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Howard Dewald

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Dewald appointed as interim dean of College of Arts and Sciences


Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit announced today the appointment of Howard Dewald as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Dewald is currently an associate dean in the college.  

In a letter to Arts and Sciences faculty and staff about the appointment, Benoit wrote: "Howard has a compelling set of characteristics that make him well suited to provide effective leadership for the college.  His judgment, experience, and dedication to Arts and Sciences students, faculty, and staff are exceptional.  I also was impressed with his knowledge of the quality and contributions of units across the institution."  

Dewald has been at Ohio University for nearly 25 years, serving since July 2002 as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences with responsibilities for faculty, graduate studies, research and space planning. 

A professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dewald received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in chemistry from New Mexico State University. 

His area of expertise is in electroanalytical chemistry in which he has an active research agenda resulting in a substantial record of peer-reviewed publications.  A recipient of the college’s Grasselli Brown Faculty Teaching Award, Dewald has taught many entry-level and upper-division undergraduate classes and graduate courses.  He has also supervised 11 master’s theses and mentored 8 doctoral students. 

"I appreciate the confidence and trust Provost Benoit has placed in me," said Dewald.  "I look forward to continuing the strong liberal arts and sciences foundation in the college." 

He noted that with semester-based instruction and a new budgeting model on the horizon the college and university would undergo considerable change. 

Recognizing that he would begin his work in a time of transition, Dewald said, "I am prepared to communicate often and work diligently with our faculty and staff, fellow deans, and the University administration during these times.  I am hopeful the processes can be cooperative and provide both students and faculty an atmosphere that encourages them to be creative and productive in their chosen fields of study."

The College of Arts and Science is the largest academic unit at Ohio University.  The college has 19 departments with a total general program budget of $62,399,000.  In 2009-2010, the college had 4,296 undergraduate majors and 892 graduate students. 

In addition to its own academic programs, the college plays a key role in the provision of general education to all Ohio University undergraduates on the Athens campus.  Through its leadership in promoting the liberal arts and sciences, the college actively works to continue a 207 year-old tradition at Ohio University.

An important part of the legacy of the college’s current dean Ben Ogles will be the reinvigoration of the University’s commitment to its liberal arts and sciences heritage. 

Ogles has accepted the position of dean in the college of Family, Home and Social Sciences at Brigham Young University. 

Ogles joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology in 1990, serving as chair of the department from 2002 until 2005, when he became interim dean of the college.  In 2006 after a national search, he was appointed dean of the college. 

In a letter to the college’s chairs, directors, and staff announcing his departure, Ogles wrote:  "After 21 years at Ohio University, I will leave with both sadness and gratitude.  My experiences here have been wonderful and formative. Especially as dean, I learned much about scholarship, teaching, and personal dedication from the faculty, staff, and students across the broad spectrum of disciplines in the college and around the University."

Benoit praised Ogles for his outstanding leadership as dean.  
"Ben has been a wonderful colleague.  He has led a large and complex college with great integrity and true appreciation for the important role of the liberal arts and sciences at a public university.  Everyone who has had a chance to work with Ben appreciates his passion for education and his compassion for others.  Ohio University has been the beneficiary of his thoughtful leadership.  His alma mater has chosen wisely and well."

During his time as dean, Ogles has worked on a daily basis with Dewald.  "As the associate dean for nearly 10 years, Howard is a natural selection to lead the college of Art and Sciences," said Ogles.  "Given his intimate knowledge of the college and his leadership on many current initiatives, the work of the college will move forward without interruption. I will begin working with him on a smooth transition immediately."

Dewald will begin his term as interim dean on July 1. Work on forming a search committee to conduct a national search for a dean has begun. Benoit hopes to assemble and charge the committee by the end of May.