SUNY Maritime College President Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter, USN (Ret.), announced on Friday, September 6, 2013, that she will step down shortly after the completion of the Fall semester.
Admiral Carpenter has served as President since August 31, 2011, and has decided to step down in order to have more time for family and to pursue both personal and professional priorities and passions. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will work with the College to form a search committee and will ensure leadership at the campus continues uninterrupted.
“Admiral Carpenter is a highly respected leader, trailblazer and role model who always served with honor and distinction,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “She demonstrated the best of SUNY during Hurricane Sandy when the campus served as a staging area for relief and recovery workers even as it dealt with its own serious flooding and damage. We thank her for her service and wish her the very best in her next personal and professional endeavors.”
“My tenure at SUNY Maritime College has been very gratifying and I have been inspired everyday by the dedication of our students, our faculty and staff as well as the very close friends and supporters of the College,” said Admiral Carpenter. “I have had the privilege of coming to know many of the students well and I hold them in highest regard. I am grateful for my time at Maritime and will miss much of my life here, most especially being with our fine students - the leaders for tomorrow in the maritime industry and in so many other areas.”
“In her tenure at the helm of Maritime College, Admiral Carpenter has made significant progress to bring the College to the next level of excellence and instituted a wide array of game-changing initiatives, such as the Global Maritime Center, industry partnerships, K-12 programs and development of a compelling business plan for new purpose-built training ships,” said SUNY Maritime College Council Chair, Timothea Larr. “She has established many new connections with alumni and friends and increased our profile among local, state and federal elected officials. It has been a pleasure to work with her to move the College forward on many fronts. I look forward to working with Chancellor Zimpher on selecting a new leader who can continue Maritime’s long tradition of excellence.”
During Admiral Carpenter’s tenure as president, the Maritime College has received significant national and international recognition, including a nationally ranked engineering program and a top five ranking in Payscale.com’s College Return on Investment (ROI) Report. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education re-affirmed the accreditation for the Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees and the five Bachelor’s degree programs in Engineering received ABET accreditation. The College passed the U.S. Coast Guard Audit and the Coast Guard licensing program underwent a major revision to comply with the STCW 2010 amendments. Student enrollment remained at an all-time high, graduation rates increased and first to second year student retention rates increased to 80%. There has been significantly increased outreach to alumni, maritime industry, state federal and local officials, as well as respected national media outlets. In May the College was awarded a 21st Century Grant in the amount of $1.8 million from the New York State Education Department to fund after-school STEM programs in two local high schools, and in July, the College announced a major donation of $750,000 from Bouchard Transportation Corp., Inc. to establish a Tug and Barge Simulation Center. A comprehensive Strategic Plan was completed which will guide the College into the next phase of continued success.
In October of 2013, Admiral Carpenter successfully led the campus through the anticipated arrival and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. She is especially proud of the Campus contributions to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for which the crew of the ship, students and staff received major recognition from the Governor and national officials.
Admiral Carpenter became president after a distinguished 34 year career in the U.S. Navy where she was among the pioneers of women in Naval Aviation. She was the 31st woman to be designated a Naval Aviator and was the Navy’s first woman aviator to attain the rank of admiral. Promoted to Flag rank in March 2005, Rear Admiral Carpenter’s flag assignments were widely varied: Naval base and regional facilities management, including crisis planning and incident response; development of cyber information and physical security plans while assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations Staff; development of plans and operational procedures and processes for joint deployment staffs; and development of concepts, policies and procedures for operational command and control by Navy forces, as well as training and standardization processes for Navy Fleets. She represented the United States in a number of coalition and NATO forums in Europe and Africa. Her final Navy assignment was as Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command (June 2008- August 2011), where she and her team worked to deliver operational capability for Navy, joint and coalition forces through concept generation and development, doctrine development, modeling and simulation and experimentation and risk analysis on topics ranging from cyber to unmanned vehicles.