Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2009
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents
Appointment to the Position of Acting Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance
January 2, 2009
Issue for Decision
Should the Regents approve the appointment of Claudia Alexander as Acting Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance? Ms. Alexander has over 14 years of experience in the State Education Department, and for the past four and a half years has served as Executive Secretary to the State Boards for Physical Therapy, Podiatry, and Ophthalmic Dispensing.
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by State statute.
This recommendation will come before the full Board of Regents at its Executive Session for discussion during the January 2009 Regents meeting. It will then come before the full Board for final action at the Public Session of that meeting.
Section 6510-b of Education Law requires the Board of Regents to appoint the Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance.
For the last four and a half years, Ms. Alexander has served as the Executive Secretary to the State Boards for Physical Therapy, Podiatry, and Ophthalmic Dispensing. During that time she has served those State Boards and administered the State Board offices, supervising the State Board staff, answering questions concerning licensing and practice in those professions, drafting and reviewing legislative and regulatory proposals, and participating as a member of the management team of the Office of the Professions.
Prior to her appointment as Executive Secretary, Ms. Alexander served with distinction as the Legislative Coordinator for the New York State Education Department. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the Regents legislative program; negotiating agreement on legislative proposals that affect all parts of the Department, including the Office of the Professions; developing and implementing advocacy plans for the Regents budget and legislative priorities; and coordinating the advocacy and policy development efforts of all of the Department’s program offices. During this time period, Ms. Alexander also served as a member of the Department’s Agency Leadership Group, Advanced Planning Team, and on a variety of other cross-Department committees and teams.
Ms. Alexander’s knowledge and experience with the licensed professions began while working with the New York State Legislature. As Legislative Associate for former State Assemblyman Edward Sullivan, who was the Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, she was responsible for policy development and legislative proposals that affected all of the licensed professions. She analyzed and negotiated bills involving proposed changes to the existing professions and recommendations for new professions. She developed an invaluable level of expertise concerning licensing requirements, scope of practice, professional discipline, assessment of the need for new professions, continuing education and continuing competence issues. In that capacity she worked closely with the Department, the State Boards, and the professional associations.
Since coming to work at the Department, Ms. Alexander has contributed to the development of numerous professions-related policies, ranging from telepractice to professional workforce shortages. She has also served as a member of the Committee on the Professions (COP), which reviews and recommends consent agreements and professional misconduct decisions to the Board of Regents, decides issues of moral character concerning professional license applicants, and makes recommendations for the restoration of professional licenses to the Board of Regents. This experience has given her first-hand understanding of the challenges professionals face and the important roles that the Board of Regents and the State Education Department fulfill concerning both public protection and the integrity of the licensed professions.
The Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance is responsible for the administration of the Professional Assistance Program (PAP), which assists professionals who have substance abuse problems, but who have not harmed patients or clients. Such professionals may voluntarily surrender their licenses while receiving treatment rather than face charges of professional misconduct. A three-member panel of the Committee for Professional Assistance interviews applicants for admission to PAP and considers petitions for license restoration. Monitoring of program participants includes toxicology reports, work-site reports, and random observed drug screens at specified frequencies. Other conditions may apply as appropriate to the individual situation and the recommendations of the treatment provider.
If her appointment is approved, Ms. Alexander will have the opportunity to use her knowledge and expertise regarding the many issues of interest and concern to licensed professionals in New York State, her background working with the Legislature and Executive Branch, her experience working with the State Boards for the professions and the Board of Regents, her supervision of three State Board offices, and her enthusiasm for the future of the professions in New York State in serving in this position which serves the important goal of retaining valuable professionals who might otherwise be forced to leave their professions while at the same time protecting the public from impaired professionals. I am very pleased to recommend Ms. Alexander for the position of Acting Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance. A copy of her résumé is attached.
It is recommended that the Regents approve the appointment of Claudia Alexander as Acting Executive Secretary to the Committee for Professional Assistance.
Timetable for Implementation
If the Regents approve the recommendation, the appointment will be effective January 13, 2009.