December 5, 2017

Christopher Whann Named Executive Director of Regional Operations

Administrator and Faculty Member Takes Helm After National Search

Christopher Whann

Christopher A. Whann, an administrator and faculty member with experience in organizational, operational and budget matters, was appointed executive director of regional operations for the Office of Enrollment Management. He had been serving as interim director until the completion of a national search for the position. Whann is based in Manhattan and Westchester County.

“I really like being part of a team that is making such strides forward in enrollment management and helping the president implement the goals of ESC.2.0,” he said. He added that Vice President of Enrollment Management Clayton Steen has set “an ambitious agenda that we are going to tackle in 2018, so I am really excited to get started.”

In this position, Whann oversees operations and services for more than 30 locations in New York state,developing and implementing strategy to streamline and centralize operational functions across all locations. He also supervises the director of Office of Veteran and Military Education, five regional operations coordinators across New York state and helps guide partnership development in enrollment management for regional locations, to support and increase enrollment goals. Whann collaborates with senior leadership in other college divisions to align shared responsibilities that affect operational efficiency, as well as leading the transition of more than 20 support staff from academic affairs to enrollment management.

Besides administrative work, he has experience in classroom and online teaching, mentoring, curriculum design, academic assessment, program and partnership development, as well as administrative and teaching experience with diverse populations of students in the U.S. and international settings. He has expertise in community development and oversight of nonprofit organizations, as well as academic and workplace skills in decision making and strategic thinking.

From February to July 2016, he was one of two regionally based executive directors for downstate. Prior to that, he was associate dean and unit coordinator for the college’s New York City location.

A tenured associate professor of business since 2012, his teaching areas include international business, emerging markets, public sector management, business and the state, international affairs and other subjects. He also has presented at numerous conferences and invited lectures around the globe.

He previously worked for Skidmore College’s University Without Walls.

Whann earned his Ph.D. in political science, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1995); his M.A. in political science, University of Delaware (1984); and his B.A. magna cum laude International Relations, University of Delaware (1982). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. He earned a Fulbright scholarship for his dissertation research in Lesotho, southern Africa.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates nearly 19,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, 34 locations across the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and coursework on site, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 78,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at