Dr. Katherine Houghton Zatz has spent most of her life in the service of education, from being elected by her peers to the local school board at the age of 17 to her most recent positions as the Senior Student Affairs Officer at SUNY-Rockland, Chair of the Board of Trustees at American Public University System and Senior Vice President at Allpar LLC. Her career has centered around empowering her staff and students to solve problems and improve processes, from student tutoring to enrollment management.
Dr. Zatz’s higher education career began as a student tour guide at the University of Wisconsin - Marathon County Center in 1978. She has been a residence director, activities director, director of student development, and dean for student affairs and enrollment management, and has served as a senior student affairs officer for over 17 years.
As Vice President of Student Development at SUNY-Rockland, Dr. Zatz was responsible for enrollment management, financial aid, student activities and athletics, the student information system, two off-site centers at Haverstraw and Spring Valley, a variety of federal and state grants, and academic advising. Within one year at SUNY-Rockland, she stabilized enrollment after ten years of decline, and increased new student enrollment.
In her nine years at Hudson County Community College, Dr. Zatz was responsible for more than doubling the enrollment from 2,900 to 6,400 (in head count), without substantial budget increases. She also helped to raise retention by 26 points and lowered the student loan default rate by 17 points in her first three years.
Early in her career, Dr. Zatz was the Director of Campus Activities at Mundelien College in Chicago and the Director of Student Development at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois.
As the Dean of Students of the Vaughn College of Aeronautics at LaGuardia Airport, she raised student retention by 17 points, substantially increasing enrollment. She also instituted a housing program with full occupancy; a peer-based tutoring program which raised participants' grades by an average of one point; and a bridge program for 450 high school students, 80% of whom entered the College. Her initiatives also resulted in an increase in the number of women enrolled from 50 to over 150 over the course of three years.
Kate has served as the President of the New Jersey Dean's Association for Community Colleges. She also has been a member of the Legislative Committee for the Council of County Colleges and a Middle States Association peer evaluator. She is currently a member of the Substantive Change Committee of the Middle States Association.
Kate was a co-founder and coordinator of a soup kitchen at 114th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. During the past thirty years, it has evolved into Broadway Community Incorporated, a non-profit organization serving over 30,000 meals a year. The program now incorporates drug, alcohol, HIV, and health education, and a shelter for homeless women. Dr. Zatz still serves on Broadway Community’s Advisory Board.
From 2004 through 2011 Kate served as the Chair of the Board of the American Public University System/American Military University, APUS.edu an on-line university serving over 140,000 students in 80 degree programs. In 2012, she became the Vice Chair of the Board. She is also Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. She also serves as the liaison of the APUS board to the Compensation Committee of American Public Education Inc.
Enrollment was at 11,000 when Dr. Zatz was elected Chair in 2004; in 2006, APUS achieved regional accreditation through the North Central Association, and has become eligible to receive Title IV funding. In November of 2007, the holding company of American Public University System began trading on NASDAQ under the symbol APEI. Over 85% of APUS students are on active military duty.
In 2011, Dr. Zatz was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Teaneck Community Charter School. TCCSNJ.org. In 2012, she was elected Vice Chair of the Board.
Dr. Zatz holds a doctorate in higher and adult education and two master's degrees from Columbia University - Teachers College. She also has a bachelor's degree from Macalester College, and attended the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County Center. She holds a certificate from the Harvard School of Education - Institute for Education Management and the Emerging Woman Leaders program of the American Council of Education, and has participated in the HERS program at Wellesley College. In 2012 Dr. Zatz received her School Business Administrator license for the State of New Jersey.
In 2009, she was named a Woman of Achievement by the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey.
In 2007, Dr. Zatz became a member of the Registry of College Presidents and Senior Administrators. She is engaged in higher education consulting through the Registry.
She is married to Dr. David Zatz, an organizational psychologist and the founder of allpar.com.