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When Dr. Pam Benoit joined Ohio University on July 1, 2009, as executive vice president and provost, she brought a a wealth of experience as a faculty member, scholar, and an academic administrator.
Following the receipt of an M.A. in Communication from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Communication from Wayne State University, Dr. Benoit joined the faculty at Bowling Green State University. In 1984, she accepted a position in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
At Missouri, she taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including Communication Theory, Interpersonal Communication, Persuasive Speaking, Language and Discourse, Family Communication, and Qualitative Research Methods. The quality of Dr. Benoit's work as a teacher and a mentor prompted the conferral of a number of awards, including the Outstanding Young Teacher Award (1980, Central States Communication Association) given to individuals early in their career who show distinction as teachers; the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching (1995, University of Missouri) given to outstanding faculty, the award is one of the highest teaching awards bestowed by Missouri; the University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award (2000, University of Missouri) awarded to faculty who are especially distinguished in their disciplines in teaching, research, and/or service and who have extraordinary mentoring relationships with students; and the Spirit of Martha Award (2007, Martha Griffiths Leadership Society) presented to the individual with the most significant impact on alumni and students of the University of Missouri through mentoring and leadership activities. Dr. Benoit was the first recipient of this award.
Dr. Benoit's research interests include narratives, communication theory, interpersonal persuasion and argumentation, and leadership. She has authored or co-authored a number of books, book chapters, articles, and reports. Blackwell published her latest book, co-written with her husband William Benoit, in 2008. Entitled Persuasive Messages: The Process of Influence, the book seeks to connect communication theory to communication practice by examining how to deconstruct and evaluate persuasive messages be they interpersonal, cultural, or political. The American Forensic Association, through its Daniel Rohrer Outstanding Research Awards, has recognized her research and writing. Given to the outstanding research monograph on argumentation each year, Dr. Benoit has received the Rohrer Award twice.
Dr. Benoit began her work as an academic administrator by serving as the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri. Subsequently she was the chair of her department, the associate/assistant dean of the Graduate School, the interim dean of the Graduate School, and from 2006 the vice provost for advanced studies and dean of the Graduate School.
In her administrative career, Dr. Benoit played a key leadership role at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the state's largest public research institution and the flagship of the University of Missouri System. As vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at Missouri, she made substantive contributions to the university's success in the areas of enrollment management; diversity; program review; economic development; recruitment of students, faculty, and staff; and strategic planning.
In each of her administrative positions, Dr. Benoit, who is a trained mediator, was actively involved in resolving conflicts and providing conflict resolution assistance to students and faculty through grievance and appeals panels, targeted programming, and the campus mediation service at Missouri.
To the role of executive vice president and provost, Dr. Benoit brought 20 years of experience as an educator, a scholar of communication, and an administrator charged with improving quality and accessibility. Educated in public institutions of higher education, she knows first-hand the potential that exists in universities founded for and charged with a public purpose. As chief academic officer, Dr. Benoit seeks to ensure that Ohio University will continue to prosper as a premier public research university by building on its heritage as a place of promise where students are transformed academically and personally through their interactions with outstanding faculty and participation in a vibrant, inclusive campus community.
She also plays a key role in assisting the president and the Board of Trustees with shaping strategic priorities and advancing the overall vision of the University. Members of the Ohio University community have noted her strong communication skills, ability to connect with students, and keen grasp of issues critical to the University's future.
Dr. Benoit’s husband, William Benoit, also works to advance Ohio University’s mission by serving as a professor in the School of Communication Studies in the Scripps College of Communication.