaking four times. On a national level, he is the recipient of the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, which recognizes and rewards individuals who are involved in high-impact practices for first-year student success.
Given the demands of his new role as Assistant Vice President/Dean of Academic Excellence and Senior Advisor to the President, Michael will step away from the day-to-day work of his current position. Going forward, Dr. Susan J. Behrens, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, will oversee Academic Advisement and CAST, and Dr. Peter Naccarato, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty and Professor of English and World Literatures, will oversee HEOP. Academic Advisement will continue to work closely with the new LINK Program, led by Melissa Weekes-Stoute, Assistant Dean for Student Success, to provide holistic support and guidance to MMC students.
Like many members of the MMC community, Michael is working primarily on the College’s Virtual Campus. This semester, when he’s on our physical campus at 71st Street, you’ll find him on Carson Hall’s 8th floor, where his close proximity to the Office Academic Affairs will enable a smooth transition of his current responsibilities and put him at the center of strategy and decision-making regarding academic support and related academic matters.
Wise advisor, charismatic ambassador, strategic partner—Dean Salmon is more than ready to use this new platform to inspire even more individuals with his heart-felt dedication to our students and his infectious belief in our college. Please join me in congratulating him on his new role.
Kerry Walk, Ph.D.