September 2017

University Police at Alfred State reaccredited

Posted Date: Monday, September 18, 2017 - 09:45

While awards and honors aren’t why the officers of the University Police Department at Alfred State do their job, they do provide a testament to the quality of safety and security that these men and women in uniform provide every day on campus. The most recent acknowledgement of this came from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), who granted the department’s reaccreditation earlier this month.

In July, the DCJS accreditation assessors returned to Alfred State to review the University Police Department’s operations to determine if the department should be recommended for reaccreditation. After three days of evaluation, the team of assessors left stating that they would be recommending that UPD be re-accredited at the next Law Enforcement Accreditation Council meeting in September, according to Chief Matthew Heller.

On Sept. 7, Heller, Lt. Jeff Wilcox, and Lt. Kris Bianchi attended the accreditation council’s meeting in Albany, where they were delighted to learn that the department had been officially reaccredited. In addition, Wilcox received the “John Kimball O’Neil Certificate of Achievement” for his efforts as lead accreditation manager for the department.

Heller said he was “extremely proud” of the work that Wilcox, Bianchi, and all the members of the department did during the reaccreditation process.”

“It was challenging going through the process with two relatively new accreditation managers, as well as having to address the new accreditation manual requirements while simultaneously implementing a brand-new policies and procedures system that had never been evaluated by New York State’s accreditation program,” he said. “The accreditation team put in countless hours preparing for the visit and it paid off” 

According DCJS statistics, 149 out of a possible 540 police agencies across New York State are accredited. A total of 12 out of 30 – or 40 percent – of SUNY Police Departments are accredited, compared to the 27.5 percent of the overall police departments across the state. 

Alfred State Vice President of Student Affairs Gregory Sammons congratulated the department on it efforts, and added, “I know how many hundreds of hours went into this process, and I’m proud of what the department was able to do. The department’s accreditation helps Alfred State to make families feel safe through this third party’s affirmation that we provide professional law enforcement services for students.”

In 2012, under the leadership of then-Chief of Police Gregory Sammons, the University Police Department became the first technology college in the SUNY system to be accredited through the law enforcement accreditation program. Since then, the SUNY Chancellor’s Office has made it a priority to have all state-operated University Police Departments accredited.

The NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was established as a voluntary program that would provide law enforcement agencies with a mechanism to evaluate and improve the overall effectiveness of their agency and their staff.  Accreditation is formal recognition than an agency’s policies and practices meet or exceed the standards established by New York States Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives.

The accreditation program is made up of 110 different accreditation standards, which are divided into three categories. Standards in the administration section have provisions for such topics as agency organization, fiscal management, personnel practices, and records. Training standards encompass basic and in-service instruction, as well as training for supervisors and specialized or technical assignments. Operations standards deal with such critical and litigious topics as high-speed pursuits, roadblocks, patrol, and unusual occurrences.

Following the decision to participate in the accreditation program, agency administrators conduct a thorough analysis of their agency to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals are assigned to the participating agency to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented and are being practiced.

This is done through an on-site visit in which the assessors evaluate the agency’s adherence to the program by reviewing written policies and procedures, inspecting the records for proof of compliance, interviewing department members, and observing first-hand the operations of the department. Five years following the initial accreditation of a department, DCJS assigns assessors to return to the department to conduct a re-accreditation assessment to verify that “the agency is doing what they said they were going to do at the time of the initial accreditation,” Heller said.   

Law enforcement accreditation is a method and an ongoing process to ensure that the University Police Department is in compliance with national "best practices" in policing, covering all aspects of law enforcement policies, procedures, and operations. Accreditation makes a statement to other law enforcement agencies, professions, and the university community that the University Police Department meets the highest standards of professionalism.

The NYS University Police Department at Alfred was the first law enforcement agency in New York State to go through a successful accreditation/re-accreditation assessment following the implementation of Lexipol policies and procedures.  

Police officers
Pictured from left to right are SUNY Farmingdale Chief of Police Marvin Fisher (chair of the Law Enforcement Accreditation Council); Alfred State’s Lt. Kris Bianchi, Chief Matt Heller, and Lt. Jeff Wilcox; NYS University Police Commissioner Paul Berger; and NYS Department of Criminal Justice Deputy Commissioner Michael Wood.


Alfred State to host bulls and barrels rodeo

Posted Date: Monday, September 18, 2017 - 10:00

It will soon be time to saddle up for an exciting new event during Homecoming and Family Weekend at Alfred State. The college will host its first bulls and barrels rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Most rodeo events evolved out of the necessary skills needed on a working farm, while bull riding and barrel racing developed into extreme sports long before the X Games. Riders in both sports prove their skills by racing the clock and against each other.

“Western New York has a rich heritage of family-owned farms where skills are taught from one generation to the next, but our campus also has a great number of students from the city who may have never seen a bull or horse in person,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Bull riding and barrel racing are high-speed and high-energy competitions that can appeal to all. We expect students, alumni, and families around the region will all come to see these crowd favorites.”

The bulls and barrels rodeo will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the intramurals field located between Pioneer Stadium and Orvis Activities Center. Bleacher seating will be available at ringside, and the adjacent tubing hill will provide a vantage point for families bringing a blanket to spread on the lawn. Tickets are available in advance at the campus bookstore for $5 or online Free admission goes to Alfred State students, children 12 and under, and anyone with a ticket stub from the 1 p.m. football game vs. Gallaudet.

“Western equestrian was just added as a varsity sport, showing our students’ strong interest related to this area, and some of our staff have been tough competitors,” Sullivan added. “Women’s Basketball Coach Gina Boyd and Director of Student Records and Financial Services Jane Gilliland are both accomplished barrel racers. It’s a tough sport that combines speed and finesse.”

Bull riders work to master their form, the overall quality of the ride and their ability to tame animals weighing more than 1,000 pounds, scoring points for each second that they stay on. In contrast, barrel racing highlights a partnership between animal and rider, in a test of the horse’s athleticism and mental condition along with the rider’s horsemanship skills as they maneuver through a cloverleaf pattern at top speed. 

The call is out for International Bull Riders (IBR) and barrel racers to compete for cash prizes at the Alfred event. Each year IBR pays over $100,000 in prize money and awards to riders at rodeos across the northeast. IBR works to provide generous prize money, impartial judging, outstanding livestock, and crowd-pleasing victories. Broken B Rodeo of Dalton is coordinating the event. For a complete list of Alfred State Homecoming activities go to

Gina Boyd barrel racing
Did you know? Women’s Basketball Coach Gina Boyd once competed in barrel racing. Alfred State leaders are now bringing a bulls and barrels rodeo to campus Oct. 14. applauds Alfred State in two national rankings

Posted Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 13:30 has recognized Alfred State for quality and affordability in two of its most recent rankings. The organization named the college to its list of top out-of-state public schools in the US, and has also ranked Alfred State among 50 institutions with the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees.

The college came in at No. 11 in the US and third in New York State in the out-of-state rankings, and No. 16 in the US and third in the state in the affordable online bachelor’s degrees list. The rankings were determined after the group weighed a number of factors, including loan default rates, graduation rates, and financial aid data.

“We are delighted that has named Alfred State to both of these rankings, recognizing us as both a financially and academically wise choice for online and out-of-state students,” said Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “This accolade shows how our college is well suited to so many diverse audiences, including students located outside of New York State seeking either the on-campus or online educational options.”

According to the out-of-state findings, Alfred State stood out in both quality and affordability. It was determined to have one of the most affordable out-of-state tuition rates in the country, in addition to its impressive post-graduation employment and continuing education figures.

Also worth noting is that out-of-state students may begin their education at the extremely economical associate degree rate, then complete their bachelor’s degree for through a 2+2 system. This means these students may receive their associate degree in two years and their bachelor’s degree in another two years more cost effectively than if they initially enrolled in a four-year program.

The affordable online bachelor’s degrees list focuses on bachelor’s degree programs that offer the lowest tuition and that have the highest return-on-investment for students. The rankings site showcases that Alfred State offers seven bachelor’s degrees online, including an RN to BSN degree.

When calculating the rankings, used the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Run by the US Department of Education, IPEDS offers reliable and accurate insight into affordability, academic pedigree, and online/distance learning programs. aims to help prospective students find schools and programs that match their educational interests while still being affordable. To see its rankings, visit

New scholarship available for classic car enthusiasts

Posted Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:30

Alfred State students interested in restoring classic cars now have the opportunity to apply for one of two scholarships worth $2,500, thanks to a $5,000 donation from the RPM Foundation.

The RPM Foundation (RPM) is an educational grant-making program of America's Automotive Trust. RPM is funded by collector vehicle and classic boat enthusiasts to serve youth and young adults on their pathways to careers in automotive/marine restoration and preservation, along with the long-term interests of the collector vehicle and classic boat communities. Visit for more information.

The scholarship is available to two Alfred State students interested in pursuing a career in automotive restoration or actively engaging with the classic car community. Further eligibility requirements include:

  • Maintaining a 3.0 GPA
  • Being enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Being enrolled in an automotive technology degree program.
  • Having a need for financial aid.

The college is proud to announce that the first recipients of the scholarship are Liam DeChick, a motorsports technology major from Syracuse, and Jacob Derk, an automotive service technician major from Cattaraugus.

DeChick is a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and is the president of the Alfred State student chapter of AACA. He is currently restoring a significant race car. DeChick has participated in a number of events related to his passion for cars. He held a youth education course last February at the annual AACA meeting in Philadelphia, and was a navigator in the 2017 Great Race from Jacksonville, FL, to Traverse City, MI.

Derk is also an AACA member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fredonia State and is following his passion for cars by attending Alfred State. Derk recently acted as a pit crew member with the nationally famous Donovan Motorcar Jaguar team at the Watkins Glen US Vintage Grand Prix during an RPM Foundation-sponsored event. He will be on the Alfred State Great Race team in June 2018, and is crew chief for the extensive preparations necessary to prepare the college’s Power Wagon for that event.

Automotive Trades Professor Mike Ronan, one of the instructors who will review and score the scholarship applicants, said, “The RPM Foundation has changed the educational landscape when it comes to learning the classic car hobby. Their widespread support across the country has enabled highly specialized programs to grow and succeed. In our case, we are fortunate to have the Foundation’s support to help two deserving students pursue their automotive passion at the college level.”

For more information on the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements, contact Patty Lewis at 607-587-3111 or at

Share of four-year students at Alfred State doubled since 2010

Posted Date: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 08:45

Despite a steady decline in the number of students graduating from New York State schools each year, once again the number of students enrolled at Alfred State surpassed budget projections. The expansion of in-demand majors has also attracted a steady increase in baccalaureate students at the college. In 2010, approximately 24 percent of all students were enrolled for bachelor’s degrees, compared to 48 percent of all Alfred State Pioneers today.

“Working with employer needs and student interests, we have added in-demand associate degree programs and greatly increased the number of four-year options,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Over recent years, we are seeing a greater number of students choosing the path for a bachelor’s degree. Right now, we are almost evenly divided between two-year and four-year students.”

As of the September 15 census date, 49 associate degree majors have 1,934 students enrolled while 26 different bachelor’s degree programs attracted 1,752 students. This increase in baccalaureate students is coupled with an increase in their academic standing. The academic student profile for baccalaureate students once again improved over the previous year’s numbers for their high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.

“One example of our success is with programs like the technology management Bachelor of Business Administration,” added Sullivan. “It’s available in a two-plus-two format where students gain what’s often called middle skills with an associate degree. Those skills are highly valued in the workforce. Then many students choose to complete their bachelor’s degree with two additional years of study to add upper-level leadership and management skills to match their career path. And talking about numbers, we once again have a 99 percent employment and continuing education rate for our graduates. That’s outstanding.”

Alfred State enrolls the greatest number of students from Buffalo, Rochester, the Western New York region, and New York City. In each of these markets enrollment numbers increased from the previous year.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) reports an overall trend of decreasing numbers for new high school graduates. In 1977, 248,758