Apr 3, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit has announced the position of Dean of University College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will be open at the end of this academic year and interested faculty are encouraged to apply.
The position is currently held by David Descutner, who took on the role of executive vice provost in 2010 after serving as dean of University College for three years. Descutner, a Professor of Communication Studies, will return to the faculty on the early retiree program. Descutner has been a member of the faculty since 1979.
Among his many skill sets is his ability to bring out the best of those who work with him, including students, faculty and staff. “David has embodied all of the finest qualities of a dean and vice provost," said Benoit. "He is an excellent teacher and mentor and the champion of students, new faculty, and colleagues. He recognizes the potential for leadership among his staff and colleagues and leads by example. David has been a key player in creating access to education and transformational experiences for students for more than three decades.”
As dean of University College, Descutner worked with Student Affairs, the Registrar’s Office, Enrollment Management, University Libraries and Student Senate, among others, to help Ohio University receive military-friendly school designation.
In his time at Ohio University, Descutner also worked as a member of the diversity implementation team for Vision OHIO and oversaw retention and recruitment efforts, which involved important projects such as learning communities, the Student Help Center and the First Year Experience.
Beginning this week, Benoit is seeking applications from among the faculty for Descutner’s successor. Interested faculty are encouraged to apply for the position, which is posted on Ohio University’s employment website at www.ohiouniversityjobs.com/postings/9528.
“Our next Dean of University College will be starting from a strong legacy and will be charged with continuing the tradition of responsiveness and innovation in undergraduate education,” said Benoit.
The position of Dean of University College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost. S/he is a member of the Academic Leadership Council. The position will lead undergraduate education planning and will participate in curriculum and pedagogy development. These responsibilities are accomplished via strategic partnerships with key committees, other deans of Athens colleges and regional/extension campuses. As Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the successful candidate will interface with each academic department, school, and college, faculty, students, families, and external stakeholders to champion and lead the advancement of undergraduate education.
The position of Dean of University College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is responsible for oversight and effective performance of the following programs and offices: Bobcat Student Orientation, a three-week summer orientation program that involves all colleges and staff from every student services office; Academic Advancement Center, which provides support services that include tutoring, the Student Writing Center, Supplemental Instruction, and academic skills courses, and is the home of the federally funded College Adjustment Program; Allen Student Help Center, which serves as a central and comprehensive source of advising, information, and referral and leads the university’s efforts on academic success and persistence; Learning Communities Program, which provides learning-based peer networks for more than 75 percent of all first-year students that have a proven record of improving these students’ academic performance, persistence rates, and levels of engagement; Student Accessibility Services, which provides all manner of assistance for students with documented disabilities; Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC, which share the mission of recruiting, developing, and commissioning leaders of character; and Veterans Services, which provides academic advising and support to enrolled veterans.
University College at Ohio University was founded in 1935 and is one of the oldest such colleges in the United States. University College’s programs serve all undergraduates at Ohio University and are central to the university’s mission to engender the intellectual and personal development of undergraduates.
Approximately one-fourth of each year’s entering class enroll in University College as undecided students. Through its professional advising and many partnerships with the nine other colleges, the regional campuses, and key institutional offices, Descutner helped lead University College in its promotion of undergraduates’ academic success and co-curricular engagement, facilitated their pivotal transitions, and contributed to the formation of community among students, faculty, and staff.