By Monica Chapman
Professor of Political Science Harold "Spike" Molineu will serve as interim dean of the Honors Tutorial College for one year, effective July 1. He replaces Ann Fidler, who has accepted a one-year appointment as interim associate provost for strategic initiatives.
As interim dean, Molineu will provide leadership on all aspects of the Honors Tutorial College, including helping current students achieve their academic goals; overseeing the 27 programs of study; working with the faculty in charge of those programs and faculty tutors; and overseeing student recruitment, curriculum planning, public relations and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, which is housed in the college. Molineu also will teach the required fall seminar for all incoming HTC students.
"This is one of the premier academic programs on campus," said Molineu, who teaches one quarter a year under the university's early retirement program. "I saw this as an opportunity to take on a very focused unit that knew what it was about. As I told Ann Fidler, this is probably the only job that would persuade me to come back full time.
"I think the real challenge (for me) is to sustain the quality of the program," he added. "The Honors Tutorial College attracts the very best students. Previous deans, including Dean Fidler, have set a pretty high standard, so that's where the pressure is. To keep it going at that high level just doesn't happen through inertia."
Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl, who appointed Molineu to the post, is confident he's up to the job.
"Spike has had a long and successful association with the Honors Tutorial College," Krendl said. "He thrives on working with good students, and he is a respected faculty member. The combination of these characteristics along with his extensive administrative experience means that one of our signature academic programs will be in good hands."
Molineu, who specializes in U.S. foreign policy and international relations, joined Ohio University's Department of Political Science in 1970 as an assistant professor. He has served the department in many capacities, including directing its honors program and coordinating an internship program with the National Assembly for Wales.
He also served 10 years as associate dean or interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Among other awards, Molineu, who retired from his full-time post in 2004, was recognized as an "Outstanding Tutor" by the Honors Tutorial College.
In addition to his work with Ohio University, Molineu worked with the U.S. Department of State in Brussels as a liaison to the parliaments of NATO countries. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Wales, Chubu University in Japan and Boston University's European program and has lectured in a European program through the University of Maryland. He is the author of the book "U.S. Policy Toward Latin America: from Regionalism to Globalism" and has published a number of articles in journals such as Polity, Journal of Inter-American Studies, Latin American Research Review and Policy Studies Review.
Molineu holds a doctorate in international relations from American University, a master's in political science from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Berea (Ky.) College.
For Molineu, the main draw of the HTC position is the high caliber of the college's students.
"I've worked with tutorial students since the program began (in 1973), and I can't see how any faculty member would not be enthusiastic about these students," Molineu said.
"They are self-disciplined; they're bright; they're energetic -- all the things you want out of a student. And the tutorial experience is very unique. Who wouldn't want to be involved in that?"
About 230 students are enrolled in the Honors Tutorial College, the only degree-granting college in the United States that incorporates all the essential features of a traditional tutorial system, such as those developed at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
After his one-year appointment with HTC, Molineu plans to continue teaching in the political science department.
Fidler has served as dean of the Honors Tutorial College since 2002. In her new role, she will assist with initiatives designed to ensure Ohio University continues its progress in implementing Vision OHIO and integrating with the University System of Ohio.
The provost's office will launch a search for a new dean in the fall.