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Dan Evans to retire as executive dean of regional higher education

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit announced today that Executive Dean of Regional Higher Education and Vice Provost of E-Learning Ohio and Strategic Initiatives Dan Evans will retire from his position as executive dean on June 30.  

In her announcement, Benoit indicated that after a brief hiatus over the summer Evans will resume his role as vice provost on a part-time basis for a two-year period.  

Benoit wrote in a letter to regional campus faculty and staff: "Everyone who has had the chance to work with Dan during his tenure at Ohio University understands the nature and the significance of his contributions. He is an extraordinary leader and an even more extraordinary person."  

Evans has worked with the regional campuses for 10 years, but his association with Ohio University began as a student. Evans earned his bachelor's degree and doctoral degree from Ohio University.  

Prior to becoming dean of Ohio University-Southern in 2001, Evans served as dean of Wright State University's Lake Campus and held several administrative positions at Shawnee State University.

In 2006, Evans was appointed executive dean for regional campuses for the Office of University Outreach and Regional Campuses. He took on the additional responsibilities of distance education and outreach as the vice provost for E-Learning and strategic initiatives in 2010.

In a letter to faculty and staff
, which preceded Benoit's announcement, Evans wrote of how rewarding his experiences as executive dean have been.  

"I have truly loved my involvement with the regional campuses of Ohio University," Evans said. "The contributions you make every day, whether in the classroom or in support of the academic enterprise, are truly a labor of the heart. I have had the privilege of working with an outstanding faculty, dedicated to bringing out the best in each of their students. In addition, I have seen firsthand a staff committed to serving students above self."

Benoit's announcement indicated that a national search for a replacement for Evans would begin in academic year 2011-2012.  

While the search is conducted, Jim Fonseca, dean of Ohio University-Zanesville, will serve a one-year term as interim executive dean of Regional Higher Education beginning July 1.

Fonseca is an experienced regional campus administrator. He has served as dean of Zanesville for 13 years. Benoit praised Fonseca's work as dean and indicated that she has great confidence in his ability to lead the campuses during a time of transition.  She wrote in her letter, "he has the knowledge and the skills needed to continue Dan's legacy of successful leadership across all of the campuses and centers."   

Fonseca indicated that he welcomed the opportunity to serve as interim executive dean.

"I look forward to continuing the good work of Dan Evans and to assisting the provost in furthering the Ohio University Regional Campus traditions of growth and service to our students," Fonseca said. "This transitional year will be a particularly exciting one as we prepare for the conversion to semesters."   

For the upcoming academic year, Rich Greenlee, dean of Ohio University-Eastern will provide leadership for the Zanesville campus as its interim dean while maintaining his current role.  

Greenlee, who has led Eastern for three years, was credited by Benoit for his efforts to revitalize the campus.  She noted in her letter, "his track record suggests that he has the ability to ensure that Zanesville and Eastern maintain their autonomy while promoting ways of strengthening existing partnerships."

Given the proximity of the campuses and the strong relationship that already exists between them, Greenlee believes that a great deal can be accomplished in the year ahead.

"I look forward to working with the faculty and staff of our two campuses, to explore ways in which we can support one another, and provide even greater access to higher education opportunities for our students throughout the region in the future," Greenlee said.

Greenlee's appointment as the interim dean of Ohio University-Zanesville will begin on July 1.

Following his retirement as executive dean on June 30, Evans will return in September in a part-time capacity to his role as vice provost for E-Learning Ohio and strategic initiatives. During July and August, E-Learning Ohio will be led by College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman.  

Benoit appointed Sherman because his college has been very active in developing academic programs that use an e-learning component.  
"Hugh's experiences can help shape the approach that this important office will take in the future," Benoit said. "I'm pleased that he is willing to provide leadership over the summer and that he has agreed to continue working closely with Dan once he returns in September."