Phone: (646) 313-8025
Howard M. Wach (Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost)
Howard M. Wach joined Guttman Community College as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in April 2017. Dr. Wach began his academic career as a historian, completing his doctorate at Brandeis University after undergraduate studies at Nassau Community College and the State University of New York at Albany. Prior to joining Guttman, Dr. Wach worked in the CUNY system for over 20 years as an adjunct assistant professor, a full-time faculty member, a director of instructional technology, an academic dean, and an interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. While most of that experience was at two community colleges, Bronx and LaGuardia, Dr. Wach also worked in the University’s Central Office of Academic Affairs, giving him a broad and deep knowledge of the community college mission and the University’s structure and organization. He has a practiced understanding of the roles faculty, staff, and administrators must play—and play in partnership—to create the strongest chance for students to graduate ready to pursue further study and begin successful careers.
A passion for excellent teaching and a passion to learn have been the guiding principles of Dr. Wach’s professional life. He knows that demanding, attentive, humane, and honest teaching can transform students’ lives. At a time of vast inequality, there is no more important task and no more powerful engine of social mobility. He brings to the Provost’s job a deep conviction about the administrator’s core role: to create the everyday conditions and environment that lead to student success, and to help faculty and staff work together to meet that vision.
Mary E. Coleman (Vice President for Finance & Administration)
Mary E. Coleman has joined the Senior Staff at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College to serve as the Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. She is a dedicated and long-serving CUNY administrator. Most recently, she served for 17 years as the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Bronx Community College. Before working at BCC, Ms. Coleman served as the Dean of Administration and Finance at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College.
Mary was born in Ellisville, Mississippi, the youngest of four children. An accounting major, homecoming queen, and 1970 summa cum laude graduate of Jackson State University, Mary Coleman was named a recipient of the prestigious Louis Calder Foundation Fellowship Award; in 1972 she received a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
From 1973 to 1987, Mary Coleman worked as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for a multi-corporate designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of men’s and women’s apparel. Between 1987 and 1993, when she joined CUNY as a Dean at Hostos Community College, Mary Coleman served as Deputy Executive Director of American Field Service Intercultural Programs, Inc., a 55-nation student/teacher international exchange program and subsequently held a senior management position in the largest minority-controlled certified public accounting and management consulting firm in the country.
Mary sits on the Executive Board of the National Council of Black American Affairs, the American Association of Community College’s Global Commission on Education, and the International YMCA Board of Managers. Mary’s professional efforts focus on education, business, banking, accounting, and finance.
Stuart Cochran (Dean, Strategic Planning and Accreditation)
As Dean of Strategic Planning and a member of the Senior Staff, Dr. Cochran is involved in many of the day-to-day issues of building a new college. As a member of the College planning team since early 2009 and a Deputy to the Project Director, he helped guide the process that led to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and the New York State Department of Education of the Application for Opening a New College and A Proposal for the Initial Programs of Study (January 2011). Since 2012 he has overseen the extensive work at the college in developing plans for assessment (both student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness) and an accreditation site visit by NYSED that led to a vote in December 2012 by the Board of Regents accrediting the College for five years with an interim report after three years. He was the College’s co-liaison of the Foundations of Excellence first year self-study, and as the Middle States Commission for Higher Education accreditation liaison officer, he is co chairing the Steering Committee in a multiyear self-study process in preparation for a site visit in late March 2017. Dr. Cochran is also the elected Secretary to the Guttman College Council.
Prior to his work at the College, Cochran served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for CUNY Collaborative Programs in the Office of Academic Affairs. In that capacity he helped design and oversee the conduct of quantitative and qualitative research on academic programs including College Now, the Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP, and CUNY Prep. He joined Collaborative Programs in 2000 as a co-director of Looking Both Ways, a professional development project for writing teachers at CUNY and New York City public schools. He earned his master’s and doctorate in English with a certificate in American Studies at the CUNY Graduate School and taught for ten years at Queens College at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Linda Merians (Chief of Staff)
Linda Merians joined Guttman Community College as Chief of Staff in September 2013. She came to CUNY in 2012, working for The Graduate Center and the Invest in CUNY campaign. Previously, she worked at SUNY Stony Brook as Chief of Staff for President Shirley Strum Kenny. Dr. Merians earned her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees at the University of Maryland, and her B.A. from Manhattanville College.
An English professor by training, Dr. Merians served on the faculties of Bucknell University and La Salle University, where she taught classes in eighteenth-century British Literature, poetry, Shakespeare, composition, theory, women’s studies, and South African literature. She has presented papers at many academic conferences, and published articles and book reviews on a variety of topics. Her two books reflect her interest in British literature and culture. She conceived, edited, wrote the introduction and a chapter for The Secret Malady: Venereal Disease in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France (1996). She is also the author of Envisioning the Worst: Representations of ‘Hottentots’ in Early Modern England (2001). Dr. Merians serves as the Executive Secretary of the East-Central/American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and is a passionate believer in public higher education.
Patricia Stein (Special Legal Counsel)
Patricia Stein joined Guttman Community College in July 2017 as Special Legal Counsel. In that role she interprets and advises on College governance, Board of Trustees’ Bylaws, and University and College policies, rules, and regulations. In addition, Ms. Stein administers and interprets employee collective bargaining agreements, and is responsible for assuring compliance with laws governing employment and contract interpretation. Ms. Stein also has responsibility for drafting and negotiating commercial agreements and for providing legal counsel on development and research initiatives. In addition to Guttman Community College, Ms. Stein serves as Special Legal Counsel to Macaulay Honors College, the School of Professional Studies, the Graduate School of Journalism, and the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Ms. Stein previously spent five years as the University Executive Director of Labor Hearings and Appeals in the University’s Office of Labor Relations, three years as the Deputy Director for HR Policy and head of special investigations in the University’s Office of Human Resources Management, and prior to that spent seven years combined at Borough of Manhattan Community College and The City College, as the Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President. Prior to specializing in higher education, Ms. Stein worked as a senior counsel at a federal banking agency and as general counsel for a Delaware bank subsidiary of a major international financial services company. Ms. Stein is admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey, and holds a B.S.B.A. degree from Manhattan College, and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.